Author Topic: ATB x 2  (Read 37986 times)

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sea monkey

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ATB x 2
« on: May 11, 2008, 14:31:25 »
Have you seen one of these?
It’s the ATB Christian Reinauer from New York. It’s one of 3 sister ships that ferry huge fuel barges up and down the US east coast.
As soon as I saw a photo of the Christian on the net I had to build one. It has a unique really muscular look, conventional propeller/rudder arrangement (easy to make) and no winches (I’m always a little disappointed with my winches especially when I see the work of Stefan and others).
I began searching for information and that’s when the fun began. I could only find about a dozen low resolution images of the tugs. Being in New Zealand I couldn’t just turn up and take a few photos. I wrote to the designers, builders and owners. The designer is an avid model railroader so I thought he might help – no reply from anyone– twice. So I drew up some plans based on the photos I already had and began work on the hull.
Just as I finished installing the motors, etc. I had a great idea – I wrote to the ‘captain of the Christian’ care of the owners. He wrote back, intrigued, and was able to send a heap of photos showing various aspects of the boat.
One of his photos showed the boat in dry dock and it highlighted all of the errors I had made on the hull. None of my original images had shown below the waterline so I had based the hull on similar sized tugs. The new photo showed a deeper, hard chine hull and 5 bladed props. Back to the drawing board for a rebuild.
While I was psyching myself up for the rebuild I contacted the company again to find out who the Christian had been named after. And guess what – Christian Reinauer wrote back. He’s a director of the company and in charge of new boat construction. He was very interested in the project and was able to supply full plans. He even talked me into building a second Christian at the same time. Now the project had doubled.
I had a build log in mind this time and began again.  The model is 1/50 at 740mm (L) x 580mm (H) x 230mm (W). I use a 3.6mm ply keel/rib frame method, 1.8mm ply hull and superstructure. Unfortunately I have managed to delete the photos of the first couple of weeks work making up the hull frames but I’ll take some new shots showing the progress and post them after the weekend.
Don’t expect too much though. Although I love museum quality models mine never quite turn out that way. I’d appreciate any feedback on the build especially regarding the electrics.
Steve

tugs53

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 16:14:50 »
Looking forward to seeing your progress Steve!
Looks like you've got a sale for the second one too! Well done!
Persistance does pay off, huh?

Cheers
MIKE

towboatjoe

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 03:46:09 »
Good choice. i'm familiar with the Christian Reinauer. I'm going to build the Dorothy Ann.

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 14:51:07 »
Joe
I wish I'd had that second photo before I started my first hull.

towboatjoe

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 04:26:00 »
I know what you mean. They're not exactly like a regular tug hull, huh!

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 18:27:07 »
Well, got the build back on track, although making 2 a once has its good and bad points. The first time I do anything I can usually figure out a better way to do it on the second boat but doing everything a second time is very repetitive.
So far I've packed out the framing with balsa to give the hull plates something to grip on to. Glued on the plates and given the hull a coat of polyester resin inside and out.
When the hull sides are glued onto the frame it is incredibly strong. The polyester is really just to fill any gaps and add another layer of waterproofing.
This time I had used a cheaper grade of 2mm pine ply for the hull as it was much more flexible – and about 25% of the cost of birch. Unfortunately it gave out a lot of splinters (great fun) and one of the hulls warped as the glue dried. It's only a couple of mm so some resin and foamcore should fix it.

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 18:30:05 »
Gluing on the sides of the hull. You can never have too many clamps.

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 18:45:39 »
I make a pattern for the hull plates out of thin card before cutting it out of ply (first pic).
Both hulls used a lot more glue than I had anticipated. Luckily imported Chinese epoxy glues are about the cheapest of all of the materials and work well.
With all the hull plates secured its then ready for a liberal coat of polyester resin inside and out. I prefer polyester as the curing is more reliable and not affected so much by temperature. The resin was done in the basement over 4 evenings and the fumes caused a few problems. I tried to convince the family that the fumes were harmless but they weren't buying it. So now it's been banished to outside and weekends only – or when they're asleep (he he).

tugs53

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2008, 18:51:13 »
Great progress :)
Personaly, I like the smell of polyester resin :o, but that's just me! ;D
MIKE

TugMaster

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 01:32:00 »
great work there Sea Monkey

TugMaster
Ok, so I like a drop !

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2008, 14:07:39 »
Slow weekend. Straightened the warped hull with extreme use of clamps and plenty of resin and foam core (pic 4, starboard rear). So now it's a battle between physics and chemistry as to whether the warp will overcome the resin reinforcing. With the amount of resin I put on I'm backing chemistry.
Primed both hulls to highlight any areas that need more filling (plenty) and installed the guide tubes for the prop shafts. It's been quite cold so the drying times have stretched out and haven't been able to make too much progress.

bigford

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2008, 14:14:04 »
there are about 4 barges docked around the brooklyn navy yard
for the Christian Reinauer. i've only seen her twice and both times
the digicam was home :(
more boats then money

tugs53

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2008, 19:43:07 »
There are a couple of good pictures of the 'Nicole Leigh', which I think is a sistership, on flickr.com
Takes a while to find them though.

Cheers
MIKE

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2008, 22:05:06 »
Once again I've started making some progress.
The basic hulls are completed and the electrics, running gear, motors and steering have been installed. Everything is easily accessed with plenty of room, and can be easily removed. The electronics are raised up out of harm's way.
This part of the build has taken forever. I lost some enthusiasm and things ground to halt. Doing everything at least twice makes it feel like you're making no progress.
I'm up to speed again and the hulls have turned out OK. Even though they are underwater most of the time that they are out of the house I always think any imperfections in the hull really stand out. Especially to another modeller.
The props are 5 bladed Raboesch 65mm onto 2 x 540 motors. And, yes, some of the photos may have 2 right hand props – they are not attached permanently until the hull has been painted. I'll upgrade the motors when I have a sizable barge or can afford to. The steering is a very simple arrangement but it's worked fine for me on some other models. The rudders are  very large so it be very responsive.

sea monkey

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Re: ATB x 2
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2008, 22:17:17 »
The rear deck is very close to the waterline so the access hatch will screw down to form a watertight seal. If any water gets in the hull is so deep that it will collect quite a bit of water without showing it, and could quickly reach a tipping point. I've tested the seal and no problems so far.
After smoothing off the decks the side rails went up more easily than I had thought. The frames were super glued in using a jig to keep them at 90º. The side sections were then cut out of 0.8mm ply from a couple of cardboard patterns that were fine tuned to give a good fit. They were clamped while gluing and then the whole thing got a light coat of resin. This adds another level of adhesive between the frames and the siding, helps hold the compound curves and waterproofs and strengthens the rails – which can easily get damaged when transporting or carrying the boat. Then any gaps were filled and any rough areas sanded.
Next step is the the capping rails and the rubbing strips. The rubbing strips have 340 angle brackets on each boat and they are only 3mm x 3mm. I'll definitely need the glasses for that.