I just happened to be sitting on the dockside at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight this afternoon when this little beauty cruised in to offload some passengers, I recognised it immediately. It nearly had a bit of an accident on the way out with a large sailing catamaran but both vessels went full astern and a collision was avoided.
I often wondered about the radical design differences between the 28 and 31 Huntsman series. I recall that in the late 1960s Frank Bradbury of the Manchester power boat club built a Huntsman with an OS 80 nitro methane fuel glow motor and was the fastest model boat in the world for a short period. Distributors of Model Boats for our overseas readersClick here to see the contact details of our overseas distributors. Useful information published by the MPBA for anyone running an event or just interested in the legal position. We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.
In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. I’m going to start this month’s little featurette, with news from two readers on opposite sides of Canada. Pic 4 to 7: A small selection of superb hand carved miniatures from solid boxwood by John Tarvin. Indeed, this is not the case where winter temperatures routinely touch minus 20c and snow lying from late October through into April can be quite normal. Royce is a committee member of the Great Lakes Model Boat Association, which is a bit like the MPBA, but is a group of clubs limited to the lakes region. From the other side of Canada, reader John Tarvin wrote to me about classic English diesels as beloved by your author. John corrected a small slip in my features this last June and July, telling me that the shop he founded near Vancouver, Burnaby Hobbies (pictured), is in fact now run by his son, David. Pic 8: A magnificent radio controlled Savio Italian Trimotor under construction by David Tarvin. I’m using just a few of a large batch of super pictures sent in by John as illustrations this month and I’m going to hope that our Editor softens his heart to allow at least one or two of them to appear, for although they are not of boats, the modelling and hand carving in basswood is superb. Some of the nicest things that can result from writing a magazine column for a long time, are the friends and contacts one makes. At first, I put away the plan that Lez sent me, but a day or two later I could not resist unfolding the big sheet of paper to see exactly what I had spent the best part of a weeks wages on, back in 1963. Even the few extra shillings needed to buy the next size up ‘Sea Commander’ was just too much to find on a school leavers pay and my ‘Sea Rover’ purchase provoked a row as my parents felt I was overspending and being wasteful on such a low wage.
On a practical and I hope helpful note, I feel I should like to caution interested readers that they may (in my opinion), be a bit hard pushed to build a Sea Rover from the plan alone, as there are no bulkheads drawn on it. A medium size electric motor like a Taycol Standard, would do nicely for a slow, non planing hull, running on 12 Volts. The next reader who wrote in, had bigger fry altogether to discuss than a little Sea Rover.
Next up and equally classy, is Mike’s 15cc Gannet OHV, though this actually belongs to his friend Tim Fell, whose Father was a Keighley club member and ran it years ago in a Huntsman deep vee hull, with club number KY8 - oddly, my own club number is SO8! Indeed, within a few days our reader phoned to say that the engine had been stripped, test run and was ready to go back in the boat which I must say I found a bit surprising. One could not say this of the other items, but they are still interesting and sometimes you get a surprise when looking at such small things. In February of 2003, we asked Buell's daughter, Janice Elliott Bennett, if she would interview her father for us.
He knew very well that a bomb was being built; however, he said the authorities never really told them anything and if you did know anything, you weren't supposed to tell. A week before the bomb was dropped, Dad said they called them all in and said Congress was hassling them about all the money they were spending.
When I asked him how he felt after Hiroshima, he said "I was never happy over it and I'm not happy now. When I got big enough (I was about three and Buell was about 17) he took me with him to Culberson, North Carolina in a wagon to ship out goods and pick up supplies for our store. Buell was a man with limited formal education but you inquired how he did as well as he did. I am sort of hitch hiking on Richard Purvis's idea that someone should write up the migration to California from Georgia. I remember about the only mean thing Buell did to me - - he came home for a visit and stayed the summer of 1926 (Dale was 7). I know Buell was out here in 1927, since I've heard the story over and over of him taking my folks and my one-year old sister, Myrtle, on the Cyclone Racer in Long Beach and scaring everyone to death. We came back to California in 1935 and Buell was here during many of those years until the war. I know this is pretty rambling but Buell was a rambler and didn't stay in one place too long except for Oak Ridge.. Monteen immediately recalled that one day, out of the blue, Buell gave her a new watch; a very nice one and it had Roman Numerals as well. Max fondly remembers as a very young boy being taken out for rides in the oilfields in Daddy's stripped-down flivver with Buell, Tascal and Uncle Bob Chapman - - all bachelors then.
