Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: andrewh on September 18, 2007, 01:41:06 pm

Title: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on September 18, 2007, 01:41:06 pm
Tentative toe in the  Mayhem water.

I'm building a sailing model of "Volante"  brig, based on a line illustration that I found and liked.  She is 30 inches approx wl length and moulded in epoxy on carved-by-eye white foam plug

Hull and decks complete, and I am approaching standing rigging and masting.

Photos taken during the build are available, but I will have to discover how to size and post them if they would be of interest.

The only skill I may be able to offer the experts on this forum is some confident do-how. 
(and even on this I will take advice)

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: tigertiger on September 18, 2007, 02:14:52 pm
pictures please.

First thing to try is going into My Photos folder on your computer, right click on the photo and you may get an option to re-size.

Then when you post click on Addtiona Options at bottom right of input page.

But we would all love to see pics of the build.

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: romainpek on September 18, 2007, 02:58:53 pm
For me, "additional options" is at the bottom left of the answer frame...  :-\
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: tigertiger on September 18, 2007, 03:06:13 pm
correct I cannot tell my R from L

Back to the Cidre
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on September 18, 2007, 04:01:48 pm
Thanks,  tigertiger and romainpek

I too am left-handed and lysdexic

I have found this now - and it seems straightforward.

Only slight snag is that the pics are not on this puter, so tomorrow

This hull I made in ancient epoxy resin (cos it was free) and glass twill weave cloth - I normally make the first in papie mache (please imagine the accents) and sail to prove the idea.

I carved the plug from a lump of dense white foam, covered in clingfilm/kitchen film/saran wrap  and laid the twill weave cloth at about 45 degrees - 2 layers then very light (50gm/m2) finishing cloth. 

Gave a very light but flexible hull.

The plug as carved was parallel sided and flat bottomed over the middle area, but I found that spreading the midship section gave a sweeter line and sheer so I live with the slightly convex bottom (rocker)

In the interest of discovery I will (attempt to)  attach a pic - this one of 50% scale Thames barge "Cygnet" at Snape
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on September 18, 2007, 04:03:11 pm
So far, so very good

Something of relevance tomorrow
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on September 19, 2007, 12:29:14 pm
Start and finish lines

Have got organised with photo files - the line drawing that I started from and a finished scale model of Volante that I have recently located on the web.

I am not aiming to make a scale model of this standard - I mainly want to sail a square-rigger and liked the lines of Volante
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on September 19, 2007, 12:43:40 pm
Plug and moulding

The dense white foam that I carved the plug from was free.
It is used as a packer on forklift loads of building material
Basic shape of the hull cut with hot-wire using cardboard patterns fixed to the block of foam with nails

The finish of the plug is 2 coats of acrylic primer/microbaloon slurry - this would have been perfect if I had not sanded through it

Plug attached to a plank with hot-melt to allow it to be held in workmate for glassing and covered with clingfilm as release layer   

Twill weave cloth drapes around the plug with very few wrinkles - some local thickening at the pointy ends

pics attached of the plug hull as moulded, and as trimmed to sheer line

With the wisdom of experience I would not have included the stern deadwood in the plug - this is the only area where the reentrant shape was a little "interesting". 

I still have the plug, and would modify it as above if/when I mould another
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: romainpek on September 20, 2007, 12:15:53 am
Beautiful ! keep posting !
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on September 20, 2007, 01:17:36 pm
Thanks, CPO Romainpek

Apologies in advance for the picture quality and variability

I found that splaying the hull sides at deck level gave me a sheer line and hull shape  that I preferred, so I did.

