If you like looking at pictures of competition-quality model boats of all sorts, then this is the article for you. The 1995 Annual edition of Air Trails published this piece to demonstrate the huge variety of model boats that we built and sailed in the day, with loads of talent crammed into each pixel. America was filled with craftsmen who had built and operated the equipment that resulted to victory in World War II. Their skills were on ample display in the form of hand-built steam engines and internal combustion engines, rubber-powered submarines some of which were 5 feet long, radio controlled tug boats and even speed boats sporting not just one but two - count 'em, two - Dyna-Jet engines! Can you imagine the racket those babies made when fired up?!!! That's not to say there are not many exceptionally talented craftsmen today, just that as a percentage of the population they are much less represented.
The Wonderful World of Model Power Boating
Bob Crab's 6-foot all-hardwood runabout with 5-channel surplus drone R/C unit converted to rudder-throttle control; 2 1/2 hp Johnson outboard engine modified for inboard installation. Built in '29 by Al Woods.
Model Power Boat Records
Officially Recognized by the International Model Power Boat Association
Virgil Gustoyino and his "Anna I". Cedar PT hull design, original mahogany superstructure. Forster "99" power, water cooled, homemade R/C. The overall length of this craft is 52 inches.
Charles Hering, West Los Angeles, built this model of 125 foot diesel engine powered yacht. Recently completed, this 31 inch miniature is powered by 7-pole permanent magnet motor which runs off wet cell batteries. Could be mistaken for the real thing.
Here's a convenient way to start small boats submitted by the versatile Bill Baughman of Los Angeles. If you're tired of trying to hold the boat yourself, or getting someone else to do so when you start the engine, build up a holder similar to this one. Protected with an old inner tube, boat is held snug while the starting cord is used. Boxes shown, war surplus ammo cases, work fine.
Class C (15 c.c.) 30 1/4" racing boat built by Walt Mac Williams, Philadelphia. MPBC. Engine is rebuilt oversize glow-plugged Dooling with homemade piston, bored-out cylinder liner. World's record holder at 81.44. Beam, 10 1/4" across sponsoons.
Max Biederman of New York. Model Knights owns world record Class A which set mark of 69.23 mph. boat and engine both by Max. Motor is 2-cycle, disc rotary valve, glow plug ignition.
Class E (10 c.c.) by Ralph Richards of Philadelphia. Power is stock McCoy, .60, glow plug. Same hull design-size as MacWilliams', laid out by Harry Traband. Holds record at 84.50.
James Stribling prepares to launch his boat at the start of a "marathon race." Idea is to "free run" your boat around basin or lake while you, the contestant, attempt to keep up on foot with craft. Boats usually win; Jim was victor this time.
Working subs by Eugene V. Bunnell, Vallejo, Calif., are both rubber powered (5' long, .dives 5', travels for 300', 40 lbs.) and electric powered R/C (7'4" long, 4 1/2" wide, 6" high, 65 lbs.). 1/20 hp motor works two 4" bronze props at 80 rpm, 12 knots.
Charles Watkins, Chicago, with Class E entry at Toronto. Horizontal mounted motor. All speed pix hero by Bob Graham.
Cameron Clan's retrieving system: younger brother Butch, fishing rod & reel, small cloth bag with rubber ball for weight.
Les Stormer of Southern California Model Power Boat & Yacht Association. adjusting gas powered R/C cruiser for run at Alondra Park Lake, Los Angeles. Very complete in detail, operates well; uses underwater scoop for water-cooling engine.
No, it's not a full-sized freighter traveling along on a calm sea - it's a beautiful 30 inch model of a small freighter built by Lowell Lamb of SCMPB&YA. Job is free running type; detail is very complete; power is steam engine which blows steam out the miniature stack giving illusion of real smoke (which can be seen faintly in the photo here by Bill Baughman).
Posted September 27, 2014