Just for fun -Matilda

Hi All,

We have started a new Footy project just for fun.
It definitely isn’t going to be quick.
More of a waltz than a sprint hence a good Aussie name “Waltzing Matilda”.
The idea is back to some of the threads about the enjoyment of sailing something that has some resemblance to the real thing.
Whether Matilda will look anything like a real boat is still open to conjecture.

Peter & Clare

Added skeg and keelson finished in 1/8" square spruce.
Total weight 13.1g slightly heavier than normal but not bad.
The top brace of balsa with the weight written on it is just for building purposes.
The keel is western red cedar 13.2g but well over length, probably around 10g at the correct length.


Very pretty so far, guys…looking forward to seeing her completed.

All the best…Bill


Looks very nice. Have you got a billabong to sail in?

Andrew how did you guess that we would have a local billabong and a coolibah tree no less?
Also note the Vegemite jar in the keel pic:)
Thanks for the compliments, so far so good.
Latest progress is 3/4 oz cloth applied to both the hull and keel.
The hull now weighs 23.7g.


We have decided on a Flavio style UNA gaff rig for a couple of reasons.
1/ We wanted a gaff rig for the olde worlde look.
2/ A single sail moves the mast step to the bow of the boat leaving the deck area for a decorative cabin that also acts as the hatch to the radio gear.
3/ A single sail simplifies the actuation of the sails with a single sheet through a single entry point.

Weight of the hull with additional bulk heads and mast tube 27.4g



Very much enjoying your build.

Best to you;


Hi Dave,

Glad you are enjoying the build, so are we!
It has been a fun project so far.

Latest progress.
Attached the keel.
Added servo rails.
Added rudder hinge block.
Weight at this point 52.2g

Deck added of 0.4mm (1/64") ply.
We know that ply is heavy but the intention is just to clear coat the model and therefore have just the natural wood finish.
There used to be a guy Graham McAllister on this forum who finished his boats in ply with clear coat and made them a bit scalish, they looked great.
Weight with deck 62.9g


Looking good, guys…can’t wait to see it with cabin.

I don’t find that 1/64 ply is much of a weight penalty compared with balsa, and it is tighter- grained and requires less sealing, so I think it comes out about even. The problem with 1/64 ply over here, is that it has become very expensive.

Looking forward to more…Bill

Hi Bill,

1/64 ply is expensive here too but that is just one of the great things about Footies - they use such a small amount of materials.
Gunwales fitted - 1/64 ply strip and 1/16 square balsa.
Hatch hole cut.
Cabin mock up.


Cabin complete.

Weight 79.9g


Matilda looks fantastic…you are giving my friend Flavio a run for his money :slight_smile:


Very nice :slight_smile: my father used to own a Polish “Venus” sailboat on which i spent a considerable portion of my youth, and mathilda reminds me of her a lot !
Note thats not ours…

Hi Meatbomber,

What a good way to spend your youth!
Nice looking boat.
Perhaps the bow line is the similarity.
All is going well so far, a lot of varnishing to go.


Hi Bill,

Thanks for the kind words.
Flavio has certainly given many of us a lot of inspiration.


My name has been mentioned here several times, and I would like to add my own appreciation to this new model.

I am very happy to see that somebody else , in this case Peter and Clare , are following my steps.
I believe that “semiscale” pretty model can be also “decent” sailers.

Many of us ( me included ) are looking to have a fast footy and to arrive not too far from the stern of my good friend Bill ( aka mudhenk ) , but -at same time - there are a lot of persons that are just looking to enjoy a pleasant sunday afternoon with a beer a sandwich and a pretty footy on a small lake.

It is interesting to note that , according a very rough “customer survey”, it seems that customers of my Brando plans are - mainly - “real” sailors that are interested to sailing models that looks - more or less - like “real” boats.

In other words there are persons that are just looking to sail “cruising” nice models, far from race fields.

With my friend Andrew, we have dreamed about semiscale footy events based on race results as well on “bonus” points based on model aestetic.

Awaiting this kind of races, I will do my best to develop to fast and pretty wooden winners.

My compliments for Matilda !


ITA 5 - Folgore
ITA 13 - Presto
ITA 14 - Brando
ITA 21 - Presto MK II


Did you happen to draw pdf plans of the cabin? Matilda turned out a real beauty!



Hi Dave,

The CAD design work stopped a bit after the basic hull design and then things went a bit free hand. ie Made up as we went along. So, in short, no cabin drawing other than rough sketches. If you are interested we could fix the sketch a bit and add a couple of tracings.


P&C :

I’d enjoy seeing what ever you have as far as the cabin design goes.

Many thanks;


Nearly there!

Spars made.
Rudder made. Dubro (US Aeromodelling supplier) 1/4 scale hinge and Dubro Park Flyer control horn.
More varnish, radio and bulb to go.

Dave it may take a week or so for the diagrams but here is a side on pic that would give the cabin size.
We’ll take some more pics that may also be helpful.