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Sailboat steering

Old 12-02-2003, 07:08 PM
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R/C Dragon
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Default Sailboat steering

Hi im new to boating and am thinking of getting a sail boat and i was wondering how well they steer and how long the battery lasts.
thanks
Old 12-02-2003, 07:51 PM
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LtDoc
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Dragon,
The easy part first. I've had a set of 'AA' batteries last for a week in my sailboat. They will last for several days at the pond, usually far longer than I do.
As for steering, it's a matter of coordinating control of the sails and the direction of the wind and how steady it is. Sort of like a car with sloppy steering, you don't really want to take your hand off the wheel, kinda thing. In general, it isn't all that difficult, but it isn't like steering a motorized boat. The direction the wind is comming from has a lot to do with where the rudder is 'pointed'. Just something that has to be learned as you go along. No big deal...
- LtDoc
Old 12-02-2003, 09:28 PM
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R/C Dragon
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Thanks for the help,
what kind of sailboat do u think would be good for a beginer??
Old 12-02-2003, 11:36 PM
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alex909
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Next spring, if you have some time, you should head over to Central Park (the pond at East 72nd St.) and check out some of the boats there. There's a guy who rents out R/C Lasers and to answer your question, if you're willing to spend some money, the Laser is really great. It's easy to put together and best of all, it's easily transported. I live in Chelsea and it's really hard getting my boats around the city. I'm a beginner with a Kyosho Sea Dolphin and Fortune, and a Megatech Nirvana. The Nirvana is good if you're willing to fiddle around with it (read the relatively recent thread about it) but if you're looking for something to learn on, I'd recommend the Fortune. It comes assembled, looks great, and functions pretty well.
Old 12-03-2003, 08:33 AM
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Bill McW
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Tower Hobbies is now selling the Nirvana without electronics. The empty boat runs about $100 less than the kit boat.
If you go for the Nirvana, buy the shell then add quality stuff like Hitec or Futaba.
You'll end up with a nice sailing boat that is relatively easy to transport.
The electronics that come with the Nirvana are junk. The sail winch is not powerful enough to sheet in and will self-destruct after only a few hours of use. The rudder servo will do the same almost as quickly.
You can get a Futaba (27 or 75mHz) transmitter, receiver, battery holder, switch and two S3003 rudder servos for less than $60 from Tower Hobbies. A Hitec HS645 sail servo runs an additional $40, but it has twice the power of the stock Megatech winch and drops into the existing servo well perfectly.
If you go this route, be sure that Tower Hobbies includes the stock sail arm with the kit as a substitute that fits in the restrictive electronics tub is hard to find.
I recently purchased a Laser "Boat-in-a-Bag" setup and am extremely satisfied. The whole rig fits in the back seat of my car and provides room for passengers or my other RC sailboats (SeaWind & Nirvana).

Bill
Old 12-03-2003, 10:08 AM
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RobStagis
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Batteries (non-rechargeables) should last about 16 hours or so, depending on the servo amp load. I've noticed with a Laser that the Hitec drum winch seems to really kill batteries. My Fairwind gets a LONG time per a set of AA's. Good boat? Easy kit builds include anything from Kyosho as well as the TT Victoria. Slightly more difficult kit-builds, though not hard by any means, include anything from Victor Model Products and the fiberglass Dumas boats.
Old 12-03-2003, 11:26 PM
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Bill McW
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Rob.

Do you have a Laser?
I just got mine and REALLY like it.
The drum servo is new to me. It is way slower than sail arms and takes some getting used to. And, you are right. It seems to eat batteries.
I just installed a 6v NIMH 1800mAh rechargable battery pack in mine and hope I get 4 hours continious use. We'll see.
I user to race full size Lasers in the mid 1980's. The RC Laser has the same "groove" and behaves very much like the real thing.
There is a new development you need to be aware of. Hitec discontinued the HS300 and replaced it with the HS311. It replaces the older servo in all bolt/screw-in applications but does not fit the under-deck mounting posts unique to the Laser.
Laser's manufacturer will have to redesign the electronics compartment in the near future. We are looking at a retro-fit that will likely be expensive.
I searched every web-based supplier but could only find the HS311. Finally I found them at Servo City for $8.95 each. I snapped up 3 of them.
I also told Steve Lang about the cache I found. He got real excited and was going to order a bunch of them. I think Servo City had somewhere between 60-80 of them. I would still hurry and get some spares because the guy I talked with on the phone at Servo City found them in the warehouse earmarked for return to Hitec for credit against the newer ones.
They are not on Servo City's web page-you'll need to call them. Ask for a guy named Tom Petty.

