Assigning frequencies in model yacht clubs...

An interesting and a little distressing situation is starting to show itself in the model yacht club that we’ve formed in my town. We’ve been gaining quite a few members, and as those members join, our frequency chart is beginning to fill up (it’s not full yet, but it might get that way before too long). We’ve been trying to develop fleets in two classes: (and have had some success doing so) SeaWind and Victoria. Our guidelines for assigning frequencies have been in the following order…

#1 Priority – The club chaser/mark setting boat.

#2 Priority – Boats that belong to the club’s sanctioned fleets (SW, Vic)

#3 Priority – all other boats.

All of these are on a first come, first served basis. However, while we’re trying to develop fleets, we are allowing skippers with boats that are outside of those fleets to join and race with us, grouping them in a One Meter Sport and 32 Sport fleet based on their size.

Now, finally for the question! How have other clubs handled this problem–that’s bound to come up? One idea I can think of is to race the two fleets on separate days, which would allow doubling of frequencies, so long as they never raced on the same day (or at the same time). Another option would be to rotate heats, having one fleet sail 3 races, rest 3, or whatever… with the same idea–that the boats that aren’t racing turn their radios off, so that boats that might share that frequency might sail uninterrupted.

These aren’t the most attractive options, so I’m wanting to see what others have done in similar situations. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

Andy Rust

Air Capitol Model Sailing Club

At our club, each member is assigned one frequency. When you pay your annual dues at the beginning of the season, your frequency is assigned for the year.

Since you can only sail one boat at a time, it makes some sense that each member has only one frequency. If the member has more than one boat, he can only sail one of them at a time. So he will have two recievers on the same frequency (one in each boat) and he just switches on which ever one he wants to sail.

Although it has never really come up, we do have a process to give out assigned frequencies to guests. We have a fixed starting time at our club (12:00). If a member has not arrived by 12:30, then we assume he is not coming and his frequency can be given to someone else.

Most guys also carry a few extra crystal sets. If a guest shows up that wants to use their second boat, we can usually accomidate them by swapping out some crystals.

  • Will

Will Gorgen

Generally, members of our club are asked to have at least three sets of frequencies available. (A few of us have a lot more.) Allocations are then done on a first come/first served basis. I don’t thin we have ever had a conflict that couldn’t be resolved.

Thanks guys for the suggestions. In thinking a little harder about the situation, I think that we have several options… first would be to follow Will’s idea of only allowing one frequency to be reserved per member, however–we may allow ‘alternates’ to be utilized. What this would mean is if the primary holder of a given frequency isn’t attending an event, his/her frequency can be used by an alternate.

Another way to create more available frequencies is to put our club loaner boats on 27mhz frequencies, which could work fine for them, and open up a couple of more frequencies.

Mostly we’re just trying to have some ideas and plans in place should this become a problem, which it may not.

Thanks again for the suggestions.


Air Capitol Model Sailing Club