FootyCAT Build Log

Well I finally decided that i really had to start from scratch and re build a Footy Catamaran to meet the current rules.

The first FootyCAT I took up from a local club member who thought it might be fun to do a cat having seen my 507 on the local lake.

His concept was in ply with lots of bulkheads that got in the way of all sorts - so in the end I decided to start again.

From the little time I had managed to get it to work I realized that the hull needed a goodly rocker.

I had spoken to Gary Sanderson about his famed “Duck” & “Thintrekka” with their delightful fiberglass hulls very light…

So I decided to have a go for FootyCAT. Andrew Halstead expressed his fondness for Blue foam and as I had a lump that I had liberated from a skip, I hacked away at it till I had a design I liked.

Next I covered it in cling-film and proceeded to try to cover it in strips wetting them - oh what a messy job - Gary I take my hat off to you.

Still it was my first time and hey I got a hull off the foam plug.

It was then that I realized that something was drastically wrong.
As the foam plug came out I realized it was deformed like it had melted???

I had forgotten the exothermic reaction of the resin and hardener… NUTS

Start again

More in next post

Well the next step was to reconsider my options whilst sanding the first hull of FootyCAT had reduced the weight, I knew that I needed to be so much lighter.

So I decided that I had to go to Vac forming.

This time I used MDF for the plug - I prepared the plug very carefully and thought that I had done a good job.

I took it to my local vac man crossing his palm with the necessary reddies, he put my plug through the process.

The 1st one was done with 1mm plasticard ~ it showed how badly i had prepared the plug ~ I was ok about it though because this was my 1st time and we all make mistakes right ~ but hey its fun trying …

So we did another but this time with 1.5mm now this was a whole different ball game. Yes it still had the imperfections but it was no where near as bad.

More on the next page

Now dont get excited and expect BIG BOOBS just be satisfied with my commenrary and keep your mind on the subject please.

Right where was I ~ ok so I cut the hull from the waste and (using my Goop) stuck a thin off cut round the inside of the hull so as to form an inwhale.

I reused the keeles and rudders from the originla FootyCAT (no point in not recycling) and installed them into the 1st hull.

Oh ya man :cool:

Looking good. :zbeer:

Thanks Nigel

So the next step was to put a Keel support in, again this was done from scrap with a slot cut in the middle to go over the top of the keel and then slipped under the inwale where it is “Gooped” in place.

The deck was installed over size, with goop round the gunwale and then applied upside down to the deck.

Once the goop had set, I then trimmed off the excess and installed the rudder tube


Looking very good - is this within the 6 inch box?

Have you discovered the solvent glues which weld styrene? Details available if required (ca va sans dire). They are water-thin, applied with paintbrush and wick into joints.

All my hulls are done with epoxy resin - not polyester. Epoxy is much cooler in the cure (it takes longer) and doesn’t eat foam at all! Also the smell is less with epoxy - the wife will complain, but not leave:D


So now i had the enviable task of making it fit the box with a cross section that had to house the electronics.

I considered a simple box but then thought it needed something else so once again I took to the MDF and constructed a compartment and hatch that I then had vac formed.

Things were now moving at a pace as I hoped to have FootyCAT at least ready for Bourneville this weekend even if not to compete.

So using my special Goop, I attached the centre trampoline and my adjustable mast point.

I then fared off the keel with some Miliput and once dry, a lick of gloss black to blend it in

A bit of overtime in the workshop after work should allow me time to sort out the servos etc.

Happy daze

looks very nice! What kind of rig are you planning for this? Most multihulls use a very small jib, just to help with tacking, which seems to be a problem with smaller multihulls. I don’t want to rain on your parade, but you do know that this isn’t allowed under footy rules, right? If your just building a cool boat, right on, but I would probably expand the beam a little. It would help with resisting knockdowns. I wonder how a mcKormick rig would do on this boat? I’m very interested in seeing this sail, so get her in the water!

Hi there ~ there is nothing in the Footy rules to say I cant do it, that is unless you know different?

My sliding mast step is designed to accommodate an assortment of rigs and I plan to give her a try at Bourneville so long as I get away from this PC to fit the electronics


Just which part of the rules says you can’t build a catamaran ?

The main rule restrictions are still the box dimensions and the rig sizes.

Rule D.1 specifically mentions . . . . non removable part of the hull(s) . . . which at least implies acceptance of more than one hull.

