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Showing posts from December, 2017

Wampum VM Planking - 5 planks installed

I'm up to five planks now. Will probably have 30 or so before I'm done. Sigh... Patience Grasshopper... The Wampum VM wooden RC sailboat is on its way. Aloha!

Wampum VM Planking Continues

The slow planking process on the Wampum VM Vintage Marblehead RC sailboat continues. Planking takes forever. I'm on the third plank for each side. There is quite a bit of twist on the last few frames for these planks. It's been taking a clamp to get enough purchase to twist the planks far enough. In fact today I cracked one. I'm sticking with it as it didn't completely break off, but I'll probably see a crack in the finished hull. It won't be a structural thing, and may actually look kinda cool. Or... it won't. But I'm too lazy to replace it. And this kind of clear cedar isn't cheap either! It's going to take about a month to plank this thing. Yikes. Aloha!

Wampum VM sheer rails installed

Now back to the Wampum VM. I've spent the past couple weeks working on the 3D model and laser cut frames file for the Rip Tide HF, but today I was able to get the outer sheer rail on the Wampum installed. Yesterday I installed the inner rail. It all seemed to fit well, except for frame 6. I had to go back into my 3D model and adjust a portion of frame 6 out by about a 1/16". I've already made the adjustment on the frames file too, for future cuts. The aft portion of the sheer rails are required to have a very hard twist to them. It's taken a load of clamps and even some screw clamps to keep them twisted, but I think it will hold once the epoxy cures. At the bow, you need to bring the sheer rails in a bit from the front to leave room for the planks. More later! Aloha!

Rip Tide Laser Cut Frames!

I've just completed the files to laser-cut the frames and parts for the Rip Tide RC Vintage Marblehead sailboat. There are two options: One with the original 13" draft fin, and one with the extended 16" draft fin. Otherwise the boats are exactly the same.   NOTE: BOTH VERSIONS STILL PLACE THE BOAT IN THE " HIGH FLYER " CATEGORY! The shorter fin is still too deep for the " Traditional " class, and the rudder is spade not skeg which also disqualifies it for " Traditional ". The fin depth is a matter of which you think would work with the rig that you'll add to the boat. Some people suggested that I keep a version with a shorter fin, so I offer it here. Personally I'd go with the deeper 16" fin if only because it looks better! Here's what you get with the 13" draft fin: And here's what you get with the 16" draft fin: Yes, they are exactly the same except for the fin parts. If you look carefully,

Rip Tide 3D Model with Original Fin

It was suggested on RC Groups in the " Vintage Marblehead Resurrections " discussion page, that I ought to not extend the fin deeper than the original. The other day I posted my updated Rip Tide HF (High Flyer) design with a 16" draft. Here is how it looks with the original 13" draft. As a comparison, here is my Rip Tide HF version with the 16" draft fin.  If interested in building a modern version of the 1949 Rip Tide, please let me know. I'm close to completing the file to cut laser-cut frames. After a few months of work and tinkering, you'd end up with a beautiful wooden radio-control sailboat. More later! Peace!

Rip Tide HF 3D Model

Well... looks like the third time is the charm! I've almost completed my 3D model of the Rip Tide HF RC Vintage Marblehead sailboat. The first Rip Tide 3D model that I attempted was over a year and a half ago. It was based on the DWG files I received from a gentleman who started it in AutoCad. Those lines just didn't work well. So a few months later I decided to try to model it myself. However, I was using a bad copy of some lines and it just didn't work well. I stopped and focused on the Sun Wind HF for the next year. Then, out of the blue just last week, another gentleman sent me a TIFF file that appears to be a great copy of the original Rip Tide plans by Ted Houk! I had never seen this image before. Now, finally, I could make a proper 3D model of the 1949 Rid Tide! I have redesigned it to be radio control, and to be in the Vintage Marblehead "High Flyer" division. It has a 16" draft and a spade rudder. Should weigh around 16 lbs. all up.  It'

