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Author Topic: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser  (Read 3810 times)

zooma

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Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« on: February 29, 2020, 09:56:38 pm »

I am either making or collecting the "classic" model boats that I remember from my youth when I sailed r/c model boats as a member of the Bath Model Power Boat Club in the 1960's.


I was recently given a 39" long plywood cabin cruiser with the name Rapier painted on the bows.


Despite its really bad condition,  I remember seeing this model boat when it first came out sometime in the late 60's at a time when the Aerokits range was already complete, and as no new models had been introduced for some time, some of these new model kits were made by those who had already made the various Sea  Rovers, Sea Commanders, Sea Queens and Swordsman kits etc.


At the time I was not too fond of the design as it had a very pointed bow (compared to the Aerokits kits that we had all made) but all these years later, this wreck of a model has reminded me of this model and although this one is far from being the best example,  I would like to find out a little more about them before deciding whether to pour lot of hours into this particular restoration or to try to find another one in better condition to work on instead.


Better still, if I could identify the manufacturer (was it Lesro?) I may be able to find a set of plans and make a fresh start with a new build.


Anyone as old as myself (but with a better memory !) who can help me identify this 60's cabin cruiser, or who still has one (or a set of plans) please let me know as I would like a bit more information to work with.
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KitS

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2020, 10:13:02 pm »


See this thread for a pic of a half completed Rapier for comparison, plus a pic of the box lid.


https://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=7025.0
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Kit

zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2020, 10:14:53 pm »

Thanks for the link - very helpful.


I hope I can find a set of plans, an unbuilt kit or a complete model for sale sometime in the near future!
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2020, 10:49:00 am »

This rebuild is proving to be a lot more involved than I expected.


The remains of the superstructure was so badly twisted that I decided to take the Tamiya razor saw to it and cut it off compeletly.


The upper hull side was bent inwards towards the rear of the boat (like a banana) on one side only so I removed the deck on that side so I could cut away the stringers, clamp the hull side to a piece of straight hardwood and replace them to hold the hull side in the correct position.  After a couple of days clamped up with new straight stringers installed the glue has now dried and the sides are now straight - no twist.


I sanded the outside of the hull down, removed the twisted and broken spray strips and deck edging and fitted new 1/8 x 1/4 hardwood replacements.


The prop shaft had been inserted at a very strange angle running across the hull from left to right.  Plastic padding was probably the material used to plug the gap when it was shoved in, so I have cut this out and will start again with a new shaft inserted long the centre line of the hull !


Two of the main bulkheads had large cut-outs ripped out of them and one had the top half completely missing.  The rough torn and splintered edges have been straightened up using my trusty razor saw again so that I have some straight edges to glue new 1/8 ply inserts into to re-establish the original shape and integrity.


The cut-off cabin sides have been copied in new 1/8 plywood and the window cut-outs have been drawn on them both ready to be cut out to the original size and shape.


The inside of the hull had been coated in a strange dark brown shellac that has dried like a semi-sticky toffee and is a nightmare to remove but has to be taken out so I can clean-up the wood surface to allow glue to stick to it and to see the other botched-up areas that have been buried underneath.


Some parts are missing and although I can guess what they look like and I can "freestyle" the shapes to fill the gaps, a copy of the original plan would be very helpful, so if anyone has a copy they would like to lend or sell to me to me I would be very pleased.


I have seen the online video of a twin engined Rapier that was built from the last known kit and I am using this as my guide and reference, but it is enough if no plans are available.


Interestingly one of the comments (listed under the video) suggest that this boat is now in shed and has not been used for years!  What a shame - if I could find out who owns it maybe they would like to sell it? (to me - of course!).


It would be a real challenge to make a direct comparison of this excellent example alongside my reclaimed and patched-up rebuild when it is finished!
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2020, 07:07:00 pm »

I am looking at re-fitting the new long Rapier cabin sides that I have cut from 4mm plywood to match the original specification, but the front part of the cabin on both sides looks like a long curve running from the big front cabin bulkhead up to where they meet and join the cabin front.


This can be seen on both of the remaining deck sides and stringers that I have not cut away (yet), but I am thinking that this may not be correct.



This 4mm ply will not be too easy to coax into such a curved shape (but can be done with steaming) but I do wonder if they are intended to be quite so bent as it would be rather more "normal" on plywood cabin cruisers of this vintage to have these sides quite a bit straighter.


If any one has a copy of either the building instructions or a set of plans that I could buy/copy/borrow it would be more than helpful as I am working from an old, badly constructed, patched up, and bodged-up model that cannot be relied upon to give me all the correct clues to reconstruct it much closer to its original intended shape!
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 09:33:51 am »

I have made some more progress and removed the prop shaft (large hammer to smash it out) and removed all of the body filler that was fairly well adhered to it using a file to leave a clean outer surface.


