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  1. #1
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    Gonna build a fiberglass hull!

    Good news guys! I've been thinking about it for a LONGGGGG time now but I haven't had the time or money. I'll have both this winter and this WILL BE DONE! At 16, it's hard to make enough money to support these kinds of projects... the kind that could end in complete failure. However, I talked to my dads girlfriend and she agreed that since I'm saving her a ton of money by building her a deck, she will pay for the materials to build a fiberglass hull for the Spartan. It won't happen until late October because I'm waiting for the weather to cool off to build her deck and I don't want to completely disassemble my plastic Spartan while the weather is still warm. Here are my ideas so far:
    I'll start by separating the deck from the hull. The hull, deck, and hatch will be molded individually.
    I'll sharpen up the strakes on the bottom of the hull. This increases stability and efficiency a lot on 1:1 boats so I'm hoping it will do the same here.
    I'll pull fiberglass molds off the hull, deck, and hatch.
    I'll lay up parts in the mold and pull them. The parts are going to be relatively thin. I think I'm only going to go with 2 layers of glass everywhere except maybe the transom. The floor of the hull will be cored with foam. I might core the transom too but I'm not sure what I'll use. Foam can crush and wood is heavy. I'll figure it out though.
    I'll glass everything together and paint everything.
    The hardest part is the inside of the hull. I definitely want to keep the tray but I may make a new tray out of flat carbon fiber. Everything would be bolted to the carbon fiber and the carbon fiber would be bolted to the hull using some standoffs. I'm not sure how I would attach the motor to the front. I may have to make my own plate with a vertical piece in the front to bolt the motor to.
    As for the batteries, I'm not entirely sure what to do. I don't particularly like the velcro straps so I may look for something else to use.

    I'm hoping you guys have some ideas of your own. It would be really neat to have our little Traxxas forum community collaborate on this project. If everything works out and doesn't cost a ton of money, I may make more than one and sell them. I think there could be a market since it's the one and only thing you can't currently upgrade on a Spartan. Well... think about this project and try to come up with some ideas!

    Consider this the beginning of "Spartan V-3"

  2. #2
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    Really guys!? You're gonna let me have all the fun? Somebody HAS to have SOMETHING that bothers them about the stock Spartan.

  3. #3
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    The only thing that bothers me is plastic!

    If you are successful you can make some $$$$$$$. I know if you show me a quality build you ALREADY HAVE 2 HULLS SOLD! Id be a customer for sure...

  4. #4
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    If you made this out of carbon fiber I would definitely be interested in one.




    E-Maxx and Spartan

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerDemon View Post
    If you made this out of carbon fiber I would definitely be interested in one.
    That is the eventual plan. Fiberglass runs right around $10 per yard. Carbon is closer to $60. Fiberglass will be a little more forgiving on the budget if I make any mistakes on the 1st few. If I sold these, would you guys mind having to swap your electronics to a new radio tray? If I actually sell more than 1 or 2, I'll have carbon plates laser cut that would just bolt into the hull instead of the tray that kind of slides in, then attaches with those stupid tabs. Everything would still be mounted to one tray/plate but the servo and RX box would be through bolted with nuts and the whole plate would be screwed into the stringers. Another problem I'll have to address is those stupid tabs on the bottom of the ESC. They broke off the very first time I tried to remove the ESC. The ESC doesn't have hardly any surface area on the bottom for Velcro either. I was thinking I'd make a top plate that attaches to the bottom with 1" standoffs and screws. The top plate would lay across the ESC and tighten down on it. The ESC conveniently measures 1.07" so with a 1" standoff, 70 thousandths should be just the right amount of tension on the ESC.

  6. #6
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    I wouldnt mind a new tray if its proper.....

    Im dead serious about buying 2 if you are successful

  7. #7
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    I added up the prices of everything. This is going to be an expensive build . How much do you think someone would pay for a fiberglass hull if done perfectly? and a carbon fiber hull? Don't feel like your'e making me an offer you have to uphold if you reply. This project is still a long way off. I just want to know what someone would pay. Also, the thing I'm currently building IS going to be vacuum bagged. I'll get some bagging experience with this so that I can vacuum bag the hulls. Bagging is really the way to go. Resin content ends up nearly perfect and the overall shape is dead on too. Here are some pictures of what I'm making right now.















    Here's how we lost the old one lol.

  8. #8
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    Little but of a change in plans. I'm laying up that part this week so while I have everything out and dirty, I'll try making a hatch. I figured if I screw it up, it's a $20 loss instead of $120 to replace a hull. I'll keep this thread updated with how everything is coming. Should have a fiberglass hatch by the end of this week

  9. #9
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    Great keep us posted.




    E-Maxx and Spartan

  10. #10
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    Plain white hatch is on the way from Kintec.

  11. #11
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    I've been meaning to comment for awhile, but been pretty busy.

    I think a fiberglass or carbon fiber hull that incorporates the Traxxas tray, or similar removable tray, would be awesome.

    Two suggestions:

    General consensus is that the deep, high rise, of the V on the Spartan is what makes it hard to stabilize (chine walk). If you could reduce the height and angle of the V in your design it may help with stability. This may be a challenge, because I think the Deep V design is, at least in part, to allow for fitment of the tray and room for the stuffing tube.

