Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some
form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle
my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD
with model airplanes, if you wanted to enjoy the hobby of model boating back in the 1960s when this article appeared
in American Modeler, you had to be willing to tackle building your own model either from a kit or from plans.
Ready-to-run boats were a relative rarity. Having built half a dozen model boats myself, including nitro and wind
powered types, boats require a bit more work than an equivalent level of airplane because working with birch and mahogany
plywood and various other-than-balsa woods is more difficult when bending, forming, and sanding. Nothing makes you
appreciate carving and sanding a balsa block like trying to do the same on a piece of soft pine (or worse, something
like maple or teak). Radio control was well established by the 1960s, but the size of most of the commercially available
equipment was pushing the limits of practicality even for a lot of boats. The craftsmanship exhibited in some of these
model boats is amazing. It seems model boaters like to build their own engines as well.
Model Boating Aquativities
Now that all active boat clubs in California have banded together in W.A.M., to promote continuing participation in
all contests, points earned in sanctioned contests during the year are applied toward a set of beautiful perpetual
trophies. The following hold the hardware until next September:
Class B Speed Trophy, donated by Argonauts
M.B.C., San Diego: Steve Stevens, Venice, Calif.
Electric Precision Trophy, donated by Bob Gannon; Bob McCallister,
San Francisco, Calif.
Gas Precision Trophy, donated by Kern County Association of Modelers: Warren Fey of
San Diego, Calif., Leonard Gross of Lakewood, Calif., Bill Baughman of Los Angeles, Calif. (3-way tie-joint holders).
"Sea Queen." This boat is really BIG. If ever you have complained about not having
an R/C model large enough to hold all the gear you felt was necessary or thought you wanted something large enough
to handle a stretch of rough water, "Sea Queen" is your answer.
This is a model? Professionally made miniature of ocean liner "Rotterdam" rolls on dollies en
route to Rotterdam harbor for shipment to USA; for display at Holland-America line facilities.
Three years' spare time went into "Coral Reef" by James "Kappy" Kaplanis of San Francisco. Craft is 69 inches, weighs
70 pounds. Hull is mahogany, planked and fiberglassed, features hand-made fittings. (see engine below)
Power for the Coral Reef (above) is provided by four cylinder overhead valve 4·cycle engine built by Frank Kurz
of Redwood City, Calif. To be controlled by Citizen-Ship 8 channel superhet operating home-made servos. Will have
transmission and V-drive.
Frances Bannon, 18, of Brooklyn, N. Y., is seen with working composite of fireboat which is radio controlled, electrically
driven, weighs 60 pounds. has 4 foot length. Frances, only feminine member of The Static Fleet, is executive officer
for that model boat group and an active builder. The Static Fleet has been operating since 1956; info on it may
be had from Cmdr. Duke Nichols at TE 7-5868.
Another three year project was "Grace," the beautifully detailed craft built by William Schulba, Redwood City. Calif.
Has 1/4" ply frames, double planking, fiberglass finish.
Power for Grace is O&R utility engine; converted to boat use it gives 15-mph speed. Twin exhaust system; bilge
pump keeps hull interior dry.
"The Defender," designed by Sparkman & Stevens after a 12-meter racing sloop, and offered by R. R. Larsen &
Co. (Box 23, Westport, Conn.) as deluxe kit model with aluminum span, deck hardware and Dacron sails ($25). or assembled
($35). Hull, molded of plastic, contains lead ballast. Specs: 30" LOA; 153 cu. in. disp; 6 1/2" draft; beam 7.13";
main sail 260 sq. in.; jib 158 sq. in.
Self-tacking "Gee-Gee" racing sloop is latest form Dumas Products. Specs: 22-1/2" long; 24" high; 4-1/2" draft;
124 sq. in. sail area. Kit, $6.95, has die cut balsa wood parts, brass rudder, nylon sail, weighted keel, metal
fittings, self-tacking mechanism.
Carel Baughman with "Sea Queen" kit; see column for details.
