Confederation Marine Modellers
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The vessel sold in the form of a model kit with the name "Duna" is based on a real tug currently named "Frederic Mistral" and based in Vienna, Austria. The "Frederic Mistral" was built in the Netherlands by Schippers & Van Dongen in 1914. She was originally named "Columbia" and was operated by the French company SFND, the Societe Francaise de Navigation Danubienne on the RIver Danube. It was used by the Emperor Franz Josef I for him to travel incognito.
In 1940 German agents raided and seized the "Mistral" and a sister vessel "Pascal". They were converted into minesweepers and operated by the Germans until 1944 when they were seized by the Russians who then transferred them to the partisan leader Tito. In 1946 they were returned to the French company who used them again as tugs in Rumania.
At some time, they were taken out of service. In 1998, Captain Franz Scheriau found them in Rumania and lauched a campaign for local witnesses who knew details of the vessel's history. THe condition of the vessels had deteriorated but, considering their age, the boats were in reasonable condition thanks to their having spent their lives in fresh water. Captain Scheriau had the "Frederic Mistral" towed to Austria and restored it, including returning its steam engine to service.
THe vessel is 26.4 m(87 ft.) long, 5.4m(18 ft) beam and 1.8m(6 ft) draft. Maximum speed is 17 knots, bollard pull 37 tons, and her triple expansion steam engine horsepower 250. She was converted to burn oil fuel in 1985. The hull is steel except for the wheelhouse which is wood. A novel feature of the vessel was that the crew carried chickens in a cage suspended from the mast in front of the bridge. THere was also a pen on the deck aft of the towing hook where pigs were kept.
Information taken from some printed pages, source unknown. More information can be found:
The model is mostly scratch-built on a GRP hull. The paddle drives are independent using belt drives, but the two paddles can be clutched together. Several decks are planked with basswood, but the basic structure is all styrene. The deck fittings are a mixture of scratch-built and purchased. The radio controls the sound system, the forward fire monitor, and the towhook release, as well as the paddle drive.
Peter reported on a smoke generator system Bill Morrison engineered and made for his 40” scratch built historic Toronto Harbour tug “Ned Hanlan”. He is pleased to report he recently completed the installation of the system in his model. The system is a water based nebulizer type electronic smoke generator that runs off the 12 volt 7.5 AH lead acid gel cell battery that powers the tug. It has a radio receiver-controlled electric on-off switch and manual adjustable smoke volume control. The system board and water tank sits on a plywood board fitted to the top of the battery with a copper stack that easily fits into the wider diameter model smoke stack. It draws about 5A so the large battery enables full operation of the tug and over an hour of continuous smoke (i.e. water vapour). It was a windy day when the test was done and the pics show good volume of smoke for such conditions. Bill has since completed other such systems for some of his boats and other modellers.
Thanks again Bill for a great job! and your assistance.
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