Established 1985

Welcome to the Manx Model Boat Club



of Commodore's Devious Thoughts for 2018 Challenge

As we are now proud possessors of a high tech paddling pool  it seems a shame not to utilise it to its full extent, so with this in mind I am thinking along the lines of a season-long series of:-



Rather than a one-off event, the preliminary idea is for a series of say 4 (possibly in concert with other major events - maybe using the big pool in an interval?).

Boats to be timed over a number of laps say 5? Fastest time of day boat receives 10 points, Second 8 points and so on down to 1 point with scores to be carried over to next meeting and the winner of the event will be the boat with the highest points at the end of the series. The boat could be sailed by a proxy skipper in the absence of the owner and still qualify.

Owners might receive some tatty trophy in the worst possible taste!

The main event to be held at Mannanan would be a standalone event on the day but local skippers could carry their scores forward and hold a round of the series at the same time.


         Max length = 1 foot, Max beam = 5" (300mm x 125mm).

         Recommend the hull is kept on the light side.

         Hulls might need a fixed trimming rudder.

   The main idea is that it should cost as little as possible with most parts coming from the scrap box (cannablise the old straight runners??).


        Two secure fixing points for bridles at least 6" apart on centre line as runs can be clockwise or anti clockwise to suit the vessel. This is likely to be a function of the handing of the prop.

         The skipper is required to provide a bridle running between the two fixing points with a ring for securing to the fixed tether. See the diagram below for dimensions of the bridle. Skipper is free to choose where to position the ring on the bridle.

      A timber batten will be fixed across the top of the pool with a tether attached to the centre point and a snap hook on the other end which will connect to the bridle ring.

   Bridles to be set up so that the boat runs about 4" away from the side of the pool to avoid wash interference! 



         3 classes are now proposed.

         Standard – up to a 380 size brushed motor and maximum 6 volt battery using either AA, AAA or NiMH pack.

         Hooligan - any size of brushed motor and a maximum 9.6 volts battery using either AA, AAA or NiMH pack.

         Super Hooligan – unlimited choice of motor & batteries, but keep an eye on costs and principle of using stuff from your stock box.

         On/Off switch to be fitted and easily accessible when the boat is running (fit a big toggle switch).


       Prop shaft recommended to be 4 mm thread as much more choice of prop available, although use whatever is in your scrap box.

        Plastic only propellers (to minimise cost) - bear in mind the water depth is only 3 or 4 inches when deciding on prop diameter.

Finally - Printable suggestions welcome!


Proposed new challenges are as follows:-

1. Manufacture and sail a pop pop boat

Boat length should not exceed 300mm. 

From research  they will fall into two main engine categories (a) flexible boiler hence pop-pop and (b) a heated coil. There are also two main methods of heating (1) some form of candle e.g. tea lights etc (ordinary candles apparently give off too much soot) and (2) meths or oil soaked wicks in holder. Again from research there are pro's and con's to each method so experimentation would seem to be on the cards.

There could be 4 entry classes, viz.  a1; a2;  b1;  b2. Apart from the boat length there is no building restriction, however my current thought is to run the challenge in a 10 foot diameter kiddies paddling pool with the boats tethered to a central pivot so a tethering point in the bow of the craft or amidships should be built in.

Prizes (something cheap and in very bad taste) envisaged for the fastest, the most innovative; the prettiest; possibly the nicest smelling and anything else I can think of. Once again my decision is final and liable to change by the minute and on the spot.

2. Sailing two boats simultaneously on one transmitter

I will provide the boats and transmitter.  One boat will have its rudder and throttle on the left stick and the other the same on the right stick. Both boats will have ahead and reverse ONLY i.e. no speed control.  The idea is to start off with the boats on  each side of the pier facing forward  then to be sailed TOGETHER round a simple course  - say out through a gate round a distance buoy then back down though another gate to finish one on each side of the pier facing inwards .  The usual penalties will apply, and the buoys will be alive all the times. There will also be penalties for any boat being intentionally stopped for any perceptible  length of time -say more than --30 secs. This challenge could develop into an on- running event over the season with points accrued divided by number of attempts!

In addition to the new challenges we are proposing to hold a Commodores Challenge event day where we can re-run previous classes;

3. Rubber band powered models.

4. Compressed air powered models.

5. Straight Running models.

(see rules from previous challenges below).

Cheers BOB