It rained last night. The local weather forecast calls for occasional showers all day today, and tomorrow.
Still too early for remote control airplanes and helicopters, so I’m thinking about boats.
As a kid I made a number of excursions on powered boats fishing, skiing, and pleasure cruising. Those times gave me piloting experience on boats ranging from 18-foot runabouts to cabin cruisers. Two things always come to mind when I think back on those trips: engine noise and exhaust fumes.
Couldn’t get away from those.
One time with a group of friends, I rented a 42-foot sailing yacht, and made a trip to the Bahamas. Sailing doesn’t produce exhaust fumes, and the only noise (other than the rush of the water as you slice through it) is the slapping canvas as the wind fills it full and pushes you along. That sound of rushing water was new because the engines always drowned it out on the powerboats.
I found sailing so relaxing that now when I think about going to the water with an RC model a sailing boat is normally at the top of the list.
Today is different because I’m thinking about doing some racing. The rain dampens my desires for relaxing, and that only leaves an urge for some action.
Before I can race I need a racecourse, so I’ll give you some thoughts about designing, and building, one of those.
First consideration is what type of race you’ll run. Will you get out your fleet of radio control race boats, take the kids or grandkids to the pond, and compete with each other for the big prize? Are you holding timed runs to see how fast your boat is? Or do you prefer a slalom event of some sort? Maybe you’d like a combination of the above events.
The design is simple once you decide the kind of race you’re running. Visualize it in your mind, and then draw it out on paper. Scale it so you know where to place your markers that show the outline of the course.
For your markers you need something to use as buoys. Most anything that floats works for this purpose. I suggest placing a number of corks to shape your racecourse. Paint them a bright color and make them easy to see. Large fishing bobbers are good for this too.
To keep your buoys in place, or to keep the wake of your boats pushing them off location, you’ll want to weight them. Fishing weights perform this task well. Tie them to the buoy with fishing line, and make the line long enough to allow the weight to rest on the bottom. That way the buoy will stay where you place it.
If you design a few different courses, you can make changes and spend the day staging a multiple of racing events. You’ll have plenty of thrills, and increase your aquatic piloting skills at the same time.
Now you’re all set, nothing left to do but have some remote control fun.
With the help of sound management practices, water can move into the soil rather than running off. This video describes how and why soils transmit water at different rates. For more information, see http://www.soils.usda.gov.
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