Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Beginners start here...! => Topic started by: leachim on August 17, 2018, 10:58:36 am

Title: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 17, 2018, 10:58:36 am
I have a 5 year old grandson James who, like all youngsters, needs everything done NOW! He needed to understand that it is ok to start something, put it to one side, and return to finish it later.He has been nagging me to get my boats working again, I built them a while ago and they had been sitting on display every since. I have now refurbished them, joined a local club and sail them proudly once again. I thought that a model boat project might be the answer to help grandson gain a little patience and have something he can sail when we go to the boating lake.What to build? it needed to be a smallish boat and an easy starter kit as I was sure he wouldn't cope with a scratch build. I found the answer after a little browsing online - Aero-naut Mowe2, a nice little fishing boat that looked like it would be easy enough that little fingers could help with and not to difficult so we could get it finished fairly quickly.
A kit was ordered and excitedly we opened the package when it arrived. The kit was superb, nice clean lasercut ply parts all well numbered most retained in their sheets by little pegs of uncut wood. The anchor and one steering wheel had come adrift and were in the bottom of the box. The kit comes complete with motor and associated wires, propshaft, prop & rudder. It seemed ideal and we set to work gluing the first parts together following the excellent instruction booklet.
James became very adept at applying glue and was most amused when we borrowed Grandma's clothes pegs to hold the parts together while the glue set. Very quickly he understood that there was only so much we could do at a sitting as the glue needed to set before we could move on. James visits every Friday so while dinner was cooking we retired to our workbench in the conservatory to work on our project.It took us a couple of weeks but quite quickly we had a recognisable framework that James could see would become his boat. You can see below how it looked against my scratch built Director class paddle tug "Tiger"
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 17, 2018, 11:24:44 am
So work continued Friday by Friday and gradually the boat took shape. Following the suggestions in the instructions didn't always work. To attach the sides of the hull they suggest using tape and pegs, we found that the spring in the ply was too strong for this to work alone. James applied the glue and I fitted the panels in place using Grandma's pegs, some tape and a couple of pins to hold the bits together. It went together very nicely with only one small area in the bow where the ply sheets didn't quite fit as I would have liked but this is probably because I had a 5 3/4 year old (apparently the 3/4 is very important!) apprentice assisting. As the boat was progressing thoughts turned to radio control. I was discussing the new build with a friend who is also a model boater and he asked what radio I was thinking of using. I hadn't really thought about it, he asked if I might be interested in a Tactic 2.4 Ghz 3 channel transmitter/receiver set he has spare. It was one of the trigger and steering wheel type that I don't really like but youngsters seem to get along with very well and the price quoted made it an offer I couldn't refuse so deal done and we had a control system.
I decided to buy a 6v NI-MH battery pack and run the boat through an Viper 10 ESC. With the side panels attached the boat was coming along and discussions turned to colour. With many "It's my boat so I can paint it whatever colour I like" comments we eventually decided on Green. Well grandad didn't have any green paint in stock so off to Hobbycraft and a browse through the racks of model paints there and we returned with a very nice green along with an orange (for the lifebelts, and the cabin interior that had to be orange and black stripes!) Well painting was a while away so construction continued apace. The wheelhouse went together well and James was delighted to be able to make the fish boxes all on his own!
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 17, 2018, 11:50:54 am
I needed the boat to be strong enough to be sailed by a nearly 6 year old and it needed sealing! So back to the internet and searches through the Mayhem forums. I came across "Poly-C" which sounded like it would be perfect for my needs. A PU varnish that was odourless and washed out in water, drying to a semi matt finish that was fuel and waterproof. It sounded ideal so I ordered a bottle along with some fine fibreglass sheet intending on giving the hull a dose of fibreglass strength. The instructions suggested sealing the wood with sanding sealer first, I didn't have any and thought that as it was a PU varnish it would seal the wood its self so a coat of Poly-C as a sealing coat followed by a layer of glass held in place by another coat of Poly-C. It dries touch dry in approx 20 mins so recoating was quite fast and with the glass trimmed back to the edges of the boat it wasn't looking too bad. with a light sand down between coats I found that the fibreglass mesh disappeared after 4 or 5 coats and the boat was ready for some paint. I also sealed the inside with 4 coats of Poly-C so it wouldn't matter if we shipped a little water.
