This was one of my first articles, describing what may have been one of the last great model boat regattas in the Midwest. OK, that could be controversial, but let me explain. Starting back in the Golden Era of R/C model boating (80’s and 90’s), Regattas were grand affairs, resplendant in fine models, on-the-water competitions, and sponsors and prizes. Lots of prizes– radios, full kits, etc. And they were a bear to organize– I know, as I helped chair this particular show. It can drain you to the point that you don’t want to do another one… which might be why most shows today are much more informal. And maybe that’s a good thing– some of the most enjoyable Regattas I’ve attended have little in the way of formal competitions or fancy prizes, because it’s quite enough to merely arrange the tables at the venue.
So read about how one of these shows runs– in Writings, 2005 Great Lakes Model Boat Show.
A few years back, I had the pleasure of building Robbe’s big R/C schooner, the “Valdivia”. Find the article under Writings.
Four-part Valdivia article
As a model boat writer, I must pay homage to one of the great publications of yore… Scale Ship Modeler ran from 1978 to 2000, and was always chock full of great builds– some static, but mostly R/C. Plenty of evidence that one can combine fine modeling AND fun operation on the water… or as I like to say, R/C’ers model Form and Function!
Just for fun, I posted images of the SSM covers at RC Groups:
After General MacArthur said “I shall return”, it was a PT boat that he stepped on to start his journey out of the Philippines, and that boat was PT-41… one of the first US Navy vessels to actively fight the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.
I’ve built a 4 foot R/C model of PT-41; check it out in Writings.
Steamboat at the 2006 Cabin Fever Expo
The annual Cabin Fever Expo in York, PA draws all kinds of model engineering types and steam aficionados– including R/C steam boaters. I visited the 2006 show, and report here on the boats.
Steamboat model in the Howard museum
Across the Ohio from Louisville sits the old Howard mansion, previously the home of several generations of steamboat builders. The Howard yard is now JeffBoat, and the mansion houses the Howard Steamboat Museum, with its collection of steamboat memorabilia and lots of steamboat models.
Read about it in Writings.
Tug "Hercules" drawing from HAER
HAER is a department within the National parks Service, tasked with documenting American engineering structures– including ships. Read about it in Writings.
Gearboxes are useful in boat drive systems.
There’s lots of confusion out there about matching motors to props for scale boats. By using gear reduction, small fast motors can be used to drive relatively slow props without lugging down and burning up the motor. Read all about it in “All Geared Up”, in Writings.
Skipjacks racing at Solomons Island
I had a wonderful opportunity to visit a Vintage Yacht regatta in Maryland a few years ago, and did an article at that time. Now posted here, see in Writings.
A place to see the scale model work of Patrick Matthews. Specializing in radio controlled scale model ships, Patrick enjoys his work enough to write about it! So you can find some of that content here as well.