Best RC Yacht Rally?

I like a good race, yet my yacht building interests have shifted to more one-of-a-kind “exhibition” boats. I’m on my second ketch which I bring to Port Huron, Michigan USA in July. I sail it for a week as part of pre-race festivities (32nd PH-Mac race) around the big boats and spectator craft in the Black River. I enjoy talking with kids (young and old) about the hobby and the reaction to the sailboat is always enthusiastic. I know you all experience similar smiles at your ponds when someone approaches you who has never seen a rc yacht before.

I want to take this to the next level: to bring my boat(s) to model yachting events. Not to race but to be part of a “rally” type setting (like Sturges, SD USA is to motorcycles), to display and sail the boat for amusement and discussion amongst people who share my passion for the hobby.

My question:[b]

What are the three top radio controlled sailing events where boats are not only raced but there is an on-shore gathering of yachts and sailors of all types?[/b]

USA events (would San Diego be considered #1?) will be visited by me, global answers to my question appreciated…

Thanks, yar

That is a great Idea. I live in Annapolis, MD where they race CR-914’s. I am currently building a USOM and a scale TP52. Now I am pretty sure I will never get to race my TP, rather just sail around the little boat. It won’t be very conducive to traveling in anything other than a road going vehicle, it would be cool to meet some other “unorthodox” boats.

OK, Millrtme… my ketch, your TP52… we’re starting a line-up of boats. Anyone else? Some experimental, vintage, smallest (claudio) yachts?

That is a great Idea.
I didn’t really think of it as an idea, I just thought some of the bigger race venues had people show up with weird sailboats that weren’t in a class, novelties. Maybe I was wrong, no such thing exists *.

[b]What are the three biggest gatherings of rc sailboats in one place for a few days, a week?


It won’t be very conducive to traveling in anything other than a road going vehicle…
Yes, road vehicle. My boat is built to travel, disassemble. I build a crate, or use a travel case for golfclubs, for the hull and modify (foam cut-outs) a couple hard shell Samsonite suitcases for radio, etc.

… it would be cool to meet some other “unorthodox” boats.

  • we might need to start our own Burning Man project for RC boats.


Well Mine is still in plug form now. Just got home from a couple hours of fairing, but it is looking good. I guess my biggest hurdle with traveling would be the mast, the beam of the hull is around 14" IIRC, but the mast will end up being in the 80-85" range as it will be keel stepped. I don’t know exactly what they mast will be constructed of, but maybe I will be able to devise a two piece mast.

OK, I gather there are no gatherings of sailors with yachts for interaction and display as a main function of the event.

The reality must be that we all get to our separate ponds for racing each weekend when weather and schedules permit, a tiny percentage drive to a regatta within 200 miles (once or every other year if lucky), and a minuscule few invest in a trip to a national or international event based on a perception of winning.

Perhaps the venue which I am trying to find, of sharing aspects of the hobby outside the realm of competition on the water, is aligned with full-size boat shows?

Which ones, please?



Well, the USVMYG has show the model yachting flag :slight_smile: and given sailing demonstrations at the WoodenBoat Show for 10 years or so. We’ll be there at Mystic again this year.



I followed Yar over here from his post on my 6M thread. While my bias is still to race (match or fleet) 6M boats, I’ve done enough full size racing to know that good sport can be had in mixed fleet racing with corrected time.

I’m not sure of the size or hull form of Yar’s ketch but I imagine the TP52 at 52-inches long and a beam of approximately 14-inches will do a horizon job on a 6M. That being said, I’d welcome the chance to sail in company (at least at the start line :)) with similarly sized boats and then try to sail my best race around the buoys. The difficulty, especially with very intermittent meetings, is developing the correction factors. Maybe (probably) there is an existing average performance database for the IOM. I suppose an impromptu set of legs could be run in practice and rough coefficients could be taken from that.

Mystic sounds great (as does the Wooden Boat Show) but it’s a bit impractical from the Left Coast. Does the USVMYG show flags at the shows in Seattle (Center for Wooden Boats) and Port Townsend?

No, but we’d love to. It requires the effort of quite a few volunteers, and our membership is skewed heavily toward the East.



Giving some thought to this thread/idea, I have often proposed an “OPEN” regatta for all makes - including new, one-of-a-kind designs. The ability to show and demonstrate new ideas is currently non-existant within AMYA (and probably many other National Class organizations).

Time on time is easier than time on distance handicapping, as you don’t need to know the distances between buoys or around a course. To get a reasonably accurate handicap rating - actual times for all competitors must be known, and also a “scratch boat” of fleet identified to which other boats base their time and their corrected time. Basically a single race can establish maximum time allowances to allow every boat in fleet to “tie” the fastest boat. In following races, much like a local golf handicap, time handicaps are awarded to the boats finishing second thru last. This handicap is “averaged” over a number of races and a handicap time is established. You then go back to all races and apply the established handicap against true time to determine if the boat was sailed to it’s optimum. A lot more detail that I won’t go into right now, but the concept works among a variety of boats of different lengths and speeds.

