Is there an explanation for the total domination of Ice hulls at the latest Euro race in Ploand? Is it unusually light? An unusual hull form? Or just expert sailors (but the 9-year old?).

Walt H.

I classified 4th in 2 races during the Euro Cup in Wroclaw with my Razor3 and finished 10th overall.
In my opinion, the ICE hulls are very light. All the weight is concentrated in the keel bulb.
The fat hull and the weight put very low allow the boat to manage the gusts in a magnificent way and to carry bigger sails. For this reason they were almost unbeatable in Wroclaw, where we had a low, irregular wind and gusts. I don’t know if they were the lightest boats, but for sure the most stable ones.
On top they are great sailors, even the 9 years old guy!

Walt, I think it just shows (once again) that a well-designed boat that is well prepared and well sailed is a winner.

The carbon makes it light, but so what? Balsa or foam is light, too.

As usual, it’s the right combination that works on a given day.

So my next design (sure to be a winner) will be 12 or 14 inches long, 3 or 6 inches wide, 300 or 600 grams displacement, carbon or balsa or foam, big or little sails, long or short fin…did I miss anything? :wink:


Actually I am waiting for the release of the Razor4!

“There are 2 key factors in the success (in the UK) of these two designs [AWK and ICE] and it has little to do with the hulls…its the bits above and below water that are really important.” - Roger Stollery

Me too.

I have one question for ICE skippers.
But maybe some BUG or AWK skipper can anwer too :stuck_out_tongue:
I see that your sail and rudder servos protrude on the boat deck.
How they behave in case of a wave coming on the deck? Did you manage somehow to waterproof the servos?
Many thanks to who will answer!


I’ve used servos above deck before…no problem. Most servos are watertight enough, but a little light grease around the top will make sure.


Ok, I would like to try the “above deck” solution on the Razor3, in order to fit a powerlever and use lighter stuff.

In answer to Walt’s opening remark; the Ice is a well thought out total package from the board of one of the best and most experienced model yacht designers and sailors the sport has been blessed with. Aside from being a beautiful hull shape with the distinctive Stollery flair it incorporates a professional approach to boat planning and execution. A few examples:

  1. A tension balanced swing rig which rotates around the mast (as opposed to most swing rigs where the whole rig, mast included rotates). Tension balancing is having the tension from the jib stay in balance with the tension on the mainsail leach. By having these forces offset each other a very loose loop of wire to connect the forward part of the swing rig boom with aft section is all you need to ensure that the rig swings freely. This type of rig is very responsive to wind shifts and changes in velocity.
  2. The power lever winch arm which reduces the load the servo must handle when sheeted in.
  3. The servos mounted through the hatch cover, this makes the r/c gear into a “unit”, easily removable for repair or replacement if necessary (very handy if you travel to race and don’t want to be sidelined by gear failure, just pop in a fresh “unit”)
  4. Sheeting for the rig runs forward to the bow and above deck, rudder control is to the stern. Again, balancing the forces on the hatch by training the sheet in one direction and the rudder assembly in the other. In addition the sheet is less likely to foul when run forward and being above deck easy to clear if it does.
  5. Roger designs his boats in the classical manner, that is by hand and by eye. Thats why a lot of folks that look at his drawings complain that they are smudged and hard to read, well he erases and redraws a lot! Guys you’re fortunate, his drawings should give you some insight to how he thinks. In his designs the balance points are worked out to yield the proper configuration for the hull appendages and their location in relation to the hull at various angles of heel. This accounts for their easy to sail characteristics.

The point I’m trying to make is that a boat is more than a hull that you drop a rig on and you’re done. If you want to make a top flight craft then you have to think hard about all the functions and situations that your new boat will face. A comprehensive approach to planning out the systems and attention to all the little details along the way is what separates the fleet into those at the front and everyone else.

By the way, where the hell was Moonshadow!!!

With regard to Neil’s comment, I wonder if the Swedish Moonshadows were truly compliant to the intended design with regard to weight. If not, they could be quite slow. The submerged transom is still a puzzlement to me, although I noticed that Flavio’s hull has significant transom below the water line, and was reasonably fast depite being a little heavy. However, the pictures also show that the transom becomes reasonably dry as the hull pitches nose-down when under sail.