I also knew that I was going to fit brass tubes for the removable keel through the hull bottom to deck level, so the first addiition was a sort of Keelson in softwood , glued in with pu glue to give the tubes something to bear on this can be seen in several of the pics

Then the usual inwales, deck beams, etc - the bow shown in the picture brig hull is blue foam to establish shape

"Brig Building2" is the process of sorting trim in the DTFF - the keel tubes and reinforcements for masts are visible

(BTW the front tube is located inside he removable deckhouse, and the rear (aft) tube will be covered by the capstan head)

The hull is very flexible, but I reckoned that the only worry was the downward force of the mast foot (feet), so I ran a carbon tow from gunwale to gunwale at the mast step locations - they can just about be seen

385 motor fitted on the centreline, and 30mm (?) cheap propellor in the stern deadwood

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on October 02, 2007, 12:11:53 pm
Slight pause while I get back in touch with my fore-and-aft side with a Footy build

I have included motor (385) and very simple prop assembly - my Thames barge has showed this to be useful and a small motor is quite enough.  The prop is in a cut-out of the rudder, so a burst of motor will have a increase the effectiveness of the rudder.

I anticipate having to increase the area of the rudder at some point, but will try things first.  Trials under power in the bath suggest that even full ballasted she will move quite smartly.

Decking completed with 1/32nd ply decks - planking ruled with 0.3 permanent marker.  I have stuck some thin card as wales down the sides, but am not sure that this was a neat idea.

Thinking ahead, I intend to try her first with fore-and aft sails  only.  My view is that these should give a balanced boat, and i will adjust - probably the jibs until this works.

I have only got 3 channels, so am planning to control rudder, square sails and fore/aft sails with the motor worked crudely from full movement of one of the controls.  Santa might bring me a 6-channel Hitec which would allow me to do lots more!

Does anyone have experience of the 4-channel Zebra?
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on October 03, 2007, 01:07:20 pm
Decking installed - I used white glue for this, but polyurethane for most of the other glueing

Masts beginning to be assembled - but hull details been to be complete before going to installing them.

The rigging plan has been borrowed from an illustration of the rig of a coal brig - mainly in terms of the number and size of sails.  i entered details onto a spreadsheet to do the relevant scaling of mast lengths, yards, etc.

One other item borrowed from coaling brigs generally will be the bentinck boom which I aim to use to control the foot of the course.

All masts, booms and yards are simple dowel - mainly recovered from the scrap bin outside  shop being refitted!

Im still open to persuasion about a way of pivoting the yards - they need to swing a fair way, and my trial setup used a helicopter ball-joint as the swivel device.

For sail control I have a pair of GWS 1-turn sailwinches and will mount them them in the deckhouse, slightly above coaming level with endless loops.  Pity that I dont have ATV or equivalent on my Tx - this would nicely take care of the exact travel for both sheets and braces.

I found a website with good illustrations of the sequence of tacking a square-rigged ship - it requires seperate control of the foremast braces (or possibly a subtle sequence control ), but I don't know if this would be a normal or effective way of tacking a Brig, with only the two masts. 

Trial and (lots of) error will sort this out, I suppose.  I know that Brian Clark has control of everything, including the ship's cat.
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: rcminiman on October 16, 2007, 03:43:44 pm
Very Nice Andrew!! O0

Thanks for pointing me towards this forum. Just wish Id begun my thread here instead of RCG!!!

Keep the build coming!

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: john_auberry on October 23, 2007, 11:08:46 pm
nice....great job!
Title: tacking and wearing
Post by: Brooks on October 24, 2007, 03:47:05 am
Andrew, it is possible to tack my 4-masted barque by simultaneously swinging the square yards, as you propose to do with your brig. However, it is not the way the real ships tacked. Nor is this method as forgiving of skipper error or subtle windshifts that might occur during the tacking maneuver.

Wearing my barque is impossible w/o separate controls of the yards on either side of the CLR. I must tightly brace the fore, and shiver the main and mizzen squares (which also sheets out the spanker), to get the bow to fall off. Moreover, in a high wind, wearing is impossible unless I strike all sails on the jigger mast before setting out, a sort of extreme example of differential bracing :-).

If possible, I'd rig your brig using the 2 winches to separately control the square sails on fore and main. The fore&aft sails' sheets are not that important to tacking. Tight jibs, staysails,  and driver will not hurt you when you turn into the wind for the tack.

