Announcing the exciting new NANO class

The NANO class has just been announced by the International Radio Sailing Association. I realize that new classes pop up all the time, most of which seem to be just a variation of something we already have…but this one is really quite different.

Graham Bantock was recently asked, “What is the point of the NANO class?” Here is what he had to say:

"The advent of 3D printing fittings and other parts for rc boats raises the possibility of a class where the hulls and other parts are largely constructed by 3D printing and, probably, by the end user. Although this may well work in the existing RG65 and FOOTY classes, those class rules permit conventional moulded carbon fibre for the hull and deck structures and this confers a large weight/stiffness advantage to boats built using ‘hi tech’ methods

A new class rule devised specifically to cater for those who want to create their own boat, primarily by printing it themselves, would seem to be a logical step for the sport.

Such a class is an ideal one in which students of all ages can test their design and build skills. Perfect for craft, design and technology projects. The possibility of designing the boat on Friday and going racing on Saturday has become a reality.

Importantly the class raises the possibility of readily available low cost boats within an open class that is ideal for those starting the sport of rc sailing. You do not have to choose a one design with no freedom to experiment.

Objectives of NANO class

Sailors are quite likely to be able to design and build the majority of their own boat
Hull and associated structural parts may only be made by 3D printing
No hull/boat certification process
No sail area measurement
Event measurement only
Draught/length ratio not so large that fin technology rules – 0.45 length maximum
Tightly controlled rig size and number

Provisional class rules have been launched in May 2017. It is anticipated that feedback from users may assist with refinement of the class rules, if required, to help achieve the desired objectives."

The basics specs include: Open class rules, 3D printed hulls and parts only, Hull length 500 mm, Sail height max. 900 mm, Draught 225 mm.

The complete rule is here:

If you haven’t seen what Selwyn Holland and I have been doing with 3D hull development, take a look at the RG65 or Footy threads.

All that is interesting, but behind the IRSA initiative there is probably something else !
Nano is not unique, in the range of 50/55cm exist the proven model like MicroMagic of Graupner for less than 150$ and available in less than 1 hours if you are close to shop or via the web without spending the price of 3D printer !

I do tend to agree to the “propaedeutic purpose” that IRSA may have in mind were future skippers can learn 3D CAD and how to use 3D printer ! this is the future, while, as I said to Selwyn and in agreement with Bantock, the Carbon and Kevlar lamination are superior without the unwanted risks of Warping and Shrinking.

Designing on Friday and Sailing on Saturday, this is another story !!!


I’ll go check out the rules:)
I think the point of the class is for someone like myself. The makers. It’s not about the racing but about building things. I didnt get a 3d printer to make yachts, I got one because it’s awesome in its own right. The fact that I can use it with the yachts is an added bonus.

The really cool thing is the carbon filaments would appear to have a weight disadvantage which makes things fun :slight_smile:

Claudio, sometimes I don’t understand where you get your ideas.

I’m a member of the IRSA Technical Committee, and I took part in developing the provisional rule with other IRSA members. Graham initially suggested the idea, based on the results he saw from Selwyn’s work. We then all hashed out the new rule.

I can assure you that there was no motive for setting up the class other than what is stated on the IRSA site. Initially 350mm had been proposed, but the 500mm length was decided as a good compromise between handling (avoiding the Footy’s propensity to dive) and convenience for printing in a couple of sections with most available printers. There was never a mention of the MicroMagic in our discussion.

Since the MicroMagic is a one-design class, and the NANO is an open class intended to encourage self-design and the development of print technology, I see no similarity other than that of length. If that’s not unique enough for you, then I stand corrected. I hope you will accept the change to my original post.

As I said and as an observer/reader, I appreciate the IRSA idea if all is set for “propaedeutic purpose” dedicated to those who are really concern about learning and discovering new technology, but ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ should also be clearly explained. Very little so far !
There is more money and time involved compared with out of the shelf models and ready for use in the 50cm range.
Substantial investment is required. No many get out the bed in the morning and start 3D design !
3D Cad need complex learning and this take time, 3D Printers are around 1000$, 4 times the cost of a MicroMagic, at the end it is not even sure that the design of Friday can sail on Saturday…
This is my idea !!

