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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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John Ball

Resurrection ov a 1930s vintage Class A Yacht

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This is from the latest issue of the newsletter of the Confederation Marine Modellers - The Helmsman


The resurrection of a vintage 1930's Brain steered Class A yacht,


When Paul acquired this sailboat it needed

some work done to complete it. The magazine

“Popular Mechanics” published plans for this type

in the early 1930’s, so it is a reasonable assumption

that his model was built sometime after 1935, and

probably before WWII.

It is an impressive size, standing 88” high, 75”

long, and weighing in at an imposing 38 lbs. When

Paul first acquired it, the only place it could be

stored was in the kitchen. (There are more risks to

that arrangement than dare be contemplated.) There

are no remote controls on it; you just set it sailing

across the pond and either have someone on the

other side to turn it around, or run like crazy to get

there before it does. It was quite a popular type of

sailboat on the Kensington Round Pond in London

in the days before folks had cars to transport their

boats, even if there were cars of a size able to

transport one. The boats were stored in a clubhouse

adjacent to the pond.

Paul completed assembly of the boat, and

refinished the hull, coating the deck with many

layers of Spar varnish, and the hull with multiple

coats of Tremclad paint. The sails are original,

although they needed cleaning before they were


There is reason to believe that the model had

not sailed before, because there were no marks on

the hull indicating contact with the pondside. On

its first dip in the water, water started leaking in.

Paul fixed this with gaskets around the bolts which

secured the keel. The model first sailed at the

Humber Bay pond in April this year, and a video

of its maiden voyage can be seen at:



THE earliest model yachts had no steering gear

whatsoever, and consequently were unable to sail a

good course when the wind was anywhere abaft

the beam. In 1906 Mr. George Braine of

Kensington evolved the steering gear for models

which bears his name (shown below). By this gear,

the angle of the rudder can be made to vary in

exact ratio to the pressure of the wind on the sail

that is attempting to throw the boat off course.

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