Crowborough Model Boat Club Videos

Click on the link and the video should start full screen. To return, press the back button.


Bellagio Ukraine by Mark

Inspired by the spectacular Bellagio Fountains of Las Vegas! - Published on 27th March 2022
I thought it would be an interesting challenge to build a radio controlled boat that could fire jets of water in the air in time to music... This model, the Bellagio Ukraine was the result! The water valves are controlled by a Picaxe microprocessor which takes its musical timing from a second Picaxe microprocessor. A selection of tunes can be selected by radio control and just for fun a water canon on the bow can be gimballed to soak any tempting target. It's just a bit of fun - daft and very underwhelming after you have seen the original Bellagio Fountains, but once I thought of it, I had to build it! The colours and the name are a nod to the good people of Ukraine who are in our thoughts at this time.

Fireman boat by Mark

February 2022. This radio controlled Action Man figure is equipped with a 160psi fire hose. I made it as my entry for the Crowborough Boat Club competition in which we have to aim water jets at a target. The first version of this model had a hose so powerful that the boat went backwards and capsized! In this version the hose has a wider nozzle and so is slightly less powerful and the boat has a larger motor so that it is more controllable.

HMS Tiger by Martin

Published 10th May 2020

HMS Tiger in the test tank

Riva test by Martin

Sound test - Published on July 9th 2020

Crowborough club's  Springer football match videod by Martin


Published on May 14, 2019

The club challenge for 2019 was to bulid Spring tugs for various copmpetitions. The football was hilarious. You might notice the ball kept going through just one of the goals?  the final score was 8 - 1.

Mark's Autonomous boat

Solar Navigator

Published on May 23, 2018

I set myself the challenge of making a model boat that required no batteries or radio control, but which would steer itself around the Crowborough boating lake, avoiding other vessels, indefinitely! 
This model is the result. 
It has three ultrasound sensors, one detects obstacles ahead while the two others measure the distance to the edge of the pond from the bow and stern respectively.
A Picaxe microprocessor controls the motor and rudder based on this information. Six solar panels power the motor and servo while two power the electronics. The servo is powered down most of the time to save energy but every second or so it receives power briefly and resets it position.If a vessel or obstacle appears in its path it stops or even goes in reverse to avoid collisions.
It obviously works best in bright sunlight but a bright but overcast sky is sufficient for it to make progress.
Pointless - but fun!

Thanks to Martin for the following video of his submarine 

Nacken Submarine

Published on Mar 17, 2018

Nacken Class Submarine underwater at Russell Gardens Dover


Thanks to Charles for his video of his Motor lifeboat 

US Motor Lifeboat (MLB)

Published on Feb 21, 2018

RC model of 47' MLB 47288 stationed at Quillayute River on the US Pacific Northwest Coast. Seen here being sailed on Dunorlan Park Lake, in Tunbridge Wells, UK.
Pt 2 of 2

Good Friday 2014:   

A 7 minute video Published on Apr 27, 2014 by Ed Paterson

Model Boating on the boating lake at the Goldsmiths Recreation Ground in Crowborough, East Sussex, April 2014

Thanks to Mark Waller for the following short videos:

Rescue Boat:   

Published on Feb 22, 2018

This RC Model Rescue Boat was designed to recover other model boats that are stranded in the middle of a lake or in weed. It has two methods of recovery, a foldaway boom at the bow which collects the stranded boat and guides it home and alternatively, a tow line which entangles the wreck and allows it to be towed. (The winch is designed to spread the cable across the drum.)
The rescue vessel has low draft and two powerful motors with enclosed props - which make it very manoeverable and with no rudder, it is less likely to get entagled in weed or cable.
The programmable lights on the roof were just a bit of fun. Rumours that it can play the Thunderbirds theme music as it sets off are not confirmed.

Native Indian Canoe:  

Published on Feb 4, 2017

Radio controlled model canoe. Fibreglass hull, manic cloth figures, powered by two separate motors, on Crowborough Boating lake.

Rowing Boat:

Published on Mar 6, 2017

RC action man rowing boat now has a Picaxe microchip in the bow. The usual forward/backwards and left /right signals from the transmitter are now processed onboard to drive the four servos with a more natural automatic rowing action. Initial glitches caused by interference from the servos were eventually eliminated by having separate batteries for the servos and for the microchip. It is seen here on Crowborough Boating Lake.

Pond Skater:

Published on Apr 23, 2017

This monster critter was made to see if a model could be propelled and steered merely by vibrating its feet. ( real pond skaters sense vibrations with their legs but paddle by a rowing action of their middle leg - but this seemed a fun way to test the 'vibration propulsion' concept!)
It works quite well and steering is effective. (No reverse, of course!)


Published on Feb 5, 2017

The swimming action of this sharklike fish is operated by a single servo. Slowly cruising amongst the ducks on our local pond creates a sinister image, which made the ducks very wary ineed! The green eyes are pretty sinister, too!

Duck and Shark Fin:

Published on Feb 6, 2017

This is a variation on the old RC decoy duck idea. This duck is stalked by a shark fin. The shark fin is hollow and can be pumped full with either water or air so it can submerge and reemerge under radio cntrol. (There are two water pumps in the fin and an air pump inside the duck. The 'tow rope' is an air line.) The  first duck also had a sound system which played the 'Jaws' theme as the fin emerged but it proved impossible to fit a large enough base speaker to make the sound sinister, so it was dispensed with!

Jet Pack Man:

Published on Feb 6, 2017

This little man was articulated at the waist by underwater servos.The water pump, RC and batteries are located on the jetski type boat.
Initially the servos were too slow to balance the man vertically, but with new faster servos and a lot of practise it came close to working as it should.

Boat fitted with Hydrofoils:

Published on Feb 4, 2017

IMark fitted a set of hydrofoils onto this cruiser hull, and gave it a 40A brushless motor, (which proved too large!) It certainly went up on its hydrofoils but it was a bit unstable...

Rowing Monster Boat:

Published on Feb 4, 2017

This daft radio controlled creature was build to try out an idea for a simple rowing mechanism which could withstand high speeds. In the event it worked quite well but the power was stronger than the oar mechanism could take, and the lack of co-ordination between the two oars made it inefficient, but it was fun making the face! 
Filmed on Crowborough boating lake. (Jan 2017).

Floating Wheeled Buggy

Published on Feb 6, 2017

I really don't know what this is or what it is for. Made from some giant cylinders of polystyrene found in the shed and decided they ought to become wheels. Floating wheels! Then a Mars rover came to mind based on the space ship in 'Space 1999'! The canopy is fibreglass. It is four wheel drive with the sprockets and chain being good old meccano. Seen here on Crowborough Boating Lake.

Red Kestrel Yacht:

Published on Feb 6, 2017

Red Kestrel is a radio controlled yacht of Mark's own design. It is his first radio controlled model boat. Seen here on Crowborough Boating Lake she sails well in most winds.

Duncan Dunbar:

Published on Feb 6, 2017

Mark's great grandparents met aboard the Duncan Dunbar when they were shipwrecked together in 1865, on their way to Australia. They were very lucky to have been rescued. He made this radio controlled model of the ship in 2014, having researched the original design.
She has sails that can be set by radio control and in a light breeze she sails quite well but like the original, she will not sail close to the wind. Often, He finds it helps to have the assistance of the motor. (If the original ship had a motor she might not have been shipwrecked!) She is seen here on Crowborough Boating Lake.