I try when possible to give each of these columns a theme, and this one seems to be 'value for money', which is quite sensible in the present economic climate. It so happens that the IOM circus came to town recently and we might as well start with this class which so dominates numerically almost all MYA club and radio racing. The MYA designates six single day events per year as 'Ranking Races' for this class and they are held as back-to-back events over three weekends in different regions each year. The points accrued go to establish the selection order for the upcoming international events and this year there is a World Championships scheduled in Israel in September. Thus the two events over the weekend of 2nd/3rd March at the Portishead lake of Woodspring MSC were critical in being the last chance for keen skippers to maximise their ranking position before the selection process.
For many years the standard displacement for a 'small' IC nitro marine power plant was measured at .1 2 of a cubic inch, which matched-up with most air-cooled glow vehicle engines, normally a converted IC car unit that sported a built-in recoil rope starter. These .12 energy sources supplied decent power for an IC hull; but many boaters wanted more performance from their nitro motors. In answer to these requests, many glow marine power plants with a larger .15 cubic-inch displacement began to appear with the bulk of them built on the smaller .1 2-size crankcases. This step of using the .15 nitro engines in many ready-to-run power craft remained in place for several years. However, it's now possible to purchase a slightly more potent glow marine engine with such units as the O.S. 18CV-RMX ABC marine unit.
Airboats potentially make a good beginner's model as they are relatively simple to build and setup, it's just a case of mounting a motor onto a punt shaped hull and having a simple rudder mechanism to steer it. Airboats also have significant advantages in that they can run in shallow water and over submerged patches of weed that would otherwise foul the propeller of a conventionally powered water screw model. If you have visited the Florida Everglades you will probably have seen many airboats in use, predominantly for tourist trips. These boats don't have a keel to grip the water so tend to slide sideways somewhat when turning, making control challenging at times, rather like a hovercraft - but they are a lot of fun! As it happens, my first radio-controlled boat was an airboat; this came about because I had decided to migrate from model aircraft (which I tended to crash) to model boats. This first foray into R/C boats was thus an airscrew driven trimaran built from balsa and powered by a 0.8 cc glow plug engine.
In any collection there are items that refuse to be fitted into any of the main categories. Items that, however interesting they may be in their own right, are destined for the file at the back of the cabinet labelled 'Miscellaneous'. That's what we have this month to finish off the series. I hope you've enjoyed it, and that it results in the preservation of some of these artefacts from our modelling past. First up is the Multum electric motor, made in the 1950s by Ward and Goldstone Plastics Ltd of London. This was the prime mover of a range of miniature workshop models (grinder, circular saw, etc.) made by the company and that otherwise would have been driven by a miniature steam engine. The surprising thing about this 6 volt motor is that it has a wound field, not the permanent ring magnet that its appearance suggests, and will therefore run on low voltage AC straight from a transformer.
When your MMI scribe first became aware of this fast electric catamaran, it only took a single sentence in its release statement to make me really want to test out this Pro Boat design. Looking at the boat's description on the Horizon Hobby online catalogue my eye caught the portion that stated that the Blackjack 29 was, and I quote, "Designed to be competition-ready out of the box." Of course words like this have been used to portray any number of other powered R/C marine craft; however, once you go over this RTR hull's specifications, it's easy to understand why this cat hull is unique. Based on the manufacturer's Miss Geico catamaran this fibreglass composite hull has a completely different outer appearance to its lizard cousin. Sporting a bright red/orange finish and an equally bold vinyl graphics package, the 29 inch long catboat looks the part and this carries over to its inner structure as well.
As this column is being written, many IC boaters are in the process of preparing their marine craft for the winter, which means no more days at the pond until the spring. Fuel systems are being flushed, radio components are being checked for any signs of corrosion, engine specs are being measured and any other leftover glitches in the boat's run sheets from the summer are being addressed on the workbench back in the shed. Once the vessels has had its total 'winterisation' programme, the modeller can use the rest of his/her off-season to do any needed/wanted updates to the hull that's currently in drydock. So, like the Powerplug piece found back in the March 201 2 edition of MMI, this space will be a Q&A session detailing some queries that will mainly focus on subjects related to winter modifications you can perform, as well as some additional questions I sometimes hear at the lake. As always, if anyone out there reading this fine publication has any questions about their own nitro/petrol power craft, please feel free to contact me via the email address found on the column's header space.