IRCWCC Community Cheap Boat Challenge

Discussion in 'Event Announcements' started by bsgkid117, Jun 27, 2023.

  1. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    Hello guys,

    This question gets asked a lot from new people. How much does this cost? How cheaply can I get involved and have fun?

    With that in mind, I have decided to sponsor an IRCWCC Cheap Boat Challenge.

    [​IMG]

    The rules are as follows:

    Boat must meet all IRCWCC construction requirements and must be 100% IRCWCC legal.

    Minimum Class: Class 2, 2.5 units. No maximum class/units.

    Boat must participate in 3 IRCWCC sanctioned battles and be present on score sheets submitted to IRCWCC Secretary.

    Participants will be judged based on a number of factors, some arbitrary. Things like (but not exactly limited to):

    • Final cost
    • How well did you document your expenses? Did you keep track of literally everything? 6.75oz of gray paint, 1 $.05 acid brush, 2 tubes of E6000, 14 inches of fishing line for gun pins?
    • Does your boat actually work? (Does it work well?)
    • How "easy" was your build? How reasonable would it be for a new person to do what you did?
    • Did you use tools/equipment beyond what is reasonably expected for a new person? (everyone, apparently, does not own a mill, lathe, cnc router, scroll saw, 3d printer, etc).
    • Larger, more complex ships, will be weighted more heavily than smaller ships that should, understandably, be cheaper to build. This curve will be figured out at the time of judgement.
    • All parts/supplies/materials used in construction of the ship should be calculated into the expenses. If you had solenoids laying around, they are not a $0 cost. Their original purchase price should be factored in. This is not MSRP, this is what you paid for them. This encourages deals shopping, surplus ebay purchases, etc.
    • You are permitted to calculate price per unit/inch/etc for supplies based on the actual purchase price if you bought a larger quantity than required and needed to cut down/only used part of the full amount. Example being $9 for 18" of K&S brass tube, but only using 6" of it, and recording $3 for brass tube.
    • Your radio and receiver are factored into the cost of the boat. Choose wisely.
    • Cost of batteries for ONE FULL BATTLE should be included in the cost of your boat. Not per sortie. If you have to charge between sorties, double the cost of your battery.
    • Cost of battery chargers, tools, etc are not factored into the cost of your boat.
    • Is your boat pretty?
    • Does your boat have extra features? (Functional recovery float, night battle lighting, etc)
    • Are you just refurbishing an old hull and have no idea how much it originally cost you? That's OK, but the judges will Larry Moe & Curly argue and haggle for exactly 2 minutes over how much they'd be willing to pay for that hull to factor into your score.
    *These rules are subject to minor modification as we chit chat about this fun little contest. All judging decisions are subject to angry debate between the judges and the individual contestants.

    Judging will take place during IRCWCC NATIONALS 2024, specific day to be determined. My two other judges will be selected between now and then. Judges may participate in the contest and a supplementary judge will be selected from the participants for judging that boat. I will not participate, to remain impartial.

    Now, the thing everyone wants to hear: The prize!

    The winner of this contest, aside from being crowned the chief cheapskate, will win a full 3D Printed ship kit* including Turnigy 6 channel Radio and receiver. Exact ship kit will be determined at a later date due to me constantly adding more ships to my catalog. Expect something VDT/I-Boat sized, maybe USS Texas sized, definitely not smaller than I boat or larger than Texas.


    *Ship Kit as defined on the www.southjerseyshipyards.com website, not including internal functional components like: regulator, solenoids, ESC's, motors, pump, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2023
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  2. Beaver

    Beaver 2020 Rookie of the Year Admiral (Supporter)

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    This has me excited. Hopefully I can participate. Thankfully $/hr labor doesn't figure in or I'd have no chance at winning! :laugh:
     
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  3. Nomercy

    Nomercy Well-Known Member

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    Boy ain't that the truth
     
  4. Beaver

    Beaver 2020 Rookie of the Year Admiral (Supporter)

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    So does shipping for items purchased figure into the final cost?
     
  5. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    I don't know, what do you think? I think that for a new person getting into the hobby shipping is still coming out of their piggy bank so I'm inclined to say yes.
     
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  6. Beaver

    Beaver 2020 Rookie of the Year Admiral (Supporter)

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    I think it should definitely be added. Maybe have captains tally it separately just for comparison of actual component costs?
     
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  7. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    On the one hand, I like the train of thought, but at the same time, I have questions/concerns.

    What is the goal? Is the goal to discover a set of best practices to help newcomers get on the water as cheaply as possible, or ...

    Is the goal to create a reproducible "beginner ship" or something that could be offered as a "kit" or whatever to the new folks?

    Personally, I think that something 3D printed, as much as possible would be the best thing, something like either a Fiji or Von der Tann. Probably Fiji, maybe even Nurnberg (1 less motor).

    I think that one of the huge benefits that a 3D printed hull could offer is tremendously simplifying things like "cutting ribs" and decks/subdecks that are often difficult and off-putting for new battlers. (A large reason why our friend Steve Morgret came up with the molded Duca d'Aosta concept)

    I think that another area where it could excel is in having a hull that when printed is also ready to "drop in" accessories like motors, pumps, guns, etc.

    I don't know if I will have time/energy to "compete" in this event, but if I might, a couple of other things I might suggest are:

    1) If doing a 2.5 cruiser, a single 75 round gun cuts your gun/solenoid/etc expenses in 1/2. Yeah, it's not doubles, but if cheap and easy is really the goal ... (?)

    2) Again, cheap: Poppet valves and waterproof servos might not be as spiffy as solenoids and electronics, but they may (or may not) be cheaper. What's a solenoid cost these days anyway?

