Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club © 2023
Located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club is a organization for those who have radio controlled operational scale model boats.  We welcome all experienced in this hobby as well as those new and in need of help getting started in scale model boat building.
Logo (C)

Welcome to the SSMBC Home Page!
      The Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club (SSMBC) was the first club dedicated to operational scale model boats in the Tampa Bay area.  For more information on the history of the SSMBC go to the "About Us" page on this site.  Also, check out our introduction video [click here]. 

      This site was updated on
November 29, 2023.  All photos and text - copyrighted-2023 by the Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club.

      Disclosure: The SSMBC and this site does not have any financial ties to any company, political affiliantion nor any other substity and has no gains from these and any other person(s).  The SSMBC and this site is purely for the enjoyment of its members and others in this hobby.

In the begining: 1976 (Crest Lake Park)      As the co-founder of the original Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club (in 1975), I want to let everyone know that the resurrected club (in January 2014) is still dedicated to scale model operating model boats. 
      We are now in our ninth year of new operations and have introduced many people to this hobby.  Although my first boats are long since retired I am continuing to build new ones and am committed to keeping this club free and fun for all to enjoy!
     I noticed that almost all model boat clubs do not update their web sites, some for many years. However, I have and will continue to do updates, usually never letting the website get over two weeks old! 
(Click photo above for more "Oldies")

  What are you looking for? (Click on below for an answer)
What's new on this site?
When is the next meet and how long does it last?
Where are the meets held?
Can I just watch even if I don't have a boat?
What if I loose control or my boat's batteries run out?
What does it take to join the SSMBC?
How do I launch my boat?
Do you have race boats?
Coming Soon: Boats, kits, partial builds, complete Models
The SSMBC is easy to join, free, and no club officers. Just fun - fun - fun - until your better half takes your boat away!

A SSMBC meetWhat's New?
Last (November 19, 2023) Meet:   A good showing of members and guests met at Lake Seminole Park.  Everyone was happy!  The weather was greate, with a very light breeze  Th water was clear, grass mowed, pond edged, all making for one of the best days I hve ever seen in my 50+ years operating model boats there
The Members Photos page needs updates.  Reminder, this page is for you to search for a boat you might have seen at one of the meets.  If yours is not listed and you want it to be, contact Lew so we can get photos and details.

Next Few Meets
     The next few Sundays are normally scheduled meets These will be at our usual location (see "Place" below.)  Submit ideas for meets meet days so we can turn that into "special" meets.  Some ideas... Springer towboat contest; tugs, tows, and barges; timed course navigation, military boats, fishing boats, and more.   Meets usually run from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Video (9/17/2021) Figures for Scale Model Boats
SSMBC Links page (also use [Links] button above).
Videos for SSMBC's Scale Model Boats 
       All of the videos I filmed (plus info on building boats, tanks, modifications, etc.) are on Youtube under Lew's channel " eymccauley".  These go back several years.  (Added 8/28/2021.)
Making Flags for Scale Model Boats 
     How is your flag waving?  Is it flying stiff as if it was painted on a sheet of plywood?  Learn about making the flag with ripples in it to make it more realistic. This new page is now available on Lew's Model Boats page. (added 5/3/2021)
Notable Previous Meets
Oldies: Photos from the original SSMBC back in the mid-1970'sAlso link on the Photos & videos page as (photos) Gallery 1.
Go further down this page to see more information about meets.

To the Rescue:
       Every once in a while something may happen to a boat causing it to need a rescue.  Most common is an electrical problem, bad connection, battery, etc.  Other times it could be mechanical like a steering servo link or universal joint breaking free.  So here is what we have with our boat meets:

      Enclosed lake: The lake (or pond) is about 310 feet in diameter. About 90% of its perimeter is free of trees and shrubs although there is some in the water growth extending out 10-15 feet. Approximately 10% of the perimeter has surface growth (plant, trees, etc.) andis not very accessable to the water.  Fortunately, the wind very rarely blows toward that direction.  It seems that the majority of time it blows at the launching dock or either side. Other times towards the left or right accessable reas.  In all the years I have been operating there I never saw any boat get caught in that area.

      Lake depth:  Members have had to make some rescues because of sunken boats, but that is very rare, less than one a year. The pond is only about four to five feet deep in the center.

      Rescue boat: We have a rescue boat, the "Miss Amelia" which has a five foot long "U" shaped yoke/boom attached to the front for pushing disabled boats back to shore.  So far it has moved the clubs member Jim N's whaleback (heaviest) with no problem.  Some of the other boats (tugs) have padded bows to assist in pushing boats as well.

      Rescue boom:  We have a boom with over a twenty foot reach to get to tother areas around the edge of the pond out past the in-water shore line growth.  This can be used to guide the boat back to the dock or prod it back out to the rescue boat (so the rescue boats propeller does not foul).

If anyone does not get our email (usually meet notices and follow-ups every two weeks) please send an email or call Lew.  Info is on the Contacts page.

Meet Information
Days  and Time we meet:
       Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club -  we meet (weather permitting) on the 1st and 3rd (and optional "makeup/missed meet" 5th if there is one that month) Sundays of each month.  We may not meet on certain Sundays due to holidays.  We usually start setting up at about 11:00 AM and continue as long as there is interest and good weather. This could well run on to mid-afternoon.  Most meets run to about  1 to 1:30 PM.
      Please see the Meet Location by selecting this or the tab near the top of this page. It contains information, a map and directions to Freedom Lake Park.
Parking and utilities:
      Park right across from the first shelter. Additional parking is nearby. Rest rooms are close by as well.  Electricity is available.
Portable docks:
      We have a portable docking system (about 40 linear feet of docks) that we set up in cooler months and special dates. We can set these up next to the floating dock on the south side of the pond.  This gives us a nice "port" for the boats to operate in.
Want to just watch?
      Scale model boat meets are kind of rare in the U.S.  There are probably 30-40 clubs nation wide.  We have one of the best facilities and being located in a public park the area is open for all to enoy!  Bring a lawn chair and your camera and find a nice shady spot (or in the sun if you prefer).  Most of the time you can find a member who will let you pilot their boat.  You can also view the boats out of the water where we have them setting.  Questions?  Ask away - members are happy to talk about the boats.
Don't forget:
      We have the "SSMBC Members' Wanted, Trade, For Sale, Free - Classifieds Page" (also listed under the links page).
What is the SSMBC?
      We are all about radio controlled scale model boats.  Most members have enough skills to build virtually all kits and often build from scratch.  New members are welcome, even if you need help to get you up to speed.  We are not about not-to-scale sailboats (pleasure/competition) nor speedboats (hydros, etc.).