A Personal Opinion

I would like to state that I am of the opinion that, the use of the angled corner to corner or fore and aft canting within the measurement box for the purpose of obtaining extra waterline length goes against the spirit and the intent of the rules governing the concept of the “FOOTY” class as I understand it`s original intent.

There may be others who feel the same.
If there are, then please, post here and be counted.
If I am a lone voice then so be it.
Flame away :lol:

Can you explain then how the box rule can be enforced?? ie what angle must the boat be placed into the box and by what means will this angle be measured?

The box rule allows waterless hull mearsurment and hence allows latitude in hull length within the box.

If we were to enforce a LOA of 12 inches then the boats would have to be mearsured in a tank( like IOM for example)…something the rulemakers did not want.

The team that created this rule were very well aware of all it implications.

btw A 12inch hull with max overhanging rudder is still longer than any diagonal Footy.

My 2 cents

I did not want to get into a “how to” discussion immediately, rather let contributors state their position YES or NO.
I have a couple of ideas that could solve the dilemma and I will start another thread that could debate the methods.

I really don’t care how the boat is stuck in the box. For every gain by angling the hull there is a loss of something, like beam or keel depth.

It all evens out one way or the other. My first boat is straight, full beam, full depth, and I like the shape I can get that way, so I will probably stick to it unless forced by competition to build on the diagonal. I like beamy, stiff boats and the depth that I can go with the keel is also important in standing up to the wind.

An extra level of ingenuity will have to be added to the design of footys if everyone starts building diagonally measured boats.

It adds a confusion factor for first time designers, and you are almost required to build a testing box to create anything new. A slight annoyance.

My gut feeling is that square measured boats will be hard to beat except under a narrow range of conditions, but we will see, and that is what makes it interesting.


As one of the original rulemakers, I was willing to accept long Footys, so it’s not opposed to our original intent. That said, Ian, I certainly understand your feeling about the spirit of a Footy being a foot.

If there was a huge advantage to diagonal boats, I think we’d see a lot more of them winning races. I’ve done it, and not seen real advantage. As Pete points out, they come with tradeoffs.

Those who really like them point out the great percentage of additional LWL that 20mm means on a Footy. While I agree in theory, my sailing experience doesn’t show it to be that high a percentage in actual speed. Maybe it was just my boat or my skill, but I think other factors may be more important to overall performance of Footys than LWL.

What might convert me to a long-Footy enthusiast is if I feel that I have to start designing boats around the limiting factor of the storm rig size. If I want a boat that’s as fast as I can make it with that rig, I might go narrow, long, and light. That way, my larger rig wouldn’t have to be the giant we use on “muscle Footys” and I could still have a fast boat. I’d also have a true 2-sail option for a regatta, unlike most of my boats which require a big sail for light air, meaning I’m effectively limited to one sail for that race as the storm rig would be useless.

I’ve been wondering for a long time if the class would go that way. I suspect that thinking is behind Angus’s Moonshadow and Brett’s Comet. So far, though, we haven’t seen those kind of designs dominate. If they start winning it all, though, I’ve got some designs on the board, and you can bet I’ll be using the diagonals of the box!

Bill H

Ian, I’m in agreement with you about the rule bending elment in ‘diagonal’ Footy’s. But a bit like tax evasion it is unavoidable and would be a nightmare to try to police. As yet though, the narrow boats have not proved to have an advantage, when the much vaunted light skinny boats actually win an event, I’ll pay attention. Meanwhile I suspect that some of the American fleets might soon start taking matters into their own hands when it comes to rig restrictions, if only at a local level.

I hope that never happens. This is a development class and simple rules allow for development. Each restrictive step moves things closer to becoming a one design class.

Because the rules are simple and open we all have the opportunity to learn something about hulls, rigs and sailing. If the rules start limiting ideas footys will gradually become boring boats with nothing much to offer except convenient size and low price. Probably just the thing for boy scouts and class projects, but not much fun for creative maniacs.


Pete, my comment was more towards the idea of trying racing at club level with two nominated rigs rather than be restricted to an unlimited ‘A’ rig and a 12in high B rig. The latter combination is a questionable option even in strong wind areas like the UK, since there is evidence from last years autumn regatta in Colwyn Bay that 12in ‘B’ rigs aren’t the answer. The first and second places went to boats using sensible size ‘A’ rigs in a very windy event. The current rule does however favour the skinny long light boats which because of their lower stability sail with smaller sail plans making the 12in ‘B’ rig a moro logical second rig. If like me you prefer beamy Footy’s built light with high ballast ratio’s the current rig rule is a major inhibitor of developmen because it forces very conservative rig choiced when racing. So I want to go less restrictive not more. Ian. Sorry to hijack your thread, I’ll try to behave myself in future.