Getting the most out of your Chinese-made budget radio controlled sailboat.

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ShipShape Team

The team behind this website are a father and son duo from Bendigo, Australia who started sailing r.c. sailboats in the 1980s, then moved onto full size sailing for many years.

Mal Fields (the father) and Mike Fields (the son) were like many father-son hobbyists and tinkered with many modelling  types right through Mike’s childhood.

As a young adult, Mike worked in Summer Camp in America and taught model rocketry classes. Upon his return to Australia, both started a decade’s long passion for radio controlled model planes. Mal got quite involved in Mugi style planes that are built using core-flute or correx sheet – the real estate agent sign material. Lots of experimentation culminated in Mal’s first’ how to’ site on constructing mugi model planes.

With the advent of online stores, Chinese sites began selling models direct to the consumer at really cheap prices.  Mike and Mal saw some of the mid-budget Chinese made models. They decided that it might be good to have one for old time’s sake and for days when they were not flying.

The excitement from all those years ago was instantly rekindled and soon a second boat was ordered. On their first day with the 2 boats out they were having a great time until Mike was heard to say “I think I can see the rudder!”, shortly followed by “I’ve lost my boat .It sunk!”. Mal turned his boat around and as it was coming to shore and his sank within a minute of the other.

After many unusual attempts for locating the boat, using methods from grappling hooks and fishing rod trawling to Polaroid sunglasses in canoes and rowing drag lines around were all completely useless. Two SCUBA divers and a good few hours later, one boat was recovered.

Having learnt a lot of lesson about what not to do with a model boat and learnt many ways to make these things so much better, they decided to share their ideas by creating a website dedicated to this style of boat and how to do it easier. The site had 3 pages for mandatory and optional ideas.

The addition of a forum to the site saw people from all around the world sharing ideas and experiences and within a year the site was getting a over a thousand page views a day!

As the site grew and they came up with more and more ways to do things better, the forum format became harder and harder people to find sequential, step-by-step processes for the build.

Many people complained that the manufacturer’s instructions left way too many critical steps out and other were saying they did not even get any instructions.

The time had come to distil this knowledge into a series of eBooks that includes a 50 page book dedicated to very detailed construction steps and over 50 supporting photos. And that’s not including eBook on Advanced Modifications and Repairs!

Other eBooks include, which boat to get, where to buy, what is in the box, sailing theory, setting up a temporary course, rules for friendly competition, a glossary of terms (so you sound like an old pro), your first shake-down cruise, visual comparisons between the models and sailing comparisons.

They are packed with all the latest ideas and everything you need to know before you start, when you start, build a group of sailors and keeping them in Shipshape sailing condition.

The series can be instantly downloaded for your convenience. You can print the whole book, or just specific sections so you can have it by your side in shed when you are working on your own boat or take a copy to the lake when you first take out your pride and joy.

Get your copy today!


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