Seems like a unsure way of introducing people to sailing, when so many “Makers” classes are around. After a probable time to print of perhaps25 hours, and not knowing if the boat will float unless very specific plans are made available…seems like a solution for a yet unrealized problem. We can’t get people interested in building an RG sized boat, even with a ton of free drawings available, I fear a dim future for something this small --especially when well known sailors will always suggest to new sailors to get the largest boat available within their budget because larger boats respond better to waves and wind wind than small boats.

Maybe some of that committee needs to make a few, distribute to review and trial, and THEN consider a new class.

Just my personal opinion. What is the current status of the FOOTY class (here in the US)?

I’m exactly what Dick has just described… happy to throw myself into the deep-end build wise but I’d like to know that it would work if I built it properly.
Any chance that there could be a “Plain Jane” hull created for those if us who have never designed?
You know how the JIF65 is a common first attempt at a home build? There are the line plans and clear notes for where to put the mounts etc. Can’t you guys put something like that together?
And to be honest I would make it a lines plan and not the STL files or Cad lines. This will get people to learn how to put things into CAD and print from that point on which is kind of the point if I’m not mistaken.

I’m really looking forward to it :slight_smile:

As Dick said, there is the risk to obtain the contrary effect of what desired, the fault will be fully reversed on 3D printing all together.
IRSA instead to legitimate a new model design among the others, should better promote first Naval Architecture cultural knowledge.
Unfortunately not all modelers are Naval Architects and will be not the 3D CAD and Printers that will fill the gap.
3D printing, according to various readings do have already various quality limitations for our models, it may become worst when printing bad plans.
In all that there is money involved and I do not think that the acquisition of 3D printer will serve to make several hull clones.

OK guys, this is just the announcement. Our next step will be, as you suggest, to offer files for printing. That will provide a path for those like Andrew who are excited about the technology, who probably already have printers, and want to try printing a boat. We need to develop the place and method for sharing the files. I would be glad to post IGES files here for my hull designs, but it is not a supported format for attachments.

Dick, the Footy class is stagnant here. It had an exciting number of years, but then excitement died. There are over 100 Footy skippers, but the only regular racing is in the Northeast. Before attributing that to it’s small size, though, note that the same has happened to the Marblehead and 10Rater classes. Clearly the trend is toward one-design classes…as Claudio pointed out, MicroMagic is an example that is popular in the small-size category. IRSA, however, is international, and in other countries the Footy, M and 10R classes thrive.

Claudio, we have never expected a bunch of people to run out and buy printers because we established the NANO class. Rather, we recognized the rapidly growing number of people who have printers, and think that the trend toward lower costs over time and growing numbers of tech-savvy young people will continue to add to that. I would not be surprised to see a 3D printer become a normal household item in the future. Don’t forget there was a time (not that many years ago) when everyone thought that the cost and learning curve associated with personal computing meant that PC’s were only for computer geeks. Now we call them phones.

Will it be for everyone? Of course not…if it were possible for one class to please all, the AMYA wouldn’t have over 30 of them. Will it grow beyond just a niche of techies? Who knows?

But have we proven that it works? Yes. And is it innovative and exciting for enough people to get started now? Absolutely.

Until we get a better method, Andrew, and anyone else who would like either a Freeship plan file, or an IGES file, or both for a NANO, Footy, or RG65 hull, can email me at and I’ll reply with the files.

Hi Bill,

The time will give the honest answer.

I’m still of the opinion, among what I already written on the subject, that this issue will be a sort of “niche” where rich amateurs do not count the money spent for a “toy”. Generally are not very young in spite of what IRSA would pretend !

Unfortunately the basic design culture for a sailing boat is totally ignored by IRSA.

