This project shows The Bluebird of Chelsea's construction.
The Bluebird was built on plans supplied in the Model Boats magazine back in the 1990's, it was for a model of 25" in length, back in those days the builder could buy a plastic moulding of the hull or build there own wooden one. This size I thought was to small for my model so I decided to enlarge it by 1.5 times to give me a model of 38" in length. The model was built to these plans using the methods described in building the cabins and decking. The model was built from recycled wood except for the hull skins new plywood was used for this job.
The hull keel and frames were made from plywood removed for old doors cleaned up. The cabins were made for ply removed from old kitchen unit shelves and draw bottoms both materials were waterproof. The decking was ply and planked using the teak removed from the kitchen unit draws and cupboad handles cut to size with a band saw and inlayed with lime wood veneer, the wood from the draws were a different color from the cupboard handles giving the decking a nice look, the outer planking was made from recycled mahogany giving the decks 4 colors that blend in a pleasing way.
The cabins were made form recycled ply and covered with mahogany veneer the door frames and panels were solid mahogany glued in place after the veneer had been varnished ( all the mahogany was pre-varnished the reason will be given later ). All the deck seats storage compartments and dining table were made from mahogany. All the deck fitting, portholes, flag poles etc were hand made except for the stanchions these were purchased from Jokita. The portholes and spot lamps were turned from 20mm brass bar polished and sprayed with clear enamel paint, although the real Bluebird has chrome fittings I feel that brass complements the mahogany in a model. As mentioned earlier all the mahogany parts were made as sub assemblies varnished and fitted , the reason being I wanted to bring the colour of the wood out and not to have a fill in effect that would happen if all the parts were assembled and then varnished. All the decks, wheel house and rear cabin had 3 coats of Ronseal clear satin quick drying varnish applied, this kept the deck teak lighter as Ronseal does'nt stain the wood and gave the whole boat a tough finish.
Back to the hull this was painted with plasticote spray paint, below the waterline was painted with brush on red oxide (mat) and then over coated with with the ronseal varnish giving it a tough satin finish.
The photos below show the hull being constructed as can be seen it was a double skinned hull the first skin was 0.8 mm ply the second 1.5 mm sanded and the coated with sanding sealer before under coating. The hull before sanding was left on the side for a few weeks to allow the glue to dry out. In the meanwhile the cabin, wheelhouse and decks were worked on also all the brass parts were made infact all the parts were made and varnished ready for assembly.
Below are some photos of the Bluebird's first trials in October 2009. It is powerd by two 555 motors from Model Motors Direct and has two of my own designed ESC's and a rudder mixer this gives the model good handling it can turn without any forward motion, this gets us out of any trouble with ease.