Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Pleasure boats, Sports, Race, Power and Leisure Boats: => Topic started by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 06:17:56 PM

Title: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 06:17:56 PM
Hi guys

Joined on here after it was suggested on another forum that this one might be more useful for me in respect of finding out knowledge on the boat/build I have. Basically I bought a used boat on ebay about 10-12 years back maybe and then got married, got house, got kids etc, and finally decided the other day it's about time I tried to do something with it!!!

I'm pretty sure it's an aeromarine apache 50", but could be wrong.  It's about 49" long ish, and has a sub drive, and an unknown (untuned looking) lump powering it.


Here's the "who knows what" engine, with pipe:

It includes a metal duct which seems to be there to pull in air from the central hole in the hatch as cooling air.  Doesn't seem like it's been just cobbled together at home but I could be wrong:(

Sub drive and steering hardware:




Transom view (it's as roughly bodged in as the one in my real 18' Coastworker was, lol!):(

And a look to the front with the engine mounts and some (expanding foam?) bouyancy up front ahead of the tank area: (

I've certainly seen hulls tidier both inside and out!! It's had bumps in the past (evident from filler around the tip of the bow) and a couple of paint jobs I think. I've never had it in the water although prior to this I did briefly build and own a prestwich Miami, with a tuned Zenoah 260 engine.  That seemed like a missile but I didn't have it long enough to get it all sorted nicely due to moving and selling up.

Anyway, after around a decade of my boat hanging unused from my garage ceiling collecting dust, stripped it down, then cleaned out the carb, put fresh juice in the tank on the workbench, and tried the motor. 

Started second pull! Doesn't have tons of compression and I think is maybe some sort of strimmer engine etc (no markings I see to say what it is), but seems to start and run with real ease. I'm assuming the sub surface drive means it was set up for running either on the sea or a big choppy lake?

The boat is heavy, and I don't imagine this engine has masses of power since it doesn't 'appear' to have lots of compression like I'd expected a tuned up race lump to have, so I'm not expecting miracles, but its for fun anyway since I don't think anyone races these where I live, despite it being on an island!

Anyway, if anyone has useful tips about it, recognises it, or knows what it is or spots any obvious horrible things about it that need sorting please pipe up!  I'm grateful for any advice. 

I did want to fit a clutch for convenience but don't think there's sufficient room, and I'm not sure what hardware I'd have to buy to fit it anyway.

Cheers Jim
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: Bill D203 on April 09, 2015, 06:49:09 PM
Hi Jim
It strikes me the only way of finding out fast she will go is to rebuild it and try it out. You never know? It looks like most of the parts are there to get it in the water.  Good luck. :-))  Here is a pic of my boat i used to race.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 07:46:02 PM
Thanks Bill - fine looking boat by the way  O0

That's exactly what I plan on doing since as you say I've all the bits.  I know the engine runs easily so that's a plus.
I'm lucky enough that I can take it with me when I go out in the boat fishing some point, then if it stalls I can retrieve it easily!

Not sure what radio gear I'll use yet.  I know historically surface vessels used 40mhz FM but do people now use the likes of 2.4ghz /Spektrum kit etc for them, or is that a no-no for any reason?

The servos are not what I expected to find in it.  There's a hitec HS-303 for throttle and JR NES 519 for steering.  Last I knew I was certain it had big 1/4 scale digital ones but I must have put them in something else down the line I guess.  Do I need a particular strength of steering servo to avoid problems?

My main concern I think with this boat other than it maybe being slow, is the amount of holes cut in the hatch for use at sea.  The two 'intake' mouldings are wide open, as is round the cylinder head, and a central hole for this cooling vent to suck air in.  All of that adds up to potentially a huge amount of water getting in really fast if things go wrong at sea.  It's got foam in it, but no idea if it's enough to keep it afloat.  I can add more bouyancy though I guess to be on the safe side.

