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Thread: Emma C Berry wood RC Schooner

  1. #1

    Default Emma C Berry wood RC Schooner

    I have had the Sterling Models R/C Emma C. Berry sailing Schooner for a long time and it has sat started but unfinished for over 15 years. My son decided it was time to finish it so he can sail it. The issue I have is I don't understand how to attach the "planking" to the hull. The directions say to cut each section out, soak it in hot water, bend it into place, let it dry then glue it in position. This is repeated for each section and on each side of the hull.
    I soaked the balsa wood and it bent easily enough into place, but I tried to pin it into place so it would hold the shape to dry, but balsa is too soft to pin, the piece just pulled the pin out.
    So my question to the wood model builders here is this, how do I keep these pieces bent in place to dry? I thought about tape, but didn't think that would work well. I thought about using epoxy hoping it would stick to the wet wood. I also thought about just tossing these pieces, getting long, thin balsa strips and planking it like a real ship. I'm not sure how best to move forward and was hoping we could build this over the winter. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Oh, and the directions do suggest to fiberglass the hull when done, so having a perfect, waterproof fit of the planking isn't a requirement.

    Thank you for the help! Pictures of what I have are attached.

    ECB hull_planking.jpgECB box.jpgECB planking.jpg
    Info and pictures about our Invincible Razor build, Lindberg PT Boats; Racing Runabout; Pro Boat Stealthwake and more! Plus videos of our boats including upgrades, repairs, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Most of my boats, whether they are 60mph hydroplanes or scale wooden boats, are held together with medium CA using the dry fit method.

    That is, to hold the piece to the frame and tack it in place by wicking a drop of medium CA in the corners & a couple of drops strategicaly placed along the edges.
    Then just run a bead along the edges both outside the hull and along the joints on the inside.
    The trick is to do the corners of one edge first. In your case I would do the top first.

    When cured, press the skin around the frame & then do the other corners. Then stitch the sides one drop at a time until it cures being sure to firmly press the skin to the frame as the CA sets.
    You generally only need to hold the skin in place with a bit of pressure for 20 or 30 seconds, where you add the drops, while the CA sets. Sometimes less.
    A bit of accelerator helps during the whole process too. And that speeds the whole process up.

    At the end of all that we usually brush on a coat of finishing epoxy fiberglass resin to seal the wood and all the joints. This really strengthens the shell.
    Hope that helps a bit

    But here's a build thread over on R/C Groups, that may be of help with this process and throughout your build.

    Last edited by 785boats; 12-22-2020 at 05:03 PM.

  3. #3


    Thank you Paul! That link is perfect! And thank you for the tips on how you do it too.

    - Sean

  4. #4


    Wow! Very informative! Thanks



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