Has anyone built Flatfoot?

Forgive me (footy newbie) if you have visited this before but has anyone made Flatfoot.

I came across the plan (well development) in the USAFooty group and it looks simple enough to be potentially interesting

I saw someone had made flatfoot on the Yahoo Footy page, I have also tried it but haven’t come up with a hull that I like yet. I recently tried it out using a manilla folder as hull material, but I mounted the transom crooked which messed up the rest of the hull, and the gunwales I used broke in a couple of places (1/8" x 1/8" balsa). The design comes out slightly narrow, but I imagine by using a wider transom you could correct that.

Also, make sure not to crease any lines, everything should be rounded! ( i think)

There is one apparently satisfactory Flatfoot in Boston, Lincs,.UK. I will try to get the owner to contact this forum.

Theres a Boston in the UK too? interesting

Yes, before beans were invented:)

But it has a stump

Originally St. Botulph’s Town. Handy for the Wash where King John lost the Crown Jewels. Could therer be an connecion?:graduate::devil3:

Did they ever have a “Tea Party” there?..sorry, couldn’t resist

Only in the garden of the vicarage of St. Botulph’s Church. You do know of course that it was nothing to do with tea taxes. The tea that went into Boston Harbour was the King’s private tea on which he personally had got a very good deal - and it had paid duty. Adams was a tea-smuggler whose margins were being undermined by the King’s cheap tea.

Angus, are you digging up conspiracy theories??? Tsk, tsk…

Easy on the GB/US thing.

We all know that the US will have their fling with independence (like any teenager) and return home slightly sheepish with lipstick and iraqui stickers on their luggage.

We can wait, and will forgive them (except for the microsoft dictionary)

Onyhow, whats this to do with Flatfooots?, oh yes, Boston.

When the book sed he lost the jewels in the wash I used to think that was a laundry problem:)

Hello everybody

I know that this post comes a bit late, but I’m new here and came over this thread only now. Back in 2007 summer while recovering after a hearth surgery I built a flatfoot using 1mm plywood. It was "powered " by an unarig sail. I was very pleased of its performance at that time. Here are some photos of building proces and a short sailing movie


It was a very fun experience for me. Thanks to mr. Ian HB for such a simple yet great design

Fair winds

A good-looking boat. I am curious how you bent the plywood. Did you have to heat it? I have tried similar things using styrene plastic sheets, which bend easily, but had difficulty with the glue joints separating. A more porous material (like plywood) would avoid that problem.


I used 1mm thick (3 layers) birch plywood wich proved to be enough flexible without need to wet or steam it. I used duct tape to holdthe joints in proper position during the cure of glue. As for the last one I used Bison epoxi glue (10 minutes cure time)

Fair winds

I would be interested in where you put the fin,position from Transom to Rear edge, width, depth and weight of lead, size of rudder and position of mast re fin. Those things look right on yours and it would be hard to guess that as I an a newbie. One Papaya III to my name.

Indeed, I have the same questions as UshCha.

My first Footy was a Flatfoot hull, combined with all the rest from the Papaya. (Due to the lack of other info on Flatfoot)
As I didn’t know anything on sailing at that time, this combination was a failure.
Yours does actually sail! (Mine didn’t. It just went sidewards)

I used the Flatfoot hull as I didn’t like the Papaya hull.

Might be my next project :slight_smile:
(Just have to finish my 2nd Razor)


Wim - Sailing sideways probably has more to do with your set-up than with the boat. The first thing that comes to mind is that you may be over-sheeting your sails when close hauled. The McRig needs room to breathe, the boom should fall about 10 degrees off the centerline of the boat for beating.

Or, your sails may be too stiff to form an airfoil shape so there is no “lift” for the boat to work with. The common problems that newcomers experience is overbuilding their hulls and using a sail material that is out of scale (sized for a bigger class model boat or full size sail cloth). There was a beautiful sail on another thread where the builder’s wife sewed the sail for his Footy, but, if you can sew the sail material then it is too stiff to bring out the best performance from your boat.

The McRig is very popular with newcomers because it is just one sail to deal with and simple to build. A mistake that is common (particularly with boats designs that don’t include information like the balance points, the placement of the keel, and the rig type and recommended mast location) is guessing wrong on positioning the mast pivot, usually placing it too far aft, the idea being to try to prevent diving. Then they sail it and the boat heads into the wind, stalls, and sails backward or sideways. So they find out that the rig has to move forward to solve the balance problems but are reluctant to gut their new baby to move the mast pivot forward. Making a new rig is simpler, so the solution they try is to make a new McRig, increasing the sail area before the pivot to stretch back to their original pivot hole. By changing the area before the pivot from 30% to somewhere around 50% the rig no longer has the ability to weathercock (that is the area aft of the pivot point no longer dictates where the rig is pointed) and will backwind all the time, stopping the boat in its tracks and sailing backwards.

For a Footy to sail well it has to be balanced, that is it should exhibit neutral helm or just a slight bit of weather helm. It should sail on its own. One of the great misconceptions is that the skipper “sails” the boat. Not so! A well balanced boat needs the skipper only for course corrections, direction changes, and adjusting the sails. Every time the skipper fusses with something it slows the boat down. Less input is more speed.

There are other threads archived on this forum that explain empirically finding some of the balance points. But, the Flatfoot from the plans page is an unbalanced hull and will never perform well. For that matter I don’t think much of the original Razor which isn’t balanced either but performs pretty well until it heels beyond 10 degrees. Bill did a much better job with the Cobras and the later Razor designs which are top performers in the free plans category.

Building any boat is not easy. It is fun but fraught with anxiety. You newcomers should be commended for taking on this challenge, but there is a lot to learn. I’ve been building boats for 35 years and although I know quite a bit about model yachting I still am learning and coming up with new insights. There are no laurels to rest on.


You got it right!
My Flatfoot wasn’t balanced at all! As I couldn’t change any papameter (like mast position) all I could do was change from the Papaya rig configuration to a McRig. All on the same mastfoot location.
And it didnt work. All of you could predict this, for me it was part of the learning curve.
My first Razor sails. As the pond I use has no straight winds (turbulence all over) I don’t know how it really performs. But I can bring her where ever I want, so there is a lot of progress :slight_smile:

I am building my second Razor now, I want to put a swing rig on it. Sail area and shape as the McRig, as well as the mast location. Hope that works as well.

By the way: I think you mean my Papaya/Flatfoot thread on the sewing issue. My wife sewed the sails for my first rig. :wink: