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Qustions and Ideas Regarding the Chaperon

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Old 11-24-2009, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1
Default Qustions and Ideas Regarding the Chaperon


I am a new on this web board and have read some of the threads have noticed some discussion of the Sternwheeler Chaperon from Model shipways. I have some doubts on and questions regarding the accuracy of the kit. I am going to deepen the hull as I am making this kit a working RC Boat.

I feel that the curved or soft chine that the kit is built with is wrong, it should have a hard chine or at least with one or two boards at a 45 degree angle to the bottom of the hull. Is this a correct assumption?

The deck should have hatches located at the front to access to the fore peak or bow of the boat. I realize that there would have been others but they would not have been visible being in either the freight room or the engine room.

It seems to me that the hull was painted either a dark grey or a black color?

The doors should not be and 8 foot door but a 6’8” door with a transom over it for ventilation. In the photos that I have seen the doors do not seem to be red but white along with the rest of the cabin in some of the photos that I have seen.

I feel that there should be a bulkhead behind the boilers encloseing the freight room if this is what the space between the engine room and the boilers would be called. To my way of thinking since there was not a whole lot of room below the main deck this would serve as the hold space for the storage of cargo.

What type of fuel would she have burnt, wood or coal? If it burnt coal there would need to be same bunkers to hold the fuel and if it was wood she burnt then there would have been racks of some sort to hold the wood.

I am inclined to believe that there would have been no windows on the front of the pilot house. I came to this conclusion after reading several books and visiting the Twaintimes web site regarding the pilot house.

The turnbuckles provided on the photo etch sheet show a rather modern type of turn buckle but all of the information that I have seen from archeological digs that I have found or bought the books on show a turn buckle with threads only on one end, the other end rotated on the hog chain truss rod. Then again since she was built around the turn of the century she may have had the more modern style of turn buckles.

That there should be some brick work around the fire pan and so that when the ashes were dumped there would have been no chance of any of the embers touching the wooden deck or super structure, how extensive would the brick work have been?

On the model they show the red / green lights as hanging off of the smoke stack but none of the photos show this, would there have been some place else that they would have been displayed or would they have only been hung when they were lit which might have been the case if they were oil lamps. I question that they would have been oil as the one photo that I have found showing the interior of the cabin shows what looks to be electric lights down the center of the cabin.

Things that need to be changed or added:

The hog timbers need to be extended through the cabin to the main deck by the boilers. The Hog chains need to be made out of wire not string and better turn buckles used.

The windlass on the bow needs a gear with a pinion gear and the controls for the steam engine that powered the windlass.

Build an interior for the pilot house; build new windows for both the sides and the rear with the side windows being able to open and no window on the front of the pilot house. All of the photos that I have seen of the Chaperon do not show any windows on the front. (See note 7 above)

Improve the boilers with better detailing. Build a doctor pump for the boilers.

Enclose the front of the freight room. This will be a good place to hide the batteries and other radio gear.

Build new paddle wheels out of plastic so the water won’t ruin them. Add the counter weights that were not even mentioned in the instructions. I found out about them from “THE WESTERN RIVERS STEAMBOAT CYCLPOEDIUM” and “THE WESTERN RIVERS ENGINEROOM CYCLPOEDIUM” by Alan Bates, I suspected that there was some sort of counter weight just like steam locomotives but was not sure.

Fuel racks or coal bunkers, and what I mean by coal bunkers is more of a three sided box with a removable front to hold the coal. Speaking of coal, how would it have been brought aboard, wheel barrow or with a coal chute?

Install new deck planking and new deck hard ware such as accurate kevels and such.

Cut a new anchor out of plastic to go between the smoke stacks.

Install working rigging on the landing stage so I can swing it either left and right plus up and down and maybe in and out.

Improve the running lights lanterns on the stacks and add the spot lights that I see in some of the photos. In regards to running lights did these boats have a stern light?

There will probably be more things that I will ask as I go along but this is a start.

Andre Anderson
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