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Restoring my rc sailboat (Comtesse) from 20 years ago

Discussion in 'Boat Build Projects' started by JoEdit, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Hey boat and sailing enthusiasts!

    As promised in my introduction, I'm going to start a thread about my old lady (a Robbe Comtesse) and her way back into the water.

    I originally build this boat (very badly as I have to admit) when I was about 13 or 14. Sailed her for a few summers and had fun with her!

    I recently got back into the hobby and found Medics video about the sailing boat.

    So I went to search for the boat and found it in the cellar.

    Here is what she looks like right now (I've cleaned her though..):

    [​IMG]

    The good things:

    The sails look good and are intact, the mast and the booms (?) are allright (even though I made a few mistakes 20 years ago :)).

    The servos still work!! I was amazed about it but they seem to be in good shape.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The hull seems good (even though it is now yellow??).

    [​IMG]

    The things that need work:

    I have to put electronics in - will post my ideas a bit later.

    The on-off switch has to be replaced.

    I'd like to have the mast and the sails "removable" for transport, so I have to find a way for the shrouds (?) to be removable.

    I want to paint her and if I find a way I'd love to have a wooden deck!

    I have to fix some mistakes on the inside that I did when I build her - like the steering servo is just "glued" on at one side... and the rudder is kind of loose.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The aim is to do as much as I can without spending any money and using stuff I already have or can get cheap.

    Any thoughts or ideas - please share them!!

    Schiff ahoi!!
     
    #1 JoEdit, Oct 31, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  2. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Here are my thoughts on electronics.

    I have a Spektrum DX6i and an AR400 receiver. They should work great with the two servos.

    I'd like to use my 2s lipos with it - as I have them already.

    Even though the receiver takes up to about 9 volts, I don't think the servos do!? So I have to use a BEC (got a Hobbywing UBEC 8A (?) lying around)? With that I should be good to go? Did I miss anything?

    The on-off switch has to be replaced - will use the one from the BEC.

    [​IMG]

    I think I'm going to build a splash-proof receiver-box - but from what I know I shouldn't put receiver and BEC in the same box because of interference - is that really a problem?

    Maybe the lipo gets its own splash-proof box...

    But: first things first: I have to build a stand for the old lady :) !
     
  3. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    So here she is on the stand ready to be restored:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll start with the interior and the electronics as soon as I got some answers to my questions in the last post - thanks!!
     
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  4. Antho11

    Antho11 Studio Forums Elite
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    I was looking into sailboats a while ago. Looks like it's going to be a interesting build!
     
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  5. rcnut'14

    rcnut'14 certified rc addict
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    yup, i'll be keeping tabs on this for sure!
     
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  6. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Thanks! I'm looking forward to it as well. I started 1:1 sailing when I was 8 or 9. Just love the fact that it's just you, the boat and the wind :) !
    And with 2.4GHz and a lipo in the old lady - everything that did worry me about rc sailing should be eliminated :haveaniceday:
     
  7. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    THX! It's great to share it here - will help me stay motivated :) !
    And I sure will need some help - like with the electronics!!
     
  8. rcnut'14

    rcnut'14 certified rc addict
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    sorry, I can't help u with tat, but i'm sure someone will!
     
  9. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    I have a feeling this here is the best place for it :haveaniceday: !
     
  10. Tombsy

    Tombsy Boat Racing Fanatic
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    Check out this step by step Victoria build. A lot of the things you can use on your boat.
    http://www.okanaganmodelsailboat.org/Index1.html
    Fishing swivel snaps are great for making the rigging removable.
    Myself I would go with a 2s LiFe and not worry about a BEC. Have a look at the Dubro switch mount, You keep the switch inside and a rod with a rubber boot lets you operate it from outside. I can post a picture if you want but I think mine is on the Victoria build too.
     
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  11. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Thanks a lot!!
    I'm using the fishing swivel snaps on my leads. But I don't think they'd be strong enough for the shrouds? Or do I just need bigger ones :) ?
    I want to use as much of the equipment I already own - hence the idea with the 2s and the BEC. I don't seem to be able to find information about the output of the servo-ports of the AR400 but from what I understand it is whatever you have as input - which is the reason why I figured to use the BEC (as I have it already) to prevent overpowering the servos.
    I love the Dubro switch :haveaniceday: !
    The old lady already has a switch on the outside (there's a picture above) - I'll check how big the hole is and what to do with it.
    Thanks again for your great ideas!!
     
