Rescue Boat

There were concerns over the reliability of the steam tug - it being based on a home made engine design.

So a rescue boat was constructed to retrieve the tug from the boating lake, in the event of a breakdown.


The Rescue Boat

The rescue boat was built from a kit by Robbe Models, called Paula III. This kit was chosen because it had all the right criteria to make a good rescue boat; it was strong enough, had a working crane, was electrically powered (reliable), was designed to be simple to build and everything except the battery and radio gear were included in the kit.

The original design was intended have a working crane to lower and lift buoys from the water, however I planned to turn the crane into a rescue line for the steam tug.

The construction was very straight forward and the kit was amazingly complete with details such as fog horns and life buoys being included. Some working lights were also added, which the model was well designed to accommodate.

To keep costs down the model was fitted with a 2 channel radio set from an old R/C car ,but this would leave no channels available to operate the crane. Therefore I decided to use the crane to hold a magnet/hook in the right place to latch onto the tug and just have a loose line coiled on the deck which would pull out to full length to start the tow. If all else failed then I could always push the tug home.

The boat was float tested in the bath. It was expected to be unbalanced towards the back because when holding it, it seemed distinctly back heavy. However on the water it sat quite level with only a slight tilt rearwards. In fact the deck sloping towards the back gave the added benefit of draining water from the deck out the open stern section.

The boat demonstrated very good buoyancy, a huge amount of weight could be pushed down on the boat without it sinking. I also checked the pitching and rolling angles to see how it would cope with rough water an all seemed well.

The deck hatch seemed adequately water tight (a push fit part) although silicone sealant was added anyway. The motor pumped out masses of power so hopefully no problem towing another boat.

Maiden Voyage

The first trip out on the lake was a success. The boat floated and ran superbly. It had a good turn of speed at full throttle and was controllable at low speeds. Control in reverse was not so easy but it was adequate and certainly enough to brake the vessel. Some towing and pushing tests were performed using a large log and these were also good.