Established 1985

Welcome to the Manx Model Boat Club



For 2020 Bob Bagshaw has set 3 x separate Commodores Challenges which everybody is welcome to take part. The event will be held during Mannanan 2020 on 27th & 28th June at Silverdale, however we are likely to have a couple of practice mornings prior to that.

Bob has provided some rules for each challenge which you are welcome to interpret!

Challenge 1 = RC Time Trial on Silverdale lake

  = 4 buoys in rough ‘T’ shape -- buoys 1, 2 & 3 are more or less in line // to bank --  no 4 opposite no 2 to form gate & finishing line. Buoys No's 1 & 3 to be laid about 6 rods, poles or perches apart or 1 chains, 33 yards or 30 metres - take your pick. Buoys 2 & 4 about 1 fathom apart forming the Timing Gate to be   placed between 1 & 3 so that the gate is convenient for visual timing.

Challenge = boat to start with stern to a designated point on the bank roughly opposite to Buoy 1.
Skippers (not necessarily owners) will give the timekeeper an estimated time for their run before starting.
On command to start the boat will sail out around the back of buoys 1,2 &3, (NB-on surface) turning round to come back  down in front of buoys (submerged if preferred) through the gate - bow crossing line to be timed. Boats then clear course a.s.a.p. WITHOUT crossing "line of start" in order to keep things moving!

Scoring = each second or part thereof either side of the declared time will incur 1 penalty points.

Stopping = aborted try.

Marked alterations in speed = extra 5 points penalty.

Moderate (but NOT exaggerated) zig-zag course on last leg allowed at timekeepers discretion but NO CIRCLING. Every sailable boat should be able to take part and skippers can share boats. Multiple runs should be possible and the worst scores discarded.

Obviously lowest score wins - in event of a tie the fastest time takes the trophy.

Challenge 2 = Tethered Paddle Boats on Small Pool

Paddleboats can be either side-wheeler or sternwheeler.

Hull SKIN up to gunwale except for transom made out of centre cardboard tube ex kitchen paper towel roll.
Hull max about 9"/225mm long.
No restriction on paddle wheel size.

Power source to be electric (brushed motor maximum 3 volts) OR clockwork and should be able to complete at least 3 laps of the pond. Bob has a selection of electric motors with double ended shafts & clockwork motors available for a small 1 donation.

Tether point about 6" apart, triangular tether with quick attaching ring at apex about 12" / 300mm from boat.

Competition = concours d ‘elegance - Boats to be voted on for performance and appearance by fellow competitors and possibly spectators.

Challenge 3 = Bamboo Sail Boats on Small Pool

Sail boat to be made using bamboo sundae tray (8" x 4" x 1") as hull. (Please contact Bob Bagshaw to obtain your tray).
Any sail / mast  rig allowed - suggested sail material = paper or inside of cereal packet.
Wind power only will be from hand held small fans (or Mother Nature depending on the day).

Competition - as for paddlers.



The First challenge will be called "R/C straight running" and will be 
a fun event so everyone can join in using existing boats. (See below for the second challenge for 2019).

There will be two classes

1)  Standard   -  Standard class will cover any R/C boat of any shape size or power.
2)  Clever Clogs  -  Clever Clogs class will allow any form of auto pilot contained aboard.

The course

There will be a "distance" buoy near the far side of the lake and to the left. There will be a wide gate called the "Attempt" gate near the island then a target line of 6 buoys near the landing stage representing a bull; 2 inners and 2 outers.

The sailing directions are to sail up to the left then round the distance buoy then back down through the attempt gate - all under R/C control to this point. Immediately through the attempt gate the Tx will be laid aside and the boat will sail on its own through the target line scoring the points. (No extra points for doing it underwater).

Immediately through the target line R/C control will be resumed and the boat sailed off to the right for retrieval or mooring. (R/C control can also be quickly re established if the boat runs amok).



Points scored will be 10 for a bull; 5 for an inner and 2 for an outer.

In the event of a tied score there will be a run-off against the clock starting with the stern touching the bank (subs on the surface).

Feasibility tests have shown that an attempt should take roughly 2 mins from start alongside to finish right turn off so with a degree of readiness and no finger trouble we could get as many as say 20 runs in an hour which would allow multiple attempts and an aggregate score.

Helpful Hints

Some sort of fixing throttle openings is more or less essential so that the rudder can be trimmed on the outward leg (you will need a ratchet on your RC transmitter throttle channel).

It also seems advisable to keep the speed down otherwise you will be running through the remains of your own wash.
Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class plus some specials according to the Commodore's whim.

The Second Challenge for 2019 will be Tethered “Juice Carton Racing” and will be held on the small table top pool at Silverdale. This will be a similar challenge to the hydroplanes which we ran last year, but based on a “Carton Hull” (see below).

There will be two classes

1) Standard - maximum power of 3 x dry cells (4.5 volts) or 1 x NiHH pack (4.8 volts).

2) Hooligan - unlimited voltage.

Hull Construction

The hull must be made from a 1 litre carton (milk or juice). You may want to check the spout position as some are better than others.

Hull Dimensions

Max hull length = 230mm;  beam = 70mm; Due to lack of space, prop; shaft and/or rudder can extend beyond the transom by 30mm.

Motor / Propeller / Batteries

You can use any small motor, prop shaft and propeller combination but batteries must be limited to a maximum 3 dry cells (4.5 volts) or 1 x NiHH pack (4.8 volts) for the standard class. Hooligan class can have unlimited batteries (but watch the weight).


Models should have an onboard V bridle which comes to a point about 9" from the hull with a small ring to provide easy attachment to the pool's central tether & pivot point (see photos from last year’s event above).

Event Format

Boats will be timed over a number of laps to be determined by the commodore.


There will be prizes for innovation; elegance, spectacular sinking and of course rule bending with prizes awarded accordingly (or not).


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