Visitors had a wonderful opportunity to admire the Gauteng Model Boat Club’s incredible boats in action on 29 October.
Among the amazing boats on display were radio-controlled submarines, steam-powered boats, and wind-powered racing yachts. Although not everyone has the patience to build model boats, club members believe it is one of the most relaxing hobbies.
At the club’s open exhibition day at Emmarentia Dam, a collection of radio-controlled boats were on display in and out of the water.
Bruce Hepburn, a member of the club, said about 30 scale models would be on show including various yachts, tugs, boats and ships, some of which have minute detail and are exact replicas of real boats.
“Many of these models come with functioning diesel smoke and sounds, fire monitors, lights, cranes, and guns,” he said.
Arthur Collett, an avid model boat hobbyist and member of the club, had his almost completed Boston Typhoon Fishing Trawler replica on display. This is one of the 19 model boats he has worked on in the last 13 years.
“The building time for this boat is about three-and-a-half years and costs close to R19 000, including the electronics,” he explained.
Collet said every part of the boat is handmade and was carefully assembled.
“It really teaches you how to be patient. I believe no one is born patient, it is something you learn. And with model boats you need it,” he said.
Bruce Tandy, committee member of the SeaWind Class, a yacht used for international competitions, said that the club is not only about display boats, but also wind-powered racing yachts.
“About half of the club races these (yachts) once a month. We have an annual overall championship with a floating trophy, based on timed laps,” he said.
Tandy explained that all the SeaWind Class yachts have the same design, so the real test comes down to skill. Hepburn added that they offer all the same sails and rigging as full-size yachts and require the same skills to race them.
The Gauteng Model Boat club was established in the 1960s and Hepburn said it is currently going through a strong revival. The club is based at Emmarentia Dam and can be contacted by sending an email to [email protected] or visiting their website www.gmbc.co.za