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Author Topic: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht  (Read 6959 times)

Philsy

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Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« on: June 27, 2007, 09:08:04 PM »

Hi, not sure if this is the right forum to post, so feel free to move.

My father has just given me a model yacht that was built by my great uncle, who lived on Piel Island near Barrow in Furness.

It's around 80 years old and 42-inches long with a beam of 10.5in. The hull is planked and there is a lead keel. The shape is typical of the era - I have attached a poor photo.

The only rig with the boat is a wooden boom. My father believes that the boat was originally gaff-rigged but was then converted to Burmuda rig.

I'd like to put a new rig on it, but have no idea how to go about sourcing material for spas, rigging and sails. Nor do I have much idea of sizes etc.

Can anyone offer advice or point me in the right direction?

Many thanks

Phil
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tigertiger

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 10:59:46 AM »

I am no expert :o. but If I post someone will possible shoot me down with the correct answer  :D

Although I don't think this is a model J Class, it has a similar look to it and I am guessing it is from the same era.

Some inspiration for what she might have looked like rigged can be found here. http://www.jclassyachts.com/bigboatclass.html

Mast and spars could be made from softwood dowelling. Softwood will flex and is not brittle, unlike some hardwoods. I don't hintk carbon fibre would be in keeping with the models age.

www.sailsetc.com can provide rigging equipment, they even have some vintage fittings.
Graham of sails etc is a bit of an authority on racing sailboats. If you contact him with a view to purchase and show him the pictures, he may know exactly what you have. And having dealt with them before I know they are very helpful
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JayDee

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 12:53:36 PM »

Hello Phil,
You live in Barrow, town has its own model boat club!!.

Go to  www.geocities.com/furnessmbc

There are plenty of yacht sailors in the club, I have met lots of them at competitions. I am sure they will come to your rescue.

Cheers,
John.
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tobyker

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 02:21:27 PM »

Try also Russell Potts' Vintage Model Yacht Group (google it) site. Several photos there of vintage yachts, and a couple of articles about rebuilds. 
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Philsy

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 02:43:23 PM »

Hi, thanks for the replies.

I think a J Class rig would certainly look right. The hull is much wider than a J Class in proportion to the length; surprisingly so for a boat of the period. Is that typical of model yachts?

I don't live in Barrow - the family comes from there but I'm on the south coast.

I'll do some more research and post back.

Thanks again,

Phil
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tigertiger

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 03:30:39 PM »

I googled 'pond saiiler' and came up with this.

http://www.boatartgallery.net/gallery/NJPondBoat
This fits your description of gaff rigged, although this has a bow sprit.

Are there any traces of where a bowsprit may have been attached? Screw holes or other?

I have seen plans for a pond sailer somewhere else. But cannot remember where.
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Philsy

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 03:35:27 PM »

I googled 'pond saiiler' and came up with this.

http://www.boatartgallery.net/gallery/NJPondBoat
This fits your description of gaff rigged, although this has a bow sprit.

Are there any traces of where a bowsprit may have been attached? Screw holes or other?

I have seen plans for a pond sailer somewhere else. But cannot remember where.


Thanks, what is a pond sailer? This boat was sailed in the sea around Piel at low water, apparently, using a rowing boat for rescue!

The boat in the link has a funny looking stern, mine is more elegant, if a bit beamy. Yes, there is evidence that a bowsprit has been fitted - there's a gap in the bulwarks at the bow and some holes in the deck. I think this rig would look right, but I wonder how well it would sail?

Cheers

Phil

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cdsc123

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 04:30:20 PM »

Try Nauticalia Ltd, info@nauticalia.com  www.nauticalia.com  tel 01932 244396 they do lovely pond yachts.
My suggestion is to purchase one and take the rig off it, they are not too dear and I think this will be far easier and cheaper than buying the bits separately. They may even do the rig as a spare part, ask Anna Foronda she is most helpful. They are located at Shepperton On Thames, but have many outlets.
From the catalogue, the cheapest suitable one is cat ref.7436, 35" hull with a simple gaff rig.
Next up, the refs.7438 and 7439 are the same price.
7438 has a gorgeous gaff rig on a 46" hull, including a mainsail with reefing points and blocks in the rigging.
7439 is a bermudan sloop rig on a 36" hull, like the 1930's J-Class boats.
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Philsy

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 04:36:08 PM »

Try Nauticalia Ltd, info@nauticalia.com  www.nauticalia.com  tel 01932 244396 they do lovely pond yachts.
My suggestion is to purchase one and take the rig off it, they are not too dear and I think this will be far easier and cheaper than buying the bits separately. They may even do the rig as a spare part, ask Anna Foronda she is most helpful. They are located at Shepperton On Thames, but have many outlets.
From the catalogue, the cheapest suitable one is cat ref.7436, 35" hull with a simple gaff rig.
Next up, the refs.7438 and 7439 are the same price.
7438 has a gorgeous gaff rig on a 46" hull, including a mainsail with reefing points and blocks in the rigging.
7439 is a bermudan sloop rig on a 36" hull, like the 1930's J-Class boats.