The M5 inner shaft still had the original black surface colour and it rolled flat and true too, so I have cleaned-up the ends of the shaft tube bearings and and will re-fit it.


The shaft is quite short for a boat of this length and is installed at a fairly steep angle, but this is controlled by the keel doublers so I will re-fit it in the same slot after I have opened it up a bit so I can make it run straighter.


The rudder shaft hole seems quite close to the transom - putting the rudder some distance away from the prop wash and it just looks wrong! 


I think I will move it in a bit but if anyone has a Rapier and can let me know how far away from the transom the rudder post should be, and how far away from the transom that the propeller should be it would be very helpful .










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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2020, 10:16:44 pm »

Work continues on this "restoration" project and the hull is now straight, the M5 shaft is installed and faired-in, and the hull has been primed and under-coated.


For power, I have bought a Turnigy 3648-1450 brushless motor, and I will fit it and the water-cooled mount tomorrow - assuming the undercoat on the outside of the hull has dried!


I have cut-out new cabin sides and have yet to fret saw the window openings, but I want to get everything inside the hull "fitted and sorted" before worrying any more about the superstructure as I want to have as much room to work with inside the hull before fitting the cabin sides etc.


I have moved the rudder inwards a little as it looked to be too far away from the propeller, but I have still not been able to see or buy any plans for the Rapier so I am working on instinct on things like this, and not helped much by the really appalling build quality of the model that does not give any confidence in very much of it being in the right place.


The vandalism started when the box was opened with this model and then it was abused and given a rough time after it was thrown together - and maybe that's why I feel the need to rescue it when common sense suggests that it is a complete waste of time!
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2020, 08:29:19 pm »

I asked Lesro if they were able to print a set of plans for the Rapier  - and they can!


Today I received the invoice for the plans, so I have transferred the cash and look forward to seeing them!
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coch y bonddu

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2020, 08:50:52 pm »

Picture paint a thousand words so can we please have some thnks


Dave
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2020, 09:11:32 pm »

Hi Dave,


I have taken pictures of the rebuild in stages on my iPhone and also have them on my MAC computer, but I cannot find a way to upload them for you to see.


Bob.
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radiojoe

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2020, 10:56:09 am »


Hi Bob, under the box where you write your post it says "Attachments and other options" click on that and it opens up a slot to post your photos, the photo's need to be on your PC, click on browse and find the photo you want to post each photo needs to be 500KB or less most phone pics are over that, I resize mine by sending the photos I want to post in an e-mail to myself windows will resize the photos in the e-mail to a size suitable for posting on here, hope this helps


Joe.  :-))
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Leaky Bottom

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 11:09:00 am »

I asked Lesro if they were able to print a set of plans for the Rapier  - and they can!


Today I received the invoice for the plans, so I have transferred the cash and look forward to seeing them!


Hello


Could you say what sort of cost Lesro charged you for a set of plans
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2020, 11:45:34 am »


Hello


Could you say what sort of cost Lesro charged you for a set of plans




The new set of plans cost 15 plus postage.
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ChrisF

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2020, 06:36:14 pm »

I asked Lesro if they were able to print a set of plans for the Rapier  - and they can!


Today I received the invoice for the plans, so I have transferred the cash and look forward to seeing them!



That's great news. Nice to have as well as helping with the rebuild.


Chris
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2020, 08:51:34 pm »


That's great news. Nice to have as well as helping with the rebuild.


Chris


The plans have not arrived yet Chris, so I copied the twisted cab sides onto some flat 1/8" ply and made some replacements along with a new lower cab front, cut out the windows, and then decided to glue the new wood into the hull this afternoon.


Using 1/8 ply (even thicker 4mm theses days!) makes them quite stiff to bend when dry, but they have conformed to the correct shape with the help of some suitable clamps and I am hoping that when the aliphatic glue drys it will hold its shape and stay in place.


I can work out the shape of the upper rear cab panel but it has a pair of windows whose shapes follow the curvature of the roof, and I don't have any roof formers so this part will have to wait until the plans arrive, but at last I can see things starting to take shape.



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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2020, 01:14:31 am »

The plans arrived safely, but being typical kit plans they actually did not prove to be anything like as helpful as I had hoped they would be, so I have continued the rebuild using any pictures that I have been able to find on the net and the very helpful YouTube video of the last UK kit to be sold and built and a very helpful email exchange with the builder. 


My model may not "measure" the same as a kit built original as everything has been made "by eye", but it looks near enough to the Rapier shape from the pictures and video that I have been able to see and I will have rescued a definite skip case to live another day.


My Corvette restoration did "stop play" for a while as it was deteriorating so quickly I need to do something while I still had some shape left to copy, so I could not leave it unattended any longer as it was literally falling apart before my eyes.


