Frequently Asked Questions

Q.         What boats are welcome in the SPMBC?
A.            Boats of all types are welcome in the club, unfortunately internal combustion powered craft are prohibited by the lake management so they can't be used on the lake.  Members of the club own a variety of craft including tugs, warships, steamboats,sailboats not to mention a float plane or two.
Q.         How do I join the club and what does it cost to join?
A.            Refer to how to join and fee structure here.  The fees covers the provision of  rescue boat, public liability insurance, rent, newsletter etc. 
Q.         Where do I start?
A.            Read some of the model boating magazines that are available. Visit model boating clubs and talk to the members. Ask questions and gain from others trials and tribulations.  Research is the key to success. When you have a good idea of what you want and how to get it the battle is half over.
Q.          How do I get started?

A.             Getting started in model shipbuilding is easier than ever. If you want to build your own boat there are various kits and plans available from several companies at relatively low cost. For those not wanting, or able, to design and build their own boats, you can purchase a completed boat from a commercial builder or second-hand, from a club member.

Q.          What is the difference between scale, model yachts and speed boats?

A.             I will attempt to give a brief description of each:

Scale Models

These are always of interest because they represent "The Real Thing" and their movement can be re-created on the model boat pool. Present club members have a large variety of scale models ranging in size from a 1/96th scale aircraft carrier to a 1/12th scale rowing boat complete with oarsman. Many of the clubs models are based on the real boats which serve the Island, especially lifeboats and the Steam Packet Vessels

.For a newcomer there are several ways to start building a scale model;

1) Buying a complete kit and adding radio gear and motors.

2) Buying a fibreglass hull and a set of plans and completing the boat by buying or making the superstructure and individual fittings.

3) "Scratch" building a boat from a set of plans; some modellers even draw up their own plans and build the engines to power their models.


Model Yachting

Model yachting is one of the oldest "hobbies" around, Its origins go back to the late 19th century and has had many highs and lows over the years. At present interest is reviving in both vintage boats and the modern radio controlled yachts.

Following on from early gaff-rigged cutters and schooners, two main classes evolved in the free-sailing days, these were the 36" restricted and the 50" Marblehead. With the development of radio control both these classes have continued in popularity and since going metric the new one metre class is coming into its own.

There are several clubs in Melbourne that cater to those yachties who would prefer to race. Venues include Albert Park Lake, Lilydale Lake, Paterson Lakes and Carribean Gardens. Lilydale conducts handicap racing and the events are open to all types of yachts, whilst the other locations have "Class Racing" which means all the boats in a race meet certain rules.

Speed Boats

Speed fascinates most people at some time, although generally in the younger age range in the first instance, but once bitten you "Get the Bug". The club has a group of "speed merchants" with fast electric powered models. The speed boats themselves vary from hydroplanes to power boats, and can be bought as a complete packages or as hulls to which you add your own power systems.

 Q.          What does it cost to build or buy a boat?

 A.            This depends on several factors: 

                1.      Your own skills; you can make several fittings your self;
                2.      Are you building from scratch?
                3.      Are you building a kit?
                4.      Are you buying second hand?
                5.      Are you building a class boat?
                6.      Do you have R/C gear already?
                7.      What power source Steam, Electric or Sail? 
                8.      How serious do you intend to get?
Kits, both power and sail, start at under $200,without radio gear, and sail boats and go up to $1000. To this add the cost of a two-channel radio, about $100 and batteries, etc. In most cases you can be on the water for well under $500 and scratch built boats for under $200 all up. 
Used boats often come up "fore sail" in clubs, and don't forget the classified adds, the Trading Post Newspaper and, if you are willing to risk buying sight-un-seen, the internet.
Q.         How long does it take to build a boat?
A.            This depends on a few things:
  1. The type of boat;
  2. The amount of detail you want;
  3. Scratch building;
  4. Building a kit.
If you are scratch building you can spend years building something like the QE2 or a couple of months building something that floats and looks good on the water, from fifty feet all boats look good. Kits take less time and can be assembled in a few days or a week. Some kits have so much work already done for you they can be put together over night.
Q.         Can I do this?
A.            If you can read basic instructions, you can build any entry-level kit boat. These would be be on a par with some of the more complex plastic kits most people build as kids. As your skills improve you can acquire more challenging kits or begin scratch building models from plans or your own imagination.
Q.        What do I want to build?
A.           What catches your eye? Is it a Towboat with a string of barges moving up a river, or a sleek yacht motoring away to the horizon, a squat and powerful tugboat pushing a freighter to the dock, or is it a menacing looking warship patrolling the sea-lanes? If you have a type of vessel youíre drawn to thatís where you should start.
Q.         Where do I get information?
A.            Be a sponge, go to club meeting, ask questions, take photos and ask for advice. Take your boat with you and have club members critique your work.  Most modellers will remember when they were in your shoes and will give you the benefit of their experience. Go out, get started, and have fun. 



Last modified: April 09, 2017

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