    3) Larger ships and sidemounts are fun, but battery expenses etc. start to add up really fast.

    4) A good, easy to produce and replicate (i.e. reliable) 3D printed gun design would be very helpful, especially if it was expandable to duals, etc. I have some ideas, but they're probably wacky and impractical. I've recently had reason to appreciate why Charley took shortcuts with the BC cannon design. Doing things the "right" way can be very time consuming.

    5) If the goal is to develop/research tech to make the hobby more accessible for newcomers, things like cardboard/superglue Ajax, etc. probably aren't really the best idea. I mean, yeah, that's cute, but...

    6) Just gonna throw this out there. If there is interest in creating a "bargain class" theme or something like that, it might be nice to do it with the added understanding of we should be making these with the willingness to sell them/lend them to new battlers for cheap to help get people kick started into the hobby.

    Just some thoughts...
     
  8. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    WORKING ON IT! In all seriousness, I have a batch of cannons going to Will and another battler that are getting proofed this weekend then mailed. Mix of cartridge style and coils, and the cartridge style are ideal for twins or triples. If Will is satisfied with them, hopefully I can talk him into printing some himself, to check if my design can be reproduced on other printers. I am 100% willing to share the original CAD files once the designs are validated.

    As for the actual contest, I don't think I'll be able to formally enter due to the requirement for 3 sanctioned battles with submitted score sheets. The local club considers counting holes to be a waste of time and prefers convoy runs and sinks. But I am currently 3d-printing one of Greg's Deutschland hulls specifically to be a low-maintenance loaner boat. It will have a 1 unit pump and two cannons for simplicity and survivability. I will track my major component expenses and combat results.
     
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  9. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    The primary motivator/goal is "For fun".

    Some people see the hobby as just building. Some people see the hobby is just battling, and building the boat is just the means to the end. I wanted to throw ideas at the wall for silly/ entertaining things that could bring captains together in a playful contest of sorts, this is what made a bunch of them go "Oh hell yeah I'd do that."

    Some of the inspiration here is the auto sports event "24 hours of Lemons" where "$500" cars are put into a 24 hour endurance race. It is 50% an amazing cheap way to get involved in a legitimate racing event, and it is 50% a fun stupid challenge to test yourself and your abilities. Some cars are 100% clapped out by the halfway mark. Some cars are on year 5 with the same team.

    Some of what gets entered sure will not be what you would want to advertise to a new person as you should do it this way. Some of what gets entered may be funny as hell, "holy crap. I can't believe that actually works". My 3D printed hulls already are probably the best way for a new person in the hobby to get into a functioning boat for as cheaply as possible. It's been my whole driving force from the beginning of the 3D printed boat project. Now it's time to see what everyone else can come up with in terms of build the cheapest boat that is still a serviceable functional boat. I don't expect any groundbreaking R&D to come out of this contest, I expect lots of fun. Lots of laughs. Maybe a few silly costumes.

    Cardboard super glue Ajax if it can survive 3 full battles and be scored etc, will be impressive in its own right. Once again, see "For fun".

    Pure frugality is not just the specific goal here, but it's a massive factor. There's a sliding weight scale to factor in how many units is the boat that you built, how functional is your boat, how well has your boat done in the battles that you've participated in? Frugality is the challenge. Most people can beat every level of Super Mario, not many can do it in 42 seconds total.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2023
  10. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    The three sanctioned battles requirement is, sadly, a necessity in my opinion. It's to make sure that the contestants can actually survive and function as a boat in the hobby. 3 full battles is Saturday and Sunday of a typical IRC regional event.
     
  11. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    Oh, very well then. "Fun", bah humbug. :)

    Seriously, though - I don't know if I can fully motivate myself to do this. I'm having enough trouble motivating myself to do what I need to get done this weekend, and I need to get it done this weekend, or it's bring a cruiser to Nats. (And probably resign the Admiralty in shame).

    Yes, I've been slacking again. Yay.

    Anyway, I do have some ideas I'd like to try out, maybe, so we'll see what happens. And no, it won't involve cardboard and superglue. Been there, done that, seen the pretzel the boat turned into eventually. (It wasn't my boat, it was James Foster's Sverige. Poor thing.)
     
  12. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    Plenty of Admirals were cruiser jockeys...there is no shame in it. If I ever ended up as site host, cd, etc, I'd probably just rock Salem so I could be free to handle the brush fires that inevitably come up during NATs.
     
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  13. notSoGnarly

    notSoGnarly Well-Known Member

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    Brush?
    I just remember the grill one and the boat one.
     
  14. Nomercy

    Nomercy Well-Known Member

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  15. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    I've had some questions and such regarding the rules, I've given out some clarifications.

    If you're participating, and have any questions or concerns, let me know and I can address them.

    Otherwise....post some pics!
     
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  16. notSoGnarly

    notSoGnarly Well-Known Member

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    Can the 3 sanctioned battles be at Nats?
     
  17. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    Sure, there must be 3 scored and sanctioned score sheets for the ship. That is the requirement.
     
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  18. notSoGnarly

    notSoGnarly Well-Known Member

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    Cool.
    So who wants to toss together a Suffren on Saturday afternoon before Nats?
     
  19. Mark41

    Mark41 Active Member

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    I've started on this challenge building De Ruyter. Still much to do but thought I'd get it going before the snow flies. Thanks Rick for the plans.
    IMG_0419[1].JPG IMG_0420[1].JPG
     
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  20. Anvil_x

    Anvil_x Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna wait and see which Armored Cruiser @bsgkid117 cranks out next (pls be Scharnie or Blucher), buy that, and just marathon build it.

    I already have all of the components and such to just drop in the kit.