Friday, June 30, 2006

How to select Your Radio-Controlled Sailing Model By Dave Mainwaring

With the popularity of radio-controlled models, the number of people interested in owning a model yacht has also grown - in geometric range. As with model aircraft, the choice of sailing models runs the gamut from child's toy to sophisticated craft.

Over the past 30 years I have fielded many questions regarding the choices and considerations which go into selecting a radio-controlled sailboat.

Three questions are asked over and over by prospective skippers: How do the radio-controls work? How much do they cost? What do I look for when I buy mine?

Radio-controlled sailing model | The Radio-Control

The modern R/C model sailing craft is as different from a toy boat as a museum display model is from a child's tinker-toy creation. A model sailing craft operates with the same sophistication of design as any full-sized yacht. The generally accepted minimum radio control system has two channels. Each pair of units, radio transmitter and radio receiving system, operates on a discrete frequency so that several radio control units can be operated at the same time and location without conflicting with one another. When two or more models have the same radio frequency, a frequency conflict exists, and the skippers have to take turns on the pond. Racing models should be equipped so they can be operated on two or more frequencies, to minimize frequency conflicts.

The number of channels refers to the number of functions the set will control directly. The basic two-channel system allows discrete control of the steering on one channel, while the, second channel operates the sail control which sets the position of the sails. The only power units aboard the modern racing models are the sail control and radio batteries. Propulsion for the model is provided by the sails.

As for the actual operation of the model: by manipulating the controls of his radio transmitter unit on the shore, the skipper controls the steering and the sails on the model. The model can be sailed as if it were a full-size yacht.