Small Yachts

I remember a quote from MMI some years back on the IOM "there's nothing wrong with it another metre wouldn't put right!". Well the days of the A-boat and 10-Raters are pretty much gone in most countries, and now there are a number of sub-1-metre boats or kits becoming popular. Some are popular in great numbers, like the Micro Magic (see my post from Feb 2007). Here are two home-built boats/boat-types I've been notified of lately:

This one is 750 mm long, comes from NZL, and is called a Racing Sparrow. The website looks exceptionally good with a lot of information, pictures, and downloadable plans. Designer Bryn Heveldt has also written a book, available on Amazon, about building the boat. There's a YouTube video here.

This is a Strathclyde 70 class (does the class have other 'homepages'?) boat, also around 700 mm long, planked in balsa by Peter Trimmer (AUS). It's actually a 70 % scaled down version of the Laerke IOM.

I wonder how these boats sail? I've sailed a MicroMagic a couple of times, so if anyone can comment and compare these two to a MicroMagic or an IOM I'd be interested. Do people really want the 1+ metre boats, or is racing just as fun with a smaller cheaper boat?

As before I would predict that any class that aims to be popular needs to have good availability of boats. There are a lot of MicroMagics and RC-Lasers around because you can buy them (more or less cheaply) over the counter at the hobby shop. It's just a shame that usually the designs and class rules of home-builders and accomplished radio-sailors (you know, the ones who still have their A's and 10R's in the basement) seldom meet with the needs/requirements of people who are able to mass-produce a boat. I think currently there is no commercially mass-produced kit or ready-made boat sold that fits in any international class (A, 10R, M, IOM) ? The Windstar probably comes close, but I understand it requires a lot of modifications before it's competitive with a standard IOM.

I've toyed with some ideas around IOM-production, but it's not likely that 2008 will see major progress (too much else to do...). If anyone has some news or ideas let me know! Now it looks like we will have MicroMagic sailing at both the Helsinki Boatshow (Feb 08) and the Helsinki Model Expo (Apr 08) - and I did sort of promise last year that I would turn up with a boat of my own in 2008...

Update: There's an article in the latest Model Yachting magazine about Jon Elmaleh's latest project the Twang IOM. It's going to be mass produced and will hopefully be available in the summer of 2008. No word on Jon's site yet...

7 thoughts on “Small Yachts”

  1. About small boats, here in Argentine, was born in 1978 the RG 65 class. It is a radio version of G 65 (older, and without radio but popular and competitive at its time). We have 250 registered boats with sails number, and more of 350 were builded. She is a 65 cm hull sailed with 2250 cm2 and 110 cm mast lengh, monohull and a some others restrictions. It is a development class. Many things are free and can be done for "testing" a better perfomance. Its rules are very very simple. There are builders and free plans in web.
    Some countrys of South America, Europe; England and EEUU has people working with this class, they are growing up quickly. Recently, began the RG 65 International Class Association. Maximo Lange, an Argentine designer, worked hardly for that organization. He has published Jif an Jif 2, two free designs and we hope next year to organize The first World Championship in our country. Thank you, and my regards. and excuse my bad English.

  2. A group of about 20 people from a local retirement village on the central coast of New South Wales in Australia have chosen to build and sail the GB design Wee Nip. The village has a good common workshop and the building activity proved to be a popular activity. Using the one design and sailing handicap races every Thursday afternoon gives these people enormous enjoyment. I was invited as an outsider to join the group and I built and sailed a Wee Nip with the group. The 70cm size and simple building design of the Nip seems perfect for this situation. Using 0.4 mm 'kitchen surface laminate' for all surfaces including the keel and rudder is a breeze and gives a light and stiff easy to build boat for an all up cost including radio of less than A$150. I have always been interested in keeping busy in my workshop and this led me to building the 70% Laerke for no other reason than I wanted to build 'something'. I don't think many of my sailing friends will change from their Nips but to introduce an alternative design to the class seems to have been attractive to some who are asking for a 'glass' copy of the 70% Laerke. I guess there will always be sailers who have no interest in building and we will always need commercial products such as the Micro Magic and the like.
    I'm building another 70% balsa Laerke for a friend in the group. This time I'll spend a bit more time on documenting the process - might be useful to somebody - I'll send it to Anders on completion.

  3. I am interested in tracing people in Australia, especially Victoria, interested in the RG65. I race a Marblehead and an IOM and find the RG65 an interesting and satisfying boat; easy and cheap to build, plenty of plans available on ther WEB for those that like a challenge, transportable fully rigged with plenty of space left for wife and luggage etc and takes heavy handling. A number are being built in Victoria and I have completed a JIF65 and am in the process of building a swing rig RG65. Interesting comments from a number who have had a sail is that 'it is like sailing a Marblehead' and 'it is the best sailing small model yacht they have tried'.

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