Green Sea Shipbuilding Establishment

Saturday, October 29, 2005


The R.C.S. Zuiderdam sailed this morning, overcoming all the problems that plagued her maiden voyage last weekend. No water in the boat, tight motor-prop coupling.

Early this morning, after I dropped my wife off at school where she teaches, I took the Zuiderdam to McCormick Lake, where I intended to sail.

Unfourtunately, it was too windy in much of Scottsdale. So, I drove to Indian School Lake where the wind is usually more tame due to the geography of the lake.

Sure enough, it was within tolerance for the Zuiderdam.

I am happy to say that I have resolved the ballast issue as well. One brick is placed on either side of the hull fore and aft of the ship's center of gravity. I had to push one brick further back because of the CD player (which played Warren Zevon).

I got lots of nice pictures and I hope you enjoy them below!

Barrett Hochhaus


Friday, October 28, 2005

Zuiderdam Night pic

The Zuiderdam at night.

Zuiderdam repaired and ready to sail again

The Zuiderdam has had a leisurely week of licking her wounds and preparing her for a long-term life. Epoxy was added to seal the cracks in her stern and the rudder shaft sleeve was filled with Vasoline to prevent water from coming up into the hull (as with a prop shaft). The rudder shaft sleeve was also removed and reinstalled as far up as I could get it to go, so that its top would be above the waterline. 2 layers of protection against water coming in through the rudder.

Reguarding ballast, the rule for the future will be 2 bricks on their sides, one on each side of the hull. One fore, one aft.

The Zuiderdam should take to the water again Saturday weather permitting. For now, please enjoy this image of the Zuiderdam at night. You can see how her superstructure lights up so well.

Barrett Hochhaus

Monday, October 24, 2005


The R.C.S. Zuiderdam made her maiden voyage on the morning of Saturday, October 22nd at Dobson Lake in Mesa.

The weather was beautiful, and the wind very mild. With reguard to the weather, it was the perfect day for a maiden voyage. This maiden voyage, however, was quite eventful. Not necessarily in a good way.

I arrived at the lake at about 9am. The sailboaters of MMYA were setting up. I got frequency clearance, made note of where the sailboats would be sailing, and began setting up. I christened the ship with the customary champaign bubble-blower bottle, and put her in the water. Tom Petty was playing on the CD player.

At first, things went well. But about halfway across the main part of the lake, she suddenly stopped moving, I hoped it was because the battery died, but it didn't act like a dead battery. I waited patiently for the vessle to drift to shore. I even got "Vessle Assist" from a sailboat (thanks, Jerry).

The allen screw had come loose, and the motor was no longer joined to the prop shaft. Once again, Jerry helped my by loaning his allen wrench. I tightened it up and put her back in the water.

The brick I had used for ballast came loose and shifted to one side. By the time I got her back to shore, she was listing heavily to starboard! Throughout the voyage, the brick was too far forward, making the vessel appear down by the bow.

I corrected that, but noticed that water was coming up through her rudder shaft sleeve! Jerry let me use some grease to keep the water from coming up into the boat.

Finally, the maiden voyage was terminated when I noticed much water was coming into the boat through cracks in the fiberglass in the back of the boat!

So went the maiden voyage of the R.C.S. Zuiderdam. There will be better voyages. I am reminded of the maiden voyages of the Itallian superliners "REX" and "CONTE DI SAVOIA" (look 'em up). It may very well be that these ships of mine need more shakedown time before they are pronounced finished. My next vessle will have the most thorough trials yet.

In spite of all of this, I managed to get several good pictures of the maiden voyage as you will see.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


The Zuiderdam is complete!

Since I updated her condition last, the Zuiderdam had her successful secondary builder's trials on Sunday evening. I will post pictures of that event soon.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I finalized her construction, including the installation of her lifeboats.

On the night of Tuesday, October 18, the R.C.S. Zuiderdam was pronounced complete! She now joins the Ecstasy in my active-comissioned fleet.

Because of her detail and consistency, it can be argued that the Zuiderdam is my best ship yet. She is not the largest, but she may be doing more with her size than any other ship I've yet built!

Her maiden voyage is scheduled for this weekend, and I will be updating the site about that as well. To all my fellow sailors in Mesa, please look forward to sharing the lake with her!

Barrett Hochhaus

Monday, October 17, 2005

More pictures from Saturday

Here are some more pictures from Saturday's event. Please enjoy! Next time, I'll try to get more pics of everyone else's boats.

For questions or comments, email me at

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Fun and tragedy at the lake

Today, I made my maiden cruise at Dobson Lake, joining the Mesa Model Yacht Assosciation.

I was worried about the wind when I left the house this morning. In fact, I had never sailed in wind that bad before. After the loss of the Queen Mary 2, I have been understandably weary of wind.

