Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Any Other Builds => Topic started by: freelancer on July 12, 2018, 02:59:22 PM

Title: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on July 12, 2018, 02:59:22 PM
Greetings from Canada's West coast

During my 13 years as a modeler I have been inspired by the mini-harbours created by European clubs, my favorite being the one at ST. Peters in Southern Germany. My friend Bryon Calverley and I do not have the resources to create such dioramas so we decided to downsize our ambitions and build a simple set of jettys which we could set up in a matter of minutes at a local pond. Because the pond had a gradient it was necessary to distance the jetty a few feet from the shoreline to an acceptable depth ( which equates to the height of my rubber boots ). The shorter jetty was designed to accommodate four different interchangeable buildings which match the role of the model alongside. In this way we no longer sail around in circles. The jetty buildings were built from .060 styrene and secured to the jetty by small pins glued to blocks of wood inside each building.
This was not a particularly expensive project but greatly enhanced the fun of sailing our various models. The challenge was to attempt a docking without destroying the model in the process.
Cheers from our local pond.Bryon Calverly and John Callin
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on July 12, 2018, 05:04:18 PM
Forgot to attach photo of the coast guard jetty and the URL for our BLOG

see more of our models at

The longer 60 in jetty

Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: Walnut on July 17, 2018, 01:40:59 PM
They are nice 'sharp' looking boats. Scratch built or bought over your way? I like the coastguard boat.
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on July 17, 2018, 02:04:30 PM
Hello Walnut

Thank you for taking the time to visit my thread.

I have many Coast guard supers, thesmaller one is a 39in model and the SAR design is a 45 in model.

The 39 in hull has three supers which are interchangeable and the 45in hull has two supers.

My models are all freelance designs, scratch built with GRP hulls, styrene decks ( 39in ) and superstructures...the 45in hull has 3mm Sintra decks and
styrene superstructures.

Drivetrains -  45in 2 x 755/40 Robbe motors driving two shafts with 2 x45mm 5 bladed props, the 39in-1 x 755/40 motor driving 45mm 3 bladed brass prop

Both hulls fitted with  single 12 volt SLA battery, 1 x Mtroniks 40 amp ESC , 2 ESC for 45in


Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: tigertiger on July 17, 2018, 04:15:50 PM
Now here is a coincidence. I have been mulling over something very similar this week.
Making buildings and jetties for lakeside scenes could be a side project for club members. Something to do for a change of pace, if you are waiting for parts or just fancy a change. Ideal for those club lakes with a concrete bank.
If clubs agree on a particular scale, the whole diorama scene can be extended over time, as any individual can add a new building. It will not matter that a lot of boats are different scales, as long as the buildings work together.  It is something that younger modelers can also get into. Maybe parents could pre-cut and kids can assemble. With a bit of extra design for pins or hinges, these buildings could even be flat-packed. That way members can easily bring both their model boat and building in the car together. At the end of the day, all can be taken home, and so hopefully no problems with the local council.
Not only will it make the waterside to the next level of modelling, it would also generate more interest from spectators, and may even attract a different type of modeller to the club. Maybe some Tamiya trucks or even tankies.
Just thinking at a tangent again.
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on July 17, 2018, 08:17:21 PM
Hi tigerTiger

It appears you belong to a model club with many are two additional ideas that may interest you for a club project
Before i designed and built the jettys, my first attempt to enhance the sailing at the lake was to build a facade with a Coast Guard theme.
The facade was built from plywood and it simply hung over the top rail on the wooden dock. It was fun however when the jettys were built this was no longer
a priority

2. The least expensive option for a club is to buy a 20 foot long piece of canvas,the same height as the distance from waterline to top of dock , some paints and have your club members paint a skyline of their choosing. The canvas backdrop would be unrolled and setup with weights in a matter of minutes. It is 2D but would give the youngsters an inexpensive project.


Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: ballastanksian on July 17, 2018, 09:06:05 PM

I love your Jetties and feel like building one or two for my club!

Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: tigertiger on July 22, 2018, 01:48:49 AM
If I had access to a piece of water I think I would too. :-)
I was thinking that at the scale of the ones above, old plastic pop/soda bottles would be great for flotation.
Title: Re: Jetty project - new deployments
Post by: freelancer on February 01, 2019, 05:08:25 PM
Hello fellow modelers and in particular those who commented on the jetty posts

I have recently modified two jettys to match the role of the model being launched.
The jetty is positioned a few yards from shore parallel to the shoreline, held in position by two lead weights one suspended over each end.
This deployment is an option to the one which is attached to a long gangway secured to the shoreline. The advantage to this deployment is
that i can approach the jetty docking as accurately as possible and carry on in the same direction. As unrealistic as it may be, it is another variation which gives me more fun factor.

