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A friend who is constructing a model of the Arno Ferrari just asked me if the hull was planked or sheeted. Going by the few photos available I allowed as to how it looked planked but upon the discovery of more photos it became obviously sheeted.

 

So here are some questions:

 

Are hulls ever planked on the bottom or sides? Are the tops ever planked or are they sheeted? What kind of spacing do the fasteners require? Is there a definative book on the subject of hydroplane construction?

 

Thanks for your help!

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From all the photos I've seen, including several of the finished Amati kits, I'd say the deck is sheeted, not planked. Which would be consistent with most of the hydroplanes of the era. Typically, the old boats were built with frames and battens which IMO would make "planking the deck very difficult to do.

 

Not sure about the spacing of the fasteners. From my experience assiting with the Miss Wahoo project, it seemed to be the spacing was on the order of 3" but don't hold me to that. Besides the spacing on a larger unlimited maybe different than on a smaller boat. You might go through some of the photos from the Miss Wahoo project and see if you can somehow scale up the spacing. 

 

I don't recall ever seeing a hydroplane ever having been "planked" on the sides either. That's not to say somebody hasn't done it at one time or another, but I see no advantage to it. It's not a very large area to cover.

 

There are a number of people who belong to the museum that know this stuff far better than me. I just noticed that no one has answered your inquiry so thought i'd at least let you know you're not being ignored.

Thanks Phil. It came down to some of the photos we had of the Ferrari hydro that appeared to be planked; turned out to be dark streaking in the plywood which when viewed from a given angle gave the appearance of being planked. Some of the older boats we know were planked back in prewar days but obviously it poses a significant weight diasadvantage. Unfortunately, Orlando  is not hydro country so 'tis difficult to get info. Thanks again.

I noticed that myself Mike and assumed it was the grain of the top veneer, probably mahogany. Again if you look at photos of the replica Miss Wahoo, you'll see similar "streaking". The wood we used in that project is called Sapele. It's similar to mahogany, but with a much more beautful grain pattern.

 

Which reminds, me, I'm curious to know why you are interested in the spacing of the fasteners? In the case of the Wahoo, we countersunk and filled the faster holes with wood putty. In other words no fastener heads are revealed. There are small "dots" as the wood putty did not exactly match the stained and varnished wood but unless you're building a very large scale model, I don't know if trying to duplicate that would add anything to the model. My opinion only.

 

I got to thinking about my first response in spacing and after looking at some photos I took I think the spacing may have been more like 4" than 3". I wish Steve Compton or Larry Fuller or the leaders of the projects would respond. I just drilled holes where they told me to drill holes.

Evening Phil

 

I own two groups on yahoogroups for boat modelers. The first, ClassicWoodenBoatModels is primarily about early runabouts and gold cuppers to 1960. That would explain the spacing question. The second groups is ClassicWorkboatModels which is devoted to wooden work boats such as tugs, fishing craft, wreckers ect. The detailing of many modelers would dictate some method of showing the fasteners. Depending on the scale the simulated fasteners would range from tiny brass nails only a few thousandths of an inch in diameter on to actual screws of very small size such as 000-120 or 00-90 thread size. My current project is a 1/12th scale model of a 55 foot runabout designed in 1910 as a test bed for two 1000 diesel engines designed by a Boston engineering firm. I will be using brass brads in lieu of screws. The rest of the hardware has been sourced from several suppliers including twin counter props from Swan Castings in England. The boat will be electric powered and radio controlled. We have tons of free plans for anyone who cares to join the group. There is no charge for anything. Thanks again for your help.

Mike,

 

I took some photos and measurements of Miss Wahoo's deck this afternoon while I was at the museum working on the Blue Blaster. Looks like my first guess, re the 3" spacing, was correct. Send me your Email address and I'll forward them to you. That is if you want them. Mine is

 

last901@comcast.net

Mike Van Volkenburg said:

Thanks Phil. It came down to some of the photos we had of the Ferrari hydro that appeared to be planked; turned out to be dark streaking in the plywood which when viewed from a given angle gave the appearance of being planked. Some of the older boats we know were planked back in prewar days but obviously it poses a significant weight diasadvantage. Unfortunately, Orlando  is not hydro country so 'tis difficult to get info. Thanks again.
A Cut Above Boatworks Has All the kits you need to make any size model hydroplane. Check them out. I have use a couple of there kits and the boats came out exceptional.

Wow! Thanks for that tip! Well stocked and reasonably priced. I will post the link on our group; ClassicWoodenBoatModels on yahoo groups.

 

Mike

Mike,

I have just about finished a Ferrari Arno, with the engine transkit and also a complete scratchbuilt hull interior.I have quite a lot of reference photos of the real boat, let me know if you still need any reference materials, and maybe I can help

Hi Pete

Thanks for the offer. Anything at all you can share would be most welcome. I am MivanGallery@gmail.com. Our group is classicwoodenboatmodels on yahoogroups.

 

Mike

MIke, 

The Ferrari Arno is most definately sheeted, so the kit does NOT mimick the original construction. To plank the kit it is first sheeted, then planked over with 1/4 inch wide planks, the original is sheeted with Mahogany. I built the model as they suggested, and it looks OK I think, but in retrospect I would sheet it with mahogany as per original, which would be MUCH easier. African Mahogany is readily available in 1/16th thickness via Aircraft Spruce and specialty.

I figured if I could get the planks tight enough and sanded glass smooth I could make it look close to sheeting, but it is never as even as a solid sheet. The problem is the compound curve top. This is why I think Amati went with the planking. On the full size hull the compound curve is slight, and can be taken up with clamping, not soo the model.

I built some of the internal structure in the Arno, although even with lots of reference photos it is not easy to be exact, I hope I am close.

Most is scratch built, and I ended up having to guess at a transfer case to stop the prop shaft exiting directly though the middle of the seat!

Overall a fun kit, and the engine is a jewel, but it takes time.

 

I have often wondered, why has no one built a full scale replica of this boat? I love the lines, and this engine is spectacular as installed. I love the cowlings made of aluminum as opposed to fiberglass, the rich leather seat, and machine turned panel is a nice touch, 

Overall a great looking vintage hydroplane.

Pete you  are a finish pro for sure. Thanks for the photos. I have been looking at purchasing the kit but frankly by the time taxes and shipping are added in we are way over $600 which is more than I just spent for the Typhoon and Dauntless kits combined. I am assuming for that amount of money the engine is included?

 

Mike

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