I wonder if you might be able to help with my model yachting challenge.I have just inherited four model yachts (I have identified these as MY62-65 webmaster) dating between about 1930 - 1940. One is a commercial model ( a "Heron" made by Bowman) and the three others were built by my uncle when he was a boy at boarding school between these dates. I believe that these were built from plans, but he is unable to remember exactly which ones. He used to sail them at 'the pond' on Wimbledon Common in the days when it was more of a lake.

I'd like to find out if there are any established "do's and don'ts" when it comes to restoring old models, before I go blundering into fixing them up. Maybe you can help. For example:

1) Is the general ethos to try to restore models to their original state as much as possible? For example replacing missing masts with
wooden ones rather than metal?

2) Is it OK to remove all the old paint and build it up again from scratch, or should one try to maintain the existing "patina"?

3) Can you suggest a good source for replacement rigging fixtures and fittings, and appropriate paints?

4) What is the best kind of line to use for the rigging?

5) Is it considered a bad thing to try and update models like these for RC?

I have attached a number of images of each model (I only used one per model - webmaster) and some information about each one in the hope that someone might recognize them. Any help is most gratefully received.

36" Red and White.
Length 36"
Beam 7"
Depth (deck to bottom of keel) 8 - 8.5"



This is the largest of the models, and my uncle says it is plank- construction, although it is difficult to see, and I'm not convinced.
The keel is a particularly strange shape with a very pronounced front edge. It is missing the main mast, and looks like it has part of a Brian(?) steering systems. The rudder looks like it isn't the "original" design and there is a long groove in the keel running down as though a longer rudder was intended for use. I think the planking on thedeck is drawn on. The sails are original and in great shape considering their age with batons still in place, and the main boom has a nice fitting on the end. The main mast is missing, so I will have to make or find a new one.


VMYG Response:

Though this boat would fit into the 36R box, I don't think that it is intended as a class boat. The shape is pretty unsophisticated and even an early 36 would have made more use of the limits of the Rule. If built to a plan, probably from a general craft magazine or even a boy's annual. Many of these carried very brief (and pretty inadequate) 'how to' features along with their adventure stories.

This boat appears not to have any form of automatic steering and I'm afraid I can't identify a source for the design.

As to the general questions there are some notes on restoration in the Plans section here