Check out more on our blog


Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: ballastanksian on February 01, 2019, 11:02:08 PM
It looks good and enhances your hobby. Those are the main things Freelancer  :-))
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on March 27, 2019, 03:09:34 PM
Hi to all freelancers

This week I drove the 30 minutes to the lake with my new T-AGM variant as well as the long jetty. Unfortunately I forgot to bring the gangway which extends the jetty from the dock. However I was not deterred...I simply placed the jetty alongside the dock and sailed for an hour. The lake was quiet with very low winds. The jetty did not move far from its original placement allowing many attempts to dock and depart in the same direction..

As you are aware, I do not build scale ( replicas ) rather prefer to create my own designs. This model is a freelance version of a T-AGM , military parlance for a missile tracking ship. My design was inspired by the radar fitment of the USNS Observation island. That vessel , now scrapped had a large COBRA JUDY tracking radar fitted aft as well as a parabolic dish tasked with telemetry intercepts.

Title: Coast guard ammo jetty
Post by: freelancer on April 15, 2019, 11:43:35 PM
Today I drove to the pond at the campground and found the conditions to be very windy. This was the first time in 12 years the wind was high enough to interfere with sailing. High coniferous trees surround the pond making it a great venue for sailing power boats.

My new ammunition jetty, designed to load 76mm ammunition into the focsle magazine of my 52 in WHEC ( High Endurance Cutter ) had a difficult time staying in position. I almost lost the jetty as the wind pushed it rapidly beyond my reach dragging the lead weights with it.   

I have only one super fitted to this hull however it is built to a smaller scale than my other hulls so a new set of jetty warehouses was required to match the model. After 12 years of sailing this super I have plans to de-commission her in favor of a new modern Coast Guard design. That may be built and deployed by end summer.

Title: Research vessel and jetty
Post by: freelancer on April 23, 2019, 03:35:10 PM
I have a 45in freelance research vessel ( AGOR ) in my fleet and as you have guessed there is a jetty arrangement to match the boat.
This is my interpretation of a Coast Guard jetty designed to launch a submersible deployed to test underwater sonar upgrades for the Navy fleet.

Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: TugCowboy on April 23, 2019, 04:36:50 PM
What a brilliant versatile Idea. I've been hoping to do something myself for the past few years but just can't get regular access to a decent bit of water to make it worthwhile. Your jetties are certainly good inspiration for when I can get round to it though, thanks for sharing.

Title: Hi Cowboy
Post by: freelancer on April 23, 2019, 05:01:12 PM
Hi Cowboy

Thanks for taking the time to comment, pleased you like the idea. I understand the frustration of not having quiet water nearby to sail as the lake I prefer to sail at 30 minutes away is seldom quiet but when it is my friend Bryon Calverley and I are launching at 7am to get a full hour of sailing
before the wind picks up. Photography is always better before the bright sun hits the models. A friend of mine in another province is an avid modeler and adopted the freelance designs but found himself in your situation with no fresh water close by. He solved that problem by loading up his camper van and visited a distant campground on a lake. His one week,  twice a year, sailing was not ideal but satisfied his craving and gave him lots of time to design and build. I understand the freelance concept and the jetties are for a select few but if you need any help in design I would be pleased to help.  You are probably a keen tug fan and that hull lends itself to a wide variety of supers and jetty arrangements.
Cheers and good luck in your search for quiet water.

My next super and jetty will be built and posted in mid May ( Superyacht on a 39in hull )
Title: a new paint scheme for my 52in Coast guard cutter
Post by: freelancer on April 25, 2019, 10:56:49 PM
Hello once again

When I sail a model for many years I often become bored with the colour scheme, primarily the hull. Such is the case with my 52in Coast Guard High endurance Cutter. As most of the worlds CG cutters have white hulls i decided to follow their lead and change mine from dark blue to white.
This new scheme will keep me motivated to sail this model for a few more years. Here she is pictured alongside the ammo jetty once again, on a more favorable sailing day.

Cheers from my freelance dockyard

Title: Medical Emergency on long lake
Post by: freelancer on May 07, 2019, 09:16:05 PM
Hi all jetty enthusiasts and Newbies to my posts

This morning i drove to the pond and found the lake to be great, free of surface debris and the sun at a good angle for photos, low wind.
This morning i sailed my 39in Marine ambulance with a new jetty arrangement. In this scenario, i imagine a sailor in distress being transferred from a yacht and transferred to the Long lake visitors jetty where a land ambulance is waiting.

