Confederation Marine Modellers

Workshop session 3 - 4th November 2017

If you have a motor shaft of 1/8" diameter, and a propeller shaft of 4 mm diameter (a common combination) you can quickly make a tool to help align the two. You need two short lengths of 5/32" and 3/16" outside diameter brass or aluminum tube. With the motor placed in its correct fore-and-aft position, measure the distance from the end of the motor casing to the inner end of the prop shaft, and cut the tubes to this length.

To use the tool, insert one tube into the other, and the pair onto the motor shaft. Place the motor into position and then adjust its position up-and-down and side-to-side so that you can easily slide the 3/16" tube off the other tube and onto the prop shaft. When you can do this the motor is correctly aligned to the shaft.

          According to a report from one of our members at our meeting in November the pond at Spencer’s has been drained and I guess that signals the end of our boating season of 2017. Yes, some of the braver souls will be out sailing until the water hardens but the majority will tuck their boats away for the winter and put their batteries in winter mode.
          So, what now, you might ask. The answer is to get a new boat project going. The displays and demonstrations at our last meeting should prove inspirational to all. We saw the really professional, complex and beautiful catamaran ferry project that Roy has been working on since last January and which he says will be finished this winter. Then we saw boats by Peter F., Austin G, Bill M and me, Paul C. Those demonstrations showed clearly that there are all kinds of boats at all kinds of skill level, time commitment and cost so have a look, think about what you would like to build, turn off the TV and get going!
          If you want an opportunity to learn more about building then attend the CMM workshop being held regularly at Bill Turner’s shop in the east end of Hamilton. Two boats are underway and the information coming out of that seems to be endless. And the bonus is that all attending get an opportunity to win one of the boats being built.

          If you are hesitant about where to begin then just contact any one of the executive and we will direct you to a member who may be able to help you decide what’s best for your aspirations. Whether it’s sail, power, tug, or pleasure yacht we have access to plans if you wish to scratch build or advice on which kits may fit your needs and budget.

It will be a long winter. Enjoy it!

Paul C.

One year ago there were headlines in the press that three WW2 warships had vanished from the sea bed. They were sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942, but what was the Battle of the Java Sea, and why was the disappearance of these ships in the news?
          Allied navies suffered a disastrous defeat at the hand of the Imperial Japanese Navy, on 27 February 1942, and in secondary actions over successive days. The American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM) Strike Force commander— Dutch Rear-Admiral Karel Doorman—was killed. The aftermath of the battle included several smaller actions around Java, including the smaller but also significant Battle of Sunda Strait. These defeats led to Japanese occupation of the entire Netherlands East Indies.

Hints and tips - Aligning motor and prop shaft.

Pictures and text provided by Paul.

Meeting notes - November


The honour of opening the meeting fell to me, Roy, to describe my latest model under construction. This is of a wave-piercing catamaran ferry built by International Catamarans in Tasmania. I attempted to explain the thinking behind selecting a model length of 48", the factors affecting the choice of waterjet and motors, what I learnt from testing the model and gathering some data, and finally the potential use of Arduino to control various features. 


Bill M. followed with some comments about his new balloon-buster. He talked about the thin fibreglass hull, and the need for some reinforcement, mounting the motor and speed control, and the sensitivity of the latter. The next step will be to fit a cannon to the bow - no simple pin for Bill!

Bill also mentioned a conversation about an alternative to balloon busters, because the balloon debris is not bio-degradable. The alternative uses a ping-pong ball mounted on the driver's head, the objective being to dislodge the ball. 


​Peter F described his model, “Miss Sharona”. The original was built 22 years ago but is now on display at the Antique Boat Museum and been out of the water for 20 years. Peter obtained a copy of the plan from the museum and scaled the 25’ 10” original down to a model of 50” length. It has been scratch-built from a mixture of 1/8” oak, 3/16” balsa and 1/16” aircraft ply. The vent and light were made by Bill M. The steering wheel and engine gauges were bought from Dumas. Power is provided by a 12V gell cell battery, driving a Mack motor, 2:1 gearbox and Mack propeller.
In closing, Peter was complimentary about the members and Executive of the club. 


Next up was Paul C with his pleasure craft built from a Sea King kit which had been purchased in 1972 but never completed, and ended up in Carefree Hobbies in Oakville.  Paul described the poor state of the wood in the kit, and how he built it, stripped it, rebuilt it, stripped it again before achieving a final build he was satisfied with. He described making the deck planks from a cedar plank with black bristol board glued on, which was sliced to make planks with "caulking" attached. Paul's final comment was that you don't have to build a kit according to the instructions, there's always techniques to make it better. 

​It is unfortunate that, in trying to look at the wiring of the lights on the underside of the cabin while Paul was holding it up, Frank looks like he's bored out of his mind. 


Austin G had two plastic kits to show the members. The first was a small fishing trawler which has been fitted for R/C control, motorised and given a weathered finish, all in a very short time. This is Austin's first R/C model.

The second is a small diorama of a tank on the battlefield. This has been made for a friend. 


After the coffee break and general chit-chat, the meeting concluded with 10 minutes of business information. On behalf of the GLMBA, Bob F presented Morley with the Jack Kipfer Memorial Award for best scale model at the GLMBA annual meeting.


On November 4th nine of our members met again at Bill Turner's wonderful workshop to continue the building of the fishing boat Scarbh and the Pilot 40.  By now the frames have been cut and trimmed to lock properly into the keel.  Steve spent some time explaining in detail how to be careful with this step so you can save plenty of work down the road trying to straighten things out.
We talked about planking and the methods to be used including adding blocks to the bow and stern thus adding strength while easing the planking job.
The frames will now be attached to the building board and then planking can start.
If you have not been to one of the sessions it's not too late to start.  The Pilot 40 is underway but there is still lots to learn about the hull completion and the building of the superstructure.  We have not begun the Scarbh yet although it should start next time.
Watch your e-mail for the schedule.

November 2017

Our next club meeting will be on Tuesday 12th December; pizza at 7pm, followed by model boats you'll love.

​Our next public display will be TBA.

Nautical Lore - The Battle of the Java Sea

The Word from the Quarterdeck