Model Boat Stands

by Roseann
(Scranton, PA)

I have a question regarding stands for model boats I have looked every where. Do you know anyone selling stands?

There are many types of stands for model boats. Some are meant to look good to display static models, while others are entirely utilitarian for hauling RC boats between one's vehicle and the water's edge.

I believe it is virtually impossible to make a stand that is universal and look good. That's probably why there isn't much out there. The fact that a hull's shape is pretty much unique to each vessel is the underlying cause for the complexity.

I've seen stands that fold up, mainly for RC sailboats, where the bed where the hull lays is nothing more than two pieces of nylon webbing. They may be practical, but don't look too good.

Other along the utilitarian end, were made from PVC irrigation pipe and fittings. Again, functional like a Lazy Boy, but not very aesthetically pleasing.

I've also seen brass posts to use between a static model and a wood base (plaque style). If memory serves, they didn't look too bad, but you've got to drill into the hull to attach them. Not knowing the provenance of the model you have in mind, this could potentially detract from the value if that's a concern.

So, like so many things in this hobby, the best result will be from a home made stand. If you don't feel up to the challenge, just about any woodworker should be able to figure it out and get you a custom stand.

The most common design has two boards contoured to the hull about 1/4 of the length inset from each end. The two boards are held together with a base board, a couple of dowels or one or two vertical pieces of wood.

The hardest part is to copy the contour of the hull, especially if there is no hull plan available. It's a bit of trial-and-error. I generally use manilla folders and a piece of single strand 14 gauge electric wire.

First I place masking tape on the hull in the two places where I want the stand to contact the hull and mark a vertical line, perpendicular to the waterline.

Next I take the wire and bend it until it follows the contour of the hull along the line. I only do one half of the hull. It often turns into a lot of bending-unbending-bending again etc. Eventually I get close enough, at which point it is time to trace the wire shape to the manilla folder to make a template.

Next I transfer the wire shape to the manilla folder. The template is the negative shape - so I can hold the two symmetrical halves against the hull and trim as needed. When I'm happy, I tape or staple the two halves together.

Now the hardest part is over and now I transfer the shape to wood and cut it out with a band saw. A scroll saw will probably work too. A jigsaw too in a pinch.

The final shaping is again made by trimming the wood, holding it up to the hull and back to trimming until you're there. A 4-in-1 Rasp File works well.

I try and leave room between the stand and the hull for narrow strips of felt to protect the finish on the hull.

I realize you didn't ask for how to make one, but I figured the above could be helpful in case you need to commission someone to make a stand for you.

Best of luck!

Comments for Model Boat Stands

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Model Boat stands
by: Anonymous

I am presently building a model of the Mayflower, which kit came without a stand. Your idea of using wire and then cardboard etc. to make the stand sounds like it would work fine. thanks a lot for the idea. I’ll have to try that.

Boat Stand
by: David S

Thank you for your idea on building a boat stand. It helped me very much.

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