MPBA Sections

Scale | Multi Racing | Tethered Hydro | Fast Electric | Circuit Racing | Straight Running | Non-Competitive



The Scale Section promotes the building and sailing of all types of Scale Boats. The scale can be any size and the range of types is unlimited. Some of the more popular types include: RNLI Boats, Warships, Tugs, Liners, Fishing Boats and Working Boats. Anything you can find a plan for!

It is often the best way to gain information and many Clubs have excellent Model Builders among their membership. Having access to members who have been boating for years will save you time and money, in the long run. Joining a club will give you access to the Club water and the activities going on during the season. Many of the MPBA Affiliated Clubs organise Regattas, Fun Days, Special Events and Exhibitions at both Local and National Level.

MPBA Scale Section Affiliated Clubs have a long tradition of Scale Steering Competitions involving area qualifiers leading on to a National Scale Final, held on rotation in different parts of the country.

Tug Towing is an area of Scale Modelling which is gaining interest with an MPBA sponsored National Final each year.

Please remember, joining an MPBA Affiliated Club will, together with many other benefits, give you Insurance Cover usually as part of your Club Subscription.
Contact: Mark Hawkins

Multi Racing


** NEW ** View interactive 2017 National Drivers Championship tables.

The MPBA Multi Section has its own dedicated website where all Records, Results, News and Events can be found at

The MPBA currently recognises 5 Classes of Multi Boat:

  • A Class or FSR Endurance-3.5: The smallest size of Multi-Race Class. For Glow motors up to 3.5cc. 2017 Drivers Championship
  • B Class or FSR Endurance-7.5: For Glow motors up to 7.5cc.
  • C Class or FSR Endurance-15: For Glow motors up to 15cc Not recommended for beginners due to the high speeds and intensity of racing.
  • S1 27cc or FSR Endurance-27: For Spark Ignition Engined Boats up to 27cc.
  • S1 35cc or FSR Endurance-35: For Spark Ignition Engined Boats up to 35cc.

Contact: Nigel Smith
Multi Website

Tethered Hydro


Tethered Hydroplanes are one of the oldest forms of model boating. It was natural that when organised competitions were held model boaters wished to compare the speed of their models at these events.

The first races were held over a straight course but, as speeds increased, it was decided to use a circular course. This means that the model is tethered to a central pylon by a cable of known length. The advantages of this are two fold; firstly it is much safer and secondly the speed of the model can be very easily calculated.

The models are divided into various classes, depending on engine size. At present these range from 3.5 cc to 30 cc for waterscrew driven boats and 2.5 cc for airscrew models. All of the waterscrew models are capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph, the fastest being the 10 cc Class with speeds of 135+ mph. Airscrew boats are approaching speeds of 160 mph. There are also classes for steam driven boats and the fastest of these regularly reach 100 mph with the fastest currently reaching 118 mph.

Competitions are held regularly from March to October at venues especially adapted for racing this type of model. An International event is held each year at St. Albans, where in 2013 competitors from America, Armenia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Russia attended.
Contact: Sonia Collins
Hydro Website

Fast Electric


The MPBA Fast Electric Section has its own dedicated website where detailed information can be found at

Electrically powered boats have held the R/C model boat World Speed Record for a number of years. Interestingly, advances in Battery and Motor technology have produced speeds that cannot be matched by IC powered boats. Races are held in a number of classes covering Submerged Drive, Surface Drive and Hydroplanes.

The Fast Electric Section currently holds two events a year. The National Championships and the SAWS (Speed Records) event.

The National Championships are used as the qualifying event for inclusion in the MPBA Team, entered for the NAVIGA World Championships.
Contact: Martin Harvey

Circuit Racing


Circuit Racing originated in the USA during the 1960’s, it has only appeared in the UK since 1991. Two types of craft are raced, Monohulls and Hydroplanes. All boats within this Section employ a surface piercing propeller drive system producing the characteristic rooster tail which is a hallmark of this type of model boat racing.

Racing takes place on an oval course 120 metres long by 20 metres wide and navigated in a clockwise direction.

A typical days racing would start with ‘booking in’ at 09:00 with racing starting at 10:00. Generally consisting of four heats per class, and each heat consisting of three phases.

  • Phase 1: ‘Pit Time’ during which time the engine can be started and the boat launched, navigating the course in a clockwise direction. Phase 1 lasts for two minutes.
  • Phase 2: ‘Milling Time’ this phase lasts for 30 seconds, the idea being to position your boat to cross the start line as close to the end of milling time as possible to gain the best start.
  • Phase 3: ‘Race Time’ where all eight boats race against each other to complete the required number of laps first.

Points are awarded for each race position, 1st place is awarded 400 points down to 25 points for a race start but did not finish. At the end of the Race Day, Points are added for each Class to obtain overall positions.

When racing at an MPBA Circuit Section Event, the internationally recognised NAVIGA Rules are applied. All MPBA Members are eligible to race at an event.

A full list of events is published in the MPBA Yearbook and updates in Propwash. If you have any questions or require more information about this ever growing section of model boating, please feel free to contact us and we will be only too pleased to help.

The Rules for Circuit Racing can be downloaded in PDF Format HERE
Contact: Michael Buonaiuto

Straight Running


This is the oldest form of competitive model boating. During the early part of the last century there were two classes of competition, namely Speed and Steering. As speeds rose it became necessary to tether the speed class boats and run them on a circular course. This Section is called ‘Tethered Hydroplanes’. The Steering Class being known as ‘Straight Running’ represented here. The boats are free running with no Radio Control. The discipline requires two people, one to launch and one to catch. The boats may be powered by Steam, I.C., or Electric.

There are five classes of boat: Functional, Scale Ships, Scale Boats, Metre and Wedge. There are a number courses and penalties that can be introduced but the basic steering course is described below.

  • At one end of the lake eight markers are placed at a set distance apart.
  • A Starting Gate is placed at a distance of sixty to eighty yards from the markers.
  • The object being to direct the boat through the starting gate to the markers in the distance.
  • A boat passing through the centre markers (or Bull) scores ten points next markers each side of the centre score nine points then eight and finally seven.
  • A Boat passing outside the outside markers does not score any points.

This is the most inexpensive form of model boating and can without doubt be the most challenging. No boat ever runs the same twice with differing weather and water conditions.

The Rules for Straight Running can be downloaded in PDF Format HERE
Contact: Dean Reynolds


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