About Us

Swindon Model Boat and Engineering Club

The Club is a friendly group with an interest in all kinds of marine models and

model engineering.

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

continuous existence.

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.  

Members meet for a Lake Day on the fourth Sunday each month from March 

to October at Coate Water. There is also informal sailing on Wednesday and 

Sunday afternoons.

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, StrattoSt

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

Senior Citizens.

All members require to have Public Liability insurance to sail a boat, this is 

bthe 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.


Straight Running

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.

Our Committee

George Kirkham

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.


Colin Maxfield


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



Bob Hobbs

Treasurer and Membership Secretary

Richard Foggin



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

similar projects.

Contact us today on Our Contact Page