I have managed to stabilise the Corvette to the extent that I can now return to the Rapier restoration (and complete my Remora build) before returning to the Corvette as my next project (as I had originally planned to do).


I have now completed most of the Rapier rebuild and actually used some of the wood cut from the original cabin sides to cut the new roof formers from as the old wood is actually far better quality than any new plywood I have been able to buy recently.


Now I just need to finish the detailing and get some paint sorted, but I have been able to undercoat the hull, deck and cabin sides and made the steering servo mount, motor mount and LiPo tray mount.


The one thing that the plans did provide was the length of the prop tube and the distance form the hull to the prop, so I have ordered a longer stainless inner shaft and a P bracket so I can re-position the prop and rudder to the kit standard position........but I may try it where it is first to see how it runs!







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ChrisF

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2020, 10:37:12 am »

You certainly take some projects on! After these two refurbishments future builds will be a walk in the park.

As for good quality ply I don't go anywhere else but SLEC.

Chris
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2020, 11:18:05 am »

You certainly take some projects on! After these two refurbishments future builds will be a walk in the park.

As for good quality ply I don't go anywhere else but SLEC.

Chris


Thanks Chris,



I have just taken a look at the SLEC site because I would like to buy some decent plywood as the gaboon plywood I have recently bought from J Perkins has a lot of grain on the surfaces that takes a lot of filling to get a smooth surface prior to painting, although the 1/16 ply that I use for skinning hulls still looks OK.


When I built model boats last the ply I bought was just known as "marine ply" and always come with a nice close grain surface that was good to cut and easy to finish but I see on the SLEC site that there is a choice of plywood types.


Do you know the difference between these types of plywood by any chance?


Bob.
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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2020, 03:47:45 pm »

Most model shop ply is Birch faced. Heavy but strong, with a fine grain & easy to paint. Thicker stuff will be gaboon or sapele which is harder to work with, splinters when drilled por cut for a start.
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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2020, 05:01:06 pm »

I use the birch ply for hull skins and superstructure because as Jim says it's got a good surface for painting. I do lightweight cloth and Eze-Kote it though, even though not required for painting, on the hull as it ties the ply and balsa blocks I use at the bow together and gives a uniform surface.

For frames/bulkheads/keels etc. I use laser ply or birch ply. Laser ply uses a water based glue which chars less than resin glue when being laser cut but is fine for hand cutting.

Poplar ply I'm confused about! Some think it is an inferior ply but on the SLEC site it is more expensive than birch ply! And some talk of Poplar ply being Liteply but SLECs isn't .

Chris
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2020, 07:34:13 pm »

Thanks Jim and Chris,


Birch ply it is then.


Stay safe!


Bob.
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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2020, 04:29:50 pm »

A photo summary of progress.
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zooma

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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2020, 11:29:48 am »

Progress continues on my Rapier restoration project and it is now more or less in one lump and almost ready for testing.


The lock-down colour scheme of black and white (that's what I already had in the house) is what it will be wearing and the 150amp water-cooled speed controller and Turnigy 3648-1450 motor have now been tested together, and now that I know they are working they can both be installed as soon as the paint has been rubbed down again and the final coat has been applied.


I have planned the cable and the cooling tube routes and made the openings to give a nice tidy installation. The speed controller has its own fitted shelf to hold it securely in place and the steering servo mount is finally glued down and the servo has been fitted.


Now I know where the cables need to run the position of the receiver has been established so I would like to make another small shelf to hold this in place and (just like the speedo shelf)  I will mount it high enough in the hull to help keep it clear of any small water ingress.


I made a two compartment LiPo tray so I can carry two batteries "side by side" to be mounted on small Velcro patches and held down with a removeable cross brace that is held down with an M5 threaded insert that I fitted into the frame to hold the M5 knurled alloy retaining screw.


The LiPo tray allows me to carry a spare LiPo (handy and gives a good well balanced ballast) or I can run them together on a "Y" lead to the speedo to double the voltage depending on what I see during the first test run.


I already have some 2 cell and 3 cell LiPo cells from my other boats,  and as they are all about the same size as each other any of them will fit into the LiPo tray so I will have a good choice of available power to experiment with until I can find out what will work the best.


A small selection of M5 plastic props between 40 and 55mm should give me one that works without over-heating the motor and speed controller when making the white water that I am hoping to see behind the boat when I get it running well.
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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2020, 12:00:54 pm »

Et Voici!
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Re: Lesro Rapier ? - 60's cabin cruiser
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2020, 01:55:24 pm »

Hi Zooma
I have that motor in my Huntsman on 3S with 40mm 2 blade prop, it goes very nicely.
My mate has the same in his Spearfish on 4S and the thing is a rocket!!!
Canabus
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