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Creating Interest in Model Boats

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David Marks 123/10/2018 08:21:29
272 forum posts
44 photos

There has been pervious postings on this forum regarding the decline in interest in model boats, particularly with the younger generation. As a committee member of the Dolphin Model Boat Club (DMBC) based in Orpington, I decided to start promoting DMBC via a couple of the booklets that many of us have posted thorough our letter boxes on a regular (usually monthly basis). In a new venture called Around Orpington, I spotted an Events Page and then someone advised me of a monthly document called the Gazette issued by a local residents association, also with a list of events. Both gladly accepted our "advert" on a free of charge basis........the result BINGO. We have gained one new member, but the additional interest has been amazing. Surprisingly some of this has come directly from the younger generation, with two examples of grand-children stopping with grandparents, seeing the advert for DMBC and then heading for the pond, with grandparents in tow! I think we may be getting at least one Junior Member when we kick off our 2019 season in April. Also it will pay us to create a list of vendors such as Howes, Component Shop etc., as we get many requests of where do a get this or how do I do that etc.

Paul T24/10/2018 10:02:32
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles

The younger generations see model boats as an old mans hobby, this feeling is reinforced every time I go to a boat show of take my boats for a sail as all I see are grumpy old men muttering about how things were different when they were kids.

But if a youngster turns up at a sailing lake with their birthday present (ready to run speedboat) how many of us take the time to welcome them or do we just give them the cold shoulder and complain about hi speed plastic toys being a danger to our 'proper models'.

ashley needham24/10/2018 10:44:13
7637 forum posts
159 photos

Paul. You should come to Bushy where we are all anything but grumpy and a fair few boats I am sure have been made with the general public in mind...

I always take a lander down so younger persons, mums/dads or indeed older persons and persons whose boats have broken down, can have a go.
Boaters need to bring their children along and grandparents need to bring the grandkids out.

Engaging the public is also top of my list, in conversation or otherwise. Interesting stuff about the boats and nothing about how many planks and what grades of wood you used. I wonder if a Bushy park boating leaflet might be nice to have, to hand out as required ??


Colin Bishop24/10/2018 14:26:13
5192 forum posts
6120 photos
421 articles

An excellent initiative David and one which other clubs could consider following.


Cookie24/10/2018 19:50:14
119 forum posts

i totally agree with Paul kids with small fast elctics are turn up at our pond and are given the by the cold shoulder by the older guys in the club even when they show a interest in our scale boats , i don't known the way forward with this it's sad.


Ray Wood 224/10/2018 22:02:36
2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi All,

My 13 year old grandson & I were boating on Sunday morning at the Chantry club at Bluewater with our Mtb's which are quite nippy ! George had that lightbulb moment when he saw a Club 500 racer doing its stuff ! He uttered the magic words "I'd like one of those grandad" happy days 2 on order soon speed is the key !!

Regards Ray

S M25/10/2018 02:10:59
45 forum posts

I thin k there are several problems here, first we have the instant gratification mentality of many (not all) youngsters who want it all now and have no patience, secondly, we have parents who have instilled and encourage this behavior by pandering to their every whim and buying them speed boats in ready to go form.

Thirdly, there is a mentality among many parents in which they cannot be bothered to do anything with their children and certainly won't take them out for an afternoon over the weekend as many are more intent on drinking and nursing hangovers the next day, and fourth there are the parents who lack any skills themselves and certainly couldn't build a model boat, not even from a kit.

Society also has a role to play by portraying false perceptions where people see an older man and make assumptions, usually incorrect ones and this plays a major part in driving a wedge between people, similarly, the same parents are often the ones forcing children to grow up before their time and stop them from being children. In many respects this prevents children trying something and getting it wrong and not allowing them to get things wrong means they don't make mistakes from which they can learn; there are many more reasons and you can add your own.

Colin Bishop25/10/2018 14:22:59
5192 forum posts
6120 photos
421 articles

So in brief people no longer make stuff they prefer to buy it.

And instead of building a better boat, just buy a better phone!

There will always be interest in model making I think but it will never be the mainstream activity it once was. There is of course growing interest in 3D printing to make things as quality improves and costs come down but I'm afraid that doesn't appeal to me.


Paul T25/10/2018 16:21:21
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles

SM you have a very dystopian view of modern life, I don't think that even George Orwell had such a bleak outlook on life.


Bob Wilson25/10/2018 17:48:20
1900 forum posts
277 photos

Had to look up "dystopian" to find out what it meant! blush It has not got that bad at yet, but I have no doubt at all that it will do! Afraid mobiles have practically dominated a lot of lives both young and old, and as one cannot un-invent things, we are stuck with them. Just got to accept and adapt. I have accepted that my form of model shipbuilding is now practically extinct, but as long as it continues to give me something to do, I guess it doesn't matter, but I have now ceased to try and interest anyone else in it, and will soon be phasing myself out of social media!


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