Established in 1874 

our History





Marblehead or the M class 

and us





Sailors & Boats 

over the years


Club History

Some points of interest from the club archives

1874           RMYC was established. Yachts were sailed on the sea off Ryde.

1882           The Canoe Lake, where we still sail today, was constructed.

1914           Activities ceased during the First World War.

1933           The Club was re-formed and sailing resumed.

1934           Some of the first Marblehead class yachts to be built in the UK appeared on the lake at Ryde. The club became affiliated to the Model Yachting Association.

1935           Ryde Council built the boathouse for the club beside the lake.  The cost to the Council was £140.

1938           The MYA adopted the Marblehead as an official racing class, largely due to the efforts of Arthur Kerridge, our secretary. In recognition of this, RMYC was awarded the use of the first twenty registration numbers. Number 1 was Gentle Ladye, built by a Bembridge boat builder for Arthur Kerridge. The first National Marblehead Championship was sailed at Ryde, and was won by Ted Scovell, an RMYC member.

1939/45     Very little activity due to the Second World War. The boathouse was taken over by the Auxiliary Fire Service for use as a fire pump store.

1945           Roy Clough of Marblehead, Massachusetts, originator of the Marblehead class, donated a subscription for “The Model Yachting Monthly” to the club.

1947           Marblehead class registration numbers reached 150.

1948/65     There was steady activity at the Canoe Lake with vane steered Marbleheads and some 10 Raters.

1965/68     The club was nearly wound up due to dwindling membership.

1969           There was a revival of interest and activity with a fleet of more modern Marbleheads, but these were still vane steered.

1972           Marblehead No.15 reappears on the lake with radio control.

1974           The club celebrated its centenary.

1976           The first racing in the club for radio controlled Marbleheads was organised.

1977/80    Radio control racing gained ground, offsetting the lagging interest in vane steering, which was discontinued for official racing by RMYC in 1980.

1980 to date.    The club continues to thrive, and has a first class turn-out of keen skippers with a selection of quality Marbleheads. Points racing takes place throughout the year.

Learn More

Marblehead class yachts

Boat Design

The Marblehead class

The Marblehead was designed in America, It's original concept in the 1930's was popular for many reasons. The size of the boat made for a good sailing in all kinds of weather and was still (by design, it was rumoured) small enough to fit in the back seat of a car. The simplicity of the rules contrasted with the other classes of the day which required extensive measurement to determine whether a boat was legal.  

In 1934 RMYC recognised the potential of the Marblehead class and established the first British fleet, with the inaugural National Marblehead Championship taking place on the Canoe Lake in 1938. In those days the boats were of wooden construction with cotton sails and vane steering.

Constant development over the years has seen the Marblehead class transformed into sleek lightweight carbon fibre thoroughbreds with sophisticated  radio control, but retaining the original overall length of 50 inches and maximum sail area of 800 square inches.

One of the first M Class boats

One of the first M Class boats


The class is a development class with the main restrictions being a hull length of 50 inches and a sail area of 800 square inches. The class has been highly developed over the years to produce a high performance model that can be sailed in a wide range of conditions, assuming the owner has the appropriate rigs. 


Today's M weighs around ten pounds and carries an 85 inch rig in most conditions. The hull and rigs tend to use advanced materials and techniques. Boats are available from several suppliers who can provide them from basic kit form to fully assembled. There is also an active used boat market at the local level.


The M Class has a large base, with over four hundred competitive models in existence. It is sailed in most areas of the country. Competition is available from club level to national level, and even international level. As an international class with the same rule as the rest of the world (except the measurements for AMYA are in inches and pounds), 

International Marblehead class

Find more information about the marblehead class by clicking below



In the 1970's

The Ryde Model Yacht Club team took time off from their match against Lymington at the Canoe Lake, Ryde, for this shot. On the left is Mike Marchant, John Buttigieg , Ivor White, Alf White, Keith Whitting with George Matthews a former Club Commodore.


Robert Denton Curry

Mrs Anne Geoghegan visited the club on a racing sunday to show us a picture she had found of her Great Grandfather. We were delighted to see such a rare and detailed image of a member from around the time the club began. Its a reminder to us all of the clubs rich heritage and the vast changes that have taken place in the lives of the individuals and the boats that we race today. Mr Curry was a Yacht Modeller & a Flag maker from the late 1860’s he had a shop in Pier Street.



This was an article that appeared in the IOW county press.

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