As with model airplanes,
if you wanted to enjoy the hobby of model boating back in the 1960s when this article
appeared in American Modeler magazine, 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
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.
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,
Electric Precision Trophy, donated by Bob Gannon; Bob McCallister, San Francisco,
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).
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.
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
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.
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,
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
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
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.
The following gems were gleaned from the "Marinecraft Catalogue and Guide" published
in England in connection with the kits they produce.
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.
Joe Barazoto's Ski Boat is powered with magnificent homebuilt
twin .60 engine. Note those six exhaust stacks, adjustable trim plate at transom.
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,
Prospect Park M.Y.C., c/o C. E. Walker, 666-59th Street, Brooklyn 20, N.Y.
Model 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
Irvington M.Y.C., c/o Charles Gibson, 117 Ellis Avenue, Irvington 11, N.J.
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.
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 flag-ship 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.
Posted September 30, 2021
(updated from original post on 11/3/2012)