Extra-long Footys (RG65's)

This is a bit off-topic, I suppose, but some of you might find it interesting.

Some months ago, Scott Spacie asked me to design an RG65 for him. After talking it over, we agreed that the things we had learned from our Footy racing experience should apply well to the RG65 class. After all, it’s basically a “Two Footy” at 650mm.

I felt that both hulls and rigs could be up-sized to make an RG65, so Scott went to work on the rigs, and I got busy with hull design. The resulting boats were based on the Cobra series, and they used McRigs…In fact, our RG65 ‘C’ rigs were actually our biggest ‘A+’ Footy rigs with a new (temporary) class insignia drawn in place of the Foot.

Scott built the first boat and was pleased with it’s handling. Jim Linville got in on the act and built the second one. I finally got around to building the third. The hulls were all a bit different, but the rigs were identical. All of us had the same reaction the first time we put our boats in the water…they tracked beautifully and handled great. But were they fast?

Of course, the only way to find out is to race against the best. So off we went to Albuquerque for the RG65 Nationals.

You can see the results on the RG65 USA Yahoo forum. We placed 3, 5, and 6. Eric Rosenbaum, the defending champ, finished first. John Fisher, Star 45 National Champion finished second. Not bad for the first time our boats saw competition.

I think we demonstrated that Footys are indeed serious racing boats, and that our solutions to the design challenges of our little boats work well for transitioning into bigger classes. When I proposed growing a Footy instead of shrinking an IOM, it got virtually no attention on the RG65 forum. Until now, the boats in the RG65 class have been mostly down-sized IOM’s or 1/2 Marbleheads.

I think they’re paying attention now.

So we accomplished our goals, proving the viability of Footy-based hulls driven by big McRigs (thanks Brett) and generating some excitment with a different approach. In fact, we accomplished all our goals except one…we had hoped to finish 1, 2, 3.

Stay tuned for next year :wink:


I believed in you Bill. Great Job! I need to finish my next RG65.


Time to take it to the next level Bill,been watching and have some ideas.
Good job you guys…

Not to take away from your great regatta finishes, I do need to point out that one Nationals does not a winning design make … or something like that. Basically, there have been two events in New Mexico and of the two this is the first “nationals” - so while a win is a win, and 14 boats raced - in effect this is still in it’s infancy here in the US. We really haven’t enough finished boats to run/host any regional events, and other than the New Mexico “band of brothers” there isn’t too many (any?) local clubs including the boat so while interest is high, we still have a lag in building.

To be sure, once a few “markers” are placed on the table some will focus on the design and it’s various modifications. As I understand, the wind was mostly light to medium, and narrow hulls (as demonstrated in the US 1 Meter class) would be the logical choice to pull from an inventory of various designs if one were to have that ability. The questions yet to be answered is how the boats (narrow or wide designs) will fair if winds are across the board - and if waves are present in a “open” water regatta.

Because we have so many rig size options, it is hard to compare an IOM design that has evoled to be able to be competitive in “all” wind conditions with only a rig change - to the RG65, 36/600 or US 1 Meter classes where boats are built based on the “expected” winds where races are held.

What I did find rather exciting is to see boats doing so well with flatter panels compared to round bilge boats. Again - not trying to demean your wins - but just pointing out the event just puts pressure on some of the skippers who could not attend to better tune their boats, and get some water time between available (or new) designs - frankly I’m not so sure Eric would be ready to dump his Little Best - as one could point to Eric’s boat and proclaim …“see, it was an M design that has proven itself in RG65 disguise”.

I am looking forward to seeing the designs of the Footy Class “morph” to the large “2-Footy” size and congratulate the three of you for your wins. Great to see your efforts (gamble?) paid off.


Ummmm - that all said … where can I find the plans for a design called Cobra? :stuck_out_tongue: :wink: :bag:

Thanks Dick…I think :slight_smile:

I didn’t mean to imply that my designs are the only way to go, but they proved that they are a valid direction, and one worth further development. I thought Footy guys would like to know that our experience is valuable in other classes, too.

I’m confident (based on Footy experience) that my boats will handle a variety of wind conditions, but, as you point out, no boat is perfect in all circumstances. I make no claims beyond what has been stated…that they sail well, and that they performed well at the best venue we had available to test them.

BTW, Eric has requested plans for the Cobra that Jim sailed, and John Fisher has asked for Ranger.


Well then - there you go… !

Mine was not to demean in any way your efforts or results, and it will be fun (and educational) to see how upscale and downscale works out in the future. Besides, in the future we can hopefully discuss over some adult (or not so adult) beverages. Keep on - Keepin on!

Cheers, Dick

I have on my bucket list (or as my next step on sailing) to move to the RG-65 class. Due to being practical, economical and scratch buildable. I built a Razor 3 from Bill and also a Harpy and I could tell that the Razor has a more sleek racing line with the narrower hull. What would happen if you strech the razor 3 to Rg-65 rules? Are ther any special considerations to keep in mind when going this way? (mmm i know, maybe I should just go ahead and give it a try!!) I have no idea of nautical design but in my world (model sailplanes) streching is better than shrinking.

Bill, now you have me all intrigued with the cobra plans!!


Well done all of you! It is exciting and I for one found your report stimulating. Did you get any sense of whether the larger designs are easier to build and sail?
Yes, PLANS pleeeaase! McRigs rule. Wonder how well one would work on a full size yacht?!

For those who are interested, I just posted some shots of seven different boats in the RG65 section of RCSailing.net. Look under RG65 General Discussion / Boats of the 2010 Rio Grande Cup.


Interesting question, Chuck.

I think Footys are easier to build than the RG65’s. Though I used the same building techniques and materials (beefed up to RG65 size,) it takes a bit longer and costs a bit more. I think that’s especially true for the rigs. Footys are so small they can be built very quickly and cheaply. While not anywhere close to an IOM or M, RG65’s take a bit longer to build and cost more to build than Footys. And though they are small enough to transport easily, they are surprizingly larger than Footys…the extra foot of hull length translates into a much bigger rig, longer fin, heavier bulb, etc.

RG65’s sail beautifully most of the time, but so do Footys. Sailing upwind I think is pretty much the same for any boat. From my Footys to my Ms, they all track straight and sail hands-off when properly balanced and tuned. I think the RG65 is a bit more stable on a broad reach or run, though…the extra length makes it a little less twitchy in gusts than a Footy. Of course, that also means it takes longer to do a 360 turn with an RG65! The biggest Footy issue is diving on the run, and I found out that RG65’s are just as good at playing submarine as Footys are!

So there you go. In my opinion they are great boats, and I will always support development classes ahead of one-design classes. But I won’t be trading in my Footys.