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  1. #1
    R.J. West's Avatar
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    My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Its built according to the instructions/plans. I built one back around 1983 and had it until 2002. It somehow got "lost" between moves. It sailed fine all those years. Very nice, simple and easy to build. Designed as a free sailer it wouldnt be hard to convert to R/C. It features mahogany frames & skins with balsa stringers, the mast is hard birchwood. The boat measures 17 inches long with a 5 inch beam. Only thing wrong with it is the instructions dont really show or explain well how the rigging goes, unless you built a sailboat yourself before, rigging this one involves some guesswork...Today was its maiden voyage, and it sailed along very well. very simple "cruise control" involves use of an adjustable line tied to a rubber band tied to the front of the tiller, with a adjustable line from the boom to the tillers arm, so in theory, the boat will sail straight in almost any direction. After some trial & error, I got it to sail along the shoreline about 20 feet out, about 200 yards before the wind made it sail to the other side of the lake...Heres some pics, enjoy...
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  2. #2

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    very interesting... Looks good! I saw this kit today at the local Hobby town and was very tempted to pick it up at $38. But, I held back to do some research on it. after finding out it was a.. I guess you would call it a free float, I started to wonder about RC conversion. Considering I really Don't know anything about RC sailboats.. I have no idea of what type of control I need past rudder.

    the price for the kit is nice.. think the conversion would be worth it? and what do I need to add to do it?

  3. #3
    R.J. West's Avatar
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Hi,
    I'm sure it can be converted for r/c use. I'm no expert on sailboats as I'm in the nitro section.
    This is a neat little boat in my opinion, I got mine from ebay at $32 + shipping so at 38 bux, thats about right. Its an easy and fast build. if it was me, I would just build a removable hatch towards the stern thru the deck, and just use one servo for the rudder. You can just do that and keep it simple and can still be able to control the boat in a small to medium size lake or large pond...
    As a free-sailer its kinda cool. Its a learning curve to understand how to adjust the sail and rudder to keep it sailing straight. Mine on its first run wanted to go straight upwind. So to fix that I had to move themast forward. the mast is easily moved as it sits on a small pin resting on several pegholes in the deck.

  4. #4
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    boy,I never knew you where into sailboats????...[X(] I'd thought you was into fast boats....

  5. #5
    R.J. West's Avatar
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Well yeah but free-sailing boats are cool. Why need to convert to rc, when you have this?

    This is an old drawing from around 1900 of whats called a "braine". I found this while surfin' around for info regarding free-sailing.

    With this properly set up you can sail straight in almost any direction regardless of wind direction. The set-up on my Dumas Sloop is a extremely basic version, but with practice it does work...Theres a line that goes from the main boom to the tiller arm, the tiller arm is held in place by another line & rubber band for tension and you adjust the slack on the bowser to control how much sail you want out & the tension on the rudder to keep the boat straight....If the boat heads upwind you can move the mast forward in one of the three peg holes made in the deck...
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    That looks really nice and makes me want to get one again. That was my first wood boat I put together and had a lot of fun sailing mine too. I handed it down to my nephew but don't know what happened to it after that.

    I built it for two reasons, mainly to see how good I could do building a plywood boat and second I love sailing. The second boat I ordered and built was the Dumas AVL 18". Lots more noise and speed
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    Contains only the finest ingredients, Methanol, Castor Oil and Nitromethane

  7. #7
    R.J. West's Avatar
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    You know, if theres any young modelers out there reading this, I would say go for it, I would recondmend this boat to anyone, young & old alike.
    Back in the part of Chicago when I was growing up there was this small ma & pa hobby store that had a bunch of Estes model rockets and Goldberg rc planes in the window and Iwas always drawn to it. I cut grass during the summer and spent my money there. They had a good selection of small Dumas boats & I bought an Atlas, one of those 12" cabin cruisers, and an arsenal of model rockets...Man I miss those 3 stage rockets!

    This was even for me back then, an easy boat to build, any 12 yr old can build this one...The only hiccup was trying to decipher Dumas's instructions when it came to rigging the thing. The boat is laid out upside down over the full size plans, I had the framing and stringers up within a day...The frames and skins were all mahogany, the main "backbone" and stringers are balsa. The front nose section is birch I believe. The quaility of all the wood was good, with some sanding before I popped the parts from the carrier sheets, they came out good and no splinters. I had to replace the main mast cause the one in the kit wasnt straight, but thats just around a buck at Hobby Lobby for a 21" hardwood dowl.
    I sealed the inside of the hull with 50/50 mix of 30min epoxy & 91% rubbing alcohol, took several coats. The outside wood got the same treatment, except I sanded between coats and built it up until the outside was smooth and I shot the bottom sky blue, and above the waterline glossy white, the mast and boom painted aluminum, I used testors enamel paint.

