November 17, 2003

Another hobby designed to keep your wallet free of finance

Of the various Radio Control hobbies, RC boats is a small part, almost an afterthought compared to cars and airplanes. Most RC boats are racers, but there is a small and dedicated group dedicated to military warships. This group is further divided into the scale-model contingent and the combat enthusiasts. The scale-modellers create miniature versions of real ships, taking great pains to fill them with exacting detail. The combat guys don't go to the trouble, since their goal is to sink everything else floating.

That's right, they build models of warships that have working guns. Most of the ships are at 1:96 scale or better, meaning that a scale WWII aircraft carrier like the Yorktown will be around six feet long.

There's a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions file) here with lots of information about this interesting hobby, including estimated starting costs and construction tips. My favorite part:

3. Do the ships actually sink?

Yes. There is no challenge otherwise.

The ships are built to rigid standards that ensure that they can be damaged easily and can be sunk if sufficient damage is sustained. Low-powered BB cannons are used to poke holes in the 1/32" balsa wood that is used on the hull of the ship. Ships also have homemade bilge pumps on-board that can be used to pump out as needed.

However, if the rate of incoming water exceeds the pumping rate, the ship will fill with water and eventually sink.

There's more information here at the Home Port of Big Gun RC Warship Combat. If you look around this site, you'll find a list of clubs in various areas of the US and around the world, as well as an extensive listing of materials suppliers and resources.

And if you look here, you'll find a list of links to many Australian battlegroups, among others.

Cool stuff, but the last thing I need is another expensive hobby.

Posted by Ted at November 17, 2003 07:40 AM
Category: Links

but the last thing I need is another expensive hobby.


No, wait, as another guy, I'm supposed to talk you into it, aren't I? :)

Posted by: Victor at November 17, 2003 11:16 AM

My stepdad, for what seemed like a large part of my junior high years, flew RC planes, big ones. I spent most weekends up to my armpits in one swampy field or another, looking for downed flights. My fondest memory is watching a huge one suddenly dive straight down and bury itself a foot into the ground about three feet away from him.
It was at least one I didn't have to chase.

Posted by: LeeAnn at November 17, 2003 05:27 PM
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