Men and their toys: A new generation of toy speed-boat fanatics


02-September-2011

Remote-controlled boats like this “Navigator” can be ordered at the MPS supermarket

A fun day will take place on Sunday September 11 at Anse à la Mouche beach, right opposite the Buggy and Jeep car hire, where owners of remote-controlled boats can bring along their “toys” to race, exhibit or simply compare.

The public can also see this as a fun event to take one’s family to, or why not turn it into a fun day at the beach, where one can be able to see a variety of boats (although of a much, much smaller size) going up and down the waves, churning up sea-water?

For some time now, one or two shops in Seychelles have been importing remote-controlled boats, which are driven by either fuel or run on batteries.

The main importer of these boats is the MPS shopping centre, whose representative Bala Pillay said they import only fuel-driven ones, but are currently out of stock.

“These boats are becoming more and more popular here and although we do not have any in stock for now, we can import immediately on order,” he said.

With the fuel-fed type boats apparently the favourite, buyers are not batting even an eyelid at having to run to the petrol station to get some gas up before heading to the beach to fuel up and have some fun on the water.

This is because the boats’ engines are the same types as grasscutter machines, very fuel-efficient and definitely faster than the battery-run ones. The most popular ones on sale here have engine capacities of 26 to 33cc and can also pump sea-water inside to cool down its systems when running. But others who are more daring, or with deeper pockets, can also get their boats modified, with bigger engines.

A proud boat owner, Jean-Luc Rose, said remote-controlled boats offer a far safer option to, say, street racing cars against each other.

Jean-Luc’s hydro (foreground) before a test run at Anse à la Mouche recently

“There are a number of various boats one can buy or build, with single or twin engines, with different hulls, such as hydro (like what I’ve currently got), monohulls and catamarans,” he said.

He added that there are some of his friends who are taking their time to build their project boats, some of what might even be considered “beasts” in this league.

“It’s impressive the amount of money some people are willing to spend on such projects,” he said.

As for general maintenance, Jean-Luc says that it consists of mainly washing your boat well with pure water when you have left the beach, and cleaning the remote control well, to remove any salinity which might have gotten in.

“It is advisable to seal you remote just in case, to decrease the chances of it getting into contact with sea-water,” he said.

The young man also says he wishes there would be a community of boaters, which could regularly meet to “do their thing” as well as invite other enthusiasts to share in the fun, which will begin on September 11.

 

By Ivan Hollanda

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