Getting Started in Model Yachting

You have found one of the best sources of model yachting information today. By reading the many AMYA website pages, you can quickly obtain information of particular interest to you. Since this section is on the American Model Yachting Association website it is written more to those beginners in the United States and surrounding countries.  Many other countries have their own Model yachting websites, though the information and guidance still apply in any country.

This section should help you get started on what will hopefully be a long association with a wonderful pastime. A model sailboat is one of the first fond memories most people have. Nearly everyone has made a crude model from a simple board and a sail. We can recall that feeling of fascination as the boat made its own way under the power of the wind. Most people, sadly, do not return to the simple pleasure of sailing again. You can. You have found it again. There are people who are doing it every day. And, it is still the same happy feeling. The fun of building, testing, tuning, and just plain sailing. It is called model yachting.

Model yachting has been taken seriously practically ever since sailing began. However, the advent of relatively low-cost, reliable radio control electronics in the 1960's made a significant impact on model yachting. Instead of watching as your boat free-sailed across the pond, interactive competition, complete with calls of "Starboard!", is now the norm. Free sailing (including serious competition) continues in the United States and throughout the world, but the center of the hobby is now radio control.

Your first question will likely center around your first boat. Either you have it, or you are considering getting one. Try to take a step back from that position, and consider where you are going to sail it. Most people find that sailing with others offers much more enjoyment than sailing alone. Instead of running out and getting a boat based on looks or price, contact the any local AMYA club (or any RC modeling or sailing club) and see what they are sailing. This small effort will do two things: it will put you in touch with people who can answer some of your questions, and it will expose you to what is going on in your local area. The popularity of yacht classes is a highly local phenomenon, with clubs nearby each other often sailing entirely different boats. Most clubs have a preferred class. Yacht racing is highly dependent on the laws of physics, and different types of boats are not close enough in performance to make it much fun on the water.

Not interested in racing? No problem. There are many who just enjoy the building and sailing. After all, it was fun with that simple board and cloth. The focus on most of the information here is on racing, but that is only because racing requires almost endless rules and regulations to ensure fair competition. Don't let it turn you off.

Where to go from here? Highly recommended is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) listing. Most of the common questions are answered there.