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 Lesro Rapier

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zooma
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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
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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
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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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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptyFri Mar 05, 2021 4:44 pm

My Rapier has been performing really well and has been reliable and shown quite an impressive turn of speed too.

I was surprised to find out that the Rapier did not sell very well for LesRo and so there are not so many of them about, but the 39" long hull was also used for the Javelin and apparently this sold really well and was later re-named as the Streaker and it continued to sell.

The abandoned Rapier was never re-named or continued and has since become an unusual model to see on the club lake where it has attracted a lot of attention.  One fellow club member correctly identified it when it was blasting around the club lake and he said that it had inspired him to dig out his own part-built Rapier kit that he had laying around at home for several years!

This is good news as another Rapier will (hopefully) soon be finished and put to good use.

Meanwhile I found another Rapier being sold on eBay as a "large handmade model boat" and won it for £50 (plus postage).  By the time this model has been stripped and re-built it will not be a bargain (probably cheaper to buy a new Sea Queen kit!) but it will give me a lot of pleasure to get another Rapier back in action and to keep this design with its unusual shape alive.

Some of my other Classic r/c model boats restoration progress will be delayed a little as this model takes some of the bench time it will need to complete, but there is "something" about this unusually shaped model boat that I really like - which is not something that I would have expected as when I saw my first Rapier on the River Avon in 1967 (or so), I thought it was a very strange looking craft - probably the ugliest boat in the Bath Model Power Boat Club at that time! Surprised

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ColinH
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 10:49 am

Zoom, your descriptive powers are excellent, but I would love to see some pictures.
Keep vintage models alive.
Cheers Colin.

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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 11:10 am

Thanks Colin,
I am afraid that my ability to post pictures on forums is more or less non-existent - but I have taken a lot of pictures that detail every stage of my Rapiers deconstruction and subsequent restoration - so they do exist (in plenty) so maybe I need to find out how to share them from my old Mac down the tubes to this site?
The other previously owned but unloved Rapier that was acquired sometime last year is currently being taken apart (where needed) to remove the broken and damaged parts whilst the opportunity to slightly update the styling (without spoiling the classic lines too much) has been taken to make a nice companion for my first example.
Showing a certain lack of imagination my first is referred to as 'Rapier1" whereas my current project is referred to as 'Rapier2"
To make this situation even more confusing I did acquire an unbuilt LesRo Rapier kit some time back as well - presumably this will be referred to as "Rapier3" if or when I get around to building it.
Rapier1 is still going very well and is racking-up the running hours most weeks, and this has given me more pleasure than any of the new-builds that I have made previously as this excellent classic model was basically saved from being thrown away and dumped in a skip where it would have never been seen again.
Stay safe,
Bob.

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ColinH
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 11:40 am

Well Zooma, you're doing great work rescuing these vintage models.
90% of my models are rescued basket cases either given or bought for a trifling amount. It's the pleasure of seeing them perform as they were meant to that gives me the greatest satisfaction.
Cheers Colin.

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Martin555
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 11:49 am

Hi Zooma,

I agree with Colin it would be nice to see some photos.

From what i can see if you go to the 'Home page' click on 'Forum rule's, Site Help & Announcements' ( the second post down)
Then click on Uploading Photos Tutorial update June 2016.
You will be taken to the Tutorial.
You can only load three photos at a time.
When you have posted the first three you have to clear the box and then load another three.

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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 12:38 pm

Here is my first attempt to add a picture here on the forum.
It shows Rapier1 almost in its current format with a large air scoop (probably temporary) fitted to cover a hole I cut in the forward deck to enable me to check that everything was OK inside this large void and to give the best location to add ballast to balance the boat without having to add any more weight than was necessary.
Lesro Rapier Fce8af10

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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 12:58 pm

Lesro Rapier B1679510
This is the engine bay with a Turnigy 3648-1450 out-runner driving the M5 pro shaft via a PowerFlex coupling

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ColinH
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:04 pm

That's good Zooma, you certainly have a nice model, I bet it looks great on the water.
Cheers Colin.

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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:06 pm

Lesro Rapier F7ce1510
This picture shows the compartment under the wheelhouse. The ESC is held on a platform to keep it clear of any ingress of water that may get into the hull and the LiPo tray allows for two 5500mah cells to be held firmly in place during some fast cruising. The rx is fixed with Velcro on the cabin side to give shock protection and again keep it well away from the bottom of the hull.

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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:11 pm

Lesro Rapier E23c7f10
A picture of Rapier1 during a medium speed "fly past" taken with my iPhone whilst giving the boat an outing on the Southport club lake recently. The boat is very fast with the 3648-1450 motor and not easy to picture on the phone whilst driving it!

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Martin555
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:17 pm

Nice one Zooma.
With the aid a a few photos it helps to explain things much better.

