Let put our old MARBLEHEADS on the water


I found IOM Class Rules very restrictive.
Supposing I could use another (the third) servo, where do I would apply it in order to have a better boat performace?

I found MARBLEHEAD Class Rules very restrictive, as well.
Most of us have one or two Marbleheads at the garage waiting for a better time. I intende to put my Paradox on the water and have some friends to race with and with some changes on Class rules like a third servo input. May be this “Class” could grow up with a new interest using our old designs we have

I found that in terms of costs they are now at the same level (look at prices of the existing designs in production)


I wonder how it would work out if a new set of measurement specs were posted. Not as an attempt to see changing the existing M Class Rules, but as an attempt to see if twenty or more interested folks would send AMYA the $5.00 to register their boat and start a new class. Call it the Retro M?

New Measurement Specs would need to include…

A Maximum Draft (typical of a 1980's M) so that the boat could be launched without wearing chest waders and be sailed in a pond that might have weeds.

A Minimum Displacement and Minimum Hull Weight (typical of the 1980's) so that a boat can be put together by the homebuilder using FG or wood.

A Jib that is Tacked to the Hull Centerline (typical of the 1980's) so that the boat looks like a sailboat. Swing-rigs lurching around before the start are an awful, but comical, distraction.

A seaworthy decking material (typical of the 1980's) so that things hold together a bit better.

Rich Matt

Hey Rich
I presume you live in USA
You begin to talk registering money.
That’s not the point.
All changes begin with a test time, looking for a better demanding apeal
This is not an official class to creat at this time, but “IF” there are more than “20” or so sailors that fells this aproach interesting …
The main interest now is:
What is the most important point you want to be “self tunned” on your boat. As you could understand there are several opinion on this matter. What is yours?

cont. from previous replay
I said “self tunned” but with the third servo it will be “on demand tunned”

Must be some misunderstanding–the Marblehead rule allows an unlimited number of servos and functions, restrictions are on the number of moving underwater appendages and moving ballast.

I see no need for another spin off “classic” class. There is already a Vintage Marblehead group for boats from the 1960’s and earlier. As to swing rigs and flimsy decks, the US National Champion for virtually all of the last ten years, the Skapel, has neither.

Basically, the M is a high performance development class, I think it should stay that way. Hopefully, in the US this year there will be some increase in activity.

Just me two cents here-
I’d LOVE to have a development class that lets me make a boat without too much difficulty, With close to the performance of a hightec M, and without needing hip boots to get it in the water. Personnaly I don’t think restricting keel depth and hull weight would harm the level of development possibiliy at all in a development class.

My theory is all classes fit a niche, if you know what I mean, and getting the thing into the water is a pretty good niche. What is the true definition of a Niche? I think when a whole bunch of people think an Idea is pretty cool and it hasn’t been done yet. One Niche need not detract at all from another niche.

To me, restrictions like keel depth and hull weight are not limitations but opportunities to make it better.


As an example, I have several sets of templates for an “M” Class boat - newer than 1960’s but nowhere near the technical and performance level of the current “M” class boats.

BUT … the question is why build using an older design, if it falls into the “grey area” between “Vintage” classes and current technology/design classes? One would spend an inordinate amout of time and effort building only to have something that is neither “fish nor fowl”.

If Rich is proposing something to pick up the “missing years” - and there is some kind of category rating system as new boats become old boats, and old boats become “older” boats, I would be interested. Certainly would rather put money into a class that would accepting of these “lost year” boats.

In fact, in the case of development classes (including the IOM) some sort of program might aid in the resale and reuse of the older versions of a class instead of them being relegated to the garage, basement or attic. The question is “Who wants to buy a non-competitive boat?” And the answer is ???

Good idea, Rich… please expand upon it a bit with more detail - if you will.

John: The boat you described-- performance close to an IOM with a depth restriction that can be put together by a home builder-- is pretty close to the definition of the IOM.

As to what to do with outdated boats and equipment–it seems to me that creating new classes for each type of boat that gets outdated could be pretty fragmenting. Do we really want a Vintage Star 45 class? Marbleheads of the 80’s class? Marbleheads of the 90’s class? Pre-Sterne US1Ms? Non-proportional winch class? The list can go on and on…

John buld a 3R it’s real close to what your talking about.


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

As to what to do with outdated boats and equipment–it seems to me that creating new classes for each type of boat that gets outdated could be pretty fragmenting. Do we really want a Vintage Star 45 class? Marbleheads of the 80’s class? Marbleheads of the 90’s class? Pre-Sterne US1Ms? Non-proportional winch class? The list can go on and on…
<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Hi Roy - I can see this could become a very interesting topic for discussion and viewpoints…

unfortunately (or not) we are already faced with this prospect - boats that aren’t one-design, perfectly good for “someone” to sail, but virtually nothing out there in which to compete. In the case of the “M”'s for example, based on the current technology - and based on the Vintage Class - the 1970’s, 1980’s and much of the 1990’s are “Dead” since these nearly 30 years of model boat building have no where to participate. They are, in essence “garbage” and with exception of mantel, daysailing, or family heritage - have little value.

Maybe the Vintage Class needs to consider a number of years of historic presence, instead of a fixed year limit … example: boats at least 20 years old versus boat “built in 1970”. This would at least provide a moving timeline similar to historic cars, in that it addresses boats that are old, but still viable. I do not know as I write this post, but intend to find out, if the Vintage classes require building to be done - or just the age of the design. If it is building - then AMYA needs to remove a few sets of boat plans that are from within the 30 years of “outdated” designs from it’s “store”.

Now - I agree that it would be improbable to support a class of ten years duration, as there would be a new class every ten years, but on the same token, isn’t AMYA there for the promotion of all r/c sailing - and by simply ignoring a time period, those who have these older types of boats have nothing provided for them. A lot of time, work, effort and money went into the building of these boats, and what is left is only a conversation piece? I think many people would find such an investment as silly, and a waste of time and money.

Shouldn’t we ( AMYA members) be working towards preserving and providing a place for the old designs to continue racing? How many of the old designs were lost before the Vintage Group was formed? How many boats for the early 1950’s were trashed because they were outdated? Do we really NOT care about our model boat histories?

Interesting topic and one that perhaps needs further discussion. What are available options - and what are we to do with a boat that isn’t at the cutting edge of technology? I know you have a pretty significant investment in your Scalpel M - but when it does become obsolete in performance to a newer design - what are your plans? Will it be dismantled? If for sale who would purchase and why? Where do old boats go and what does one do with them when they are no longer the current design? Sure - some will wind up as club racers, but many don’t have the disposable income to move up on every technology change. “Don’t play in a class you can’t afford” is probably a suggestion - especially for development classes, but is that really the message we want to send to new owners?

Great topic - and I for one would like to explore further, what alternatives there are for the boats built, sailed and raced during the “lost years”.

To the readers: please offer your insights, opinions and views. What are your thoughts?

<font color=“blue”><u>UPDATE/EDIT:</u>
I just checked, and it appears that it is the design dateline - not actual construction that rules (at least) the Vintage M Class. I was not able to detect with my quick review, of any specific datelines - but rather it seems it is design characteristics which govern the VM Class (not limited to but most obvious is the type/design of the keel). Perhaps this does cover the issues and questions posed above. Maybe Earl Bobert can/will comment as he seems to have a handle on the “vintage” side of things. Earl ??? If you are out there? </font id=“blue”>

[:-banghead]My first idea writing this, was that Marblehead Class didn?t born at the XXI century
Marblehead R/C sailors began to race since R/C became affordable for general people.
If everyone had destroyed their boats, only because from 10 to 10 years they change, there was no reason to call them Marbleheads. Evolution = Wonderful. Go with it
Sailing Marblehead?s from the 90th is not a down. We know that Marblehead Class is on a difficult surviving way, only because their costs are just growing up from 10 to 10 years. A few R/C sailors says that is evolution and for that reason someone with no money has several classes to race like a simple hand made wood boat and they only have to find some friends to sail
I?m not talking to construct an old design. ONLY to play and race with thousands of boats laying on the floor with rats inside and playing to approach it a little bit from the others on the front line

Hi guys – glad to see some interest in the old boats. We ended the Vintage era at 1970 because that was the year Al Hubbard won both the free sail and radio M championships with the same design (Stan Goodwin’s “Warrior.”).

