Ships in a bottle have long been popular items for those who love to build models, but those who now build boat models want more. They have begun to build scale model boats that do not sit passively on a shelf, and some of them even race their models. It has become a much more interactive hobby, and there are even clubs for those with a true passion for sharing their model building tips with others.
Servos with electric motors are now attached to boat models with moving parts, and they are connected electronically to a remote control device. The scale models powered this way are power boats, and they all use the same elements. There are those who find sailboats attractive, but they seldom race on window power alone. Their builders take the time to add in the electric motors to power them through the water, and they can occasionally get a boost from a passing breeze.
Clubs have begun to crop up in many urban areas where there are a larger number of hobbyists, and they meet for races on a regular basis. These meets are informal, and camaraderie is an important element between them. If a boat loses its power, other races are helpful in getting it back to shore after the race. They will even take the time to help troubleshoot what might be wrong, and they are quick to offer solutions.
Boat races for model builders are interesting, but those who are not into the hobby should be aware that speed is not the greatest factor when watching. The electric motors are very small, and speeds for racers are quite slow. Much of the skill in racing these scaled down boats consists of the ability to steer well around pylons, and an occasional boost from a stray current or wind can make all the difference in who wins or loses.