We’ve been reading Stuart Little by E.B. White, and in the book, Stuart Little pilots a remote-controlled boat on the lake in Central Park. As a follow-up for the book, we took the girls sailing today — in the best possible way. We stood safely on the shore and watched the friendly folks from the Logan City Marine Modellers Club show their stuff.

Logan City Marine Modellers, May 2010
The sailboats were controlled solely by their rudders — the wind propelled them around the small lake.

As well as a selection of sailboats of different sizes, we saw a variety of motor-controlled replica ships sailing their way around the buoys marking out a course on Lake Tygum. All the ships that I asked about were made from bits and pieces, and the men prided themselves on how innovative they were in creating lifelike miniatures.

Logan City Marine Modellers, May 2010
This replica tugboat made a rumbling engine noise punctuated by what sounded like toots on its horn.

When you consider that the man who built this tugboat did so from a photo, his work seems like an incredible labour of love. And it’s a fantastic replica — compare his model to the real thing:

Bernice Lind
Here's the *real* "Bernice Lind" in action (photo taken from jerichoproducts.com). It's still in commission, spending most of its time pushing barges up-river from San Francisco on the west coast of the United States.

Logan City Marine Modellers, May 2010
This fire and rescue boat started out as a joint project for a man and his (then) eight-year-old son.

My girls were quite taken with the shooting water and prompted me to ask the owner to take it around and “shoot” the ducks with the hoses. The ducks weren’t so keen on the water, but the show amused the crowd.

Logan City Marine Modellers, May 2010
Each detail of this warship was meticulously copied from a photograph and built by hand.

This warship also looks remarkably like the original ship. In making this ship, the creator actually hand-welded all the railing pieces to create a more life-like effect.

It was a fun morning activity for the girls. The hobbyists were very friendly and loved to talk about their creations, so it was a joy to stand around discussing the various techniques and sailing/boating jargon.

Logan City Marine Modellers, May 2010
The creator of this single stack cargo ship talked me through all the bits and pieces he used to fabricate this intricate model of a single-stack cargo ship.

Logan City Marine Modellers Club meets at Tygum Lagoon on Brisbane’s southern outskirts on Wednesday and Sunday mornings.