The Billings Boats Andrea Gail build and review

The Billings Boats Andrea Gail Build and Review

By James Packwood
This is a review. I have no contact to Billings Boats

   The Andrea Gail is a well know vessel made famous by the movie The Perfect Storm. Billings Boats made a kit out of this boat which can be constructed as a static display kit or as remote control boat. It is an advanced kit that leaves a lot to your own creative license. It is not for the beginner because it involves some building techniques that only come with experience or under the tutelage of an advanced mentor (or YouTube). There are no written instructions so you will have to rely heavily on the instruction drawings, the mast drawings and the Main drawings. As for the Glues involved I used 6-minute Epoxy for the Hull, main deck and rails. Everything above the main deck I used medium ca glue. For the rub rails I used medium ca glue and Insta-Set to cure the ca glue quickly as I attached them in stages.

   The hull is a single piece of ABS plastic so you will just need to remove the excess plastic. These are identified by the indentions in the plastic so you just need to take a sharpie and mark the lines. Take an Xacto saw and cut the vertical lines down to the horizontal line all the way around the hull. After that take your Xacto knife and score the horizontal lines then wiggle them until they come off. Then sand down the edges.

   The rub rails (basswood) and the main deck rail (veneer) will require that you either steam the wood or soak them in hot water. This will loosen the wood fibers enough for you to apply a bend to the wood without breaking them. There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to do this.

The kit is challenging and there is a lot of creative license in the assembly. You have the option of either a static display or a remote control model. If you’re a slow builder and detail oriented, then this is your kit.

No written instruction or helpful hints. Parts are not label so you will have to number them yourself. I had an instance where the veneer started to separate which required me to glue it back together before I could use it. Not every kit is perfect but be prepared to improvise.

You will need a pretty good assortment of glues and tools for this project.
• Green Putty (To fill the gaps in the hull before priming and painting)
• Fine sand paper
• Medium CA glue.
• Insta-Set.
• 6-minute Epoxy.
• Paint (green for the hull, red below the water line and white for the main deck and super structure).
• Dremel tool
• Square
• Xacto saw
• Xacto knife and blades
• Drill
• Wire cutters
• Small file

For the R/C version include
• Receiver
• Battery
• Esc
• Lead weight to balance the boat
• Motor
• Universal joint
• Marine grease for the drive shaft
• Velcro
• Servo and linkage

I enjoyed the kit and the building experience and you will also if you’re looking for a challenging project this winter. It took me 8 weeks of weekends and some weekdays to finish this kit but I also was filming the build so I don’t expect it to take that long for you.

Happy Building

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