Archive for August, 2008

I took a break from the workshop on Sunday to go along with friend Don to the WSBA annual picnic. The club always puts on a very nice spread for lunch alongside the pond in Sheridan Park, Milwaukee. I would like to say thank you to everyone who organised the day and especially the ladies for the food and bingo!

I took the opportunity to sail a Pintail with a gaff/jib rig I built some time ago. For anyone who doesn’t remember, Pintail and Holly were sister ships and Holly was to have a gaff rig and a low coaming type deck so that it would fit in the footy measuring box. So the boat I sailed on Sunday was basically a kit built Pintail with an added bowsprit and the rig from Holly. Simple huh!

Well she sailed really well in a good breeze which at times got very strong. Like the good sailer he is, Joshua (the skipper) headed up into wind to ride out the worst of the gusts, sails flapping wildly. The rig looked really good with a nice amount of twist in the main sail and the jib flying high. I did a slightly odd thing with the jib in that it is pivoted on the forestay and the jib boom is hung from the jib foot. I did this because I wanted to get a more scale like look to the boat under way. Full size yachts generally have the jib pivit around the forestay rather than on a pivot about 1/3 along the jib boom as is the usual model practice. This can be less efficiant in light winds but I love the way it looks. I was quite suprised by how quick the boat looked too, when we get another club footy race organised I think that I will enter this gaff Pintail to see how she goes against the others… should be interesting.

I just can’t help but love footys!

Read Full Post »

I am really enjoying the way the new Kittiwake II kit is coming together, it’s always exciting to see ideas in the head actually appear in 3D and work out well. An example is the new rudder standoff which I admit could be a bit tricky to align. The new unit pictured below uses a triangular piece which slides on to the rudder standoff ‘eggbox’ fashion. This sets the standoff at 90 degrees to the transom automatically, the standoff slots into the transom with two tabs as before. The triangular part also centres the new plastic rudder tube on the standoff rear edge so just a spring clamp at the bottom of the tube while epoxying will do the job. The plastic rudder tube will glue better than the brass one with epoxy or thick cyano.

The bowsprit is looking nice and ‘salty’ too, it slots into a support strip of 1/16″ ply which is glued onto the deck as shown below. This will handle the new larger jib sail with ease. The extra hole you see in the deck is the location to use if you wish to use a swing rig. I will be experimenting with a special swing rig I have built for light winds. I will give the location of this hole in the kit instructions for those who wish to use one of those una swing rigs.

I can’t wait to get this boat in the water now. Last night I gave the parts of the hull to be painted a coat of thinned laminating epoxy. After many experiments with different sealers etc. I am coming to the conclusion that thinned epoxy on ply or balsa is the best base because I like to have something to soak into the wood. Over this I will spray primer and paint, probably Rustoleum in this case. Varnished areas I just use Minwax Helmsman onto the bare ply, transom, keel and deck in this case. More later… have fun sailing.

Read Full Post »

As the test build for this boat is coming together it is giving me more thinking time which can be a dangerous thing for me. Designing is my first love in model boats and leaving an idea alone is hard for me! I have now drawn the templates for the new sails and I have increased the area to be more in line with that of the ‘Siren’ design. The main sail shape will now be like the ‘Pond Sprite’ with the curved entry leach top and bottom. This shape works well without battens which has it’s advantages.

Whilst thinking about the sails I saw a simple way to take advantage of the carbon fibre jib luff without the full ‘loose topped’ system which I designed for the Siren and Pond Sprite. I will incorportate that idea into the kit. The original area and shape sails will still be avalable for those who wish to have a similar boat to an existing club fleet.

So far the other change has been to add 3/4″ depth to the keel fin. Since the original Kittiwake all of my fins have been deeper so I saw no reason not to make that change to the Kittiwake II also. With the changes in place I expect the new Kittiwake to be a more competitive boat in Footy racing. The original design was not intended to be a race boat, rather it was a small good handling and easy to build introductory RC yacht. But many Kittiwakes have found their way into racing fleets so my aim now is to make it into a more competitive boat without sacrificing the other attributes which have made it such a popular boat.

Photos soon when I have made enough progress for you to see the difference.


Read Full Post »