In the next few weeks my friend Bryon Calverley and I will be uploading many new builds as well as some new jetty configurations..
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: ballastanksian on May 07, 2019, 10:37:56 PM

Harbours and jetties give us boaters the same extra activity that model truckers enjoy. Something I really endorse. As a warship fan, I keep an eye out for a part built HMS Victory so convert into a depot ship/coaling hulk that people with warships could berth by and replen'. I have faint but usable drawings of HMS Agincourt (nineteenth century warship version) that was turned into a coaling hulk and festooned with cranes. It looks excellent.

I have enjoyed your build from day one and hope you have lots of fun with it.

Title: Driving Miss Maisee
Post by: freelancer on May 17, 2019, 04:23:01 PM
Greetings from Canada's West Coast

You have heard of " Driving Miss Daisy " ??? Well this morning "Driving Miss Maisee" was the event on the pond. Maisee a Scottish Terrier was on the foc'sle acting as lookout during the maiden voyage of my latest super for the 39in hull. I was concerned that this newest super would be top heavy as it involved more styrene than previous supers however it did not affect stability. In fact it appeared to make the model a bit more stable...waht a relief. A few years ago I scrapped a superyacht and regretted that decision so it was with great pleasure that I now have a follow on superyacht that is high on my favourite list.

I no longer ask a printer to create cut vinyl lettering for my models and jettys . Now I create my graphics using a free graphics program INKSCAPE in full colour vector format , then use Windows snippet tool to get a JPEG low resolution copy. That file is loaded onto a memory stick and printed at the local photo kiosk for very little money , 6 dollars for 8x10 in  or 2 dollars for a 5x7 in. The paper is heavy gauge and waterproof, glued to styrene or Sintra with medium CA glue.

Cheers from my freelance workshop..Maisee says WHOOOF !!

Title: Drone squadron
Post by: freelancer on May 23, 2019, 10:22:04 PM
Hi to all modelers

Anyone who follows military news will understand that drones are becoming a must have item in the fleet. Large drones are now deployed in the hangars alongside the helicopters on destroyers and I see no reason why my Coast Guard vessels should not have one. My 45in SAR cutter benefits from a drone embarked to conduct counter-drug operations and SAR. There are three cutters in 45 squadron, two are deployed and this one recently returned from a rescue mission ( LOL ).

This morning i arrived at the lake in very bright sun, not ideal for photos but I am not about to waste a sailing opportunity.

Cheers from HQ of 45 Squadron

Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: Martin [Admin] on May 24, 2019, 04:27:45 AM
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: mike_victoriabc on May 25, 2019, 08:56:30 PM
Nice work there John - looks good.

Title: HazMat - Hazardous Materials
Post by: freelancer on May 26, 2019, 06:04:41 PM
Hi to all modelers

This sailing session involved the Coast Guard Multi-Purpose vessel ( my 45in hull )  tasked with transporting HAZMAT from a dedicated dockyard jetty to a blast furnace somewhere many miles away where it would be turned into glass silicate. Where did the asbestos come from ? When the Navy scrapped all twelve 1960 era destroyers it was necessary to remove all the asbestos from the pipes below deck, engine and boiler rooms in order to sell the hulls to a distant nation. The build of the HAZMAT container and the jetty billboard was an inexpensive endeavour using scrap .060 cost including the kiosk colour print for the billboard was approximately 13 dollars.

Cheers from my Freelance dockyard.


Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: ballastanksian on May 26, 2019, 06:29:30 PM
 :-)) Looking fab. The Super Yacht with Terrier on board is 'Woofully' good  {-)
Title: Bryon's Lobster boat and Jetty
Post by: freelancer on May 30, 2019, 07:17:52 PM
Hi to all modelers in particular those who enjoy seafood..LOL

After a few months of frustration waiting for low winds on Long Lake an opportunity finally arrived. The lighting was ideal and Bryon and I enjoyed a very early 6am sail just as the sun was rising behind the trees. The time is right to highlight one of Bryon's models. His large East coast lobster boat is one of my favourites. I suggested to Bryon that it deserved a dedicated jetty and he agreed so construction began a few weeks ago. Captain Bryon is a lobster fisherman and Miriam ( BRYMIR ) is the owner and operator of a seafood imbiss near a busy marina and fisherman's wharf. Bryon delivers fresh lobster each evening. The next morning it even attracted a super yacht from the nearby marina.
Yes it is fantasy but it adds a layer of fun. We would find it difficult to sail without a jetty. Bryon has another unique model and jetty combination which will be posted in the next few weeks, one which is likely to entertain all British modelers.
Cheers from Canada.
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: mike_victoriabc on May 30, 2019, 07:57:10 PM
Nice work!