Ruth said Buell seemed very tall, always friendly and had wonderful, curly eyelashes and blue eyes. A small flurry of speculation on the rock's whereabouts among a variety of old timers in this area brought up two or three possibilities with the most votes going for the Carneros Rocks out by Belridge. I've rekindled my interest in model boats and have acquired a second hand unfinished Huntsman kit based on a wooden hull. My earlier boat ran twin screws and motors with a homemade speed controller and some pretty decent sized batteries. Now my question is I have spent the past 3 evenings looking for the best motors to put in for the job, ones that will get the hull up on its plane.
I've googled a few queries and from what I have seen is that at least one modeller has used two Graupner 600 motors for a setup of a similar sized boat. Another question I have is that one of the original Faireys in real life used twin rudder, is this something comenplace on building a model and will it benefit the boat? I was going to suggest two 600`s but on reflection this may be a bit underpowered, depending on the type of 600 (there are half a dozen varieties out there). For a single shaft something meaty would be required, the Graupner 700 or similar types find favour with others, running 12v or more. My MFA Fantome is of a similar size and has a good performance from a pair of MFA800 motors (total about 140 watts) on 12v Nimh pack. You could go brushless,but there does not appear to be a lot of expertise out there for this sort of situation.
Based on my experience with an Elco PT boat model, 40 inches long and weighing 14 lb, I would suggest a pair of Graupner Speed 700 motors, part number 7307, driving 30 or 35 mm 3 bladed propellers and supplied from 9.6 volt NiMh batteries.
If you wanted to go higher tech and power, but lighter weight, you could fit 3 cell, 11.1 volt LiPo batteries but you need a compatible charger and speed controller. Dare I suggest a nice pair of matched nitros after all I'm sure the designer intended the boat to be IC powered! Happy returns Dave I still get lots of fun out of my 47 (and 36) Huntsman, I remember saving up my pocket money to buy my first one. I rather fancy the wallet approach in this matter (being tight), and unless you are bent on the very best performance possible then Daves approach may be the best especially as you already have only the one shaft fitted..
Thanks for you reply Dave, a pleasure to speak to the orginal designer of this boat, you have no idea how much joy it gave me when I was younger. The 28 as pictured by Colin is very traditional and somewhat dumpy in comparison to the flared lines of the 31. This involved a total of 5 boats, 2 Huntsman 28's, 1 long cabin Huntress and 2 normal Huntresses. I had the privilege of seeing this boat perform at Heaton park and Fleetwood and was so impressed went out and bought one of the marine 0S80s to fit into an enlarged Cachalot but my combination would not hold a candle to Franks incredible Huntsman . Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors.
It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense! From last month’s unusual foray into the early years of rock-n-roll cruising on the ‘Daff’, this month’s edition sits on more familiar ground. His elder son Nigel, builds and flies large model aircraft whilst working on full-size helicopters for a living. That huge Italian ‘Savio’ WWII Trimotor bomber is a truly lovely piece of work from Nigel Tarvin. Many of these folk, one never gets to actually meet, but one of them with whom I did manage a one off face to face meeting, is Lez Brambley from Dereham. My recollections are that the kit cost me about 55 shillings back in 1963 and I note from the KeilKraft 1970 handbook, that its price had then rocketed to about £8.

They were of course perfectly correct, but I was forgiven when they saw it twisting and turning as if by magic on the pond, and one doesn’t understand budgeting at the age of 15 anyway! All of these were longer by only about four or five inches, but all more roomy and expensive than a Sea Rover. It would take a bit of head scratching to measure these off the drawing and make templates. If you fancy building or renovating one of these handsome little boats, then I wish you nothing but the very best. When younger, I often wondered if Aerokits cabin cruisers were based on a real boat or if anyone ever ‘scaled-up’ an Aerokit to full-size? Lez’ makes light of this saying, ‘You can build from these old plans Dave if you go to the trouble of drawing your own bulkheads as I have done with my Lesro Arrow (pictured)’.
They are a Sterling models ChrisCraft Corvette with electric power, a Gannet 15cc Magneto Petrol Engine and lastly a collection of vintage accessory items including a Runbaken ignition coil, a Minnitron actuator, a Taplin silencer, a relay and a Mersey Marine plastic searchlight.
Fastier sent me a picture of his father’s battlecruiser and I must say it looks good for such an old tinplate ship and could well be the boat featured in the magazine. I had a brief chat with Mike’s restorer and he told me, that like myself, he had given up on the magneto and wired the engine for coil ignition using a Lucas coil. For example, did we really pay over five shillings for that horrid little plastic searchlight?
