I would go with the Tashkent. It's sleek, fast, and (relatively) big. A pair of Mabuchi 365's running on a 7.2v AA pack should get it up to Big Gun speeds, and either 8.4v or 9.6v will get it up to Fast Gun speeds. Or you could run both shafts off one motor. Armament-wise, a BC 1-unit cannon and a 16-gram disposable cartridge should do the trick just fine. For hull construction, not only do we get to demonstrate proper wooden-hull construction technique but we also get to demonstrate how to deal with a stepped deck. But most importantly, it has that elusive quality which I can only describe as a dangerous look. The Tashkent looks like a powerful ship, which is one quality that the Yubari lacks. I think that that dangerous look will go a long way towards getting rookies interested. Honestly, the Capitani Romani and Emile Bertin scare me. I've seen them in action and fought with them and against them, and (for Big Gun, at least) they would be exactly the sort of monster we're trying to avoid.