Bill
Old 12-04-2003, 12:58 AM
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Bill McW
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

R/C Dragon.

If I were you I would opt to build a Kyosho Fairwind or Seawind, or even spring for the Laser.
These boats run $350 and $450 respectively, but you will "bond" with the boat during it's construction. The prices I quoted are for completely rigged boats. Everything you need is included. Tower Hobbies offers them in "Combo's" with transmitters, receivers, servos and even glue.
The Nirvana is not the way to learn in my opinion. There are a lot of breakdowns, associated repairs and a complete overhaul of the electronics in store for it's new owners. A frustrating experience, to say the least. All of a sudden you have $300 invested in a $175 boat.
The Kyosho boats aren't that hard to assemble. And you could join a specific resource group to help you during assembly.
The end result is a boat you understand and are proud of. They are also beautiful on display in your home.
If you remain reluctant to build your own boat or sail in a high wind area, go for the Laser.
I don't think you woule ever tire or outgrow the Laser.
Basically, you get what you pay for in RC sailing.

Bill
Old 12-04-2003, 03:54 PM
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Glo4U
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Hi,

For what it's worth I have 2 TT Victorias. They sail great, are a one class boat that has plenty of other boats to compete against. If you get one DO NOT build it stock. Like someone said you can get a radio from tower for $49.00 add to this a Futaba hi torc servo and a better sail arm made out of 1/8th lite ply and a few other minor changes and have a fun boat that can be transported assembled. Tower sells the Victoria for about $99.00. If you get this boat and want to e-mail me I will be glad to tell you about the modifications I mae in a hotel room while I was attending a training class. I am from MD but I sailed with a group in Oklahoma City while I was training, this just tells you that the Victoria Class is all over.

The other boat I was looking at was the Victor Soling 1 Meter kit. It has a lot more work to do but they have a website that has step by step instructions to help with hints. That boat goes for about $115.00 and of course the radio. Gloria Wells [email protected]
Old 12-04-2003, 04:42 PM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

I've had 2 Victor soling 1M's, 5 Victor Snipes and a Victoria. I am now sailing a Fairwind 900 with all the mods and go fasts that are allowed for the class. If I were to recomend a Fairwind to a beginner I would say, "Just build the boat the way the instructions tell you to". The most fun build is the Victor 1M and it also the largest class in the AMYA. If you have no previous building experience go for the Fairwind. By the Way the Victoria is now more than $99 from Tower but not much. It is a small yacht, easily unrigged for transport which is probably important if you live in the NYC area. For what ever class you look into check on
www.amya.org. Scroll to the "Boats we sail" and scroll down to the yacht that interests you. I believe all classes have their descriptions, rules and buillding tips listed. Welcome to the part of the yachting world where you don't have to get wet.
Old 12-04-2003, 05:49 PM
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LtDoc
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

ballgunner,
What 'class' would the 'Snipe' fall in, if any?
- LtDoc
Old 12-04-2003, 09:53 PM
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R/C Dragon
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Thank you very much for all the info and help
Old 12-04-2003, 10:01 PM
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R/C Dragon
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Im leaning towards getting the Kyosho fortune 612RTS. any thoughts??
Old 12-04-2003, 11:52 PM
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Bill McW
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Dragon.

I'm not personally too keen on "Ready-to-Sail" stuff because it really never is.
You'll become addicted to rc sailing as soon as you take the boat out of the box because you can make it move. You will then learn your boat's limitations as well as yours in the next few changes of batteries. Then you will begin to explore the outer edges of RC sailing. That's when the cheapo stuff begins to fail on you.
You never hear of the quality of the winches in the specs. of these "RTC" boats. I will guarantee you that the stock sail winch isn't powerful enough. Generally, these boats are woefully underpowered. All of a sudden you start improving winches, lines and fittings and all of a sudden you no longer have a "RTS" boat and have invested twice what you paid for it in the first place.
I have a Nirvana. It's a perfect example or a wonderfully designed and capable "RTS" boat that didn't quite materialize in the manufacturing process.
I would assume the Kyosho is a better product, but you get low-end electronics wherever you go in "RTS", excluding the Laser, but it is a $400- plus investment.
Check out some of the build-yourself kits. Generally, they come without electronics. When you buy a quality transmitter you usually get a package including radio, receiver, higher quality sail and rudder servos, a battery holder and a switch. Almost always, these components readily fit the control tray of a kit boats.
Tower Hobbies offers "Combos" that include all the above, and usually a more-than-adequate sail winch (motor).
Now think of where you are going to sail and the normal conditions. Is it windy or pretty still? Boats with smaller waterlines can't take wind and waves very well. Up to 30", you have a pond sailer. Get 35 or 40" and you can take twice the wind and waves.
Kyosho makes great kits that are not-that-hard to assemble. There are others that likely are as good.
I have a Nirvana (first boat), a SeaWind, RC Tug and a Laser. It has been a process of learning. I am only fond of the Nirvana because it introduced me to the hobby. I spend far more time fixing the Nirvana than all the other boats combined. It is fine now, but I have replaced then rigging, rudder and sail winch and pretty much all other running rigging.
Build your own boat. Learn all about it as you go. Be proud of your accomplishments. Your hand-built boat will always sail better than an out-of-the-box boat.
It will look far better on display in your home too.

