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Author Topic: News from Victoria - Bulldog launch succesful  (Read 2229 times)


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News from Victoria - Bulldog launch succesful
« on: June 13, 2005, 02:24:46 AM »
I'm pleased to report that "Bulldog" performed very well indeed at
her first "sea trials" today. A crowd of more than 30 members of the
Victoria Model Shipbuilding Society watched as the paddler pulled
silently from the shore, trailing a carpet of bubbles astern.

She completed all her test maneuvres correctly with good control and
turning ability. A steering activated clutch system gives
drive to each paddle from a SINGLE engine. The only difficulty is
with her flotation which is still above her waterline.

Her owner has been struggling for the past two weeks to lighten her
to get the correct waterline level and paddle plunge. Two weeks ago
her sponsons were BELOW the water and he has had to hollow out
fittings and lighten structural members in order to lose sufficient
weight to get the sponsons to even clear the water. He still needs
another 1/4" and his only option is to now reduce the engine/battery
weight or replace the brass funnel stacks with a simulated material.

The weight factor, as with all paddlers, is critical and this serves
as a good construction lesson, as it's the same problem I wrestled
with for weeks with on my "Director" class Paddle Tug. Weight has to
be kept to an absolute minimum to permit correct paddle
height above water level with C of G kept very low in the vessel to
stop "wallowing."

The use of light decking and superstructure material is important to
overall weight/C of G ratios and you really should fully water test
the hull and mechanics BEFORE building the superstructure. If the C
of G is too high, any "roll" is dramatically exaggerated on a side
paddle wheeler because of its additional beam. This has the effect of
"digging in" the paddles and causing that "wallow" i was talking
about earlier. Incidentally it was a problem for the full size ones
of yesteryear.

All in all it was a good day for "Bulldog" and she'll be a very
attractive and eye catching performer both on display and in the

I also have some interesting observations on another paddler we saw
operating today. A big sternwheeler with excellent forward
propulsion, but almost ZERO reverse thrust...? The owner had not been
able to figure out his problem and it took me a little time to
realize why. It's a unique problem to Sternwheelers..and I'm not sure
how it can be fixed....Can you guess too? I'll bet Joe, our recently
arrived River Boat specialist has the answer to this.

But damn it..these boats looked great on the water today and such
crowd pleasers too!!!

Anybody else due to hit the water soon with their Paddler???

Paul J


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