B rigs - a new controversy

well said angus.

you too graham.

Good comments guys. My thoughts come from the idea that: If it is faster, people will want it…

Graham - I agree that most rigs are made of cheap materials. A good thing! But having seen photos of higher cost carbon rigs, if the Bling rig becomes the winning option then everyone will have to have one. Thus we will effectively have a mini Marblehead on our hands in terms of costs, especially if unlimited rigs can be selected from for an event. Agreed - I feel unlimited rigs could raise costs unnecessarily.

Angus - Agreed too that simple rigs are best (and cheaper). But having witnessed many skipper’s desire to win, one might be surprised at how far even the average club member might go to be fast & win. With this in mind, I feel the “pantechnicon of rigs” might become the norm and not only the realm of the vanity owner.

My thoughts and the sole motivation for discussing these ideas is to try and keep costs low and development fun high.

Jono - your input is most valuable and positive. When you finally get round to building your Footy, we’ll re-annexe the Sandwich Islands and give you a GBR sail number!

Incidentally, I agree with you about Leicester MYC. We sent an emmissary a couple of months ago. Nice secretary, but otherwise very hide-bound and negative. If it isn’t an IOM, it doesn’t exist.

Angus - Can a Footy sail under both USA and GBR flags or should I just have a HI number…??? Now you’ve gone and done it - you’ve outed me… I will have to start building now, so I can join the club and be a real Footy sailor not just an armchair version…:slight_smile:

I miss sailing at the Leicester club. The guys are a good keen bunch. Mac Collier was an ambassador for the sport and is missed. The wind has to be the worst but if you can sail in those light, gusty, variable winds you will always be fast in the light stuff. (i.e. 2 boats sailing downwind directly at each other and only 10 ft apart…???:confused:)

My other club was 2 Islands in Milton Keyenes. Nice water, open with good wind, and a 6 Meter fleet…!!

Hawaii has a National Authority??!!??:lol:

Hi guys, I’m back from my vacation and I see things have gotten interesting in my absence. My feeling about this topic is that the 12 inch “B” rig rule should be scrapped.
You should register two rigs prior to the day’s racing.
As far as a quiver of rigs goes, I think that the sailors who travel to events far afield would be the ones more likely to maintain a selection of rigs so that they could be prepared for the local conditions at the race site. The host competitors (as well as most local sailors) would more than likely not need more than a couple of rigs for their familiar conditions. There are plenty of “club” Marbleheads in my area that have only one rig.
The example of big winds at Laconia was an aberration and a surprise, but that does happen once in a while. Bill was caught ill prepared but only he can evaluate the need to have a rig for the “once in a blue moon” gale against the time and cost of putting together a short rig he may never use.
Its too bad that my first day of vacation coincided with the Region 1 Championships, I would have had a ball with the Bantam in those winds. I did do some sailing on the lake by my family’s house in similar conditions (whitecaps and all). I’ll post some pics when I’ve downloaded them from the camera.

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons----
I’m presently constructing a “state of the art” Footy, with a glass-epoxy hull, a balsa-carbon-tube keel, a non-lead(biologically harmless) bulb, a carbon-tube mast, and a carbon-tube jib-luff, all in an attempt to challenge (and match) the high-tech productions of the professionals by a reasonably skilled amateur. (15 bucks for the carbon)
What if I make three different mast heights, but have luff-pocket sails of differing heights for each mast, to match any current wind speed. Would I be in violation of any rule if I changed sails only, leaving the masts unchanged?
Just a thought!!!

i shouldn’t think so… sounds cool though!:graduate:

thats sorta what i am trying to do with a modified “mac” rig… we’ll see how it plays out… now i am just waiting for the sail servo to come in… then we can have some fun!

I would assume that as changing the sails is the key issue Rod then whether we change rigs or sails alone it amounts to the same thing. Currently one nominated A rig and one B on the race day.

Any two nomimated rigs on a race day does seem like an good direction to work towards, still in my 'umble opinion.

Incidentally a 4mm extruded carbon mast is cheaper than two lengths of K&S alluminium (as per Kittiwake) and if you buy enough birch dowel mail order to find a straight one that costs more too :smiley: Cost at this size is minimul unless you gold plate the thing.


