This particular thread has drawn me out of the lair of my studies for the sole reason that I was one of those who made so much noise about design, and so, I figured I might as well chime in again. grins
It seems to me that the design of the “Footy-type” while far from being complete, has, to a large degree been steered by the type of racing that footydom tends to participate in. This design concept we speak of mainly concerns itself with racing Footys – meaning simply that the less competitive set of Footy owners will probably not change their design brief all that much due the outcome of this thread. This racing seems to very often end up being quite a bit of upwind/downwind work, with a very broad reach or two tossed in for good measure. (This type of racing indicates rather long, slender triangle courses, or even more slender windward/leeward courses, both of which seem to be standards for footy racing around the world.) This fact cannot be overlooked as we look at the things we know about footy design. Hulls with very narrow entries and slender forms go faster upwind when compared to a wider boat, and given that to date, Footys do not exhibit the capability to plane off the wind (or on any other point of sail for that matter :rolleyes: ) there is valid argument that a narrow boat also goes downwind in displacement mode faster than a blunt, leaf-like shape.
Given this aspect of the design brief I second many of the notes made by previous posters, a “long-hull” Footy is mathmatically more directionally stable, and has a greater waterline length on most (if not all) points of sail when compared to a design of broader girth and shorter length. I say mathmatically because the Footy is a boat that is so tender to sail to its performance limit, that the likelihood of the average sailor reaching that limit seems rather slim. Footys are hard to see at a distance, are very sensitive to changes in wind, wave, and control input, are quick to accelerate, and equally quick to stop. A skipper may have the most advanced Footy out there, but he will still be served up a steaming dish of humble pie by the oldest boat in the fleet if he cannot capitalize on his boat’s performance.
The hobby-horsing issue is one that, to my knowledge, continues to plague the design… Changes in battery rules and more wide-spread adoption of the long-hull Footy may help with some of this, but the problem remains, if a Footy hits a patch of short, steep chop, it is going to stop.
Downwind submarining was of old another foible of the Footy. While I have heard less and less about it as of late, I must assume that it is still an issue after a fashion, (although perhaps less of one than I imagine.) Obvious solutions have been to add buoyancy in the bow, and lower the aspect ratio of the rigs footys carry.
A final issue with the Footy has, in my experience, been the boat’s desire to lift its rudder from the water as it heels. While this has certainly been partially due to the width of several of the boats exiting the SMM ways of old, between submarining, hobby-horsing, heeling, stopping dead in the water, and the other myriad little things that our footy’s do, rudder effectiveness is not always what we would like it to be. Moving the rudder around the vessel has not been much examined due in part to the perceived benefits gained by having a large space between the keel and the aft-mounted rudder. Therefore, to combat ineffectiveness, footy rudders have become almost comically large affairs.
On these points, I believe, lie much of what the Footy is, as previously mentioned, current thinking seems to be pointed towards a slender, longer-than-12-inches boat, of medium rocker, with a narrow bow entry, a necessarily pinched tail (do to constraints of fitting into a box diagonally) carrying a mid-aspect rig (probably no taller than 16-18 inches… the first Bearfoot carried a 21" tall rig.) Freeboard is relatively high given the length of the boat, and the appendages are oversized and spade-like. Bulbs do not seem to have found a stable point as of yet, nor will they, I suspect, as many are cast at home in somewhat slap-together molds.
In all honesty, I do not believe that the “Footy-arch-type” has been found. Nor, do I believe that it will be in the terribly near future. The concept of a 12" long box is simply too wide-open to allow a type to form rapidly.
Alright… the troll has woken… and now must be put back to sleep in lieu of a calculus exam, an macro-economics class, and the torrent of other courses that steal time from more amusing endeavors. Until we meet again, farewell!:graduate::devil3::devil3: