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Author Topic: Chris Craft Corvette  (Read 4090 times)

zooma

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Chris Craft Corvette
« on: April 30, 2020, 11:40:46 am »

I have a sad and delapitated model of a Chris Craft Corvette that I think could be worth restoring.


The model of 48" long and 13 7/8" wide and I think it was made from an American Sterling Models kit some time in the 1960s'


I have not been able to find out much about this model boat or seen any pictures of any others that I could use as a clue to help with the rebuild.


The boat was mainly made with an all balsa plank on frame construction, and considering that this model had a huge two stroke trimmer engine installed (!) it has survived quite well, but the cab sides were made from a very thin veneer weight of ply and these have delaminated badly and would need replacing - possibly with a much more suitable thickness of 1/8 play that should survive better than these originals.


The unused prop shaft slots for twin drive electric power are still visible so I would like to rebuild this model with twin electric motors, but I need some help.


Does anyone have any pictures of this model boat that I could see please - or even better - does anyone have a set of plans they would consider selling or copying for me?


I would also consider buying a complete used Corvette model as I really like the look of this model, and it would be a more than helpful reference for me to work from as this one will take some time to rebuild.


Thanks for any information that anyone can find for me....and stay safe!


Bob.



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tonyH

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 12:22:39 pm »

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tonyH

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 12:39:08 pm »

Or?
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ChrisF

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 01:29:15 pm »

That's a lovely looking boat.

Zooma  - it would be worth posting on RC Groups.com forum as that is an American site and Chris Craft models are mentioned often and would be interested in your model.

Chris
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 01:30:43 pm »

Thanks Tony,


That is the model - and what a beauty she is!


Sadly my neglected hulk looks nothing like this, but it does show just how nice it could look if it were possible to restore it fully.


Bob.
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tonyH

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2020, 02:16:02 pm »

Just to give the theoretical value of a finished one, here's one on fleabay www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chris-Craft-Corvette-Handmade-Wooden-Classic-Boat-Model-48-RC-Ready/264681265457?hash=item3da03b9931:g:SewAAOSwcIpefnQl
Does it justify the effort?
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2020, 04:30:47 pm »

Thanks Tony,


That advert has given me more pictures of the Corvette than I have ever seen before and they will be more than helpful references when I get my restoration under way.


I see that the builder of this one has coated the inside of the hull with glass fibre resin - if not a necessity, it is certainly a good idea as although the balsa construction does keep its shape very well, I would feel happier with a similar treatment if the boat was to be given some regular use (and it will - if I can get it "sorted').


The model is lovely, but the price is eye-wateringly expensive,  and that price would more than double with postage from the USA as it would attract import duty and the vat would be applied to the 1. cost of the model 2. the cost of the delivery and 3. the cost of the import duty!    A tripple whammy!


And even at that price, the chances of it surviving such a lengthy journey are pretty slim!


If I had the cash and lived in the States I would jump at it - they are such lovely models.


........now if one were to turn up in the UK at a reasonable price I would buy it to save all the work that my "project" boat would take me to restore - and I could never get it to look like that one!
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2020, 04:36:49 pm »

Looking at my "new to me" copy of Model Maker magazine for April 1963. I see that Roland Scott (147 Derby Street, Bolton - not very far away from me!) had two of these new kits for sale at 10 each complete with 62 piece fitting kit!


Sounds like an amazing price these days, but Sea Queen kits from the same source were only 116 shillings and 8 pence!


Wish I could buy a new kit now for that price - or even a full size plan!!!!!
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2020, 09:12:44 pm »

I am told that there is a link to down load a copy of the full size kit plans and building instructions - does anybody have the details so I can access them please?
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tonyH

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2020, 09:31:15 am »

Hi Bob,
Can you post some pics of what you actually are faced with? Then we could possibly help better with a feasible way forward with a rebuild.
Tony
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 01:06:44 am »

Hi Bob,
Can you post some pics of what you actually are faced with? Then we could possibly help better with a feasible way forward with a rebuild.
Tony


Sorry Tony,


I am not able to post pictures on here from my MAC - I have tried many times and failed - but I am taking pictures .


Tonight I took a good look at the superstructure.


The ply sides crumbled in my hands and are delaminating where they are not crumbling - strangely enough the balsa top (and also the balsa hull parts) are OK - but the very thin plywood used has not stood the test of time (very poor qaulity wood).


I quickly glued enough of the sides together to draw around them to preserve the shape.