Thanks, they look very good value for money - wonder how they can do it? However, these are sold as display models, so perhaps the rigs would not work? I'd like to get the boat sailable - be good fun for me and my kids and also a tribute to the builder!

Cheers

Phil

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tobyker

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2007, 10:16:30 PM »

I believe that the description "pond yacht" refers to those small sailing boats sold in the early part of the last century by numerous small makers in seaside towns, most of which had their own little sailing ponds on or near the sea front. They were sold to holiday makers to be played with in the week's holiday, and I suspect most were lost/broken before next year's holiday. It may be that each town had its own rough rules, and I think competitions may have been held weekly for the holidaymakers to take part in - but see again the VMYG site as Russell has done loads of research on the history of model yachting. A pond yacht will not be as sophisticated as a racing model yacht made for proper racing, but will probably for commercial reasons ape the latest (then current) styles of rig of the Britannias and Shamrocks.
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tigertiger

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2007, 01:02:21 PM »

This is a like to a Fife classic model

looks similar and also could  be fitted with bowsprit

http://www.gospectre.com/fife%20classic.htm

http://www.gospectre.com/classic%20yachts.htm
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Philsy

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2007, 06:45:18 PM »

Thanks again for the replies. I must admit, that the rigging looks a daunting task!

Seeing that the weather has been too poor for sailing real boats, I bought myself some Nitromors and began stripping off the model. The woodwork under years of nasty varnish is lovely. The hull is planked in a red wood, while the deck is pine. I've attached photos.

I'll report again on progress.

Phil
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tigertiger

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2007, 03:58:57 AM »

She looks really nice.

Don't worry about rigging. Its not rocket science.

There are several books that traplet publications have, and when you have a title you might get them second hand on ebay or amazon.

There will be stuff on the net, try posting agin looking for rigging info on the Sail forum.
In fact if you now post this lot on the 'Our Builds/yachts and sail' you might get more response, as some of us visit that area first.

Some of the stuff on the net are articles by people designing next years racing boats. They are very heavy on theory, a bit like rocket science  ;). But as you will not be competing at international level there is no need to get too worried about the finer details.

Use the existing holes in the deck for the anchor points. I am guessing you only have 1 or two shrouds on each side, a back stay, and the jib will be attached directly to the forestay (the forestay rund through the jib). You will also need a brace for the gaff boom. I can do a diagram for that if you want.

She is a beauty and it is worth that little bit of extra effort to make her special.
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 03:28:45 PM »

Is there any adjustment on the rudder?  Looking at the pictures there doesn't seem to be any sort of fitting above deck level for a tiller.  Most pre-radio model yachts were intended as straight runners - you set the sails to give a straight run. 
This applied to pond yachts as they were at the inexpensive end of the market and usualy smaller than yours. 
Some had a friction lock on the rudder, and some had provision for self steering using a braine gear.  There is a thread about this somewhere on site.
When you check out the deck, if there are several marks where unaccountable fittings have left their trace, you might have one of these, and if you can find a suitable water, you will have years of pure enjoyment learning how to work it properly.
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Philsy

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2007, 07:56:56 PM »

Is there any adjustment on the rudder?  Looking at the pictures there doesn't seem to be any sort of fitting above deck level for a tiller.  Most pre-radio model yachts were intended as straight runners - you set the sails to give a straight run. 
This applied to pond yachts as they were at the inexpensive end of the market and usualy smaller than yours. 
Some had a friction lock on the rudder, and some had provision for self steering using a braine gear.  There is a thread about this somewhere on site.
When you check out the deck, if there are several marks where unaccountable fittings have left their trace, you might have one of these, and if you can find a suitable water, you will have years of pure enjoyment learning how to work it properly.


Hi, yes the rudder is adjustable, with a simple friction lock. There's no evidence of self-steering. I guess the rudder would be adjusted to compensate for the rig not being perfectly balanced - lee or weather helm.

Phil
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tigertiger

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2007, 04:05:07 AM »

Up to a point.
You can be balanced on a beam reach (for example) but need some rudder when close hauled.

When the boat heals the hull shape will turn the boat and this needs a little rudder to compensate.
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tobyker

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Re: Renovating a very old model sailing yacht
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2007, 11:46:39 PM »

Before I could afford radio, the hoy sailed very well (on Elstead Moat) with a reversed weighted tiller. Not relevant to Philsy's yacht, I know but v simple and effective.
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