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Author Topic: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11  (Read 10759 times)

jonny shoreboy

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Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« on: October 26, 2011, 12:35:57 am »

Hi everyone, Long time no post!
Well there is a good reason for that.. I moved from London to NZ and have only just managed to set up my 'Man Cave'. It does mean I can now get on with the serious business of ship building. AND lucky for me I have a pond less than a 5 minute walk from my house (which I can see from my deck). It's not perfect but it will serve as a test pond..

So anyway, several of my friends here have r/c yachts and I have always wanted one but just didn't have the room to store one in our flat in London and dreaded the thought of trying to ship one back to NZ with all of our other stuff. So I ordered a Monsoon 900 because it was cheap. I've never sailed a yacht before and have no idea of what I am doing so that is one of the reasons I went for the monsoon. It was cheap. And big.

So this thread will be my build log and experiences of this kit.

I am completely new to this so please fell free to drop in with any comments or suggestions! Even if they seem obvious because I learnt from my last build log that it is easy to get things wrong and only takes one member here to point it out and help me get it right..

Jonny.

PS: Here is a picture of the pond as viewed from my deck!
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 02:51:20 am »

Now you are no longer on the sunny shores of London, you can change your location  :-)) Lucky beggar.


I will be interested to see what changes have been made to the Monsoon in the last couple of years. I will follow your build log with interest. :-))
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 04:45:05 am »

Now you are no longer on the sunny shores of London, you can change your location  :-)) Lucky beggar.


I will be interested to see what changes have been made to the Monsoon in the last couple of years. I will follow your build log with interest. :-))

It's been that long since I posted here I hadn't even changed my location, cheers tigertiger! I would also be interested in any tips/upgrade ideas you may have...

Jonny
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 05:18:39 am »

O.k. so I opened the box and was really pleased with what I saw. A quick examination showed that the servo tray had broken off during transit but I was warned that this almost always happens. Everything else seemed well packaged and unbroken. So I removed the servo tray and noticed that it doesn't have a battery tray or an on/off switch. I have heaps of on/off switches and battery packs lurking around so it wasn't a problem but would be worth pointing out to anyone else looking for one of these yachts.
So the first step is to build a battery compartment and re-fix the servo tray (and charge the battery's)!
So while I do that I thought I would include a few pictures of the box of bits etc!

One thing I will say too is that they seem to have improved the stand from the wooden one it used to come with (as per the instructions!) and it now comes with a Alli/plastic one.

And some more pictures..




Bits in the box


Assembled on the stand


Shown with my Corvette for size..

Jonny
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 12:40:05 pm »

Hi Jonny

Looking at the model bits, it appears that they have not changed the keel bulb on the model you have.

This is not heavy enough for a boat of the monsoons size, unless you sailing in very light airs. I would look to casting my own lead bulb or buying a plastic hollow plastic bulb and filling it with lead shot and resin. These bulbs can be bought from  suppliers of bits for 1m boats. I don't know who there is in NZ or Oz.

The batteries will tuck into the radio tray. On my boat there was no on/off switch, but there is a slot and screw holes for a standard switch, just pop one in.

Did you check out my build log? There is loads of information there.
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Boomer

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 04:48:25 pm »

Shoreboy,
It would be worth taking time to read through these links - They contain details and photos of just about everything you'd ever need to know about the Monsoon and how to make those necessary fixes to bring your new Monsoon to a fully seaworthy status.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1187292&highlight=monsoon+hatch+modifications&page=5
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1187292&highlight=monsoon+hatch+modifications

http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=4464.0

This is the text from just one of the posts on the first link. I didn't bother copying all the photos because they are already posted on the links listed. Trust this information will be of value.

"On my Monsoon, the factory provided a cover for the “rudder well” which is nothing more than a thin piece of plastic coated paper. I replaced that cover with a plastic cap that I had lying around my garage. If you use their cover and use silicone to secure it, you won’t be able to access they rudder connection without destroying that cover. As part of my regular maintenance, I remove the rudder to lubricate it with a little water proof grease, so easy access is important.

