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Showing posts from October, 2017

Sun Wind HF Deck Hardware Installed

I've decided to change the name of the boat to the Sun Wind HF . "HF" for being in the Vintage Marblehead "High-Flyer" division. It sounds cooler too. All the deck hardware has now been installed, and I'm just waiting for the sails to arrive. I decided to go with all brass for this boat. The hardware is from Model Yacht Fittings . It's a one-man shop out of Florida by a guy named Roger Cousineau. He makes lovely brass parts, and he has an entire kit for just Vintage Marblehead's. He also does parts for the huge J-Class boats and other classes. Check out his website. Here's the jib rack: The mast step and jib fairlead: I went with eye-bolts for the shrouds, but many people would opt for a rack here instead. Yes, for you very observant folks, I forgot the washer on the left eye-bolt, but they were such little shits to install that I'm not taking it back out just to put on a washer! Mainsheet fairlead. Yes, I know it's not

Laser-cutting Sail Numbers and Insignia

Today I used the laser cutter at work to cut sail numbers and insignia for my Sun Wind II wooden Vintage Marblehead sailboat. Turned out well! I used adhesive-backed insignia sailcloth . It even melted the edges a bit so they won't fray. My only concern is that the melting may have put a rough look onto the edges. The settings on the laser cutter were 100% speed and 1% power. I might try using even less power next time. The 1% didn't cut, or even scorch, the waxy paper underneath, but I'll do an experiment to see if .5% would more cleanly melt the edges. It's fun messing around in boats, and also laser cutters! I'll have to see how they look when I pull them all off. If they don't look good then I'll simply cut new ones by hand with a sharp hobby knife. Here is how the number 7 looked when I pulled off the surrounding material. The edges look slightly rough when you're right up at it, but when you're any more than just a few inches away, it

The "New" 1933 Wampum III RC Sailboat

While I'm waiting for my sails for the Sun Wind II, I've been busy resurrecting the 1933 Wampum II. I'm calling it the Wampum III until I can get more creative. It is a wooden "Traditional" division Vintage Marblehead radio control sailboat. It will be constructed from these laser-cut frames and planked in Western Red cedar. Here's how it looks so far: After many different rudder designs, I finally settled on one that is fairly close to the original. If it doesn't work out well, then I can always make a different one. For those of you who have never made a plank-on-frame boat, all that business over the deck is the building board. You build these things upside down on a strongback. Each frame fits into a custom building board that spaces them correctly. Then you plank the frames, and afterward you cover it with fiberglass and epoxy. Makes for a very strong hull. This is roughly how it will look during construction. You build

Wampum III 3D Modeling Started

Well I just can't help myself... I haven't even finished the Sun Wind II and I've already started modeling the Wampum III. To be fair, there's nothing I can do right now on the Sun Wind as I'm waiting for my sail guy to return. Once he does, then I'll be back to it and get it on the water. But for now, it's the Wampum III. I'm calling it the Wampum III for now, but might switch to something more fun... Wampum IIx or something. Here's how the lines are coming along so far... More pics as soon as I finish all the frames. Long way to go yet, but it's coming together. Aloha!

Vintage Marblehead Sun Wind II Hull is Officially Completed!

Well... that's it for the hull! I've been doing some varnish coats on the deck and hatches this week, and after six coats I've finally had enough. The hull is finished! Yay! For those not following along, this is a recreation of the 1949 Vintage Marblehead "Sun Wind" by Gus Lassel. It has been converted to radio control (RC) and modified to fit in the "High Flyer" division. The frames are laser-cut from 1/8" 3-ply plywood, the hull planks are dark Western Red Cedar, and the deck is Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Mahogany. The hatches, and many other parts, are 1/16" Baltic Birch plywood.  Here's how she looks... Next steps: 1. Work with my sail guy, Rod Carr , to configure the rig and sails. 2. Install all the standing and running rigging. 3. Go sailing! We're almost there. Additionally, I've been in contact with a company regarding producing the laser-cut frames for the Sun Wind II.

