The object of the Club shall be to provide amusement and improvement in model yachting giving all possible encouragement to the designing, construction, rigging, fitting and sailing of models of all description, also to induce members to take an interest in Naval and maritime affairs.
The Club was prolific, boats were probably based on those found in England, narrow boats, carved from the solid, basic steering with weighted rudders and gaff rigs and topsails. The English design Prospero seems to have been very influential with Sans Atout and Dolphin, built at the turn of the century, owing much to this design. Both these boats were on scratch handicaps and often won Club championships. This was the birth of the local 4 Foot 6 Inch class that was to be the mainstay model class for many years. Lake Victoria has access around the whole lake enabling craft to be re trimmed easily, the skipper often had a mate to share the chasing of the model and strict rules of racing evolved. The first club house was sited by the golf course and the club took over what was in fact an early golf pavilion. Boats were stored in this clubroom, this included a dinghy used to untangle fouled race boats .
A description of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Christchurch Club can be found here, and descriptions of their current activities here.
Rigs for these boats evolved from large spreads of canvas on gaff rigs to fully battened, large roached, Bermudian rigs. Sail materials were limited to various grades of cotton from calico, bedsheets, to closely woven Egyptian cotton. Full length battens gave the sail some form of aerodynamic shape but in general the lack of science in this department held back many potential designs. Bert George was the most prolific builder of this class and most of his boats survive to this day.
Races were on handicap, six lengths of the lake (1 mile) between set flags or buoys with limitations on the number of touches. A dinghy was in attendance to clear fouled boats as required. All racing was dutifully reported to the two Christchurch papers by the racing secretary and appeared each Monday.
The Four Foot Six became the icon of model yachting in Christchurch the older citizens will immediately recognise these boats as "the ones they saw on the lake".
Besides being an example of one of the rarest classes of model racing yachts in the world, the value of this boat is enhanced by its having been displayed in a curated exhibit. Included with the boat are: