-   The original ELIZABETH

The Elizabeth was built in 1997 at the DAMEN Shipyard, Changde, China. The ship was bought by Visser Zn, and International Transport Contractors (ITC) chartered the vessel. The crew were employees of Visser. The first time I saw a "Shoalbuster" a type found in different sizes, was in the magazine TUG WORLD REVIEW and I obtained the plans from ITC. Mr. Visser Jr. sent me photos with details of the ship. From Damen Shipyard I got a CD with about 150 photos. Meanwhile the Elizabeth was sold to DAMEN MARINE SERVICE. Visser having bought a new Elizabeth, a Shoalbuster type 2509.


-   the building of the model

I started the model by making the hull form with planks on frames. After priming and sanding, I covered it with layers of fibreglass mat. Finally I removed all the frames. I put it in the bathtub to see how much weight it could carry. Then I trimmed the upper edge of the hull and built the working deck and superstructure from electronic circuit plates. This material is easy to solder which is more rigid than gluing, and all the brass parts can be soldered directly to the deck. Windows and doors can be cut in brass very accurately. Model shops supply many different kinds of brass profiles. From these you can make bulkheads, hatches with latches and hinges etc. and solder them directly to the superstructure. The test in the bathtub showed that my Elizabeth can carry a weight of about 30kg. So I built the bulwarks at the bow and stern from brass plates, soldering the bulwarks directly to the deck. The stanchions are also made of brass. On the starboard side, at the stern bulwark, is a hatch that leads to the engineroom. This hatch has two hinges and four real working latches. Behind this hatch I fitted the main electrical switch. The Elizabeth is powered by two Elefant electric motors from Conrad Electronics. Each motor turns a shaft with a 5 blade screw in a Kort nozzle. The 12V accumulator has a capacity of 21ah. Each motor has its own speed controller. With these I can turn the Elizabeth on the spot. In addition to the motors the Elizabeth is fitted with a small bowthruster from Graupner. The towing winch on the aft deck was built from brass and circuit plates and the electronics were made by my friend Hermann from Switzerland. I can control the winch via a multi-switch module in the radio control unit. The deck crane was built by Effer. My crane is made of nearly 25 parts, all brass and weighs 1.2kg.


For photos in higher resolution please click the thumbnails!

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Hull with accumulators Pushbow
Carcass Towing winch with stepmotor
Some color... In the bathtub....
...under construction side view
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-   first dancing steps

The first dancing steps took place in the spring of 2003. This first test was a great success. The model has the right draught and she is very manoeuvrable. But there is one problem; the pushbow works like a rudder making it difficult to steer. After this first sail I installed the mast, searchlights, anchor winches, navigation lights, liferafts, life-buoys and many other fittings. Most of the parts are homemade and some I cast from Polymethylmethacryl PMMA in a special mould. Inside the deckshouse I fitted a small digital camera, controlled by a servo. With this I can take photos showing the tugmasters view.

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Waiting for a new job ...another view
Test sail just after the christening first dancing steps without the mast
full ahead put to sea...
Nozzles starbord-side seachest
liferaft and searchlight topview
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-   result

The building of this model tugboat was great fun. And to crown it all I won first price in a model boat exibition, won`t find this model to often on the lakes in Germany. I want to say "thank you for the help" to, Mr. Alexander Gorter (former ITC) for the plans, Mr. Erick Visser for the fantastic photos during the jobs, Mr. Groot ( Project Manager Shoalbuster at DAMEN) for the CD with all the photos and last but not least Mr. van der Laan for his patience and for answering all my queries. (I will answer all the questions concerning the building and details of the ship, but unfortunately I am not able to give any plans to other modelmakers.)

1.price in a model boat exibition topview
view to starboard side a fried egg for lunch
port side view view to the flybridge
anchor winches stern view
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