The VM rules were written to encourage the building and sailing of radio replicas of free sailing boats and other “traditional” designs. Construction is low-tech, design is constrained. Most people build to published plans. We’re pretty informal, the real rule is like the model airplane “stand off scale” – if it looks like a Vintage M from twenty feet away then it’s a Vintage M. Our regattas tend to be like classic car races, part race and part parade. Many of us just like to see our boats out on the pond with others and “hard chargers” are notable by their absence.

The most hotly contested prize in the Vintage Group turns out to be the Craftsmanship Award, which gives you an idea of where we are coming from :slight_smile:

The two divisions were devised because it was thought that the performance difference between the older and newer boats would be overwhelming. In the seven or so regattas we’ve run, this turns out to be true only when the course has legs of 400 feet or longer – otherwise it’s all skipper. On short courses the 1935 “Cheerio’s” are highly competitive and on long courses Ted Houk’s 1949 “Rip Tide” is the “Super Vintage M.”

Several years ago one of our members attempted to get a “Classic 50” division going to cover the boats mentioned in this thread, but it never took off. If someone wants to volunteer as coordinator and drum up interest we’ll be happy to accomodate you on our Web page, in our newsletter, and at our annual regatta.



More 2 cent thoughts-
Perhaps the fact that we already have so many classes need not be a reason to be against adding another, as is often aid, if there is enough interest. It has always seemed to me that the folks who are the most into being up-to-date so to speak, in a development class, are the ones who dominate the direction or definition of where a class goes. Perhaps only becase a lot of people like to have the latest newest thing which is understadable. The rest of us are left wondering what to do. Its like getting a new plasma TV for christmas. I’ve often thought of making a pretty good M-boat, becaue I’ve seen good ones sailing before lots of times, and I was like “WOW!” but I can’t seem to sttle the question in my mind of wether to make a sort-of good one with wooden fin, balsa planked hull, home-made single panel sails, shallower keel so I can get it in the water, okay carbon mast, or shell out my life savings for a really good M-boat. The sort-of good one would be easier to make by a long shot. certainly a well sailed boat can beat a boat of better construction, but the question of latest versus pretty good keeps me from doing either.

I’m perfectly happy in with my VM
Difintitely interested in 3R class


<font color=“blue”></font id=“blue”> G’day from Australia. We are grappling with the same questions about what to do with all the old marbleheads. As you know the class is dieing even in Australia. My State NSW, the largest state (in population) is down to one last club for Ms. I’m , like all you blokes am trying to come up with an answer. I have written several articles in our information media on R/C yachting but come up with no meaningful answers. I currently hold the position in Australia as the historical officer. I have visited Marblehead in MASS. and have spoken to earl Boebert on this very subject from time to time. A couple of options we discussed were the shortened course senario. When I got back to Australia I tried this in my club and it works, for we sail both Waliki types and older ones. The newer boats have the edge when the course is long but it is much closer when the course is short.All the members have fun on the short course races. I have looked at maximum draught and minimum weight and it could work. The M class has now got a restriction on draught and beam in anycase. Steve

I guess at my first shot at this… forum I was not quite sure on how long I had. But to add to what I was saying about the M class. what I am going to do is keep starting Marblehead clubs in Sydney. They can’t fold quicker than I start them I hope. Most Marblehead clubs have a happy time till the “lean and mean” racing machines get involved. Then they form themselves into a group or a click to ‘enhance’ the racing. What they actually do is stop competitive racing within the group overall. Some buy these expensive boats to make up their shortfalls as a skipper. For these boats you only have to point them in the direction. I know, I own one. Not too much sailing ability goes into these craft.

