Land Yachts

[:-apple] I thought it was about time that we had a heading just for land yachts so here it is. [:-angel]
My first attempt has been modified so many times, I am up to mark III(g)[:-banghead]
I will be more descriptive in later posts.

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

At this moment in time, the land yachts (concept) are having a battle with the ice yachts (concept) since this is the first winter in a long time that we haven’t had a “big” (or deep) white Christmas. At least in this area of the country, we seem to have a cold winter - but lack of snow has made every pond and lake very inviting to ice boats. Thus the decision - wheels or runners; wheels or runners?

I think the wheels will eventually win out, as it would be too much to expect that this kind of winter weather would become the norm. Normally, a couple of feet of snow on top of the ponds makes the decision easier. Still … hmmm! [:D]

But - first things first - plank and main hull are required. I did find an old wing mast (only 68 inches long Bill) - partially completed - that may be revised and finished. Then just a matter of a quick sail build and we will see how well it goes - first set of wheels will be roller blade wheels, and while small and maybe a bit hard, if the thing goes across the parking lot and back I will then have the incentive to continue on with many more modifications.

It’s interesting that your “old” wingmast is 68" long, as that happens to be the exact dimension I’ve been using on my models. What sort of camber & chord dimensions does it have? If those numbers also turn out to the same, I’ll have to speak with my anti-espionage staff. [:D] [:D] Of course, you can always claim that I copied you. [:-bigeyes] [:-bigeyes2]

You will find that the inline skate wheels will “work”, but will be too hard & not have enough traction to resist lateral slippage when powered up (also known as “crabbing”, analogous to leeway in softwater sailing). Some people report good results with scooter wheels which can have softer (lower) durometer ratings. I’ve had good success with the foam model airplane wheels with bearings retrofitted.

I agree it’s a bit hard to think about wheels in these days of near perfect ice conditions in the upper midwest of the US, but I can understand why our colleagues in the Southern Hemisphere may think otherwise. I’m aware of several avid rc landyachters in New Zealand, Australia & South Africa. Ian, do you guys have enough cold weather to get smooth ice on ponds or lakes? Or is it all on mountaintops? Speaking of iceboating, several of us are trying to beat Tony Johnson’s new record of 33.9 mph (55 kph). Tomorrow’s weather prediction of moderate temperatures, solid ice & winds in the teens will hopefully allow one of us to come closer to breaking the “mythical” 40 mph barrier.

Bill K

Bill - let me know if I have to go into hiding - or move before your “squad” shows up![:D]

The mast is a cedar strip “core” with foam/glass foil shape. Mast dimensions as measured at base of mast:
fore/aft will be 1 7/8 inches (1 3/4 now)
(I need to add a bit of trailing edge to each side at rear of mast to retain and keep battens in place)
maximum thickness is 3/4 inch

Pretty “bendy” so have already planned to add a set of diamond wires and spreader that is adjustable to keep from showing up with one mast and going home with two — (pieces that is)!

[:-masked] Firstly Happy New Year to you all [:-love]
Bill in New Zealand we dont have iced up ponds except in the deep of the South Island in the middle of winter. We do however have heaps of wind. That along with plenty of paved school yards and carparks makes for the ideal conditions for R/C landyachts. Building the craft lets me use my skills as a metalworker which I really enjoy having been a musicial instrument repairer in a former life.[:-paperbag][img]../forum1/images/speech/icon_speech_sigh.gif[/img] I have been out sailing my landyacht every day recently and each time it returns to the workshop for modification and improvment.[:-bulb][img]../forum1/images/speech/icon_speech_yes.gif[/img][img]../forum1/images/speech/icon_speech_ok.gif[/img] Planning is underway for Mark IV of my class II and the next beast which will proberly be an Unlimited, having seen Bills site and been turned on to the big fella`s.[:-bouncy]
A couple of questions: Is there a class insignia for display on the sail for the recognized international classes?
Is there a guide formula for rig placement? ( center of effort should be two thirds of the wheelbase from the front for example ) [:-propeller]
Any help will be welcome.[:-tophat]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

How large an area do you need for an r/c land yacht? All our shopping centers are open all week so they are out but churches and schools-maybe.

Don Case
 Vancouver Island

Hey Don - with exception of some of the smaller strip malls - maybe you can get the operator of the mall to sponsor a weekend “regatta” - and have a large area resserved for the boats. Then suggest that merchants do a sidewalk sale - and be ready for the traffic and questions. Might want to have one or two of the “2x4 Class” ready for people to try. Just a suggestion.

Here the church lots and schools, as well as government center parking lots are OK for all but the largest of yachts. Also - many corporate offices that have limited weekend staff are also available.

