Balmain Bugs

<font color=“maroon”><font size=“3”>mudhenk27</font id=“size3”></font id=“maroon”> If you want information on Balmain Bugs then you should visit; This is the site run by Stephen Crewes who has written two books on the model yachts of <font color=“green”><font size=“2”>Sydney</font id=“size2”></font id=“green”> and <font color=“orange”><font size=“2”>Australia.</font id=“size2”></font id=“orange”>
In his second book there is a plan for a 12"er.
I have drawn this up to full size and I will ask Stephen if it is OK to forward you a copy.
They are indeed a facinating concept.

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

[:-pirate]<font color=“red”><font size=“2”>Sorry mate</font id=“size2”></font id=“red”> I am not able to send you the plan. If you would like to contact <font size=“2”>Stephen </font id=“size2”><font size=“2”>Crewes </font id=“size2”>direct he would be happy to sell you a copy of his book or you can obtain one from <font size=“2”>Earl Boebert</font id=“size2”> who you can contact via this forum or the US Vintage Group website. Stephen is about to publish another book devoted to Balmain Bugs but I don`t know yet if it contains any plans. Best of luck! [:-paperbag]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

G’day all, just found this site. G’day Ian. , Yes I wrote the Books Sydney’s Model Racing Skiffs and Model Racing skiffs of Australia. and I write with a mate The plans for Balmain bugs can be got from my second book. This particular plan is famous in its own right. For those who are planning on doing something on Balmain Bugs, should consider some very important aspects of it to bring success. The hull has to be very light, bulbous and the keel has to slide or all your work is going to fail. If you think this will not apply to your model , it will. If you have any questions please ask away. stephen

And YES shipmates there is another book on the way. The working title is ‘Building the Balmain Bug’. And yes it will have lots of new/ old pictures in it and history that hasn’t been told before. and it will have how to do one of these cute little craft and the pictures to go.

I mentioned some time back that I thought it was a good idea to build a 6" hull of Balmain Bug for PRACTICE. Now I’m getting Emails from people who are sailing them. The bloke from Chile’s one was a beauty. And it had a colour patch too. The idea of a hull for practice was good but you should really put your efforts into a 10" or possibly a 12". Bigger the better.
The plan in the book can be enlarged to your required size. The basic boats are all very similar in looks with the overall length the governing factor. iraspective of size it must be light in hull and the keel MUST slide. Light in Hull means you carve it out till you can vaguely see light through it. I would rather you buy my book , than perhaps pinch the plan.Any Questions? Stephen

Again the new book will contain another more modern plan by Bill Bollard , complete. Stephen

so steve
is this going to be able to compete with footy?. i am just loking to see what class it would fall into. it sounds like you have a good idea of what is going on with your plans. maybe you should contact brett. get a reggata going. keep the infomation coming
long live the cup and cris dickson

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by Steve Crewes

The idea of a hull for practice was good but you should really put your efforts into a 10" or possibly a 12". <font color=“red”>Bigger the better</font id=“red”>.
<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

<center>Line drawings are almost completed for my 3 Meter !


Hello Cougar, well I must tell you mate that I’m new to this forum stuff. I don’t know if it will get as big as anything. But what I know is that this little boat has started a lot of people all round the World in a quest to build. Sure this little craft will look good on your mantel shelf and it will always be a talking point but to actually get it to sail and to get it to sail properly is something really , really special. I have sailed a little 10incher and the experience was fantastic. That it (the boat) was so responsive. To the people who actually get to this position of sailing one, your in for a treat. Well worth the effort. For you can put the keel anywhere you like but the boat will only sail to that keel configuration . For example if you put the keel forward the boat won’t sail down wind, then slide the keel all the way back and it will only run etc.