    Do your research on design patents. If you plan on building and marketing after market hulls designed to fit the OEM tray, be confident you aren't violating any design protections. I would hate to see anyone get snarled up over a toy boat.

    Have fun with the project, I will be following your progress with interest.

    hog

  12. #12
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    I would keep the deep vee design the same as the added weight of the fiberglass will help with the chine walk as the boat will sit lower in the water. Making your own hull is one thing but as Hog has stated selling them might entail a legal battle over patent rights you do not want. Have fun and we will be watching your progress.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I agree with the deep V hurting when it comes to chine walk but it definitely helps in rough water. I may add a couple strakes to hopefully tighten up the feel. I'm pretty sure I'm fine with patents and whatnot if in making them just for me. As far as selling... I have no idea. I'd probably not be allowed to call it a Spartan and the design of the hull may actually be patented. I don't think the tray system is patented but I'd better check. Maybe I'll have to make some changes just to make it my own design... loosely based off a Spartan. Shouldn't be a big deal but I'll research it before I attempt to sell any. Just got a shipment of vacuum bagging material and release agent today. Hatch was probably delivered to my other house so I'll get that tomorrow. Maybe a fiberglass hatch by the end of the week?

  14. #14
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    Most courts, rule of thumb is 10% change. Change the hull, length, design, top hull etc by 10% and you'll be alright until you steal again10% of their business. its all about "money" with corporations.

    I worked for a Company that began manufacturing Allum fishing boats in China around 2003, we took a well known American fishing boat and sourced out manufacturing it in China. Trully an EYE opener, skilled labour workers in china earn around $1.50 per day, USA wages are $96 for same day.

    Build it, I'll buy one and try it
    MMM/2650, E-maxx Body=FUN !
    3 Slash 4x4
    Pede 4x4

  15. #15
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    Well today was very productive. I got everything laid out to make the hatch for the 1:1. A friend dropped off a vacuum pump so I have everything to vacuum bag now. I also got the hatch for the Spartan in the mail. The box from Kintec was comically big for such a flat part. There was also a large gouge in the box but the hatch is fine. Tomorrow I'll prep the hatch for the Spartan. It needs a flange around the base, the holes for the latch filled, and everything sanded out and waxed. Maybe lay up the mold tomorrow.




  16. #16
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    So far today I've made the flange for the hatch. I just used some wood, cut a hole in it so I can get to the underside of the hatch to seal it, covered the wood with Teflon, and right now the RTV is drying that seals the hatch to the Teflon. I decided to leave the holes in the hatch because to fill them, I'd have to get out the Bondo, sand it down, shoot everything with primer, sand that out, shoot everything with gel coat, sand that out, and polish that. Too much work for a test piece and I'll probably use the original hatch pin thing anyway.

    More pics to come later today.

  17. #17
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    The hatch is waxed up and ready to go. Fiberglass strips are cut and ready for resin. I'll go back In a couple of hours and spray some PVA and mess with the vacuum bagging stuff and maybe make the mold later tonight. Should turn out pretty cool!

  18. #18
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    more pics!

  19. #19
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    I guess I have some news. Nothing got done for the past few days. I've been busy around the house. I found some time this morning though. Bad news... the hatch for the 1:1 HAS TO BE DONE by the next race on September 14th. The team has hotel rooms booked, physicals scheduled, reservations made, and all that fun stuff so the boat HAS to be at the race with a hatch. So there goes most of my free time for the next month. Good news... we played with the vaccum bagging this morning and it's going to work well... I think. I may get something laid up tomorrow. We will have to see. I'm trying to follow the schedule of the 1:1 hatch so that when I mix gel coat for one, I can do it for the other at the same time. Same with mixing resin. That means that any problems with the 1:1 hatch will hold up the RC hatch too. No promises but I'm going to try hard to have a mold laid up tomorrow and seperated by Monday afternoon.

  20. #20
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    Coat 1 of PVA (basically a water soluble film that sprays on like paint and keeps the parts from sticking together) is on the hatch. I ditched the vacuum bagging idea because it just didn't really work. I pulled vacuum on it and it didn't stretch like I thought it would. Gonna go back out and spray some more. Maybe a mold by tonight... who knows.

  21. #21
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    Good luck mate....... And I'll have a carbon fibre boat thanks!!!!!

  22. #22
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    Coat 2 of PVA went on but it's coming off either tonight or tomorrow. I must have gotten silicone up on the hatch so the PVA didn't stick and shriveled all up in a few spots. I'll clean it VERY thoroughly and try again.

  23. #23
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    I washed the PVA off and I'm happy with the product... just not the application. My dad sprayed the first coat of the 1st one and he had the pressure too high IMO and was holding the gun too close. He's painted some cars in his day though so I guess I'd better still watch him close and try to learn something. Anyway... I just went out and sprayed it my way and coat 1 laid on beautifully. I stick the GoPro on the gun too and the video looks pretty cool. Time to let it dry for a half hour or so and go back out for rounds 2 and 3. Mold tomorrow? We shall see.

