Author Topic: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter  (Read 48421 times)

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Tiny69

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VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« on: March 23, 2013, 01:17:20 »
After spending a few days aboard the vessel sailing around the Western Isles of Scotland during my summer break in August I have decided to build a model of this little ship. Now in preservation and based at Crinan in Scotland this little ship now works giving pleasure trips to paying passengers.

Brief History

The vessel is 66' 4" long. 18' beam. 8' 6" draft at the stern and 4' at the bow. She weighs approximately 160 tons displacement dead-weight. The engine was built in 1943 by Crabtrees of Great Yarmouth. It is a compound steam engine developing 120 horse power. The 'VIC 32' was built by Dunston's of Thorne, Yorkshire in November 1943. This was a busy time for the Clyde Ship building yards and the Admiralty needed 50, victualling boats in a hurry. So they were built in groups of 3 by various different yards in England. 'VIC 32' worked out of Corpach at some time during the war, taking ammunition from barges moored at the head of Loch Eil and supplying the Atlantic fleet with victuals at the Saint Christopher's Base at Corpach. Also worked as a day boat in Rosyth Naval Dockyard after the war until she was sent over to White's of Inverkeithing to be scrapped in the 60's. VIC 32 spent many years in Whitby until it was bought by Nick Walker in 1975. The hold was converted to give a 6ft headroom for the cabins and a floor fitted for the saloon and galley area above by raising the height of the cargo hatch by 2ft. Since 1979 the vessel has been taking fare paying passengers on various trips around the Scottish coastline ranging from Glasgow to Inverness.

The model I am planning to build will be 1/24 scale, 33" (850mm) long, 9" (229mm) beam with electric power. The hull will be of traditional plank on frame construction with a modern twist. More on that later. I was able to purchase a General Arrangement drawing of the ship from the Nick Walker whilst on board but these drawings had no frame sections information. After a bit of research I found a set of drawings for VIC 32 with the hull sections available from Traplet, who produce Marine Modelling International magazine. The plans where featured in the August 1993 edition of the magazine and I obtained a copy from my Dad, ARH, after searching through his extensive collection of boating magazines.

For those that are interested I have written about the journey and produced some videos of the trip at the link shown below which gives a good idea of the mini adventure I had on board.

https://sites.google.com/site/tinytravelstheworld/Home/trip-11-vic-32

I mentioned that I purchased a copy of the GA drawing that was on display aboard the puffer and a couple of weeks after arriving back from our holiday a large tube arrived in the post containing a copy of the GA with a note with kind regards from the Puffer Preservation Trust.  The drawing shows a side view with interior details and plan view with the deck equipment, but no hull frame sections.


Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 01:24:31 »
After a bit of research I obtained a set of model plans of a typical VIC design produced by P.N. Thomas in 1990 for Marine Modelling International, which featured in the August 1993 edition. I was able find a copy of the magazine amongst the Admirals extensive collection of model boat magazines stored in his workshop. The plans consist of two sheets, the first detailing the side view and deck plan.  The second sheet shows the hull lines and sections required to construct the hull so I now had enough information to make a start.  I now spent some time studying the drawings and magazine thinking of how I was going to build the hull. Eventually I decided to use the plank on frame technique but wanted to try something different to produce the keel and frame sections.

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 01:32:51 »
Whilst thinking of how to construct the plank on frame hull I began reading an article in the Model Boats Special on materials and techniques about the kit produced by SLEC UK with its CNC cut out frames and keel. This gave me the idea of producing the keel and frames section on a CAD program and having them cut out by a CNC machine also. First I had to find a CAD program that I could use with ease but didn't cost the earth like AutoCAD does. I have been using AutoCAD for may years in my job. Eventually after some research on the internet I found a program called ProgeCAD which was on offer for free that claimed to work and have the same commands as AutoCAD. It was worth a try and after installing it I found it worked just like AutoCAD as claimed.

Stage 1
I had the plans scanned to produce a PDF format file that I could easily copy and paste into the CAD program. The scanned image was then placed on a layer created in ProgeCAD, scaled to the required dimensions of 850mm long and locked. Next a second layer named 'keel' was created, like placing a piece of tracing paper over the top, so that I could trace the hull and frames sections to produce an electronic file a CNC machine can follow.

Stage 2
Once the lines had been traced out I seperated out each section and drew up each frame and the keel including the cut outs and half butt joints. Each frame was numbered and the corresponding reference applied to the keel.  After a bit of playing around and adjustments I was happy with the drawn out shapes and that they would interlock together at 90 degrees when assembled.


Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 01:35:31 »
Stage 3
Now I had to lay out all the pieces to give me the most economical use of material and eventually produced a drawing with all the pieces laid out. Now I had to find someone to cut out the pieces for me. After some more looking on the net and some very expensive quotes I eventually went back to the Model Boats Special to see if SLEC UK had an advert. In the back I found their email address and forwarded on the drawing file in DXF format and asked for a quote for the parts to be cut from 3mm thick plywood.   A few days later I received a reply at a reasonable price and gave them permission to get on with the work. Now I just had to wait a couple of weeks to see if my designs worked.

