I want to take up RC boating as a retirement hobby. Can anybody suggest a suitable model yacht to start with, and where to purchase? I don’t want anything big or complicated at this stage, but the price is not a big issue; quality and value as a learning tool are more important

Find out what classes aare being used where you will be racing! For example withing 75 miles of where I life are two clubs which race: ODOMs, Solings, One Meters and Santa Barbara’s. The ODOMs and Solings were the most boats with most class races, two a month, while the one meters raced twice a month with fewer boats and the Santa Barbara’s, the best looking and fastest only raced one a month and only had 3 boats.

Since in my real boats days I raced strict one design I leaned towars the ODOM and/or the Soling. Since the ODOM was the faster, and I got a great deal on a used boat, I now own an ODOM and am looking for a used Soling.

There is a lot of talk in my local club about starting an IOM fleet, one of our local sailors is a professional builder and he is finializing an IOM design and has three orders already.

Good luck, it is a great hobby.

Price wise, a new ODOM kit and accessories is abot $500. Factory built ready to sail is $1375. My used one, never registred and hardley used cost me $475. Solings are cheaper, One Meters more expensive.

This is a question asked frequently…

Well, IMHO, you have 2 choices:

  1. see if you have clubs and get what they sail…if you want to race it makes life easier.

  2. you dont care…get what you want!

(It might be fun to sail alone, but at some point, you will look for other folks…my case!)

You have many kits out there…and it’s also difficult to recommend one!

A few things we could need:

-price range (I know you said it wasnt a problem…but…)
-sailing in a club or alone?

my 0.002 Yen


Things you will need anyway:

Depending on the boat a 4,8 or 6 volts battery (4-5 cells)
(there already you have the usual Alkaline, or the rechargable NiCd NiMH and lately Lipo (which I wouldnt recommend for beginners…but then again thats me)

If you go rechargable…you ll need a charger!

For ex: (and I will use Tower Hobby as ref.)
Duratrax 5 cell

Then, you ll need the Transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX)

Futaba 2DR AM

or high end radio

Futaba 7CAP PCM computer

sorry, I am a Futaba fan, but you have other maker (Hitec, Multiplex and the list goes on)

Rudder servo…usually included with the radio.


Then the “winch”…

You can go cheap with an Sailarm

or a cheap Winch

or VERY nice RMG

Wis is right. There are tons of kits. See what’s being sailed in your area first, that’s always the best bet. If you don’t have a local club within reasonable distance from you, then I will give you my own personal favorites (everyone has their 2 cents… this is just mine!)

I prefer kits that come complete, (you don’t need to add a bunch of aftermarket stuff to make it sail competitively) and I also prefer strict one-design boats (few modifications to the boat allowed–this keeps cost down). However, I don’t like building boats as much as I like sailing and racing them.

Kyosho Seawind – My first boat, and now I have 2. Our local club has thrived with these boats, that are around $289.99 without electronics. The kit parts are high quality compared to others I’ve seen, and the class association is one of the fastest growing in the AMYA (but far from the biggest). I edit the class newsletter.

CR-914 – The first boat I ever raced. This is another strict one-design with high quality kit materials and very few modifications from stock allowed. It’s got a great class association and lots of regattas every year. This boat is about $450 complete (w/electronics).

There are lots of others (I’ve also built a Victoria and it’s great too–more of a builders boat since more modifications are allowed, but it’s a great little boat too).

Good Luck and happy sailing!


Hi Tangleweed,

I presume that you are a resident of Sheffield, in England, and if so, then some of the mass of information in the previous reply posts may not be applicable.
For what it is worth, we in the UK have a very good national structure through the MYA, with many clubs spread over the whole country. May I suggest that you log on to the following and there is a list of all the clubs in your local district, ‘Northern’.

I would suggest that you contact the sec. of the nearest club which is possibly near Rotherham at Harthill Reservoir, or there is one near Doncaster, and another near Keighley
Go along and meet them and find out what their sailing program is and what type of model yacht they sail. Dont be put off by the percieved cost of some of the all singing and dancing IOMs or Marbleheads, there is usually a flowing market of used models at quite a reasonable price. The best way is to try before you buy or build. Don’t be afraid of a model being ‘technical’. If you invest in one of the more simple creations, then you will find the desire to upgrade very quickly. Any good club member will keep you on the right track and everything will fall into place very quickly.

Good luck, and welcome aboard.