I bought this, my second model,
partially completed. She was advertised on the web and once again (see
Lady Anne), I was a sucker for her
As for her history; I believe she was part of a prototype run of five skiffs of
which she was the fifth. She was designed and built in collaboration by Anthony
Wright, Richard Haas and Neil Fisher of
Corby & District Model Boat Club.
This time I had to take the wife with me when I went to view her .... she was
surprisingly under whelmed. After the normal length of pleading, whining and
blackmail she was in the back of the car, (Skiff not wife).
All the running gear is installed in the central compartment aft of the mast and
the hatch is secured with waterproof tape. As gaining access to this compartment
is a major evolution, the recharging socket, on/off switch and charging vent are
mounted through the hatch and waterproofed. I used a mini TNC plug and socket
(computer network type connection) for the re-charging connection, mini toggle
switch with rubber cover for on/off and a screw top and thread from a fresh
juice container for the vent.
The mast is 10mm alloy with carbon fibre insert. The gooseneck was replaced and
the sail bent to the mast using luff rings, having first attached metal eyes in
the luff seam of the sail. This now allows the boom to swing freely without the
sail binding on the mast and attempting to turn it into a swing rig.
The outrigger pods are sealed and filled with bubble wrap as lightweight
Both pods and central compartment have drain holes and plugs fitted. For ease of transportation the pods and outrigger supports are
removed by slackening off a pair of tension lines. It also allows me to take her
upstairs, forestalling the usual frosty comment, "It's not staying in the
A new winged rudder was fashioned out of a scrap piece of UPVC window shelving
after I ham-fistedly broke the original one. This is connected to the rudder
servo by a ball-jointed length of 2mm rod (left over from when my Raptor model
Helicopter preferred gravity to lift) to a carbon/epoxy tiller arm
attached to a 4mm brass rudder stock. This gives the rudder a smooth rotational
movement with no slack. Watertight integrity is maintained with a rubber gaiter.
Surprisingly, the weight of the old wooden rudder with carbon fibre stock was 5
grams heavier than the new one.
To keep the displacement weight to a minimum, I assume, there is no lead ballast
in the fin keel. In fact there is no ballast at all. She is reliant upon the
outriggers alone to maintain an upright posture.
Sailing qualities: Because of the lack of ballast (and cowardice at the helm), I
have only sailed her in very light wind. Even then she moves with the grace and
agility of a gazelle.
NOW FOR THE
Lesson 1: - Just because your first model may have sailed without
any problems, do not assume that the gods smile kindly upon your baldpate
all the time. Never let your guard down and do not become complacent.
Lesson 2: - Just because your so miserable waving goodbye to your
wife and daughter, as they head towards Mablethorpe for a week (a very
posh English holiday resort) while you
reluctantly look after the cats and dogs, do not get side tracked no matter
how down-hearted you feel.
Lesson 3: - NEVER LAUNCH A BOAT WITHOUT DOING A RADIO CHECK FIRST.
Why I did, I cannot tell you. I have never flown the heli with out one. I
put it down to the excitement of a maiden launch, getting her into the
water before the wind increased and (see lesson one and two).
That way you do not loose radio contact while still in spitting distance
as you stand there LOOKING A RIGHT IDIOT watching your pride and joy gaily
skip and frolic across the flooded quarry without a care in the world. It
also prevents you LOOKING AN EVEN BIGGER IDIOT as you do a passable
impression of Humphrey Bogart and the African Queen when you recover her.
This whilst wading waist deep through a reed bed trying at the same time
to disentangle rigging, sprit, mast and pods from all the encroaching
AND THIS IS THE BIG NO NO. Never ever recover your craft from
quarry if it means getting your feet wet. One day, it will be you who is
recovered while your brain dead boat sails on.
Lesson 4: - Always take a mate with you. It is not only more
sociable but there is always someone on hand to help if you get into
difficulties, (or need to call for a lifeboat! - Mayhem).
Lesson 5: - If you have a craft like Humbug that is skittish and
is likely to turn-turtle then have a rescue boat on hand to drag her back
- this was my excuse for my next acquisition. The wife and daughter
were less than impressed when they returned from sunny Mablethorpe, to
find the settee occupied by another boat, a Robbe Antji II. More pleading, whining and
blackmail must have won the day as I got my seaside pressy. An ornamental
yacht. As the wife left the room
I heard her mutter.... " It's not staying
there". To which my lovely daughter replied.... "You tell him Mum".