I wish I'd held onto the Miami 55 that I had prior to this, as it was all new, and with a tuned G260, but had to get rid at the time.  That said, I believe Apaches are renowned for their good handling in rough water.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: Bill D203 on April 09, 2015, 08:01:44 PM
Yes a big powerful servo for the rudder. There are some really good one around that can do the job.
The holes in the top can be overcome by fitting a baler in the rear of the boat so what dose go in, drains away. PMB sale them and you may well find them on ebay. The main thing is to make 100% sure the radio box is water tight. That way if the boat flips over all the electronics will be OK.

I always use 2.4 Ghz radio gear. I never had a problem with Futaba 2.4 stuff. It dose what it says on the tin.  I used to use 40Mhz until I was racing in Wales on a old slate pit and it kept on cutting out at the same spot on the course and the boat ran into the Island  >>:-( .

Anyway post some pics of the build and its 1st run out on the water.
The inside lay out and my last race boat I had. I had to give up racing due to time and work issues. I do miss racing  :}
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 08:16:21 PM
Thanks - that's all very neat!

I might give a light sand inside the hull and add some flocoat or paint to smarten it up. 
I'll see what servos I have but I think I have some high torque metal gear ones that are normal size if they're up to it.

Radio box seems good enough.  I don't like the tank, and it's an engine out job to remove it as it's forward of the motor.  Not sure if it'll ruin the centre of gravity or something but I'd rather fit it between engine and radio box like in your pic if I can.  Plus that way I can add more foam up front for insurance.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: Bill D203 on April 09, 2015, 08:29:36 PM
Now there are tanks then there are Petrol tanks. As you can see the tank in my red boat was yellow. I got it from hobbystore and it was made to take petrol. Must tanks are made for nitro fuel. Also use plastic fuel /petrol prof pipes which is yellow in colour. In my final race boat I had a ally tank made to order to fit the boat. With the tank half way along the boat it dose not tend to upset the Cof G as it empty's out. If it up front then it lifts up more as the fuel is used. However that's down to what you like as a setup.
I cant resist showing my Zen powered Hydro. That boat did around 50 mph on a big lake. I think there is a youtube clip . look up D203 hydro and you may well find it. Found it.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 08:37:02 PM
Will check it out thanks - love the idea of a hydro I must admit.  A problem for me will be finding others to race with/against.  I know I live on an island and there is a model boat club, but mainly I think they're interested in scale boats rather than speed or racing.

Yes it currently has a proper petrol fuel tank but the lines are very old and hard, and fall off easily.  I've chucked silicone stuff on temporarily just to see if it ran but not sure if it's fuel grade or not.
The stopper for the current tank is not a good arrangement so I may try to machine something better.  I can't weld ally but it would be nice to have a small ally tank for it I must admit.

By the way, do we have to do these 'prove you're not a robot' answers with every reply ever on this forum, or is it just because I'm new?  I understand why, so I won't grumble (as I run forums myself) but it is a bit tedious if it's an all the time thing.  %)
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: Bill D203 on April 09, 2015, 08:45:44 PM
No i don't have to do any robot checks. maybe because ive been on Mayhem a very long time ? hells bells a Very long time now when i think about it.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 09:55:29 PM
That's reassuring then, hopefully when I reach a certain post count it will stop!

Been looking closer at the engine, its mounting, potential tank space etc, and I think there's plenty of room for improvement.
First thing, I don't think I can avoid it from sticking out of the hatch sadly, even if I reposition it as it's a tall engine.  Even if it sits straight it would still protrude a bit, and then have an issue re' the flexishaft and stuffing tube etc.

So in terms of that, I may attempt some rudimentary glassing to make a neater cover that will open with ease for accessing the pullstart, but prevent it looking as bad and prevent it being a water inlet point.  Oddly, even though it must have been used, I see no evidence of how the hatch would have been retained in place.  Not sure how that was done!



If I remove the big metal cooling duct/housing, then there's tons of room for tank behind the motor, and the radio box can go back another inch.  Not sure how necessary that ducting is though.  It's an aircooled engine, but that metal takes a lot of space, and the manifold etc are watercooled still.  Plus air will get forced in through the inlets in the hatch.



