A little confusing

Well I’m starting on a build (my first sailboat) and have gone through a number of the free plans available. The one thing I.m having trouble with is understanding some of the plans.
Where can I find a list of model boating terms and acronyms? As an example the plans refer to the CLR, (that’s the stuff I use to clean my toilet bowl). There’s a CC, a CLR, a CF, and a CG that is in the ballast, oh boy I think I bit off too much!
I know you guys have these down pat but a newbie like me struggles with that.

Gidday Wally, here’s a few that maybe helpful start



Sailing terminology is a language in itself, acronyms don’t help they confuse hell out me sometimes and I’ve been around boats for 50 years ! the challenge is understanding the meaning of terminology that are useful in particle ways, how to find CLR and CE as examples and then the coupling between the two … makes for interesting discussions you find sprinkled around this forum.


Wishing you best of luck with your build & for best feedback, suggest you start a dedicated thread on your build and lots of knowledgeable people will support you along they way.

Cheers Alan

A good plan for beginners will not necessitate knowing anything about boating terminology, or indeed require many skills in building or setup or much money and time.
You may be looking at the wrong plans, or be too ambitious for the first build?
Some thing small is likely to be a good bet to start.
Many countries have entry level boats - most of these are not in English so you don’t have to bother with understanding terms!:

What you choose to build may be influenced by what others are sailing locally, how much you want to spend, what radio gear you may already have, materials you are comfortable using, speed of construction, complexity of rig choice, pond depth and weed, wind speeds, whether you have any local club help potential.

You may want to start with a few evenings work and build a Footy and then branch from there. The advantage is with a Unarig it will have all the right attributes for a beginner, and can be built quickly for a few dollars by anyone.

You could also start with a cheap ready made hull, as this is the hardest part to make: http://www.breakingwindboats.com, but then you need a good set of plans to carry it through.

To understand the confusing terminology and art of design, you could do no better than to reference one of Claudio’s many build guides on here, orLesters.

Kudos for wanting to build something!

Thanks for the input and links. All good stuff.As far as starting with something simple and cheap, I’m going with the AC 100 scratch build plans because it’s big. I find that building a medium to large boat allows for minor errors without greatly impeding performance. Also come time for setting up and tuning the smaller the boat the more finicky and delicate it is to the slightest changes. Oh yes, did I mention how much easier it is the ‘hide’ little build errors on a large hull as compared to a small one. My budget is not limitless (like the wife’s) but I have a lot of materials stockpiled. I have been modeling for a while but they’ve been power boats 'til now. I love the smell of nitro and castor on the morning breeze. I’ve attached some shots of 3 of my power boats.
I am also assembling a 50" Victor Valkyrie.Nearly done ‘blueprinting’ the hull. Lots of work needed to that piece of plastic. Quite a few high spots, lots of recesses and all the edges needed filler to get them sharp. It still needs to be finish coated, have the twist taken out of the hull and then a plug will come from it. It will be a while but a Carbon Fiber/Kevlar hull will be made. Having a hard time getting numbers/dimensions from Victor boats. Their response to my emails is “build it to the plans” which have no CG or balance points on them.
You see, in my mind that is not a boat you build but just assemble.

Here are many free plans from designer ClaudioD http://www.nonsolovele.com/2013Plans.shtml he is also regular in this forum so he will be sure to pop-in and help where asked, I can assure you all the critical points of sail boat construction are clearly marked and the end result is as close to perfection as you can get, I build mainly AC 120 from carbon (Kevlars a bitch to work with) as I find 1 meter AC boats just tad too small and they sail beautifully.

When you say the AC 120 boat is too small, how much larger should it be and why would you want them larger? 1200mm long seems like a fair size. The main issue I have with the AC boats is the ballast is very deep in the water. You need a good deep pond to sail in with very few weeds in it. The water depth needs to drop off quickly from the shore.
You talk about the Kevlar being difficult to work with. Are you using a male mold and draping it over? I found that method to sometimes be difficult even with glass cloth. A lot depends on the contours you’re working with. That is why I’m going with a female and vacuum bagging it. You get sharper lines and corners, you can laminate the areas that require extra strength and the finish is just like the mold you made it from. Mold prep is a lot more important with bagging and it takes an extra step making the female but the results are much better.
By the way, what kink of resin do boaters use? I myself love West Systems Slow epoxy as it has never let me down.

I think he meant the '100 is a little small for his fat hands to work in (Hi Alan!). The 120 is a fine sailing boat, I have one, and I’m sure the ac100 sails very well. You are right about the balast limiting the sailing venues, but not as badly as you think. I sail in Lake Ontario. Seems deep enough! But, I also sail at a small pond, and have not had any major hang-ups.

West systems all the way!


