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Showing posts from February, 2017

Sun Wind II Wooden RC Sailboat Test Hull Complete!

Today I cut my test hull off of its supports and did a lot of clean up on the sander. Sanded the transom flush, as well as the bow. Cleaned up the sheer a bit, and then finally added the rudder. It's done! I attempted to make a male mold for the lead bulb, but it cracked off the lathe before I could get it down to size. Oh well... it was a good attempt and I'll try it again shortly. Overall, I love it! Now onto the real thing... next up, it's time to make the entire hull and do some RC sailing! Aloha!

Test Hull Epoxied

The planking was finished this morning, and by this afternoon I was able to sand it and add some 1.4 oz. fiberglass. This is a mock-up, half-built hull to check for fit and fairness. I purposely didn't fiberglass the entire half hull so that it could serve as a demonstration for my school. Should be fun to look at! Will trim the excess glass this evening, and then tomorrow will cut it off of the base and take it to school. Tomorrow I will attempt to turn some wood that I glued up on a lathe. Hoping to make a male mold for the lead bulb. Not sure how that will go as I'm crappy at turning. Fingers crossed! Peace! Thanks for visiting RC Model Yachts. This site focuses on the art of building radio control wooden sailboats. See the links to my other wood radio controlled sailboat pages for more resources, model yacht groups, rules, suppliers, and more.

The Sun Wind II updated lines

At this point, I feel that I have now pretty much finalized the new Sun Wind II RC Sailboat lines. And I like it! Today I finished the servo tray (see previous post) and cleaned up a number of extraneous lines and such. I think she's done. The original 1949 lines : Profile view of my updated Sun Wind II lines : Note that my transom appears to be flat, not rounded like the original. When built however, this boat will also have a nicely rounded transom when a wood finishing piece is added. Likewise, the bow will match the original bow lines when you add the shaped bow piece. These lines are for the purpose of making laser cut frames. Front view of my updated Sun Wind II : Aft view : Would love to hear what people think! Aloha!

Servo Tray, version #4

Hopefully this is my final rework of the Sun Wind II servo tray. I've repositioned the rudder servo, and sunk it into the board. There are fewer walls and pieces. It's more compact. The battery case will be held in place by Velcro and a small retaining wall. This should be sufficient and will allow for a tiny bit of battery repositioning to better distribute its weight. Almost done planking the test mockup half-hull. Will sand afterwards and then partially cover with fiberglass. Peace!

Rip Tide II RC Sailboat 3D Model

While waiting for epoxy to cure on my Sun Wind II mock-up hull, I've finally been working on making a 3D model of the 1949 Rip Tide. I started with some curves that were drawn in AutoCAD by a gentleman named Roger. For now, I'm simply calling it the Rip Tide II. After a false-start a few months ago, I now have a nice 3D model that is almost ready to create some laser cut frames. Here's an update... First, these are the lines that Roger made based on the original lines. I've seen the original lines that are going around the internet, and they are pretty crude. So Roger did a great job! Then, from Roger's 2D CAD drawing, I have made a 3D model so that I could test the fit of all the parts and frames. I've also made changes to the design to make the Rip Tide a "High Flyer" RC sailboat. So I dropped the draft to 16" and added a spade rudder. Here is what it now looks like... I also built a building base for the frames to help with a

Planking Continues on Sun Wind II Mock-Up Hull

Here are some updates on the planking. I have to say, I LOVE my rubber band system! It's so easy and adjustable to whatever and wherever you need the pressure to go. With the addition of a few clamps as needed, it's all working out well so far. Fingers crossed as I now get closer to the keel and have to start trimming pieces. In the picture below, you can see how adjustable and flexible the rubber band system is. In this picture you can see different rubber bands exerting pressure on the newest plank, and how they are keeping the twist in the plank. Easy! Building a wood radio control (RC) sailboat is challenging, but very rewarding too.  Aloha!

Rubber Band Clamping System for Planking RC Sailboats

I found a great way to clamp planks while making my Star 45's and Vintage Marblehead's. My building boards are 8" wide. I hammer in strong thumbtacks into the side of the building board. You could also use nails or brads. (See pictures below) The idea is that you can loop rubber bands over the hull, or through the hull, or around specific planks as needed to keep pressure where you want it. The rubber bands simply hook onto the tacks. See my pictures below. The pictures below are from a Star 45 that I built a few years back. Used the same technique then too. Good luck on your build! Peace!

