Green Sea Shipbuilding Establishment

Friday, March 31, 2006

Work continues on Queen Mary

As March draws to a close, work continues at a satisfactory pace on the newest and greatest Green Sea Ship, the QUEEN MARY. As you can see in the pictures, she is now painted in white and I'd like to thank the folks who make KILZ white primer spray for contributing 3 of their cans to the effort.

The bridge and funnels you see in the pictures were taken from the 8-foot Queen Mary model I built in 1994, but they fit the new ship perfectly, so I will clean them up and re-use them! The air vents are not to be used on the new ship. They are just there for looks.

The decks of the ship have been cut out, and the deck planks drawn. The next step for them is to coat them with polyurethane to protect them from water. Work on the promanade deck walls suffered a setback when the black electrical tape I use for windows peeled the paint I used. I will try again with different paint hopefully this weekend.

For now, please enjoy these pics of my masterpiece in the works!

Barrett Hochhaus

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Zuiderdam returns to the water!

In a check-out voyage following some alterations, the R.C.S. Zuiderdam returned triumphantly to the water at McCormick Lake in Scottsdale.

The ship has been out of the water since January 21st, while other construction projects took priority. Now, with the Queen Mary hitting her stride, I took some moments to add a new speed controller (her old speed controller wound up in the Hathaway), red electrical tape to look like hull paint below the waterline, and a new propellor shaft, sleeve and prop.

The new shaft had a suprising effect on the vibrations for which the Zuiderdam is notorius. She was always my noisiest ship, but even though the new shaft is the same, it produces a fraction of the vibration. Just the way I installed it, I guess.

Additionally, it was the first voyage of the Zuiderdam under the Dutch flag.

Anyway, please enjoy these pics from today's cruise!

Barrett Hochhaus

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Saturday was an incredible day for Green Sea Shipping, with the maiden voyages of TWO new members of the fleet!

There was great concern all this week about the weather, because they had been forecasting wind and rain for this weekend all week. I was especially nervous because I had not been to a scale event at Dobson Lake since JANUARY, and I was really looking forward to making a big impression for the Kaga and Amos Hathaway. Fortunately, the weather forecasters are notoriously misinformed. Hehehe.

First to sail was the Japanese aircraft carrier "Kaga". She is my first military radio-controlled ship. At 60 inches long, she is my longest single-channel ship yet (barely longer than the "Raffaello"). Amazingly, the Kaga was not even ready to run 24 hours before. I finished her Friday afternoon and she was tested Friday night. She had never even been placed in the water before Friday night! The Kaga was floated for her maiden voyage a little after 9:00am on Saturday. At that time, there was no one at the lake yet. Aparently, the club starts at 9:30-10:00 these winter months. The Kaga's batteries were used from an existing radio, so I don't think I got the best performance out of her. When she is in top shape, I'm sure she will be faster than the Raffaello. I gotta say, for such a cheap easy build, she looks great out there!

As the rest of the club filed in around 10:00, I proclaimed the maiden voyage of the Hathaway and put her in the water. Starting out timidly, I crept her up to moderate speed. I'm still a little jittery about water entering the hull, so I avoided full-speed runs. The Hathaway performed magnificently! It was impressive how good she looked out on the water. This was the first time for her to be in the water since I modified her rudder control horn to increase rudder response. It really made a big difference, ESPECIALLY IN REVERSE! I am truly suprised how well she turns in reverse. In her trials, she was terrible at reversing turns. Later in the voyage, she was joined by the Kaga.

After the bouys were set up, the scale competition began. I volunteered to take charge of scale events for the club permenantly, so today was my first day on the job. There were 6 competitors, including myself. I did all the scale boat guy stuff like taking names and keeping score and watching the competitors and taking $1 from each of them. In the end, the money did not leave my pocket. Hehehe. When the Hathaway's turn began, I took her out backwards, for the 10-extra points, and she never bumped a single one of those bouys!! I was ecstatic! Still, I feared things may not go so well the second time around. The competition was tight. Of 220 points possible after 2 laps, there were 3 with 215 scores. There was only one- the Hathaway- with a perfect 220. Needless to say, there was some descreet pro-navy gloating. I thought someday she should win the competition, but I didn't expect she would win on her first try! The only other time I ran, I did it with the ZUIDERDAM, and she finished repectfully in the middle of the pack. Not bad for a 6-foot boat. Anyway, when I was building the Hathaway, I knew she would be good for the obstacle course, but I didn't think she would win it on her first try.

The incompleted QUEEN MARY made her first appearance at Dobson Lake on Saturday, so everyone in the club could get an idea of what is coming to the lake this summer. She also had her first float test, as I felt it natural to just dip her in the water. It may be many weeks before she again meets the water.

I have included some pictures of some of the other boats at the lake on Saturday. I was really impressed by Jim Crocker's tug and Dennis's Balboa Car Ferry. I'd like to try something really unusual like that someday. And once again, I was happy to get my boat (in this case the Hathaway) photograped with George's WW2 Nazi patrol boat. All-in-all, this was one of the better days I have had on the lake and I can't wait for next month!

Barrett Hochhaus

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kaga Completes Builder's Trials!!

The newest Green Sea ship, the R.C.S. KAGA successfully completed her Builder's Trials on the evening of March 17, 2005. Actually, this was the first time that the Kaga even entered the water.
Nevertheless, she did extremely well by my impressions. Kaga is an extremely simple model, but she does have one distinct technical superiority to my other ships; she has an EXTERNAL power switch! This has already proven itself very convenient.

One moment of distress came when the ship grounded on something in the northwest corner of what I call "Kamloops Cove" in Chapparral Lake. In the darkness, she suddenly seemed to stop. This is bad news for a ship with no ability to reverse. However, some moments later, after a twitch or two of the rudder, she came free and proceeded halfway across the lake to her pickup point. She is now considered a commissioned ship, and ready for her maiden voyage, hopefully Saturday morning. Please look forward to tommorrow's update!

Barrett Hochhaus

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Queen Mary is fiberglassed!

The R.C.S. Queen Mary, which will be my greatest model yet, took a major step toward completion this weekend. The hull was completed as you will see with a stern made up of styrofoam. Then everything was sealed, and the fiberglassing began. I spared little when coating her 8 1/2-foot hull, and I am confident she is a good hull. Since these pictures were taken, she has been sanded and is just about ready to have her portholes drilled out and her hull painted. She will be my only ship to have lighted portholes in her hull. She will be really an impressive sight at night!