Diagonal Measurement Poll now open

This is a note to announce that a new poll has been created over on the FOOTYUSA group, concerning the practice of diagonally placed Footys in the measurement box. The purpose of this poll is not to decide whether diagonal boats should be legal or not, but whether or not a motion that would decide the issue should be placed on the next ballot.

Thanks for considering,
Bill Nielsen
Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA
AMYA #0835
Footy #835

If the issue of diagonally placed boats was put into the next ballot , which i find completely incorrect by the way. Would there be any consideration to the many boats that are placed on the diagonal to be placed under a Grandfather clause.

I would give this matter serious thought before taking it to ballot, in my oppinion this is the quickest way to deplete the Footy fleet. I always thought it was quite a simple BOX rule as the 36r rule is, as i read in another thread the only other way to measure the length of the boat is in a water tank, the class really does not want to go along that route, think about the implications, class measurers, certificates etc etc


Probably to be fair, diagonal boats would be grandfathered, at least for a certain length of time. The argument has been made elsewhere (by proponents of such things a total elimination of all restrictions on sails) that Footys are so cheap to build and replace, that it shouldn’t be a major issue. The water tank measurement claim sounds pretty scary (which I’m sure is the intent), but I doubt it would measure what we are looking for (length, width, & keel depth, rather than displacement). Perhaps a 3D laser scanner (There. How’s that for scary?).

Bill N.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA

Guys (and Dolls) back the boat up ~ this is getting way out of hand Roger thought this through when he dreamed up the box rule ~ its simple, why change it ~ I think you are courting with disaster ~ please leave well alone
The box works ~ its simple and efficient ~ what more do you need?

I am a firm believer that if this type of infighting continues that it will regrettably sound the death knoll for Footydom!

Be afraid ~ be very afraid!!!

My post is not intended to scare but is the reality of a length restriction rule opposed to a box rule, the boat has to be floated to measure the length as Brett quite rightly said.
A Footy is cheap in materials to build but extremely expensive in man hours to produce as this is a hobby and supposed to fill ones spare time in a fun sort of way, same as every other hobby.
As for the Grandfather clause, there should be no time restriction, i will be sailing Moonshadow for the next twenty years unless Brett builds me something that is faster.

ps. This forum is more addictive than the fags, Guinness and gambling.

Graham ~ I have to say that I think Rob Vice would have given you a run for your money at the Nationals ~ Roger’s boat is something else!
It was a great shame you could not have attended and repeated your performance
Due to him starting anything up to 1.5 minutes after every one else so as to support his son he still beat the pants of of ALL of us with Roger’s boat!!!

You have to admit that is exceptional!

Hello Graham,

Your more detailed description of the water-tank measuring box sounds simpler (and less scary) this time around. And by the way, I was only joking about the 3D Laser Scanner. :slight_smile:

A time limit was mentioned mostly because Footys tend to be replaced more frequently than your typical R/C model yachts. Perhaps this is due to their small size, the fact that they are frequently cheaply constructed, or maybe because their skippers happen to be so much more enthusiastic about the class that they constantly want to build something new. I would not have any objection to there being no time limit on the grandfathering of existing boats. If you can keep Moonshadow in shipshape form for the next 20 years, more power to you. However, I do not think it would be fair for you to expect to be able to pop new hulls out of the mold forever should you desire to upgrade modify or rebuild on a whim or due to a disaster such as your cat knocking the boat off it’s shelf.

Whatever the outcome of this discussion or potential ballot issue, I hope you are able to enjoy your Moonshadow for a long time to come!

Bill Nielsen
Ft, Lauderdale, FL USA
AMYA #0835
Footy #835

Question; was it the boat that was exceptional or the helm ?Which begs the question; How fast is (the soon to be legendary)" Moon Shadow" ? Until we bridge the North-South divide we will not know whether there is any basis for the Hyperbole

Hi Moth,
spoke to Roger last week and he is giving the boat and internet course to his son Peter Stollery to sail. We are planning to have a ‘Footy face off’ in the evenings of the UK IOM Nationals at the end of August in Eastbourne.
This will be great fun as i know at least 3 ex IOM World Champions will be getting involved ( Brad Gibson, Martin Roberts, Trevor Binks and Zvonko ) Zvonko being the current Champion.
This will be a great advert for the Footy world and we will be drinking , betting and sailing and when it is all over we will go the pub and drink some more and argue about it amongst friends.
The outcome will be a BIG win for the Footy class.

WHY O WHY Do people have to go and try to change rules???

The rule is a box rule end of.

Try spending time building and sailing not trying to change things.

If you don’t like it , sail some thing else you’ll not be missed.


Hear hear Trev ~ sorry but I really cannot see what the issue is here

Bill, may be I am being too simplistic ~ I still fail to see what the problem is?
To me is it is very simple ~ a boat within the box - has to be able to demonstrate its abilities to fulfil the rules.

The fact that rudders that pass outside the box has been covered and as such they are not required to movetheir rudders.

So what is so demanding of skippers to expect them to build within the rules and as such - if they decide to go diagonal - its simple they have to comply

May be I am missing something - if so please forgive my oversight

Best wishes

what a great idea, congratulations Graham

Hi Andy,

First of all, the poll was created to get a rough idea of the opinions of the group regarding regarding the rules. There are several reasons someone might be dissatisfied with the current rule allowing diagonal boats. Many feel that a diagonally measured boat is exploiting a loophole in an attempt to gain an advantage (extra waterline length) over the other boats, regardless of whether or not that was intended by the originators of the rule. Others see the diagonals as creating needless complication and confusion within what should be a simple rule, and still others think that a rule is a rule, and should not be questioned.