This was like a separate state, with its own airplanes, its own factories, and its thousands of secrets. Following are our questions she used as a guide for the interview, with Buell's answers and Janice's comments.
I, (Janice), remember Grandma Elliott telling me that he would rather fish than go to school. Other than fishing, he liked and had ducks which happily played in a small stream near the house, both of which still exist today.
Pearl (his sister) Hill was going to Knoxville on a buying trip for her dry goods store and Dad went along for the ride. At that time, K-25 was the largest steam electric-plant building in the world under one roof. He had no idea as to the extent of the knowledge of other employees because nobody talked about what they were doing. I found a humongous trash pile back between the two stores where I found lots of bottle caps and other beauties and a perfectly good sardine can complete with key.
Whoever they were, they were so broke and destitute when they arrived that they had to put up a tent or shanty to live in. He told me I could go back with him and I dreamed and planned on the trip as long as he stayed.
He lied about his age and said he was 18 in order to get a job at an oil refinery in Ventura.
I believe he and Minnie were living on Warren Street in Oildale when Janice was born and we were living across the street from the Poteete's on McCord.
When he worked for an oil company while living in Taft, he sometimes pulled a small trailer out in the wilds there where he could camp and hunt certain birds, and that's where he saw the rock.
Those rocks happen to be on a large ranch belonging to friends of our neighbors, and some old photos of that place were brought out by the neighbors showing some holes or caves that a person could easily walk into.
Just maybe a DOLOP huntsman will stumble on to it someday, or else Buell is teasing everybody this time! James Buell Elliott, age 99, of Blairsville, GA passed away Saturday, December 18, 2004 in Blairsville. The boat is 47" long and it currently has a single shaft from the previous builder which I will be removing, no idea if it is metric at this point. If you dont want to mess about too much, I would leave the setup as a single shaft, much easier and cheaper to power than a twin. For a, say, 40mm prop I dont suppose you would want to rev above (and I am talking off the top of my head here) say 15,000 RPM, and so one might calculate the motor spec from this, but only if you have decided on the battery voltage first. 40 years ago, I would have thought that 30 yards of best rubber band and a home made 70mm prop is what the designer had in mind? Bog standard sort of motor, nothing fancy , and a 24v Nimh pack (or whatever) , results guaranted.
I've left some contact details during the week to purchase a mixer from you, look forward to speaking to you. One of the reasons apart from personal ones is the initial public outing (time willing) does not allow IC engines on the lake.
I originally fitted the aero silencer but good ole Len Hooley of Ripmax had just commissioned a batch of proper brass marine silencers and so one of those was substituted. In those days the MPBA which had about 4000 members and adopted the European Naviga triangular speed course so out and out speed was always difficult to define until the MPBA introduced records day for straight line speed in 1972. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I tried a 12v lead acid, but after 5 mins it was tug boat speed, but would have lasted ages.
The boat scene on the west and east coasts seem to be quite similar to me, although from the way the guys out there sometimes talk, you’d think they lived in different worlds and not the same country! The Niagara area, where Royce lives, being good for agriculture and fruit growing and I’ve even seen peach orchards, while not that far away it’s just turf, potatoes and corn-on-the-cob that’s grown. Pic 9: A part page from a KeilKraft Handbook c1970 shows the Sea Rover by Aerokits, discussed by Lez Brambley. On reflection, I think we should feel just as sorry for unlucky WWII Italian bomber crews as for our own airmen, for by the standards of 1940-41, these tri-motor medium bombers were no more satisfactory as combat aircraft than were our own ‘Battle’ and ‘Blenheim’ planes. Some, I knew back then would consider nothing smaller than a 48ins Sea Queen for radio control, but then those guys had the money needed for the Gannet or a Double Supermarine to drive it.
As ply bulkheads were of course supplied ready cut in all his kits this is no criticism of designer Les’ Rowell’s drawings, or indeed of Aerokits as a manufacturer.
Well, rather you than me Lez’ and what a cracking job you’ve made of it, really super and all wood too. He provides our main feature in a month or two, but I thought I’d share with you one or two nice pictures he sent me in May last year. I would just like to caution that the big metal lubricator tank is not the correct Gannet item. We managed to go a stage further with our batch of engines, rewiring our ‘maggie’ (magneto) engines to retain all the original Gannet electrical components to provide sparks and just adding a battery.
Buell was a well-loved first cousin of Lowery's & Opla's kids, back in the Taft and early-Bakersfield days. From its inception in 1942 to its conclusion in 1946, one of the greatest technological achievements known to man took place, both in Los Alamos and Oak Ridge, requiring the manpower of thousands and thousands of people.