The Vintage Marblehead Wampum II... My Next Resurrected Boat Design?

I still have a ways to go yet until I finish the resurrection of the High-Flyer "Sun Wind" RC sailboat, but I'm already giving some thought to my next boat. I'm leaning toward the "Wampum II" from 1933. It has very classic full-keel lines, and would be stunningly gorgeous in strip cedar. It would fall under the "Traditional" Marblehead division. Here is what the Wampum II looks like... According to Earl Boebert, an expert historian in these matters, "... There were two Wampums (Wampi?) by [James A.] Potter, Wampum (1932) and Wampum II (1933) ". Earl was kind enough to send me lines for both, and I am really liking the Wampum II. It looks very much like the Mapcap from the same era, but as suggested by Earl, the US Vintage Model Yacht Group has full-size plans for the Madcap, so several people have made it. Therefore he suggested, it might be better if I focused on the Wampum II and helped to make it more accessible to ho

Hatches, pt. 3

Before quitting last night, I put a clear coat of epoxy on the main hatch. Today I sanded it smooth and it's now ready for varnish, but I'll let it cure for another 24 hours before doing that. Here's how it looks now. Keep in mind that it will look better with varnish... so will the deck. Some may look at this first picture and say that the hatch is too slanted up aft. I agree that the picture make it look that way. However, in real life it doesn't. I saw this picture and thought, "That looks odd...", but the real thing looks good.  This is a more realistic image of what the hatch looks like. Rarely will you see the boat from directly on the beam. Next step... varnishing the hatches and deck. I would have set up all the rigging first, but my sail guy is unavailable for two weeks, so I'll just proceed with the varnishing and then drill holes through it when needed. No worries... Aloha!

Hatches, pt. 2

I've been working on the main hatch for the past few days. Today I did the big glue-up for it. The first step was to line the inside of the hatch opening with thin strips of wood that would extend up above the deck. Mine extend 5/8" above the deck, but I just chose that length randomly based on how it looked. The hatch cover is held down by magnets. You can see the inner magnets in the picture above. They have been embedded in the fore and aft strips of wood. I used a 1/2" Forstner bit to make the holes, and then epoxied them in. When epoxying them in, I set the strips on plastic so that the magnet would be completely embedded in epoxy and wouldn't come out. It also smooths the side of the wood. Next, I got to work on the hatch cover. It too will have a piece of wood both fore and aft with matching magnets. See the picture below. Then on the outside of those pieces, I will epoxy a nicer looking piece of cedar. In the picture below, you can see the plasti

Transom Decal

I can't remember if I mentioned where I got the transom decal from, but if I haven't, it's from Callie Graphics in New Mexico. She did a fantastic job, and custom made the decal exactly as I specified. And the grand total was $9.00. $9! That's it! In the image below, you can see the decal, but please note that it actually looks A LOT better than it appears, because right now it's got a couple coats of varnish on it and it's been sanded. When the final coat of varnish goes on, it will look amazing. It's a proper gold fleck decal.  Aloha!

Back from vacation. Hatches, pt. 1

So I took the summer completely off from RC sailboat building, and played on our real boat and did many other things. Had a great time. But it's fall now, and that's Vintage Marblehead building season! When I left off back in June, the hull had been largely completed. The hull was painted, varnished and polished. The deck was installed. Now it's time for the hatches. I've contemplated all summer what to do about these hatches, and came up with several possibilities, but finally settled on magnetic hold downs. The aft hatch will have magnets on all four corners. When the epoxy is cured, I will run strips of 1/16" wood all around the outside of the deck-side magnets. And then I'll contact cement a rim of foam around the outside of the magnets on the hatch side. Should be watertight enough, but I'm sure some water may get in on a really rough day. The main hatch has two larger magnets on their sides. The hatch sides will also have matching m