Future of the Footy Class

Angus (or wallace&gromit, as I think of you now:sly: ) if you’re in touch with Richard again, I would love to see the technical articles or a link to where they are posted. careful with that CA. and not to be too demanding, where is that drawing of the footy gooseneck made of circlips and clevis?

Hi Angus,

That was a great response from Richard. I agree with his comment that rigs are more difficult that hulls. Perhaps the commercial market for footies lies in making rigs. A system that allows fine adjustments would attract my $$.

Do you have any idea what their usuall Footy course was? Length? Richard’s experience in that arena would help us as we try to figure out fleet courses. Well, around here, we still need more than 1 Footy too.


I will negotiate. Unfortunately he’s a bit deaf and doesn’yb like talking on the phone! Soutwater club have 18 Footies (I think) and I’m going to try to get themto conduct a fleet experiment.



We’re getting some feedback, butnot all that much. Don’t be the ‘mid-boat nark’ of the future. Let’s have some more input from moe people.

Richards comments are most interesting.

Richard is, of course, one of the early adopters of Footys and has a lot of experience with them. The things he mentions with regard to Footy performance and handling difficultys parallel my own experience. Unfortunately, it sounds like his club kind of stagnated on development.

The Footys I’m currently sailing (Razor and American Footy) have overcome most of the problems Richard mentions. Hull and rig designs have improved to the point where the boats can be sailed hands off on most tacks in most conditions. Light air performance is greatly improved with the larger rigs. My wife, who has a total of about 1 hour stick time over a 5 year period, had no trouble sailing my Footy the other day while I was helping another skipper. There’s no reason why people should have trouble learning to sail, or get discouraged sailing, a well-designed Footy.

The really neat thing about what I just said is that we’re still only scratching the surface of what I believe is the full potential of these boats. There’s so much to learn and experiment with that we can have fun for years to come!

Bill H

p.s. John, study the pics in FootyUSA for rig set-up ideas. My rigs have all the same adjustments that my bigger boats have, including a topping lift, which I can’t put on my Soling 1m!

Yes an interesting post by Richard, thankyou for relaying that Angus.
It does give an insight into something I am very aware of having sailed with four different clubs in the UK… inertia.

I was a little suprised to read of the ‘difficult handling’ especially as it related to light weather. I suspect though that as I have come into Footys just recently I am seeing what may be termed ‘second generation’ Footys. From the moment of launch my own proto. Kittiwake tacked hands off either way and sailed all points without wandering. I make no secret of the fact though that Bob-about and Razor were my study material as they obviously both sailed well. So I had good teachers.

So maybe the difficulties were mostly rig related? In my travels I have seen some quite awful attempts at sails and rigging. If you consider the apparent complexity of rigging to a beginner you will appreciate that there is lots of scope to go wrong! My kit builders appear to be achieving satisfying results in varying conditions (as reported elsewhere, RCG) so Tallastro you could well be right that being supplied with ready to use sails and a fully controlled clearly described rig is the key.

Please forgive a little market research here… (or delete if you don’t like it sir);
I have been offering ready to use Kittiwake sails since starting ‘scalesailing.com’ but have had only a few takers. If I were to offer instead the Kittiwake rig… sails, aluminium mast, mast tube, wood booms, bowsies, ‘Stren’ rigging thread, ss hook wire, etc. plus instructions as a rig package would that be of more interest? This rig will work on the Bob-about and similarly laid out hulls too.

I am working on a carbon tube based ‘drop in upgrade’ rig also.

So chaps… am I wasting my time or would hull builders desire such rigs?


Richard sent me some photos of his setups to post on the forum,they are much to large to post here.
The Southwater club seems to have stayed with the “BobAbout” design in a sort of one design class.
Richards suggestions are good but are pretty much a given for any class of boat if you want to be on the pace.These small boats magnify any mistake in building and tuning.They are harder to “sort” than bigger boats,that being said I love the challenge of getting it all right and that is certainly a big attraction of this class to me.

Much has happened since I published “Bob”,the current boats that are being built and tested are much much better than “Bob”

“BobAbout” will always be special to me,I have kept the boat totally original as I first built it.
“BobAbout” was the first boat I designed and built after the death of my Father…RIP Bob. To have been so sucessful in bring the Footy class to fruition and having so many sisters built has been most rewarding.

The next generation of Footys will surely show what these little boats are capable of,stayed tuned.

Southwater do actually have two ‘home-brewed’ one offs - including the winner of last year’s Footy design competition.

Anyone else have any thoughts on the future of the Footy class? What do yiu want the Footy Class Association to do for you?

Please put your 2c worth in!

Being new to r/c sailing and sailing in general, I’m not sure what I expect to get out of this or the future of Footys. I’m already enjoying sailing my Footy and chatting with folks, some in far off places, about building and making the Footys perform better. It’s a nice sense of community. I really like the Internet course and scoreboard ideas. Worldwide fleet races would be fun too. And “fun” might be the key ingredient to this class.

However we proceed, having fun should be the first priority. It should be fun for first time builders and skippers. It should be fun for seasoned pros. We can still follow serious racing rules but we want to have serious fun. The corinthian ideal I’ve read about with sailing is a nobel goal. It seems a bit stuffy for the Footy Class. My college fencing team was focused on fun and we regularly beat quite a few sober, serious teams.