Personally, I think that not only do any rules need to be as simple, brief, and easily understood as possible, but they also need to be equally applied to all boats, too. BECAUSE we allow diagonal measurement, we also have a rule that states that the rudders must be capable of full motion while in the measurement box (the “in full racing trim” clause, primarily aimed at rigs, but also applied to rudders). That seems simple enough, until we realize that a perfectly legal boat sitting fore & aft in the box, with it’s extended rudder protruding from the slot that is prescribed by the rules for the purpose, is prevented from having full motion of travel by the narrow width of the slot and the presence of the rudder gauge (also prescribed by the rules).

Solution? Exempt the boat with it’s rudder in the slot from needing full rudder travel. But now we are not applying the rules equally, because one boat’s rudder must be able to move, yet another boat’s rudder doesn’t have to. Now, the truth is, this could be fixed by the affected boat moving it’s rudder a wee bit to gain clearance in order to move, which in spite of claims by the experts, would have little noticeable effect on the speed or handling of the average boat, but moving the rudder can be difficult after the boat is built & decked. Another problem is the definition of “full motion”. With today’s computerized radios it would be easy to program into the transmitter, two rudder settings, one for the purpose of measuring, the other for racing, to be switched to once the boat is in the water. This action would be very hard to detect or enforce against.

There are two solutions to this particular problem, one easy one not. The easy one is to extend the rudder movement exemption to all boats, not just the ones with their rudders in the slot. This would hurt no one, be easy to understand and would be equally applied to all boats thus solving the problem with minimal fuss. One other thing, another motion being discussed, and apparently supported by a majority, that of removing all restrictions on rigs, will have far greater impact on the class than equally applying the rudder movement exemption. The not so easy solution would be to disallow diagonal measurement in the first place, which would satisfy the group who consider the diagonal boats to not be “cricket” in the first place, regardless if they were considered by the technical & rules committees.

So Andy, if you have gotten this far, you see that things are not as simple as they might seem…


A few cents from me.

I believe the diagonal boats should be alowed; but, if the design has failed to meet all the rules (such as the rudder cannot move because it’s jamed in a corner), it should not be legal. That’s common sense to me.

The box is a great challenge to experiment with. Some come up with simple ways of fitting the box rule, some come up with more in-depth ways of fitting the box rule, and some come up with some off the chart methods of fitting the box rule.

None should be penalized for their sucess (unless it fails one of rules).

As for rigs, it must be open. Any type, any size, and leave it to wind-gambling to dictate sucess. If the sailor chooses wright, congrats. If the sailor chooses wrong, lesson learned. :wink:

No Bill.

The special variation of the rule is not for rudders of diagonal boats, but for honest old familiar ‘through the slot’ rudder.

This problem raised its ugly head before the first diagonal boat (Moonshadow, I believe) was designed. It was put forward in a moment of lucidity by John Flahive (aka Waboats) in a request for interpretation. The result appears at http://footy.rcsailing.net/Misc/rudder_rules.php .

Note item 3 of the Decision :
The box is to be taken as a notional set of plane surfaces. Any intersection with the physical fabric of the box shall be regarded as a practical problem on which the class association should provide guidance, and not per se grounds for illegality.

In the event, at the last revision of the rules the Technical Team decided that the best practical solution was to grant a specific exemption to ‘through the slot rudders’ in order to achieve the result originally intended.

The resulting amendment was put to the membership in last year’s ballot and, so far as I recall, was passed unanimously. I regret that you were unable to parrticipate (:devil3:) .



In the USA, a law is not considered to be a good or valid one unless it it applied equally. The class rules are “Laws” governing the Footy class, and section B.5 is clearly not intended to be applied equally. I’m not arguing that it does apply to diagonal boats, clearly by it’s wording it does not. My argument is that it is a “bad” law that the wording of which should be reconsidered. It may have been voted on in last year’s ballot, but that does not make it a good law, especially in light of all the other mistakes and questions raised by that particular ballot. That motion, was presented to the membership as “merely housekeeping” to clean up the oversight that a legal boat with it’s rudder legally placed in the slot, was prevented by the design of the box from having full rudder travel. After thinking long and hard on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that any vote on article B.5 is clouded, because all of the pertinent facts (some of which I have presented on this Forum) were not presented to the membership in the description of that motion. It calls for the arbitrary and unreasonable enforcement of the “in racing trim” clause against all boats that do not place their rudders in the prescribed slot. Quite honestly, I also think that the racing trim clause as it applies to rudders does little to improve the class, other than to invalidate and complicate the otherwise simple concept of “If it fits the box, it should sail”.

In the US, bad or questionable laws are upheld, appealed, amended, or thrown out by our Supreme Court every year. What I am asking for here, is a chance to correct a badly conceived rule, by presenting the facts that support a motion to be placed on the ballot to clarify the wording of B.5 so that it applies to ALL boats equally, not just the apparently preferred “rudder-through-the-slot boats”.

Also, with your intimate knowledge of the class and it’s rules making processes from the time of inception, can you please clarify the matter of the motive for including the original “in racing trim” clause in the rules. Obviously, it was intended to limit something, but to me it seems to have been aimed at limiting the diagonally measured boats that you and others so vigorously defend. The same boats which apparently are also a bone of contention with a large portion of the class membership, I might point add.

By the way, even though I have one under construction myself, and my proposed wording change to B.5 might suggest that I speak in favor of them, I don’t support the position that diagonally measured boats should be within the rules. It’s pretty obvious from all the heated discussions past and present, that this decision has complicated things, rather than made them simpler.


Hi just for fun , in the USA what are three words that go with sailing.


How about “Most-Money-Wins!” ?


money will never compesate lack of ability