Lake looks calm at that hour of the day.
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: Taranis on May 30, 2019, 08:53:03 PM
Very nice  :-)
Title: radar upgrade
Post by: freelancer on June 04, 2019, 05:11:25 PM
The adventure continues...

This morning, VERY early, the wind was light, no campers in sight and the pond was clean, sun behind a few clouds so a great morning to sail.

The multi-purpose vessel was seen alongside the telecommunications jetty in order to repair a radar.

Cheers from the pond

Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: mike_victoriabc on June 04, 2019, 05:36:28 PM
Great photos!
That the pond north of Nanaimo this time? Not as windy.
Title: Sonar research
Post by: freelancer on June 06, 2019, 09:32:15 AM
The freelance Coast Guard is tasked with a multitude of missions. Today the Sonar research vessel INTREPID is about to deploy with a submersible to conduct trials on a new hull mounted sonar system.


Title: BRYMIR Tug and Barge
Post by: freelancer on June 15, 2019, 03:02:00 PM
Hello once again to all model boat fanatics and those who are curious about what is coming next..LOL

For the next few months Bryons boats will be featured. A few years ago I was discussing Bryon's models in his workshop and he commented that he would enjoy sharing his passion for model boats with fellow modelers. i suggested that he send photos of his models to MODEL BOAT (UK ) magazine for possible publication. That idea resulted in six submissions published, the last a 6 page spread of his two tugs towing a barge with a jetty/ lighthouse combination

Todays post will be the first of two we are calling BRYMIR Tug and BARGE. He has two tugs of similar design that were built to tow a barge. That barge was designed to allow two different cargoes to be installed, ( interchangeable ) one a sawdust barge and part two, a tug named " Lady J " towing a coal barge. Each of the two tugs have different jetty configurations. 

Here is Chris B, part 1 of 2

Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: ballastanksian on June 15, 2019, 08:34:54 PM

Is there no end to your adventures! I love 'Lobster Heaven' very much  :} I am sure the Lobster went though their contract with Poseidon about being eaten and found no claws covering this  {-)

I'll get my coat  {:-{

Title: Thank You
Post by: freelancer on June 16, 2019, 12:14:18 AM
Hello from Canada

Thank you for taking the time to comment on our models and the jetty project.

While i am able to sail any morning at a local campground only 10 minutes from my home, Bryon has a different sailing issue, the
wind at the lake..seldom do we get a chance to sail, when we do it is a rush job to drive the 30 minutes and set up the jettys( ies ) by
6am for an hour. I do not take photos in bright sun light preferring to take advantage of ambient light an hour before the sun rises over the trees in the distance at about 7am. However that is quality time.
Yes there is an end to our adventures ..LOL however that end will not occur until we have posted three more models and jettys...
Pleased you like the lobster shoot, a bit of fun .

If it isn't fun, don't do it


John and Bryon

Title: New jetty design and super
Post by: freelancer on June 19, 2019, 04:47:17 PM
Hello fellow freelancers

I arrived at the pond at 6am and much to my surprise the campground was empty, not a single camper. That made it much easier to launch my new jetty configuration and the newest super fitted to my 39in hull, a Police Cutter designed for drug interdiction. The new office building is a smaller version of the one built for the long jetty and is unique in that is designed to allow numerous interchangeable name boards which match the model and billboard. They simply clip over the permanent one in seconds. For those of you who follow my posts you may recognize the Police Cutter. It was an ambulance in a previous life...the addition of a RHIB, hydraulic crane and a set of ready use lockers  aft creates what you might call a freelance conversion. My superyacht is the simplest design in my entire fleet but  high on my list of favourites.

Bryon has two more models and jetty designs ready to launch but it may take some time to sail at the lake as wind is an issue most days.
As always, if you have any questions regarding the jetty project do not hesitate to ask, willing to help in any way i can for those interested in creating a jetty project.