Similarly, Rule E.2 mentions . . . . Except for rudder(s) . . . . which implies acceptance of more than one rudder. Because there are only slots in the middle of the box end panels then if 2 rudders are used they will have to remain wholly inside the box and be capable of rotation as defined by Rule B.1 and B.5

Sail rigging may well prove more challenging on a catamaran but there are no rules which limit the number of sails used, be they in tandem or parallel to each other. The only significant sail restriction is still only to the height of the smaller of the two sails used when racing.



Complies in all respects with the rules.
All that now has to be revealed is how well she sails?
I dragged myself away from the PC long enough to finish the electronics so full steam (wind) ahead for Bournville

I set my self a target of a full up weight of no more than 300g
Just put it on the scales all up including rig … 299g! Close or what!

In the words of some one close to our hearts
He who dares sometimes wins.
He who doesn’t always looses

Andy - I second the sentiment!

Is that an antenna tube trained alongside the mast position adjustment fixture?

My guess is that you will need larger rudders, cats are harder to turn than monohulls. Don’t be disappointed with less than stellar results, you are breaking new ground here and we are all keenly curious.

I wish you luck in your trials!

Well Neil you will be pleased to hear that FootyCAT took to the water for the first time today to the Whoops of delight of the Footy skippers who attended the Bournville Open Footy meeting today.

Due to the 15mph+ winds I decided only to put a small McRig on from another Footy but one that I knew the CoE of and so could adjust the sliding mast position.

She had more of an immersed transom than I would have liked - however this is due to me trying to make a scale Hobie Tiger and using the trampoline as a compartment for the electronics this puts far more weight aft than would be normal.

I had also changed the shape of the hull in two ways

  1. To increase the rocker to assist turning
  2. Reducing the height of the transom

I clearly now realise that No.2 was a mistake and as this is a first it was always going to be an experiment so the next plug I make will seek to rectify this but clearly it will then not be scale.

The biggest discovery of the day was that I do not need keel weights.
I had always thought that this would be necessary for self righting.
Reality is that whilst the hull cuts the water well, it was never intended for a MacRig and its position depresses the bow some what more than normal but its stability is amazing.

On a couple of occasions, I brought the hull up after I had taken the weight off and it just went back OK. Now how this will react with a bigger rig is yet to be seen. However I am satisfied that a CAT is a Footy possibility, I just need to persevere with my experiments.

Its all part of the FUN.

Photos I hear you cry ~ I was way too busy with the sticks, however there were other snappies who have promissed to forward me their results. When I get them I will post them.

Neil no its not an antenna mast I work 2.4 wigglies ~ its part of the mast socket

Well Andy, Bravo! Sounds like a good maiden voyage so stop posting and get building!

Oh Neil you are so pushy ~ I’ve hardly had time to draw breath before I was back out of the door this morning helping Clevedon MBC to set up the scale steering event.

Photos have arrived so enjoy


Well he would be - Pushy

She looks good and “different” on the water. best of luck with the ongoing development of rigs, etc to get the best out of her.

With very light ballast she will prolly behave very differently - and accelerate/decelerate fast. This might be a great advantage, but might take some planning in tacking:D

Have you got a telescopic slidy-inny-outy mast foot?
(Question abt Turborix 2.4wigglies Rx : could you tell me the absolute max width? What slot would one fit into complete with servo plugs and no crystal? - TIA)

BTW - down your way - don’t you use a servol to move the rudder?
I’m inspired to have another heave with SoapFoot - also legal in every respect (natch)

Andy :zbeer:,

Congratulations on building the first working Footy catamaran. It is something that needed to be tried, and it will be interesting to see if provides an advantage.

One thing to watch out for: if it flips in a gust, it will be stable in the upside-down condition. Always sail it with a nearby means of rescue.

AWESOME - Big Congratulation on the new FootyCat.


Any inquires already by others to build one as well?
Do you have some plans for this model somewhere?

Thank you for your support and the kind words.

This evening, I cut new compartment and hatch plugs, stripped out the old hulls of electronics etc, however I had made too god a job of sticking the boat together and had to toss the whole thing out in favor of trying to patch it up.

I am going to try the same hulls (new) with no keels and a flat deck for the proto but with a modified central section.

This will be attached to the hulls with “Zapp-a-dappa” and thus allow me to unstick and relocate it to tune the location for balance with out destroying the hulls.

Once this has been done, I will then plan to make a plug for the deck so that, like the real thing it can shed water easily.

Andrew, please forgive me, but what cristal??? <Inane mega GRIN> its 2.4Ghz… dims when i avamo - and yes XYL likes my telescopic slidy-inny-outy thing.
(XYL Ex-Young Lady) (amateur radio speak for Wife)

Plans not just at the moment though I am CAD qualified so might be considered, kit ???. if I can get it right, may be if I were pushed

More as I do it.