I would say the bare minimum is about 50x50 yards, but something the size of 4 football fields (100x200 yards) will start to give you a feel for the speed potential of these things. Gaining property owner approval as suggested by Dick is a whole other issue. Property managers & security guards often suffer from advanced cases of “CYA” & overzealous concern about legal liability. Sometimes it’s easier to run “under the radar” on underutilized properties such as abandoned K-Mart stores or the like. Of course, some people have access to hard sand beaches or dry lakebeds such as Ivanpah on the Nevada/California border.

No, there is no established class sail insignia required by IRCSSA ( The rules are wide open, other than the “box” limits for each class. Were you referring to John Kuhn’s site when you mentioned Unlimited? I’m just now building my 1st Open Class model, all my previous have been Class 3. As far as rig placement is concerned, my goal has been to place the CE roughly in line with the rear wheels. This allows the front steering wheel to serve it’s primary function without alot of lateral force from the rig. Reviewing your photo album, I would suggest you try moving the rig forward somewhat to balance things out a bit.

You can relax, as your numbers on the other dimensions don’t match mine. However, if you see a white Audi Quattro driven by a guy named Tony parked in front of you house, I would quickly lock the door to your shop [:-bigmouth] [:-bigmouth] In all seriousness, I’ve been using a NACA 0022 profile with chord dimensions tapering from 4" at the base to 2.25" at the tip. The solid wingmast portion of the airfoil varies between 20-25% of the total foil including the “soft” sail (4 mil mylar)


Bill -

haven’t seen any Audi’s (or Mercedes or BMW’s) yet - but there <u>HAS</u> been this one guy cruisin’ the neighborhood driving a white, but rusted Yugo. He wouldn’t be on your payroll - or would he? [:D]

The mast is a left over idea from the multiONE - so it is not a design for landyacht series. I just thought since it was in the corner - I would give it a try, and perhaps save time as well. Got our first dusting of snow today - and it might slow the big ice boats down a bit. For the little ones, season might be over until we get some “Zamboni Rain” days like we did on Thursday. I’m just south of St. Paul, and we missed most snow. I heard that north of the cities (about 25 miles) they got some snow.

Bill - what is yoour feeling about bodywork on these? Do the electronics create enough drag to worry about them - or can they be left in the open. My thinking is if not a big wind drag issue, there certainly isn’t a capsize/turtle with water issue.

Question #2 - are guys (You, Tony, John, etc.) fooling with any camber in your rear plank - or just a nice stiff non-flexing beam?

Thanks for info. Think I’m going with wheels for first effort giving me summer to get runners made up. Then agin - if it doesn’t snow? But if it does - maybe the top covered floor at Mall of America parking lot on a Wednesday morning before shoppers arrive? [:D]

Thanks for the info. This is a small town. There is only three r/c sailors and so far only one remotlely interested in land yachts (me).I think a regatta is out of the question. The K-Mart lot has been taken over by a grocery store. I’ll have to look at the church and school yards but I don’t think they are big enough. Anything approaching a football field in size is usually all cut up with concrete curbs and sidewalks.

Don Case
 Vancouver Island

Ahhhh -
use 'em to your advantage as your course markers.

Don - seriously, any parking lot the size of a single side like McDonalds/Wendys will “work” - it just won’t be optimum if wind is coming the long way and you have to tack upwind. Don’t forget banks - and outside school basketball courts would also be useable. Parking lots at local parks?

I catch myself looking for ponds (now for ice covered ones) while driving around, and if you live on a not too busy street without a lot of trees, you can have fun on the road too. Outside our house, I would be competing with the neighborhood kids and their Monster Trucks ! [:D]

If you can get a shop class interested making them as a project, perhaps the school would open up a double gym for the weekend and set up some big floor fans for some indoor sailing. They did that up here for r/c sailing at an indoor pool last year.

Finally - don’t overlook the local police/sheriff departments, as part of Project DARE - they have additional inroads for juvenile anti-drug programs, and no telling if they would find these kind of building projects of value as well.

Good luck with the effort. Keep in mind, you might find more interest for kids in land yachts than for sail boats. Once you “hook” them in landyachts, the water boats are merely a step or two away.

I have to admit it is hard to offer suggestions when not familiar with your local community and what it has to offer.

