RCU Review: Kyosho Fortune 612


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    Contributed by: Pete Favuzza | Published: October 2003 | Views: 69694 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Fortune612-Favuzza




    FORTUNE 612

    RTS Racing Yacht


    By
    RCU Member: Pete Favuzza
    petef@earthlink.net




    SPECIFICATIONS

    Length:
    Beam:
    Height:
    Sail Area:
    Weight:


    Retail Price:
    Manufacturer/
    Distributor:

    24.1" (612 mm)
    5.1" (130mm)
    44.5" (1130mm)
    339 in2 (21.85dm2)
    2.6 lb (1200g)


    $159.99
    Kyosho Great Planes Model Distributors


    Receiver:
    Servos:

    Transmitter:



    2 channel Perfex Incl (4 AA req)
    2 - Sail winch & rudder Included

    2 Channel Perfex Incl (8 AA req)

    I N T R O D U C T I O N


    I got my first glimpse of R/C sailing at age 10 when my dad brought me to the boat pond in Central Park. I was awed by majestic yachts that stood five feet high and reached lengths of 4 feet or more. Unfortunately, such a hobby was well beyond my fiscal, logistical, and building abilities. Sailboats remained just a dream until I built my first Star Class boat from a kit fifteen years later. Taking several weeks to complete, it was a free-sailer equipped with a rudimentary mechanical device designed to reverse course after a time and return to shore. This, of course, depended on the cooperation of the wind and was more a matter of "spectating" (and praying) than sailing.

    When I finally did get into R/C it was the sky that caught my fancy. The thrill of loops barrel rolls etc were far more enticing than "placid" sailing. The advent of ARFs allowed for less time at the building bench and more time in the air. Alas, as I've gotten older however, and with limited time to hone my flight skills and repair mishaps, I have turned to the less demanding realm of two dimensions and the relaxation afforded by wind powered boating. Like their ARF and RTF counterparts, Ready-to-Sail boats offer the same almost instant gratification for wannabe sailors.

    Enter the Kyosho Fortune 612. If there was ever a quick, easy, affordable, and enjoyable way to jump into R/C sailing, this is it! The Fortune 612 may be an entry level boat but it has all the visual appeal of an America's Cup racing yacht. It stands nearly four feet high, has a two foot (612mm) long seamless hull made of tough ABS plastic, and is powered by almost 350 square inches of sail. Need more? It even comes with its own transmitter and receiver included! The simple, straightforward assembly procedure (and a nearby pond) can have you on the water within an hour of opening the box! On the subject of the box, not only did the marketing crew do a bang-up job on the eye-catching graphics, but the packaging INSIDE this suitcase sized carton shows just as much thought and planning. Upon opening the flap one is confronted by a solid block of styrofoam in which every component is safely nestled into its own form-fitting cavity. Unless the outer box is horribly mangled one can rest assured that the contents are intact and undamaged. The Fortune 612 is a capable craft that gives very scale like performance and can easily handle a moderate breeze. Once you're out riding the waves it will be hard to pull yourself away from the water.


    C O N S T R U C T I O N

    ,

    Assembly is straightforward and simple. While the manual is written as if the model was being built from a kit ala a conventional plastic model, the RTS version is almost entirely pre-built and therefore we need only follow the last "assembly" step in each construction phase. With the sail-winch and rudder servos, receiver and battery case already pre-installed inside the Fortune's sleek hull, there's little left to do other than to....

    1. Slip the keel into its slot on the bottom of the hull and secure it with a knurled nut where the imbedded threaded rod protrudes above deck level.

    2. The long "deepwater" rudder attaches in the same manner where it is secured below deck to its control horn with a screw against the flat. It is then attached to the control rod running back to the servo arm.

    3. The boat comes with its tear-resistant plastic sails already "hoisted" on the one-piece aluminum mast. All lines and fittings rigged and carefully stowed on the booms to prevent tangling. All that remains is to release them from storage and hook them into the appropriate deck cleats.

    4. Control lines from the sail winch servo are also pre-strung, needing only to be run onto the sail booms and tied off.

    5. Place 4 AA batteries in the holder that is already installed below deck along with the servos, receiver, and on/off switch. Note the foam gasket around the receiver hatch to keep the RX compartment dry.


    6. The deck hatches are adorned with simulated coffee-grinder sail winches, pulleys, deck cleats and tiller wheels. These snap into the deck openings where their metal clips hold them firmly in place.

    7. Except for the large Fortune 612 decal already applied to the side of the hull, numerous others are left for you to add to the hull and sails as you wish.