Both of the long cab sides were supplied in two halves and fortunately when these fell apart the joint shapes were still OK.


At the moment I have removed both sides complete and I am trying to glue the delaminated layers of the cab bulkheads together to preserve the shapes long enough to copy them.


The cab floor just crumbled in my hands so I have nothing to copy, but I measured the size and worked out the shape before the sides came off and drew it on the back of a cereal box so I should be OK with that.


The cab front window frames fell apart so I spent a couple of hours placing the slithers of different ply layers together until I had a shape for the centre panel and then did the same to re-construct one of the side panels and drew around them both.


When I cut new parts from 1/8 ply it will be substantially better specified and much sturdier than the original flimsy kit parts!
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radiojoe

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 10:40:23 am »


Hi Zooma ,  that model on e-bay is actually quite a reasonable price, I've only just started my build of a Fairey Huntsman and I've already spent at least 300 on the grp hull, running gear, plywood etc. and still have to get an ESC, Lipo battery and no doubt other stuff I haven't even thought of yet, add to all that a few hundred hours building, so 7 or 8 hundred pounds starts to look realistic.


Joe
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 11:13:42 am »

Hi Joe,


You are probably right - I have already put it in my basket to see what it would cost to get to to the UK and it is about 1200 - assuming no additional costs are added at customs or vat as this could make a considerable difference to the price.


Meanwhile I am making a start on copying the remains of the delaminated and crumbling plywood parts which are all beyond saving, but (surprisingly) all of the balsa wood parts are looking good, and as the model is mostly plank on frame balsa construction probably 60% of the boat is structurally sound enough to be repaired and to have enough information left to repair and rebuild in these parts of the boat.


There are no fly-screen parts - these rotted and fell off years before I rescued the hulk so a set of plans would save me having to "free-lance" the size and shape from the pictures I can see.


Some years ago I was given a down load link for a set of plans and the original building instructions for the Sterling kit.


I printed the kit building instructions just before a computer failure, but I was unable to print any plans before the problem and I can no longer find the link to down load them again.


If any has a set of plans to sell or even a complete model to sell in the UK (in better nick than this one!), it would help me enormously and a link to the kit plans download would be  more than welcome as it should give me all the information I need.


Stay safe!


Bob.

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DaveM

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 12:25:21 pm »

Bob
I've been asked by an old friend to pass this link on to you. I hope it helps.  http://oldboats.tk/Sterling1.html
DaveM

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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 01:17:35 pm »

Bob
I've been asked by an old friend to pass this link on to you. I hope it helps.  http://oldboats.tk/Sterling1.html
DaveM


Thanks Dave,


That link works a treat - and it was probably the one that I lost the last time.


Now that I have this saved as a PDF it should be easy to get it printed full size so I can work from it - if I can find somebody who prints plans.


Does anyone know who offers a plan printing service, or anyone with a printer that is big enough to print plans this size?


Stay safe!


Bob.



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terry horton

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2020, 01:38:39 pm »

Around 10 years ago I was lucky enough to purchase a Sterling 63 Motor Yacht kit from a lady in Germany via E-bay..... surprisingly no other bidders !!! maybe because it was an unknown entity at that time and the presentation pictures didn't show it in a g0od light..
Quite a few parts were missing but luckily the profiles were still in the box of original off cut sheets so I was able to copy them.  Quite a difficult boat to build ... mainly plank on frame, bass wood and balsa.
The fittings kit left much to be desired  but at least it was all there as this came as a separate item with the original kit... again I copied them in either resin or plastic to get a sharper profile where required.
Although I say it myself , when finished the boat was stunning  and was well admired by fellow club members.
Sadly I sold it on e-bay for a song, much to my regret as it was a rarity and the kit was an exceptional find..... no pics otherwise I'd have posted them.


Regards
Terry H.
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DaveM

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2020, 01:46:56 pm »

I've always used these folk for my printing https://www.johnewright.com/print/
It helps that they're just down the road but I know you can E-Mail a PDF to them, so maybe they could post the hard-copy back to you. Might be worth contacting them or seeing if there's another similar copy-shop nearer to you.
Just had a thought - SLEC offer a plan tracing service - that might include printing  https://www.slecuk.com/

Dave M
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radiojoe

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2020, 04:36:33 pm »





Hi Bob, yeah totally agree about the postage cost, it's not part of the value of the boat which is what I was referring to, and of course components have got so much more expensive I paid 70 for a pair of prop shafts, good job I've a bad memory  %% %%


hope all goes well with the rebuild there's something very satisfying about bringing a model back to life.  :-))


Joe


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tonyH

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2020, 06:06:31 pm »

Bobs little project %%
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radiojoe

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2020, 06:13:48 pm »


gonna need a bigger pot of glue  %%


Joe
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tonyH

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2020, 10:13:05 am »

You ain't seen the half of it!
Bob sent these over to complete the picture ...... :}
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zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2020, 11:38:15 am »

I should have taken a picture of the hull bottom before I chipped the randomly applied layers of filler paste that completely covered it all over.