    I had my first ace sloop for nearly 20 yrs. I dont recall sealing the inside wood, however I do remember using a brush and painting the outside hull several coats of furnature sealer like polysomething from minwax...
    It held up and I took it with me whenever I went fishing at the forest preserve lakes & ponds..
    Dumas still makes the Ace sloop & the 12" Cabin cruiser among others...just look under discounted boats...
    Check them out if anyones interested....www.dumasestore.com

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop


    ORIGINAL: R.J. West

    You know, if theres any young modelers out there reading this, I would say go for it, I would recondmend this boat to anyone, young & old alike.
    Back in the part of Chicago when I was growing up there was this small ma & pa hobby store that had a bunch of Estes model rockets and Goldberg rc planes in the window and IΒ*was always drawn to it. I cut grass during the summer and spent my money there. They had a good selection of small Dumas boats & I bought an Atlas, one of those 12'' cabin cruisers, and an arsenal of model rockets...Man I miss those 3 stage rockets!

    This was even for me back then, an easy boat to build, any 12 yr old can build this one...The only hiccup was trying to decipher Dumas's instructions when it came to rigging the thing. The boat is laid out upside down over the full size plans, I had the framing and stringers up within a day...The frames and skins were all mahogany, the main ''backbone'' and stringers are balsa. The front nose section is birch I believe. The quaility of all the wood was good, with some sanding before I popped the parts from the carrier sheets, they came out good and no splinters. I had to replace the main mast cause the one in the kit wasnt straight, but thats just around a buck at Hobby Lobby for a 21'' hardwood dowl.
    I sealed the inside of the hull with 50/50 mix of 30min epoxy & 91% rubbing alcohol, took several coats. The outside wood got the same treatment, except I sanded between coats and built it up until the outside was smooth and I shot the bottom sky blue, and above the waterline glossy white, the mast and boom painted aluminum, I used testors enamel paint.

    I had my first ace sloop for nearly 20 yrs. I dont recall sealing the inside wood, however I do remember using a brush and painting the outside hull several coats of furnature sealer like polysomething from minwax...
    It held up and I took it with me whenever I went fishing at the forest preserve lakes & ponds..
    Dumas still makes the Ace sloop & the 12'' Cabin cruiser among others...just look under discounted boats...
    Check them out if anyones interested....www.dumasestore.com
    I'm happy to report that I let the layaway of my new elliot bay steam launch ride for another couple of weeks to pick this kit.. I already have a built up and functional steamer, and the money left on the layaway was the same as the purchase price on the kit.

    I have a soft spot for the vintage type kits and it looks like a good introduction to model sailing and boat building.

    and you weren't kidding about the vagueness of the instructions! but I know these drawings, I can dance to this music, and maybe I'll start a build log when I get to it, perhaps next week.

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Hi RJ:

    I am building this model now, and Iagree with you, the rigging is confusing and I am a novice! I found your photos very helpful but I think I need more! Could you post, or send me, some more close-ups of the rigging and hardware attachment points?Thanks. I really want to take this boat with me and my son when we go on holiday in 4 weeks.

    Thnaks very much

    Greenbottle

  10. #10
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Yes the instructions could have been a bit more informative & confusing for first timers.....Heres some pics I took for you.
    I screwed up a few monor things. I forgot to use the small brass S hooks supplied in the kit. I still have them and I'l get around to putting them on. The lines are tied to them then the S hooks go onto the screws thats attached to the deck...try not to waste any of the supplied line as Dumas gives exactally whats needed to get the job done and spares no inches....I used a $8 hand held pin vise to make the holes in the plastic used for the bowsers and I cut mine 5/8" each. The plastic is somewhat soft and can break easily if your not careful. I would use 1/16 ply cut to teh same size next time.....I applied SIG clear dope over each knot and clear RTV silicon on the ends of the threads to waterproof them and keep them in place, also be careful with the line as it unravels easily, another reason why i used the dope, as it helped alot when i had the thread a oversized needle to sew on the sails...
    I plan on refinishing the deck on mine. I was going to laminate some thin mahagony ply and clear over it with finishing resin , keep the sides and the bottom the way it is....
    Its a really cool sailboat, easy to build and alot of fun!
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Hi R.J: Thank you very much for the extra photos. I will have a go at the rigging this week and let you know how it goes...or doesn't!