My poor friend Ph. Bolger once wrote: “Every floating object equipped with a sail will move somehow, this is why the nautical designer profession is so relaxed !”

Will be frustrating to see a Micro Magic overtaking a Nano that may have costed 4 times more !


Claudio, I guarantee that NANO will not be one of mine :smiley:

I think you are also forgetting that people can easily team up to join in on the fun. A guy who likes to design gets together with a guy across the world who has a printer and good things start happening.

You may recall that Selwyn and I envision this as a great club project, and a lot of young people are being exposed to 3D printing in school. An interested person doesn’t have to run right out and invest in an expensive printer…just find access to one.

I also think you do us an injustice…IRSA is not pretending anything here. We are simply giving interested people a radio class where they can compete with others who have like interests…using a fairly new technology that we think has good potential for development.

Why not hit a few schools first, Bill? Meet, introduce, provide a free file set, and let the school integrate within it’s class programs?

My son graduated last year from high school. His school “project” was the printing of a chess piece (pawn or queen - his choice) he also had to build a small footprint 3D printer. His is just completing his first year in college in Engineering and found he won’t have access to a 3D printer in class until his 3rd. year in school. Needless to point out the probable loss of knowledge in two college school years - what with girls, beer, cars, beer and girls. (LOL )

Anyway - introduction at high school level would easily provide a sample of student interest. There is always time in the future to start a sailing class for the product…or quietly close a program that had little interest.

Just a thought.


Was not my intention to bring injustice to any one using the word ‘pretending’, instead what readers shall be aware of is that so far 3 names have been indicated since the begin of this tread as promoters of this toy project actually named NANO.

The names indicated are :

- Graham Bantock… IRSA Chairman for Technical Committee - owner of

  • Bill Hagerup… IRSA Chairman for 10R Class - tread initiator[b]
  • [/b]Selwyn Holland… IRSA Chairman for Australia - 3D print specialist[b]

Thus for the first time, in this Forum, it is acknowledged that 3 IRSA Chairman’s are involved, at various levels, in the promotion of this project claiming that 3D printing is a new issue for yacht model making ! Fine why not !

[/b]Navigating on the Web I found also another interesting news about 3D printing discovering that was initiated in 2016 in Australia by a person called Brian Dill .

[b]Why this person was ignored ?

Is that Justice ?[/b]

for more very interesting information please use this link below : [b]

[/b]You can also consult a PDF file digitizing on Google : RADIO WAVES 22-2_v2
or loading directly: Waves 22-2_v2.pdf

in particular from page 20 to page 28.

That’s all and good luck to NANO


PS : BTW, Brian Dill do not even knows that I’m existing

Claudio apparently has some personal agenda regarding IRSA. His implications that we have been dishonest in some way are absolutely false and unfounded.

The NANO is announced as a provisional rule. That means it may, or may not, become an international rule depending on the level of participation that develops. It also means that the rule can be modified based on the experiences of the early participants.

I noted early in this thread that the idea for the class came from Graham when he saw the work that Selwyn and I had been doing, and that I am on the IRSA technical committee, so the fact that Graham, Selwyn, and I are involved is hardly a revelation. None of us has any hidden agenda here, and there is no IRSA conspiracy associated with the announcement of the NANO class. Our objective in developing the class rule was exactly as I have stated in the initial posts. Selwyn’s original intention with his website was to “teach people to fish.” While that remains the goal, he was so inundated with requests for hulls that he decided, after much thought…and after we developed the NANO concept, to offer kits. That decision was reported to IRSA, so he is making no attempt to cover up any conflict of interest. I have no commercial interests in model yachting.

Brian Dill is a friend of Selwyn’s, and Brian’s initial work is what inspired Selwyn to get a printer and start his work. Brian was not, however, involved in the development of the NANO concept or provisional rule. He has focused on RG65s, and I think he is now attempting to print a Marblehead. There is no conspiracy to avoid giving him credit for his work. He has his own website and is not affiliated with IRSA.

I have personally been straightforward in this forum for years, and will continue to be. I am happy to answer reasonable questions and engage in civil debate.