The paste had been applied over a mixture of several layers of paint, raw wood, various splits and holes and black mould.


I was surprised at how well the rough layer of filler paste has stuck to the various under surfaces and how the black mould had been able to penetrate the filler paste.


The paste must have been on the hull for several years and it had become rock hard and took me over 4 hours with a 1' wide chisel to chip it all away so I could see what was lurking underneath.


My guess is that this boat has had several previous owners.  The first owner and builder of the kit had done a god job and the evidence suggests that it had twin shafts and  electric motor drive.


A later owner must have damaged the centre section of the underside and replaced some of the balsa planking with some slightly too thick hardwood planking that can be clearly seen in the picture.  This was not sanded down but left proud and painted over!


The last owner ripped out the electric motors and shafts (literally) and fitted a 50cc strimmer motor.  This would have probably produced a good turn of speed as although the hull is 48" long it is has a very lightweight construction.


Several areas of damage were partly hidden under the generous application of glass fibre filler paste that was left the same shape as it was trowelled on (ie not sanded to shape after is had dried) so this boat started life well but has definitely had a less sympathetic later life.


The amount of work it needs to rebuild it is daunting, but I will give it a go by starting to repair and replace sections of the keel so I have a straight and solid central place to work from.


The original keel was 1/4" balsa, this would-be reasonably easy to patch and replace, but I may decide to let in some 1/4" plywood instead and restore the under-water keel profile that it would have had when it had twin drive shafts.


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ChrisF

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2020, 11:51:40 am »

Blimey, there's many who wouldn't have tried to save that! Good on you.

Chris
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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2020, 05:43:45 pm »

Wow Bob, you have certainly taken on a project there.  I hope most of the underlying wood is still in reasonable shape then you just (!) need patience, skill and elbow grease to bring her back from the dead.  It can do no harm to replace some of the balsa with something a little more durable and even if you add a little to the weight she should still be a sparkling performer once complete.  I shall watch with interest and wish you good fortune in your rebuild.  :-))


Greg

zooma

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Re: Chris Craft Corvette
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2020, 10:59:03 am »

Thanks Greg.


Being at an "at risk" over 70 year old means that we have not been able to leave the house for some weeks now so getting supplies is a problem, but I found a small piece of hardwood (oak?)  about 1/2" thick, 3 " wide and just over a foot long hiding in the garage.  I have no idea how many years this has been there or where it came from, but it is a handy little off-cut that I probably picked up from a local garden centre that often used to have a small selection of wood off-cuts for sale that may have come from a local furniture maker (?) - this one had 1 written on it in pencil !


I put this small off-cut through my small bench mounted band saw and cut some strips about the same thickness as the section of hardwood planking that had been inserted during a previous owners repair.


As my eyesight is not quite as sharp as it was when I was younger, I am measuring nothing but aligning what I see and cutting and "making to fit" as best as I can and hope I can not only save this tragic hulk, but also end up with something that is not too shabby!


I will use these hardwood strips to repair the central rear part of the hull as the balsa is a bit dodgy in that area and as you suggest adding a little more weight with something a bit more durable would not be a bad idea!


The balsa that I have come across so far has been a bit grey and "brittle" and crumbles easily - possibly a mixture of old age and being previously soaked in the petrol/oil two stroke fuel that the strimmer motor ran on?  I will double-up on the balsa formers as I come across them to add some strength, but most of these have lost their original shape so they will be done by guesswork, what looks right, and what balsa wood or other materials I can find lurking in the dark corners of my shed - basically I am mostly working with scraps and left-overs from previous projects.


The previous hardwood patch ends in a straight line on the edge of a thin balsa "bulkhead" (which is actually more of a low former) and is also crumbling away, so I will double this part to give more give more support and take a look at making this joint a little more "integrated" rather than ending in such a straight edge.


For such a large bulky hull, it is very lightweight so adding some extra weight will not be a problem, and may even save having to add some ballast when it is eventually time for it to get wet!

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