Fully rigged (square rigger) RC boats

This has likely been asked a bunch on this forum, but whatever…I’m new.

Has anybody heard of a square-rigged RC sailboat? If so, do you know of a link to a website where somebody has done this?
I have a square rigger hull that I built years ago that I would love to turn into an RC sailer. Thanks



Look for any posts by “Hoghappy”

Vancouver Island

My dad made a square rigged merchant brig with a servo for the rudder. He had it set so he could jybe the sails onto the other tack and thus be able to go back and forth. The little blocks were loose enough to let the braces pass through.

Quite a challenge to make the braces work with servos, including the lower courses,(bottom square sails) and keep the scale look. I imagine and arm winch that basically swings in concert with the yards via the braces.

Try the vintage model yacht site.

Pretty cool project

I was thinking more about this after I posted, and I thought of a synchronous swing arm thing (see picture)

Download Attachment: mast.JPG

You could have the masts on bearings so that they swing easily and put as many masts as you want onto one servo. The spars are just fixed to the mast so they don’t swing. It wouldn’t take much torque to swing them since the wind isn’t acting on as big a lever arm as with a schooner rig. The other servo could control the rudder. I’m not sure about the jibs, but you could probably just set them to tack and live with the speed losses. What do you think?



I like your idea with the turning masts. nice and simple. Another way might be to think of it sortof like Chinese Lug sails except the sails swing across instead of fore and aft. You ccould have braces going from the ends of the yards which converge into a single brace which then goes through a screw eye on the next after mast and then down through a hole in the deck to a winch. More scale like in appearance. You would also need the “Lifts” to stabilize the yards the other way. Not sure I made that clear.

Interesting project.

Check out the Douglas Boyle stuff at:


Several people have made these with R/C controls and report they sail very well.



Someone call my name…[:-pirate]

I like the tandum servo idea…my only concern would be how strong will that servo need to be to turn those masts in a high wind situation?

The situation on my ship is one square/gaff sailed mast (fore) and one gaff rigged (main) so you don’t need to turn both masts.

Because you don’t want rotate the masts on this ship (due to the gaff sails), the fore mast yards (square rigged and hooked together via lines and rubber bands on each end of the yards) are controlled like this:

2 Sheets tied off to ends of the dual arm servo.

The sheets run through sheet blocks (pulley), under the deck, on each side of mast.

The sheets then travel up through polypro tubes in the deck.

The sheets then run up to the point (brace) on the back of the mast needed to be the same height as the main yard. The brace has a sheeve (brass wheel) on each end that the sheet runs through to change it’s direction from up to forward toward the yard.

The sheet then runs to and attaches to a rubber gromlet that connects, via the hole in the gromlet, to open hooks on the back of the yard.

So…the servo pulls the arm via the sheet which ever way it is told to.

The sheet slack is controlled by hooking a standard fishing weight to the sheet between the sheet block and polypro tubes below deck.

I have a new site up on the ship and can take more detailed shots of whatever if you need them. Check it out at:



Always choose the lesser of the two weevils!

Interconnect the each yard from the foremast, to the mainmast to the mizzen and you only have to “pull” with your sail servo on one masts yards. When you pull on one you pull one, you pull the others. Freesailers do it.
For example, one is of the USS Constellation, radio control, with foremast, mainmast and mizzen sails interlinked and a free sailer, the Soleil Royal and the San Felipe with sails interlinked.
Hope that helps.