  24. #24
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    Coat 2 is on and it looks GOOD! No coat 3 needed.

  25. #25
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    First coat of gel coat is on. Looks really good but it will near at least one more coat. I just brushed it on because it took less than a bathroom Dixie cup to cover it all and it wasn't worth getting the dump gun dirty. Pics to come maybe. Tapatalk has been acting up and not letting me post pictures. I started a build blog over at www.fandrracingblog.blogspot.com if you guys want to follow this build a little closer. More details over there.

  26. #26
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    Looks sweet man! IfI ever come down to Delaware you'll give me a ride in that Sweet 1:1 right haha?
    Give us some info on that!
    Xo-1
    Pede 4x4 PE - Slash 4x4 PE
    Miss Geico Boat

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by YOLOer View Post
    Looks sweet man! IfI ever come down to Delaware you'll give me a ride in that Sweet 1:1 right haha?
    Give us some info on that!
    Sure! Not much to say about that one. 1989 Jaws Lorequin (almost unheard of boat manufacturer so very rare boat) with a 598 cubic inch (about 10 liter) big block making somewhere around 800 or 900 horsepower. Only does about 90mph.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by F-R Racing View Post
    Sure! Not much to say about that one. 1989 Jaws Lorequin (almost unheard of boat manufacturer so very rare boat) with a 598 cubic inch (about 10 liter) big block making somewhere around 800 or 900 horsepower. Only does about 90mph.
    I like your description of "only"
    Xo-1
    Pede 4x4 PE - Slash 4x4 PE
    Miss Geico Boat

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by YOLOer View Post
    I like your description of "only"
    ya but he said 800 or 900 hp.. youd expect more.. Still though. Thats a beast

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socalirevo View Post
    ya but he said 800 or 900 hp.. youd expect more.. Still though. Thats a beast
    Yeah boats are very very inefficient. Although my boat is actually like 93% efficient which is almost unheard of. Most boats are between 80 and 85%. The coolest part is that the boat is so light weight that it sits there and shakes like a Harley or something and when you're idling it feels like you're on a horse. You can feel every rotation of the engine as it sort of surges. It feels like blower surge without the blower. It's a nasty little boat. Anybody in the central Maryland area... I'll be in Solomon's at the OPA race Saptember 14th with the 1:1.

  31. #31
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    Have you made anymore progress on the hull or hatch yet?




    E-Maxx and Spartan

  32. #32
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    Not really. I've been focusing on getting ready to finish out high school. Hatch is still sitting in the shop awaiting a second coat of gel coat and some fiberglass. I did do some patent research though and as far as I can tell, the hull is not patented. The only patents Traxxas holds are to the slipper clutch system, the trans on the pedes and rustlers, and their battery connectors. That actually surprised me that they don't have more patents. Looks like I'm ok for building hulls. I guess it's no different than someone selling a carbon chassis with the same basic shape as a Traxxas product. Also, the mods have warned me about selling and marketing non-Traxxas products on this thread specifically. This is NOT the place for that. This is just a build thread.

  33. #33
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    Well I've made a little bit of progress. I just got done brushing on the last coat of tooling gel coat. The thing looks good. Just needs a little fiberglass reenforcement and it will be ready to separate! As for the 1:1 hatch, the plan was to lay the 1st half up tonight but the gel coat is still too wet and we're all tired. I know... you're all very visually stimulated so here are new pics not much different than the last.
    Here's the 1:1

    And the Spartan



  34. #34
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    Sweet she looks good!!




    E-Maxx and Spartan

  35. #35
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    Well... after weeks of work I finally have.... nothing. The last coat of gel coat shriveled up and messed up everything. It's all in the trash now. Time to start over. Trial and error... Trial and error.

  36. #36
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    Little update here... I'm going to try and salvage the hatch. The plastic got all rough for some reason so I'll knock it down with some sand paper and spread some Bondo. This means I'll have to prime it and gel coat it before I can make the mold anyway so.... ANY CHANGES YOU GUYS WANT TO THE STOCK HATCH MUST BE COMMUNICATED NOW! I'll be a week sanding and filling so you guys have a little bit of time. I'm talking ANY changes. Any body lines you wished were a little different, any scoop you wish was there, anything.

  37. #37
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    Extend the tabs back so they no longer pop out
    Xo-1
    Pede 4x4 PE - Slash 4x4 PE
    Miss Geico Boat

  38. #38
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    Gonna build a fiberglass hull!

    Like bring the tabs on the sides in or bring the middle out? And are you sure? I find myself using them to lift the hatch. Thanks for the suggestion. I'd really like to work with you guys and make something that we all really like.

  39. #39
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    Never Mind haha, They fixed it last year I forgot.
    Looks sweet tho!
    Xo-1
    Pede 4x4 PE - Slash 4x4 PE
    Miss Geico Boat

  40. #40
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    Bondo is still sitting on the hatch. I've been working hard on the 1:1 to get it ready for the race next weekend. The hatch for the 1:1 came out looking good so I've got some faith that I can do an RC boat. Here's a pic of the 1:1 hatch.

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