I have read most of the forum threads on Monsoons that reported more issues with their boats than I experienced with mine. I have included some notes on the mods I made to my Monsoon to prepare it for use.

1. Stabilizing the mast –

The mast comes in two pieces to facilitate shipping, but the method the factory provides to keep the two pieces together is inadequate, and will not hold it together in proper alignment. The Fix = drill four 1/16” holes in the mast using the two holes the factory has pre-drilled in the mast pieces as your starting points. Drill all the way though the mast and the plastic coupling that bridges the two pieces together. Be sure the pre-drilled holes in the internal mast coupling are lined up with the holes you are drilling and with the holes in the plastic bridge piece, (It has two holes already pre-drilled.) Be sure the two mast sections are perfectly aligned before drilling. I suggest you secure the mast pieces to a straight edge that you can lock the mast to, insuring the mast is in the proper alignment before drilling. Use SS bolts, flat washers and self locking nuts. This is really pretty simple, but care is required to insure you don’t mess up the mast and the internal coupling.

2. Sealing the electronics bay hatch for a water tight seal - This fix is for the Monsoon. The Phantom hatch is different -a bit better set up, but it can be improved upon.

The picture below shows the hatch modifications and the location of 4 servo arms which have been mounted to the deck. I used 4 small servo arms, trimmed to fit the space which now secure and seal the hatch. The 2 arms in the front, are rigid and don't move. The two in the back both swivel. I replaced the foam furnished by the manufacturer, replacing it high density foam (a good quality weather stripping will work fine.) The foam used on this boat was 3/8" wide, about 1/4' thick which allow the hatch to slide under the 2 front servo arms, which then compresses the foam and seals the front section of the hatch. The rear 2 servo arms are used as "lock down" arms that swivel out of the way to remove the hatch, and lock it down and seal it. I slide the front edge of the hatch under the 2 front "hold down" arms, and then I press down on the back edge of the hatch to compress the foam, and then swing the 2 rear servo arms in place. There is adequate pressure to create very water tight seal around the entire hatch. Simple and effective and doesn't look bad either.

3. Properly sealing the “rudder well”-
The cover provided from the factory for the “rudder well” is a thin piece of plastic coated cardboard. This issue here is that if you use their seal and use and adhesive to hold in place, you won’t be able to access the rudder connection unless you destroy the cover they provided. To address this I made a replacement from a plastic cap I had in my garage that I had saved for some unknown reason, and a cap plug from a hardware store. As the plug was just a little smaller the opening, I was trimmed piece of 2 sided foam tape to fit around the plug to making a good seal. It pushes in, and stays in. It can be removed to access the rudder well. Before inserting the rudder a lubricated the shaft with white lithium grease, and then I put a small O-ring on the shaft to help seal the tube the rudder shaft goes through.

4. Keel connections -
The keel is secured to the boat with a threaded shaft at the top, and bottom to attach the keel’s ballast pod. The factory shaft would be better if it were a bit larger in diameter to better support the weight of the keel assembly. Once you add 1.3 kg (1.3 kg = 2.8 lbs) of lead shot to the pod, there is a pretty good load on that shaft. As the boat goes though the water, the greater the load becomes. To date, I have no heard any reports of one breaking a shaft. I added a small O-ring to seal the shaft as it comes up through the hull.

My friend choose to epoxy the keel into the hull. This results in a strong water tight assembly. Granted, it makes transport and storage more difficult, but it fixes this issue. If you opt not to bond the keel, be sure you use properly fit O-rings on the shafts where the shaft meets the hull and on the top side as it protrudes upward. Use SS flat washers to prevent cutting into the fiberglass as you tighten the nuts. If possible use SS self locking nuts.

You may find that the keel shaft may need to be shortened or trimmed at the top to permit the factory provided trim plug to be installed (The plug hides the top of the keel mounting shaft) Mine was too long, and it had to be trimmed slightly for me to put the plug in the hole.

5. Securing the shroud guides-
My boat came with small plastic sleeves to prevent the spreader’s roughly cut holes from snagging the shroud lines, which sooner or later will be cut if the sleeves are not in place. The best way is to fix this is to de-burr the holes in the spreaders. An easier way is to put a little dab of silicone on each sleeve to secure it in place. My shrouds lasted a year, before they needed to be replaced.

The yellow balloons inside the boat are just a little added protection for my receiver and battery pack should an unforeseen event occur that results in getting a lot of water inside the hull. It is always a good ideal to put some kind of foam pieces in the hull to insure the boat will not sink.

I don’t know what type of radio you will be using but if you plan on using a 27GHz radio and receiver, I would suggest considering investing in a 2.4 GHz radio and receiver. They are far superior and provide a number of nice features that can add to your sailing fun.

I found a little more ballast in the pod will yield a better handling boat. 1500 grams = 3.3 lbs. I put in 3.1lbs. and the boat handles very well.

I know there a number of opinions and questions out there as to the value of these “Chinese” boats. My sense is that they fill a need, and at fair value. It is true that the builder might have opted to use SS hardware, carbon fiber or aluminum masts and booms, higher quality sails, but at what cost? For a hundred bucks, it is a heck of a deal! So what if you have to fix a few minor things, hey, that’s what makes it a hobby."

After making the now well documented fixes to my Monsoon, I was able to sail her for over two years with out any issues.

If you take the few minutes it will take to review the Monsoon links I provided, you will be well prepared to move forward.
Windchaser
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tr7v8

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 05:06:10 pm »

This appears to be the place for everything you need for these.
http://www.shipshaperc.com/
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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 09:41:48 pm »

Welcome to NZ Jonny! And good luck with your build too.

The Auckland club (if you are interested in joining) can be found online here: http://www.marinemodellers.org.nz/

Also a group of yachties go for a sale  every Thursday morning here: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Birkenhead,+Auckland,+New+Zealand&hl=en&ll=-36.810144,174.750456&spn=0.006623,0.013175&sll=40.994744,-100.031988&sspn=52.130611,107.929688&vpsrc=6&hnear=Birkenhead,+Auckland,+New+Zealand&t=h&z=17

Have fun,

Alister :)
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 09:25:38 pm »

Hi everyone,
Thanks for all your links and taking an interest!
@Windchaser: thank you for those links they were a big help! I had already looked through Tigertigers build log on here but hadn't seen those other ones.
@tr7v8: A good website and some good ebooks on there, I may need to pick up the sailing tips one as I have never sailed anything before.
@AliterL: Thanks for the warm welcome! I was planing on taking the Monsoon to Onepoto for here maiden voyage and its good to know other people sail there too, I might be able to get some advice and tips!
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Boomer

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 08:04:47 pm »

These forums are a great help for newbies and the more experienced as well. At some point in the future, I am confident you will be providing your insights to others.
This a terrific hobby and has some really nice people who are always readly to help.
Enjoy.
Windchaser
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2011, 04:20:22 am »

o.k. everyone here is an update!
I have filled the keel bulb with ballast I took from some wrist weights as this was all I could get my hands on. Local gun shop only sold lead shot by the 10kg lot and was $180..
Total weight of the keel bulb is 1.1kg 200g short of the the desired weight which means for now she is for very light wind sailing only! I hope to improve this at a later date.
I fixed the radio tray back to the hull (apparently they ALL come loose in transit). I made things hard for myself here by completely removing the radio tray which meant a fiddly job of rethreading the winch ropes...
I have glued the mast into the hull with epoxy as it wouldn't stand on it's own with just the guide ropes to hold it. Seems good now.
So it is basically all assembled, just needs a test sail before I glue off all the knots.
Things to do before my first water test are:
Redo the radio tray cover.
Use Tigertigers idea of winch tighteners using rubber bands, an idea I saw on a separate thread..

