CLUB OF THE WEEK: Something to float your boat

PEOPLE who want to try their hand at making and sailing small boats are invited to join Swindon Model Boat and Engineering Club.

The club, which is a friendly group with an interest in all kinds of marine models and model engineering, was formed in 1931 by a small group of model boat enthusiasts.

Now, it has about 30 members who sail at Coate Water and Lotmead Farm, and they also have a social evening at Coleview Community Centre every month.

Club secretary Brian Freegard said: “Some people buy ready-made boats but most members make them either from a kit or from scratch. Most of what we do is scale boats.

“Most of us are retired people who have been in engineering or a related trade throughout their working lives and want to carry on using their hands and brains to make things. We have some youngsters in the club too. I like the fact I can make things and be with other people who like making things as well.”

Club members are happy to help people get started in boat modelling.

The members have experience with most aspects of the hobby and can give guidance and advice to newcomers.

Help can also be given to more experienced modellers struggling with more difficult parts, or if you have a problem with radio control.

The club don’t race their boats, they just sail them.

There are several different types of boat available and many can be seen being sailed by members at Coate, including radio-controlled scale boats.

These can be models of any actual boat such as fishing vessels, warships, or merchant vessels.

They are usually electric motor or steam driven and can be built from kits, built with a purchased hull with scratch built superstructure, or totally scratch built.

The club also sail radio-controlled fast boats.

These are usually built from a kit and developed by the owner, and can reach speeds of 50mph.

 Club membership costs about £20 a year. For more information visit or phone the club’s treasurer and membership secretary, Brian Young, on 01285 652624.