Thursday is model railway club night and since it shares the site with the model boat club, I decided it was about time I took the chance to test sail the Bantam without anyone else on the water.
First job was to sort out the battery. This has been dumped in the boat in the past but a couple of roughly cut pieces of 2mm thick plasticard were enough to keep it in place and away from rotating bits. I'm using a small jelly cell as the weight is useful and I reckon the boat will run for hours on a full charge.
Down at the lake, there were a couple of sailors taking advantage of the pleasant evening to give boats a turn around the water. Both were the sort you want around for test sails - if there is a problem they will help but I wasn't going to be on the end of helpful advice form anyone who hasn't actually done the things they are suggesting.
On the water, the boat worked well. For once, the drive system is pretty much silent. Speed is good - two notches on the transmitter stick were enough for a realistic tootle leaving plenty of "getting out of the way" power if required.
One problem is that I'd weighted the model so it sat perfectly level in the test tank (bathroom hand basin) but as soon as the power went on, the nose dips. Looking at the real tug, at rest it sits very tail heavy so I wonder if this is a feature of the hull shape. I'll either take a bit of lead out of the front or add some to the back, or possibly a bit of each, to sort this out.
The other issue was getting stuck on a fish. There are plenty of sizable carp in the lake and at one point the boat whirled around on its own, presumably the rudder having caught on the back of a miniature leviathan.
Steering by the way is superb. That big rudder will spin the model around pretty much in its own length. Bring on the steering competitions!