    Thanks again,

    Greenbottle

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Yeah rigging this thing is the hardest part of building the boat!
    Also about the rudder.
    I used a small pair of pliers and bent & shaped the edge of the rudder around the thin wire and placed the wire over the plans to shape the tiller arm as shown. The plans are drawn full size. I did use a small amount of epoxy over the wire before bending the rudder around it then wiping off any excess epoxy with a rag & rubbing alcohol.
    If you want the boat to last I would suggest finishing the wood with a finishing resin from any hobby shop or even home depot.
    I brushed on several thinned coats of 30 min epoxy on the inside and under the deck before attaching them to water seal the wood inside.
    The outside of mine I did the same and then used SIG sanding sealer to get a smooth finish before painting with Testors enamel.
    The epoxy was just a basic two part 30 minute from hobby lobby and I thinned it down with some 90% isoprol alcohol,NOT rubbing alcohol which has a higher water content...
    Mix ratio wasnt too important Ijust add alittle to get a milk like consistancy and brushed it on....

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    HI RJ:

    Thnaks for the info: I am trying to figure out what job  the uppermost ring on the mast is doing and how it is attached to the mast. I have 4 rings in my kit but only see 3 on your ship - can you help me out with these problems?? Also, did you just stitch the rope through the sail material - it doesn't tear out?

    Thanks very much again,

    Greenbottle

  14. #14
    R.J. West's Avatar
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    No I have four rings on mine also.
    this should help you out alot, I took measurments of the spacement of the rings etc.

    From the bottom of the main mast to the screw eye for the boom I have mine at 1-3/4 inch. The bottom ring I sewed onto the corner of the sail material and thats at 2 inches from the bottom of the mast.The spacing between the four rings are at 4 inches apart. The sail material reminds me of those old parachute pants, or windbreaker jackets.
    yeah you just sew the rings right onto the sail, and lace the sail onto the jib boom & main boom...I'm not crazy about it either but I built on of these boat back in 1983 and it held up till it got lost between moves around 2003. I do suggest using clear testors liquid cement and gently dab a drop around each stitch for piece of mind....
    Its pretty tough stuff and I just used a sewing needle and some fishing knots. The lacing for the sail to the boom is roughly 1 inch apart....
    Over each knot i used clear Sig dope, you can get away testors liquid cement or clear RTV silicon too.
    i would reconmend buying a pin vise from sears for around 5-8 bucks or home depot, even hobby lobby has them. The vise hold very small diameter drill bits so you can start the holes to screw the screw eyes onto the wooden dowels and deck without spliting the wood...Also the very top of the mast your going to drill a small hole thru the top to run the line from the bow to stern. A screw eye is placed 1/2 inch from the top to run a line from starboard to port.
    The outer wood of this boat is a thinmahogony ply and my first Ace I used a small can of minwax varnish & sealed it up with a finishing resin and it turned out great. A white or at least a bright paint job makes it easier to see on a larger lake.....This boat sailed very well in the lakes in the forest preserves around the chicaoland area...
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Hi RJ:Thanks very much. I hope to finish it this week. I left my blueprint out on our deck and the sun bleached out all the print so that is partly why I am lost now!

    Thnaks again - your info is very helpful. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Greenbottle

  16. #16
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Captain Ron to the rescue!

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  17. #17

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Ron, where are the smoothbore cannon? Isn't this a warship?

  18. #18
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Yeah I bet you'd love to see my "cannon"

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    great pictures and scans folks.

    I've been working on this kit for a few weeks now. I'm just putting the clear coats over the paint now... looks like rigging is going to the next step.

    looks like I either lost my tiller arm or i never had one. guess I gotta fiddle with a old servo push rod and I hope I get it right

  20. #20

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Here's my little guy, paint and poly done, time to start tackling that... tackle..


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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Hi Everyone: Thanks very much RJ for the blueprint photos - great. i have put a lot of it (rigging) from your photos, but the  bp's really help. Happy to see others are benefitting too.

    Cheers!

