A Fun J Class

I am new to the world of model yachts, my previous experience has been with powered ships and boats.

I have recently finished scratch building a model of a New Zealand coastal steamer and I wanted something new to do, so as I have been taken, when watching model yachts being sailed, on the idea of something that could be operated for some time without the need to recharge batteries. I therefore decided that my next project should be a yacht.

I have started this saga on the tail of my Introduction entry and Claudio has kindly responded to my initial inputs, but I think it would be better to now have a specific thread, as I do not want to clutter up the Introduction section.

On deciding to build a yacht I had a look at the model kits available, but did not find any that appealed to me, in that in general they did not involve a lot of buiding work or research into their history and they were also quite expensive for reasonable sized models. So as I had seen quite a lot of distressed old boats on e bay I thought I would take a chance on something from there.

After a few weeks looking a hull came up of a static model, not far away, so collection was easy so I bid and got it for 99 pence so if it ended up in the dustbin not much would be lost.

At first it looked quite good, but on closer examination it was evident it was coming apart, it was planking on a very substantial set of frames and longitudinal members, in addition all the inside had been very liberally coated with, I think plaster of paris. I had hoped that I would have got away with just glass fibre on the inside but this was not possible and in any case the internal structure requiredas much reduction as possible.

To cut a long story short, after taking off all the planking, cutting down the internal structure and cleaning off all the plaster on the structure and planking and reassembling and lining the inside with glass fibre, I have ended up with a hull that may make a yacht that I can use to amuse myself, I have no wish to do any racing etc and at my age I do not think I would be able to.

I had no idea what the model was when I bought it, but on another site where I covered the refurbishing, some one suggested that it may be a J class. On what little I know and from the one book I had on the subject I thought it was a Marblehead, but on researching the hull shape on the internet it was fairly obvious that it was a J class in style, so that is why I am here with the intention, with your help, to make a Fun J Class.

I have attached some pics of the hull as it is at present, unfortunately I have stuck the deck on and planked it, so I do not want to take it off again, so this will be a limitation on what I can do.

I think that is about enough to start the story and my fingers are hurting.

Hi Claudio

In response to your questions on the Introduction thread.

The present weight of the complete hull less any electrics is 3.2 Kg. As yet it has not been put into water, as I do not have any protection on the planking and as the glue is new, I do not want to run the risk of weakening the glue, I shall have to wait until I have put some paint on the outside.

There is no ballast fitted internally but it is already a bit heavy due to its massive internal structure.

I think I will have to use an external torpedo ballast that is detachable, so that when out of the water it will look a bit better. Also when I look at the problems of producing a suitable DRY mould for a keel it would be a lot easier to fill a metal tube with lead in bits if required.

For the mast I have obtained a piece of tapered fishing rod, the diameter of which is a bit larger that I would have liked, but if the boat works a new mast and rigging can always be made. The rod is not very long so should help in the stability of the model.

I think my next task is to determine the design and manufacture of the deck cabins etc as I want to conceal the control lines as much as possible, I am planning to run these down the centre line of the hull, with the returns through the aluminium tubes fitted under the deck.

I have not been able to find any detailed deck plans, I have various pictures which I could use but any information on these would be appreaciated.



You need to have a look at the vintage model group @ www.usvmyg.org. They have a catalog of model yacht plans that might narrow down the design, or failing that find one that is similar to work with. Without knowing the dimensions, it could be a R Class or a 20 Rater. Quite likely, if the model was built as a static display then the ballast was not needed and faired in with the keel fin (deadwood). Depending on the construction you have, and with a set of plans to work from, you might be able to cut away the false ballast and build the required ballast. I wont say its not for the faint of heart! but you would have to be confident of the internal construction to hold the ballast.

What is the overall length of the boat?
If it is 50" from stem to stern, you have A Marblehead. Some Marbleheads, particularly the Vintage ones can have the resemblance of a J