Alford design Footy


It looks like footy build season at my house again (i.e., it’s snowing) so I looked over my wishlist of designs and I see that I’d still like to build a footy that has the lines of the one Mr. Richard Alford built a year or so ago.

You can see a picture of the hull on the home page of the Footy website (

It looks like it would have to be built of 1/64-inch plywood? Some of the bottom panels have a good twist to them.


TomoHawk ~ Richard Alford asked me to post this on his behalf in answer to your question.

Hope it helps

Hello Andy,

I notice on the forum that there is an entry from TomoHawk seeking some information about the Alford Footy. Well I suppose I am in as good a position as any to supply it and wonder if you would post it for me as I am not a member.

The hull is constructed from 0.4mm ply with balsa wood transom and deck. The outside is covered in very light cloth applied with laminating epoxy to give a strong light hull. There is a mast box to help with balance and the rig and sails received appropriate build attention as a decent sail set-up is essential.

So how to do it? Well a plan would be good, but it was thrown away by mistake some long time ago during a workshop clear up and I am not about to produce another.

Basically the hull consists of four pieces, the bottom, two sides and the transom.

The sides have a wedge cut out starting about 50mm back from the bow and running to the stern. The cut lines have some curvature.

Using masking tape attach the bottom piece to the side, edge to edge. Do this for each side and tape the sides together at the bow.

The effect of all this will be to force the bottom sheet to take up a curve to give the rocker shape and the first chine.

Next pull each side together edge to edge to close out the wedge shaped gap. Hold in place with more masking tape. This will give the second chine starting some 50mm from the bow and going through to the transom.

The transom is now taped in place and the hull viewed for general squareness. It will be flexible enough to be pulled about as required to get things right.

The transom is glued in place - I used thin Zap, and short lengths of glass cloth are epoxied along the inside of the chines. I used quick setting epoxy for this.

The rest of the hull is fitted out and the inside given a coat of thinned laminating resin.

The outside, including the deck, is covered in very light glass cloth applied with laminating resin. Covering the deck in this way is critical as it gives a tough smooth finish for the deck patch to adhere to.

Experiment with cardboard to get the panel shapes you want - easier and cheaper than using ply. Check that the hull shape gives the buoyancy you intend. Whether a clever computer drafting programme will do all this I don’t know.

The hull is fairly fine at the bows, easily driven and pretty stable on all points of sail. Tuning the sail area to the wind strength is critical for good performance with this hull shape.

Down wind boat speed will also improve with a lighter hull form.

Hope all this helps – it is quite fiddly I guess. The boat is over four years old now and still going strong.

A one off posting – I don’t think that I can usefully add anymore.

Richard Alford.

Thanks Richard and Andy :zbeer:

If you’re doing a hard-chine boat, the exact shape of the panels can be calculated using the free Carlson Design package called “Hulls”

Scroll down toward the bottom for the download link. You’ll want to get the recommended tutorial also, the user interface is a bit, er, distinctive. I do basic design in DelftShip to get the hydrostatics, then transfer the dimensions to Hulls to get the panels. Saves a lot of fiddling with cardboard.



I like using donut boxes to make patterns, so I’ll take a little while to stock up on cardboard and try the design that way :D:witch:

After going through several large sheets of card, all I got so far is the upper side panels. I don’t think that this design will be possible to figure out.

I’m not trying to copy it, but would like to figure out something similar. It looks like it has enough forward bouyancy to sail well.