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Old 01-08-2016, 08:40 PM   #1
Skidoo55
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Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread


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I just picked up a Victoria from Great Hobbies, after reading another sailboat thread, and pretty much reading the entire website for the Okanagan Club. I was considering a few of the boats from Hobby King, but the exchange rate, and the shipping pretty much ended that thought.

If took two days for my Victoria to arrive in the mail. NICE! Thanks Great Hobbies!

I went back and forth in my mind deciding if I want to build this stock, or jump right in to modifying it. Well, I guess that the first cut will be slightly improved but still stock. I am going to add some structure to the mast and keel area of the boat, as per the Okanagan guys, and use a different rigging line rather than the stock line that comes with the boat.

I also watched a video by Bill Shorney, and some of his changes are easy to do, such as attaching the jib club closer to the front of the club, and the front of the boat.

Even after building the boat with the stock mast and rigging, it will be a simple process to remove the stock mast and sails, and replace with a lighter mast and improved sails after I get a little more skilled in just sailing the boat.

I hope that other guys jump right in here, and add comments, show pictures of their boats, offer advice...

I haven't figured out how to add pictures, and embed them right into the thread with comments, so I guess all of my pictures will be lined up at the end of each post. The four pictures attached here are the boat as received, and what things look like when the box is opened.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

The first thing to do, is to build the stand, and cut out the hatch on the boat. As per the Okanagan guide, the hatch could be cut out as a rectangle, and trim a few grams off of the boat, but I like how it looks with rounded corners.

Building the stand was a lot of sanding to get all the pieces smooth and flush with each other, then I coated it with Varathane. As well as using the stand to display the finished boat, it holds it steady during construction

The next item is the radio box. I wasn't sure if I was going to use it, but it doesn't hurt to build it anyway. The last picture is the box just sitting in the boat. After putting on two coats of varathane, the radio box is 46 grams.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:00 PM   #3
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

I added 1/4" Plywood support all the way around the keel slot, and vertical supports to the underside of the deck. This was NO FUN at all, fiddly work, didn't turn out as perfect as I wanted it to, and getting the vertical supports in place was pretty taxing on my patience. It's amazing how the dry run worked out perfectly, and the final assembly with the epoxy ready to go was... well, not perfect.

The third picture is the rudder guide installed in the stern of the boat. I noticed that the rudder and keel weren't in perfect alignent with each other. The rudder was tilted about 1/16" towards the port side. Using a chainsaw sharpening file, I walked the hole in the plastic deck washer about 1/32" towards the port side. When I re-installed the metal guide back into the boat, I used a tiny piece of carbon fiber rod to force the metal guide into it's new position, checked the alignment of the rudder to the keel, and glued everything down with CA glue. The alignment is pretty much perfect now. This was also a nerve wracking exercise, but in the end I think it will have been worth doing.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:34 PM   #4
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

A little bit more progress:

I have decided to just use the radio box that came with the kit, and keep things simple for now. The first picture shows the servos that I am going to use.
For the sail winch, I am using a JR NES 4131, which according to the specs is a precision servo with 106 Oz of torque at 6V. Funny, it's not metal gears, but I'll see how it works. The rudder servo is an no name servo that I have used in other projects. It's called a GOTECK - GS-9650BB. Metal gears, lots of torque and fast. The JR servo is 45 grams, the Goteck is 24 grams.

The radio box has room for the 5 cell NiMh battery, which is quite heavy, but down low in the boat. I could change to a 2cell Lipo with a BEC before the RX, and save some weight, but this will do for now.

The other pictures are of the assembled mast. I put all the parts on it, and doing the rigging totally as the instructions call for, but I'm going to use 10lb Spider Wire fishing line instead of the line that comes with the kit.

Adding the plastic spreaders, mast crane and other components to the mast has added 15g. The problem is that it's all up high. Not good, but if I want to, it can all be removed.

The plastic bits that go on the boom and jib club have added 7 grams.

There is a coupler that connects both mast halves. The fit isn't very tight, and allows the mast to wobble around a bit. I glued it together, but don't think that I will leave it like it is. I would rather wrap it with some tape, and get a nice tight press fit. A little heat on the aluminum mast, and it will come right apart.