Newly Found Original Rip Tide TIFF File

I have been sent an update on the Rip Tide . I was just sent a TIFF image of the original Rip Tide plans, and they are much more accurate than the one-off DWG plans that I posted about a year and a half ago. This seems to be the original plans by Ted Houk himself! It includes a small sail plan, as well as his original design specifications. Pretty cool, huh?! From this, I think I could make a pretty faithful 3D model. And then from that 3D model, I can make very accurate laser-cut frames. Should be doable! This will work much better than the DWG files that I posted earlier. It would be called the Rip Tide HF (HF for "High Flyer").  I would of course update the Rip Tide HF to be a Vintage Marblehead "High Flyer" RC sailboat with 16" draft and a spade rudder. But the "canoe" hull should be exactly the same as drawn. And, with the longer fin, I would expect my boat to actually weigh less than the 18.2 lbs that Houk originally planned beca

The Sun Wind HF Laser Cut Frames are Available!

Great news! Laser cut frames are now available for the Sun Wind HF!  They are cut by National Balsa . The price is a very reasonable $175.95 which includes the materials, the laser cutting, and the shipping. It took about a week for the first set to arrive. It includes all the frames, the keel parts, the servo tray (with two different bases for two different types of switches), and all the fin and rudder parts. It also includes a building board and the servo swing arm parts. It even includes the hatch covers if you choose to use them. It does NOT include the boom parts. Nor does it include any of the other wood or parts that you will need to build a Sun Wind HF. This is NOT a kit... it's only the frames and such. Please email Jessica at , and ask for the " Sun Wind HF Sailboat Frames ". They have the file saved and will cut a perfect set for you. Here are two images from the set. They are perfectly cut and engraved.  If anyone out

First attempt at making ballast molds

For the past few weeks, I've been tinkering on making some male-molds for future ballasts. I've 3D printed two male-molds for Sun Wind HF style torpedo bulbs, one slightly smaller than the other to make a lighter weight bulb if desired. And then also I've worked on a shaped ballast mold for the current Wampum VM that I'm building. Today, I finally took a big gulp and filled the molds full of refractory cement. Now I'll let it cure for a few days and then attempt to take off the molds and see how they look. Then I'll let the cement cure for a few weeks, occasionally in a warm oven, to fully cure before I attempt to pour lead in them. Here are two pictures of the molds in boxes that I framed around them. They have also been smeared liberally with Vaseline as a release agent.  I'm going to wait several days before trying to remove it. Gulp... Here are the two molds after being filled with refractory cement. I bought a 25 lb. tub and used it all. I

The Vintage Marblehead Sailboat Construction Manual

My printed version arrived! It looks great, if I do say so myself. It's in full color, with a coil binding so that it will stay open to any page. It comes in two formats: 1. Electronic PDF format for $25. Just send a PayPal payment to my account (, and then send an email to the same address. I'll reply with the PDF copy. You should get it within 24 hours normally. This is a nice option for those of you who have tablets, or who do your builds near a computer. The links work, and you can sometimes zoom in on the images for a better look. 2. Or PRINTED in full color with a coil binding so that it stays open to any page. Looks beautiful! It's available from Lulu Press for $45. I know that sounds expensive, but it's 123 pages of text and pictures on how to build the Sun Wind HF. It's a very niche book that is printed-on-demand, so it costs a lot to print each full-color copy. I've received lots of positive

Wampum VM Frames Installed

First : I've changed the name from Wampum III to Wampum VM (for Vintage Marblehead). It may not be the final name change though, but it will do for now. It's a Vintage Marblehead sailboat, but with a few modern updates to help the builder. However, the boat should sail essentially the same as it did in 1933, when it was originally designed. Second: I've finished clear coating and laminating the frames, and have just installed them on the strongback. In order to do that, I've laminated the entire keel build-up, and have also shaped the keel. In the pictures below, you can clearly see how the keel system works. The main keel is built up of several laminations of 1/16" plywood on top of a 1/8" inner core. You can also see that the front section of the keel only shows the inner core, but the aft part is shaped wood. The lead ballast will be secured to both sides of the inner core section, and will be molded to match the wood. When I cut the fra