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 01:43:01 »
The moment of expectation soon arrived in a large parcel containing the various parts. I carefully opened it up to reveal the keel and hull sections all laid out on a piece of thin plywood held in place with elastic bands.  Taking care I removed the elastic bands and separated out the sections from the keel.  I examined each item and was pleased with the accuracy of the cutting.  Next I wanted to see if the sections fitted into the keel so I quickly slotted each on in place giving the basic hull shape in a matter of minutes. All the CAD design had paid off.

2tugboats

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 03:10:31 »
Hello Tiny69. . .thank you very much for sharing your successful adventure of creating
a handsome "VIC32 - Steam Lighter". You explained the steps from start to finish so
others can create their tugboat design. Thank you for the "ProgeCAD" program tip.

The account of your ship's history brought back many memories of the War's North Seas accounts.
I can see the well designed VIC32 plowing through the night time sea packing tons of cargo
to somewhere.

I'm having a bit of a time designing my own design. I have taken a sort of "dive in head
first and swim or fail". Fortunately I have a lot of friends that share ideas. And, you
make it sound so easy. . .well done indeed.

Again, thank you Tiny69 for the gourmet food for though that I was quite hungry for.

Michael in Anacortes, Washington
Yet another case of why men and women go down to the sea in ships. . .A pleasure to be here and smell the salt air. Thank you Tugboat Forum. . .Michael in Anacortes, Washington www.twotugboats.com

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 00:22:55 »
Now I had the keel and frame sections I needed to construct a solid work board to start the build up of the hull. I purchased a piece of 12mm (1/2") thick chipboard measuring 1220mm (4ft) x 605mm (2ft) and cut it down the centre and glued and screwed the two pieces together, giving me a 24mm (1") thick base board to work on.

I marked the centre line of the keel on the base board and constructed two upright supports to position the keel perfectly vertical. The keel was clamped in place at the bow and stern.

Next I placed a straight piece of wood along one side of the keel and pinned it in place to hold the keel straight. Then I glued small blocks of wood along the other side of the keel between the frame locations. Then I removed the first piece of wood and glued more small blocks of wood on the otherside to hold the keel straight along the centreline.

Starting from the stern I now glued the hull frames in place ensuring each one was square to the keel.

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 00:28:00 »
The next phase of construction was to stiffen up the whole structure so I proceeded by cutting blocks of wood and gluing them to the stern and bow frames. Next I started to glue blocks between the frames along the base of the frames slowly working forward towards the bow.

Each block was carefully measured and cut on a circular bench saw and then glued in place and clamped to let the PVA glue set.

Eventually all the blocks required to give a strong basis for planking the hull was completed.

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 00:33:30 »
I could now start to skin the hull frames with 1mm thick lime wood, but first I clamped the hull in an upturned position on the building jig so I could begin from the keel and work towards the deck. The first piece was cut to length to fit between frames 2 and 8 and positioned in place along the keel.

The 100mm wide strip was glued and pinned in place along the flat sections of the keel and left to allow the glue to set. Then I glued the piece around the curves of frames 2 to 8.

This was then repeated on the opposite side of the keel in the same manner.

Thats it for now, but I will be starting to plank the bow section next.

Model Tug Man

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 06:01:17 »
Tiny,

Thoroughly enjoyed your TID build and am looking forward to more on the VIC build now. Looks like you are off to a great start and quite informative as well. Good luck with the project.

 cool cool
VGJQ

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 08:15:47 »
Using my table disc saw I cut the 1mm thick lime sheet into 10mm wide planks and starting at the keel proceeded to glue and pin the planks in place.  Methodically working on each side and tapering some planks at one end to ease positioning and curvature around the bow.  This was a time consuming task because I was only able to attach two or three planks at a time to allow the glue to set before moving on.  Once they had all set I removed the pins and trimmed the excess back to the first bow frame.

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 08:20:27 »
Using the same technique I used for the bow the lower half of the stern section was planked.  Again a time consuming job.

tugs53

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 18:52:53 »
Very nice work there Tiny :)
MIKE

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 23:21:32 »
I have done a little more work on the hull by working on the sides. With its flat sides it was only a matter of measuring and cutting the sheet of lime to length. First I started by attaching the sheet amidships along the flat section and leaving it for the glue to set.  Now I could start to glue the sheet around the curved bow to meet up the the already planked section, one frame at a time before trimming back to the first bow frame.  The hull was then turned around in the jig and repeated on the other side in the same manner working from amidships towards the bow.

Tiny69

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Re: VIC 32 - Steam Lighter
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2013, 04:54:44 »
Here are some videos of the time I spent on board VIC 32 last summer.

From Crinan to Ardmaddy
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiHZ2RE3rqo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiHZ2RE3rqo</a>

From Arduaine to Crinan
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwJwKEZp--4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwJwKEZp--4</a>

From Crinan to Tayvallich
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpvPYSR9-QY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpvPYSR9-QY</a>

From Tayvallich to Jura
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkoJ3J1IweE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkoJ3J1IweE</a>

Bon Voyage
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6ooW_Hp-JI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6ooW_Hp-JI</a>

I hope you enjoy watching them as much as
I did making them.