Bill
Old 12-05-2003, 01:17 AM
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R/C Dragon
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

thanks for the help, I cant find the laser any where online. and i have some radio equipment since i hav been building and driving rc cars and trucks for about 6 years, but r the servos different from those i would use in a car?
Old 12-05-2003, 07:54 AM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

The Laser is sold only through a few sources and it's price remains the same. < http://sailrclaser.com >.
The running gear for a sailboat is similar to a rc car but you don't need a speed controller. The rudder is controlled by a standard servo like Hitec's HS300 or Futaba's S3003.
The sail servo is likely much stronger than you would ever need in a car, however.
For a boat with a 25-30" waterline, you would need 100 oz/in. A 40" boat would require more torque.

Bill
Old 12-05-2003, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Among all our club members, we've got (or had) lots of boats. My dad's first one was the Fortune. He tired of it pretty quickly, sold it on Ebay (around $100 if I remember) and bought a way-old EC12. He's also got a Laser with A- and B-rigs. I maintain both of 'em for him - he's 70 and would rather sail than twiddle. The Laser winch is slow - with a fresh 5 cell pack it ain't bad, but I call the servo response 'unbalanced'. The rudder is quick and the winch is slow. When sailing, it's easier to 'trim the sails' with the rudder cuz it's quicker. Fun boat!

I'm currently sailing an EC12, Star 45, Fairwind and Robbe Atlantis. I've got 2 48" J-class boats (google "Canterbury J Yacht" without quotes to see 'em) on the bench. One for me and one for Dad.....
Old 12-05-2003, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Thanks for the info
Old 12-06-2003, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Ltdoc. The VMP snipe is not a recognized class for the AMYA. It's fun boat and a race could be arranged whenever there are two on the pond. AMYA requires 20 boat owners to recognize a class. This doesn't mean they all have to be racing sailors, just owners. I'm sure if there were 20 VMP snipe owners interested enough they could form a class. Some classes are on the verge of going under because of lack of membership. They are usually carried on the books for about a year.
Old 12-06-2003, 06:42 PM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

ballgunner,
Oh well. Guess I don't have to worry about it then, and since I'm more interested in just making the thing move consistantly than in racing, that's okay (lol). Thanks!
- LtDoc
Old 12-08-2003, 03:41 AM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

I am also new to model yachts. (Although I have sailed real boats for many years).
I bought a Seawind as my first boat. Mostly because they are cheap for their performance. I sail mine at our local club. The most popular boats there are the 1 meter class. In the right conditions I can give these boats a real run for the money. This is a good thing when u consider the seawind is on average 1/3 the price of the 1 meters. So far all the other cheaper boats like fairwind etc are no match for the seawind. I have not seen a laser so I can not comment on these boats. But if i were to do it again I would by another seawind.
Old 12-09-2003, 07:49 AM
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Default RE: Sailboat steering

Hi,
I've been reading this thread - there are a lot of good suggestions for you as all the folks who are posting here have experienced what you are about to do. You need to determine what type of sailing you want to do whether it is fun sailing, racing or both. My suggestion is to visit the clubs in the NYC, NJ, Conn. area to see the activity, see what boats they are sailing and the gear they are using. Talk to the participants in person, ask plenty of questions. I'm sure that if you show an interest, someone will hand you a transmitter. After that, you're hooked. Look here to find the clubs in your area. http://www.amya.org

ORIGINAL: R/C Dragon

Hi im new to boating and am thinking of getting a sail boat and i was wondering how well they steer and how long the battery lasts.
thanks

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