    I only applied a few as only the Kyosho flash atop the mainsail was made in a mirror image so that it would appear to be going in the same direction from either side of the boat. For example, the bow decal on the port side would appear to be going in the opposite direction, toward the stern, if applied to the starboard side. Personally, I didn't like the way that looked so as a result, my boat is not as "decked out" as shown on the box. I'd like to see the decal sheet redone with the necessary changes. Pre-cutting them would be helpful as well.

    8. Inserting 8 more AA batteries into the 2-channel Perfex radio completes the assembly process.

    9. The only thing left to do now is to trim the sails for proper freedom movement. Directions are also given for adjusting the mast for either weather or lee helm if you know that you will be sailing consistently into the wind or running before it. Since most sailing will involve a variety of conditions, the manual suggests that you adjust the mast for a slight weather helm.

    A word or two should be said here about the manuals. It should be noted that there are two of them, one for the boat, the other for the radio. A lot of thought went into the instruction manual as everything is fully explained and illustrated. Be warned, however, that it is extremely "busy" as the instructions appear in a combination of English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese. In addition, most of the instructions include steps that have already been completed in the RTS version. This, and the presence of a parts list meant only for the Japanese market, suggests that this model was meant to be available in almost kit form at one time (or place) or other. Even if that is not the case, more information is infinitely better than not enough. Besides, if something were to break or any of the rigging somehow become undone, these step by step instructions will save the day. As if this wasn't enough to get you started and keep you going, Kyosho also saw fit to include basic sailing tips for the beginner so that your time on the water would be more fun and less frustration.


    S A I L I N G R E P O R T

    Video of the FORTUNE 612
    (Windows Media File )

    After waiting several days for the proper conditions I set off to the local duck pond to put the Fortune 612 through her paces. A light breeze ruffled the sails as I launched the boat and it took only a few seconds to trim the sails and catch the wind. I was pleasantly surprised as she immediately sprinted out into the pond. Already being close-hauled (45 degrees into) to the wind I decided to test her/my tacking ability right off the bat. She turned sharply in response to radio input thanks to her large rudder, then refilled her sails and raced off in the opposite direction. This is probably the most challenging, and most fun part, of sailing as sail and rudder control must be balanced to maintain speed and direction while at the same time keeping the boat from "keeling" over and capsizing. I chuckled at the thought of a few scale-sized crewmen hanging out over the deck...I may yet rummage through a few toy stores to find some suitable figures. On a downwind run the Fortune lost a little speed, as all sailboats without a spinnaker jib will, as I turned through quarter (45 degrees downwind), let out the sails and ran fully downwind. I was very pleased with the boat's responsiveness and scale appearance as it sliced through the water. After several minutes of getting accustomed to the boat’s characteristics I noticed that a youngster had happened by and was watching with envious eyes. "Want to give her a try? It's easy and you really can't hurt her" was all the convincing he needed. With a few words about the joysticks he was off and running for the next twenty minutes. I soon found myself being the one looking on with envious eyes!

    The only shortcoming I could find with the Fortune, as noticed by other reviewers as well, was an inability to pull in the sail in anything greater than a light breeze. I found myself having to turn back into the wind and luffing the sails in order to do this. As a result I'd lose headway and have to wait until the breeze pushed the boat around again and refilled the sails. Upgrading this servo will remove the only weakness I found with the boat. With a little practice and a few buoys any beginner could be sailing her around mini America's Cup triangle courses like the real thing.


    S U M M A R Y

    1-POOR 2-NEEDS IMPROVEMENT 3-AVERAGE 4-VERY GOOD 5-EXCELLENT

    Upwind

    Packaging:

    Downwind:

    Construction:

    Maneuverability

    Hardware:

    N/A

    Sail Handling:

    Instruction Manual:

    Ease of Assembly:

    Kit Completeness:

    HITS

    MISSES

    • Completely built & rigged

    • Fast assembly time

    • All electronics and mechanicals built-in

    • Excellent maneuverability and performance

    • Many decals suitable for port side only

    Kyosho Fortune 612

    As I said at the beginning of this review, if ever there was a boat for the first time sailing enthusiast, this is it! Pre-installed mechanicals and electronics, ease of assembly, fine details and rakish good looks are just a few of this boat's selling points. More importantly, the Fortune 612 is easy to skipper. It is large enough handle a moderate breeze, give good scale performance and afford easy visibility at moderate distances, yet small enough to allow for easy transport and mount on the fireplace mantle when the day's sailing is done. By including the transmitter and receiver, Kyosho cut down on the time and expense of having to purchase radio equipment separately, thus making it easier to get into the water quickly. All told, my gripe about the decals not withstanding, the Fortune 612 is a great value and a lot of fun.


    Sept 2003

    P R O D U C T I N F O R M A T I O N

    KYOSHO
    Website:
    http://www.kyosho.com



    Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A. and Canada by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021 Champaign, IL 61826-9021


    Comments on RCU Review: Kyosho Fortune 612

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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