Model boat Building

Geelong Model 850

No workshop to build?

No problem you don’t need a shed to build this boat. Put all your boat building skills to work building a model! And the best is, you can do it in a spare room and at a fraction of the cost. I’m building mine in the living room.

At 850mm (33″) long the hull fits comfortably on my dining room table, with room to move. Designed to be built from a range of economical, easy to source materials such as plywood and cardboard. You need all the skills you use building a full-size boat, cutting, bonding, fairing, drilling, epoxy work and painting. The beauty is, compared to the larger version, progress is fast. Sanding and fairing the side of a hull is done in hours not weeks, but the satisfaction is still the same.

The joys and rewards are the same, seeing the hull take shape, shaping the daggerboard and rudder, assembling, fairing – turning rough surfaces smooth. I never thought I’d have this much fun with cardboard, hot glue and a 1/4 sheet of 5mm ply.

Hull lower side panels attached

Feel the same satisfaction as building larger boats—transforming flat bendable panels into a rigid 3D form, as they are bonded together to form the hull. Progress is quick. With hot glue, parts only need be held for less than a minute and the bond is strong enough to let go. Boat building on a smaller scale, is inexpensive, fast and fun.

Cut out the parts, glue them together with hot glue, and within a few hours be holding a hull in your hands. It’s magic. It kept making me smile, I never thought I could have so much fun with cardboard

Hull lower side panels attached

Full-size Plot Templates

To cut the hull parts from ply or cardboard, 1:1 full-scale plots are included in the plans to save time measuring and drawing the shape. The templates can be printed with any regular A4 printer, or at the local print shop. They are coded and marked to align perfectly and include a scale rule to continues across all sheets, to check that the calibration is correct and the size is exact. Tape them together with celotape, to form the full size pieces.

Pin or tape the joined sheets onto the wood or cardboard and use a sharp knife or dressmakers wheel, to mark through the paper into the material.

All the parts are clearly labeled. When building with cardboard, use a thin, sharp knife to cut along the dots. It makes a clean cut through the cardboard and only takes minutes to cut a hull panel. Use a hot glue gun to glue everything together. It really is instant satisfaction.

Model boat plans

I’m building a cardboard version

below are some pics of the first days work. 

Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached

3 hours to a hull

this is what I ended up with. Still lots more to do, but it was quick to cut out and glue together. Cardboard is a great material, it’s structural, it’s everywhere, and it’s free!

There are plenty of notes with the drawings and in the build notes, to get you started. Also a material list to get started (not much). With a couple of coats of epoxy and/or just exterior grade acrylic water based paint, she will be ready to go sailing.

Hull lower side panels attached

Plywood version using CNC cutting & 3D Printing

if you have a 3D printer or access to one or a print service, choose the Full Plans + CNC/STL. The plans include STL models to print the rudder, daggerboard and the other fiddly bits.

The plans also include DXF files to CNC cut all the plywood parts (see photo below). If you don’t own or have no access to either of these machines – no problem. These parts can all be made from wood, plastic or nylon. Dimensions for cutting and suggestions on ways to do it are in the plans.

Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached

Steering

If you are using a 3D printer, a model for the rudder is included in the plans. Use a 3mm (1/8″) stainless steel metal thread as a shaft. Bond the 3D printed bearings into the holes in the deck and hull bottom. Fit a short piece of 6mm (1/4″) plastic hose (or a straw) between the bearings to keep the water out!

If you don’t have a 3D printer or access to one, not a problem. Find some thin plastic tube or hose (or even a plastic straw) that runs from hull floor to deck. Bond in place with hot glue. If the diameter is too big for the shaft, fill the ends with hot glue and drill through the glue once hardened with a drill slightly larger than the rudder shaft.

Remote Control your boat!

This boat is made to use, not just put on the mantle piece… Electronics are cheap, order a low priced remote control from somewhere like Hobby King or Amazon and go sailing! The minium is a single servo/channel RC, to steer the boat. The tiller in the plans is designed for remote control steering.

Daggerboard

I build large daggerboards into all my boats. I am passionate about using the wind, to go to wind, and a model is no different.

The plans include an STL model, for a large daggerboard and, dimensioned drawings to make from plywood if you don’t have a printer.

When sailing with remote control, this boat is designed to sail upwind, as well as down wind. So you shouldn’t lose it!

 

Hull lower side panels attached
Hull lower side panels attached

Credit and thanks to Olivier in Tahiti, for kindly allowing me to show some of his work – building in plywood with his 3D printer and CNC machine.

Pontoon - model plywood boat

Tim Weston Boats

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