Amos Hathaway

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Floating Bulldog

Entering service on March 19, 2006, the Amos Hathaway is as close as Green Sea Ships has come to a high performance vessle.

At 43 inches, she was the smallest vessle built by me to date (October, 2006). Yet, she is equipped with the same motor, speed controller, and propeller equipment as much larger vessles like the QUEEN MARY and ECSTASY. To see the Hathaway breaking water at full speed is quite thrilling as scale boats go. The Hathaway is also uniquely maneuverable, as she is the only vessle designed to run in obsticle course competition.

On January 29, 2006, after only a few days of planning, the keel was laid on what was intended to be the fastest, most maneuverable ship in the fleet. A great deal of thought was given to her name, as it is customary to name Arleigh Burke-class destroyers like her after military heroes. Names considered included ALEXANDER VRACIU (the WW2 navy fighter ace). and RANDALL CUNNINGHAM (the Vietnam navy fighter ace). However, when I learned of the corruption scandal which forced Representative Cunningham from office, the search resumed. Finally, I chose AMOS HATHAWAY after viewing a t.v. documentary about the Last Stand of the Tin Can sailors at the battle of Samar in WW2. During the battle, a destroyer commander named Amos Hathaway, when trapped by overwhelming Japanese battleships, charged straight at the battleships, firing every gun he had at them, in an attempt to escape. Miraculously, it worked! His ship, the HERRMANN, was one of the few destroyers not sunk during the battle!

Due to her size, level of detail, or perhaps both, the Hathaway set a record for the shortest construction time of any of my ships. 2 WEEKS from start to finish! However, she would wait a couple more weeks for her Maiden Voyage.

As the most high-performance ship in the fleet, the Hathaway was destined to have a remarkably thorough testing period. Normally, a ship will have 1 Motor trial, 1 Builder's Trial, and then the Maiden Voyage. With the Hathaway, it took so long to get everthing right, that she had 7 Builder's Trials, and 2 Motor trials (with 2 diferent motors) before she was ready to begin her Maiden Voyage. This is the reason for such a long wait between her completion and her Maiden Voyage.

The Hathaway was completed on February 9, 2006, but would wait more than a month for her maiden voyage which took place on March 18. She shared the day with the aircraft carrier KAGA which was also making her Maiden Voyage. At Dobson Lake in Mesa, the Hathaway competed for the first time in the obsticle course competition. She won the day, setting the stage for what will hopefully be a dominant career of competition.

The Hathaway made many more voyages over the course of the spring, but by the final scale competition of the season, on April 15, her rudder had fractured, forcing her into a 5-way tie for first place. The fracture was not noticed until her voyage of May 4th. She would spend the summer in drydock while other projects took priority.

The Hathaway would not return to the water until October7, with a new rudder and her eyes on the scale competition. The first scale meet was scheduled for October 21, and she needed a shakedown. The shakedown reveled that the rudder needed more modifications to make it precise enough for competition

On October 21st, she sailed as the Mesa Model Yacht club began its 2006-2007 season. There was no scale competition, it was just a fun sail day. Before the next scale competition on November 18, she would be modified again.

For the first 9 months of her life, the Hathaway would be dogged by water pouring into her hull, especially at high speeds. During her exhaustive testing period, it was found that water was entering her hull through the deck hatch (which is in fact a completely removable superstructure). After several incidents of water making a swimming pool of her innards, her hull was coated on the inside with polyurethane and compartmentalized to isolate water in the ship. However, mystery leaks would persist. The problem was especially prevelant when at full speed, water would actually crest on her forward deck, and leak easily into her main hull!

At the time of this writing (October 22, 2006), the Hathaway is due for a major reconstructive refit which will see her superstructure rebuilt of enamel-painted foamcore (like the hull of the Battleship Nelson), rather than the fiberglassed matboard and cardboard she currently has. This is predicted to save alot of weight and make the water leaking much less severe.

The Hathaway has a special place in the fleet as perhaps the most maneuverable, easy to transport ship in the fleet. With the toughest, most rugged hull of any of my ships, she will doubtlessly remain that for many years.