However, with some extra bricks for ballast, she handled pretty well. That doesn't mean I wasn't nervous though! Actually, there was one brief moment of panic when I felt she was heaving to one side. I managed to get her out of it, and there were no other problems.

The Zuiderdam made her builder's trials today. The epoxy where the prop shaft sleeve meets the plexi webbing inside the hull broke, so there was some trouble with vibration and noise. Still, I can fix it, and I am confident in her next voyage.

I saw ALOT of great boats out there. Beautiful sailboats, and beautiful Cris Crafts. I really enjoyed seeing George's subchaser and Rob's Cris Craft. Jim's lobster boat was really cool too.

I really enjoyed talking to so many fellow R/C boaters about boat stuff and sharing stories. I'm glad I was out there, and nothing bad happened to the Ecstasy or Zuiderdam.

There was some tragedy when the little Moran Tug sank. I don't know why she sank, and I didn't see her go down. Call me naive, but I never thought anyone else sank but me.

Anyway, I have included some great pictures from this morning's cruise, and I will put more up in the next few days. Please check back often.

To everyone from the club who joined the party this morning, thanks! I look forward to next time. Email me if you have any comments or questions. Thanks again!


Friday, October 14, 2005

Ecstasy and Zuiderdam set sail for Mesa!

On Saturday, I will be joining the Mesa Model Yacht Assosciation finally. I will make my debut with the one-two punch of Ecstasy and ZUIDERDAM!'

I am hoping that the winds will not be much tommorrow. The weather reporter said 10-15 m.p.h. tommorrow. That would not be good. Maybe we can get out there between 9am and noon and beat the bad stuff.

For the Ecstasy, this will be her 6th official voyage.

For the Zuiderdam however, this is to be her BUILDER'S TRIALS! I have spent alot of time this week trying to get her completed up to the point of lifeboats. I think she looks great. I hope she gets to sail tommorrow and makes a big impression.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The R.C.S. Bremen

Between September 3rd and 13th, 1996, the fleet modestly began. The German ocean liner Bremen of 1929 was chosen to be a non-controlled motorized boat. She carried the most modest of electric motors and a plastic 3-bladed propeller, Power was provided by a simple AA battery. There was no power switch. The motor simply came on when I connected the wires. The most primitive possible of my fleet.

She was meant to be a toy that I could set loose on the water and would sail itself to the other side of the lake with a rudder. Really just a glorified bathtub toy. In her original form, she never even sailed on a lake. She made one voyage on a small fountain pool and a few brief passages in a swimming pool.

The Bremen then retired to a kind of oblivion. She sat, collecting dust, for seven years, all but forgotten.

In my radio-controlled efforts of 2003, the Bremen was revived. When I realized I had only to connect a radio and servo to the rudder, she suddenly became a radio-controlled vessle.

She then began her current encarnation as a single-channel radio-controlled boat. She has no throttle or ability to stop. She can only steer. Therefore, she is ideal for the man-made lakes in and around Scottsdale, Arizona. I just put her out on the water and run her around. Then I beach her and recover.

Currently, the Bremen is laid up, as I am using her radio in another vessle. However, she remains commissioned, and the eldest member of my fleet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A brief introduction to the fleet

For my first post, I would like to briefly introduce the Green Sea Fleet in chronological order. There will be more detailed descriptions later.

Currently, there are 4 active vessles in the Green Sea Fleet. The oldest is the Bremen. Built back in the summer of 1996, she preceeds the rest of the fleet by far. She is also the smallest, at a mere 3 feet in length. She is based on the 1929 German passenger liner of the same name.

More recently, the "Kamloops" was completed on July 4th, 2003. She tops out at 4 feet of length. She is based on the ill-fated 1924 Great Lakes frieghter of the same name.

Around the same time that the "Queen Mary 2" sank (more on her later), the S.S. "America" was built in late spring 2004. She is 55 inches long, and based on the 1940 American passenger liner by the same name.

So far, the grandest and most impressive of the fleet so far is the "Ecstasy". She is based on the Carnival cruise ship of the same name. She tops out at a hefty 8-feet-long. She is the newest of the fleet, having made her maiden voyage on September 4th, 2005.

All of these ships will be discussed in greater detail in future posts. Please look forward to it!



Welcome to the new Green Sea Shipbuilding website. Here, you will find a log of voyages for the vessles of my fleet as well as pictures and design proposals of future projects. When a new vessle is under construction, I will update regularly with pictures and text of the construction.

For fellow modelers, or fans of great ships, questions, comments, or even suggestions are welcome.I welcome all corresdondance reguarding great ships and radio-controlled boating.

This blog is intended as a diary of sailings, constructions, and all matters pertaining to the vessles of my fleet. Please enjoy and, perhaps, be inspired.

-Barrett Harmon Hochhaus Scottsdale, Arizona October 11, 2005