1 light coat of Halfords spray primer/filler lightly rubbed back, a small amount of body filler to hide a small defect in the joining of two hull plates and the boat was ready for red primer. I must admit that I was delighted with the finish and hoped that my apprentice would like it when he came round on the Friday. A length of frog tape along the waterline and all was ready for the application of the green topcoat. Well little fingers love paint and James had a whale of a time applying the green. It was a Tamiya paint that he had chosen, it was ok but I didn't think it went on very easily as it seemed to dry too quickly to keep a good wet edge going. However it went on ok and didn't look to bad when we had finished. James and his mum settled down one evening and made a batch of fish using an orange Fymo (James had decided that his boat was going to catch orange fish! It's my boat and I can do what I want!")
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 17, 2018, 02:02:09 pm
The deck was finished using some left over oak wood stain but I lost the argument over the wheelhouse doors that weren't allowed to be wood but had to be white like the rest of the wheelhouse. What happened to the Orange and Black interior I hear you ask, well I forgot all about it and when James saw the interior was white said It's just what I wanted!
We glued the two halves of the lifebelts together, rounded off the edges and James painted them orange. During the week Grandad added a little detail and when Friday came around again a little person was delighted with his real looking lifebelts. It was decided that they would be glued on the wheelhouse doors rather than alongside the doors as per the instructions so if the position looks a little odd "Its my boat.........."
The fish turned out ok and were glued into the fish boxes and arranged in a neat diagonal line by James who refused to have them scattered around the deck as grandad suggested. I must admit they look ok. We assembled the anchor and painted it grey also assembled the winch. James decided that the winch should be for raising the anchor so we attached a lenghth of line from the winch to the anchor which "needs to be hanging over the front of the boat in case they need it". I fabricated a cleat to hold the anchor in place. James has accepted that it wont wind up and down and now realises that it's bad practice to sail with the anchor banging against the side of the boat so will sail it with the anchor aboard.
I fitted the electronics into the boat and we tried it in the bath. Full throttle rammed the boat into the tap end and tried to empty the bath water onto the floor! Some tweaking to the endpoints on the controls is called for. At least it didn't leak so almost ready for a maiden voyage.
Grandad had a couple of surprises up his sleeve (as grandads do) so the boat was placed on display awaiting delivery of some parts. Well the package went missing and family holiday got in the way so everything was placed on hold for a while. On our return from holiday there was a package on the doormat, don't tell James the surprise has arrived.
I had ordered some 1:25 scale figures meant for scale railways, I wasn't going to pay an arm and a leg for painted fishermen! with a little adjustment a standing and sitting passenger became captain and crew for our little fishing boat. The captain holds the wheel in a flat cap wearing a moustache, like grandad (James hasn't noticed that yet!), the crewman sits on the hatch mending the fishing net wearing a yellow cap with batman logo on it (this was spotted very quickly by James who was absolutely delighted!) There are plans in my head to add a seagull being chased away by a little boy but I'm not sure if my modelling skills will stretch that far, time will tell.
So it was time for a maiden voyage. Off we went, with James new fishing boat along with my paddle tug, to Kearsney Abbey just outside Dover for a sail in the lake there. I had a very excited little boy with me who delighted in telling everyone that the fishing boat was his and it made his day when someone told him that his boat was better than grandad's but not to tell grandad! The boat sails extremely well despite James full forward - full astern treatment. He only hit the bank a couple of times but thankfully no damage. I had a very brief go, the boat in it's throttle restricted mode is very nippy and turns on a sixpence and will be great fun to sail, if I ever get a chance!
All in all a very good kit with detailed instructions that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone no matter what their skill level.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 17, 2018, 02:08:11 pm
The crew!
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: ballastanksian on August 17, 2018, 09:27:59 pm