As the Devil’s Advocate, :devil3: :devil3:

I don’t recall seeing any rules that prohibit reefed sails - so if one had sails made from ripstop nylon that could be effectively “reefed” (rolled up on/near boom) - unlike a stiff Mylar sail, my argument would be it isn’t prohibited by any of the rules that I can find. :scared:

Slab reefing would be better.


Niel, it was a shame you couldn’t be there. Thanks for the compensation present, by the way…very nice of you.

The truth is, I was caught with my proverbial pants down by the wind conditions. No excuses…I just like building hulls better than rigs, and I simply haven’t gotten around to buiding a storm rig. Shame on me, as I missed out on the fun. I had a couple of good boats, got one second-place finish (that would have been a first if I hadn’t been stopped by gusts at the finish line) and couldn’t play any more because I was too short-sighted in my preparations.

So I recommend that everyone build a set of rigs that give them some flexibility. Some pretty sophisticated rigs can be made for very little money, so cost really isn’t an issue.

As Scott pointed out, Footys are sensitive to wind velocity changes, but if you get the rig for conditions they are a blast to sail!

Bill H

So just a few more thoughts…

Judging by quite a few of the recent posts above, it seems that many would prefer to build 2 or more rigs for thier Footys so they can sail in all conditions. This makes perfect sense, that a tender boat have several rigs so it can always have the right size according to the wind speed…?

Also many are expressing the opinion that building a rig is not a great expense and building several will not cost an arm and a leg & hopefully won’t discorage new sailors…?

With all this in mind, I feel I should possibly change my opinion and say that I am in favor of being able to have several rigs (not only 2) ready for the prevailing conditions, just like with a Marblehead. If they do not cost much to make (relative I know) then it makes sense to use as many as needed to sail well in the prevailing conditions.

One quick question: If rigs are so cheap to build/own, why then limit the choice of rigs to just 2 ?

:smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :zbeer:

Why does the knight move in an L? It wouldn’t cost any more to let it move in a straight line sometimes.:rolleyes:

:smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :zbeer:


The competitive sailor that travels to races in unfamiliar sites will undoubtedly bring as many rigs as is feasible to cover all conditions he or she might encounter. The question at hand is should the “12 inch storm rig” restriction be retired in favor of some specific number of rigs allowed at the registration for a regatta? I am in favor of the later scenario with two or three alternate rigs allowed. I am not in favor of reefing or substituting sails on standing rigs. Should we change the current rule we will need to specify just what comprises a rig, and should avoid the M class compromise where any number of rigs can be designated as legal as long as the other rigs fit within the profile of the measured, registered rigs.
One other observation from my own experience and ambition as a National level competitor is that it really isn’t practical to take too many rigs to a regatta. That is unless you have the varied conditions to tune them in the conditions they were made for. Being overpowered with a rig that is too large for the conditions but that you are familiar with is better than sailing with an untuned appropriately sized rig that will have you struggling to use effectively.

WELL SAID!!!:smiley:

One of our EC12 skippers was able to break out his C rig on a rare windy day here. He’s prepping for the nationals and is glad he did. The setup was awful when he put it on. After spending some time tuning and adjusting things, he got it close to right. He said it looks funny but the boat was flying around the lake. Now if he needs it, he’s ready.

I’m in the “keep the 12 inch limit” camp. The rule as it stands doesn’t seem more unfair than any of the suggested changes. Having your storm rig very limited may make you more familiar with its use. On the other hand, your B rig may be your light air rig. The rules only limit height not area (assuming “smaller rig” means shorter). The rules also don’t state that you have to declare your rigs ahead of time.

As long as I’m typing, I might as well list all my thoughts on the rig controversy. Rig is an RRS term and defined there. It includes the mast, rigging, spars, fittings, and corrector weights. Footy rules refer to the “2 sets of rig and sails(s)”. Even if you switch just the sail(s) then the rig used is part of the set and is limited to 12 inches. This appears to prohibit Rod’s idea of just swapping sails. Reefing the sails appears to be permitted. I just haven’t found a sail material that would perform well at Footy scales and reef without being damaged.

I finally built a B rig for my boat. It’s just the fore spar/mast of a McRig and matching sail but the whole thing is under 12 inches. I’m curious to see what people start bringing to regattas. Of course, I’d just plain like to see more people at regattas. Come on folks, get to a race.