I sailed the ‘invitational’ at the San francisco MYC at freesailing(hadn’t done it for 35years ) but it all came back. Jeff Stobbe has been doing good things at that club with unifying Marbleheads. One of the boats is an early (1939) boat that keeps giving everone a ‘sailing hiding’, amazing. Steve

Heres where I really wear out my welcome! The ideas are endless on the question of Marbleheads sailing on an even status, so lets take a different tack Shipmates. I’ve been thinking about this question since I got back from the States in 2000. Only one thing made any sense and that is the boat was the right size for what I liked. I believe this is what grabs us , the length of boat. If we can’t (for what ever reason) cant change Marbleheads so that a bit of sanity comes into the class then go to something else 50" long. with the right beam, the right depth and the right weight. Now basically shipmates we don’t want to start another class, do we? Now the Yanks have a class that fits this order, namely the Soling 50". We in Australia have a Etchells 50 or what we call an R50 . 50" long almost scale,6kg(12lb) and beam 12".Looks almost the same in shape , etc. These are just starting to make inroads. Why , you might ask, for they are readily available unlike Marbleheads and the cost factor is working for us in that you do’nt have to take out a bank loan.

Well thats fine you might say but what is the establish classes saying. Well not much , for they have their own problems. Ten Rater are coming into the stage of becoming uncontrollable(yep in 2005)sailing wise. A class in Australia is booming, 4 clubs in Sydney alone (twenty boats sailed the Nats last week) IOM are breaking all records(74 in Nats last week). Now our R50s were in Full-size yacht clubs to start with but they are now branching out. I think this could be the answer. For the problems in the Marbleheads a BIG and I don’t think we can come to acquitable answer, to suit all. Steve

Hi Guys,
With regards to the state of the M Class here in Australia. I agree with Steve that it is a real shame that the class is small on numbers at this present time, though i dont believe that it is the addition of top end level design that has diminished fleet numbers. Classic case is that Paul Jones won this years championship with his GB Paradox design for a third time, proving a good skipper will allways be at the front end, regardless of money spent.

Last year was the largest fleet seen for many years at National level in Melbourne. Much of this years sudden demise in fleets has been due to the IOM Worlds being in Aus this year with skippers foccusing on the 1 class to gain selection. I know that this is the case for at least 5 NSW skippers(myself included).
Another factor in the M problem in Sydney has been the trouble in gaining a suitable venue for many years. This has now been solved with Steves club Drummoyne holding regular racing.
Good quality 2nd hand boats can be found at good prices if you are prepared to do a little looking. i.e. Paradox for 500GBP ( much cheaper than a IOM)

At the recent AGM for ARYA, both Jeff Byerley & myself have undertaken a joint position to work towards further growth of this great class in Aus. With the assistance of Steve this will happen.

Brad Gibson

Thanks Brad I thought for a while I was talking to myself.(not an unusual occurence). Finding the right venue for this class has had its problems. But from the position of running a M club, obtaining boats has been time consuming.We have bought in thelast 2 years approx 21 secondhand Marbleheads. Now shortly we are about to have another M club with another a little later on for Sydney. I would think what we are really in need of is club builders. For Sydney has a population of over 4 million and should be able to support at least another 4 clubs.

For those that don’t know, Jeff and Brad are M constructors in Australia and good ones too. I wish them well in their endeavours for basically they will make my job a hell of a lot easier,in obtaining boats.

Getting back to our subject. There is a class of Ms in Queensland that are known as Clubman Ms. These are lower tech models like minimum Carbon construction and were started basically to get them back on the water to race. Now the basic plan seemed okay till one had a look at there rules and they were far to complexed to be taken seriously. Anyway, in the last months or so it has all fallen over . I suppose it was going a couple of years. It had some good possibilities.Perhaps some fine tuning could be done. The basic problem was that there wasn’t enough work put in to it to create ‘Bums on Seats’. Steve

I might branding myself as a cheapscate here, Brad. But that web site for second hand Ms is 12,000 miles away and the British pound is three times our dollar. Buying a secondhand boat from there, adding postage (freight). One is in the realms of expensive, (Read Cheapscate here). New Zealand may come into play as a source, for some of our members have been making ‘forages’ of keels and masts into the “Shaky Islands”. The NZ dollar is a little lower than AUSSIE dollar.

[:-angel]Steven welcome to the forum. If you log into the TRADE ME site in New Zealand you will find some new and used Marblehead hulls for sale.
I have a mould for the RM1000 design which is currently with the guys of the Masterton club, who are making hulls from it . If you are interested I can put you in touch with them?[:-batman]
http://www.trademe.co.nz go to/ toys & models/ radio control/ boats.

Do it NOW before it`s too late.