Airline Footy Travel

I’m considering an airline trip with my Footy and radio. I’d appreciate any suggestions on packing it, security clearance issues, etc. Has anyone found any clever suitcase or anything for transport?

thx…Bill H

Well, I’ve gone all over the States and to/from the UK with 36Rs, Yankee III, and VMs. All of these have gone checked luggage, and all Southwest except for the hop across the herring pond :slight_smile: I wouldn’t trust any other airline with one of my boats.

My two standby cases are a SKB hard-side golf case and Pelican 1700 shotgun case. Both of these require that you design the boat to fit the case. I make all my boats with removable keels and check the keel in a separate bag. My suggestion would be to check the Pelican site for a case the right size and then hunt on eBay for a discounter. You may actually find a case that will fit your boat and can be carried on, but I don’t know how the folks in the security line would react.

I arrive at least 3 hrs early to make sure the TSA has time to peer and poke at my stuff. The biggest problem is with sails. I roll mine on a tube and label them fragile. I take the hatch off and tape it to the deck with masking tape so they can check the inside of the boat. I remove all batteries and buy fresh at the destination.

I sustained the first damage in 10 or so years of doing this on the trip to Marblehead. The TSA guys pulled Yankee III out of the foam in the golf case and then put her back improperly, leading to mashed foam (I actually think they slammed the lid on her.) So its always a risk, but with a little careful thought you can minimize it.



Last time I took my Footy somewhere I got everything into a briefcase .
TX, rig /sails the whole lot.


“TSA to Scrutinize Remote-Controlled Toys”

I’d get a Pelican or Halliburton case and ship it ahead :frowning:



Thanks guys, for the ideas…I heard about your warning this morning, Earl…lousy timing…I’ll figure something out.


The article references carry-on stuff. Why not just put your boat inside a checked package? It still may get checked, so we will have to see. If I wanted to take a Footy with me, I’d just FedEx it overnight to myself.

What’s next- exploding golf club heads & balls? All that terrorist-stuff seems to be making it difficult to get on an airplane naked even. :lol:

Hi Bill, just got back from England with an undamaged footy so here is what worked for me.

The rudder is the most vulnerable item I think so I made two blocks from EPP (the resilient foam, not EPS expanded polystyrene) to contain the fin/bulb and rudder. A bow shaped block taped in place would stop the hull rotating and a block around the rudder control protected that. See photos.

This assembly was then laid in a decently strong cardboard box large enough to also contain a small tool kit, three glass trophies! and various other oddments. All packed around with more dense foam above and below the hull. I marked the box with my name and ‘model yacht, fragile’. No batteries were fitted, no receiver either but if I had taken one I would have packed it outside of the boat in the same box.
Sails/masts were laid flat between two sheets of 1" EPS and laid in the bottom of my check in case on a ‘flat’ layer of clothing.

At BMI (British Midland Int.) check-in in Chicago I told the girl what was in the box, no reaction. When I passed my luggage over to the TSA guy I told him too and said was the taped up box a problem, he just said that if they needed to look inside then they would re-tape it. The box wasn’t opened, I suspect the swabs tell them most of what they need to know.

On my return check-in in Manchester, England it was even easier. The girl gave the box back to me after checking in my case and the box and directed me to a different check office where she said it would take a different route to the cases and therefore not risk getting squashed. All very painless and thankfully barely a mark on my box either way. It could be that having used a cardboard box encourages a little more care in handling. Two years ago I brought a scale boat back with BMI in a cardboard box and received similar care.

If you only are allowed one check-in bag on internal flights then the above won’t help much Bill :rolleyes:…


edit… for internal USA transport I think that Tomohawk’s advice to mail it to yourself is well worth considering.

That was a little humor about mailing the boat to myself, Graham, but since I have family whe I’d be travelling, it would work for the trip there. You’ll still need to repack the boat and head of to the post to mail it home again.