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Author Topic: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug  (Read 10176 times)

Edward Pinniger

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Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« on: December 04, 2007, 04:09:08 PM »

I'm sure some people here must be familiar with the "Dickie" RTR tugboat (now sold as the "Seaport Work Boat"). I bought one of these a couple of weeks ago, intending to eventually rebuild it (with a scratchbuilt superstructure) as an earlier type diesel tug.

Anyway, I've tried out the boat a few times on local ponds + a neighbour's swimming pool, and whilst it runs quite well and is very "seaworthy" (absolutely no water got on the deck when running) there appears to be a serious problem with the steering, in that the rudder/Kort nozzle only moves half as far to the left as it does to the right. This means that when steering in this direction the boat has a huge turning circle and will usually run into the side of the pond before it has turned even 90 degrees, let alone 180'.

I took the boat apart to look at the servo and rudder mechanism, and I can't see any problem with it - the mechanism, and the rudder/nozzle, can be pushed by hand all the way in either direction, it is only when operating the servo that it doesn't move fully to the left. There is a "trim adjuster" for the rudder, operated with a screwdriver, but adjusting this does not have much effect on the steering of the boat.

I took the boat back to the shop today (Howes, near Oxford), and, although they offered to replace it, I first tried out two other examples of the same boat that they had in stock - both of them had EXACTLY the same problem. Hence it appears that it's either a design fault of this particular model of RTR boat, or a problem with all the boats in the batch that Howes received. So I thanked them for their help and took my own boat back with me - there wasn't much point swapping it for another with the same problem.

Could anyone help me with this - have any other owners of this boat had the same problem, and if so, how did you fix it?
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DickyD

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 04:18:00 PM »

There is a build on the forum at the moment that might help.  O0

http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6588.msg64857#msg64857
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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 04:24:15 PM »

Thanks for the link. I also ought to add: I'm not keen on replacing the servo or radio gear, as I don't have much interest, and even less knowledge, of the technical side of R/C model boating - it's the static modelling and operation side I am interested in. I am also on a very limited budget (which are the main reasons I bought a cheap RTR boat in the first place)
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DickyD

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2007, 04:43:11 PM »

Check this out. Martin did a section on adjusting the rudder whilst retaining the servo.

http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/My_models/31%20Dickie.htm
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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 05:30:03 PM »

Again thanks - I'll dismantle the boat again tomorrow and try adjusting the rudder as suggested, if it works I'll let you know!
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cbr900

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 11:42:35 AM »

Hi Mate,

Also check the stop blocks that stop the korts nozzle from turning to far, this was the problem with my boat, filed it away till movement was the same both directions. ::) ::)


Roy
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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 04:16:40 PM »

I had another look at the boat this afternoon and have possibly made some progress, hard to be certain though! Unfortunately the advice in the article linked to wasn't much help in the end, the lever in the "half moon" referred to is adjustable without dismantling the boat (via removing a small cover on the deck) and I'd already tried this - it seems to have little or no effect on the steering. Thanks anyway!
I removed the cover from the rudder mechanism, and found that removing the orange trim lever allows the rudder arm to move much further to the left, although it still seems to not move quite as far as it does to the right. However, whilst this (almost) fixes the original problem, it introduces a new one - the rudder/nozzle will no longer centre properly when the steering control is released.
I haven't tried running the boat with this modification yet (too dark outside now), but it seems to me that this will result in a model which, although it can steer in both directions, is near-incapable of running in a straight line! However, I'll try it tomorrow (weather permitting) and see what happens.

Hi Mate,

Also check the stop blocks that stop the korts nozzle from turning to far, this was the problem with my boat, filed it away till movement was the same both directions. ::) ::)


Roy

Thanks again, I may try this if the boat proves to be unsteerable with the trim lever removed (see above).
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Mr Andy

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 07:23:51 PM »

E Pinniger If you'r having to take the boat apart wht not bite the bullet and convert to proper RC gear, like you I bought one just to have something to sail whilst som'it else was being built, far more fun, and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to do it.

Andrew.
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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2007, 01:33:56 PM »

I managed to fix the rudder problem - more or less: see my post here http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6588.80. All I did was to remove the plastic trim-adjustment peg from the servo mechanism.

Regarding replacing the radio gear, as I've probably mentioned before, I have little interest and even less knowledge of this area of things. I'm more interested in the modelling and painting side of the hobby than the technical side; I mostly build static models but am interested in building something which can actually float  :)

I have sealed up the ballast tank, installed a couple of lead weights, and removed the LED running lights for later re-attachment, but this is about as far as my technical expertise goes.

I've already started work on scratchbuilding the new superstructure for the boat - I'll post some work-in-progress photos on the forum when I've started work on the rebuild. The boat will be a "freelance" design, i.e not based on an exact prototype, but otherwise will be a detailed scale model, not stand-off or semi-scale. The design I have in mind is somewhat similar to the Dean's Marine 1/48 steam tug "SS Furie" (which I have a set of plans for) which is a similar hull size and also has a similar superstructure/deckhouse shape (for the sake of simplicity, I've kept the lower superstructure part, which covers the circuit board and the battery access hatch), but it will probably be a diesel rather than steam vessel.
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meridian

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 09:52:56 PM »

This is my reworking of the "Dickie" Tug. My approach was slightly different to the one that you are proposing in that I retained the wheelhouse and scratch built the accommodation structure. I also replaced the radio gear and rudder servo.
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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2007, 09:49:00 AM »

That looks very nice, a huge improvement on the rather "plasticky" appearance of the boat out-of-the-box.

I may end up building mine as a steam tug after all, as it turns out that Kort nozzles actually date back to the 1930s hence presumably some steam-powered vessels had them. Either way I'll probably have to buy some new winches as the ones supplied are more like 1/32 scale, the boat I'm building is about 1/48.

I'll post some photos of my work later today or tomorrow (hopefully)
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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Steering/rudder problem with "Dickie" RTR Seaport Workboat/Tug
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 06:47:38 PM »

I've now started a work-in-progress thread on the Our Builds\Tugs forum (link)

Here's a photo:
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