  12. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    I got some offline help with the electronics :) !
    Here is what learned: all the + and - poles of the batt/bind port and the 4 channel ports of my reciever (Spektrum AR400) are connected internally. Which is why it's possible to power the reciever off of any port. That means the voltage I put in - will be the same that it puts out to the servos. It's really just the confirmation of what I figured, but I wanted to know for sure.

    So I'll use the BEC I got with the lipos I already have - great :) !

    I also learned, that 2,4GHz receivers have no issues with interference with BECs (used to be a problem with 40Mhz as it seems). Which is great news for me as I will just build one splash-proof box for the electronics!

    So all I got to do is find some time, get my soldering gun ready and post some pictures here (maybe this weekend) :) !!

    CU around!
     
  13. Y2daT

    Y2daT Over Powered RC
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    my bec recommended being 5cm away from the rx.
     
  14. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Thanks! Should be able to manage that :) !
     
  15. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Everything out!

    Here we go with the next few pictures and updates.

    I had to completely dismantle the old lady because of what I did 20 years ago :) !

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Got a nice little box of pieces - most of which I'm going to reuse in the build.

    [​IMG]

    I thought about taking even the balsa structure out - but it's holding up really nicely. Going to build new servo mounts and a very small receiver-box as well as a box for the BEC and the lipo.

    Which gets me neatly to:

    Electronics - see next post :haveaniceday:
     
    #15 JoEdit, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  16. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Electronics

    Here is what I'm going to put in:

    2s lipo
    BEC (Hobbywing UBEC)
    and the two Robbe Futaba servos that still work fine

    [​IMG]

    I only had to solder the EC3 connecter to the BEC, bind my DX6i to the receiver, plug everything in and reverse the channels on my radio!

    [​IMG]

    I was amazed how quickly and easy that worked out :) !

    Next steps:

    Sanding inside and outside.

    Painting inside and outside.

    Building and installing servo mounts and splash-proof electronic boxes.

    I decided to try a wooden deck - scared :secret laugh: !
     
  17. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Interior

    I build the interior today.
    As I wrote above - I thought about splash-proof boxes for the electronics. But I have now decided against. As the servos aren't waterproof anyway I have to be very careful to seal the boat as good as I can.

    [​IMG]

    Got poper servo mounts, places for the lipo, the BEC and the receiver.

    On to dry fitting - something VERY importand according to Medic and his videos :) !

    [​IMG]

    NOTE: The sail-servo is not completely in the right place (cause its very hard to put in place in order for it to be very tight) and as I want to be able to use different sizes of lipos I have to find some foam to hold this one better. I'm thinking about some straps but everything sits there tight!

    I'm not sure if I'm going to paint the inside (just plain white with something I have here), but it'd make it just a little bit nicer :haveaniceday: !
    Had lots of fun building today!!
     
    #17 JoEdit, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  18. Y2daT

    Y2daT Over Powered RC
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    looking good. if u watch Dj Medics water proofing video (in my signature) you will see how he water proofs servos using plastidip marine grease and o rings. also u can use the plastidip to wp the Lipo. if it gets wet all can be lost. and yes water proof the lid but water can find its way in through were the lines and steering. pass through the hull.
     
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  19. JoEdit

    JoEdit Member

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    Thanks! I've seen the videos and thought about it. I don't remeber getting any water in all this years ago, but I might just have been lucky! It's about this: am I more likely to destroy anything while wp my electronics or through water getting into the boat? I'll plastidip the lipo for sure! Rx, BEC and servos? Gotta think about it!!
     
  20. Y2daT

    Y2daT Over Powered RC
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    wp ing the Lipo and bec are simple. the servos are tougher u could leave them as they are. where u sail makes a difference. if waves are present. or not. just thoughts anyway. it ran fine before with out wp ing. so it should again
     
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