There. In this time you have given your Grandson the skills to make things from wood, paint, and also have some quality time with his Mum making things.

I applaud you and all Grandparents (and parents) who make the time, often when they themselves are very busy, to get the next generation creating.

Your boat looks great!

I imagine this won't be the last boat you and your Grandson build, have you discussed a next project or are you fending that off until he has had a few months sailing experience?
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 18, 2018, 01:19:15 am
Many thanks for your kind comments that brought a tear to my eye. I hadn't looked on it as a passing on of skills more a way of keeping a little boy interested. But you are correct and it has been great working with him.

I'm sure that it won't be the last project together, my next one is on the workbench, it will be a Springer tug that will have a surprise or two just in case the little one wants to have a go. James has accepted that it will be my boat. The hull is pretty much done but progress will have to wait for aquisition of running gear and electrics and then the decision on what superstructure to fit on it.

We need some lake time with the fishing boat (and are still to name it) as James has to get to grips with steering and throttle control. He has going forward and backward sorted and was beginning to understand that it didn't have to be full throttle all the time (I'm so glad I had restricted top speed!). However he will not be happy for long having told everyone that his boat just goes forward and back wheras grandads squirts water. I feel we will be adding bits and pieces for a while to keep him happy.
Yes it has been great and I am looking forward to the next one which will probably be a winter project.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: Peter Fitness on August 18, 2018, 07:11:53 am
Marvellous story :-))  As a grandad myself I understand the value of time spent with the grandkids particularly in this manner, hopefully imparting some knowledge as well as fostering an interest in models. I'm sure you and James will have many happy times together with this boat, and any subsequent models you and your little team may build. Please keep us posted on further developments.

Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: ballastanksian on August 18, 2018, 11:02:49 am

No worries Leachim. Its just you seem like a friend of mine who has had the patience of not only encouraging one generation of Grand children (Grand Daughters no less  :-) ) into making things, but now they are well into their twenties, he is encouraging three others now between nine and twelve to make things.

He is a wargamer and has actually supplied the local model shop for about eight years with model buildings made by him with help from the Grand children. One of his first generation specialised in making bridges! But with his patience, they were marking out and cutting with proper sharp implements safely by the age of ten. A few million more Grand parents like you and him, and this country will be right back into the thick of making and creating.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: skierdive on August 23, 2018, 08:09:17 pm
A lovely story and a lovely looking boat.  :-) 
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 23, 2018, 09:19:42 pm
Thank you all for your kind comments

Something I have just remembered, essential point to check if you are considering buying this kit. Check the length of the rudder tube before you glue it in place. The rudder is currently supplied with a pair of nyloc nuts to hold everything in place. I found that the threaded rod on the rudder wasn't long enough when we came to assemble the rudder in the boat. The rudder tube was too long by about 4mm. Now cutting 4mm off a tube fitted within an almost completed boat isn't easy so please check it and trim to length before you glue anything in place.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: ballastanksian on August 23, 2018, 10:52:58 pm
It sounds like a horrible job  :((
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on August 23, 2018, 11:30:21 pm
It sounds like a horrible job  :((
It was!
However managed to do it and cut the correct amount off so everything fitted! Before trimming, the top nut wouldn't tighten on the thread so no rudder control. No mention of trimming rudder tube in instructions so can only assume they have changed the nuts at some point and the new ones are deeper.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on September 10, 2018, 11:41:22 pm
She now has a little boy chasing a seagull away from the fish on the deck, much to young James delight. It turns out that my modelmaking skills did stretch that far. i will post a photo as soon as I have taken one.
I took her out at the weekend for a sail on the pool at the Southern Model Show at Headcorn (don't tell James!). The boat handles well, turns on a sixpence and is well powered with the little motor included in the kit. I just didn't like the radio transmitter I bought to use with it. Its one of those trigger and steering wheel things, I am used to a stick set and found it very awkward to use. It may be something that changes before to long especially if I am allowed to sail the boat.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: Big Ada on September 11, 2018, 06:44:37 pm
Just found your Thread, Mike + James + Kearsney Abbey.
Nice project.

Len, Skipper of Kearsney Kaddy.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on September 24, 2018, 05:20:28 pm
Finally I got around to taking those photos of the final crew, the ships boy chasing a seagull off the days catch. Not perfect but I think looks ok.

Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: Hotglove on September 30, 2018, 12:04:43 pm
Wonderful I hope he continues to enjoy what you have shared.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: boxer on October 26, 2018, 07:17:58 pm
Can I ask what you used to join propshaft to motor?
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on October 30, 2018, 12:46:15 pm
In the kit was a short length of silicone tubing for that very prupose. Personally I would have liked a slightly tighter fit but it seems to do the job.
Title: Re: Mowe2 a Grandad and grandson project
Post by: leachim on September 11, 2021, 12:38:37 pm
A quick update on this project. The boat has now had a few sailings and has provide me with a couple of problems to solve. James insistance on running the boat full throttle is beginning to be sorted, he does realise that the boat doesn't need to run that fast and that full forward to full reverse isnt the best idea in the world. However our last outing came to an abrupt end when out in the lake the boat suddenly refused to move. Thankfully we were able to recover it ok and my reservation about the fit of the silicone tube to the prop shaft has reared it's ugly head. The prop was touching the rudder and the silicone drive tube had become disconnected. With nothing to prevent the propshaft moving backwards it had shifted causing a complete lack of drive. I will be adding a starlok washer on the inside end of the shaft to prevent this happening again and will be looking for a tighter fitting bit of tube to drive the boat. Apart from that (and the fact that I hadn't charged the batteries fully on one outing, naughty grandad!) the boat is still being used by a very happy young man who will be 9in November, how time flies!