When most people think about control line
(CL) models, airplanes are what comes to mind. However, prior to the
advent of miniature, reliable radio control (RC) systems, model boats
and model cars also ran on control lines. Most of the time they went in circles, just like model
airplanes do; however, some hobbyists stretched out long sections of straight line in order to get
maximum speeds from their craft. Unlike with model airplanes where an operator in the center of the
circle exerted control of the elevator (and sometimes throttle), the
boats and cars generally ran with no form of control. In fact, usually the models were tethered with
a single line in the center of the circle and the operator handled the boat or car from the outside.
American Model Boating Association (NAMBA) has a list of the current record holders (as of
Detroit's Bob Chaffee with 60 mph Class F (5cc, .29 cu. in.).
Max Biederman slows 'er down with hatful of water. Home-made CL B 30cc engine was
running hot. Max, a factory production line planner, holds Cl. A record of 78.26; Cl. C at 85.71. Hez
NYC Model Power Boat Club Commodore.
Holder of Cl. A steam record (68.18 boilin9 miles per hour!) is Mike Succarde, Detroit. Double gasoline
blowtorch generates 500-lbs pressure in steel tubing boiler; 2-cylinder engine has water cooled head.
Modified McCoy .60 powers Pete Yanczer's 85.71 mph record D. He's from St. Louis.
Carved balsa job has plywood bottom, holds B mark with 81.81; 9 1/4-lb craft and engine by Charles
Watkins, Chicago MPBC. Length, 3'; beam, 10".
Catamaran type is "Vano" by France's M. Devauze. Hornet powered craft has done 65 mph.
Famous designer is Philadelphia's Walt MacWilliams; former model race car fan, he electrified MPBC'ers
by modifying long-accepted Harry Traband hull and setting two new records. Traband-MacWilliams hull
is now "it." Engine is home-made; Walt's an expert on Navy steam catapults. Majority of boats are 3-point,
surface-propelled racing hydroplanes that actually operate on 2 points: aft, bottom edge of outside
sponson and prop tip.
Korean vet (Signal Corps) Jack Scholl of NYC turned out original engine. Four ports (double exhaust,
double transfer) allow use of flat-top piston which can be turned from solid stock. Note throttle.
Some hunk of machinery: Max Biederman's home-built "A" mill; bore is 1.5"; stroke, 1.122"; glow plug
Another original; this by Henry Parohl, watchmaker, is 30cc - 3 times size of plane's .60! Knob is
needle valve, arm in slot is throttle adjust, 1/16" stranded steel line attached to bridle support.
Manderville boat; home-built ball-bearing strut, universal. Metal block balances, lowers boat. Rear
swivel for bridle.
Posted November 19, 2016