Footying radically

The immediate and experimental response to my gentle discussion of the disposal of AA cells has led me to conclude that we are being far too timid in footy design!

Are we or are we not in the Century of the Anchovy?

We race displacement boats limited in speed by the waterline length so that boat speed is inherenly limited. This is probably good for newcomers and the slow of eye and thumb (like myself) but is it aspirational?

Probably racing in scale water is never going to take off, but racing in frozen water would liberate some pace.
We have just hatched a family of shrimps where the eggs are dormant until water is added - they then grow at a rapid rate and paddle constantly with myriad legs - how about attaching a thin layer to the skin to provide subtle propulsion. This would have been ideal at Burton where there was NO wind, and the only motive power was ducks (and Gary’s rudder)
Negative poissons ratio material for the hull so that when the wind distorted the mast location the hull grows to say., one metre long, returning to the foot as the wind drops
Don’t accept the displacement limitation - ensure either
or hydrofoil
or totally non-displacement progress (submarine)
or create a wing foil of serious volume full of say, hydrogen and enable full foil-borne progress at all points of sailing.
Have we tried dolphin tape on footys?

I have not subjected these concepts to reality checks extensively, but am going to draw up a legal subFoot

There will be a few issues to iron out, sure…

Bother - forgot to mention water-swelling material, like cellulose so that a dry footy is a footy, and a wet footy is a marbleheid (as RCminiman might put it)

Wouldn’t the rig look unusual on a dry boat:D

Andrew! What the @#$% … I think if you continue in this vein, I will send you bottles of well aged fortification in payment … that said, does your accountant know what’s you’re occupying your gray matter at 9am on a Fri morning

I’ll have two of what he’s been drinking :sly:

With all this in mind I vote for variable displacement squid, unless of course you plan to indulge in endurance racing.

That’s illegal: the squid can only be variable displacement by using illegal means of propulsion.

after reading the original post, barrett’s brain starts to whirr and smoke… by the last post, he is in a dead heap, twitching on the floor, the possiblities were just too much…


You try telling a squid that its illegal to ingest and eject water, it’s one of his favourite occuopations. The variable displacement is incidental to the process. I see nothing in the rules that restricts organic Footy’s. Might have to put the ‘little devils’ on a strict diet so they won’t outgrow the box, servo location could also be a problem…as might rig placement…?

The rules say ‘the’ mast, keel, rudder, and sails. What about two masts, two rudders, two keels and one sail? (The McRig).
As long as everything fits within the box, you can have a scow with two angled rudders and daggerboard-style keels, with the ballast and the batteries and the sailservo etc located in a long narrow shallow central keel.

A scow with 2 keels, 2 rudders, batteries in the keel etc.
and after great exertions to get the image correctly sized!

please build that boat. it’d be cool:)

You lot have fervid imaginations!

Love the scow - please build

I love the idea of a trained squid (or cuttlefish) but it would probably have to be breathing out when tested in the box. Cephalopods are very intelligent - and most of them can change colour - I can’t see a direct use for this (yet) but would it be neat, or what to have a Footy what could signal back to the driver the windspeed directiion, etc. Also the squid has two long grasping tentacles (or is it ten grasping twotacles?) and at the start it might be possible to maximise ones advantage using these and t’other boats fins.

Just for the record I am as normal as the next man, but you wouldn’t want to meet him.
I have been described as “saner that an emu on acid” (with apologies to Douglas Adams) Those of us who have worked in the rail industry will know what an EMU is like on acid.

My original post has led my do do the initial design on a Zero Buoyancy Footy
(ZBF) which will work with conventional rig, but was originally conceived for a hydrogen-filled lift rig. Of course. Fireships are permitted, I think, under the rules?

I have attempted to draw this dream but it is, in fact easier to make than draw or describe.

In outline the hull is a perfect teardrop (at present) and lives on the bottom of the box. It contains the radio, servos and cells and is ballasted to about zero bouyancy.

Very fine Vertical hull extension with integral rudder leads upwards to carbon mast support . Rig for the non-radical version would be a low-aspect MacRig.
Since the thing has zero buoyancy there will (sadly) need to be a Buoyancy adjustor at the base of the mast.

This would superficially resemble a hull but is only a hydrodymnamic surface to control buoyancy at rest, when heeled and when running.

Can’t scan my drawings at home (scanner suffering from vista) - will scan or build and show you.

Question for Angus - do these marine design packages show hydrodynamic forces, pitch moments, etc?

The dynamics of the ZBF get weird - the roll centre is say 11 inches underwater and my entire intellect is working on the downwind pitch-down problem!:wink:

The whole ZBF is moulded CF, natch, with conformal lead ballast in the hull
Since its not a displacement craft the speed is limited only by drag and the ability of the poor pilot to stop laughing and work out which way its going.


wow radical would love to see it sail:):):slight_smile:

An Emu on acid eh ? Footy people have vivid imaginations. I like that. Actually, I have been looking at my Crest brand, electric toothbrush and thinking of an illegal propulsion system based on its’ tiny motor. The motor would wiggle the elastomeric rudder and no propeller would be evident. A real advantage in dead calm conditions.

In a recent phone conversation, a correspondent described his Footy that was marginally illegal. He had made one that was longer than 12" by placing it in the box dagonally. I think he was pulling my leg. Then there is a possibility for a folding Footy that will fit the box but telescope or hinge outward to a much longer boat.

I like the scow idea. It is either a catamaran or a loose interpretation of an M20 scow with its’ tunnel hull.

I’m not a footy person (yet). They are intrigueing enough to get my attention. Footys have the distinct advantage of being small enough to easily hide from ones wife or other non believers.

Ignorant question: What is the configuration of a Mac rig? The term is mentioned often on this forum.

Hi, messabout

Glad you are interested - thats how it starts.

The MacRig is also known as the Dunedin rig and the seminal information is shown here:

For what its worth the first two boats at Bournville sported well-sorted macRigs - one of them Gary’s is shown below. (the other boat is marginally illegal as a footy)

The rules only say that the hull has to fit into the footy box -not how. If you go for the diagonal then you will loose the allowance for poking bowsprits, bumkins and rudders out of the centreline notches!

Where are you in the world? and have you discovered a design that looks
A) fun
B) buildable?

Do you work in Stereo lithography by any change - or does anyone here?
My dream/nightmare would be ideal for SLM production of a prototype

The voices are still telling me to build radical Footys

The first step.

Since I couldn’t make a whole lot of sense out of the Bourneville results thread (although I found it very amusing nonetheless), I’d be interested in hearing more about the MacRig performance. I’m seeking info for an article in the AMYA MY mag.

I also find stereo lithography to be intriguing. I had a very interesting conversation with a designer for a local vacuum molding business while on a bus trip with my daughter’s ski club. It’s amazing what can be done with that technology.

Bill K

Bill, I was there but spent so much time guddling with my unsorted Razor and Litefoot I saw very little of the racing.

I can tell you that pics of the proceedings can be found at

I’m sure experts will be queueing up to contribute knowledge on macRigs



Friiuts of my imagination so far


footy rules don’t explicitly limit the boat to only one rudder: