By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Dremel

Model choice

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Andy Smith 1731/12/2020 11:11:12
1 forum posts

Hi everyone,

I am new to the world of model boats although i am an experienced aeromodeller.

My question is to what boat do i get ?. I could go the way of making a kit as my aeromodelling skills will help although it will be a long process and there are things about boats to learn ie motor choices ,bilge etc.

I could buy second hand and get a lot of boat for my money , but again lack of boat experience could be a concern if things are not quite right.

Then there is buying new, not a problem in itself but obviously more cost but i wouldn't need a TX as i have a spare Futaba 2.4ghz radio.

I would quite like a tug boat ! What do you guys think on my thoughts.


Colin Bishop02/01/2021 14:05:49
4961 forum posts
6110 photos
411 articles

Welcome to the Forum Andy. A tug would be a very good choice as a first boat as they are stable, robust models with enough but not too much detail.

You could build from a plan using traditional materials or try a kit..

Mobile Marine Models are an established kit manufacturer who specialise in tugs of all type and sizes and there are lots of build options too.

Have a browse here:


A TID tug might be a good choice for a starter boat., classic design and not complicated..The company also offer a selection of modern motor tugs.

For plans, have a look at Sarik Hobbies:


Put Tug into the search box and you will find all sorts of designs.

No doubt others will have suggestions too but see what you prefer and we can help you further.



Edited By Colin Bishop on 02/01/2021 14:07:43

Richard Simpson02/01/2021 14:52:02
693 forum posts
354 photos

Hi Andy and welcome to the forum. I was faced with a very similar situation around 20 years ago and, as I worked away from home a lot of the time I was unsure which way to go.

In the end I decided to build a model that I could take as long as I wanted over and enjoy making it to the best of my ability. I bought a Mount Fleet Ben Ain kit and I'm still building it now. I have heavily modified it and built a steam plant in it although have to admit that I have made the classic mistake of making it so delicate and detailed that it simply isn't suitable to operate. Hence it sits in a glass case.

Alongside that I also bought a number of second hand models over the years. These varied from needing a lot doing to them to having no internals and everything in between but they all taught me a lot and enabled me to get models on the water to enjoy sailing as well as improving my building and modelling.

I would recommend to any newcomer to build something long term alongside repair/restoration/refurbishment jobs to get you on the water that bit quicker. Also if anything goes wrong with one of these you will not have the additional stress of seeing many years of work drifting away on the wind. I did once have a boat sink but, as I hadn't built it, I did not see it as the end of the world. As it happens I recovered it, refurbished and repainted it and it's one of my favourites now.

As Colin says Mobile Marine in Lincolnshire are a great source of tugs as well as Mount Fleet Models in Doncaster. Unfortunately we have recently lost Model Slipway but, if you ever get a chance of one of their models, either as a kit or built, they are good strong capable models. Also check out Dean's Marine in Peterborough.

Ray Wood 202/01/2021 14:53:19
2505 forum posts
864 photos

Hi Andy,

All the things Colin said, and when you look at the SARIK plans range, there are simple balsa tugs like Vic Smeed's Bustler,24" or plenty where you get a general arrangement & hull lines if you happy to make your own way.

And the good thing about boats is they last longer, I've built and flown over 100 RC aeroplanes over the last 50 years good luck

Regards Ray

Dave Cooper 602/01/2021 17:27:26
309 forum posts
32 photos

One piece of advice Andy is, if you are planning to use your LiPo's in both aircraft and boats, to standardize on plug-in connectors.

I use the XT60 ones in my planes and boat and have had no problems so far. (I also use them on my model railway projects as well).

In a tug, you could use other battery types eg Li-Ion or similar but still with a standardized connector to use with common charger.

When it comes to motors, ESC's, props etc I'm sure the others will be able to advise you much better than I though !

You mentioned a Futaba Tx. (I'm a Futaba user too), from memory, I think their Rx's are quite pricey ? You'll probably find for boat use there are a number of very reasonably priced alternatives though - especially if you'll want several boats in time...

Happy New Year,

Dave C

Empire Parkstone02/01/2021 19:47:08
273 forum posts
8 photos

Regardless of Type think about Size and weight Easy to get it to and in the car and the water. or lifting in/out of the pond A Tug would be a good choice. Also if its going to need a trolley/launcher More in the car

Rich Griff 102/01/2021 21:55:43
41 forum posts
2 photos

I started model boating with the Sea Rider by Vic Smeed, a name I had heard of as he has plans out there for model planes as well.

I have been an aeromodeling since I learnt how to start a Cox 049 etc, control line at first.

Boats if looked after tend to last year's and years, but then I not in the habit of crashing planes.

You never really know if your going for a swim with boats, an old fishing rod can come in handy sometimes.

The best in my opinion is a sail boat cos the fuel is free, just  like slope soarers.

You know of the frequency rules right.

I still use/will use 27meg radio gear for slow boats, fast ones don't really interest me....yet. ( f/g hull percasa, looking to marinise strimmer 2t motor for the clutch and cheaper fuel ).


Ps, I wouldn't worry too much about a boat sinking too much as I know you would make it as near as possible that no water would enter the boat, and know of achimedes. See pics on here of boats full of air, maybe foam would be better.

Edited By Rich Griff 1 on 02/01/2021 21:58:47

Edited By Rich Griff 1 on 02/01/2021 22:17:21

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Boats!

Support Our Partners
Coastal Shipping August 2021
Restorers Wanted
Premier March
Pendle Boilers
Shopping Partners
Social Media

'Like' us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Pin us on Pinterest

Member Contributions
Distributors of Model Boats for our overseas readers

Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed

Make your own contribution to the Website

We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor