by Mark Steele - Aukland, New Zealand
You Twisted Demented Sea Urchins!
Make Way for
Ron's "Lady of Fortune"
At a small pond just over the Auckland Harbour Bridge
in New Zealand as one heads north, model sailboaters
gather on Thursdays, a totally unstructured group
known as the ANCIENT MARINERS spending several hours
peacefully sailing RC ketches, sloops and schooners
of varying designs and scales. There's no racing just
cruising or `windling', much jabbering in jest and
always an abundance of humour, laughter and happiness.
At a small
pond just over the Auckland Harbour Bridge
in New Zealand as one heads north, model
sailboaters gather on Thursdays
images to enlarge)
And there are the days when, without warning, the
always enthusiastic Ron Rule, wearing a bandana and
an eyepatch launches his LADY FORTUNE and yells "ARRRR
! YOU MISERABLE SEA WORMS - MAKE WAY FOR RON LE PATCH
LA GRANDE RUMBO THE MIGHTY PYRATE!" or some such
announcements he sails off with intent to plunder
(he says) and the boat joins the fleet.
| Ron Rule,
wearing a bandana and an eyepatch launches
his LADY FORTUNE and yells "ARRRR!
YOU MISERABLE SEA WORMS - MAKE WAY FOR RON
LE PATCH LA GRANDE RUMBO THE MIGHTY PYRATE!"
Ron Rule lives to build and sail, and I have always
said that every sailing group would benefit hugely
from someone of his personality and humour, not to
mention his prolific turnout of new models with something
often built over the previous week or ten days! He
keeps interest high, dares to be different, will work
with or without plans and usually eventually gets
the model working well enough to be enjoyed. `BOATUS
UNINTERUPTUS', ( Julius Caesar might have christened
him) and it is unusual for him to turn up at the Onepoto
sailing water with only one boat in the car. "Must
have a plan two" he would most probably tell
always said that every sailing group would
benefit hugely from someone of his personality
To build the LADY FORTUNE, Ron shaped a piece of
polystyrene into a half-hull then cut through at every
3" point transferring the shape onto paper in
order to get a pattern. The keel he made of kauri,
bulkheads out of ply, and the 30" LOA hull (42"
with appendages) he strip-planked. He had already
built and sailed a 1' long pirate ship, SQUARE FOOT
(later given to the writer who saved it from dumpster
discard) and from trials with that smaller model he
decided that rotating masts (a N0-NO to the purists
!) was the way to go and this not only made going
about that much easier, but also removed the need
for a multitude of rigging.
that rotating masts (a NO-NO to the purists!)
was the way to go...
The beam is 11", and a 12" drop keel with
a 4 1/2 lb lead bulb keeps the model upright. Ron
fitted a hi-tech sail arm servo, another for the steering
and there are some fourteen crew figures (ex firemen)
aboard, all re-shaped, carved up and re-painted in
order to turn them into the motley cut-throat crew
they appear to be. As armament the vessel has 10 inboard
cannon, 4 deck cannon and 4 swivel monkey cannon.
"NOW GET A MOVE ON YOU SLIPPERY, POCK-FACED SLUBBERGULLIONS...
AFORE YE WALK THE PLANK!"
don't hurt the ducks, shags or eels when
we re-live out boyhood fantasies and live
a wee bit disgracefully once or twice
each week at the pond!"
Windling is meant to be fun irrespective of what
type of models the Ancient Mariners sail. `We never
grow old' some say. Others stress they are not doing
anyone harm, nor breaking no laws and "we don't
hurt the ducks, shags or eels when we re-live out
boyhood fantasies and live a wee bit disgracefully
once or twice each week at the pond!"
They always have time to smile and chat with interested
pondside passers by, some of whom perhaps with a dream
themselves that they could be just like these happy
grown up kid sailors! Well they could you know...
it's all attitude really! ARRRRR!
by Mark Steele