Fun sailing on Mission Bay’s model boat pond.

Member of the San Diego Argonauts gets ready to place a small sailboat into Vacation Isle's model yacht pond.
Member of the San Diego Argonauts gets ready to place a small sailboat into Vacation Isle’s model yacht pond.

A silvery sheet of water near the center of Vacation Isle is where dreams take sail. Tiny dreams with tiny sails.

Today I took a long meandering walk about Mission Bay, and spent a fair amount of time lingering around what is simply called the model yacht pond. Connected to the bay with an underground pipe, the pond rises and falls with the ocean’s tides. The tranquil sheet of saltwater, surrounded by grass, trees and the many picnic benches of Vacation Isle Park, has been enjoyed by model boat hobbyists for over half a century.

A very cool club called the San Diego Argonauts utilizes the model yacht pond for radio control model boating and racing. Every Saturday morning, their Scale Boat Division runs electric and steam-powered craft on the pond. Many of the tiny vessels are remarkably detailed, even museum quality. One tiny tugboat even blew its horn at me while I took some photographs!

Saturday afternoons is when the wind-driven sailboats come out to compete or practice. The Sail Division of the San Diego Argonauts has many skippers who’ve won National Championships!

Today I saw so many sails at once, I could hardly believe it! The model yacht pond was the scene of a glorious regatta. These model boat sails tack by remote control, so racing around the tiny floating buoys requires many of the same strategies as racing a full-size sailboat!

On Sunday the pond features model power boats, which can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour! I’ll definitely have to check that out one weekend! I’ll take pictures!

Model boating is a fascinating, beautiful hobby to watch. I’ll bet it’s a lot of fun building a boat and watching it float across this magical pond!

A scale boat enthusiast spends part of his Saturday in San Diego's sunny Vacation Isle Park.
A scale boat enthusiast spends part of his Saturday in San Diego’s sunny Vacation Isle Park.
Two electric-powered model boats navigate by radio control across the smooth pond.
Two electric-powered model boats navigate by radio control across the smooth pond.
This small tugboat blew it's horn as I took this photo!
This small tugboat blew it’s horn as I took this photo!
A model sailboat is made ready. The friendly guy who owns this boat showed me how the sails are moved by remote control.
A model sailboat is made ready. The friendly guy who owns this boat showed me how the sails are moved by remote control.
Another member of the San Diego Argonauts wheels his sailboat down to the bank of the model yacht pond.
Another member of the San Diego Argonauts wheels his sailboat down to the bank of the model yacht pond.
Wading out, in order to place one model sailboat into the water.
Wading out, in order to place one model sailboat into the water.
The miniature boats look beautiful on the gleaming water. They operate in the ocean breeze much like actual sailboats.
The miniature boats look beautiful on the gleaming water. They operate in the ocean breeze much like actual sailboats.
Three model sailboats tack to go around a tiny buoy.
Three model sailboats tack to go around a tiny buoy.
The model yacht pond can be found near the center of San Diego's huge Mission Bay Park, which is the largest urban aquatic park in the United States.
The model yacht pond can be found near the center of San Diego’s huge Mission Bay Park, which is the largest urban aquatic park in the United States.
Many sails float dreamlike across the blue water.
Many sails float dreamlike across the blue water.
A fun day in the park for young and old alike.
A fun day in the park for young and old alike.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

9 thoughts on “Fun sailing on Mission Bay’s model boat pond.”

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