When you think of Montana, you probably don’t think of water, let alone boat racing. But Montana possesses many large bodies of water which draw thousands every year to come fishing, sailing, water skiing, swimming, camping or model boat racing. Although there are real boats that appear on the waters of Montana lakes, more and more people are discovering the joys of model boat racing. Montana has one of the nation’s premier model boat racing clubs, NAMBA District 8 (North American Model Boat Association).
Not only are model boats raced at these meets, but sometimes model submarines, too. The boats can be to scale of real ships past and present, or a work of extreme fancy. Some races will even require a model “driver” to sit in the boat.
Advantages Of Model Boats
There are many advantages that the small, remote controlled boats have over their larger brethren. First off, they don’t cost as much as the real thing. Secondly, model boats are much more portable and easy to store than real boats. You also don’t need to get insurance for a model boat. And, perhaps most importantly, you won’t get seasick model boat racing, Montana style.
Model boats also don’t cause the great waves and the subsequent shore erosion that life-size boats do. So, you can get to go outdoors and have fun competing and meet people with similar interests without a significant impact to the environment.
What Is A Race Meet Like
A model boat race is held out in all weathers nest to the shore of a lake or other large body of water. There is a surprising amount of organization for what appears at first to be a bunch of guys with toys. Folding tables are set up so the competitors can make last minute adjustments or repairs to their racers. There is a course of buoy markers laid out in the water. Usually, the course is a circular path around the markers.
Each of the boats in a heat gets a few laps along the course to warm up. An announcer on shore counts down to when the race or racing heat begins. The boats don’t start all in a straight line, so things look a bit more chaotic that it really is. Model boat racing (Montana or anywhere else) has their own set of rules, depending on the club that’s hosting the event.
Usually the races are more a question of how fast a model boat can get around the course in the predetermined number of laps rather than trying to finish in front of the others. However, there are model boat races that want to look more like a horse race. Again, it all depends on the rules of the hosting club.
Where To Find A Race Meet
Model boat racing can be a little confusing to the casual observer, but many meets will encourage spectators. You can look online at NAMBA for model boat racing Montana events (or events held anywhere else) or you can search for what’s called RC clubs (the RC stands for “radio controlled”.)