Plastic kits are usually the first kits purchased by beginners and young people. They are relatively easy to put together as they are “assembly” kits where the parts are pre-moulded and glued together to form the complete model. This is not to say that they are inferior in any way, as some can be quite detailed and complex to put together. Neat glue lines, good paint work and attention to detail distinguish the skilled plastics modeller and superb models can result. Extra brass- etched detail sets can be purchased for many plastic models and these enable the finest detail to be included, even on very small scale models

These contrast with plastic kits in that they are “construction” kits as compared to “assembly” kits. This means that there is often a large construction component involved and the model is built in a similar way to a full-size ship.

The entry level kits sometimes have a moulded or carved wooden hull on which to build the remainder of the model, but the main reason timber kits are popular is that they allow the modeller to build the hull, piece by piece. A framework is constructed, over which planking is fastened in either one or two layers. After this, the deck and deck-houses/ superstructure are fixed in place before all the fine details and rigging is added. Although most timber kits are of sailing vessels, there is still a good range of powered boats which manufacturers introduce on a fairly regular basis.

There is an increasing range of kits which can be built as working models and these cover a wide range of prototypes. Very seldom is a racing yacht available as a kit, however, a number of manufacturers produce kits for fun yachts ranging in length from about half a metre up to 1.5 metres. Most are modelled on ocean racers or America’s Cup boats.

Powered boats are mostly scaled from full size prototypes and can be anything from warships, passenger liners and cargo ships down to small work boats like tugs, fishing and pleasure craft.

Fast speed boats, either electric or internal combustion powered, round out the remainder of working power boat kits, although fast boats, especially those fitted with I/C engines are not part of the Float a Boat stock.