There's a mount of some sort by the flexishaft and crank coupling, where it must have had something for measuring RPM.  Not sure if that would have been transmitted or recorded or what???


The engine has no discernable markings other than a number stamped in a circle.  That's all.  So I've no idea what sort of spec it might be.  Would love to know at least then I know I have a basis for comparison against potential upgrades etc in future.


The hull is very greasy and has had loads of resin slopped around in it, so I intend to clean and grind that up to an extent as it's messy in there.  Better to start with a clean starting point I think.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: black magic racing on April 09, 2015, 11:37:11 PM
ok,right first of all the duct is NOT to pull air through,but to get the hot air out of the boat O0 very clever idea and is custom made,with out the duct hot air would be inside the boat which is not what you want,,,
looking at the boat it looks like its had a replacement lid as i can see where there has been hatch clips attached to the hull under the hatch in the corners at the front there is a hole on each side ;)

looking at the prop its a 7015 2 blade,very good prop,boat is running  semi submerge drive which set up right is very good :-))
not sure on engine but someone has gone to the trouble of water cooling it,it may be tuned,,,may not,,,,but see no reason why it wont give a good turn of speed,wont be the fastest thing out there but  im sure will be enjoyable,,,, O0
i hope this help
kurt and sha
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 09, 2015, 11:51:13 PM
Thanks very much - that's very useful info indeed. :)

Yes I wondered about the holes beneath the lid, ie like an older one had been on but still not sure how this current one is meant to stay put.  Sure I can fit some pins or something though.

Interesting comments about the prop and the so on (my old Miami/Zenoah I think had an X440 prop, direct out through the bottom of the transom as surface drive.  The torque used to try to roll the boat even with the prop tube offset a bit to the side), plus the fact the cowling has been specially made (and it's a very neat job, not a bodge) for the cooling etc, that it suggests some effort has gone on making this slightly more than just a weed whacker engine bolted into a hull, or so it seems.

Looking forward to finding out either way.  I want to give it all a really good clean out though first, and smooth the inside of the hull a little, plus move the tank for easier access etc.
I may take it to a boating lake at the north of the island and take my waders as I think it only gets to about a meter deep, and if I have a problem I can fetch it.  Eventually, I'll build some sort of electric retrieval tug I suspect of some description or other.  Nothing pretty, but something with grunt, and means of hitching on and towing back to shore if need be.

May also set up a failsafe as I think I have a spare one so if if loses signal it reduces speed to idle and puts some lock on to go round in circles.

Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 11, 2015, 01:00:29 PM
Thanks for all the input again gents.  Much obliged