Again, wearing, and possibly broad reaching, is another story- the  f&a sails will affect those maneuvers, and sheeting out the driver when you want to bear off is probably required. I can envision a line running from the crojack to handle the driver's needs, and you could do the same off the fore course yard for the jibs (treat the yards like a sail arm servo).

Several maneuvers in the real ships took advantage of the ability to swing masts separately. I have a lot of fun attempting those maneuvers.

The barque thread:
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on October 24, 2007, 05:31:21 pm

Thanks for all this wisdom.  I'm an avid reader of the Pamir thread, and post there as andrewhalst

I suspected the same, that I need individual control of the masts - hence the provision for two winches. 

I know the F&A sails  can be treated with reasonable benign neglect, and I have heard of ways of sheeting them from the square sails. 

I can easily (if necessary) add servos to sheet the jibs and driver later.  There are many large racing Thames barges which have control only of the Vangs* - no other sail sheeting

Note for Americans;  These are not the vangs holding down a boom, but are pronounced "wangs" and  control the head of the sprit (pronounced Spreet)

The current plan (and we know about plans, don't we) is the start sailing her with my 3-ch Focus radio and (possibly) F&A sails only to sort out areas and balance, then add 2 Square sails on each mast and keep learning.  I was aiming to brace both masts together and see what happens (I can force her through "irons" with a kick of motor)

Volante, like Pamir, will be a movable feast; and I just hope she is as successful in bring pleasure to her owner and all the readers and contributors

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on November 20, 2007, 05:24:52 pm
Long time since I posted - Long time since I progressed!

However I am enthused again and have repainted, cleaned her up, made a stand and committed sailing

Notice the stealth rigging, yards and sails.  The formula is secret, and I am negotiating with  Northrop  (and Sukhoi)
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on November 21, 2007, 02:17:20 pm
Full of enthusiasm - had a good session at rigging this morning and established:
where the shrouds run
length and angle of the chains
the best run of the stays  - esp the forestays for hanging jibs off
The hang of the gaff and boom for the driver-sail

I can see me cutting sails tonight - first set will be synthetic - so I can cut them put with a hot soldering Iron.

 Now I can also make the chains - aiming to wind brass wire in a jig to make a long thin bogbone and solder it all up round a deadeye.  I can also fit ply strengtheners inside the hull for the ends of the stays - probably 8 BA bolts

I get a good swivel angle on the yards with the setup  - eventually they seem to be stopped by the backstays  - possibly some judicious cheating will improve matters there :)

I will try the effect of moving the pivot point further ahead of the mast and also tweaking the backstays (with a tweaker) by necking them in to keep them out of the way of the mainyard.  I have not rigged the other yards yet - not even cut them so I don't know if there are any fouls to be sorted out

More as it happens

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on November 22, 2007, 01:09:50 pm
Ready for sail-cutting!

From the rough rigging, I can draw templates - hold card in right position - darw on the corners and indicate lines between them.

This produces a wabbly line - so clean up with ruler or curve as appropriate.   Use as template to cut out sail (using hot soldering iron)  glue on corner reinforcements as required.

Copy of my sail plan attached.

Yes, I do know that it does'nt exactly match the hull, but it is what I had at the time, and I have made the masts and cut most of the spars already
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on November 24, 2007, 07:05:34 pm
Cut sail templates for the Fore and Aft sails - see pictures.

Having pinned them in place I believe that the flying Jib is much too large, so this has been cut down to a much more reasonable size

I have now cut out the sails and hung the yards - more later
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on December 13, 2007, 10:40:11 am
Progress to the point of launch!

To the strains of the rousing regimental march of the Leicester Yeomanry (The Woolybacks) Volante slid down the ways at 23.00 last night and slid across the ice.

The ice was removed and the launch continued to a triumphal conclusion.

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: tigertiger on December 13, 2007, 11:58:41 am
Congratualtions on officially getting her bottom wet.

She is coming together nicely
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on December 13, 2007, 01:23:24 pm
Thanks, Tigertiger

Those horrid shiny sails (made a lot worse by flash) have already been toned down to a more "weathered" appearance

I can now go all out for standing and running rigging - aim to sail by christmas approx

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on January 02, 2008, 02:59:49 pm
Happy New Year, everyone
Well, Volante didn't sail by Christmas, but did make progress.