Well I shouldn’t be too badly off as I have Lake Erie just down rh road. I believe it’s deeper than Lake Ontario. :slight_smile:
Gravitar, where do you get you carbon fiber for the mast? I have some carbon fiber here but it is unidirectional. I think the better choice would be wrapped rod.

I just used uni tube from skycraft. Works fine. I used 10mm and 6mm(groove), with a few broken arrows here and there.


What do they say - size doesn’t matter as long as it is big!!!

From my limited experience, the only downside to a bigger boat is transporting it… a boat this size obviously will not transport fully rigged, so that means lakeside rigging… Most of mine are between 800mm and 1 metre, they fit fully rigged in my Subaru Forester without much drama…

I’m using male moulds only, mainly because I’m making one off hulls only, and trying different construction techniques, when I trip across a good hull shape I will move up to female moulding for reproductions.

So far have tried different techniques with lay-ups from wet draping and rolling and latex, now I have bugs ironed out of the latex method I will stick with as it gives a good a finish as bagging, but only applicable for male moulds, not female.

Using right cloths and working resins correctly is very important, thankfully not too many corners on AC designs and for the deck & cockpit I’m using jig-saw assembly, which is very quick to make and lighter than moulding.

Take a look at photo gallery of AC boats on my profile and you can see the finish is not too bad.

Cheers from fat fingered Alan :slight_smile: (thanks Mike)

[QUOTE=K1W120;66216]I’m using male moulds only, mainly because I’m making one off hulls only, and trying different construction techniques, when I trip across a good hull shape I will move up

Which of the AC 120 boats would you say is the best sailing? I’d like to build something that sails well.
If I go to the trouble of making a plug and then a mold I am going to make more than one of that hull.

Hi Wally,
Having read previous posts I would like to explain graphically the basic terms used with sailing boats, It is true that there are plenty of “Centers” not all depicted, see below :

For what concern the sailing quality of the various AC120 as well for the AC100 projects, all are rather close each other from technical point of view, the difference during racing is generated by the best tuning and of course by the thumbs !!.
Some AC Plans from ClaudioD are available here :

Then outside the above, I have recently developed the ONETWOTWO, that became ESTEREL 1.2.3., with the aim to have a faster boat above the mentioned ones by simply playing with Sail Area, Water Length and Weight and Draft. The tread is still open and design final development ongoing. : http://www.rcsailing.net/forum1/showthread.php?6587-Onetwotwo and http://www.rcsailing.net/forum1/showthread.php?6749-1-2-3-quot-esterel-quot

Hi Wally …wow that question is a can of worms ! but let me start by saying the perfect yacht does not exist, bit like women :wink: everyone is different.

To date I have only used ClaudioD designed AC 120’s and have built around eight different male moulds, and everyone of them sails extremely well, you will never have a problem with CD plans. I have attached “basic spec list” of 24 of his AC 120 designs, may not be completely up-to-date but the purpose is so you can see the variations of specs that fit into the AC 120 class rules.

ClaudioD has done excellent work ensuring all the centres and volumes are well positioned to have extremely good sailing RC yacht. Depending on what characteristics you like in hull design, there everything from Ver 1.0 to 5.0 from the original AC boat design just covered here, understanding that you cannot scale 1:1 boats to RC 1:20 (water and air don’t scale) RC models cannot use exactly same hull shape as original boats.

Then it comes down what type hull shape you like Square, Round or Semi. Ver 1.0 AC boats started out with rounder hulls and progressed over time to Ver 5.0 having very boxy shapes with shallow rockers & narrow beams, but for RC sailing there is very little difference in performance in these RC versions, unless you are at the top of the game, about the only rule of thumb you could possibly use is the amount of wetted area the hull and appendages (Keel, bulb & rudder) have, less area would be theoretically faster if all other things were the same, but they rarely are.

If you are sailing for fun & pleasure any hull design will work very well, as I have become more serious about racing I’m beginning to now develop my own preferences through experience and incorporating things I like from hulls I’ve made, into my own designs … shapes and aspect of rudders, keels, bulb shapes, then there is the P.C, distribution of volumes and centre of buoyancy & floatation …lots and lots of things you can do in the search for “your own perfect” boat.

If you like to have a recommendation from me, I personally think this is one the most competitive AC 120 designs that have come out of CD design studio so far.

To get this hull right you will see that you need to have very good construction skills to finish up hull weight (DSPL) of 3990 gms to be able to have 100 grams free ballast available to help fine tune the active (not static) hull balance on the water.

Cheers Alan

P.S Just saw Claudio reply above, if you want a faster boat than AC 120 I would go for the ESTEREL 1.2.3 from seeing the prototype first hand … it’s a rocket !!!

About AREVA here some files here below :