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop


    ORIGINAL: Greenbottle

    Hi Everyone: Thanks very much RJ for the blueprint photos - great. i have put a lot of it (rigging) from your photos, but theΒ* bp's really help. Happy to see others are benefitting too.

    Cheers!
    most defintly yes.. I was fussing over the plans and the instructions about this rigging. then.. finnaly sitting around the brewery during some of the hurry up and wait parts of the job and really looking at the photos and plans it all came together! So, now, I'm ready to hit this full on.

    I left my masts and booms natural and just poly'd over them..

    oh yeah.. my poly is pretty much clear gloss poly for hard wood flooring.. the masts and booms were simply dipped and shook off then strung up to dry.. came out pretty well. had some problems with the shroud... spreader thingy. I couldnt find an original piece for this in the kit so I took some brass tube stock and attemted to put a screw eye in there.. I mannaged to shear it off at the thread, so I need to hunt down another screw eye to match then actually anneal the brass before attempting that again.

    I also realised that there is no pre bent wire for the rudder.. but if the kit came with stock wire.. I don't have it.. so back to the push rod wire.. and that's fine.

    Ive actually been working on the idea of taking the plans from this kit and doing a assembly line of the little boats for giving away as christmas presents for all the age appropriate kids of my co workers.

  23. #23
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    Hi BGnome, your boat looks better than mine, nice job!

    your not hurting by missing the dumas tiller arm wire as its pretty flimsy I think 1/16 K&S wire would be better. You can probably just solder it onto the rudder. If you want it to last you may consider getting some thin brass sheet and recut the rudder from the brass as my rudder was a thin tin metal. The brass tube for the tiller arm I beleive was the same diameter as the spreader arm for the mast so 1/16 should be a perfect fit....Dont forget to use those little S hooks to connect the line to your screws on the deck. If you need more you should be able to find them over at Home Depot or Ace hardware store.

    Cool thing about Dumas boats is you can trace out the parts onto paper and build a fleet of the things if one wanted to...Its an easy boat to build isnt it?

  24. #24
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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    The Ace Sloop was my first boat build at the age of 14 or so. The hardest part I found was just simply carving the hard pine or bass nose block to shape to accept the sheeting.

    The rigging drawing needs to be clearer. I had dad to ask for help on that one because he knew how sails worked.

    I finished mine in HobbyPoxy white all over with a green deck and white pinstripe.

    It sailed well in I would say a 15mph breeze best, but handled some good chop also without getting the sails wet. It did need somewhat of a breeze maybe 5mph to keep it going though.
    Contains only the finest ingredients, Methanol, Castor Oil and Nitromethane

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    RE: My newly built Dumas Ace Sloop

    ORIGINAL: R.J. West

    Hi BGnome, your boat looks better than mine, nice job!

    your not hurting by missing the dumas tiller arm wire as its pretty flimsy I think 1/16 K&S wire would be better. You can probably just solder it onto the rudder. If you want it to last you may consider getting some thin brass sheet and recut the rudder from the brass as my rudder was a thin tin metal. The brass tube for the tiller arm I beleive was the same diameter as the spreader arm for the mast so 1/16 should be a perfect fit....Dont forget to use those little S hooks to connect the line to your screws on the deck. If you need more you should be able to find them over at Home Depot or Ace hardware store.

    Cool thing about Dumas boats is you can trace out the parts onto paper and build a fleet of the things if one wanted to...Its an easy boat to build isnt it?
    thanks RJ.. your compliment meens a lot...l even more so my co worker the part time luthior who builds $10,000 violins loves the wood work!

    even better than tracing out the ribs, I was able to keep the sheet intact and photocopied in real time. I'm just going to take that, then spray glue the template toa stack of 1/16 basswood sheeting.

    that is my ultimate goal.. to make a fleet of the little guys using basswood instead of mahogany for all the sheeting... shooting them all a single color then color coordinating them and putting all the kids names on the stern plate.
    we're pretty tight nit at the brewery and I've been portraying Santa Clause for about four years now, so it all works out.
    I need to make at least four of them to cover the age appropriate boys. I pan to make at least 6 to sell a couple on consignment to cover material cost. so far, I figure I can make them for under$20 each using basswood. the biggest hurdle is going to be manufacturing Keel bulbs, but that should be fine as well.. I have the idea and the tools to do it.

    its been a real fun build so far and I've already ordered the timber for the mass build. maybe I should turn that into a build log.. I dunno

    but I wanna thank you for your pictures and scans. they added a lot of context over the included instructions


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