We have seen many new modelers joining the hobby this past year, with this being the Model buying season, I thought that giving certain guidelines and pointing out specific issues when considering the purchase of a kit would be especially important for those purchasing their first or second model.  Also, this can help those who have built other categories of models (planes, trains etc...), and are now looking to build an R/C Boat.

            Possibly the two (2) most important considerations are size and weight of the model.  It would be wise to choose a model that fits into whatever car or van you may have.  I have known several people to actually purchase a different car just to hold their model once it is complete.  Don’t forget to think about the finished weight of the ship as well.  If the model is so heavy or large that you need help to launch or recover it, then you will be limited as to how often you can run it.  A good size is generally in the two (2) to four (4) foot range.  However, we have several modelers building with their sons or grandsons, in which case size is not as important as it fits in with the purpose of the project since you’ll be running the model together and always have a second set of hands to assist.

            A further consideration is the type of model.  A tug, trawler or other workboat will generally handle the weather and waves better than a cabin cruiser, paddle wheeler or speed boat.  The better it runs in the wind and waves the more chances you will have to run it.

            Another important consideration is the material the model is made of as it can also make a difference.  A wooden hull will almost always require more care and attention (and regular maintenance) than a plastic or fiberglass hull.   Additionally, if it is your first or second model, a complete kit with superstructure and fittings included will be easier that a semi-kit.  Unless you are a talented “Scratch Builder”, I recommend starting with a model that requires little to no actual scratch building.  Many of the kits out there now are very high quality and give a lot of room for upgrading and changing appearances depending on personal taste.

            Last but not least, think about the maintenance.  Make sure that access to the equipment in the hull is as easy as possible.  The more you have to disassemble the longer it will take and the greater the risk of damage.

            These are just a few things to think about when selecting a project.  Don’t let these concerns keep you from the model you really want to build but don’t forget to think of them either.

            If you have any questions about a particular model, please feel free to contact me any time and I will do my best to assist you.