James B. Eads 1/25th Suezmax Tanker

The James B. Eads is a 1/25th scale manned model of a loaded Suezmax tanker, and is our second design-built model. It was designed by Mr. George Burkley of MPI with input from hydrodynamicist Mr. Gene Miller, PhD., was then drafted by Mr. Davis Carambat of Industrial Object Design of Covington, LA and built by Mr. Brett Thibodaux of MetalTech, Inc. in Bush, LA. She is constructed of 3/16th marine grade aluminum, has permanent ballast and a 36V brushless electric motor from Electric Yacht with custom speed controller to mimic the behavior of a Sulzer slow speed diesel.

Name background: The James B. Eads is named after the famous private-enterprise engineer that modified the entrance channel bar for the Mississippi River to create a deep draft channel for merchant ships. Mr. Eads had the novel idea to narrow the channel to allow the natural river to deepen it. Mr. Ead’s privately funded channel succeeded whereby the government funded conventional dredging in South Pass was unsuccessful.

The James B. Eads is loaded to 47’ at scale and has a scaled bow thruster, single propeller and rudder. This vessel displays predictable handling characteristics of a loaded tanker. She is relatively sluggish, easy in her turns and uses counter-rudder to check her swing. She backs to port as expected and carries her way well. She does not steer very well on a stop bell, typical of loaded tankers, and benefits from propeller RPM for steerage. She is equipped with two 10lb stockless navy-type anchors connected to 40ft of ¼ inch BBB chain. Thus she has eleven shots of chain in each locker at 3.6’ per scaled shot. This vessel handles well in all conditions, and is our go-to vessel for exercises in dredging anchor in high winds and demonstrating textbook shiphandling maneuvers.