I have offered my opinion (esteemed that it ISN’T) to have such an event – perhaps 3 ---- sponsored by AMYA “OPEN CLASS”. Perhaps one out East, one Midwest and one out West. The idea being an open sailing event to show new ideas or hard work efforts on yachts “without a home” and perhaps try a couple of round the buoy type events. If completely outclassed, perhaps some divisions between yachts by waterline and by design to at least group similar performers together. A schooner racing a TP-52 - even of same length just doesn’t sound logical.

In addition, now that we multihull builders are making a little bit of headway - if the multihulls would be invited a couple might be persuaded to show up and just demo sail. Give our mullti-builders a bit of incentive to complete boats and get them on the water.

The three major veunues (R/C wise) are already in place - you have the Mystic Week out east, the SanDiego Race Week in the west, and the Texas Blow-out in the midwest (albeit south midwest). Throw in a couple of major in-water boat shows if promoter will sanction a couple of races for boats - or just a “sail-around” to promote the idea of little boats and we might stir up interest. Amazing how many forum posters own boats of a specific brand/type, aren’t a member of AMYA (or aren’t interested) but might have a desire to sail or meet others with same boat type.

As noted previously, I would be happy to lend some volunteer effort to establishing and maintaining a form of handicap for our boats - but the support and agreement by all classes to help obtain and maintain times from racing venues is critical to success and accuracy of handicap numbers. I would be happy to further explain idea and method, but perhaps off-line via group email for any interested. Unfortunately, my time from now to May is severly limited due to a family wedding, but after that …???

Thanks all for the info: Mystic Week, Texas Blow-Out, San Diego Race Week. If anyone could make comments on experiences at the three, that would be nice to hear… in regards to fesability of an “OPEN” faction to an event might be worth discussion.

Dick, you bring up a few points of interest: the fact that AMYA doesn’t have a venue devoted to showing new ideas… multihulls would/should be as welcome as any boat… handicapping, which I know you have given much thought to.

In envisioning a mass gathering of RC sailors with model boats of all kinds, its obvious that races need to play some kind of central role and handicapping would be necessary.

Which lead me to re-read the recent thread Inter-class rating system. Certainly not a new subject to sailors and one that goes round&round. If we could figure out a simple (relatively) handicapping system to allow all boats to compete evenly (again… relatively), for fun, we might create enough interest to start a “Run What You Brung” Regatta.

As you (Dick) said, I suppose three regional venues is likely due to all of us traveling large distances would be prohibitive. And maybe working with the three events listed above might be logical… or a new one could capture a different spirit than any of the established ones have - I’d be first to sign up as a volunteer for that.


I would like to run these thoughts past a few on AMYA Board to see if there is an interest - or if it is rejected out-of-hand.

This would be association President and also OPEN Class secretary, since their involvement (if an AMYA thing) would be minimally required.

I read with interest the two pages of discussion about a more casual event. I am Bill Young, the Open Class Secretary of the AMYA. I have had discussions of an Open Class Event and I am heartily in favor. Consulting my Region V Director, John Hanks (he lives about 3 miles a way and got me started in all this) and we concluded that certainly Open Class Events, including Regionals and Nationals are certainly possible. The By-Laws do spell out certain things: all entrants must be AMYA members and they must enter boats registered in the Open Class. We arrived at this when Larry Ludwig of San Antonio, TX wanted to allow all the boats in the local club to be able to enter an “Open” event. As I remember there would have been some EC12’s and other boats registered in other classes but not in the Open Class. Perhaps this is the time to bring this issue to the BOD (Board of Directors). As I have written the foregoing I realized that perhaps the Open Class could be more “Open” than say the S1M class. Please note that there are no Open Class Rules per se. It would not offend me in the least to sanction a regatta/gettogether that contained boats already registered in some other class, say the J and the Footy for a combined event where all registrants were not registered with me. After all the Open Class is for boats that can go nowhere else. But it seems ridiculous to force a 10Rater boat already registered with Mark Gee to then register with me just to enter an “Open” event. I will support this if you wish to go further with this. Bill Young, Open Class Secretary.


That is exciting news. Hope all goes well and I will be jolining AMYA soon w/ my USOM then hopefully late this year early next my TP52 will be ironed out and sailing.

Hi Bill -

thanks for taking the time to consider and post. While I realize there are “some” current restrictions about membership and boat registrations, I think we need, if you agree, to press Pete a bit to have/allow a variance, especially for your class which is a catch all for non-class recognized boats.