Another comment on Angus’ submerged transom: I have been reading Edmond Bruce’s articles from the 1970’s, in which he mentions that an exit angle greater than 15 degrees will cause turbulence (and drag). It appears that Angus’ design keeps the exit angle low, while probably moving the turbulence aft of the stern. This may have a beneficial effect. All of the existing Footy designs that I have seen have exit angles significantly greater than 15 degrees. The high weight to length ratio of the Footy makes it nearly impossible to have a dry transon and a low exit angle. Bruce commented that the turbulence caused by a high exit angle angle makes it impossible to tow a hull in a straight line. I have found this to be true in the various towing tests that I have done, most recently with the Razor 3. None of these hulls wil tow straight unless you add a skeg, or tow it from a long bowsprit. Otherwise they oscillate wildly, going almost 90 degrees in each direction.

Yeah, where is our mate, Angus, lately?

Angus has suffered some serious health issues over the last year that put him in hospital. The good news is that he is recovered, and is planning an event to celebrate his birthday in Sept. The bad news is that he now lives in a care facility, and will not be returning to his home in Wales. He is well cared for, though, and seems in good spirits. He has called me a few times in the last couple months. His internet access is limited, though…I got my first email this year from him yesterday. I’m sure we’ll hear more from Angus in the coming months, but I don’t expect the level of involvement he had in the past.


Well said, Neil…the only thing I would add to your last paragraph is that a highly-skilled skipper is useful, too :wink:


Just my 2 cents opinion:
in Wroclaw we had a very light and unstable wind. The Swedish Moonshadows had smaller sail than the others, so this can be the reason, they were underpowered.

p.s. anyone has the designs of Moonshadow in a format other than “Vacanti”? I tried to download the Vacanti SW but seems not working on my pc for some reason…

The Moonshadow I was refering to was the defending champion from the UK.

Hey Bill, thanks for the positive comment. I was trying to point out some considerations necessary to design and build a competitive footy. I think being able to sail it well is kind of obvious, but an approach to comprehensive planning might not be.

Niel, it should be obvious that skipper skill is essential, and it is obvious to you…but it might not be to some.

I was a reasonably successful archery competitor for many years, and a clear pattern was that people tried to “buy points.” Whatever the latest gear that won an event, people rushed to buy it so that they could win, too. Truth is, the winning archers could probably pick up any bow in the place and still win, because they were the ones out shooting a couple hundred arrows a day while the others were fooling with that new equipment.

I think I’ve seen a similar thing in model yachting. Occasionally my clubmembers have complained that their boats just weren’t working well, and experienced skippers have switched boats with them and won races. When Chris won the USA Nats with a 14 inch boat, people were convinced that they needed to have a 14 inch boat…but Chris could sail a brick. Wonder what those people think now that a 12 inch boat has dominated Wroclaw?

All the best…Bill

Hey Bill - You’ll find no argument from me, everything you’ve said afflicts this sport as it does in archery and I would imagine many other gear reliant sports. Though considering our class majority demographic can you blame these guys for wanting to be at the front of the fleet now rather spend years honing their sailing chops, that I believe is the prevailing mindset to “buying points”.

That said, sailing skill is the determining factor, but as you mentioned Chris won with a new boat and now everyone wants one. He developed a 14" boat with a unique rig, picking up concepts that have been suggested on this forum, to design the better mousetrap. For now. But the point is that he started from scratch and worked out a comprehensive approach to hull, appendages, sail shape, and working systems and came up with a competitive Footy.

Following the build logs I had noticed that beyond making a hull shell a lot of guys are getting stuck at that point and don’t know what to do next. My post was for those guys, that there is more to boat building than downloading some plans. Planning the whole boat from the outset including the less glamourous parts and sail rigs, where the lines will go, where to place the keel and rudder, where and how to mount the r/c stuff, all this before any balsa or plywood is cut. I keep a construction diary where I lay out my ideas for what I want to do with the boat I am going to spend my time building. The diary entry for a specific hull will have sketches and notes, record the weights for various component parts, etc… Any changes from my master plan are done in red pencil so they stand out.

One comment about the ICE fleet dominating in Wroclaw, as was pointed earlier in this thread, Roger Stollery’s belief that it is the appendages and sail rigs are the important parts. From the photos of the Euro GP the fit and finish of most of those parts on the other competitors is not up to the ICE level of execution. I would have been surprised at any other outcome.

And Bill, maybe its not the 12" hull that was the dominate factor, have you considered that the swing rig might be a better rigging system than the McRig?

I completely agree with Bill. Even the 9 years old guy was a great skipper. Probably if I had one ICE, I would have done worse than him.
The boats were very well balanced for the event and in good hands.