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  1. #1
    Half-A-Hec's Avatar
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    Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    Howdy all,

    I have an old Sterling 1/2A RC Air Boat kit that I plan on building this winter. I have a Norvel .061 RC motor that I can use. I am also contemplating electric power. This kit is no longer made so I wonder how many of these are actually floating around. I live on a lake and would like to use it on water, Ice, land. I will probably add the wheels as it is designed. Shouuld I glass the hull as it is ABS plastic? Any suggestions for this boat?

    Picture looking at the cove from my back yard



    Thanks

    Hec
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    Creating Beautiful Balsa Fountains for over 30 years!

  2. #2
    TERBObob's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    If you plan on running her on the land and ice , then yes , resin epoxy the bottom but no glass ( not needed and only adds weight ) .
    Put a couple of coats of resin on the bottom and at least one thin one on the sides . This will protect the sides as well as add a little support for when running on land .
    BTW - WHEELS ????????
    \"experienced \" is just another way of saying that you already did all the mess ups and should know better now !

  3. #3
    Half-A-Hec's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    TerboBob,

    Thanks for the information. I was thinking of using 3/4 oz glass cloth. Its very light and would add a lot of strength. Believe it or not this model has two molded in wheel wells in the hull that can accept 1-5/8" wheels. The rudder also is connected to a 1" steerable tail wheel. I guess it is set up like a tail dragger airplane. Pretty neat!

    Hec
    Creating Beautiful Balsa Fountains for over 30 years!

  4. #4

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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    Sterling Puddle Jumper, huh? Phew...Why not try the little half-A Dumas airboat?

    Just one man's opinion, but the Big Puddle Jumper had to be the worst production kit in the history of the universe!! I made one as my first R/C project and gads it was ZERO good for either water OR land! It tipped over in the water if looked at wrong and on land it would either skid or tip over at any speed. The prop guard met an early end.
    Granted an amphibian is a neat-o idea, but Sterling should have given the Puddle Jumper a little (a lot) more R&D before letting that one out had to have been a mistake. The best run I ever had was when I hand launched her on one last voyage through thin air into the garbage can. Wow.

  5. #5
    Half-A-Hec's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    Wow!

    I hope mine doesn't turn out like yours did! Did ya build in the side skids per the plans? This should of kept if from flipping over?

    Hec
    Creating Beautiful Balsa Fountains for over 30 years!

  6. #6

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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    Half a hec,
    The big puddle jumper didn't have side skis per the plans. I was so new to the hobby at the time that I didn't think of them, but I bet they would have helped. I did make a couple .049 (half-A) airboats, purchased and home-made, and determined that the power of my Cox tee dee .049 was a bit low to get them running as fast as they might when using standard size radio equipment. Perhaps if you used new small servos and a tiny receiver and batts, the power to weight ratio would be better...
    Regarding the fiberglass over the plastic hull: like airplanes, boats shouldn't be built to crash! Best to build it relatively light and steer it away from nastys!
    Overall, build the models you want and have a great time at it!
    Best wishes,
    Will

  7. #7

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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    I built one of these in 1976. I remember the patriotic decals that came with the model.

    I used a Cox engine with an aircraft firewall motor mount and a large external fuel tank running into the hollow stern of the boat. It drove on land exactly like a tail dragging plane. I would run the puddle jumper on a black asphalt street. I had to replace the small diameter rear wheel every ten or so runs, because it would wear out the rubber. It was a real pain waterproofing the front wheel wells, especially around the axles, yet have the wheels easily replacable.

    It ran very fast on asphalt, once it built up momentum.

    I did not do anything to the ABS hull. It ran fine and survived countless head-on collisions to the cement curb.

    When running on water speed wasn't as dramatic. I had to add balast to balance the boat in the water.

    The instructions in the box did not mention rigging a throttle to the engine. I used a bent airplane linkage rod that went under the fan shround, and behind the Cox cylinder throttle coller.

    Flip-starting the engine was a pain, trying not to break the balsa/plywood fan shroud.

    Probably the strangest model I ever built. It did last a long time though. It actually lasted longer than any other plane, boat, or car I ever built. It was still a functional model when I had to throw it away.

  8. #8

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    RE: Sterling Puddle Jumper 1/2 A RC Air Boat, anyone got one?

    i have just completed a sterling models puddle jumper. a fab little kit considering the age. i bought from ebay usa very cheap a few years ago.
    i am going to the lake tomorrow to give it a blast ! i originally went for a small brushless motor and lipo, run well on land but slow on the water ! it went back in the cupboard for a while untill recently someone gave me an o.s LA15 which i couldnt resist on mounting to the puddle jumper. was a little tricky with the throttle connection to the carb and getting the right size fuel tank in the model as it has a very shallow hull, but after a few evenings work, shes ready ! i think it should go alot faster now on the water just hope its not to over powered. will let you all know how it goes !
    can anyone give me any info on another sterling models kit, The Space Squirt Land Vechicle ? i am half way through building and would like to hear from anyone who has tried one before. im thinking that its alot rarer as i just cant find anything about it anywhere !
    Happy New Year All !
    RC MAD RAY !!!


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