You know this is something special, as soon as you open the box, definitely not a toy. The full-size plan will probably
overwhelm you when you first unfold it. Everything is there and it looks large enough to ride in. Separate building
details sheet and printed instructions are included, so it's a simple step-by-step building program throughout. The
parts are huge and they are beefy, so typical of British kits. All components are made of ply or hardwood and hand-cut
to patterns; they have to be as no die could handle the weight material used.
Here is an operating boat
model which should outlast the builder. With the type construction used, nothing short of deliberate, planned destruction
should do more than mar the finish. When completed, you will have a strong boat, you will also have a heavy one. Consequently,
you will have to plan on using enough horsepower to get top performance.
Hull lines of "SQ" provide the wherewithal
for speed and maneuverability. She has good lift throughout the 46 1/4" of her length and 15 1/2" of beam coupled
with a large, straight planning area for speed. Utilizing a V-section through to the transom, she will negotiate any
course with smooth turns which may be made of very short circumference when necessary. All performance design features
and sturdy construction features combine to make this an excellent competition craft for precision or speed courses.
For you builders who lean toward scale or bitty detail, you can have your cake and eat it here. The finished
model looks like a scale model of a large British sport cruiser because it is just that. Westee Hobby Imports, 5808
W. Chicago Ave., Chicago 51, Ill., the boys who bring "Sea Queen" to the American market at $21.95, also have a complete
kit of fittings that will give you all the detail you will ever want.
If it sounds like we are most enthusiastic
on this offering that's because we are. It is one of the best we have yet seen, don't pass it up.
Flotsam and Jetsam. The address of a model ship building firm using the trade name "Constructo"?
Ronald Cadieux (667-45th Ave., N.E., Minneapolis 21, Minn.) says they build old sailing vessels and galleons. Sure,
Ron, try Polks, 314 Fifth Ave., New York 1, N.Y. Bob Aponick (Elmont, N.J.) - the reason you can't find any Dyna-Jet,
Hi Pulse engine boat plans and/or information is that very few communities will allow such craft on the ponds in their
area and no organized boat competition rules permit them in any contest. We know of no one building them or source
of plans. John A. Dorler (Hermosa Beach, Calif.): for foreign boat plans, contact Model Maker, 38 Clarendon Rd., Watford,
Herts, England. John Shaw (White Salmon, Wash.): contact W&M Model Boats, 88-44-241st Street, Bellrose 26, N.Y.
They have a tug kit which should fill your needs. Also, contact Helene Avery, 4728-4th Ave., N. E., Seattle 5, Wash.
for information of club activities in your area. Received a note from our good correspondent, Richard Johnson (Lynnfield,
Mass). who has developed a boat using a Jetex "Scorpion" for power. Dick says it really moves and from the snapshot
the enclosed, we believe him. The boat was on its way out of the photo with just a streak of wake showing!
Look for big things from Bill LeFeber, 7550 Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis 26, Indiana, this season. Bill has come
up with a .15 Super Tigre powered Class AU "G" air screw tether job that is out of this world, design-wise. To augment
this one he has another of the same design powered with a .29 Dooling.
Want to trade equipment? Write WJR,
Box 43, River Forest, Ill. They publish "Modelers Trade Sheet" which is full of things you might want. Your ad at
1¢ per word, may help dispose of those dust-collectors for which you no longer have use.
Building Tips. The following gems were gleaned from the "Marinecraft Catalogue and Guide" published
in England in connection with the kits they produce.
DO: Study your plan and read instructions before commencing.
... Have patience (Rome wasn't built in a day) ... Make a good job of the inside of your boat as well as the outside....
Pay particular attention to grain filling, a good finish before painting makes for a good finish finally ... Make
sure you have a watertight hull. ... Choose the correct motor for the job. Ask for advice if you are not sure ...
Choose the right propeller ... Use non-rusting materials ... Make a carrying cradle for your model ... Try to understand
the working of your first radio; there is more to it than just pressing buttons.
