sailing models in DC - Page 5 - RC Groups
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Jan 30, 2013, 09:28 AM

Thanks jbwfire

That is very helpful information for groups of 20 or more. (my thought is to go down with a grandchild and sail one or two r/c model sailboats.) This idea gets me to the problem of "remotely controlled vehicles." A rally by AMYA (American Model Yachting Assn.) or similar group of 20 or more modllers would need a permit, but I still cannot find a govt regulation prohibiting r/c boats in the 2 reflecting pools , the pond in Constitution Gardens, or the Tidal Basin. If such a regulation exists I assume that it would prohibit RC model boats and no one would get a permit to sail in any pond in or near the Mall.
I will continue my search in The Washington Post online for regulations on "remotely controlled vehicles" on The Mall,
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Jan 30, 2013, 10:38 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Seems that you are beating your head against a wall here, George.

Why not simply contact all local RC boating clubs, express what you'd like to do & then if you get their favorable replays that result in 20 or more attendees interested in conducting a regatta, apply for an event far out enough in the spring or summer to ensure participation. If that gets shot down, then submit a back-up land-based non-sailing protest event with media & show up with boats less any electronics to ensure you aren't violating any potential regs regarding "remotely controlled vehicles". I'd think sailboats without radio gear would qualify under the Props and Equipment segment of the Special Event Guidelines.

Of course, there could be another way to skin this cat.
Jan 31, 2013, 08:19 AM

My 2 cents

Obviously the Capitol Police perform a very important function. However my experience in trying to get a copy of their rules leads me to the conclusion that they need a public relations department or extensive public relations training. I made a mistake in asking for rules under the Freedom of information act and received a scholarly disertation exxplaining why the FOIA did not apply. Hopefully a PR department would persuaide the Capitol Police to go beyond that explanation of the law and provide the information requested unless there was some other good reason not to provide it.
Feb 01, 2013, 05:49 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
George, publish the "we don't have to" letter you got, via letter to the editor, in a Washington paper. I don't think you will get anywhere without newspaper publicity. Use your "mistake" to further your cause.

Or, do a peaceful, one-man protest with signs and photos at the pond or pool. Alert the newspaper first, or a radio station that covers political stuff.

You've confirmed there are no regulations. Now you have to play by a different set of rules, not the lawyer rules you are used to. A bureaucrat's job is to make life easy for himself. The preferred method is to say No to everything. Your job is to make him realize that his No to You complicates his life.

That won't happen by letters or phone calls. You have to expand his world by showing that his No will result in lots of people questioning his fitness for his job. Make him look ridiculous. Float a wooden stick in the pond and tell people how he won't allow that. Float a boat with leaves for sails, ditto. Tell the public that handbags will be prohibited next, etc. Remind the reporter that the American dream is dead if guys like this bureaucrat can deny historic use of a facility.

Make the bureaucrat have to defend himself. Then his boss will start sweating...."what have you gotten the Dept. into, you fool? Let the guy float his boats and get the newshounds off my back!"
I know this method works. About 15 years ago, the Montana delegation to Congress tried to push through a phony environmental protection bill. The bill would have protected nothing that was at risk, while un-protecting lots of land that was. We wrote letters to our Senators and Representative, but got no where...big bucks were on the side of the tear-up-the-place guys. So, we expanded the fight. We contacted people all over the US and got them to write to their congressmen. But the real bill-killer was when we bought a 1/2 page ad in the N.Y.Times. We included a photo of a destroyed area. That got the Congressman pushing the bill totally angry. His political hatchetman tried to intimidate me, but failed *grin*. We had made his boss look like the sleezeball he was.The bill was dropped.

Use the newspaper to embarrass the bad guys. You might not want to spend the $ on a N.Y.Times ad, but you could get free publicity to accomplish the same thing, I bet.
Last edited by Brooks; Feb 01, 2013 at 06:22 AM.
Feb 01, 2013, 05:22 PM
why no grab a boat, go down there and put it in the water, with a fishing line as a leash, see what hapens ?
What can they do to you, tare and feather you and run you out of town ?

The remote thing is for airials and cars, vehicles are landbased, a boat aint a vehicle, look up the definition on the web.
Feb 01, 2013, 06:05 PM
Registered User
Found some more info!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That area is a National Park may be your talking to the wrong people.

I have always found the park people helpful when in there parks.

good luck jeff
Feb 02, 2013, 10:09 AM


I think your suggestion must be a last resort due to the expense involved.
Looking at page A10 in the Jan 20, 2013 issue of the Washington Post I believe that The Capitol Police have jurisdiction over a big chunk of down town DC including the 2 reflecting pools and Constitution Gardens BUT NOT THE TIDAL BASIN. This suggests that we try and sail our RC models in the tidal basin even though that will present some physical problems due to the height of the walls around the basin.
Similarly, since there is no issue about "reflections" such activity avoids the Park Service's objections to sailboats adversly distorting mirror like "reflecting pools." It also appears to be outside of the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police.
Last edited by George Steele; Feb 02, 2013 at 10:26 AM. Reason: typos
Feb 02, 2013, 03:41 PM
Registered User
TBowman's Avatar
Originally Posted by George Steele
Park Service's objections to sailboats adversly distorting mirror like "reflecting pools." .
Hi George.

Does this mean they are opposed to a slight breeze? wind or rain? After all, they would surely distort "mirror like reflecting pools" sarcasm

Sorry but ridiculous bureaucracy is one of my pet peeves.

kind regards
Feb 03, 2013, 07:47 AM

Did the CPB really publish regulations

i have spent between 1 and 2 hours searching the online Washington Post and have not found "The Regulations" thus I wonder if the CPB really did publish any regulations.
Maybe that is the reason they did not respond to my letter asking for a copy of the alleged regs.
Feb 04, 2013, 04:44 PM

Lets chear ourselves up

How about posting all the photos you have of model sailboats sailing on the ponds and pools here in DC. I have a few that I have collected but will have to ask my grandson to up load them as I have not figured out how to do that.
Feb 05, 2013, 03:34 PM

<20, A1, FreeSailors, The State of Columbia

What if "our group" was under 20 people on the Mall, operated under the First Amendment, sought Statehood for DC as the 51st State, and freesailed (no R/C) model sailboats on one of the Reflecting pools in DC while handing out our statehood literature to anyone who wanted it while watching the sailboats? (And we picked up any flyers left on the ground when we finished sailing.)
Feb 05, 2013, 11:15 PM
No conspiracy in theory
skorski's Avatar
What the USA really needs, is a President who is human enough to want to go down to the "reflecting pond" & do some R/C sailboating!
What a great example for our children that would be!
Feb 06, 2013, 09:27 AM
Registered User
yea, and that would encourage hundreds of people to get into the hobby.....and the reflecting pool would not be reflecting anymore for the many dozens of boats in the water, which would just be sitting there, cause there would be nowhere to go.....i guess a club would have to be formed allowing only so many boats in the water at a time.....each person would have their day to sail which might be a nice day.....or not a way we're lucky that there are so few in this could be a nightmare.....
Feb 06, 2013, 05:55 PM

Good idea Mike

BUT how much are we willing to spend to give four rc sailboats to the President and his family?
Going to Tippecanoe Boats you can check out the costs.
The T37 complete and ready to sail is $1,200. I do not know the shipping cost.
I might be willing to spring for one boat.
What about the rest of you?
Feb 06, 2013, 10:33 PM
No conspiracy in theory
skorski's Avatar
I'd be willing, unfortunately unable....
How about a "Float the first family" drive?
Everybody pitch in .50?

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