Rudder Tube System for RC Sailboats

Installing a straight rudder tube is often a real challenge in an RC sailboat build. My solution was to design a keel system that incorporated a gap to hold the 5/32" brass tube (My rudder post is 1/8" stainless steel, and fits perfectly inside a 5/32" tube). The gap was designed in as a multi-part keel system at the transom. There are two keel pieces with a 5/32" vertical gap between then fore-and-aft, and then two other pieces are laminated to either side. When fully cured, I was able to easily drill out a 5/32" hole. The gap accurately guided the bit, and each of the laminations had 1/64" carved out each inside edge. Worked perfectly! The entire thing, all three laminations, are then tied into both the transom frame and frame 9. It will be much more than adequate for holding the rudder in place both fore-and-aft and laterally. Aloha!

Planking the Sun Wind II

I've begun the planking on my mock-up Sun Wind II. Last night I installed the outer sheer rails and let the epoxy cure. This morning I was able to fair the sheer rails and begin the planking. I'm using 1/8" x 3/8" clear cedar that I milled myself. The edges were beveled slightly on a sander, although I could have just used the table saw. Cedar is very nice to work with, and so far is conforming to the hull shape well. Will update as more planks are added. Only two so far. And I'm only doing one side. The other side will remain open so that people can view the internal structure. This is a mock-up and will be on display. The real RC boat will be built next after all the changes needed are discovered. Aloha!

Stringers and Sheer Rails Installed on Sun Wind II

This morning I installed the stringers (1/8" x 1/8" stock) and the inner sheer rail (1/8" x 1/4" stock). I'm fortunate to have a nice table saw that I can mill my own stock with. There was some fir and cedar left over from a wine rack project, so I was able to go out and mill what I needed. Some things to notice in the picture above: 1. The fin to frame connection. This, again, is my big experiment with this project. The fin is one layer of 1/8" ply, and then 6 layers of 1/16" ply, for a total of 1/2". The layers are then tied into a series of three doubled-up 1/8" frames, for a total of three 1/4" laminated frames. Where they meet, they slot into each other with a total overlap of about 2". You can also see an empty slot for a half-frame that will be added shortly. I added some 1/4" x1/4" or thicker stock to each of the corners to build up the material. On my actual build, and in my CAD drawings, I've adde

Frames and Appendages Laminated

My mock-up of my first run of laser cut frames is proceeding well. Frames 4, 5, and 6 on my design of the Sun Wind II are all doubled. Frame 4 is doubled, and even has a third lamination just at the top of the frame, in order to transfer the load of the mast down to the keel. Overkill? Probably. But for this first boat I'm making sure that I err of the side of strength. Frames 5 & 6 are doubled in order to carry the load of the fin and bulb. This is the experiment that I'm on right now, and we'll see if I can get a fin with lead bulb to be solidly fixed to the hull by going less than 2" up into the hull. I'm pretty sure it will work, but won't know until it's all put together. The rudder is now completely laminated, and the fin is partly finished. When dry, I can then start on setting up the frames on the building frames, which I glued down to my building board ("strongback") last night. After that, the stringers and then shee

Mock-up Glue-up

Starting now on the glue up of my initial run of laser cut frames for my Sun Wind II RC sailboat. A NOTE about glue: At this point, I've now found enough tweaks, changes and improvements that I can do that it truly will be a "mock up" with no chance of ever becoming a working RC sailboat. So in that case, I'm just mostly using Titebond II to glue the bits instead of epoxy. However, I will refer to using epoxy for those who might not realize that this is a mock-up. For my actual build later on, I will use epoxy almost exclusively. I started by making some 3/4" MDF bases for my rudder and fin glue-ups. The MDF is very flat and will provide an easy way to clamp the parts. This way, when I do the real boat, I can reuse the same bases. Just roughly trace around your fin and rudder parts onto the MDF and cut it out. Be sure to mark where the small 1/8" squares are, and then later drill out a much larger hole. I used a 1/2" hole. The idea is that you will