For now I'll be doing a few things first, now the boat is emptied out:
1) De Grease the inside and sand a lot of the surface smoother as it's full of horrible bits of additional resin slopped around it. There's a bracket by the end of the prop shaft/stuffing tube where it had some sort of RPM sensor I think but long gone now and not even sure how that would have been used in terms of recording info or relaying it to shore etc. So that's getting removed.
2) I'm going to add bouyancy in front of the engine where the tank currently is.  It's a DuPro tank on a resin coated wooden cradle but it's an engine out job to access it, which I don't like.  So it's getting moved (or replaced with a slightly smaller one) to go between engine and radio box.  It'll affect balance less as it drains too, and will be easily accessed.
3) Maybe add an auto bailer or two to the transom.  There's too much hole area open in the hatch for my liking, which will equate to a lot of water getting in I suspect, and if it gets in it needs to get out again.  I've not read up on the efficacy of these though.
4) Adding an oil/grease nipple to the stuffing tube (ordered one from Prestwich)
5) Dig out a better servo for steering than what's in there and see what radio I will fit in it.  I think I have a spare Spektrum 5 channel one sitting around not doing a lot so that might do.
6) Fit a proper cut out switch since it currently has a loose wire that you short to earth to stop the engine. I may attach a spare channel to this and add a failsafe (think I have a spare one), then I have two separate safety options.
7) Make some means of actually attaching the hatch to it since it currently just sits on top.  No idea how it was previously secured.  Some sort of pins & R clips arrangement presumably will do.
8) I'll have a look at the carb stack as I know it's beneficial to have it curl round but not sure how I really can with this since it's effectively a cone that's too thick to bend, but not really thick enough to turn down on the lathe to create a nice wide radius on the edge if you see what I mean.  Not sure there's much I can do with it but we'll see.  I won't mess with the carb itself for now as I want to see how it goes with the existing setup, then I have at least a visual benchmark for effectiveness of future upgrades.  I can't really test it for speed without buying some sort of special GPS gizmo I don't think.
9) Add wheels & a handle to the stand, plus a strap to keep it secure.
10) Sharpen the prop.
11) Smooth off the resin on the tip of the bow as it looks really bad
12) It's tempting to add a channel that can raise & lower the angle of the prop so I can see how it behaves, and effectively trim it on the water for the conditions.  Might be overkill though and a bit of hassle.I'll leave it as sub drive for now as it's been set up that way and obviously used that way so someone thought it was ok.  Might not be the best thing, who knows, but I should try it first before potentially chopping stuff about to convert to surface drive, as I might be quite happy with how it goes.It did cross my mind that sticking a big brushless motor in these days may well give better performance with less hassle (as much as I love IC engines), without worrying about stalls/cutouts etc.  But I suspect the combination of a decent motor, ESC, and massive battery might cost a bomb, so again, try it how it is first and see.

Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 11, 2015, 01:04:50 PM
Sorry that's a horrible block of text.  It wasn't when I posted it, but went like that.
Then I edited it all to fix and it just ended up worse, full of edit tags etc so I've left it - sorry it's not nice to read.

Text layout corrected..... phew !!!!

Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 11, 2015, 07:08:12 PM

Well I attacked it with the finger sander on the compressor this avvy and got rid of loads of jagged and rough bits inside where it had resin and bits of cloth all over it, and removed the bracket for the tacho sensor or whatever it would have been.



Looks rough still but this is so smoothed out now compared to how it was.  It's been all wiped down with acetone and the surfaces given a light rub down where they were ok anyway, so I'm going to add a layer of white flocoat to it to smarten it up.
That'll only be on the inside of the rails though as it's way too much hassle to clean & rub down all the other nooks & crannies!  Not doing it all the way to the front either as I couldn't easily scrub it all up that far and seemed little point.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 14, 2015, 07:58:23 PM
Picked up a litre of clear flocoat locally today for a tenner.  I already have white pigment and catalyst, so I can get on with it now.  Since I've sanded/scuffed the existing resin inside, it should bond well and give a strong & resilient finish that shows up leaks etc easily.

New fuel hose came today too, and the grease nipple fitting for the prop shaft.  On with the work then!!!

Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 15, 2015, 08:39:23 AM
Here's how it looks with a layer of flowcoat on it now.  Was worried last night when it was still completely wet a  couple of hours later but was fine this morning - must have been a bit cold for the amount of catalyst I mixed in.  Looks a bit neater now I think:



Not exactly like a new hull exactly but nicer inside than it was, and because it's smoothed down before I applied this coating it's easy to wipe clean any spill etc.
Fuel tube and stuffing box nipple came yesterday too.
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: black magic racing on April 15, 2015, 08:43:37 AM
looking alot better now :-))
Title: Re: New member with old boat, looking for info and advice!
Post by: MrJoshua on April 15, 2015, 08:46:34 AM
Thanks - not sure what I'll do about the outside in the end. 
Leave it for now until I've used it, but if the boat goes well or I plan on beginning upgrades etc it might be nice to give it a rub down and a spray with 2 pack or something.

I might actually add another layer of flocoat this evening as it's slightly thin in places (even though it's much thicker stuff than paint anyway), as it means I can smooth any high spots back as well if I want to.