The US Vintage Model Yacht Group goals are the preservation, building, and sailing of older model yacht designs, and the study of the history of the sport of model yachting. “Vintage” primarily means any older model sailboats no longer sailed (or never raced) in serious competition. These encompass free-sailing model yachts, older designs converted to R/C and pre-1970s R/C sailing models. This includes class racing yachts, non-class sailing models and commercially-built toys of the past. There are also replica models built to the older designs and new designs recreating older sailboat styles.
We also support those who sail traditional sailing craft models, such as schooners, skipjacks, and other scale models. The hulls are generally made of wood, with some fiberglass models, and range in length from one to six feet. The rigs are usually constructed from wood or aluminum, with cotton or dacron sails.
The US Vintage Model Yacht Group is affiliated with the American Model Yachting Association and the Vintage Model Yacht Group (United Kingdom)
The earliest records we have of organized model yachting date from the middle 1800s in Great Britain. The boats were small, such as the 22-in hull illustrated in Fig. 1. We imagine that the early boats sailed in the United States were similar. By the 1860s there were occasional international contests between model yachtsmen in Great Britain and those in the United States. The only documentation we have is from British periodicals, which naturally covered the events there.
For years model yacht building was taught in high schools in the manual arts classes. Manual arts teachers quickly recognized model yachting as providing near-perfect shop projects, especially for introductory courses. Students had to work in wood, metal, and cloth, assemble parts into a working whole, and had the opportunity to see the results of their efforts under sail, with the additional spice of a student regatta.
Fast forward to today, last October over 65 yachts and 32 skippers from across the U.S. gathered outside Philadelphia, PA for the US Vintage Nationals. Check out the videos and photos of these beautiful yachts on our YouTube Channel.
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