I have heard of people talk about R/C with these models but let me assure you shipmate, doing it as was planned is most of the fun. The swish of this particular boat going to windward with the bow sprit(bumpkin) arcing through the water is something else again. I was hooked the moment I first saw this happen. I literally thought to myself that this little boat won’t sail, how can it? Boy did I learn a valuable lesson in boating. Stephen

Cougar, after having a look at Footy , it is not my cup of tea / coffee. To those who like it, well,isn’t it all about having fun and wetting a boat? These are some of the good things in life and not to be missed. Stephen

Hi , For the people who bought my second book Model Racing skiffs of Australia there was a chapter about the “Derwent River 50 from Tasmania”. I heard to day that there is a new class of them being built and are going to be R/C. This is really good news. Stephen


I don’t know about you but i would much rather eat “Balmain Bugs” than build them.


Most wouldn’t have a clue what I’m talking about,but that’s fine

G’day Peter, Well mate if you said to put the Balmain Bug on the Barby, some might grasp what your referring too. For a Balmain Bug is indeed an edible seafood in OZ. And what we modellers refer to is actually called Model Racing Skiffs.
Peter are you an “Old Bugger”? Steve

I SAW SOMEONE advertizing a 12" balmain Bug to be used with radio control. I hope the do some experimentation before they do it in deep blue sea? And I hope they have someway of moving the keel, forward or back by R/C means or their whole project is DOOMED. One doesn’t have to be Einstein to work out that these cute little boats do not sail in the usual way of most other boats. For it is all quite different, in that the rudder plays no part in steering the boat on its course. Course is 'made good on the balance , in combination with Centre of Balance(CB) and Centre of Effort (CE). I know you , like me have been brought up in our younger days of the balance stays in one place and the CE pulls/pushes the boat along and the rudder steers it.

Here is a different method that will achieve the same result without a rudder. Yes, in actual fact if you controlled the sliding of the keel with, say a threaded rod attached to / or run through the top of the keel, you could wind the keel back along the keelson quite easily. One could quite easily set up some commerial gears to run off a small Mabuchi motor, in sort of a gear train mechanism. These things are not difficult , just something different to the NORM.

Those bugs sure look a picture carving to weather with a full stack of sail.
Awesome wee boats

G’day Brett, did you know it is possible to buy a F/G hull of a 12 "er from BLOWFLY yachts + sails in Sydney? at . This certainly cuts the weight down and you can be on the water in no time. I haven’t seen the hulls yet but Scott Berry the builder and I had a discussion about them recently. Sorry I don’t know any prices.

Ian, I just stumbled on this topic…sorry it took me so long to find it!

I had already been on the sites you mentioned. Even tried to get a copy of Steve’s book, but no luck. Thanks for trying to get me the plan.

Steve, glad you’re here. How can I get a copy of your book with the plan, here in the USA? I tried your US contact, leeft a message, but didn’t get a return call. I’d also like to get on the list for your new book on building bugs.

Thanks, guys…Bill Hagerup

Sorry, Stephen, I should have read more carefully before posting my last message.

I see that Earl Boebert is now the US guy for your book. I’ll get in touch with him. He’s been very helpful in the VM class.

The contact I tried to make before was someone else whose name I got from your site some time ago.


G’day Bill, I emailed Earl Boebert a couple of days ago and he said he thought he had a couple of copies. Not to make any excuses, these books are both ‘limited editions’ and being that the supply won’t last forever. Which ever way it goes , there will be one for you, okay.

It is true I am working on another book on “Building the Balmain Bugs” and basically the story is done but the photos must be really good. I still think though , if a person had a good magnifying glass they could get all the info off the existing book’s photos. Another thing Bill , is the thing about getting the wood out of the hull or reducing weight of the hull, for here is where most problems start.People don’t get enough wood out. When they first started to carve out these hulls (in Cedar) they did it with the aid of an electric light , holding up the hull to see if they could see any semberlence of light through the hull. When they did it this way was about right.

I forgot to mention Shipmate that a 12 “er should have about 3/4” freeboard, with everything on it when it goes into the water. It was not unknown for some boats however to sail with no freeboard but Hey, I’m a purist, freeboard please and a colour patch if you don’t mind.

A couple of postages ago I mentioned a company in Australia that made F/G hull for Balmain Bugs but no prices. Well the bare BUG hull would be AUD $ 180.00 (no deck or transom) which is fine for a traditional one, for you’ll want to do your own deck and transom in any case.

From “Blowfly”. contact Scot Berry.