I’ve had a couple of disasters. Y’all know the most recent, the loss of the PT15s superstructure with all hands. Before that, many years ago, probably about 1979-80 or so, I built a Lindberg Blue Devil destroyer. I had an old Citizen-Ship 27mhz full house full proportional system that my loving aunt bought for me around 1975. The original intent was to help me get into RC flying, but the set was way obsolete by then, and the channel I was on was right next to channel 19 on the then very active CB channel, so it was never flown. Anyway, I was taking a break from flying 1/2a u-control, and decided to rc the Blue Devil. One channel, rudder only, dry cells for power. Took her to the local rock pit, a runoff and rain filled quarry, put her in, think she worked for 2 minutes, had to fish her out. Oh, and a tarantula got a little close and I’m not really friendly with big furry spiders. The Blue Devil ended her career carrying a load of fireworks that somehow ignited on a routine patrol in our creek.
The worst disaster was all my fault. While stationed in Germany I built a few boats, mostly 6 and 7 cell nicad fast electrics. I had built a Graupner Eco Speed, which I truly loved. We ran at a small lake near Landstuhl and there was a pier I would make a fast pass at and turn at the last second..playing chicken. Anyway, I grazed, no hit the pier one day, no damage except for a small near the waterline, but as long as the boat was moving, it was a non issue..I would fix it later...but didn’t. Mistake number 1.
A few months later I installed a slightly hotter motor and took her out. I was still using Tamiya connectors as I hadn’t changed them to the green Multplex connectors I use to this day. Oopsie number 2. Anyway, during the day the plug melted, and I wanted to make ONE MORE RUN, so I stripped the wires and tied them together....of course, she lot power middle of the lake. Remember the crack? Now, it’s below the water line since the boats not moving....and she took on water and sunk. Einstein move number 3.
We recovered the boat, dried her out, I fixed the crack, installed a new esc and she was good.
We had some fun with this though. There were a couple of kids that we would let run some of our boats, one of them handled the Eco Speed nicely, and I’d let him drive it from time to time. We showed up the weekend after the sinking, and he asked “Wo ist kleine rennboot?” I answered “unter wasser”in my best broken German. Then I said blub-blub-blub and made a sinking motion with my hand. He answered “blub-blub-blub?...nicht gut!!”
My buddy watched the whole exchange and got quite tickled by it.🤣
I picked up a NIB Eco-Speed off eBay a few years ago with the optional Race drive, came with an upgraded motor. She’s still going strong.