Mock-Up of the Sun Wind II

I was able to get all the parts laser cut today at work. The real tweaking starts now that I have the actual cut parts and can see how they fit. Here is how it looks with just a rough fitting... nothing has been glued yet. So far I've found a number of tweaks and corrections that need to be made for the actual boat. One major change is to adjust for the actual thickness of nominal 1/8" plywood. I'll set it at 7/64" from now on. The fin parts look OK, but I will need to adjust how wide the top of the #2 panels are... they didn't fit! How did I miss that one... Gawd... Oh, and if you didn't notice, I made a building board ("Strongback") to build it on. Now to start laminating some of the doubled up frames, the rudder and the fin. Then on to gluing the skeleton together and check for fairness. Lots to do yet, and this is only the mock-up run! Aloha!

Sun Wind II, Laser Cut Frames - Version 3

Alright, after several preliminary rounds, and a test run on the laser cutter of the first sheet, I've made a number of changes and now have the files ready to do a full-blown all-sheets cut of the frames and parts. So next week I should be able to report that I've made some progress. Here's how they look in version 3: Fingers crossed that they all fit well together! Peace!

Tweaks and updates

ok, so I have worked on two fixes/tweaks since doing my first laser cut sheet last night. 1. First, I completely reworked the servo board. The first change was to lift the entire board about 5/8". This will allow me to increase the height of the fin and keel frames (see point #2). I also reorganized the servos, battery, switch and receiver. Here is the updated servo board, version 2: 2. I'm extending the fin and keel parts up into the hull, and will then build an additional frame to further support the lateral forces of the fin. Shouldn't add too much weight, but should increase lateral support for the fin and the 9 lbs. bulb. Pictures later!

First try at laser cutting!

Tonight I got to try my hand at laser cutting! And, get this, it worked! So cool... I only ran the first of my 8 sheets, so that I could get a sense of how my drawings were working. Glad I did because I found a few tweaks to be made. Tonights run cut the servo tray, a couple frames, and the inner core of the fin. Here's a picture of the servo tray: As a comparison, here's how it looked in Sketchup Pro... I am now completely hooked on 3D modeling and on laser cutting!!! One of the tweaks that I'll correct is that the battery holder area is too small. I made it to hold the battery holder, but it turns out that the batteries stick out more than I thought, so I'll have to bring the port side wall out a bit. Might also have to increase the holder around the larger HS-815BB servo. Might be too short to hold the stress. We'll see... More tomorrow! Peace!

Sun Wind II Progress - Update 6

It's all ready. I've now completed everything I needed to in order to attempt my first try at laser cutting. Hopefully sometime this week I can give it a go. Here is the latest update on the Sun Wind II RC sailboat: I've also been busy modeling other parts. Here is a custom main sail boom that I'll try. Not sure if it's strong enough, but it's made from two lamination's of 1/16" plywood in the core, and two lamination's of 1/32" on each side (four total 1/32" lamination's). I'll epoxy them together and see if it's strong enough. I expect that it will be, but if not then I'll go back to Sketchup and try again. Here is a servo arm I modeled that came with the Hitec HS815BB servo. Finally, here is a custom sail control arm that I'll mount to the servo arm above. It's made from six lamination's of 1/32" plywood for a total thickness of 3/16". This view is from underneath so that you can s

Sun Wind II Laser Cut Frames

Today I remade the Sun Wind laser cut frames. There were some tweaks I made, and therefore had to redo the entire model to ensure that the parts and frames and such all fit well. So, at this point, I should be able to try to actually cut some wood this week. Fingers crossed! Peace!

RC Battery Switch

Last night I 3D modeled the servo battery switch for my upcoming Sun Wind II build. I was quite lazy when I ordered online, and ended up with a switch with a charging port. I don't really need that, but it I ever get a charger that would work with it, then it may come in handy. Regardless, it powers the servos just fine and will work well with my sailboat. It's the Hitec Heavy Duty High Channel Switch Harness (#54407S) . But if you're less lazy than I am, and most people are, then you can probably find a more suitable switch for your use. If I had bothered to look a bit further, I could have found something like this battery pack AND switch for less money. Oh well... Here's my 3D model. Not too bad if I do say so myself! It's already been added to my 3D Sun Wind II sailboat model. Peace!