The Ideal Allied Rookie

by Mercury Peabody

After many years of planning and plotting, the Axis war machine has devised a new and devious plan to assure victory at sea. Rather than improve the quality and caliber of Axis captains, it has been decided that the Axis would cultivate an inept crop of Allied rookies for the next few years-thus ensuring Axis domination.

In Port Polar Bear, for instance, we have been working hard to get Ron Horbul's Brooklyn-class cruiser out in the fray. He started out as a qualified candidate for Perfect Allied Rookie Captain-he only had one gun, his throttle was hooked up wrong, he could only muster 30 sec./100' and he had a host of inherently rookie problems with the ship (ie., 15 screws to latch the deck down).

Unfortunately, Ron built a very nice looking Swamp Works™ ship (one strike against him becoming the Perfect Allied Rookie Captain), he got his guns fixed, he's got great hand/eye coordination and he's a nice person! Our efforts with him seem wasted, and it has been decided that we would outfit him with one of the first Swamp Works Moltke class hulls as soon as possible, making him a full-fledged Axis captain.


A new contender for Perfect Allied Rookie Captain has emerged in the form of Danny Barrett (distant, very distant relation to the 1986 Rookie-of-the-Year winner, Curly Barrett). Danny has been building a ship for about four years and has yet to get in a sortie! He is building an Alabama, a Brooklyn, a destroyer and an LSD-concurrently! He has some major promise for Perfect Allied Rookie Captain. His first Alabama was built with 1/4" x 1/2" BALSA WOOD ribs!

As fate would have it, he installed them with the 1/2" toward the skin, and had to come back through with a coping saw to leave himself with 1/4" x 1/4" balsa wood ribs on his Alabama. The non-penetrable area was covered with 1/32" plywood (covered with fiberglass resin-no cloth).
The joyous stories continue, but his bid for Perfect Allied Rookie Captain was elevated to a new level last night when he came over to float his ship in my backyard pond and show off his new pumps.

The boat floated fine and had only two tiny leaks. We adjourned to the dust laden underground dock where the DKM Konig is being built. Danny began repairing his battlewagon and I lined up my new prop shafts. Then the fun began!

Danny wanted to show me his "wonder-pump". He had purchased several RS-550 motors from the local surplus store and added a 2-1/2" impeller to it. We went to the sink to time the pumps ability to drain a 5-quart ice cream bucket-the local test of a pumps ability.

We hooked up the patch cables and, with screaming whine, the pump was vaporizing water. "Wow!" I said. "This baby sure is smokin'." Danny then pointed out that the patch cable was smoking even more than he pump. The ensuing puff of smoke from the fried wiring was of sufficient volume that I had a Dan Dees flashback (veteran fire starter from the early '80s)! My wiring was not rated for the amount of amps Danny's pump drew.

Danny got a little nervous about the pump in his ship, so we hooked that up next. He drained 5 quarts in 48 seconds. Then, for fun, I suggested we hook the pump up to the amp meter.
That's when he fun began. The pump drew 2.1 amps with no load. When it hit the water, the meter gasped and shuddered in disbelief-20.5 amps! I reminded Danny he was planning on running that through his 5-amp switches. He agreed that I saved him a walk through the swamp.

I explained that, while 20.1 amps was excessive, the club record that I was familiar with was a 28-amp pump (built by some nameless fool) that was measured by the Texas Axis at a Missouri regionals. Danny's Eyes lit up. He ran for his other pump, the first one we tested, and started connecting the wires.

Amp meters, as a rule, are a useful addition to a workbench-if used correctly. I was staring at the warning label that read, Ten Amp Maximum, when Danny let out a war hoop that rattled my superstructure. We had a new record.
33.5 amps!

The Perfect Allied Rookie Captain was dancing gleefully as the smoke oozed from the wires leading to the amp meter. As Danny danced through the billowing smoke, I was saddened to know that Danny will probably not make it to NATS this year.