Project progress:

We have now, Sept 18,  completed the 1/35th  scale (37.5″) builders model of the 25′ x 8′ x 2′ (1/4th scale) towboat and we can now revise the Cad drawings accordingly and begin construction of the actual towboat. Many of the frames are already completed so we hope to start work as soon as we can finish repainting the barge (below).

We had trouble with the Pettit Hydrocoat bottom paint over Pettit Tie Coat Primer. We have had to sand all the peeling paint off and start over.

Nov 20, 2017, The barge  (NavCal 179) has now been stability tested and the (1/5th) scale containers added. The container company names will be added to the individual containers before we begin our tour. Now on to construction of the towboat CITY OF TOY. That will likely take over a year.

Oct 3 2017 barge  NC179  25′ x 8′ x 2′ sea trials. The hydrostatic gods were smiling on us as she rested very near her design waterline. Next the scale containers will be constructed and added and the trials repeated before we move on to the construction of the towboat itself.

September 2017 The barge is nearing completion and launch. I should be attaching the HIN, draft marks and numbers today or tomorrow.

22 June 2017 The bow section of the barge is attached to the prepainted frames with the hull sides already in place. The remaining deck pieces are stacked on the floor under the bow. This project is being built right side up as opposed to the normal hull construction technique. Only the hull edges will be fiberglassed on the barge and the deck is the strongest and straightest part of the design so building deck up was chosen for this build. The boat will be constructed in the normal upside down configuration so it can be fully fiberglassed.

25 April 2017 the barge frames are aligned and secured in place on the builder’s frame. This builder’s frame is heavier than necessary but was built with existing materials. After the hull is complete and painted the hull will be supported on blocking so the builder’s frame can be disassembled and removed.

19 Apr 2017 CITY OF TROY frames are 1.75″ x 0.75″ ripped from 1″ x 4″s and the floors are 5.5″ x 0.75″ with 1″ limber holes. Boat construction has started and the builders frame for the barge is taking shape at the assembly shop in Maryville, TN.

Barge Transom Glassed and ready for final sanding before final painting. Unfortunately most 2″ lumber has rounded edges and thus has to be filled with wood filler and faired before fiberglassing.

30 Dec 16, frame eight, the stern, was clamped into the frames jig completing the forward side of the last barge frame. Once the epoxy on this side is set, two inch timbers will be epoxied to the aft side of this frame forming a solid pushing surface for the barge.

 15 Dec 16 Last regular frame for the barge. The last regular frame was laid up today. We now lack the aft, heavy, 2″ stern frame and the bow 2″ headlog. The “builders station frame” that will hold all the other frames in place during assembly is being laid out.  We must have at least 60 degree weather to do epoxy work so we may have to work on other parts of the boat and barge for a while now.


1 DEC 16 NavCal Marine Services, LLC is happy to announce a framing ceremony was held in Maryville, Tennessee, 1 December 2016. The first frame of NC2017 deck barge was assembled using West System high strength epoxy fastenings.