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 Lesro Rapier

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zooma
Deck Hand
Deck Hand


Posts : 20
Join date : 2019-07-31
Age : 71
Location : Rossendale and Ainsdale

Lesro Rapier Empty
PostSubject: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySat Mar 14, 2020 8:42 pm

Many years ago I was given (most of) a damaged Lesro Rapier.

Recently whilst waiting for some aliphatic glue to dry on my new Remora build, I pulled this sorry looking wreck out from under the bench and  I decided to restore it. 

On reflection, I wish I had just waited for the glue to dry on my Remora as everything I look at seems a lot worse than it did the time before - and this has largely continued to be the case every time I look at it again!

The superstructure was badly twisted and warped, so my Tamiya razor saw was employed to cut it away so I could use the original parts as a template to cut a new pair.

Looking along the boat I could see that one side was bent inwards towards the rear,  so I carefully removed the deck in this area and cut away the stringers so I could clamp the side against a straight length of hardwood and then made and fitted new stringers and left it overnight to dry.

The two large bulkheads had large holes roughly torn out of them, and the rearmost one of these had the top missing altogether.  I cut straight edges around the ripped-out sections with my razor saw and inserted fresh plywood to build them back up to where I think they should be.

The prop shaft was not running straight or inline with the keel. The shaft was removed after having to cut off the electric motor's coupling as the retaining screw that holds it on the shaft had been sheared off.  Plenty of body filler was holding the shaft in place and the motor was held down with a strip of metal with a wood screw on each end.  At least the motor was easy to remove!

I have re-fitted the two sections of deck over the rebuilt side (which has fortunately dried dead straight!) and I have only spent a few hours (so far) scraping away some of the sticky dark brown semi-dried shellac that had been poured over most of the inside - so I can see what is underneath.

After scraping away the layers of paint on the outside of the hull to expose some wood I fitted new 1/8 x 1/4" spray rails and deck edging.

The rudder shaft hole is not drilled either upright or in the middle of the keel, so I need to plug this and re-drill a suitable hole to fit the new rudder that I have bought to fit.

I have been looking for any pictures I can find of Rapier models so I can get some idea of what it should look like so I know how to cut the tops of the two repaired main bulkheads, what shape to make the cabin tops and to see what the rear (missing) cabin panels would look like.

Sadly I have no plans to refer to, and the last time I saw a Rapier was when I was a member of the Bath Model Boat Club circa 1969 (ish) ..... and that was a long time ago!

If anyone has a set of Rapier plans they would like to sell or copy for me it would help me avoid having to built parts of the boat as a freelance model as my preference is to rebuild it fully to its original shape as a classic that I can enjoy sailing with my other classic model boats from this same sort of time period.

I would also consider buying a good (or at least complete) secondhand Rapier model so I had something to refer to whilst I complete this restoration.

Please contact me if anyone has a set of plans or a even complete Rapier model boat to sell.
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zooma
Deck Hand
Deck Hand


Posts : 20
Join date : 2019-07-31
Age : 71
Location : Rossendale and Ainsdale

Lesro Rapier Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptyFri Jul 03, 2020 6:18 pm

Since the first blog that I submitted about my Rapier restoration project (where I was asking for some help), I did manage to find and buy a new plan and I have more or less completed the rebuild.

I never actually used the new plan that I bought as it was a typical "kit plan" that did not show the information that I had hoped to find printed on it,  so I made all of the parts I needed "by eye" and with some very helpful reference to the excellent build blog and video that I was fortunate enough to find online.

My Rapier has a few small "improvements" that I was able to include as I made the new parts without reference to the original shapes, but I am pleased with the way they have worked out and believe that they have actually improved the model over a standard kit built Rapier.

The Rapier is a nice "vintage" model and is one of the few LesRo models that has sadly not been re-kitted (and used examples are now rarely seen for sale) so I am pleased with my rebuild and I will enjoy running it as soon as the lock-down allows us all to gather at the club lake again.

Many thanks to Ian for producing such a helpful online Rapier build and video 2thumbsup
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zooma
Deck Hand
Deck Hand


Posts : 20
Join date : 2019-07-31
Age : 71
Location : Rossendale and Ainsdale

Lesro Rapier Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptyWed Jul 22, 2020 10:26 pm

We ventured out for the for the first time after 4 months of shielding and took the Rapier to the Southport Model Boat Club lake on Sunday to give it a trial run to see is everything was working OK as I had a few concerns that became apparent during the restoration.

The boat has yet to receive its final coat of paint and the windows are not yet glazed.  The reason for this is that the previous owner of this boat had shortened the prop shaft and moved the rudder position forward, and although I noticed this at the time, I was later able to confirm my suspicions after I was able buy a set of plans to refer to.

If I needed to fit a new longer shaft and move the rudder and water pick-up rearwards I would also need to make the shaft angle a little shallower too so I wanted to see if this work needed doing before the final detailing and finishing coats of paint were applied.

My hope was that it should be OK as boats from a similar era that were designed for the old "steering competitions" (such as Vic Smeeds Remora) also had short shafts with a rudder further forward than "normal", and I have seen a lot of very fast over-powered Remoras over the years that did not seem to be restricted in any way by this configuration!

As it happened the boat was very fast and it absolutely "railed" its way around the lake with a very good steering response and it also looked really good on the water, but after a while I noticed that it was not quite as stable as it was and it began to "chop" a little, so I brought it in to take a look only to find the front engine compartment was quite deep in water!

I emptied the water out and dried everything but could see no obvious source of the leak, so I guessed that water had been splashing-in through the window openings, so they were taped-up and the model was launched again.  Following a very 'spirited" run, I notice the chopping beginning to start coming back again so the boat was brought in to find the front engine compartment full of water again!

The chopping motion became worse as the depth (and weight) of water increased and slopped backwards and forwards in the engine bay causing the centre of gravity to move backwards and forwards too!

The water was emptied out again and as the tape covering the window openings had stayed firmly in place further investigation was needed after everything was dried out again - but nothing obvious could be seen, so I decided to run the motor as I held onto the hull from the lakeside and this is when the source of the leak became very obvious.

The new water-cooled mount (bought on eBay from a well known local performance model boat specialist) was seen to be pumping water into the engine compartment at an alarmingly fast rate!!!!  Basically the new water cooled mount was faulty and leaking like a sieve - and this was why no "obvious" causes of the water ingress could be found.

When removed from the boat the new machined alloy mount actually looks OK, but when under pressure the water just pours out of it.  The glass fibre side panels of the mount are firmly fixed into the hull with Araldite and then glass fibred-in so I really don't want to try to cut them out to return the faulty item as I am sure it could cause a lot of damage to do so.

The decision was made to just buy a replacement of the same type - but to check it before fitting to make sure that it has no leaks!  As it happened the cost of a replacement was only £8.99 (plus postage) so I ordered a one "on the spot" from the lakeside on my iPhone and it arrived in Tuesdays post, so hopefully I can cure the only problem the boat had quite easily and for not much more than a tenner and a few minutes work.  Good job!

Now I will take my time rubbing down and applying layers of new paint until I get a finish I am happy with, glaze the windows, and make some parts to detail the boat such as hatches and mast etc (non-authentic kit parts) to what has turned-out to be a nice looking model boat that has a surprisingly good (unexpected) performance.

I will also test the new motor mount to make sure it does not leak before my Rapier gets it first "proper" maiden voyage!
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