Construction of a Portuguese Fishing Boat


Building a model of a Portuguese fishing boat ..

Study your holiday photo's for hours.

Make a postcard-sized side- and top view sketches and enlarge with your PC scanner or a photocopier.

Draw bulkheads on paper with printed squares, basing your measurements on the enlarged side/top view.

Trace the perfected bulkheads onto cardboard and cut them out using your wife's best scissors.

Cut slots in keel and bulkheads and fit them together.

Redo the items that appear out-of-line until it all looks right.

Trace your perfected cardboard keel and bulkheads onto plywood and get your fretsaw out.

Glue ribs and keel together, using some cardboard strips at deck-level to maintain alignment. Be critical at all times!

The fun part - obtain or make pine strips, steam them to make bending possible, and glue them to the ribs - I used "Titebond" - terrific aliphatic wood glue that is odourless, nice and sticky, dries quickly and can be sanded.

This will take you weeks so make sure that you have good music and lots of beer or wine.

If you find the pine too challenging, you can use cardboard or balsa or anything you like but remember that the Portuguese use pine .

Bulkheads have temporary extra height because the hull is built on a flat surface whereas the deck rises at the bow and stern .

The temporary bulkhead tops have been replaced by deck beams .

The wheelhouse built up on a removable part of the deck.

Hatches are functional, giving access to the hold.

The funnel is easily made from cardboard or a solid block of soft wood.

Helm is soldered up from household electrical copper wire, the spokes flattened first with a hammer (the full sized unit was probably recovered from a truck, like the original engine).

Take plenty of time to make the deck area look good ..

In real life the decks are a mess!

Dos not neglect the details under the waterline either - the slick commercial propeller has been replaced by a homebuilt one since the picture was taken.

The right hand picture shows what the real thing looks like, parked in front of a café in Quarteira, Portugal, 1999.

The elements of Danubio's 40mm diameter propellor: brass blades, still flat, and the hub (salvaged from discarded furniture) which is to be shortened.

Clothes pegs that will hold the blades in position during soldering are glued to the jig. The pedestals on which the pegs are glued can rotate, allowing easy disengagement once the prop is soldered up.

Danubio's compact speed controller provides forward and reverse proportional motor control and 5 volts for the R/C receiver (BEC).

Heat sinks later removed.

Design and construction by Steven Bolt .

Finally we're done - or are we? - a model builder's work is never done and in this case we still have to make masts, lighting (to entice the fish) and messy nets (to catch them with).