The Okanagan Model Sailboat Association
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Latest News and Events
JB Schwab Memorial Regatta
The JB Schwab Memorial Regatta will be held at 10am Saturday, September 23rd
(or 30th if bad weather on the 23rd).
This is our long standing and best attended Regatta of the year.
The winner gets their name engraved on a beautiful trophy, but you can’t win if you don’t enter.
We’d love to see you there.
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE CHOOSING TO ATTEND THIS PUBLIC AREA
AND THEREFORE YOU ACCEPT ALL RISKS THAT ATTENDING MAY ENTAIL.
When and Where We Sail
We sail together every Wednesday and Sunday, (weather permitting) from 1pm to 4pm.
Our sailing season is from mid-April to early-November.
Usually we sail in the lagoons/pond at Tugboat Beach in Kelowna’s Waterfront Park, with nearby parking on Sunset Drive.
About Our Boats
The yachts are powered only by the wind. There is no motor or propellor.
There is a heavy piece of lead on the bottom of the keel that stops the boat from tipping-over, even on a windy day. We have never had a boat sink.
The radio controller works even at very long distances…you would lose sight of your boat before you would lose radio control.
The boats require only a light breeze to get moving. There is always enough breeze to get them back to shore, even on a very calm day.
There are many types and sizes of radio-controlled sailboats around the world, but we sail the Victoria class because it is affordable and easy to transport by car.
There are Rules for the Victoria class that make racing fair and even.
The boat’s hull, keel and rudder are all identical and must be from the kit.
The sails are all the same size, but can be made by different sailmakers.
The installation of the servos in the boat is open for the builder to choose.
The boat is 80 cms (31 inches) long and weighs just over 2kg (4.5 lbs).
From the bottom of the keel to the top of the mast is about 140 cms (55 inches).
They fit into most car’s trunks or back-seats without needing to be dismantled.
Learning to Sail and Race With Other Boats
They are really quite easy to sail… even if you’ve never sailed before.
It only takes a few minutes to learn the basic skills of radio-controlled sailing.
(driving your car to the pond is FAR more complex than sailing our little boats).
The sailor controls the sails with the left thumb (to increase or decrease power) and steers the boat with the right thumb (to move the rudder).
They are just like ‘real’ sailboats that sail on the lake or across the oceans, just smaller. The principles and controls are almost identical to any other sailboat.
We sail together on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from April to November, weather permitting. Once a few sailors have arrived at the pond we hold races that consist of a 60 second Start countdown and then two laps of the course.
There are Rules to prevent collisions and to keep the sailing fun and fair.
The basic Rules are easy to learn. We will help you learn them as you progress.
If one boat bumps into another boat (by not following the Rules) the offending boat must do a 360 degree ‘Penalty Turn’. (Don’t forget to say “Sorry” too).
To ensure the sailing is focused on fun, not winning, the race scores are not counted and Penalty Turns are not enforced on Sundays and Wednesdays.
However we try to obey the Rules whenever we sail, to keep it fun and fair.
And good (honest) sailors will always do a penalty turn if they break a Rule.
We hold regattas 3 times per season. A regatta is a more formal type of racing.
During a regatta the race scores are counted and penalties are enforced. Prizes are awarded at the end of the day. It is a little more intense, but still great fun.
How to Get a Boat of Your Own
Our boats are built from a kit that is produced by Thunder Tiger Ltd. in Taiwan.
The kits have now become hard to find in stores but we are sometimes able to find them online. The kit includes the boat and sails, however you will need to buy the servos (small motors that move the sails and rudder) and the radio controller.
Building a new boat from the kit (with the radio and servos) will cost about $400.
The sails that come in the kit are not very efficient and most of our sailors have put better quality sails and mast on the boat during construction.
Adding a better set of sails and mast etc. will cost about $200 more.
There are many of the Victoria class yachts in the Kelowna area and they do come up for sale occasionally. Check the For Sale listings below.
Used boats will range in price from about $250 to $500, depending on the quality of the radio system, sails and mast.
The boats operate on AA batteries. Most sailors will use less than 20 batteries over the summer, and then recycle them. And, of course, the wind is FREE !!
The boats require very little maintenance and several of our members can help with any maintenance or repair issues that you may encounter.
The Association has a yacht named JB Schwab (named after the group’s founder) that we lend to new sailors so that they can try our pastime.
Come on down, talk to us, borrow a boat and give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how easy and fun it is.
You can sail anytime by yourself, or sail with our group on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Or you can just sit on a bench in the sunshine and watch the action.
Boats For Sale
Unfortunately we have no boats for sale at this time.
If you are interested in buying a boat, please email us at
because sometimes we know of sailors that may be interested in selling a boat.
If you are interested in buying or selling a boat, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org because we sometimes know about upcoming offers.
If your boat needs a tune-up, new parts or sails, please ask us as we can help with all of that.
More Information About Sailing
About The Okanagan Model Sailboat Association
OMSA is not a formal Association or Organisation.
OMSA has no committee, members or membership fees.
We are just some people that sail radio-controlled boats at the same time and place.
Everyone that attends this public place at any time accepts that they are attending at their own risk and expense.
Back in 2002, John Schwab and Dick Duggan started sailing Victoria sailboats in the pond and their unofficial group was known as the Okanagan Model Sailboat Association. Over the next few years many Victorias were built in Kelowna, with a lot of construction help from James Anderson.
The efficient methods that James used were adopted by many other builders all over the world.
After John Schwab passed away, his boat “JB Schwab” was donated to the Association as a ‘loaner’ boat for new sailors to try our pastime.
Our big regatta in September is named the JB Schwab Memorial Regatta and the winner gets their name engraved on a beautiful trophy.
In 2023, the original spirit of enjoying an afternoon at the ponds with some good friends will remain.
Despite the challenges of COVID our group has been able to maintain social distancing and enjoy an outdoor activity.
We try to ensure that every sailor feels included, regardless of how fast their boat goes, and that any racing is fun and fair.
For More Information
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