A Clyde ' Puffer ' Model ( Kitbuilt in 1/32" Scale )

( and other boats of my fleet..... built long ago ! )

The Puffer was a present from a very kind friend, and one time neighbour

The Clyde 'puffer ' photographed in my workshop. The model, one of my fleet of assorted craft, was kit built by a friend, an ex-naval type. He sailed the boat a few times then it spent 10 years or so in a cupboard, as did the radio transmitter.The Puffer was then gifted to me, gratefully received and promptly renovated. The prop shaft had seized up, not due to corrosion but to decomposing grease, and soon responded to a spot of grease of the elbow variety.

As in each of my boats the board speed controller has been replaced with a with a BEC,. I took it to the pond a few days later and enjoyed an hour or so sailing. It is a great favourite at the lake as it looks quaint and sails convincingly, also many of the older folk remember it as the vessel that the old reprobate ' Para Handy ' skippered in a television series of years ago. 

Bow view.

My friend got the degree of weathering just right. and the little craft looks extremely realistic on the water. It is a popular model, has a glass fibre hull and the kit came with a large number of white metal fittings. Many examples of the boat are to be seen on the water and at exhibitions.

Wheelhouse and engine room. Oh, and cargo !

Addition of more portholes than in the prototype has provide ventilation for the electronic speed controller sited in the engine room

The boat is a pleasure to sail, response to the helm is excellent, with very little heel on turns.

On one occasion a small boy at the pondside, possibly not more than 3or 4 years old asked for ' A go '. His mother said ' He's got RC Toys at home ' I disregarded the ' Toy ' bit and let him try. He did it all with ease...............a compliment to the kit designer at Caldercraft !

The excellence was recognised when the kit was awarded a gold medal at the Nuremburg Toy Fair of 1984, a first for any British kit manufacturer and a first for any marine model kit from around the world.

Sea Hornet (much modified )

This boat was built about 50 years ago, it cost somewhere about 3 for a first rate kit of timber parts, drawing and instructions,



The hull is, to my mind, a beautiful thing to behold with the flared bows and curved tumblehome. For years it was a display model untill the radio control bug bit and it was motorised, space made for a 6V gel battery ( Just squeezed in ) and a radio receiver fitted below the rear hatches. The raised 'Hump' was added, with a mental apology to the original designer, to provide space and cooling for the electronic speed contoller.

I favour gel batteries as they give sensible running times, and even this boat in spite of the 14 oz weight ( mass ) of the gel battery readily climbs into planing mode. For this reason the boat has been a great favourite with the younger generation !

The Crash Tender

Another 'Oldie ' is the crash tender again built 50 or more years ago. The boat is still a great favourite with model boat enthusiasts and has been re-issued in a currently available kit.

Money was scarce at that time so the fittings were never purchased...one day we will get round to it perhaps !



Another all-timber kit ( With a few plastic port frames thrown in...amazing in those days of relative austerity! ) The parts assembled into a robust model, again a most pleasing hull shape, particularly the bows the curves of which were difficult to forrm onto relatively thin stringers.

This boat whilst intended for glowplug or similar engine is fitted with a 12v motor and matching gel battery and performs well following assistance from Simon at the Prop Shop. It is robust and like the Sea Hornet has sailed on many waters over the years.

The camouflage paint job was a recent experiment in masking, something that I had never attempted before, the appearance will be incongruous to the enthusiast but I had the practice, gained experience and anyway, it pleases me !


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