Swindon Model Boat and Engineering Club
The Club is a friendly group with an interest in all kinds of marine models and
It was formed in 1931 by a group of model boat enthusiasts, who were out of
work at the time due to the depression. They built their boats out of all types
of scrap materials and sailed them on a lake at the rear of Florence Street.
Since that date except for the period of the 1939-1945 war the club has been in
After sailing at several locations the main water before and immediately after
the war was Cheney Manor Lake ( Plaum`s Pit ). Following discussions with
Swindon Council permission was given to sail on the small lake at Coate
Water Country Park, Due to weed problems we now sail at the Harbour at the
same venue. We also sail at the Lotmead PYO Strawberry Farm where we
have our Club Hut. Lotmead is privately owned and sail days at Lotmead are
arranged between the Club and the farmer. Members meet for a Lake Day on
the fourth Sunday each month from March to October at one of the above
venues. Members can sail at any time at Coate. NOTE no I.C. powered boats
are allowed to sail at Coate Water on Sundays.
Club meetings are held at the Coleview Community Centre, Stratton St
Margaret, Swindon. SN3 4AS, on the First Tuesday evening of the Month, at 7-
The Club at present has a healthy membership which ranges from juniors to
All members require to have Public Liability insurance to sail a boat, this is
by the MPBA ( Model Power Boat Association ) to which the Club is affiliated or
by another recognised model Insurance. The MPBA provide the guide lines for
our compliance with current legal requirements.
Most of our members are social sailors, but a few regatta events are held each
year, where members can indulge in friendly competition sailing against
navigation courses and possibly against the clock.
The types of boats built and sailed by our members are ;-
Radio Controlled Scale Boats
These can be models of any actual boat such as Fishing vessels,
Warships, Merchant vessels, Etc.
They are usually electric motor or steam driven and can be built from kits,
purchased hull & scratch built superstructure, or scratch built.
Radio Controlled Fast Boats
These are powered by electric or I.C. engines & are sailed in competitions
divided by engine capacity, they are usually built from kits & developed by the
owner. They can reach 50 mph.
Radio Controlled Yachts
These sail in classes based on design. Can be built from, Kits, Purchased hulls
& scratch superstructure, or totally Scratch built.
Unfortunately the following types of boats cannot sail on either of our lakes :-
These are normally specially Built & can be driven by I.C. engines. There
are a few powered by steam. All are sailed tethered on a circular course &
divided into classes by engine capacities. Speed reached 150mph ( air screw ),
135mph ( water screw ), Steam has reached 129mph.
Boats of this type are free running and are run over a course approximately
40-100 metres in length aimed at targets at the end of the course. The winner
is the highest points. Power source can be I.C. Electric or Steam. They can be
functional or scale and compete in classes.
President / Chairman
In 1945 I started my apprenticeship as a Fitter & Turner at the Great Western
Railway Works at Swindon & joined the SMB&EC, followed in 1946 the MPBA &
am still a member of each.
My main interest is scratch building steam plants & boats for SR & RC scale, I
also enjoy exhibiting at shows & sailing.
I am a retired engineer, and have had an interest in modelling for about fifty
years. This includes building and flying rc model aircraft. Recent interests
are making and sailing rc model boats and making small stationary steam
WE CAN HELP
Club Members are willing to help with getting started in boat model
ling. Our members have experience with most aspects of model boating and
can give guidance and advice to the new comer to the hobby.
For the more experienced modellers assistance with making the more difficult
parts can be arranged. If you have a problem with radio control, assistance
can be given.
We have Club Pressure Vessel Testers who can test and certify the safety of
Members Boilers and Gas tanks.
On our Engineering aspect asking for assistance could be fruitful as guidance
may be capable of being given due to experience of your project, or
Contact us today on Our Contact Page