I bit the bullet and fitted a dolphin-striker to keep some tension in the assorted forestays - looks good when rigged but I had hoped to avoid having clutter at the bows - they get to the collisions first.

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Glen Howard on January 03, 2008, 10:41:49 am
Volante is looking fantastic Andrew, well done! As a beginner I am thoroughly inspired (and intimidated) by your achievements here. I'll continue to follow your progress with great interest.
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on January 03, 2008, 12:33:05 pm
G'day Glen
Thanks, Me a beginner too!
I'm an aeromodeller who usually builds in treewood, but will use anything that works, (and preferably is free). 
If the square-rigging had not proved do-able or successful I planned rig her as a ketch or schooner - seeing the paintings of the Tasmanian ketches has set me thinking......

You might like also to have a look at Barry's latest little one
This is pof construction, and Barry has a wealth of experience

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on January 03, 2008, 12:36:41 pm
Glen - I set out on this build log to demonstate that if I can do it anyone can!

I was delighted to find lots of good people who enjoy, share and do, everyone to different levels and scale requirements, but all in a good spirit (single malt)

Now this one delights and intimidates me - but have a look at the construction:
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on January 28, 2008, 12:28:20 pm
Found time to make some progress towards sailing

Rigged masts and (since the photos) topmasts
Made the thingie that the boom rests on - what is it called, please experts?

In the form pictured she weighs 1.05Kg , or 2 lbs, 51/2 oz.  This isnt too important, but almost light enough to fly!
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Welsh_Druid on January 28, 2008, 12:59:43 pm
Made the thingie that the boom rests on - what is it called, please experts?


Its called a "boom gallows"

Superb job you are doing  O0

Don B

( also an ex aeromodeller but converted to boats especially sail ) )
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on January 30, 2008, 11:50:53 am

Thanks for your encouragement, and thanks for a view of your models - you are clearly happy to give any type a try and make a success of it too!

My original intention in posting was to encourage others and show its all do-able, especially with assistance and cheering from the touchlines ;D

I have now got topmasts rigged, and am proceeding with t'gallant masts, but life, family and the need to race Footys are intervening a bit.

Boom gallows?  sounds like something which suspends from above.  But anyway I'm almost ready to rig the spanker, etc.  then its Champagne time.
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on June 04, 2008, 02:12:35 pm
Sorry about ther delay and YIPPEE

Finally got Volante on the water under her own sail power last Saturday - too late for the Mayhem event

Almost flat calm, but in retrospect this was probably wise - especially since I had performed a quick and dirty running rig at the lakeside!

So you will see that the brig exhibits irish pennants, sticky tape (although I call it polymorphic laminar adhesive lashing band) and some chewing gum and baling wire.  All the sails were set at the bank with fixed sheets.

She drifted majestically downwind , and showed signs of broad-reaching well. 

I got a lot of pictures and enormous pleasure

Selection of pics attached, more available, and larger
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Glen Howard on June 06, 2008, 02:14:29 pm
That's a fine looking ship on the water, congratulations Andrew.
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on June 06, 2008, 06:15:49 pm
Glen,  thanks,  i'm grinning right round the face and inside, too

I'm perfectly certain yours will give you the same glow - how goes she?

Didya get "capped" or whatever antipodean teachers get?

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Glen Howard on June 06, 2008, 11:26:32 pm
Aaaah - the warm glow of a successful build. Enjoy it. It takes such a long time to get there, but it's what keeps most of us going I suppose.

I've put my ketch aside while I do a long overdue major repair to a broads cruiser I made last year. See here for this ongoing saga:

Nice to be back in the familiar world of motorised models, but will get back to that second planking before long.

haven't finished my teaching ````course yet - I've got two more weeks in my school placement then I'm done. Then I should have more time for boat building (and sailing too!). Can't wait! 
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on June 09, 2008, 01:31:52 pm

I had an elegant reply written, but it escaped into the ether when I attached too large a scan

Basically it sed:  Isn't it curious that  a conventional cruiser like Clementine  (is she made of herring boxes; without topses?)
should give you grief, and I'm willling to bet that Lialeelta will sail like a piece of trouble-free swansdown ;D

Clementine - I gather that you're working on the solution - in which case ignore the following.

