Solomons Island Model Boat Club

    The origin of the Solomons Island Model Boat Club (SIMBC) lies in the modeling and sailing interests of the Calvert Marine Museum’s master carver emeritus, the late James LeRoy “Pepper” Langley.  The club was formed in 1980 with Pepper, his son Jimmy Langley, Gordon Bupp, George “Rip” Van Winkle, George “Barney” Woods and Carroll Lusby as the charter members.  Pepper’s design for a model of a Chesapeake Bay skipjack was translated into a standard set of plans, and then into a working model named "LADY KATIE".  Carroll Lusby formalized the plans, Gordon Bupp brought radio and electronics expertise and George Van Winkle was the resident engineer.  By the end of 1980 there were six radio controlled sailboats racing in the Museum’s creek and the Chesapeake Ranch Club.  SIMBC grew rapidly from this modest beginning.

     The Club is dedicated to preserving the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay by building and operating radio controlled model boats.  The skipjack was selected as the initial club boat because of its historical significance on the Bay as the oyster “drudger”, commonly used in Maryland to dredge for oysters since late in the nineteenth century.  The model skipjack, the Skipjack 48, sailed by several clubs in the region, is recognized by the US Vintage Model Yacht Group of the American Model Yacht Association (AMYA) as a Traditional Watercraft of the Chesapeake Bay.  The Club is a member of the AMYA and recognized as Club No. 90.  In addition, the club is a chartered club of the Scale Ship Modelers Association of North America.

     The members of the SIMBC are deeply grateful to the Calvert Marine Museum for sponsoring the Club since its inception.  Use of the Museum’s facilities is essential to the continued success of the Club.  The Solomons Island Model Boat Club extends an invitation to one and all to join in the fun and sport of building and operating radio controlled models that preserve the maritime history of the Chesapeake Bay.