DON'T: Be hasty (this
applies to building, fitting out and operating) ... Install a brand new engine straight away ... It needs running
in ... If you are a radio type, hog the air ... There are others waiting ... Forget to fuel proof inside the boat
... Poke about with a screw driver if you don't understand it (this applies mainly to radio) ... Forget to thoroughly
test before setting out for the pool ... It can be very embarrassing if your motor won't start or your radio work
... Forget to carry spare batteries ... Install equipment where you can't reach it comfortably. Remember it can go
haywire at the most awkward moments ... Forget to dry out thoroughly after sailing ... Forget to keep prop shafts
free and well greased ... Ignore advice ... It's well meant if nothing else ... Carry radio batteries loose where
they can ... short out ... Forget after a day's sailing to carefully clean model inside and out, clean engine, empty
tank and remove all batteries.
Club Contacts. Sail clubs this time. Unless youse guys
let us know about your club, we can't print it.
Mill Pond M.Y.C.; c/o Aines Ballantine, 5 Jefferson Street,
Port Washington, N.Y.
Prospect Park M.Y.C., c/o C. E. Walker, 666-59th Street, Brooklyn 20, N.Y.
Yacht Racing Association of America, c/o Gerhard Muller, National Secretary, 9162 Montrose, Detroit, Michigan.
Brooklyn M.Y.C., c/o F. A. Saturn, 353 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn 26, N.Y.
Rhode Island M.Y.C" c/o Harry Danklewitz,
211 Dennary Avenue, Apponaug, Rhode Island.
More Mail. C. R. Eliason (124 Massachusetts Avenue, Westfield, N.Y,): Write
Charles Cole, Model Steam Equipment, Ventura, Calif., for steam power plant, boiler, and fittings needs. Louis F.
O'Neill (3 Melvin Rd., Phoenixville, Pa.) wants "Bear of Oakland" plans. Charles R. Beverly (Jamaica, N.Y.): Contact
Red Craft Models, 200 So. Irena, Redondo Beach, Calif., for custom built hardware. Ditto, Harold Groger, Jr. of Lindenwold,
N.J. Phillip E. Castilloux (10301 West 61, Shawnee Mission, Kan.): "Adios" was built from A.M.'s "Maverick" plans.
These are available from Hobby Helpers, 1543 Stillwell Avenue, N.Y. City 61. Arthur L. Weir (2240 California, St.
Clair Shores, Mich.): We can't help you much in your drive for proper running facilities. This is the problem facing
most of us throughout the country. We boat modelers must continually be on guard to ensure proper use of those facilities
we are permitted by the local authorities.
Commercial Corner. We constantly receive
inquiries as to source of two items necessary for boat construction - birch waterproof plywood and fiberglass and
resin kits. In the case of the ply, there is always the problem of selection of thickness, width and length; with
the fiberglass process, a small quantity of resin and model weight cloth. Sig Mfg. Co. of Montezuma, Iowa, has both
of these items as well as a catalog full of other regular hobby supplies and tools readily adaptable to boat work.
Incidentally, those hard to get 48" lengths of ply come in all needed thicknesses and Sig's Glass Kit comes complete
with resin, generous quantity of cloth in the correct weight, paper cups and stirrers for mixing batches of resin
with the supplied catalyst, as well as parting compound and some good instructions.
Perhaps you are looking
for a good "shelf" model? Westee Hobby Imports, 5808 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago 51, Illinois, has a very complete line
of the more famous sailing craft available. We like the "Ark Royal," a Elizabethan Galleon, circa 1588, which models
at an overall length of 19 inches. This ship figured in the defeat of the Spanish Armada and at one time was the flagship
of Sir Walter Raleigh. Kit contains complete hull, printed and colored sails and flags, guns and rigging, plans and
detailed building instructions, plus an eight-stage photographic building chart. This is a typical English kit and
as such, very complete.
Joe Barazoto's Ski Boat is powered with magnificent homebuilt twin .60 engine. Note those six
exhaust stacks, adjustable trim plate at transom.