A variety of propulsion systems are used to power model boats, the most popular being electric power. Steam powerplants and IC engines are also used. The majority of model boats are radio controlled.
There are many different types of model boats. A brief outline of these is covered below.
Scale Model Boats – This is a popular area of marine modelling as almost any realife boat can be modelled accurately. Generally scale boats are powered by electric motors although steam powerplants can be used for added realism.
Racing Boats – Model boat racing also enjoys great popularity. Boats can be raced on inland waters or on the sea. There are many different classs of boats – electric powered, ic powered, hydroplanes, tunnel hulls and deep vees. Races are generally held around a set course.
Submarines – A very specialised area of marine modelling. Some amazing model subs have been produced with working airpumps, torpedos etc. Kits are available but most R/C submarines tend to be scratch built. Obviously a model submarine must be operated in suitable water. Ideally the water should be free of weeds and the water must be clear if you wihs to operate the sub submerged. Many people use swimming pools to operate these types of models.
Model Warship Combat – This is a relatively recent area of marine modelling. This rapidly growing field of marine modelling involves the construction and operation of scale models of early 20th Century warships which are capable of battling and sinking each other! The firepower in these models is provided by an inexpensive compressed gas, common CO2 such as that used in soft drink dispensers and in paintball guns. The actual guns for the models are constructed of short lengths of copper or brass tubing normally found in most hardware stores. The projectiles are inexpensive .177″ diameter BB’s typically used in air rifles.
Sailboats – Model sailboats such as the R/C Laser function in the same way as their fullsize counterparts. Most model sailboats use two channel radio to control the rudder and the sails. Often special sail winches are used.