Vesuvius Hull – Decks -1

As mentioned before, the unusual shape of the hull led me to ballast heavily low in the hull and to keep the upper portions of the decks and superstructure as light as possible, lest the model turn turtle when in the bayou.

There are basically two decks.  A main deck about two thirds the length of the vessel, and a higher forward deck.  The shape of the bulwarks of the hull reflect these two deck levels and have in addition a third level in the extreme forward part of the hull which is also decked and covers the hawse pipes.

For the deck camber, I used formers cut  using the ship’s lines from the plan as a guide.  I first rough cut out the two main deck pieces from 1/32″ plywood, using the actual hull as a pattern.  Then I laid out locations for the deck formers so they would fall between or adjacent to existing deck beams in the hull.

the formers were extended about half an inch or so to each side and then glued to a building board.

This snap shows the building board, after removal of the deck as discussed later, and two of the extra formers.



After gluing the formers to the board, I then glued the deck pieces to the formers and held the deck in place with rubber bands.

Both deck pieces were constructed similarly.

Once dry, the formers are trimmed to the deck width and then trial fitted to the hull, further trimming the remaining center portion of the formers to fit in the hull.

I then trimmed the decks to more precisely fit the hull, and notched the lower deck to fit inside the forward portion of the hull where it overlaps the upper deck by about half an inch.

For deck planking, I used strips of cardstock cut from manila file folders.  One plan I have shows deck planks on the forward deck and on the cabin top to be narrower than those on the main deck, and I duplicated  this feature on the model.

I glued the cardstock down with waterproof glue then lightly sanded and coated with several coats of polyurethane varnish, which provided a pretty decent white-wood finish for the deck..

This is a snap of the two main decks trial fitted to the hull.

Here I have marked out the position of the main cabin, as I will be cutting out the deck so the cabin will fit just inside the cut out.  I plan to have necessary running controls and switches accessible through this opening so it will not be necessary to remove the entire deck when running the model.


Vesuvius Hull – Part 3

Once the ballasting had been worked out approximately, it was time to move ahead with rudder installation and then the deck and superstructure.

The rudder was a bit challenging, as the hull is very narrow at the rudder post making installation of the usual rudder arm impractical.

One solution would have been to install a wheel or gear on the rudder shaft and link it by belt or gear train to the servo.

The approach I decided to use was derived from the old whipstaff/tiller arrangement used prior to the development of ship steering gear and wheels.   I first drilled and tapped a 3/16″ set screw collar and then threaded a 1/8″ rod to fit.

This shows the collar with set screw and the separate location for the threaded rod, with locknut.  The forward end of the rod has a wire loop soldered on, and it accepts an intermediate link made of 12 gauge brass wire.  This link passes through a collar which allows it to pivot as it swings back and forth to move the tiller.

In this view, you can see the plywood support for the pivot.  The wood is glued to a deck beam and the pivot glued to the wood.

This is a shot through the hull to show the pivot collar for the rudder linkage.   With this arrangement it was possible to set the pivot point wherever needed to get the greatest amount of tiller swing within the limits of the hull width, and the servo arm rotation.  I will install a heavy duty standard size servo with the rotating arm or disk beneath the forward end of the link.

Once the running gear was installed, it was time to begin the decks.