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I did last night turn my attention to the winches. Tugs generally have 2 main winches - one fore and one aft. There is no off the shelf solution for a working tug winch so sadly they will have to be built from scratch.

I have never built one before but it does add severe complication to the build in the way of physically cutting the materials.

The main construction consists of 3mm, 2mm brass sheet aswell as bearings, pulleys, belts and 8mm thick brass rod.

The brass rod will need to be turned on a suitable laithe - some thing i dont have, The brass sheet needs to be cut into exact circles and other shapes - again I dont have the gear, Thirdly the bearings need to be installed but i have no clear way to secure them...

The pulley and belt will be connected to a geared motor directly under the deck which in turn will be controller with a speed controller, probably on a second remote control handset.

This is the simplest solution I could come up with and should be more than robust enough to class as a working winch.

Most of the boat, certainly all below the waterline has been sanded down, filled where necessary and washed off. This can be painted when I get myself to Halfords and get some filler primer. I need some acrylic matt/flat clearcoat lacquer in a large rattle can if anyone can suggest where i can get one from. The halfords stuff is a shiny finish and would rather have a matt anti-foul.

Annoyingly there has been a slight oversight, mostly because i'm stupid (see my footer) - It seems the shafts are around 3mm to far aft which then makes removing the kort nozzles impossible.

This adds further complication when trying to paint the bloody things, never mind.

Electronics in the way of speed controllers and power boards have been ordered. Still got a lot of working out in regards to weights, sizes of batteries before they can be ordered. They are going to be atleast 9KG each and I need two + even more ballast aft.

I managed to get along to halfords and picked up some etch primer, 2 cans of red primer and some lacquer.

Etch primer is mainly used for metal, although it will work on GRP. Its certainly better than normal primer anyhow. The boat was given a coat which was allowed to dry.

The spraying of the red primer could begin. This shows what one can covers, there were a couple of coats.

The next area was sprayed, so in total, 2 large cans of red primer (each 500ml) have gone onto the hull.

Not exactly the work of Van Gogh... but does the job.

Just like a well written story, the moment the spray can emptied itself, the post man delivered the electronics.

ACTion electronics was run by Dave Milbourn until last year when he sold it to the component shop. Both are a great people who pride themselves on top service. Products could be sent as a kit form where the buyer could solder everything together for that extra feeling of accomplishment or they would normally be supplied as per below... Not shown is another model of speed controller which is for the bow thrusters. ACTion do not make a suitable model to control them in the manner needed.

What we essentially have here are 4 speed controllers (they alter the power to the motors depending on where your throttle control its on the transmitter) and 2 servo morphs. These allow a servo to be controlled and tuned to the users requirement. For example, the amount the servo turns can be controlled, different amounts on left and right and also the speed of the servo. Very useful for my kort nozzles as they need to be tuned to not hit the shaft! 2 of the speed controllers are big ones for the main drive motors, and the other 2 are for the 12v system which will power the 2 winches.

Excellent instructions are included and are available for download also...

I have used ACTion gear in all of my models, however my main gripe with the products is the need to cut out your own protective box. I meant to sue Dave a while ago for the vast array of injuries I have sustained over the years in simply making a hole in some plastic, but never got round to it. I have almost drilled into my testicle once - yes those nasty sort of injuries... Plus the sheer amount of black swarf which is produced gets everywhere.

I generally do these over a long period of time, sometimes weeks as quite frankly, the task is mundane, and feelings of suicide develop very quickly when your hands develop cramp, you are covered in blood from injuries, and your house is covered in black plastic....

I have just came back to this project after a rather long break (raising a family and buying a flight simulator and re-decorating 2 houses etc etc). The tug has been in storage and has unfortunately suffered some damage. I also realised I had made a slight error in respect of the positioning of the korts. My idea was to make the korts removable for whatever reason but they catch on the aft enf of the shafts. There is no way to solve this other than to somehow remove the korts and start again. Its either the korts or the shafts.... I don't fancy doing the latter as this will no doubt impact space inside the tug for batteries etc.

Heres the damage. I don't believe the knock given to the kort was particularly excessive which worries me a little. I think the shaft could have been burried deeper in the resin cast.

I remember at this stage I really had to start making decisions in regard to internal fit out. I did however have a shopping list with links saved and I set about ordering the neccessary bits from component shop, always an excellent service with them. One thing I wanted to do previously but never could frankly be bothered is to remove the baseboard which came with the tug. I will replace this with a bigger version in order to cope with the heavy batteries and aid in the mounting of the motors.

Well the delivery having finally arrived, mostly consisting of small electrical items although now we have the batteries, this will be a great help in order to plan the internals a little better. I did remember weighing this tug down in the bath and the batteries should make a very nice job of this. The tug will have to be transported minus the batteries as its heavy enough as it is...

And the batteries in a little more detail...

I then turned my attention to removing the mistakes and anything else which was going to get in my way. Firstly the board in which the bow thruster motors sit on was removed.

I then started on the korts. I was petrified of going through the main bulk of the hull with the cutter. Luckily I didn't and I will remove the excess GRP with a sander and get it back to a nice flat level ready for the new replacements which have just been ordered from Mobile Marine Models.

Sanding still yet to take place.

I managed to peel most of the kort assembly off with a flat screwdriver and by making small slices using the cutter.

The cutter I used was one of these. It cuts using essentially vibrations and comes with many different sized cutters and shapes. Very very useful and I fail to see how this job could have been done without it.

In regard to the korts themselves, I was only going to order one replacement but then remembered I needed the whole mounting assembly anyway so I ordered a pair. Just aswell really as I found damage on the other kort. They are both currently set aside while the epoxy dries having assembled them.

I decided to start on the baseboard on which the batteries will sit. A rough template was made up out of cardboard and then trasnsfered to some 12mm MDF and cut out.

Im thinking something like this for the layout. Obviously I will have another battery on the left side. Its pretty much as I drew this out over a year ago. Getting the shafts lined up correctly again has been a bit of a pain and infact I might start again in regard placement of the mounts. I think there is a slight twist on the way I have installed the motors.

 

 

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©Dan Walker