So, time for some pictures?
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2011, 04:31:22 am »

First up, here is a picture of the stuff I used as ballast in the keel bulb:


Not perfect, but will do for now.


Front sail (foresail?) and how I have connected it to the sail winch. (sorry about picture quality but it is dark in the man cave)


Main sail connected to the sail winch. QUESTION: is my mainsail too high off the boom? :((


Masthead and where all my ropes were connected. I have a spare hole though... {:-{


And the (almost) finished product!
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2011, 11:50:22 am »

Yes, mainsail is too high off the boom. Other than that, nice job. :-))
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Boomer

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 12:12:15 am »

I agree withTigertiger.  I posted pictures of my set up. Hope this is of value. As you can see, there was not much of a breeze the day the photos were taken, it made it easy to take the  pictures. You may know this already - if not, it is a good practice to put a small amount of CA on your knots. Without it they tend to come untied at the worst possible moments. I included a picture of my very slight modification to the jib sheet - maybe of interest...........
Windchaser








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tony23

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 09:20:25 am »

Hi Windchaser,
                      I have never seen any rigging diagrams of how to rig these boats but I sail one metre boats (IOM's) looking at your last picture there's many improvements to be made on your rigging to get the boat to sail better and faster if you look at Johny's second picture of how the sheet line runs out the boat to the jib that is the correct way.
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Boomer

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2011, 02:59:16 pm »

I no longer have that boat. Had it for more than two years - sailed it with no problems - sold it - my over all impression was that it was a fine boat for the price and was a great starter boat. As I mentioned above, it required a few "tweaks" here but still a very good value for the money. I am sure you are right about ways to improve the Monsoon's rigging. The minor modification I made, did improved the range of adjustment of the jib's reach and made it easier to remove the mast for transport.

I felt were I to have spent additional time and funds on this boat, it would have defeated the real value of the boat = a low cost way to determine my interest in RC sailing, and a learning tool. Since my experience with the Monsoon, I have enjoyed and still have a good range of RC Yachts, most 1M some smaller, some power boats and recently got into RC flying.

Since that boat I have learned a lot about RC sailing from this and other great forums, sailing friends and from some pretty good books.

I got my Monsoon from Hobbyking.com at a very attractive price. HK is company that has some decent products, but with that said believe there is a risk associated with dealing with them. In my experience they have not yet demonstrated any interest or skills in providing after sale service.

Windchaser
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2011, 04:53:23 am »

Well today was my maiden voyage for the Monsoon! All in all a great afternoon out. However I did have one or two teething problems.... The main issue was although I tested out the radio gear in the dry dock (aka garage) once on the lake I realised that I didn't have enough rudder control.. An easy fix, just moved the linkage further down the servo horn/arm. It also allowed me to see that water was getting in so I placed a sponge in the bottom of the hull (worked out at the end of the day that the water is getting in around the rudder cover which I have fixed). Anyway, after that I had a fun afternoon of sailing up and down the pond. I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did. It was relaxing and quite (compared to noisy and a bit stressfull when playing with my nitro rc cars..) but most of all it was a lot of fun! I suck at sailing though but as the afternoon wore on I started to get the hang of it a bit more and the day only finished as I flattened all of my batteries!
So, all up I must say I was REALLY pleased with how the Monsoon went today. Sure I have nothing to compare it with but it moved around the lake like what I think a yacht should and I really enjoyed myself, so much so that I will be going again tomorrow!
There are one or two notes i will make about the Monsoon but for the rest of this post it will just be some pictures..




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Boomer

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2011, 08:54:20 pm »

Very nice photos Jonny! Looks like you were doing just fine! The more you sail the greater understanding of sailing will develop!
Congrats!!
Windchaser
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2011, 06:33:58 am »

Looking good. :-))

You may benefit from more ballast. :-)
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jonny shoreboy

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2011, 06:36:10 am »

Hi everyone, just a quick update on todays sailing...

DISASTER!: Unfortunately today a LOT of water got into my hull ad stuffed up the electrics bit time. It's my own fault as I didn't seal off the battery compartment with tape as others had suggested as I thought my system would be good enough. It wasn't. My rudder servo is ruined but more upsetting is the destruction of my 40mhz FM receiver.
Still it is a good excuse to do some upgrades while I wait for the new receiver to arrive!

The big change I would like to make is to upgrade the running and standing rigging. My question to those in the know is what wait should I use? There is a company in OZ (thanks for the link above!) that has some and it is quite cheap. I was thinking 23kgs for the standing rigging and 68kg for the running rigging. Will these weights work or do I need something different? Any advice here would be great!

Jonny
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oapanglais

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2011, 03:05:56 pm »

Hi Jonny
Sorry to hear your sad news after things had been going so well. It is a very relaxing pastime and on a few hot days in the summer I have woken up to find my Victoria had run aground. That's what happens when there is no-one else to sail with (and wake me up). I will post a build log on my Thames barge when it is finished, I haven't taken many photos and the most interesting part ie the sails and rigging are going to be finished this winter (I hope). The weather here is rubbish at the moment so I haven't been sailing since I got back from England last week.
Brian
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tigertiger

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2011, 03:39:06 pm »

Hi Jonny

The breaking strain of cord you mentioned is more than adequate. Make sure it is non-stretch material, Dacron is fine.

Sorry to hear about the dunking.
Hatches are a problem with this boat. I have seen some forum stuff (not here) on changing the hatch cover.
Another problem is the ballast. If you increase the weight the boat will be more stable. it will heel over less, and less water will go down the hatches, as they are no longer in the water.

If you are looking for tape, there is a product called Diamond Tape that the fast petrol boat boys swear by.

NB, you don't need a fantastic radio for sailing. Many 27MHz sets are cheap and more than up to the job. Also 2.4GHz is now really cheap and has a better range.
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Boomer

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Re: Monsoon 900: Shoreboys first yacht build log October '11
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2011, 12:31:30 am »

Jonny
I posted this information previously but since your latest experience - it may provide you with a simple way to secure and seal the hatch on your Monsoon. The hatch design is a know weakness as you have discovered has to be addressed. I added photos to give you a better understanding of how this set up looks and works.
Windchaser

 Sealing the electronics bay hatch for a water tight seal The picture below shows the hatch modifications and the location of 4 servo arms which have been mounted to the deck. I used 4 small servo arms, trimmed to fit the space which now secure and seal the hatch. The 2 arms in the front, are rigid and don't move. The two in the back both swivel. I replaced the foam furnished by the manufacturer, replacing it high density foam (a good quality weather stripping will work fine.) The foam used on this boat was 3/8" wide, about 1/4' thick which allow the hatch to slide under the 2 front servo arms, which then compresses the foam and seals the front section of the hatch. The rear 2 servo arms are used as "lock down" arms that swivel out of the way to remove the hatch, and lock it down and seal it. I slide the front edge of the hatch under the 2 front "hold down" arms, and then I press down on the back edge of the hatch to compress the foam, and then swing the 2 rear servo arms in place. There is adequate pressure to create a very water tight seal around the entire hatch. Simple and effective and doesn't look bad either.

3. Properly sealing the “rudder well”-
The cover provided from the factory for the “rudder well” is a thin piece of plastic coated cardboard. The issue here is that if you use their seal and use and adhesive to hold in place, you won’t be able to access the rudder connection unless you destroy the cover they provided. To address this I made a replacement from a plastic cap I had in my garage that I had saved for some unknown reason, and a cap plug from a hardware store. As the plug was just a little smaller the opening, I was trimmed piece of 2 sided foam tape to fit around the plug to making a good seal. It pushes in, and stays in. It can be removed to access the rudder well. Before inserting the rudder a lubricated the shaft with white lithium grease, and then I put a small O-ring on the shaft to help seal the tube the rudder shaft goes through.











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