Building a J-Class 1/16 scale model R/C sailboat!

As I prepare the build log for these models, here are a few notes about them.

John Hanks III, president of the scale model J-Class Association, has sent me some of these notes. Many thanks to his invaluable help as I research this subject and build up the digital designs for these frames.

From John Hanks’ build notes

Please note that these notes are not yet in any sort of logical order.

The keels are deepened by the 2″ allowed in the AMYA J Class rules as they will all be used for R/C sailing. You will also notice that the rudders are larger than scale to improve maneuverability. The Class Rules were designed to help overcome some of the stability loss that occurs when you scale a full size boat down to a model. The loss of stability happens with all boats that are scaled down to a model size with the smaller the model is compared to the full size version the greater the loss in stability.

Larry Ludwig is the supplier for most of the aluminum masts for the Js. his masts are extruded and come in 10′ sections with each 10′ piece weighing just 1 lb. As far as a source of wood goes I get most of my wood for planking, both deck and hull, and framing from the local home improvement store. I then cut it to the dimensions that I want. The 1/4″ keel material is from the local hobby shop and is 12″ x 48″ 5 ply birch that is used in model airplane construction. I get most of my exotic or fancy wood from a local cabinet shop as trash trimmings usually for free. I buy scrap brass by the pound from the local metal yard and then machine it to what I need. The small brass strap and rod that I use is from the local hobby shop. Dean is the only manufacturer that I know of who could supply ready made metal parts in the correct scale for the deck detail on the J models.

I have used all of the following woods for planking, both deck and hull, in the construction of my Js; pine, bass, alder, aspen, mahogany, spruce and poplar. The choice of the wood for each project was driven by the price and availability of what I wanted.

The fiberglass cloth, resin and disposable brushes were purchased at the local auto parts store. I have purchased lead at the local tire store as scrap wheel weights, shot from the sporting goods store and plumbers lead that I found in a local pawn shop. You could also try your local scrap yard.

The builder must understand that even with a hull kit there will be a certain amount of scratch building that will need to be done in order to complete a sailing model.

Track down a cpoy of Model Yachting #156, Summer 2009. It is an issue that features the J Class and there are several pieces that I wrote that address the AMYA J Class models from history to construction. It should answer most of your questions. I am in the process of doing the same for an upcoming issue of model yachting and I will update all of the pieces that that have been published previously.

There were 2 Endeavours. Endeavour raced against Rainbow in 34. She was a faster boat than Rainbow and Rainbow only won because Sopwith had a labor dispute with his crew shortly before he left England for the US and had to sail with an inexperienced crew as the original crew went on strike. The boat was not sailed to its potential so it lost to a slower but better sailed yacht.

Endeavour II was a completely new boat built by Sopwith to challenge for the 37 cup. Once the challenge was received Vanderbilt had Ranger built to defend the Cup. Endeavour II was a slightly larger yacht than Endeavour with changes to her lines. She was faster than Endeavour but could not compete with Ranger who won convincingly in 4 straight races.

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