So that’s my $0.02. If we have fun and follow tomohawk’s “sail honest” principle, we’ll grow this class and have something to be really proud.

tallastro (still smiling after breaking his Footy today):tand:

Tallastro: that is the most sensible and cogent posting in this thread.

The Footy is (or should be) an entry level boat - or at least the first one that does come out of a plastric package. This means there will be lots of people like you. They want interest and they want FUN.


I think that the proposed international scoreboard could be a very important element in that fun. It doesn’t really matter whether the fleet racing element is ideally conceived SO LONG AS EVERYONE CAN FIND THEIR OWN PRIVATE ENEMY OR ENEMIES - the ‘equally incompetent Belgian’.

It is not specifically a means of producing world champions - more a league of club fleets. Unless someone can liberate the America’s Cup, I really cannot see prizes of any more worth than the title ‘Intergalactic Footy King’ actually making anyone do anything that they weren’t going to do anyway. Tallastro isn’t going to go seriously after a world title now - no matter what the prize. As he says, he has a lot to learn. But a needle match against another club in Colwyn Bay might give him a lot of entertainment.

I think that the scoreboard should be implemented and pushed if we can get someone to write the software. We also have three designs for a standard course - existing Internet, sunk string, sunk tube. There is no doubt that one or more of these will work. Let’s get the software boat cranked up.

Any feedback? Any views?

I was struck by John’s comments about the sense of community. That’s something that has been special for me since the first sight of a Bobabout hooked me on Footys. I contacted Brett, and started what has turned into a real friendship. As others got involved, the friendships expanded to include others…even those from such foreign and strange places as Northern England where they speak a strange dialect!

I know there are Footy owners who are missing that sense of community because there aren’t enough Footys out there yet for much local presence. I suggest that if you know of one, encourage that skipper to be part of the international Footy community by joining this forum. This is one of the really wonderful things about today’s technology, and I’m pleased and priviledged to be part of your community.

Bill H

"If I were to offer instead the Kittiwake rig… sails, aluminium mast, mast tube, wood booms, bowsies, ‘Stren’ rigging thread, ss hook wire, etc. plus instructions as a rig package would that be of more interest? This rig will work on the Bob-about and similarly laid out hulls too. "

I think, in response so that, the more accesible you make the fotty class the better for aiding its growth, and if it is very very easy to build a first bout, it is very very easy to a) have a fotty to add to that map and b)get into footys

Hi Chris? I guess you’;re a lot younger than some of us - possibly still running on your own teeth. This class needs young people. Any of your mates interested?

Now that Ian H-B has more or less perfected the Mk. II Internet course, we can go ahead on developing the Internet scoreboard.

Last time of asking before we start to produce final specs. Anyone got any good ideas or strong reservations?

Is the proposal to have one type of internet course or two?
One with a surface centre line and one with a submerged centreline. For time trials do we think times on both types of course would be comparable?


Perfected? one test by one man.
Ian must be a god:)

Things to try,
floating course as before but with detachable /clip on start line below the leeward mark.
Calvins solid course.
Ians course with the line to windward of the leeward mark (Grahams idea)
Discussion of the cost/complexity of various course options. original course is much cheaper to build and much easier to cart around.
More options will come up as we explore the ones above.
We need more people to try these various setups before commiting to one design I think.

Still need to discuss actual trypes of racing to be held…has a bearing on course design obviously.
(time trials,relays? fleet racing,what size fleets?(length of line) )

I think Ian agrees that there still is work in equalising the drag of the 2 bottom markers of his course? Ian, comments? do you think the course you built was “perfect”?

I think we are just at the start of this discussion myself…come on people,build and try out course designs and have your say in the future!!!

Ian must be a god:)
Funny you should say that as well as many others Brett.

Maybe not a god but certainly a bloody star,:king: :propeller and so modest with it.

Seriously though there is much more work to be done and then there is the decision on fleet racing using the internet course.

I have stated before and I will repeat it again, my opinion is, “the internet course is for solo timed runs only and any fleet racing should be done on your normal club course.”
Fleet racing should NOT be used as any sort of measuring stick amongst fleets from different locations.
It serves NO useful purpose.
Solo timed runs on the other hand are an easily measured and recorded standard by which any skipper can compare their performance against others.
My course was certainly not perfect and the modifications are just beginning.
Although god like, I am not the ultimate authority and my design is only one interpretation of the challange and there are others far more clever than me who have yet to publish their designs.
This GOD has spoken…:diablo:

As I perceive it the weakness of the timed run is that it very rapidly turns (as it has done) into a speed record attempt. Unless you are THe Best, there is no point in posting a result. I don’t think the man in the Austin 7 special would have posted a lot of results with Sir Malcom Campell around.

So pactical evidence shows it does not work as a means of bringing Footy’s together. If you don’t like racing between fleets over a standardised course, how are you going to do it? From what little feedback we have, relay racing has received more raspberries than the average pavlova. Or should we just roll over on our backs and abandon the whole project?

As a wise man once said, ‘Do not let the best be the enemy of the good’.