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Richardsons Forward drve 45. (RF45)

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I have decided to put some pictures up of how we will be converting the plug of the RC45 into the new single level, split canopy version to be built on the same hull.

we will be using the same aft section and decks/toerail so have left the plug on the original ring and trolley.






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We had hoped that enough had been removed as it looked asif the coach roof was going to be the same and perhaps just the canopy runners and cabin sides needed altering......

unfortunately we had hoped too much so out came what we should have taken out in the first place!

in these pictures you can see new frames being put in, we had these made to fit on the same bed but 18mm in front of the existing stations so that we had a fixing for the new frames.



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Hi Jonny,

The plug is used to make the mould. It is the mould that the finished boats are produced from, as many as you want. The plug is often only used once to produce the mould, before being cut and shut to produce a new modified plug from which a new mould and boat model is produced. If the plug gets destroyed when releasing it from the mould, or has been modified too many times to be useful, another plug can be produced in fibreglass from the mould, and this fibre glass plug can then be modified to produce a new mould. This is exactly what Alphacraft have just done for their 35ft centre cockpit sliding canopy model. They used their 45ft centre cockpit mould to produce a 45ft fibre glass plug. This has since been cut and shut down to 35ft and used to produce the 35ft centre cockpit sliding canopy mould. If your interested, the cut and shut 35ft fibre glass plug can be seen from the river as you go past Alphacrafts St Olaves base.

The moulding process is essentially this,

Produce the plug, this looks like the finished article,

Produce the mould from the plug, this looks like the reverse of the finished article,

Produce as many finished articles as you want from the mould,

Destroy, store or modify the plug to produce new moulds.

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Thanks Both of you, that saves me typing :)

Neil, the CNC route is an option but as you say more expencive than manual, I think it may have been an option for this boat but the centre cockpit was too complex, also we tend to look at stuff and alter it as we go, perhaps we did not pay enough for the drawings! :lol::o

here are photos from the end of September,







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already i can start to think of what its going to look like

a couple of questions Clive

in the bow are you going to have a well thats large like the Aquafibre 38/44 which are bloody huge .... or on the other hand the bounty buccaneer nice well a little to small for say the amount of people she can birth.... of the alpha 32 single level full sliding canopy with the two steps up on the bow with little space on the bow... wich are ok but not the best for being sociable...


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Hiya Clive,

Truly amazing. I absolutely love these kind of photo's, and both the quality of them and the boat transformation are brilliant. You must have a very experienced staff doing the work, it's great. Can't wait for it to be finished to see it in all it's glory.

Congrats to you all.

Baz :Stinkycheersbar

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hi clive and thanks for taking the time to add the photos. i didnt realise you guys would have to make so many changes to the old plug, i just assumed you would have to cut a chunk of the bow to create the forward well and canopy sections and fill in the centre cockpit. but it seem all that is left of the plug is bout 15ft of the strern section and the deck ring is that about right ? have you decided on the berths on the first boat yet ?

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Hi Andy,

The problem is with adapting too much of what you already have is that you end up with a 'cut and shut' which when you produce the mould it is virtually set in stone what you have to produce from then on..

If we use any of this plug again it will just be the deck ring and we will add fiberglass sections we already have to it as well as wood

but that will be for the 45foot flybridge which is not for a while yet so the plug may be stored outside which will ruin it.

The layout of this first RF45 (Broadlander) will be 4-6 berth, with the same aft layout as Broadsman and a settee double in the fwd end.

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  • 3 weeks later...


I took some more photos yesterday so you all can see how she is coming along :)

You should already know about screeding and flanges etc so I wont mention them ;)

there is a pattern of the canopy sitting on the runners so you should kind of see how she will look...




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there is a pattern of the canopy sitting on the runners so you should kind of see how she will look...


Are the runners on the coachroof, the side deck or both?

I presume that the pointy bits on the front are to support an overlapping roof section,

but can't quite work out which bit is the pattern for the canopy.

Is it the other pointy bit aft of the saloon hole? (i.e. is that going to be the side of the canopy?)

If it is the point looks a bit dangerous at first sight, but then it will have a canopy roof section on the top so it won't really be just a point.

Also when you come to make the superstructure mould from this plug will it just include the beam over the saloon roof or will it incororate the saloon floor?

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Hi Clive

It looks to be progressing along well.

It looks from the picture like the forward well seat is being shaped to be comfy - a little like the engine cover is on the RC version. Is this correct, and if so might it be a bit slippy/hold more water when wet?


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  • 2 weeks later...


I seem to have not updated this recently, I have some photos from today and also th answers to your questions :oops:

The superstructure has runners on the coachroof and decks and does not include a floor or internals.

The pointy bit was just for our visuals it has now been removed and you can see how the peak will join the superstructure..

also the seat is comfy but the water drains to the rear and down the side. :)





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The bow and forward well reminds me very much of a Horizon 42. Coincedence or a deliberate 'retro' design decision?

mmm would you have left the bottom step out of have it the way it sits now just wondering is that next to bottom step a cramp player


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the front is based on the best designs we have at our fingertips, and the hull shape dictates most of the well shape. I think that by designing a single level forward design boat with a front well she automatically becomes a bit of a retro design, but the Horizon was not a bad shape so thats good!

it is a foot rest at the bottom not a step, the seat is also not a step as there is no where to put handrails, having said this, the seats and backs are less high than other front well designs.

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