I also charged ahead with putting the pieces on the boom and club, without reading close enough. Some of the pieces aren't to be glued right away. OOPS! No problem, I got the pieces loose without damaging them. All is good, but I have to read a little closer from now on.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:47 PM   #5
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

I tried to lighten the radio box a bit, so I cut squares out of the bottom. I wasn't very careful about it as can be seen in the picture. I also milled out some of the sides, without going all the way through, and covered it with monocoat, to make it somewhat waterproof again. All in all, I removed 9 grams. Whether this was worth doing is debatable...

Next comes the rigging. As you can see in one of the pictures in the previous entry, I used all of the stock rigging eyes, and I'll see how they work. The ABS solvent that comes with the boat is pretty strong stuff, but the included brush is not very effective. I'm glad that I didn't spill any drops on the boat where it doesn't belong... I did get some on the plastic that I cut out of the hatch opening... it leaves a mark immediately!
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:10 AM   #6
OLD PRAIRIE RED NECK
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

Any more progress Paul?

I just found this thread, back when I assembled my Victoria the sailboat section here was pretty dead so I haven't been looking here much.

I did mine box stock as I didn't know about all the mods possible at the time. I used a standard servo for the sail winch as suggested in the instructions... not even close to workable! Fine in the faintest of breezes but anything stronger and the sails go full out and stay there!

The other thing I regret doing is using CA on the plastic bits on the mast. Now after 1 1/2 years the CA is letting go (as it is designed to do) and everything is coming adrift.

Keep on with the thread please!
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

I pretty much have the boat ready to go Mervin, and the pond is thawing quickly!

Here are the pictures that I took along the way. I just got very lazy about posting them.

MY BAD! as the younger generation would say.

The first picture shows the radio box with the servos attached, the battery and receiver are just sitting in place. I will put them both in plastic bags and somewhat waterproofed. I have a Tactic radio that came with a glider I bought, so for now I'll use it. Going forward, I want a better radio that I can dial in some expo for the rudder. Does any one use expo on the sail winch?

The second and third pictures show the standard rigging above the deck. What a mess! It all works, and is very tunable, but really needs to be cleaned up somehow.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that I was going to use 10lb spider wire fishing line. I didn't use it...yet. I decided to use a different type of string that I have, that doesn't have much stretch to it at all. I didn't use the spider wire yet, because the 10lb stuff is very thin, about the same as thread, and I noticed that it felt abrasive. Since the deck was beginning to get very cluttered with lines, I decided to just use the other string, and try the boat in a stock setup, then go back and change/improve things. I'm thinking a more suitable line would be 20lb. I also need to get small crimps to work with the spider line, as it is hard to tie.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

Here are some pictures of the attachment of the shrouds. I had some turnbuckles that are used in pull-pull setups on planes. I was missing the middle threaded barrel on two of them, but a piece of nyrod also works. You can see it on the center shroud. I don't like the way that I have them attached to the anchor points on the boat. It is some of the previously mentioned spider wire, looped around a few times and tied off. The problem with it is that you have to adjust each side of the turnbuckle independently, as both sides can turn. Otherwise, it's fine, and has more than enough strength.

The turnbuckles make the mast much more tunable, but I have my eye out for better ones than what I'm using. I found a few, but they were quite large, and I really didn't like how they looked.

In the last picture, you can see the way that the stock metal ring attaches the stock sail to the mast. It's too tight and won't let the sail rotate around on the mast. This has to go! I like the way that the Okanagan guys created a simple jig to set the sails to a fixed distance from the mast.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:03 PM   #9
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

So, all in all, I made a few changes to try to improve the ability to tune the mast. I didn't use the stock rigging string everywhere, but I did use it on any of the rigging points that need to be secured to cleats. Next steps are to learn how to sail it, and replace the rigging with some form of spider wire or equivalent. Rather than tying knots, I want to crimp the lines. This way, I can be a lot more exact with equal line lengths. In the pictures, you will see that I replaced the stock metal clips with fishing swivels. I quite like the bowsies that come with the kit, and decided that they would work fine in many places.

I filled the holes on the bottom of the keel, and sanded everything smooth.
Ready to go!


When I get a little more skilled with it, I will get some graphite rod and replace the mast and sails with a full custom rig. If I need to, I can still attach better chain plates for the shrouds, and also a more adjustable mast step.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:19 PM   #10
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Re: Thunder Tiger Victoria Build Thread

Looking fine!

I've had mine out 6 or 8 times so am still learning. As far as doing up grades to it... I will learn to get the best out of what I have then maybe make changes. At the present any improvements would likely be lost to me as I wouldn't recognize the difference!

Post some pictures of her on the water please!
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