Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: spearfish99 on March 23, 2016, 05:03:36 pm

Title: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on March 23, 2016, 05:03:36 pm
Back in 1971, my dear old Dad and myself followed a series of articles in Radio Control Models& Electronics written by Bob Jefferies to build a Starlet yacht.  The intention of the articles was to improve on the original Vic Smeed design by increasing fin and rudder areas and to install radio control.  Given the radio control kit available at the time, this was quite ground breaking stuff and we ended up with a well sailing little boat controlled by a single channel McGregor Codamatic giving left/Right Rudder and a workable winch control.  A little later we went "posh" and replaced the radio with a Horizon 2 channel proportional radio and sailed for many happy hours at Emberton Park, which is near to Milton Keynes  ( which simply existed as a small village then!)   

 As a follow up, we bought a fibre glass hull for Vic's new Star C yacht , which was an attempt to get a new low cost racing class going . Ultimately although the yacht sailed well, the class never took off, we ended up being gifted an old M class which we sailed with the same Horizon gear, and then as the ultimate in sail power, bought a radio A class Dambuster from one of our fellow sailors as he downsized.  Power boats also came into the mix as well.

Years passed and stuff came and went , the Star C and the M getting passed on and the Starlet and the A getting less use until the dreaded "life" relegated them to the garage.   Now a  recent resurge in enthusiasm following retirement has led to a delve in the bowels of the garage and the digging out of the Starlet for a refit and re-use and a realisation that the RA needs to go as it is a bit large at my age to lug about. 

 Thinking back, I was always sorry that the Star C went as I realised that at 42" it would make a handy general  sailer  and could be made to look nice with a cabin similar to Starlet rather than the utilitarian racing set up that the original was built with.  Since the plans are still available, along with sails from Nylet, I did consider building one plank on frame but wasn't convinced that my skills were sufficient to carry it through .  Given that f/g  mouldings were last available in 1971, that was it , I thought.   That was until a late night cruise recently through Ebay came up with an add for "Model Yacht Hull Fibreglass ". A close look at the pics showed that it was indeed a Star C hull that had survived all these years. A bit of judicious bidding  and I am now the proud owner .  When it arrived, it was barely marked so had survived the years remarkably well.  Now the fun starts.   

Hopefully , before too long I will end up with a mini Smeed fleet of Starlet, Panache and Star C yachts. A new set of sails for each and some time in the workshop should see us there . Might even off set the costs by getting rid of the A!

Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: JayDee on March 23, 2016, 06:33:02 pm

Good for you !!!.
I am sure you will enjoy the challenge.
Do please keep us posted.   :-)) :-)) :-))

Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: Unsinkable 2 on March 23, 2016, 06:48:04 pm
Nice little story, I do hope you do as JayDee suggested and keep up up to speed. Good luck. U2
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on April 01, 2016, 12:52:40 pm
  Made a bit of a start, well info gathering anyway.   Have received a copy of the plans from MyHobbyStore , which arrived very quickly, given that their website says that plans have to be printed to order.

 As a secondary source of info, I have managed to buy 3 of the 5 copies of Model Boats magazine that covered the launch of the class and its build.  Still need to try and find Feb and march 1972.  It is a times like this that I regret being persuaded to dump all my bound copies of Model Boats for most of the 1970's/early 80's.  The room freed up by getting rid of them only got filled up with other "stuff"

 I don't know if others are like me, but I have enjoyed reading these old magazines and looking back at those days, especially the people involved in our hobby then. Some great characters.  Also interesting that the MB magazine cost 15p per month, and the Star C was reckoned to be able to be put on the water for about 20 , without radio gear.  That includes buying the hull, fittings, wood, glue and a set of ready made sails !    Makes you want to dig out the time machine.
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on April 17, 2016, 12:23:26 am
Had another late night Ebay/Vic Smeed foray and have acquired a Harem Marblehead needing restoration.  Had the plan for ages, now we have another project on the list
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: oldflyer2 on April 17, 2016, 11:49:36 am
That will be a good looker when done.

I'm curious ... on this type of open cockpit boat, is there some sort of drain to let the water out?

Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on April 17, 2016, 01:53:04 pm
Hi Tom,   it hasn't arrived with the courier yet, so not sure if it has any. Don't think that the deck that this has is necessarily same as the original plan.

  It will have a couple of small drain tubes before it sails, though.   With all these yachts to get on the water, think that Nylet will be doing good business with me over the summer  !

Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: roycv on May 16, 2016, 10:53:18 pm
Hi, I missed this thread as I was on holiday.  I used to sail a Star C yacht also fibre glass in St. Albans.  I was sailing one Sunday when a chap came by and said he had made all the fibre glass hulls for Model Boats magazine just over 30 he thought.  As you say it never caught on.  But it sailed very well.  Mine got swapped for other boat stuff some years ago.  I have 2 Panaches though.
I seem to remember it had rather a lot of sail area.
Your one looks good I have always liked a more scale approach.
regards Roy
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on May 17, 2016, 09:52:32 am
Hi Roy,   Interesting to find another ex Star C sailor. According to the set of Model Boat magazines that I have acquired with the build articles in them, there should have been at least 50 of us. That was the number of hulls that MB commissioned from Wavecrest Models who moulded them and at the time, they seemed to have sold all of them.

 Like you, I favour a more scale like approach , so it was my intention to build it with a Starlet like cabin.   That is also why I like the Harem, which still hasn't been picked up by my courier, but since I am off to Whitby on Friday, a detour to Barnsley seems likely!

 The Panache and Starlet have seen the light of day out of the garage and are in the process of getting back into sailing condition.

  As an aside, I decided to join the local model yacht club  ( safety in numbers!)  Abington Park MYC. They have just got a tie up with a local full size sailing club and gained access to  a reservoir to sail on. They have been sailing Footies and Wee Nips , but with the bigger water , have started sailing 6 metres.  Looks like I might have to swap my old A class for a 6m if the opportunity arises.  Nothing much scalelike there though!
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: roycv on May 17, 2016, 02:20:14 pm
Hi Spearfish, there are not many 6M yachts around but they are based on a scale hull, and very shallow draft.  I remember when very young seeing most yacht classes racing at the Highgate model yachting pond Hampstead N.W. London.  That would have been in the late 1940's early 50's.  I joined the club in the 1960's but older membership and vandals ended it.

We had a line up of our Panache model yachts at one of our exhibitions a few years ago and I took a picture of Vic Smeed (marine judge) standing in front of them, I think this was his last official outing.  Lovely man.
regards Roy
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on May 17, 2016, 03:46:12 pm
 Hi Roy.  I always thought that Vic Smeed, as well as being a very talented designer of boats and planes, also embodied the true spirit of our hobby. A bit like David Boddington, who I met quite a few times. Very likeable chap.

  We have just got back from holiday in New York. We did one of the guided bus tours uptown as far as Grant's Tomb which came back down the east side of Central Park. From the bus we saw the Conservatory lake in the park which is the home of both the Central Park MYC, but also has a fleet of yachts (IOM's I think) which are for hire. Given it was a very sunny day, they looked lovely.  From where the bus dropped us off at the far end of the Park, we intended to walk back and have a closer look but the park is so large that we ran out of steam before we had walked back to the lake. Something for next time!

 You are right about the shallow draft of 6m yachts. Compared to the keel on my A class, their lead is virtually attached to the boats bottom. Very short keels.   I shall have to keep my eyes open, but working ones seem to fetch quite a price. Given my woodworking skills, I can't see myself planking one up!
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on May 28, 2016, 11:32:38 pm
Finally got my hands on the Vic Smeed Harem.  Having waited for weeks for the courier to run out of excuses for not picking it up, I collected it myself on my way back from a weeks holiday in Whitby.

While requiring a bit of tidying, it looks even better in the flesh than in the pictures.  Have to say that dear old Vic knew how to come up with attractive models.
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on June 16, 2016, 02:13:39 pm
As mentioned, I am renovating several yachts at present. The Panache was obtained from Ebay a while ago, pretty much complete except for sails and one or two minor bits.  Yesterday I received the new set of sails from Nylet, just about 8 days after ordering them.

As always they are a beautiful bit of work from Frank, with  whom I exchanged several emails  during the ordering and supply of the sails on the subject of yachts in general and the ones I am tidying up in particular.    A very pleasant and knowledgeable chap
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: Onetenor on June 25, 2016, 02:57:46 pm
Hi does anyone know if the mast and spar sizes For the old STAR brand pond yachts is available anywherey ? You know the ones made by the Denyarouze ( I think that is right or close to the name ) family in Birkenhead
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on July 04, 2016, 08:44:02 pm
This may be of some use to you, although the Star C bears no relationship to any of the Star brand yachts
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: Onetenor on July 04, 2016, 10:40:22 pm
This may be of some use to you, although the Star C bears no relationship to any of the Star brand yachts (

 Very much really   good to know but was not a lot of use for what I need
                                                         Regards John
Title: Re: Star C yacht
Post by: spearfish99 on November 08, 2016, 06:17:59 pm
   I have made some progress in getting back into sailing yachts. While renovating the Panache that I have, I bought an Affinity RG65 kit yacht as a rapid build and have been sailing in my club's mixed sailing fleet.   I have also been loaned the clubs Wee Nip to sail in the winter series for that class.

  The Panache is just about finished and awaiting it maiden voyage.   To fit in with what my club sails, I have purchased a 6m yacht needing some work from a club mate. It needs a new mast and set of rigging, but isn't too bad considering how long that it has been out of use.