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  Doug Bussey sent me some pictures of his Dumas Mister Darby.  Doug states that, "When I take my Mister Darby out, it's a 2 to 3 hour cruise.   The noodles are around the tow rope to keep it out of the propellers.   They've paid for themselves in saving drive couplings."   
  Doug has included such added such features as a  separate control of mast light, running lights, starboard red mast lights, center white mast lights, port white mast lights, siren, horn and flashing red light over the tow line. The tug can pull an inflatable raft with no problem.  It cruises at about 1/4 to 1/3 throttle so the speed controls do not overheat and gives an actual speed of 1-2 mph.   Doug has spent about 50 hours over the past years cursing around the downtown lake in the picture.

   (Click on thumbnails to view larger pictures)

Doug uses a 35 AH gel cell for all power and to ballast the tug.  At full power without a load, the tug just about starts to plane.  The rear wave is higher than the stern of the tug.

  His Mister Darby uses 2 MAC 7117 speed controls connected to 2 900 size motors with MAC gearboxes with 3 to 1 reduction.  Doug is using modified Dumas couplings because the motor torque is strong enough to sheer the drive dogs in seconds.  Doug had to drill the sheered drive dogs and insert 1/16 in brass rods in for the pins.  He found that this raises havoc  with the couplings so he had to place a 2 inch piece of plastic hosing over the couplings and drive dogs and secure it with crazy glue.  This usually lasts 5 - 10 hours running.  (Model Marina note: I recommend he get some u joints from
Harbor Models.)

  Doug has a MCD Switch 16 on an Airtronics Vanguard surface radio to control the options.   Doug is now only using 8 of the 16 available channels so far. The right vertical stick has been changed with parts from Airtronics to be a throttle stick also.

The old guy, the Darby and a toy tug.
A picture of Doug running his Mister Darby.

Captain Doug & crew 014
This is the Darby ready to tow the inflatable.

Rear view of the Darby
This shows the hatch cover from Robbe used on their sub.   Makes a nice finger hole to pull the decking away for access to the drives and rudder.

Close view of the Port motor and drive.
Doug states that he is cheap by saying that.. "I use 'Bondo' to make motor mounts and to mount the motors".  (I have used Bondo two part epoxy putty to mount motors... work well)  The wood in the background is the battery box.  Doug uses a 35 amp hour gel cell that gives him about 2 hours of constant cruising at 1- 2
mph or longer.

Motors and gear boxes
This picture also shows the bag of lead shot for ballasting the rear of the boat. Bag of shot weights about a kilo, 2.2 lb..

The Robbe search light
This picture shows a Robbe search light converted to white LED.  Both are run off the 12 volt system with current limiting resistors in series through the Switch 16.

21 channel radio
This shows an Airtronics Vanguard 600 converted to 21 channels. One of the proportional channels (flaps) was wired into the MCD Switch 16. This gives me 5 + 16 channels.  The 16 on/off channels can be either toggle or momentary.  The lights are set to toggle and one push of the button turns on that light.  The next push turns it off.  The horn and siren are momentary.  Each channel is good for about 2 amps but I don't go that high. There is a simple calibration procedure to align the channels.

The Cabin shot
This is just a nice shot of the front deck and cabin of this Mister Darby.

Darby Mast lights
This is a shot showing the port running light, top mast light and the three columns of lights on the mast.  There are two lights out because Doug is now having too much fun cruising to rewire the mast.  Actually Doug tells me that the wires are shorted out and burnt up. The mast is brass tubing drilled to allow the 16 volt model train lights (from ebay) wires to run down inside the mast. Doug dropped the Darby when it was water ready (65 lb.) about three feet onto cement and broke a few things.  The biggest loss was the small motor that turned the radar antenna.  Doug tells me that he lost a tiny brush from the motor.  (Don't feels so bad Doug, my Darby was a complete loss...  I talked to Dave at Harbor Models and he can provide me a replacement hull and other needed items.. Thanks to Dave, I have a source of replacement parts when I'm ready for this rebuild my Darby, but not quite yet.)

One motor full power
This is a shot of only the right motor at full power.  I had just sheared the drive dogs on the port motor.  Note the prop wash from the starboard motor.

Both motors, full power.
What an over powered Darby looks like under full power.  Doug can't keep it up over a minute or the ESCs shut down from overheat.

Nice sunset shot
Just that.  Tug looks really good on the water.

Last year's picture
Just a low starboard shot of the Mister Darby.

Mister  Darby at cruise
This shows the Darby at about 1/3 to 1/2 throttle.

 Doug sent me more pictures of his models:

  If you have any questions or tips you may need,  you can email Doug at:


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