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Author Topic: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’  (Read 1280 times)

Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2021, 05:59:27 pm »

Hello Roy.  Good to hear about your Cariad - perhaps if this column encourages a couple of people to finish off their pilot cutter models then it will all be worth the effort!  The scale that you mention for your model should be very handy for putting in the car and for lifting in and out of the water.  It reminded me of a smaller scale pilot cutter model that I saw sailing a few years ago at the Cheddar Steam Club here in Somerset - I have copied in a picture of it.  That particular model had an external keel with a lead bulb, which might be worth considering.  At 1/12 scale the pilot cutter models seem to sail OK within internal ballast.  By the time you get down to 'footy' size yachts the external keel seems to be essential.
I do have a dinghy or 'punt' on the port deck of Eliza Rose and I will post some pictures later on (actually you can just see it in the first two pictures in this column).  It's built up from a plastic vacuum-moulded hull.  I would like to build up a proper planked one in time but haven't got there yet...
Thanks for the alternative way to make chain plates too - sounds well suited to the smaller size of hull.  Good luck with your build, and it would be nice to see a few pics of it on the Forum if you feel like starting a new thread?!  :-) 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2021, 06:19:47 pm »

The busiest area of rigging on Eliza Rose is near the mast-head where there is a ‘throat halyard’ to raise the gaff throat/ saddle and then an arrangement of blocks for the ‘peak halyard’ and bridles to support the rest of the gaff.  Both of these halyards are led down from the blocks to deck level and tied off on belaying pins, so it is possible to lower the gaff in the same way as on the full-size boat, but there isn’t really any reason to do it.
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roycv

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2021, 06:53:34 pm »

Hi Laker I contacted Chris Brown to ask about fitting a keel to my Cariad and he said she will sail with just internal ballast.  I have a Graupner Norderney fishing boat including topsail and I have the very small pivot keel permanently down but ballasted inside only.  She drifts a bit to the side but when there is a good wind she drives on without that slight see saw action of a pendulum keel.  It is just a case of getting used to her ways and sailing her accordingly.
Best regards
Roy
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2021, 09:31:21 pm »

Hello Roy - OK, sounds like your Cariad must be large enough to manage with the internal ballast then.  Good to have the confirmation before you finish the build anyway.  I hope it goes well and enjoy the build!
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2021, 09:39:23 pm »

With the mast and spars now standing in place it was time to start to think about the sails.  This was the part of the whole project that puzzled me the most, having never made any kind of sail before!  The sails made a good indoor project over the winter of 2010.  I started by cutting out paper templates and attaching these to the model with masking tape.  I adjusted them until I was happy that they matched up with the sail plan.  I had decided to make only the minimum number of sails to get the model on the water at this stage, i.e. just the mainsail, foresail and jib. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2021, 03:28:30 pm »

Choosing the right fabric for the sails wasn’t straightforward.  Fine Egyptian cotton was the advice from other club members, so I eventually bought a length of this by mail order from Nylet sails.  This cotton fabric certainly looked the part but it turned out to be unsuitable because it shrinks by at least 10% in both directions when it is washed, and then shrinks further when washed again.  If you don’t intend to wash your sails after making them then this cloth is probably fine, but I wanted to make sure that my sails would be washable.  Eventually I decided to use an old cotton bed sheet, knowing that this had been washed so many times that it could not possibly shrink any further.  I lightly dyed this fabric with a ‘Stone’ coloured fabric dye to take away the bright white appearance before cutting out the sails. 
I borrowed my wife’s sewing machine to hem the edges and to make the lines of stitching up and down each sail.  A few trials were needed to get the stitch size and width of the hems correct.  I sewed the lines of stitches along each sail first and then hemmed around the edges.  My technique is to make a narrow hem by folding the edge of the sail over twice and ironing this down, and then to stitch along the hems to fix them (I’ve attached a PDF of my notes in case anyone finds it useful).  This method seems to be pretty robust and I haven’t had to repair any of the sails since I made them. I have not hand-stitched a cord or rope around the edge of each sail, although this does make a very nice scale finishing touch if you have the time to do it. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2021, 03:49:36 pm »

Where the mainsail attaches to the mast, a set of mast hoops is needed.  The originals are laminated up from several layers of wood and riveted together.  I know some modellers have managed to reproduce these wooden hoops in miniature by winding up laminations of fine hardwood veneer.  I had a go at trying to do this but the only thin veneer that I had available was mahogany, and this wasn’t suitable.  I decided to overcome my dislike of plastic at this point and I finally made up my hoops from strips of 0.5mm plasticard (styrene).  This is very simple to do, using a suitably-sized round wooden former.  Cut some narrow strips of plasticard about 10-12 inches long.  Paint a thin layer of styrene solvent or cement along one side and then wind this around the former so that it builds up a hoop with three to four laminations.  Tape or clamp this to hold it until set and the result should be a pretty sturdy hoop, which shows some nice lamination detail at the edges.  I painted these a suitable matt colour.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2021, 09:11:58 pm »

Finally, I was ready to attach the first three sails to the mast and spars.  Each sail is stitched to its attachment points using white cotton thread. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 03:14:12 pm »

I have not set up radio control for either the foresail or the jib.  My interest is regular ‘social’ sailing rather than racing and for that purpose these models sail very nicely with the foresail and job on fixed settings.  The sheets for each sail run through deck attachment points to the samson posts by the cockpit where they are tied off.  The clew of each sail has a brass wire loop sewn on which can slide freely along the sheet.  These are non-scale fittings and the full-size arrangement is different.  The wire loop allows the foresail and the jib to blow from one side to the other when tacking.  The setting of the sails is adjusted by tightening or loosening the requisite sheet at the samson post, as per the full-size cutter.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #59 on: Yesterday at 03:23:29 pm »

By the Spring of 2011 I could see that I was getting close to being able to sail ‘Eliza Rose’ and I had a list of the remaining jobs to get her ready.  Most of this concerned finishing the radio installation including setting up the ‘pull-pull’ cords for the rudder servo.  The latter job is a balance between having too much play in the lines so that the rudder control is sloppy and having the lines so taught that the servo binds at one extreme or other of its travel.  When adjusted correctly there is around ¼” of play at the tip of the rudder. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #60 on: Yesterday at 03:32:22 pm »

When the radio was set up correctly, I put the model in the back garden on a windy day and operated the sail winch control to pull the mainsail fully in and then fully out ten times or so, to make sure that nothing snagged or caught.  The only remaining job to be able sail the boat was then to make a launching cradle or trolley.  I already had a luggage trolley with two ‘fork-lift’ arms fitted to help launch my Thames Barge.  I removed these two arms and made up a wooden cradle with two webbing straps to support the pilot cutter hull.  I find this trolley a lot more convenient for launching and recovering the model.  It’s not that the weight of the model is too difficult without a trolley (28lbs), it is more that it is difficult to get good handholds on the hull to lift it in and out of the water directly.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #61 on: Yesterday at 03:57:03 pm »

Finally, all was ready and so on 31st July 2011 I took Eliza Rose down to the lake grounds at Portishead.  The photo shows her being pushed off for the first time.  At this point she had no topsail, dinghy, or anchors etc., and only the temporary centre hatch, but it was very encouraging to see her sail away steadily and to find out that she responded to the controls very nicely.  There were no problems with the radio control set up and she sailed for about an hour and a half that day. 
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roycv

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #62 on: Yesterday at 04:51:25 pm »

Hi laker very nice thanks for all the detail.  These days I suppose if you lived in the row of houses overlooking the lake you could say you were out for your constitutional and try and hide the tranny.  My wife and I were moving house 16 / 17 years ago and we did consider living there!
Regards
Roy
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