I'm not an expert powerboatie, but it seems to me from your pics that:

Prop is small compared with thickness of keel
You could try a larger diameter prop - it would get a better grip on fresh water without keel interference
Bigger diameter would also reduce speed and (might) reduce  the sucking in of surface air that might be a factor
Reduce pitch if necessary to keep amps under control
You should try to give the prop more free space between keel TE and rudder
Even if you have epoxied the proptube in place, you might be able to pull out the tail bearing, shorten the tube and press it back!
But I would suggest just cutting back the keel woodwork to give the prop some clearance - one prop diameter (1D) if possible
Sketch attached
If you are sorted  - ignore all the above ;D


Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Glen Howard on June 29, 2008, 03:00:59 am
Thanks Andrew, certainly appreciate you going to so much trouble! I won't tie up your blog, see my updated response at the above location.

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Jimmy James on July 12, 2008, 02:59:25 pm
Enjoyed your little brig. You've done a good job. Can I suggest you try sailing her with the crowjack removed or at least stowed you might find she will go to the Windward better.
 Brigs (British) almost never set a sail on the crowjack yard as it tended to blanket the forecourse on most points of sailing and wasn't worth the hassle.
  O0You also might like making the topsail and t'gallant yards slide up and down their respective masts, this will allow you to shorten sail quickly and so sail in stronger winds by lowering the yards down to the caps & furling them with a light line or even a pipe cleaner. that the systime I use on all of my square riggers and I regularly sail in force 4s  5s & even been known to sail close reefed in a force 6... That's a bit Dicey.
  Jimmy James
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on July 14, 2008, 01:13:31 pm

Thanks very much for your kind comment and advice.

Honesty compels me to admit that I have not sailed her under sail control yet, and the photos were taken on her first outing under sail  in almost flat calm with only a shallow sailing keel. 

I have taken note of what you say on the sails, and know about the maincourse or crowjack.  All the sails can be removed or replaced very swiftly as they are retained by a removable jackstay through 3 eyes.

Progress report:  I have:
Dried out and serviced my racing footys (but some work to do)
Cleaned and vacuumed the workshop (serious)
Written my list of tasks
Made and fitted the deep sailing keel - see pic

OTOH - I have to:
finish a bespoke trent lifeboat - I have been REMINDED
Finish a Higgins Hellcat

Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on February 24, 2009, 01:20:10 pm
Now where was I?

This is my year of finishing everything and having it all ready to sail/fly/whatever at any time

So Volante moves forward - I have fitted the two sail winches

and to begin with I will be running all the sheeting above deck level while Volante and I learn about each other :}

I will fit bentinck booms this week, and try square sailing with one set of braces to each mast (the rest of the sails on that mast following as best they can)

6-channel radio is on the way from Hong Kong to me - I am trying to think through how to arrange the controls and what the andrew-thumbs have to learn to do when tacking and wearing!
more as it happens-
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: Brooks on January 12, 2012, 02:48:25 pm
Hi Andrew. Will you be sailing Volante this spring, I hope? Love to see some photos, and even maybe video :-)
Title: Re: Scratch Brig "Volante"
Post by: andrewh on January 12, 2012, 04:54:13 pm

I think my conscience has atrophied (use it or lose it) but you are always there to help keep my head into the wind.  Thank you.

2009 was my "year of finishing things".  Did I?  Yes, made a lot of headway with dangling projects and cleared a lot of dross off my "To do" list.
2010 was house decorating and GCSE support mode

This year I have already disposed of everything which is not necessary and will sail Volante.
I swear I promise I really will :}

I notice that Dreadnought has also awoken and made progress on his distinctive Racundra, and ANY DAY I hope to see TT resume bodging Louise Heloise :}