So this was the first boat I bought with the sole intention of fully restoring it then selling it on, but after spending ages building it and adding lots of finer detail, I decided to keep it. :)
After assessing the boat overall it was generally sound, but needed a fair bit of restoration to make it sea worthy. Many of the joins in the hull were cracked and not waterproof and signs of age were showing in several places. Nothing that a bit of time and tlc wouldn't sort out.
First job was to sand the hull down to see where the joins were cracked. I found a couple nearer the front and along the lower edge plus odd bits here and there round the bow and stern. The best way to cure this is to apply a single layer of fibreglass tissue as this will not only cover over any cracks, but will reinforce the hull all over making sure it will last for many years when done.
This is quite a tricky and time consuming job as narrow bits of tissue have to be placed firstly on all the edges, then large bits cut to fit on the main parts.
Once done the hull is lightly sanded to get of any rough of loose strands of fibreglass, then a thin layer if filler is smeared over the entire hull to smooth out any imperfection in the tissue.
Once the filler is cured its sanded smooth with wet n dry sandpaper, ready to be painted.
So this is the boat I bought, as it arrived to me. Itís a homemade boat which is obvious when you see inside and the way itís constructed. It is quite old, but credit goes to the builder as it has stood the test of time well.
The design is good as the top cabin lifts off in one piece revealing the interior and working of the boat. Originally it was powered by a petrol engine, but for ease of use it will be converted to electric as this is easer for the casual boater to use and maintain.
Oh! And somewhere along the lines I named it the Maiden of the Mist.
So with the main hull sanded smooth several coats of high build primer are added. In a dippy moment here I forgot to take a photo, but basically is tan in colour and very thick, which helps cover any minor imperfects. When cured it can be sanded back quite thoroughly smoothing the surface off without going through to the hull below.
Once that sanded smooth several coats of colour are applied. This being gloss and out of a can means several thinner coats need applying to stop runs appearing, as this paint tends to be too thin. If you were using a proper spray gun you can mix the paint slightly thicker and apply much thicker coats to give a more even finish. Also unlike two pack paint, this takes ages to go really hard, where with the addition of a hardener in the two pack it goes solid overnight. It just means it needs leaving a few days till it can be handled without the risk of marking it.
With the hull half done, it was time to turn my attention to the cabin part. In general this was in good shape, perhaps a little tatty and the front window area had suffered some damage, but it was quite old so didn't consider this to bad. The front cabin roof was intact, but a little worst for wear, while the back one was missing altogether.
I then cut struts to fit inside the back cabin to form the base for the roof and glued them together while they were clamped in place. I also cut a new front window panel, and glued that in place as well.
When the rear cabin roof frame had dried, it was removed, and a thin piece of ply was cut to shape and glued in place. Being curved this needs lots of clamps to make sure it stayed in the curve to match the cabin structure.
With the paint on the hull nice and hard it was time to do the deck. It was only going to be white, but I wanted to add the grip strips you get on proper boats to stop your feet slipping when itís wet, so it needed to be done in layers.
The first job was to mark out the areas to be masked off, and leave those that need painting. This was just a case of carefully drawing onto the deck with a pencil where the areas needed to be, then masking them off with line tape.
Then several light coats of automotive underbody stone chip is added, as this is thicker and also when on leaves a rough finish. This needs leaving to dry for a day or two, then several coats of white primer are added, then several coats of white gloss.
When finished, you get very slight rough areas which simulate the grippy surface. Itís not an important item, but just adds a bit of finer detail.
Now what I class as the boring bits were done which is the restoring bits, I can set about adding the detail and finishing touches. this being a larger scale project, means its easier to add lots of visible detail. While smaller scale model boats have detail, most of the time it's so small unless you are really close the detailing is lost to the casual onlooker. this is why I prefer 1:20th scale as it's a good all round balance.
When finished I wanted this to resemble a family owned cabin cruiser stroke holiday pleasure boat, perhaps something similar to what you see on the Norfolk Broads a few years ago.
Most of the sections are filled with either battery or radio gear and motor, but I kept the front cabin which can be seen from outside clear and filled it with items that would be kept in a proper steering cabin.
Power is supplied via a sealed lead acid battery as this offers the best all round speed and run time. The motor is a very old decaperm, without the gearing, as I this got lost years ago. The speed controller is a old type mechanical one, as I had it and a spare servo to work it knocking around. I saw no point in spending out money on a electronic version, when this works just fine.
These pictures just show the top. I made all of the bits except the two deck chairs and the two swivel chairs. These were actually playmobil items which are the same scale, and once a coat of paint had been applied they fitted in well. Other bits I added just to finish it off were the black grippy strips on the stairs, as these can be seen on proper boats, plus the hand rails and life belts. the later which I printed off some decals of the boats name to go on them.
A few all round pictures of the finished boat and a couple of it in the water.