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How to start ?

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:59 PM
  #1
susquach
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Default How to start ?

Like some of you guys, I'm a long time RC plane person who is becoming interested in RC sailing...and am interested in developing a group of like minded folks. Although I have some full scale sailing experience, I have zero experience with the RCl boats. But, some things are apparent: Our area has a couple small lakes that have good access and at least 3' depth at it's bulkheaded banks. Adequate parking. There is a fairly dependable 8 to 12 mph wind, average. Our local RC flying club has been in existance for 20+ years, so I am going to assume there is at least a minimum potential interest RC yacths. Our flying club generally has a membership of about thirty soles....seems safe to say that a half dozen (give or take) members in a sailing group is a reasonable guesstimate (?). BTW, the best launching site is visiable from a couple resturants which would increase exposure to potential enthusiast. I'm wondering if others have found success in related activities?

What boat to start with? I was given a complete set of plans/articles for the old Pea Pod and it strikes me that it would make an excellent starting point. I've read that it's simple to build, cheap to finish and rig...and sails fairly well as a trainer, while competitive against other Pea Pods. Small enough to be easily transported without being toy boat size. This sure seems to be a good starting point, but is there a boat that better fills the needs ??

Any comments or opinions you might have would be greatly appreciated as this effort is truely a "from scratch" kind of thing.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:30 PM
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Default RE: How to start ?

Hi Susquach,

I am also a complete newbie - I didn't even do RC planes, I just inherited an old rc boat from my grandfather that had no sails or RC equipment and rotting wood.  So now I am refitting it (getting ready to post some updates on my original thread), and having a blast.  If you don't want to build, EBAY has had quite a few RC sailboats for sale recently.

Ok, from what I have learned, find out if there is an RC Yacht club in your area.  The guys in the club here in SD, CA  were (and are) extremely helpful up to and including knowledge on the boats, rc gear and there is even a guy in the club that will make the sails!  Now that said, if you don't have a club in the area, most clubs have websites and they enjoy talking about their hobby.  Of course this place is a good place for information too. 

Here is a must have link:  http://www.theamya.org/  This is the site to the American Model Yacht Association.  Very good info there.

So I am sure I have missed some things, and the others can fill you in but I hope this helps.

Jan
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: How to start ?

I'll second Jan's advice. Find out what the nearest clubs are sailing as they are the folks who may travel to your water, or invite you to travel to theirs. The Club list on the AMYA site should help. Contact the clubs directly, we are always looking for more folks to sail with.

Rod Carr
AMYA #002
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:48 AM
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Default RE: How to start ?

Firstly some simple questions will better allow a boat recommendation.

Whats your budget?
Do you want to build or almost ready to float?
Are you going to race?
Is there a size limitation?

Answering these will make it much easier to give you good advice.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:00 PM
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Default RE: How to start ?

Thanks for the response guys. All good observations. There are a few clubs in San Antonio and Austin....a couple hours from here. RC folks being hospitable types, I'm sure there are some helpful folks among them.

As for initial investment and building vs. RTS ....I'd guess that most would be willing to test the water with a two to three hundred bucks (+/-) ...to see how RC sailing "fits their pistol". I know that's generally the case with RC planes, and suspect it's the case elsewhere. Seems like after they get their feet wet and find that they enjoy the friends and hobby, they commit to more serious craft. One advantage to buying a boat is that a decent craft enjoys an assortment of hardware that isn't easily found in a LHS or even through the mail. That's the way it seems anyway. Some years ago I owned a large Star RC boat (that I never had the opportunity to sail) that was equipped with brass bits. So far I haven't been able to locate a source for such items.

Don't know about the build/RTS aspect. Bet the mix would be about like it is in other areas of the country. As for me, I enjoy building.

I'm not the best judge, but I can't imagine any size restrictions beyond transportation considerations. The lake I have in mind is large enough to accomodate some pretty large RC boats....I'd guess a 60" hull would be comfortable max size. From what I gather...that's a pretty large boat on average.

As for racing....human nature pretty much dictates that two or more craft of similar description, occupying the same space, will sooner or later end up in a race with one another.

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Old 12-04-2009, 12:40 AM
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Default RE: How to start ?

