Footy Box question

The drawing of the footy box on the class rules sheet shows the rudder allowance gauge located at the side of the rudder slot. Is this gauge intended to be fixed in this position? Or is the idea simply to measure the rudder extension limit?


Answers; YES & YES.:graduate:

If your FOOTY does not have an outboard rudder then you would not need to have the gauge fitted.
If you were building a box for use in a club or regatta enviroment then having it fixed there would be best.:zbeer:
It is solely for the measurement of overhanging rudder size so afixing it to the box would help prevent any silliness during measuring.:devil3:

You choose.:scared:

Yes this would be for club use and is a question relating to the box in general because it’s position could affect possible legal (or otherwise) development of the rudder. So the gauge may be best fitted at the edge of the slot but it would still be a legal box with the gauge as a seperate item (which would save it getting knocked off too).


Graham, I am sure the rudder measurement gauge would work just as well if it was removable, provided it was oriented in exactly the same spot each time it was refitted. (hence my referance to silliness) :smiley:

Posting here because the thread title of “Footy Box question” seems close to the mark…

I believe there is now a request in for a rules interpretation on whether more than one rudder is permitted. Some of us just assumed all along that you could have more than one, so long as at most one of them projected outside the box through the “rudder slot.” I guess I don’t see any real problems with allowing multiple rudders, but maybe the interpretation should be that one rudder per hull is allowed, and multiple hulls are permitted, always subject to complying with the box rule. This would beg the question of just what constitutes another hull, but is it really all that big a problem if someone wants to hang six rudders on his Footy and declare that he has six hulls?

It seems to me that there is an obvious bifurcation in intentions behind the Footy rules: keep the boats simple so that they are a good way for beginners, especially youngsters, to get into the hobby; and keep the rules open for the widest possible experimentation within the simple limitations of fitting inside the small box.

These two intentions are not necessarily opposed, so long as one does not insist that beginner-suitable boats have to be competitive with expensive, expert-built boats.

As it is, the Footy is good for youngsters because adequately strong hulls can be made from balsa sheets covered in tissue and varnished or painted. The radio gear can be the cheapest made. The small size implies that inexpensive materials can be used for rigs as well. Footys are more difficult to sail than larger boats, but the low cost and possible simplicity of construction make them among the best for youngsters getting started. Besides, a swimming pool that just won’t work for anything more than the simplest test of a larger boat can be used for Footy regattas, even if quarters are a little tight. Add a fan, and an indoor pool regatta is not out of the question.

It seems clear that the intentions behind the open-ness of the rules are to encourage exploration of design possibilities. This is great, seems to me, although it also means some will spend extra trying to gain advantages by designing complex hulls, rigs, and gear. If that’s what floats their boats :slight_smile: , I say let them. We can learn from their efforts.

If funny-shaped catamarans should turn out to dominate in races at some point in the future, then we can consider splitting into two classes, one for the funny-shaped catamarans and the other for box-rule Footys that can have only one hull.

My two cents…

Mike Biggs

It’s well to keep in mind that almost all development class rules, full size and model, that attempt to promote innovation and simultaneously encourage beginners fail sooner or later. What happens is that designers find the “corner” or “sweet spot” of optimum tradeoffs, the designs converge, and producing a superior boat becomes a materials game, which prices all but a wealthy few out of the class. If you read Ray Clough’s original writeup on the Marblehead Class rules it sounds very much like what you’re trying to do with Footies, and today the class is the Formula One of model yachting. It looks like the IOMs are headed in the same direction.

All kinds of things have been tried to counter this: materials restrictions, cost limits (to get a Sonderklasse certificate in the early 1900’s you had to produce the receipts for the materials in the boat), minimum weights for this and that, and on and on.

The classes that seem to stay affordable the longest are the one-designs. Boats like Snipes and Stars are still actively campaigned while the development classes of their era are moribund. Perhaps something to consider would be a Footy One Design, like the ODOM, that would be both a legal Footy and the basis for a one-design class.

Just a thought.



Everything that Earl says is, as always, correct.

Some countervailing points.

Restricted classes have (more or less) limited lives. However, Many one designs also fall by the wayside at an early stage. In the British dinghy boom of the 50s and early 60s there were all sorts of things - Wineglass, Welsh One Design, Wildcat, just thinking of 'W’s - that probably never got past 10 boats. The more you restrict the boat at the outset, the less likely you are to find one tha appeals to the customer.

It is also my impression that one-designs appeal to the idle. Instead of plotting all winter how to rule-cheat a little bit better, the one-design owner comes down in spring, subs some polish over the topsides and pops off for a quick spin round the bouys.

I suspect that this lesser committment makes the one design owner more subject to the flioghts of fashion. In the mid-70s in Royal Ocean Racing Club ran a design competition for 3 categories of offshore one dsign. All designs were to be complete commercial packages with builder, finance, etc.

All three winners were perfectly decent modern boats with good builders. All went into production. The medium boat never caught on at all and disappeard. The largest one, the OOD 34, was successful for a few years with quite large fleets at Cowes. It was unfortunate that by an accident of size and performance several of them were caught in the most violent part of the Fastnet Race storm of 1979 and casualties were disproportionately high. Interest diminished rapidly. The last boat, the Impala 28 lasted in production for 7 or 8 years. Class racing does still happen but in an increasingly dsultory manner.

