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Author Topic: SS Clutchford - Seaport Tug converted into a bootlegging boat!  (Read 3522 times)

JasonMcMe

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SS Clutchford - Seaport Tug converted into a bootlegging boat!
« on: January 15, 2013, 08:06:46 PM »

Hello Everyone! I'm new here on the forums, but I actually have been reading these forums for quite some time. I recently completed a Dickie conversion that I would like to share with you. I'm not really a "boat person", per se, but I am into modelling. I am an Imagineer by trade, meaning I design amusement and theme parks for a living, so I just like to make fun and interesting stuff. So one day I decided to make a model boat. After searching around online, I found this site. I just wanted to thank everyone here for posting information and pics about your wonderfully inspiring projects. You all convinced me to "jump in the water" with you!

I purchased my Dickie tug about two years ago and have been slowly working on this project whenever I had a little bit of free time. I work and travel a lot so I rarely have a moment to play with my hobbies. Last week I finally took my boat out to the pond, so I wanted to share the progress of this with all of you.

I should say, I know absolutely nothing about boats. The point was not to make a model of a working boat. What I wanted to do was to make a boat that had a fun story behind it. I've learned from where I work that stories are what make the details believeable and fun, so this is what drove all of my decisions.

"In this story, the SS Clutchford is a sleepy little steam tug, that surely had seen better days. It was reaching the end of its service life, living as a workboat in Charleston, South Carolina. In the 1920's, during the prohibition era, Pinniger Daniels, an old retired sea captain noticed the tug sitting idle along a dock, waiting to be hauled out for scrap. Using what little money he had at the time, he purchased the tug, and converted the tug into a rum-runner. He stripped out most of the working parts from anywhere he could to lower the weight so that the SS Clutchford could escape the authorities. The SS Clutchford led a great life running rum and gin back and forth from Charleston to a secret island in the Atlantic that was used by bootleggers."

I based much of the design on Edward Pinniger's excellent interpritiation of the SS Furie. I liked the classic design of that one, but wanted to give it an operational twist. I hope Mr. Pinniger doesn't mind that I based the captain on him! So here's the pics of the SS Clutchford build:


So I began by drawing a few illustrations and drafting out much of the plans beforehand to see what it would look like. This might be overkill, but I'm used to doing it for work.


I had to extend the back to make room for a scratch-built smoke generator. I made the smoke generator out of spare parts that were lying around my workshop. I tried to make it as small as possible, but I was worried that it might get too hot and sink the SS Clutchford for good! Alas... it didn't.

I was already spending a small fortune on what I originally wanted to be a quick and dirty build. HA! So I didn't really see the point in spending money on fittings I could just as easily build. It just was meticulous work. Fortunately I'm younger and and my hands are still stable enough.

I'll be honest, I don't have a clue what the box on the back of the deck is for. I just noticed that it's on a lot of tugs like the Furie. So I thought it was a great place to put sound in. I made a custom sound module by taking apart an ipod amplifier and speaker and wiring it to an Arduino logic board with MP3 shield. That was wired to the ESC to control the speed of the steam "chug". I unfortunately didn't take pics of this during the build or installation...

This is at the point where the electrics were at a "bare bones" state, meaning that if nothing else worked, at least the thing would run in water. Eventually what I added where connections that would run to the wiring hub for the lights and smoke generator, and the connections to the sound module.

And here she is all put together, minus a few finishing details.




I know... It looks like a bird's nest. But I did eventually clean this up. The wiring hub you see connects the 24 lights around the ship. Most of them are small Robbe bulbs, but I did use a few larger Model Power bulbs when I wanted them to be dimmer. There are four switches that control different lights and the smoke generator.

Getting it prepped for the maiden voyage.

Smoke generator works....check... Funny story, I was actually stopped by the police as I was apprarently doing "questionable activity" when I activated the smoke generator...

She floats!

Running hooch to some thursty patrons.

It has been a couple of years in the making, but finally she gets to run. What a great day this was to see her glide on the water like this.
Again, thank you everyone for being so helpful and informative, and for providing the inspiration to make this happen.
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colin

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Re: SS Clutchford - the Dickie converted into a bootlegging boat!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 08:26:16 PM »

Welcome Jason
You are to be congratulated on a excellent conversion. any chance of some photos of your work projects.


Regards Colin
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ardarossan

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Re: SS Clutchford - the Dickie converted into a bootlegging boat!
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 08:30:35 PM »

Very nice model JasonMcMeenyMineyMo, and a cracking first post too. And just for the crack, you're even brave or foolish enough to call everyone an old f*rt too! - Quality.

What was the line again? "Fortunately I'm younger and and my hands are still stable enough."

That's right, two 'ands'! I guess your 'ands' aren't so stable after all...   {-) ;D
Andy
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JasonMcMe

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Re: SS Clutchford - the Dickie converted into a bootlegging boat!
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 10:36:01 PM »

Thanks guys! I had fun with it. I do have to say, I am not satisfied with one. I might have to build another! ok2
Adross - When it comes to disability, I'd take "ands" over "hands" anyday! And you guys aren't nearly as old and f*rtsy as the steam train guys I normally associate with!  :}
Colin - I've worked on many of the recent Disney theme park projects. The new Fantasyland at Walt Disney World and the new Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships to name a few. While I can't show the copyrighted and confidential artwork from that, what I can show is on my website http://www.jasonmcmanus.com.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: SS Clutchford - the Dickie converted into a bootlegging boat!
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 10:39:02 PM »


Excellent job!   :-))
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Howard

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Re: SS Clutchford - the Dickie converted into a bootlegging boat!
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 11:05:37 AM »

Amazing loved looking at your photos,
          Regards Howard.
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FastWayne

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Re: SS Clutchford - Seaport Tug converted into a bootlegging boat!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 12:46:49 AM »

I'm fairly new to mayhem, and enjoyed your build on the Dickie,   I loved your weathering of the boat.   I too have completed a very simple conversion using leftover radio/receiver and servo.  My boat for whatever reason, did not pump the water cannon, water ballast. I pulled out all that electronics and installed my gear.  However I still have the stock colors although I plan repaint the upper decks soon. I am new to airbrushing to so if my weathering comes out half as good as yours, I will be thrilled. 
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