Bryon and John
Title: PT boat conversion
Post by: freelancer on July 13, 2019, 03:58:37 PM
Hi fellow modellers

An update and a request for help

Normally I build a model boat because I have the urge to expand my fleet of freelance boats. However, my current build was not a planned project, rather a case of " necessity is the mother of invention".
The campground I sail at, a short 10 minute drive from home is up for sale and if the new owner chooses to deny me sailing time I will be forced to drive 30 minutes to Long Lake. Up until a few weeks ago Bryon and I would check the web weather report to see if the winds are acceptable for power boats.. We have become frustrated with the inaccuracies of those reports and many one hour return trips were recorded with no sailing. A solution was needed and fast.

I am not a sail boat enthusiast so that was a no-go. However when viewing Youtube I happened to stumble onto a large 40in PT boat planing over choppy water. That was a Eureka moment for me. Instead of pushing a displacement hull into the chop i would skip over it. I purchased a 40 in PT boat hull from a friend. i had seen this model perform in the past. It was ready to sail but was updated with a 2.4 Ghz radio and RX. I decided to build a  second freelance Police boat.

I sailed the boat this morning,  however I was surprised to witness a motor cutting out after a minute or so at high speed, after a few seconds DIW back to power. The motor did not appear to be hot. I brought it home and bench checked the power train.  Under no load the motor works fine. It may be a problem of mis-matched components. The motor is a 8.4 volt  Robbe 600/24 running at 18K. The battery is a 7.2 volt pack ( never noticed before because i assumed it was the same as the motor ) and oddly the battery charger is 9.6, another potential problem. The ESC is the old Robbe Green unit.

I assume the proper voltage to the motor would result in more speed but I doubt it would cause the motor to be intermittent. Anyone have a thought on this problem ?



Title: Motor cutting out
Post by: freelancer on July 13, 2019, 11:11:47 PM
Hi guys ( and a few gals )

I have checked all the wiring and all is solid. I have concluded that the motor is drawing more amps than the ESC can handle so I will be installing a 50 amp ESC into the system tomorrow and sailing it once again on Sunday morning to test my assumption  Fingers crossed as this is the most important model in my fleet. I am a modeler accustomed to  SLA batteries and displacement hulls so this electrical system is new to me. i will also be buying a couple of new 8.4 battery packs. to match the motor...should have noticed it before, just took the sellers word on the battery voltage.


Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on July 15, 2019, 03:17:45 PM
Hi Guys

My assumption was correct

The model performs well with a 50 amp ESC, planes very month I will purchase two new battery packs and connect them in parallel for a longer running time.

Sunday mornings will be a sailing day regardless of he wind conditions

Title: African Queen
Post by: freelancer on July 21, 2019, 08:12:38 PM
Hi Guys

A few weeks ago I promised an upload that might interest British viewers.

In 1951 a film ( African Queen ) starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was screened with strong British content..however the steam launch used in the movie ended up as famous as the human stars. Countless models both RC and static have been built.  The real boat was a wreck, built in the early 1900's , a hull built from riveted iron. The director wanted a shabby launch to match the storyline and he was successful.

I suggested to Bryon that because a jetty was not seen in the movie I would build a similar jetty to the one in Florida where a Bogart fan offers tours in the actual launch. A new hull frame and boiler were  required to make the launch sea worthy. This jetty is my imagination running wild
and represents a jetty that i would build if the Queen was mine on Long lake.
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: rcboater1 on August 18, 2019, 02:50:57 AM
I really like your approach- using basic shapes to dress the docks, made from styrene. The clean, neat finish and cleve4 labels really makes them look terrific!

Did I miss the description of how the basic docks themselves are made?  I saw a reference to styrene, but no mention of what makes the docks float.

Is the styrene a skin over a block of foam?
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: mike_victoriabc on August 18, 2019, 04:12:51 AM
Nice work guys!
Haven't been successful promoting the idea with our club members but it will come.
Title: Re: Jetty project
Post by: freelancer on August 18, 2019, 06:06:03 AM
Hi RCboater and Mike

Thank you for taking the time to reply...pleased you enjoy the concept. The jetty is 55 inches long and 11 inches wide. It was built from a single piece of special flotation foam purchased from a foam shop, cost about 18 dollars, two sides of 1/2 in plywood with a piece of plywood on top. A final deck was made from a piece of 3mm Sintra ( PVC material )  The concept requires that all buildings  be made from 1/16 ( .060 ) styrene to ensure weight is kept to a minimum. If I was to build another jetty I would make it a bit wider , perhaps 14 inches as most buildings are built to a scale of 1/35 and it does not provide much room at the front for walkways.

Mike in Victoria

Very sorry to hear about your wife.

Title: jetty construction
Post by: freelancer on August 18, 2019, 07:20:47 PM
Hi RC Boater and others

Jetty is simple construction..