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Questions? Check here to see if it has already been asked.

Q1.) The biggest concern I have is the skill required to assemble these kits.

Would you say you were an experienced model builder?

Do you have a lot of experience building R/C sailing boats/ships?

A1.) My experience was limited to plastic kits as a kid and teen, RC aircraft and one or two RC speed boats as an adult. This was the first sailing vessel I ever attempted and by far the hardest model to build; but it was hard for me mostly because of the lack of pictures, wrong plans and wrong/missing parts. The plans and parts should be correct now, and I am trying to give you a lot of pictures to look at. I am willing to help in any way I can with my experiences in this ship build-up. That is one reason why this site is here.

Q2.) One item that isn't really addressed on the SC&H website is transporting the ship. How are the Masts and Bowsprit removed and replaced? How does the standing rigging loosen and then re-tighten to allow this?

A2.) The break down works like this; you pull out the bow sprit after lifting off some of the standing rigging. Some of it is rubber banded (see pics on my site) and some of it is zip tied. Some of it is flexible enough to lift off of its hook points with out using either rubbers or zip ties. I am able to get away with cutting only (2) total zip ties on the Prince during break down. You next unhook a couple of pieces of rigging from their hooking points (open eye bolts) and unhook some of the sails. You remove the mast hinge pins (one for each mast) and fold back and unplug the main mast. It lies on deck with the shrouds and most all of the rigging still in place. The shrouds are assembled using black rubber lanyards between the deadeyes. This gives tension when the mast is straightened. The fore mast does not unplug but is able to rotate and fold back onto the deck. You can unplug the top of it if you want to, but I have no need as this thing will just barely fit in the back seat of my 94 Caprice as is.

Q3.) How long does this process take you, to get the ship ready for the water? The SC&H website says it takes about 10 minutes, is this an honest estimate?

A3.) It takes me 10-20 minutes to set up and take down, if I don't run into problems. What problems you ask? The rubber bands need replaced every few weeks. They can be nuisance as they start breaking and you have to replace them. Other than the already mentioned, it's not a problem. I am trying to eliminate as many of the rubber bands as possible.

Q4.) I'm in the process of ordering HMS Surprise, I have been a modeler for 30 odd years, I do have 2 questions. How do you rig the flying Jib so that it tacks from one side of the jib to the other in a scale fashion?

A4.) I do not know of a way to allow the jib(s) to properly tack without unhooking and reattaching to each side, which is of course unpractical...perhaps you can solve that for us?

Q5.) Are the crew figures included in the kit?

A5.) The crew does not come with the basic kit and cost about $20.00 USD each. In my opinion, they make for great additional detail.

Q6.) I would like to get more details about Prince de Neuchatel yards bracing.

A6.) The foreyard braces (one each side of mast) consist of .7mm manila line. The upper end of each brace is knotted/glued around supplied grommets (brace eye). The grommets attach to opened rigging hooks on the underside of the foreyard. The braces lead from the brace eye on the yard, through the brace guide (this is a ugly black plastic cross piece bolted to the mast , aft of and parallel to the yard, with a sheave in each end to allow the rigging to change directions), down the back of the mast, through the eye on the mast, through the polypro brace fairleads (plastic tubes) in the deck aft of the masts, through the brace rigging blocks on the mast below deck (these are bolted to the mast below deck, again to allow the rigging to change direction), and finally to the rigging adjusters on the brace servo arms. The ship has 3 total servos, one rudder, one brace, one for sheets. The brace servo pulls the brace on one side while the other side stays tight do to the yard pulling on it as it swings. The only thing I don't like is the ugly black brace guide that is not a part of a full scale ship. The layman doesn't know the difference.

Q7.) I too am interested in building the P de N. I have been looking at the builder's website and at your site and for the life of me I can't see where the ballast is fitted. Is it external to the boat or inside the hull? Can it be easily removed for transportation?

A7.) The ballast is external and it hangs under the keel separated from the hull by a wood spacer. I have drilled some holes in mine to bring my waterline back up after all the stuff I've added. There is also a little mud on mine. There are two threaded rods protruding out the top of the ballast...they slide up through the keel into fiberglass tubes in the ships hull and protrude above deck. A threaded funnel (fore) and barrel (aft) screw unto the top of the rods, and hold the ballast to the deck an keep the rods from slipping back through the deck. It is easier to handle the Prince with the ballast off because it adds 22lbs to the already heavy ship. Take a look at the" test float "pic and you can see it hanging under the keel.

Q8.) I notice in most pictures of the P de N, both on the builder's website and on yours, that the square rigged sails are not used too much during actual sailing. Is there a reason for this? In general, how does it sail?

A8.) The ship sails very nicely. She only needs the slightest breeze to get underway. She is very fast. The reasons I mostly sail without the squares are, first, this is my first sailing ship, and I am a novice sailor. I found it a lot harder for me to tack with the squares. I also like the look of the ship with the squares furled.

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