Sigh…forum involvement is a double-edged sword. But I wish people who attempt to vilify me would at least spell my name correctly.

I do not care about IRSA if this is what you want to knows and I’m sure that I’m not the only one in this forum !!!

You put in my mouth words that I have never used.

In another tread you indicated that Selwyn was involved with you in developing a 3D RG65 and you presented some pictures.

Today I discover that Brian Dill has printed RG65 for Selwyn.

Since is not affiliated with IRSA there no need to name it, bravo! Do you have a personal agenda with Brian Dill ?
Very elegant attitude !!

Humble suggestion : IRSA should create his own Forum to make publicity of their projects and illustrating actions !

Claudio, please…your opinion is clear, but your facts are a bit selective.

The boat Brian printed was Selwyn’s first RG65 prototype. The subsequent boats 2,3,5, and 6 were designed by me. Boats 1 and 4 were designed by Craig Smith. Boats 2-6 were all printed by Selwyn. All of that is clearly presented on Selwyn’s website that I referenced in my first post about the 3D RG65s.

Here is a direct quote from Selwyn’s site: “Prototype 1: “The Black Boat” (Designer Craig Smith, 3d printed by Brian Dill, construction Selwyn Holland)”

Clearly, credit was given to Brian for his part in this endeavor.

My point is that in this RCSailing forum discussion I found out the explicit omission of a person in the name of Brian Dill. No need to navigate around the Web as I did it to find out who is Brian Dill and what has done.

Actually I stop here since what I was supposed to says it is said.

I do also apologize with the forum readers for my interventions aiming to know all about 3D printing including what was omitted to says involuntary !!!

At the risk of setting off more fireworks, I must admit I was (and am) a bit puzzled by the position IRSA has taken relative to “It” (IRSA) introducing a potential new class.

I was always under the impression that a certain number of boats were required within a National Authority - AND - a certain number of National Authorities “with” those number of boats was required before IRSA would even consider their involvement in the process to bring a new design to consideration as a nationally recognized class. If this is no longer the standard, please point me to where the membership requirements were changed, and what they now require.

Considering my interest in multihull designs/classes, and their lack of recognition since my interest in RC multihull sailing began in the late 1990’s, and identifying multiple classes of multihull designs, now available for a builder from a current effort for a “Footy” sized multihull, to the 65M Class,- to the MultiONE Class, - to the Mini40 and Formula48 Class, and ending currently with the 2 Meter class I was never provided ANY support from AMYA or IRSA in efforts to build a US Class and get a multihull design accepted. As often told - "IT was up to me to develop the class" and then support would be there. Now imagine my surprise when the NANO project looks to be IRSA initiated and supported - and along with the proposed take-over of the RG65 Class rules by IRSA! Seems like you guys have nothing to do, nor are the rules for new classes in question of needed changes. I think a few on the IRSA Committee need to reconsider if they are going to be builders/suppliers for a new yet-to-be perfected design, or if they are going to remain as bureaucrats running the IRSA.

In the meantime, I wanted to see how costs would compare to my RG65 home builds if a total kit were provided much like the clear RG65 example shown.

Thanks, and if you can find your way clear to help build the multihull classes, it would be appreciated.


With respect, Dick, this thread has been completely hijacked from a simple announcement of an interesting new opportunity for people to race 3D printed boats to a discussion of concerns about IRSA.

The rules regarding class establishment are here:

The NANO evolved through a process of discovery as Selwyn evolved the use of 3D printing to make it a viable method for producing hulls. My part is helping on the design end. As we progressed, Selwyn and I shared our work with some friends at IRSA. Graham was impressed with the potential, and suggested the NANO concept, so we kicked it around and came up with a set of rules. The concept and rule was presented to the Executive Committee for vote, and was passed as a provisional class, using the clause in the IRSA procedural rules that permits a class to be authorized without adhering to the participation guidelines.

Perhaps you could move all the non-NANO discussion to another thread?