Howdie pardner ,

sounds like you have the ideal opportunity for some serious fun starting up an RC Sailing Club. From my knowledge here "down-under", (Australia) most clubs start with only a few members and easy to sail, economical, but good quality boats. Avoid the cheap Chinese kit boats here!
If you make the boats as similar as possible, so you all start with an even field and hence more competetive racing. Instant fun! Later let other boat classes join until you can finally go to IOMs . (I'm an IOM guy now.)

My 2 cents goes to the SOLING 1M.



Made by Victor Models. The kits sell for $134.95 and are easy to assemble.



NOTE: I have no association with Victor Models. Just information on what I know from clubs in this region. They all chose to begin with the Soling 1M because of its size, simplicity to build and sail. Everyone basically having the same boat meant that even a novice could be competetive almost immediately without having to spend a fortune or gain years of experience.

Link to site - [link=https://secure.victor-model.com///]Soling 1M Yachts[/link]

Larry L.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:27 PM
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Default RE: How to start ?

Thanks for the words of encouragement Larrykin. Getting something organized and going is some months away as the weather here will to warm in Feb/Mar. I think you are right about the Soling. I remember them from years ago as being super full scale boats....the class was popular and red hot competitive. I expect the smaller versions are likewise a kick in the britches.

What servos/arrangement are you using?

BTW, at $138 it's a good deal....you may remember when one could buy the one meter for $60... with sails and ballast. AHHH, them where the days.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:31 PM
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Default RE: How to start ?

To
Commodore Susquach
Kerrville RC Model Yacht Club

Thought I might jump in here .Servo's are easy actually , most guys will run a $45. Hitec HS-815BB for the sail arm winch
and a basic $15 HItec HS-425BB for the rudder servo . And radio's are getting better too - these Asian knock-off 2.4 Ghz
transmitter systems with receiver for $30. are getting good reviews in most chat groups .
What I would recommend is doing the proper research into building the boat correctly , ie : don't use kit supplied screw eyes
for the rigging stays - a slightly bigger backing block with screw BOLTS will keep the rig on board . Build the boat , weigh it ,
THEN epoxy the lead shot into the keel - you really want to hit that 10 pound minimum close as you can ...
Dupli-color/Plasti-Cote rattle cans will do a dandy paint job. Use a lenght of elastic cord to keep the hatch cover in place .
try these :
www.solingonemeter.org
//groups.yahoo.com/group/solingonemeter

Once you get rolling you can contact the mother ship , www.theamya.org , and get your club "sanctioned" and have your
members join the AMYA and then register your hulls and get class assigned sail nmbers . but thats NEXT winter.......
good luck ! Solings rock , they glide along in almost NO wind but can take quite a beating when the wind picks up .

Allan
Chicago
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:29 PM
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Default RE: How to start ?

Again, thanks for the info guys. After talking the subject around I've concluded that the Pea Pod will have the most appeal ...at least initially. There's even some interest in Footys'. I guess that's logical as just about every RC'er has a spare radio that can be converted to boat frequency. Building a small boat ought to make a fine small winter project, and one can get the jest of model yatching on a micro scale before investing the bucks. Anyway, there doesn't seem to be a lack of interest...just some reservation about jumping in cold turkey. I'm betting that once exposed, a certain number of folks will be hooked!

About the Pea Pod: I've started working one up and have been really pleased with the whole simplicity of the design. The author couldn't have made it any simpler to build a hull. I think a (first time) builder could pretty easily get a hull cut and assembled in roughly half a day. ...with plenty material left over to build a couple more boats. The plan has what amounts to TWO construction articles accompaning it. so there can't be much complaint about a shortage of technical info. However, even given all the instruction, there is a couple things that ought to be at least considered...that is...The attachment points in the deck for rigging. etc. would probably better serve with doubler blocks glued on the bottom sides. This to provide a better purchase with whatever threaded fastener one choses to use. And, placing the blocks is much easier if done before glueing the sides to the deck. I'm not advising as to how to do a boat...just that it's what I've done to mine.

Also, something that I've wondered about is the unusual "escapement" feature that provides some tension on the main sail. I've done as much research as I can do to find out about the design and if it ACTUALLY works. So far I haven't been able to uncover another example that uses the escapement scheme as a sail control method. Granted, one probably wouldn't want to race such a system, but it would be interesting to hear from anyone who has used such an escapement/jam block design.
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