Following Janice's notes, are anecdotes by Buell's brother, Dale Elliott, and by Buell's nephew, Richard Purvis. Year around he drove two mules and a wagon to Culberson, North Carolina every other week because that was the nearest railhead for selling and getting supplies for his Dad's store and for any other items they needed.
He went into the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) employment office in Knoxville and turned in an application. He said something about starting with methyl chloride and then going on to ammonia before working with freon. The day finally came and he started for Culberson on foot with his 25 cents to look for the circus. They only had $10 and were able to buy a milk cow for $9 and they bought a rope with the remaining $1 to tie the cow and lead her around to graze. Mom was always aggravated by the age mixup because it made her seem two years older than she was since he was her younger brother. We lived in Georgia until 1935 and I know that Buell lived in Georgia during that period because I remember him visiting us and teasing me. Minnie was very sick after Janice's birth and she came to stay with us for about a month so that mom could take care of her and the baby while Buell worked.
Another clear memory was the day that Buell motorcycled from Bakersfield to their house in Taft. Tac and Buell would always give her five cents if she would let them lift her by her hair - - which she thought was worth it!
Nothing was free standing but we thought these might be the same body of rocks that he had visited. This oil drum arrangement had been made at the Hamble factory and was tested in Southampton Water to ensure the drums would roll off the transom without a hitch. By X55 prop, does that mean 55mm?Re window frames, I did a template of paper, then transposed that to plasticcard, stuck the perspex on the frame as window, then stuck it to the boat. The winter climate is quite a lot milder in the west of course and John says ‘That in some years boating is possible all year, though they do get quite a bit of rain’. In fact, Royce is especially interested in Dunkirk little ships and was seeking information on a veteran recently rebuilt here in Essex, named ‘Endeavour’.

The latter is known as the Bolinbroke or ‘Boly.’, in Canada, where one is being slowly restored at an aviation museum in Hamilton, Ontario. Lez, a retired RAF man with model flying as well as boating interests (this piece does seem to be getting an aviation feel about it doesn’t it?), writes to me now and then. One of these monsters required the ‘millionaire’s row’ priced commercial radios to go with it. As I happen to own a complete kit for a Sea Commander, I can’t see me ever bothering to do all this work for a Sea Rover, nostalgia or not, but you never know! It lasted me through many years and just about every type of homebuilt radio as I progressed bit by bit to full reed ‘multi’ RCS-6 Transmitter and a homebuilt receiver built to Geoff Chapman’s Remcon circuit design.
Being on the Broads, I’m sure they were all just made up by Les’ from the general features of Blakes or Hoseasons hire boats, seen thereabouts. It was made from dried milk cans!’ ‘At the time of construction I was six or seven years old and clearly remember helping him build it. I’m going to begin with a super on the water shot of a perfectly lovely Sterling ChrisCraft Corvette sailing at Fleetwood. He lives with his daughter Janice and her husband Norm Bennett in the town of Hiawassee, Georgia. Buell, who oversaw the work of some 450 people, has told us in the following section, a little of what it was like to work in his particular arena. I guess his application impressed them enough so that he was immediately driven to Oak Ridge for an interview. Finally, we moved to Tullahoma, TN in 1955 where he worked for Arnold Engineering Development Center on the Arnold Air Force Base. His main meal is in the middle of the day (way too early for us again!) which I prepare using the crock pot most of the time. The wagon was loaded with egg crates, sacks of grain, cow hides, and other produce for a country store. He caught up with the circus about a mile out of town all lined up ready to march into town. They were loading their baggage into a wagon which was waiting between our house and the spring.
I then used small aluminium rivets (very difficult to get!) but dressmakers pins are similar, again glued in through pilot holes.
I have friends living not that far (in Canadian terms) from Royce in what’s known as the ‘snow belt’ and have been with them in October when the locally thin and sandy soil is already frozen hard with winter rapidly approaching and it’s not a time of year you’d think about going boating I can tell you, or indeed contemplate gardening! She is a simple open fishing boat of the type that pulled so many men off those lethal beaches, back in 1940. In April last year he wrote and I quote, ‘I am having a bit of a turn out of plans and I seem to remember you writing that you had been asked for a plan of the Aerokits old ‘Sea Rover’.
One more spot of advice - never start measuring and cutting components off an old or photocopied model plan, without checking that it really is full-size.
