Should I Get This Old School RC Tug Boat?

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Hey all. Just an update on the old tug. Definitely mid to late 70's, after doing a bit of research. Not sure what the builder used to seal the hull, but it is some seriously hard to remove material, almost like fossilized amber. I guess the drips will be staying. That said, I set the tug in our bathtub for a few hours last night.. and NO LEAKS! Nice. Secured the steering servo with a bit of hard maple. I was fortunate to come across a box of really nice wood scraps, at a local estate sale recently, so that worked out. Removed some of the old peeling window stickers and replaced them with electrical tape cut outs. Glued on a few of the original railings and plastic captains bridge roofing with E6000. Trying not to fix too many things and preserve the original build. Basically all ready. Just waiting for the regulated power supply to arrive and it should be good for a first run. Won't take it out too far, given the old AM transmitter. I have to smack it once in awhile to get it to turn back on. Probably just an issue with the battery compartment. Just like an old analog television. I'll post more pics soon.
 
I would make sure you have a way to recover it out there unless you like to swim.
True. Half the time it's not the seaweed that gets you, but the fishing line that people leave behind. I'll have another RC boat to push it back and be in an area where there are a usually a bunch of weekend paddle boaters. They love being the hero.
 
You did well. Just the fun you will have restoring it is worth the $. On top of that, you can display it and run it if you want. Good catch. :rolex:
 
I'll keep my eyes fer ya , I'm shopping stuff all the time , see a lot of old boats
 
Here is where I am at today with the restoration.

The Buck step down converter arrived yesterday. Had some time to install it. Here it is installed in the Hull (follow yellow arrow). It runs very hot, so I will be installing a small DC fan to blow over the heat sync, before sending it on its modified maiden voyage. I think I have a small 12-24VDC evac fan somewhere. It runs under load, at least in my test tub. Both the RX and mechanical ESC are plugged in to the converter and the converter is plugged in to a 2S lipo.


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I just noticed, there may be a clue in this picture. Someone inscribed PL3 under the deck. It looks like newer writing in sharpie, doesn't exactly match the rest of the ship. If it is a ship designation, the only info I could find for PL3 is the PL3 Sea Panther Command Boat, similar look to this boat, commissioned by the Hong Kong police force in 1988. My guess is, this build reminded someone of that ship, but the boat itself is much older, since most of the electronics seem to be from the 70's. It could also just be the type of adhesive / sealant used (Loctite PL construction adhesive) In my line of work, it means 'production line 3'. Could be anything!! Haha! What do you think?

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Here is where I installed the old FP-R4F AM receiver.

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And the arrow points to the slight modification I performed on the servo mount. Both servos jitter slightly, but only once in awhile, while under load. I assume this has to do with them sharing a power source, or perhaps the RX requires a higher voltage. Could simply be the AM setup. Either way, very minor and totally worth not having to provide two separate power sources for the motor and RX. My current answer to a BEC, while using a vintage mechanical speed controller. I've learned that these old DUMAS speed controllers are very collectible and not many still exist, especially in working condition. Same thing with the motor, which is why I'd really like to get this thing running with the original electronics and modern battery.

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Next post will be this thing in the water, for better or worse.
 
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Ran a preliminary test with the old tug, in a kiddie pool. It drew attention to a flaw in the system that was easy to remedy. Putting the receiver after the buck inverter caused the RX to freeze up, when the motor was under load and pulling the maximum 2amps. I am now quite confident that the old AM receiver operates within a nominal range of 6-9VDC (likely had a 9v battery plugged into it) so it was an easy fix. Simply power the RX directly off of the 2s Lipo (putting out around 8VDC) and use the buck inverter to power the 6VDC motor only. Ran without issue for 10 minutes, following the swap. I think I am good to go for an open water test, once the rain lets up.
 
Like I said. ,,,WORTH EVERY PENNY ! great restore , rehab job !! "" we have the technology to rebuild and recreate """ !!!
 
Found this older video on youtube, sort of a history lesson on Vintage RC Watercraft. Really interesting.

Vintage Boats Part 1


Vintage Boats Part 2

 
Maiden Voyage in Kingston, NY on 10/01/2023. She is very slow, but everything works. Had my son standing on the opposite peer just in case it got stuck. Lots of seaweed, but not tangles.
Vintage Dumas RC Tugboat.jpg

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We were there to see the Nao Trinidad a replica of the flagship of the Magellan-Elcano expedition leading the first sailing around the world. Probably just a tad farther than I am willing to take my RC Tug.

Nao Trinidad in Kingston, NY 2023.jpg


And below this life sized tug boat, to commemorate the occasion.

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Maiden Voyage in Kingston, NY on 10/01/2023. She is very slow, but everything works. Had my son standing on the opposite peer just in case it got stuck. Lots of seaweed, but not tangles.
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We were there to see the Nao Trinidad a replica of the flagship of the Magellan-Elcano expedition leading the first sailing around the world. Probably just a tad farther than I am willing to take my RC Tug.

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And below this life sized tug boat, to commemorate the occasion.

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Slow and steady. :thumbs-up: Thanks for sharing pics, she looks good in the water.
 
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