Pete (Maxson - current AMYA President) was pretty upfront about trying to encourage new members to consider joining and promoting AMYAin general, so since there are no OPEN CLASS RULES, I would suggest that Race/Get-Together Sailing Instructions could/should allow non-members, or those who have boats either not able to be registered, or whose physical location is so far from any organized club making memebrship impractical, to receive a “pass” in order to participate without being a member. Call it an AMYA PROMOTION, call it an Official “unofficial” regatta, Call it an INVITATION TO POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS, or … whatever, but let’s consider the ability as the OPEN CLASS to set aside the bureaucracy of all the other classes, their membership requirement numbers, hull/sail registrations, sail area measurements, local club affiliations, and see how many boats of any type, design, size, speed, etc. that we can get on the water. A given will be that many who do not race may share the same Tx/Rx frequency - something that may take some thought.

By getting them on the water, seeing all of the other boats out there, knowing there “Might Be” a sailing opportunity sans membership registrations, we could/should consider this as if we were presenting a booth at a big hobby or boat show, handing out free issues of Model Yachting “Getting Started” issue, and perhaps serving soft drinks and water for families with potential to serve hot dogs on a cost basis (or if hosted by a local club - a way to increase their revenues with a small profit). Do you suppose we might get a few new members from a low-key non-racing, sailing day as opposed to always preaching the AMYA mantra of “memberships-dues-and hard core racing” ?

How else can we make it easier, and more interesting to non-members - and at the same time see new ideas and designs that might easily become the next viable AMYA Class?

Just some thoughts and a personal opinion to get some dialog started.

This is something of a personal project with me… because I hate seeing the AMYA struggle under the yoke of JUST RACING. I hear repeatedly… that well… the only skippers that are going to support the AMYA are the guys that ARE racing and attend the events… and I would like to see something done more to encourage the guys that simply enjoy sailing their models for pleasure. The idea of a truly OPEN class event was here… in that ANY Monohull (Sorry Dick :cool:) under 105" could be entered. As Bill mentioned that is when we came across the … well… sort of a ruling that boats that were REGISTERED in another class… were not considered “Open” class material… so it started to bend away from the OFFICIAL “Open” class… more into a wide open event.

As to the largest events in the USA… I would say that indeed the San Diego “Race Week” is a good choice, as would be the Mystic event in August which is 4 days and includes the J Class NCR and Star 45 NCR along with the EC-12 Region 1 and Wheeler Region 1 regattas…

But… the “Blowout” in Dallas… is an IOM event, and while it draws a LOT of boats… this event is held specifically in the Spring time for maximum winds which would not be conducive to quite a lot of the boats that would be attending. Not many Schooners want to get out in 2 1/2 foot swells with winds 20-30. Also, the IOM class is a hot, fast younger more serious group of guys… and would not really be the group I would think that I would be looking for. On the other hand… we host the “EarthDay Display and Sailday extravaganza” at Woodlawn in San Antonio every year… and last year we fielded Fifty-two(52) boats… with everything from Schooners, to scratch builts… We had 21 different classes represented, and quite a few other non-class boats.

You can see the pictures here:

Now… that might be more in line with the objective. Another couple of places that would be worth investigating would be Spreckles Lake in San Francisco, and Central Park in NYC which is the all time most famous model sailing pond… Then too… Redd’s Pond in Boston would be another. All three of these venues are likely to have a crackerjack weekend when a great deal of boats come out that are not necessarily there to race.

It is fantastic to see the dialog that is going on about a casual sailing event.

Thanks you Bill for your comments and thoughts on an open event. I think we all want the blessing of the AMYA for such a happening, we need AMYA support and exposure and the structure they bring yet I am with Dick that membership should be optional…

Dick Lemke said,

Call it an AMYA PROMOTION, call it an Official “unofficial” regatta, Call it an INVITATION TO POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS, or … whatever, but let’s consider the ability as the OPEN CLASS to set aside the bureaucracy of all the other classes…
… mainly because some of the people we want to meet build solely in their basements or garages and test in the pond down the street and frankly aren’t joiners in organizations of any kind. But I bet they’d like to show their boat(s) off and at that point they may see the benefits of becoming a AMYA member. If not, we shake their hand and maybe they’ll join next year. Bill, please stick with us here.

I vote for “scientific types” with their engineered marvels next to “naive builders” with their floating anomalies.

Larry Ludwig said,

… in that ANY Monohull (Sorry Dick ) under 105" could be entered.
I’m not sure why no multihulls? This is a total RC yachting thing. Handicaps would reel them in if its the racing part that you refer to. Please explain.

Sailday extravaganza" at Woodlawn in San Antonio every year… and last year we fielded Fifty-two(52) boats…
52, that’s impressive. And thanks for your take on San Diego and Dallas, your details on who goes, and the focus of the event (how it might relate to what we are talking about) is good to note.

