Welcome to the Stevenage Model Boat Club Website
We are a friendly, welcoming club that meets twice weekly throughout the year at Fairlands Valley in the middle of the town to sail our model boats, have impromptu discussions about the models and share knowledge to help everyone along their boat building journey. Fairlands Valley Park is a large public park with three lakes. We use the middle one: The Millennium Lake. The park has a good café, good parking, paved paths and child play facilities.
It's time to come out of hibernation and get our boats back on the water. Thursday 1st April is the re-launch using the arrangements we used successfully through most of last year.
Requests for a sailing slot can start next weekend.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR SAILING
To enable Thursday and Sunday sessions to continue in line with the government guidelines and to ensure we are covid-19 safe to protect all members and club officers, all bookings will be dealt with as set out below. We hope you understand that to make this a fair process you may not be guaranteed a slot every week, depending on numbers booking. However we will ensure you receive a slot fortnightly and bookings will be confirmed fairly. It is likely this time of year that you will get regular slots as member attendees reduce during the Spring period.
MAXIMUM OF 6 PEOPLE IN THE SAILING AREA
We hope everyone understands the current situation and will help to keep the sessions running so we can all get back to what we enjoy. If these rules are not adhered to then we may lose our agreement with the council and this could jeopardise future sailing. Please see below for slot times and how to book:
12.00 – 13.30 (1 ½ hours sailing time)
Arrive a few minutes early to set up. Boats out of the water 13.30 for clear up, table cleaning,
ready to handover by 14.00
14.00 – 15.30 (1 ½ hours sailing time)
Boats out of water at 15.30 for clear up, table cleaning and pack away, leave by 16.00
9.00 - 10.30 ‘Mainly’ Fast Electric (1 ½ hours sailing time)
Arrive a few minutes early to set up. Boats out of water at 10.30 for clear up, table cleaning,
ready to handover by 11.00
11.00 – 12.30 Mainly I.C Boats (1 ½ hours sailing time)
Boats out of water at 12.30 for clear up, table cleaning and pack away, leave by 13.00
TO BOOK A SAILING SLOT
please call/ text/ WhatsApp/ email Natalie. She is coordinating our bookings now.
Contact details for Natalie have been sent to all members via email.
Please give slot DATE/ TIME requested and your full NAME
You will receive a message/call confirming your slot usually same day or
declining the request with an alternative slot option.
Please do not turn up unless your slot is confirmed.
Slots will not always be first come first served, depending on interest, making it fair for everyone during this time.
Deadline for bookings please: 48 hours before your slot; any time after this makes it harder to ensure we fill the slots, although late requests will be considered this does not mean we will have space left for that week and may need to give you the next week as a priority.
Deadline for cancellations of slots: 12- 24 hours if possible, to allow for other members requests
If you were unable to book your slot please let us know if you can be added to a reserve list for cancellations – you will be notified if someone cancels ASAP. Please confirm if you can take the slot when offered. Reserve slots will be offered fairly.
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND ANY SESSION WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.
These are listed below - more info available on the NHS website.
I haven’t booked, can I just turn up
No not at the moment. We must stick to 6 in a group and these will need to be pre-booked to guarantee a slot.
If someone does not turn up to their slot, can I carry on in their absence?
Speak to the group leader/booking number who will have the list of names and see if a reserve has been contacted. They will tell you if this is possible, if there is space your name will be added and you can carry on.
What details will I need to give?
Member’s details are held on file and we will let you know, if needed, if we have been asked for any details if there is contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.
What if other members turn up who have not booked, or just walk in?
It is our responsibility to ensure groups are kept to 6 only. Anyone else turning up will be asked to leave and member details taken for a booking the following week, or as soon as available.
I work Monday to Friday, so can only do a Sunday. Will I get a slot?
The slots will be worked on a rota basis if we have a lot of interest. It is likely you will get your slot if you cannot do a Thursday as this will be considered and we want to ensure all members get to access the sessions around their employment.
Can I have more than one slot per week?
The quick answer is No; however this will all depend on interest. If we have less members asking for slots you may be able to book more slots.
SMBC Coronavirus Guidance
If you have coronavirus symptoms:
Get a test and stay at home.
If you have attended a session within 14 days and test positive for Covid-19 please let Natalie know as soon as possible, so she can inform anyone within close contact.
For more information please see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
All the club business is carried out lakeside, with the exception of the AGM in December. We exhibit at a selection of local shows / exhibitions to make our club known to the general public and we visit other clubs. Our members have every type of boat: scale boats, sail boats, fast boats and slow boats; boats made of plastic and GRP; wood blocks and planks; old boats and new boats; boats from kits, boats from bits.
We at SMBC just like model boats and the people who build and sail them. Come and meet us.
Contact details are on the LOCATION page, with directions & email addresses.
Stevenage Model Boat Club started as a section of Stevenage Model Aircraft Club. In the 1970s, the boat section split from the aircraft section and moved to their current home in Fairlands Valley Park.
In the 1980s, Syd McGoun & his wife re-formed the club as SMBC. At this point the club was at the forefront of the new sport of model power boat racing and for many years the club attracted members from a wide area, participating in competitions to a national level, held on the Millenium lake in Fairlands Valley.
I.C Boats (Boats with internal Combustion engines - diesel, petrol or glow plug) can still be run on the SMBC Lake in Stevenage. The heyday of class racing at the club has long passed, but a healthy interest remains with enthusiasts meeting on a Sunday morning and a Thursday afternoon. All descriptions of boats are run, modern racers, ready to run boats, the latest hydros and near vintage boats. These fast and furious boats are subject to an 80 decibel noise limit, the same as required on the current racing circuit events.
Read more about IC Boats.
Fast Electric boats are very popular, whether tunnel hull, mono hull, or the basic 'Club 500'. SMBC runs a Club 500 competition through the year, from Spring to Autumn, with members pitting their racing skills against each other using identical boats.
Read more about FAST ELECTRIC .
Scale and semi-scale boats are most prevalent in the club now. Highly detailed models of naval ships and lifeboats abound, with a good selection of tugs, fishing boats and other work boats. Private yachts, speedboats, airboats and paddle steamers appear from time to time. Older models keep appearing, as does the occasional model that is solely a figment of a vivid imagination.
Read more on SCALE.
Yachts are popular as they can be sailed all afternoon, with the challenge of skill against the wind with no need to refuel or recharge batteries. There are not enough yachts of one design to make for viable class racing. On the water, for casual sailing, are marble heads, IOMs, (International One Metre) smaller ready to go models and semi-scale boats from kits or built from plans. Help with setting up boats and sailing techniques is always available at the lakeside, but the subject is too large for inclusion on this site. Read more on YACHTS.
When & where do we sail...
Every Thursday afternoon from 1pm & Sunday morning from 9am (10am in Winter) throughout the year, at Fairlands Valley Park Millenium lake SG2 0BL - subject to weather conditions!
Generally Sunday sees I.C boats and fast electric, Thursday is more Scale & Sail. You can find location details & map... HERE.
If there are any special events being held which may affect access for sailing, members are usually notified in advance via email.
There's a nearby cafe & toilet facilities, and free parking.
We are involved in organising and attending various events throughout the year, both locally and further afield.
By running some of these events, the club is proud to support the RNLI and Mercy Ships, a local charity funding a hospital ship off the coasts of African countries, providing life saving and life enhancing operations to local people there.
See the EVENTS page for more details of what's on and what we do.
NOTE: as the website is under 'reconstruction', not all pages are live yet, and those that are may be added to in the near future.
Want to get in touch? Contact details are on the LOCATION page, with useful email addresses.
MODEL BOAT CLUB