Four Foot Six Rebuild.

The Four Foot Six class of model yachts was developed in Christchurch New Zealand around the turn of the last century (1900) The rules were very basic, Maximum length 4’6"… that`s it. They were designed to sail on “Victoria Waters” the lake in the middle of Hagley Park, right in the middle of the city. Due to the mainly light winds experienced there they carried a large amount of sail.
My boat is a classic rescue story. She was spotted on a trailer on top of a load of rubbish headed for the tip (landfill, dump, garbage.) A friend asked the owner if he could have it as he knew someone who may be interested in it, (me.)
And so thanks to John Benson-Cooper, I acquired this lovely craft.

It has been with me for a number of years now and thanks to a new friend (John Stanley) I have finally been motivated to finish the rebuild.
Way back about six years ago, I took the hull to a professional boat builder and had it faired, filled, glassed and painted. Being of carvel construction it had dried out and opened up.
My object is to have her back in the water and sailing again under radio control, looking as good or better than original. I am not so concerned to keep all the original fittings but anything new and visible will be in character if at all possible. I would rather build in reliability than compromise just to look cool.
I do not yet have a name for her. The original hatch cove had something on it but that was impossible to decipher. I will write more if there is any interest, in the meantime I shall post a couple of photo`s to illustrate the project.

More please Ian , I like big Rigs , used to crew on 12 and 18 Footers many moons ago…

Cheers ,


Is the penny farthing in the background of the first photo a posed shot or an original?

Tony the penny farthing is a posed photo from the Centenary celebrations of the Christchurch Model Yacht Club which were held back in 1998.
I have attached a couple of links for those who would like to see some more information on these craft.
There is a very good write up of the regatta on the USA vintage group website. see the link …

My 42mm wide drum arrived this morning from RMG Winches in Adelaide Australia.
Thanks to the clever folk at Google I knew that 42mm x Pi would give me around 130mm per turn and with 5.5 turns available from my older 380 winch that makes approximately 715mm of total travel.
I can live with that.
Now the challenge was to design a system that would fit inside the boat and be reliable.
I have loaded a photo which shows the solution. Well it shows at least mark one of a possible solution.
We shall see. So far so good.