Phil, I purchased the Vac-U- Tug Tow Boat kit in Aug. 2012 and just recently completed the project & launched it with a couple of trial runs in recent weeks at the lake we boat in Coquitlam, BC, Canada. I really enjoyed the kit build - the instructions & information you provide made it an enjoyable experience. Here is a picture of the Pusher in action & I look forward to many fun times with it. Regards, Wayne in Surrey, BC Canada
P.S. I have the Vac-U-Tow and the Pickle. Wonderful ships. My father in law also has the Tow and the Tug. They’re just plain fun to build and equally fun to run! Keep up the excellent craftsmanship! Thanks again! Keith
Hi Phil, I have finished my Vac-U-Tow which I got from you earlier this year. I gathered many ideas from your site and from Towboat Joe's site. I am very pleased with the results. This boat has a smoke generator and a fire nozzle that shoots well over 20 feet. Here are a couple of pics. I rate your kit as very high quality, well designed with good instructions to follow. The decals are superb quality. Thanks, I had fun building it and even more fun sailing it. Guess now I will have to make a barge for it to push. Bob
I have been building models for many years, mostly airplanes. I can count on one hand the number of kits that were well designed and the kits were complete and most importantly the parts fit. Your tow boat is a joy. It is complete and the parts fit! I have not completed the boat but all of the parts have been dry fit. The steering has been tested and looks good. Aligning the rudders did take some attention to detail. Thank you very much for an excellent kit. Larry
I belong to the local r/c boat club called the Indianapolis Admirals. We have about 50 members. I took my vac-u-tow and made it into a great retrieval boat and believe me it gets a good workout every time we get together. The tow is the most important boat in my fleet. Thanks for making such a great product. Dave Mc
Phil, Thank you for your prompt reply. I finished my Vac-U-Tow today, I need to charge the battery check the receiver for distance, and then put it in the water. My boats are usually detailed to the longer you look the more you see, my Vac-U-Tow is about as plain as you can get, but everything is simple to have fun without knocking something off. Thank again. Stu
I work as a Towboat Pilot on the Upper Mississippi. I'm very impressed with the kits on the Web-Site that people have built. I have built four model towboats from scratch using Legos, plastic sheets, model car engines modified to look like a diesel, radars, and equipment off my son's GI Joes back in the early 80's. This kit is what an old riverman like me has been looking for, for years. Thanks, Bill A.
Phillip I recently brought my Vac-U-Tow to a cousin of mine, who had captained tow boats since the age of 16 yrs. old, until seven or eight years ago when health problems required him to leave. He, as many of us on the gulf coast has lost every thing in hurricane KATRINA, so just to get him out and to get his mind off the day to day problems we face I picked him up and went to a near by pond and hooked up the eight barges I made out of plastic storage bend containers (pretty close to scale) and placed a common house brick in each barge. He was floored on how the boat handles, pushes & backs down compared to the boats he captained! He does not have any room to build any thing like your kits (living in a fema trailer) so. I'm going to buy and assemble the vac-u-tow and let him paint and detail it to his liking. (I added 4 more barges total of twelve and loaded with bricks in wind it still handles with minimum fuss especially when he pilots the boat!!) Thanks for a great product. Darryl.
Phil: Sent you a couple of pictures of my Tow Boat the MV Brandon a few weeks ago and thought I'd follow up with a short video of it in action on the maiden voyage at the lake. The boat performed flawlessly, the motor and speed control were cool to the touch and absolutely no water inside. With the 8 cell 3600 Mah battery we could only run it at about 2/3 throttle, anything more and the bow would be under water. We ran it for about 1 1/2 hours and still had enough battery for at least another hour or so. Should have plenty of power to push a couple of barges. My Grandson Brandon even ran it for a while when he could talk his Dad (and Grandpa) out of the radio. Morin J
Thought I'd drop you a line and a couple of pictures of my Tow Boat, the MV Brandon. This is my first model boat although I've been modeling trains for over 30 years. I found this kit very easy to build and the instructions to be complete and concise. I will be ordering another Tow boat soon and possibly the Vac-U-Tug also. My next project will be to build a couple of barges to push. Thanks again for such an exceptional kit for the first time boat modeler. Morin J.
First let me say that this kit was a pleasure to work on, the instructions were just great. For a first time builder I cannot see how they could go wrong with this kit. As you know I use to race nitro powered boats and am no longer able to do it any more as my eye sight has gone south. With the aid of a pair of magnifying head gear and a little builders license the kit came together for me. I can't wait to start the Tug boat! Again thanks for a great kit and a way for me to get back into a hobby that I love. Sincerely yours, Jim.
Hi Phil, I had purchased the tow boat kit a while ago and just got it finished today. I am enclosing some pics of the finished boat. I had a new set of the trinity "D" size 4400mah ni-cad packs (2 packs of 3,designed to be used in the tamiya clodbuster for extended run time) which weighed out at 32 ozs. so, I only had to add 14 ozs. of BB's/epoxy for ballast. Enclosed is a pic of the inside set-up as well. The boat looks great with a little detailing, and is a lot of fun. Again, I have to commend you on an excellent, and very thorough kit. I have a Dumas Miss American Beauty, and a barge kit as well. Now I just need to copy the wood patterns (and scaled down a bit) and build me some barges for this puppy. Thanks so much again. David B.
Phil, Got the boat about noon yesterday! Had most of it completed by around 4:30Pm and had to go to work (@#$%!). Should have it to the 'painting stage' by 5 - 6 o'clock this evening. I like the way you've done the window decals! If you're half way careful, it makes things much easier (goofed on cutting the 'clear' part, so what else is new? Not real bad, it's still 'hide-able'.) All in all, no complaints! Having more fun than I know what to do with... (Next day:) Got some more done. Second coat of paint, went for 'sea trials', readjusted the rudders (those rudder arms aren't at right angles for a reason, aren't they!). No ballast yet, don't think it'll take very much (using a 2400 mAhr battery), may just add a bit to the front. I think you gotta winner! Paul
Hi Phil, I received my Vac-U-Tow kit today and I just had to e-mail you. The kit is everything, and more, than I expected from a smaller kit producing company. The completeness of this kit is absolutely amazing, right down to the synthetic shaft lube, and the small metal holding clips used to hold the hull while the glue dries. Nobody goes to that kind of trouble to make sure the builder has just about everything on hand to build the model. I commend you on the attention to detail, and the great lengths you have gone to make this a truly wonderful build. I cannot wait to get it built, and again, bravo, and thank you very much. David B.
Guess I can't wait for it to get finished before showing it to someone other than my wife! Dave A. (2 construction pictures in the Tow Photos page.)
I just got it yesterday and was looking it over today. A fine piece of work I should say. It should make a fine Crounse boat copy. I think you done a fine job of putting a kit together for an experienced modeler and novice alike. The instructions are good and easy to follow too. Take care and Thanks, Joe
Okie Dokie - Phil, Thanks for all your great work and help, I really enjoyed seeing the look on the guys faces, when they saw your model towboat kit. They all looked it over and remarked how easily it looked like it could be built by someone, then winked and pointed at me! As if I were a dummy - LOL, like they know me - huh. Bill Z.