Another couple of places that would be worth investigating would be Spreckles Lake in San Francisco…
Pretty shallow but a nice place. Sailors (families) could have other things to do if its held at a popular spot.



here is another classic example of the “old Boys” framework we need to change. Just because it isn’t an AMYA event - it doesn’t get major reporting in the AMYA Model Yachting magazine?

How many “Classes” that are recognized darw that number of boats at thier events unless it’s a Nationals?

I don’t get it. Are we here to simply subsidize the racing interests - or to promote the entire radio sailing concept? I have to think of the 3,000 subscribers to AMYA magazine, there had to be at least one or two that would have found an article - or a whole issue of interest.

When was the last time anyone saw a write up of AMYA booth promotion at any hobby shows, let alone big boat shows?

A change seems to be needed - or at least considered. (in my opinion, of course)

Hi all,

New to the site and saw your discussion on hosting a non racing event. I like the idea. Mystic might be a good place to do something like this but I think you should plan to host an “OPEN” regatta in a place that will draw the most RC scale sailing enthusists. This could draw all the RC sailors who are into scale RC sailboats which exibit detail in scale rather than what makes the go fast. This is an untapped group that I think is pretty big.

A few years ago, as Earl pointed out, the VMYG struck a deal the the Museum of Yachting in Newport in which the not only had static displays of many RC boats (both new and vintage) but they hosted a number of on the water events all summer long. The entry fee was $5.00. I went about 12 times that summer.

I agree that the AMYA is slanted toward racing but that is only because that is what most of the membership does. As you say Dick, the open class could use all the power of the AMYA by sending the event details to Doug Hemmingway who would post it both on the website as well as in MY. The Open class could also take out an add in MY to promote the event. A regatta report could also be submitted for printing in MY.

I know I would go. I really like scale detail done well.

Chuck Luscomb

Not exactly sure on what you meant on the major event not being covered… if it is written up and submitted… it usually gets good play on the Magazine, and the website is expanding. This is my personal mission within the AMYA is to promote SAILING MODELS… not racing models <only>

As to why no multi-hulls… because we did this one before a LONG time ago and it is a race, Period… no handicaps. Multi-hulls would obviously have a strong speed advantage, but the previous event was a lot of fun, and a great educator as many who thought they had a fast boat were shown that some other classes are faster than one might think. Sure it leaves out some classes as well… but the point was just to see who could get across the line first and claim the title of being the fastest gun around.

I will do it again, I think it is a fun event, and can even provoke some building and a chance for some boats to get out and actually race that might not have the chance otherwise.

Earth Day is an annual gathering for us here in SAT, so it will be coming up here in a couple of months… and I will have a personal battle trying to out-hack the Pirate King of all Hackers Ray Seta which is always fun.

A few things that might deserve mention to this discussion…

The AMYA was founded and continues today with the philosophy of “class autonomy”. This means that only the members having boats registered in a particular class are the ones to decide the class measurement specifications, the class rules and elect the person representing the class as Class Secretary. Other AMYA officers or members not having a boat registered in the class have no say nor involvement in the class. This may work differently with other national model yachting associations, but it is the way it is in AMYA. As it applies to an open to all Open Class event: Go for it. The Class Secretary and any committee he might appoint could contact an AMYA Sanctioned Club and ask that an Open Class event be scheduled. Don’t expect elected AMYA officers and board members to do it for you. You have your job and they have theirs’. Their job is to help, but not butt-in into class matters.

The only time a regatta is limited to AMYA members is when it is listed on the AMYA Regatta Schedule as either an AMYA National Championship (NCR) or one of the six possible AMYA Regional Championships (RCR). Other regattas on the schedule are considered as open to everyone, AMYA member or non-member – After all, open registration is a good way to introduce AMYA to a non-member, and hopefully induce him to join. An Open Class event open to anyone, unless it is a NCR or RCR, is just that an open Open Class event. A suggestion: Races could be run, but not scored. Awards could be presented for categories other than winning races

Three out of four AMYA Model Yachting magazines feature a class of boat. When a class is featured, the Class Secretary and class members usually go all out in providing at least a half-dozen articles about building a boat, tuning a boat, and telling about all the good things that apply to the class. Dozens of photos are included in the magazine that illustrate the articles and class. Three thousand copies of the magazine are sent out. Three thousand members then have an in-depth knowledge of the class whereas previously they might have had only heard of it. The Spring, 2008, issue of model yachting which arrived today featured the 75th Anniversary of the Marblehead. Sixty-eight pages and about sixty-eight photos from now, the reader will know more than he ever did about the M Class and all else that is current with AMYA. When the Open Class comes up in the rotation as Model Yachting’s Featured Class it will provide a wonderful opportunity to promote and publicize the Open Class.

Rich Matt