Model Yachting - Something for everyone !
Radio controlled model sailing is a hobby without limits. It includes design and building for the serious tinkerer, cutthroat competition for the adrenaline-addicted, and the pure eternal beauty of a vessel cruising along, powered only by the wind. From models under 2 feet to 60 pound monsters with masts over 10 feet tall, model yachting has something for every taste.
Model yachting has been taken seriously practically ever since sailing began. However, the advent of relatively low-cost, reliable radio control electronics in the 1960's made a significant impact on model yachting. Instead of watching as your boat free-sailed across the pond, interactive competition is now the norm. Free sailing (including serious competition) continues in the United States and throughout the world, but the center of the hobby is now radio control.
The ideal hobby -
Model Yachting is the ideal hobby. Properly cared for, boats last forever. A complete beginner can be handed a transmitter with complete confidence. Boats are easy to sail, typically with only a rudder and sail control. Yet the simplicity masks a complexity of skills which can take a lifetime to master. Above all, model yachting is fun, Pure fun. Model yachting is a quiet, photogenic, non-polluting pastime. You will never be thrown off a pond! Instead the person who comes up to you might have some of the same questions you have now.
Where can I get one?
We are challenged here on Delmarva with no hobby shops carrying Model Yachting supplies. But as with everything these days the Internet has several sources for building supplies, boat kits or entire boats and radios. Some hulls have to be obtained from authorized manufacturers but often the best source turns out to be other enthusiasts.
How much does it cost?
Realistically it will cost at least $200 to $400 to get started in the hobby. This is relatively
cheap compared to other radio control hobbies, and a lot cheaper than a full size boat!
Scratch-built boats can be made for considerably less, but even so will require at least a 2-channel
radio, and a sail winch.
At the international competition level, some boats can cost over $3000 and are made almost entirely of carbon fiber.
The American Model Yachting Association is one of the best sources of model yachting information today.
By reading the many AMYA website pages, you can quickly obtain information of particular interest to you.
If you are still interested likely your first question will center around your first boat. Either you have it, or you are considering getting one. We suggest coming to South Gate Pond and talking to our members - take a turn piloting one of their boats and see what you think.