Honey, I Shrunk the Boat!!!


It’s a Glen Lil.

We got this great story from loooong time fellow WoodyBoater Roberta Hegy. Her amazing Glen-L is very well known and loved. So she of course took it even farther with.. Oh hell, she tells the story so much better, and spells word things betterer. But no captions so I get to make them up! Woohooo

Actual Size

Honey, I Shrunk the Boat!!!
By Roberta Hegy

Many of you know me from various shows I have attended around the country with my hubby, Richard.
We joined the Glacier Lakes Chapter of ACBS back in 2010 after building my first boat, a Glen L Zip. One
other boat I built was a Glen L Super Spartan for our Grandkids. Eventually, I built the Glen L Torpedo,
which has been our pride and joy.

What a workshop!

As we all grow old (hopefully) our bodies dictate what we can and can’t do. Well, Arthritis reared it’s
ugly head and required I get a new knee. It also took a toll on my hands and required I slow down my
activities or I would not be able to continue other things I loved to do like guitar and crafts. Still having
the desire to build things, I decided I would build a 1/6 th scale RC model of the Torpedo.

Carpet! I want carpet in my shop now.

The model was made by scaling the original loftings from the full-scale Torpedo. Frames were cut from
leftover plywood used in the full size boat. The setpoint for the motor stringers was used, holes punched
in the frames, and oak dowels were used on a mini build form in place of actual motor stringers. A keel
was laid, chines were set, and the shears and harpin were installed just as in the full size boat.


This is so cool.

Hull planking and sub-decking was applied as in the full size boat. Iron on mahogany purchased from a
woodworking store was stripped to scale shapes and sizes and applied to the sub-deck. These were
stained in original colors and clear coated.

Wait til you read how all this was made.. INSANE!

Trying to find scale hardware and parts proved difficult. Some parts were crafted by hand while some
were designed in 3D cad and printed on my inexpensive 3D printer. The printer proved to be invaluable
as I was able to use free software for designing and slicing programs for various parts and the printer,
itself, was under $250.00.

I think my head just exploded. This is taking it all to the next level.

An electric motor powers the boat and is controlled by a speed controller and rudder servo via the radio
control system. LiPo batteries provide electric power.

If you look closely.. And just throwing this out there. ART? Lift rings? RUN ROBERTA..

Are those lift rings? You may be safe. Cleats with rings? I am so confused. Hold on, I am going to get out my magnifying glass. .

NOOOOOOOO! oh wait, look to the right. GOOD GOD! Roberta! You are insane. The data plate! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

A masterpiece of passion, joy and Arthritis

I have performed some preliminary sea trials in the pool. Hoping to do actual lake runs later this year.
The boat appears to do scale speeds of 8-10 MPH.

Barbie? Ken? Now this is a boat for you!

Genius, genus? jeanious? is in the details.

Interested in Large Glen L boats? CLICK HERE. It’s a wonderful world with support. A support group of sorts..

20 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Very impressive Roberta. The attention to detail is outstanding. You can be as proud of that model as your full size Torpedo!

  2. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    Thanks, Greg, and thanks, Matt, for the Great Presentation of my article. You really made it SHINE. This was a fun project and something to do while our boating season was trashed this year. I actually started this a couple years ago, but it got pushed back with a busy boating season last year and an Arizona hiatus last winter. This year, while unexpected and unwanted, did afford me the opportunity to get it finished, among other things.

  3. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    As a fellow chapter member with Roberta, I can’t help but continue to be amazed by her various talents. I think she’s built an airplane or two as well. I think Boeing could use her help on that 737 they keep trying to get to fly.

  4. Art
    Art says:

    I don’t know how Glen L designed their lifting rings but I do know how CC designed the Cobra lift rings.
    What are the “things” outboard of the lifting rings?

    Some day I will have to post my 52 inch CC RC model…………….with correct lifting rings.

    • Art
      Art says:

      NICE job Roberta, What year was the full size boat made? I especially like the replica “Cadillac” tail light.

  5. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    The aft lifting rings were designed by me. They are used with a spreader bar to ensure that lift forces don’t affect them. They are also used when moored. The smaller deck mounted items are pull up cleats for docking fenders. The aft rings on the transom are used as trailer tied tiedowns.

    Thanks to everyone else for the compliments.

  6. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    Thanks, Art. I completed the build in July of 2015. This design was Glen L Witt’s last design he did in retirement from his Company Glen L. He was about 90 when he designed it. I built the boat as a proof of concept and it is the only known example to be completed. Glen, Gayle, and I worked out details and I provided as built dimensions to correct any discrepancies in plans and instructions. Unfortunately, Glen died a few years ago. While he did get to see the build progress and photos of the completed boat, he did not see his pet project in person. Gayle, his daughter, did get to pilot the boat during a Glen L boat builders gathering in Tennessee on the Tennessee River.

  7. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    roberta great job.
    i though of taking my scrap lumber from my project to build a miniature of my boat.
    why did you choose 1/6? is that a standard?

  8. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    Thanks, Everyone! I had one twelfth loftings, but that would only yield a 19.5 inch boat. So I doubled the size for a 39 inch boat. I’m not aware of any standard. I just wanted a nice size to work with.

    • Roberta
      Roberta says:

      That was an awesome time on the St. John’s river run. Weather was perfect and I had a great opportunity to test the new trim tabs.

      • John Baas
        John Baas says:

        Well, it looks like somebody has wayyyy too much time on her hands! That thing is a work of art. Can’t wait to see it ply the waters of Potter Lake! I’ll always remember the ride in the full size version at Pewaukee Lake, Roberta. So fun and fast! See you at Three Lakes?

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