There again, there are things that were never intended to be one designs that become ones by accident. The Ruffian 23 was designed as a competitive quarter tonner, which it very nearly was, but is now actively raced as a one design with several fleets in its native Ireland. The price of a second hand boat is astronomical.

Of course the problem with any restricted rule is one of ‘the vision’. Everyone who devises a rule has it in mind what sort of boat it should ‘encourage’. The rst of the world tries to produce a rule that will beat the one that the rule designer had in mind. Since the latter is generally at least moderately conservative and is pitted one against many, the boat designers generally win. At this stage, one of three things happens: the rule goes on untrammelled and produces more or less desirable freaks. Alternatively, it is reigned in and produces a distinct type that is different from the original vision: depending on how the rule is managed, this may be desirable (30 sq.m Skerry Cruiser) or undesirable (IOR Whitbread Ketch). Finally, it may be reigned in very closely to preserve the initial vision (IOM).

the “funny shaped cat” sank. twice. i have toyed with the idea of a 12x6 tri… we’ll see, but in the immediate future, i don’t think we need to worry about protecting our calss from “funny looking catamaran thingys”:slight_smile:

Which was part of my point. Leave the rules open enough that folks can experiment wildly. There may well be people who will enter a development class believing that the best they can do is to make a micro-incremental improvement which will make their design a winner, but I doubt that’s the case for this class. If something wild turns out to be the specific thing every winner has to have, then the class can modify the rules as deemed necessary by the class at that time. The box rule seemed at the start to allow all sorts of innovation, and it still does, even if the powers that be rule against multiple rudders.

Not so by the way, we shouldn’t get too carried away with any of this, seems to me. The class is barely off the ground. So long as it is a fun class to participate in, there will be participants. When if becomes not so fun, it will die a natural death, only I’ll probably have moved on and will no longer care.

Mike Biggs

It was not funny looking…:slight_smile: Well at least not any funnier than any other footy…:stuck_out_tongue:

Now I sound like a father trying to defend his daughters honor…even if she is a dog…

And so you should Marc… there is nothing wrong with a little personal pride in our creations. I hope that this will be a place where the efforts of those who try something different will always be respected. Anyone who actually gets something on the water has already earned that respect whatever the outcome in my opinion. One sinking cat is worth a thousand Freeship files in my book.

I am looking forward to your next effort Marc.

Yo ho

I wholeheartedly second Graham’s posting. I believe the only way we learn what we can do with Footys is on the water! While I greatly respect the knowledge of yacht designers, we know that not everything translates to model size…and since most of what we know about what works on model boats is for the ones a good 3 times the size of a Footy, I’m not convinced that all of that applies either.

Build 'em, sail 'em, and show us!!!

put me inthere as supporting marc. to go out and do something totally different, and then share your findings like a man, it doesn’t get anybetter than that. rock on!:slight_smile:

I am curious about Bill’s comments on yacht design. The basic mechanics of naval architecture and the basics of fluid dynamics are the same irrespective of size. Some the the vaguer bits such as velocity prediction programs that are based on empirical data do get vague to the point of unusability at extremes of scale, but Archimedes remains Archimedes, Bernoulli remains Bernoulli and Froude remains Froude.

I agree that look and feel count for a great deal in the design of yachts. Probably the greatest designer of all time, Nathaniel G. Herreshoff - who was an engineer if he was anything - designed the hulls of his highly successful America’s Cup defenders by carving them from a block of wood.

However, withiut wishing to be any more of a know-it-all than usual, I do think that the standards of Footy design and building might be improved by a little more boring old-fashioned calculation. We would then have a little less of boats coming out grossly overweight or under-ballasted because the target displacement is not known, disappearing cats etc.

The cheapest book on the subject of hydrostatic calculations of Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design of which a paperback reprint of the first edition is readly available. Even if you have computer drafting software that does the job for you, this helps to understand what the numbers mean and what values are within the bounds of sanity. It may well be that at Footy size you can go beyond conventional limits, but it is as well to know that you are doing so and why.

Just a thought. I now wait to be shot down in flames by the empirical expressionist school!

Angus, I FULLY agree (scary, huh) and, of course, I’m not making my boats without at least an understanding of the basics. I hate to see builders dissapointed with their attempts when some basic calculations would have indicated the design was not feasible.

I’m not claiming to have any design mojo here. What I meant to convey was that there isn’t any readily available research on boats this small, so the a**umptions we are liable to make based on our experience with other boats may prevent us from seeing possible solutions for Footys.

As a recent example, take the discussion of wetted surface in the FootyUSA forum. The assumption is that less wetted surface is good. All other things being equal, that makes sense, but there may be other design aspects that are much more important to good Footy performance.

As you well know, regardless of the laws of hydrodynamics, etc., the design of a boat is game of tradeoffs. In the model yachting world, some design practices have become accepted as “good practice” because they have been shown to work…but they are based on bigger boats with different handling challenges. Maybe the different nature of Footys means we’ll need to find our own “good practice” that results in the best tradeoffs for overall performance…within the bounds of sanity.

Bill H