By the time I had built a RCM&E digital system, or purchased a Flight Link Control Series One analogue set, my first feedback proportional radio equipment, I was on to better and faster things and this, my first boat, was long broken up. Even the near scale RAF Crash Tender, PT Boat and later the Swordsman, are let’s face it only 'semi-scale'.
Our ship was run many times on the Round Pond, Kensington, at Bournville and at other venues. With all the interesting happenings of Buell's life one can see that he can be looked upon as being a library of stories of historical value and pertinent interests to the Poteete's and related clan members. In winter time he would wrap hot stones in blankets to keep his feet warm (at least on the trip over). The railroad company, in a gesture of good will, offered free tickets to key employees to go West where they would be more likely to find employment.
I think the huge migration of the Georgians out here is a tremendous story and should be researched while there are still people like Buell around. I believe it was Dale who said it would take Buell about five minutes to start his car because of all the hidden valves and switches. Little Carol, for years pondered about the truthfulness of Buell's and Tac's warning of not to let a Snapping Turtle get hold of a toe because it would not let go until February! Finally, I can’t tell you how nice it is to see such top class balsa bashing skills survive in the younger generation - absolutely terrific.
As it looks as though I shall never build one now, I would like to donate it to you.’ On a different note altogether, Lez continued ‘Reference your recent writings about the New Zealander Ian Verrall.
So, this is no big surprise or a problem, unless you are a true collector looking for complete originality. Pictured, are a Runbaken ignition coil, the unit recommended for the coil Gannet, a Taplin tinplate silencer, a (quite rare) Minnitron Actuator in its original box, a relay and a Mersey Marine searchlight, still in its little bubble pack. I suspect they recognized his innate mechanical ability and put him to work sizing up mechanical problems and then fixing them. I thought so much of him that if he had told me to jump off a high bridge I would have done it.
Someone with wagon and mules was going to take them to Culberson where they would board the train for the long, hot journey to Bakersfield.
A bunch of us boys would go out to the river with our rifles and shoot everything that moved. Naviga remain the world governing body for International competition for all types of model boats but the days of the Huntsman for world class speed are a distant memory but infinitely more exciting to watch. The Corvette was if I recall correctly, a rather expensive top end imported kit, handled by Ripmax and a very nice thing it was too, but a bit out of Dave’s class though, so you’re a lucky old lad, Mike! I was asked to advise on the testing and restoration of the engine, but you just cannot do that sort of thing over the phone and Mike found himself a former RR car engineer to take on the job locally. He can just about fix anything mechanical -- but all this new digital stuff has him baffled.
Once I shot a quail and was a little worried to walk down the street with it since they were not in season.
The model I describe has survived and being a modeller myself, I have restored and sailed her with electric power and radio control on the pond at Riverside Gardens, Orpington’. Call it ‘old junk’ even, but although monetary value is certainly very low, it’s not rubbish.
In fact, many came out to watch the racing, even though the weather was more than a bit unpleasant. Pic 11: A picture of a Lesro Arrow, sent in by Lez Brambley, built from the plan rather than a kit.
The Runbaken epoxy ignition coil is of course easily the star item and one will be keenly sought by anyone wanting to restore and run a Gannet, being just as usable today as it was then, assuming the coil is not burnt out. Next month we move onto a subject hardly touched on by me and with good reasons over the last 14-15 years of ‘CC’ - the model glow-plug engine, so until then, adieu! So he would unhitch the two mules, Old Will and Jack, so they could eat something while they were waiting.
He skipped down to the drummer and told him that he had just been hired to be the drum bearer. He was proud of having educated engineers working for him and asking him how to do various jobs. As CC regulars may recall, the Sea Rover was my first boat after giving up on aircraft back in 1963 and I will always have a soft spot for this practical little craft, so I’m featuring a part page from a KeilKraft handbook c1970 and a section of Lez’s plan here.
As I might have bragged before (sorry!), I once had a Sea Commander kit built and running over a bank holiday weekend. They were well trained and would always come back when he whistled, and they never went far. Possibly, the only Les Rowell plywood cabin cruiser range still on the market after 30 years or so. It should measure about one Ohm across the primary winding and about 5,000 Ohms for the HT winding. One time, on a previous trip, a hog ran up and started getting Old Jack's nubbins and Jack bit a piece out of the hog's back. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 6-8, Monday, December 20.Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville, Georgia in charge of arrangements. The picture in the garden is ‘as found’ and the one on the water is after some gentle restoration. Boom!" with the rest of the brass band playing and the supply wagons being pushed by the elephants. Buell was elated and felt very important especially when they passed a gang of boys who had come for the same purpose he had, but hadn't had the guts to approach the boss and ask for a job.

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