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The introduction of rc sail boats was in the late 1800’s and really came into their own in the 1960’s and 70’s. Since then the hobby has taken off with millions of enthusiasts participating and holding remote controlled boating events, such as races and regattas. There are almost as many types of boats available as there are enthusiasts, with the latest offering being submarines, but among the most popular and most attractive of all models are RC sail boats.
Ship builders have always used the method of constructing scale models in order to offer a three dimensional map of sorts for the full size ship. Some of these early models were exquisitely detailed, down to the tiniest elements including ropes, pulleys and sails. They were so highly prized that many have since taken up residence in maritime museums or general interest museums, where they are considered works of art.
From these early beginnings came the modern world of RC boating. Many of the model sail boats would be raced against each other for fun, but it soon became obvious that relying solely on the power of the wind had its problems. It was nearly impossible to control these early models and, depending on the body of water used for the race, very difficult to retrieve them should they go off course or break down in the water. Some means of control was necessary and before long that issue had been addressed.
Most RC sail boats are constructed of light wood, usually pine, cedar or mahogany, though some newer models are constructed of plastic or fiberglass. They can feature a number of rigs, though schooner and sloop rigs are the most common. Sloop rigs are the preferred choice for racers due to their simplicity of design and use.
As far as controls are concerned, the inclusion of a movable rudder for steering, as with full size boats, was considered a major improvement. The advent of radio control allowed for the movement of both the rudder and sails via radio signals. In this way, the operator is able to change directions and adjust speed in much the same way a sailor would on a full sized sail boat. Most motorized crafts control rudder and throttle and some also feature advanced controls for reversing, lighting and other mechanical novelties.
Today there are any number of model RC sail boats available, from historical scale models to models of various America’s Cup challengers and champions past and present. Names such as the Endeavour, Oracle, Ranger, Shamrock and Stars and Stripes can come to life before your eyes in ready to sail, perfectly rendered scale models that are lovingly hand crafted down to the smallest detail.
Whether you’re an old salt or just testing the waters, there is something to be said for the enjoyment you can get out of setting your RC sail boat afloat. There is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than guiding your boat across the water and watching as it catches the wind and picks up speed. You’ll feel like you’re sailing on the real deal and with the proper care and handling you can enjoy your boat for years to come. So why not find out for yourself what has drawn generations of sailors and hobbyists to the world of RC boating? Set sail on your RC adventure today!
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