[:-bunny] Thanks Bill for your advise. Yes I have been slowly moving my rig further forward over the last few outings.[:-witch]
I have also measured and marked both the Centre Of Effort and the Centre of Lateral Resistance[8)]
It makes for some interesting thoughts[:-sick]
Another question if I may.
What are the Pros & cons of using <font size=“2”><font color=“red”>FOUR WHEELS</font id=“red”></font id=“size2”> insead of three for a large speed record craft?
Obviously DRAG is the main concern but would you consider the extra stability worth it.
All opinions viewed with interest.[:-idea]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year! I see Bill and Dick have enlightened you on the sport of rc surface sailing. It is tons of fun and very addictive, not to mention the folks who participate are very open with ideas for you to use on your boats. My advice is to experiment with different rigs, sail shapes,setups, etc, if you enjoy building that is a definite plus. I don’t know about Bill, Tony, and Dick, but I spend way too much time in the garage working on boats, actually not a bad thing. One last thing, I brought two boats with me to the Midwest Regatta last fall and had breakdown problems with both, one terminal for that race. If you are going to spend 8 hrs. driving to a race, put just as much time into maintainance as you would in driving. This would have saved me plenty of headaches. Sounds to me Ian that you are off to a great start, keep up the good work! John Kuhn -

[:-graduate]Hey John, thanks for your kind words. Yes I can agree that it starts to become addictive
when you can spend time in the workshop just making up fittings that you have dreamt up in your head and in my case sketched on paper. [:-nonono]
It still dosn`t mean that they will work but it is such good fun playing (and it keeps me quiet for hours according to she who must be obeyed)[-crzwom]
John I am keen to have your input on the question of four verses three wheels for a speed record Unlimited Class Landyacht.[:-turtle]
As regards workshop time, I tell the newbies of my radio yacht club the ratio should be up to 4 hours in the workshop for every hour on the water. Sounds a little excessive I know but the old addage ( To finish first, first you have to finish) is a definite trueism.[:-tophat]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by Dick Lemke

Bill -

  • what is yoour feeling about bodywork on these? Do the electronics create enough drag to worry about them - or can they be left in the open. My thinking is if not a big wind drag issue, there certainly isn’t a capsize/turtle with water issue.

Question #2 - are guys (You, Tony, John, etc.) fooling with any camber in your rear plank - or just a nice stiff non-flexing beam?

<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Good question. I go for a streamlined hull, but my sheeting servo arm is exposed. At some speed, the parasitic drag of exposed appendages will start to really hurt, but I’m not sure where the 2 curves will intersect on the graph. I suspect aerodynamic drag on your rig is probably a more significant factor.

Tony & I have both been “softening” our planks. In a gust, you can see the boat squat down. This absorbs energy as well as allowing the rig more “slop” to spill air. I’m using about 1.5" camber in the plank so I don’t bottom out. I’ve been measuring plank flexure by seeing how much weight it takes to deflect it down 1". I’ve got a very accurate digital scale that I use alot

Iceboaters tried a “square” platform back in the 30’s, but it was never widely used. Although it would increase your righting moment arm, I’m not sure it’s worth the added weight, complexity & drag. If you decide to try it, be sure to take into account the “Ackerman” you’ll need to adjust the different turning radii of the 2 steering wheels

Hi Ian, I don’t think four wheels/runners would be a great idea. The full sized landyachts and iceboats have stuck to three wheels/runners for so long now that it tells me the losses far out weigh the gains. The steering alignment alone would be a nightmare, not to mention the added weight in the front. I just noticed that Bill has already answered your question, seems we agree on the subject, it would have suprised me if we didn’t. Was that post about a “footy” yacht yours? You might want to stick to the IRCSSA classes if you are interested in racing, I’m in the process of building a class II yacht just because it fits in most trunks and needs less area to run on. I’ll still stick to class III for racing however since it seems to be the most popular here in the Midwestern states. If I’m not mistaken, the Euros prefer the class II, Bill can confirm this. Good luck with your building and if you do play with four wheels keep us informed on how it goes.

Is this Landyacht forum still going? Just catching your breath? Is it about putting more yachts on the car park?

Yes Steve we are all still here, just playing with the wet yachts at the moment rather than the wheeled ones. [:-idea]
So many toys and so little time to play.[:-cry]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

Yes, the discussion has continued (at a slow pace, unfortunately), but most posts can be found at the separate grouping created by Chad early this year:

The hobby is still in early stages of developement, but there has been a fair amount of activity in Europe (2 major regattas in France within the last year), growing interest in the US & active members in Australia & NZ, as well as members as far away as Brazil & South Africa.

A group of us in the Upper Midwest of the US are organizing a regional regatta this October. The DIY Network cable tv channel has expressed strong interest in filming the event for an episode for their “RC Hobbies” series.

Bill K

ps to Ian; I look forward to seeing your landyacht after the wetboat season slows down.

Ian , give me something on these land yachts. Would I be right , saying , that the mast should be about 6 ft high and how wide? And did you figure out if it was three wheels or four?