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Anavio by John Gaze

It’s Autumn and my son has just bought a narrow boat. It’s now late October and I’m starting to think about Christmas presents.

A model of his boat will make a great pressie. I like building model boats so I better get cracking. My plan is to build the basic boat as a working model and he can choose whether he wants to use it or display it.

I’ll also leave the interior blank so he can fit it out like the real thing.
I bought some basic plans of a 40ft boat to get the shape and modified them for length and detail. So I laid the keel in 5mm oak in the last week of October using some planks of wood that I bought from a club table at one of Knightcote model boat club’s open days earlier this year, or was it last year, time goes so quick these days or is it me just getting old. I modified the length to match his boat, 42ft. As soon as I had done this I found out that it is 45ft. Oh well people who don’t make mistakes rarely make anything, extend it again.

At 23” it’s about 1/24th scale. I have in my spare parts a Graupner speed 400, an ideal propulsion unit. Bought a suitable propeller and shaft, cut it down to suit and fitted it, it runs really smoothly on 7.2v.

Bought a micro servo for the steering and fitted it in an accessible but hidden place, bent a brass rod to shape and soldered a boss on the end to connect to the top of the rudder shaft, the rudder was fabricated from brass sheet, rod and tube, the steer tiller will move with the rc control.

For the sides of the hull I used 2mm ply, the rounded stern was formed using 2mm softwood with the grain running vertical to allow it to bend. The front of the hull was formed using 2 layers of 1mm balsa sheet bonded together with exterior pva glue and laid with the grain in opposing directions to promote strength. The front well was designed using photographs of the real boat. The cabin was fairly generic with some details changed to match the real boat.

The exterior of the hull was finished in black brushed Rustoleum gloss with the topsides in Humbrol brushed enamels to match the colours of the real boat. I’ll leave the windows as I’m not sure where they are placed.

It’s the 12th December with a light dusting of snow, I hope it doesn’t increase as it’s the boat club Christmas dinner tomorrow night.
The hull is finished for my part, looks quite nice, I’m pleased with that. The cabin wants 3 sets of doors making and a little more paint. The detail, ie, the name and small fittings are a little too fiddly for me these days, I’ll leave these to Gordon.

I struggled to find hinges small enough for the doors so as a temporary solution I used hatch securing tape.

Now how do I wrap it?

The big day came and Gordon was really pleased just how it looked like the real thing. Before the twelve days of Christmas are up he’s already fitting the bollards, fenders and windows.

John Gaze

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