Your boat looks as if it will shoot across the lake/pond like a rocket.

Lets hope Huston dose not have a problem.LOL!!
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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:38 pm

I wanted to show the early construction pictures that I have of Rapier1 as it shows the boat with the original cabin sides cut off and the hull sides being straightened etc as these are the most interesting, but every time I try,  the message I get on-screen is that the pictures are 'corrupted" and they won't upload - even one at a time.
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Martin555
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:54 pm

Hi Zooma,

It might be the photo format or where you are trying to download them from.
Try and drag a photo from your photo library and place it on your desk top.
Then try and load it from there.

If it dose not work have a chat to 'RoadRunner' and he might be able to suggest a way.
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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 1:59 pm

Martin555 wrote:
Hi Zooma,

It might be the photo format or where you are trying to download them from.
Try and drag a photo from your photo library and place it on your desk top.
Then try and load it from there.

If it dose not work have a chat to 'RoadRunner' and he might be able to suggest a way.
Thanks Martin,

All my pictures were taken with the same iPhone and are stored together on my iMac "photos" - so I am not sure why the ones that did work OK are any different to those that did not work OK.

I will leave it and try again later - maybe I have used my current allocation of photo space?

Bob.
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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 6:11 pm

Lesro Rapier Img_5210
This early picture shows the boat just after I had straightened the hull sides and fitted the newly made replacement 4mm cabin sides and front windscreen along with the extended bulkhead tops (the original bulkhead tops were chopped off by the previous owner!).  The modified wheelhouse windscreen "mask" has also been cut and can be seen on the bench along with the new front cab roof base that has been made.

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Martin555
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 6:14 pm

Hi Zooma,
Is this one of the photos you were having trouble loading ?
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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 6:17 pm

Martin555 wrote:
Hi Zooma,
Is this one of the photos you were having trouble loading ?
Yes it is - I have found a "long-winded" way to get my early pictures to load.

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Martin555
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 6:20 pm

Excellant Zooma,
So we can look forward to some great posts with photos.
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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 6:31 pm

Lesro Rapier Img_5010
This picture shows the original 4mm bulkheads being re-established after the ragged holes that were torn in them had been squared and plugged. This is after the rear deck skins were removed to give access to straighten and remove the twist from the hull sides - before the new cabin sides were made. Note the 4mm "spacer" used to keep the correct space for the cabin sides whilst the newly "tweaked" deck skins and spars were being re-fitted.

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Martin555
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 6:40 pm

Zooma,
Look's like you had to do quite a bit of work there.
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ColinH
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 7:15 pm

Zooma you certainly needed that magic ingredient in your restoration (patience).
And looking at your method of repairing, it should last long enough for your grandchildren to enjoy it, and probably longer.
Cheers Colin.

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zooma
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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 8:56 pm

Its a shame that I did not know how to post pictures before as they are now shown here in reverse order and are not very complimentary to the story, but I am now also working on Rapier2, so maybe I should start a new thread for that boat and run the pictures more in tune with the progress?

Rapier2 does not need the same amount of work, but it did arrive broken after I bought it from eBay and in places it had more nails than glue holding it together (!) so it still needed some reconstruction and I am using the same method (of basic botching) to rebuild it strongly, and like Rapier1,  I am reluctant to make it too shiny and loose the previous history of the boat.

If I took away all of the small nicks, bumps and repair marks that it had before I started work on it some of its history would be lost - even though I wanted to improve it considerably. Looking inside the engine bay some of the original construction marks can still be seen and it would have been easy (still is) to sand it totally smooth and make a shiny new looking boat.

For the same reasons the air brush was not plugged into the compressor and a brush with basic trade gloss paint was used instead because that was the way this boat was finished 55 years ago when it was first built in 1966.......and it is the same way that I built my Aerokits Swordsman after saving up my apprenticeship wages to buy it in the same year - 1966.

I like to restore classic model boats (as near as I can) by using the same materials and methods as would have been used to build them at the time.  Some things do change - I will not be mixing Cascomite or Aerolite 306 again, but I doubt that anyone will know that i used Aliphatic instead as it is invisible - but it should not age like those original glues did and so the rebuild should last a bit longer before the next custodian has to decide whether to dump it or rebuild it - and until then I will use them all as often as I can to enjoy them and show some of these classic shapes performing well enough to possibly attract others to save a few more of them!  2thumbsup

Stay safe!

Bob.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 9:10 pm

It would be interesting to see the work needed to be done on your Rapier2.
So i think a new build log will be good.
We could then follow the work from start to Finnish.
I am sure the other members will agree.
As you know ColinH dose the same sort of work too so i bet he will be following too.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesro Rapier   Lesro Rapier EmptySun Aug 08, 2021 9:28 pm

Most definitely Bob.
Cheers Colin.

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