Making the Footy Class Grow!

According to AMYA figures, the total number of registered Footys in the USA is 17. The biggest number in a single region (the AMYA’s Region 4, the Mid West) is 6. A race was recently held in Texas between four Footys (if we get a hundred, is it a centipede?).

In the United Kingdom, there are 32 registered boats. 18 of these are in one club, where, if we believe Richard Alford’s email to me reproduced in the Future of the Footy Class thread, they sound to be dying for lack of interest. Many of the rest are kids’ toys, although often from families that are enthusiastic model yachting people.

I have no figures for any other country.

But Brett, Bill and others tell us (and I am quite definitely not saying they are incorrect) that they have sold/given away plans and/or components for many, many more boats. These have simply vanished into nothingness.

It appears from Bill Hagerup’s latest post in the Razor thread that he has never raced a Razor in a fleet. We talk gaily about fleet racing ‘next year’. How, where, when and against whom? Taking the UK as probably the most favourable place, the Footy population density is about 7,500 sq. km per Footy (sorry, the CIA have gone metric!) or one boat per 1.9 million people. How many people are prepared to travel the distances involved here in UK to race against 2 or 3 little boats? Very few if any.

Footys will only become anything more than hobbyists’ novelties if they race in fleets. In the Future of the Footy Class thread I put forward some ideas as Aunt Sallies. As I understand it, there is general agreement that there were some good ideas but little positive thinking about how to overcome peoples’ misgivings. The question is not whether we get good fleet racing or bad fleet racing, but whether we have ANY fleet racing. Frankly Ian H-B’s judgement that you could run a fleet of 6 Footies on an Internet course means that you go for that. Outside Southwater, that’s a fleet 50% bigger than has ever sailed together.

That is to some extent the icing on the cake. The core problem, which has got bogged down in the detail, is to form fleets. I know that Graham is contemplating selling his kits with registration and sail numbers if it can be made easy for him.

What else can we do? Are the designers/builders prepared to mailshot people with their boats to prepare them to register? Or to put themselves down on Tallastro’s Frappr site? How many people know about the Frappr site? Is the Class Association prepared to make the register public as a resource for members? Has everyone who has said they a building a Footy, ever, on any forum, been contacted to ask whether they want to join in?

How else can we cut the distance between boats (i.e. how far you have to go to be part of a fleet)? How else can we get them in touch with one another? How else can we make it FUN for them?

We can grow, but my very strong get feeling is that we have to work to make it happen. Who’s prepared to get stuck in and actually spend some time and effort on making things happen? I am. All aboard the Skylark!

I am prepared to mail everyone I have sold a kit to so far with a copy of the AMYA membership sheet from the web site inviting them to join and encouraging them to register their Kittiwake with the AMYA. Better yet telling them that they can register for free via the Footy Class Association. Future kits will all carry these details as they are sold.

Ok so footys are widespread… so that puts each of those registered footy
owners in the same position that I was in as decribed elsewhere but to save you looking…
‘There was no model boat group in Sheboygan until last September when an old Yorkshire mate listenned to me moaning about it and said… “well start one”… so I did Not a formal club with all those shinnanigans… just a group of skippers with a beautiful small lake, yes that is part of it in the background, Wood Lake, Kohler, WI.’

So each registered owner could try to start a local group, with the Footy as the first ‘club’ boat of course. Create your own fleet. How…?
I started talking in the model aircraft club I belonged to, three of our regulars came from there. Two others came from me getting to know the secretary of the Wisconsin Scale Boating Ass. in Milwaukee and having them publicise us on their web site and in their newsletter. I know it would be easy to get a positive article in the local paper, most US locals are keen to publicise such things. I am saving that for next year when we have more boats on the water. If you have a nearby full size sailing club see if you can get a mention in their newsletter… or go sail from the public slip in their marina as one of our group did! Once you have a few interested parties there is a fair chance that someone will be able to suggest a pond or lake… or maybe have a contact somewhere who can help.

remember… build it and they will come.

If a Wisconsin Footy Regatta 2007 is of any interest, I am sure I could swing it at our venue.


At current count, we have 70 members worldwide in our yahoo user group, seems to be growing interest every day.:slight_smile:

:pirate: :pirate: ROADTOAD - See Frrappr Map Thread. Tallastro is, I hope, going to produce some instructions to make it it bit less initially user hostile. Tell us all about the address of the Yahoo group. Let’s get that onto the Official Footy Classs Web Page and the AMYA Footy page (also general AMYA links). I’'l try to deal with the MYA. Ian H-B or Alan New Zealand Authority. Boatman in Canada? Anybody else? Anybody else got any favourite forums/links?

Great, go , do! (Please)

Angus, I agree completely with the need to keep working to grow the class.

Unfortunately, the numbers you saw on the AMYA site are a new display feature that is behind the actual numbers. AMYA currently has 49 boats registered to 30 different skippers. Registration requests come in slowly, but they haven’t stopped. Our class is growing, though slower than I’d like. On the other hand, it’s growing faster than a lot of new class startups…so there is good news, also. I’ll get those numbers fixed on the website as soon as I can.

I keep refering to racing next year, simply because the USA racing season is virtually over. Many of us will be retiring to the basement shortly to build next season’s boats while the lakes freeze over. This year our major accomplishment was growing enough to get 20 skippers registered to become a recognized class. Next year we’ll concentrate on getting events going.

I wholeheartedly support the concepts of Internet fleet racing, too. The opportunity for a small local group to race against others around the world is clever and the scoreboard ideas sound like fun. Reservations I had about the course layout have been resolved with the ideas for sinking the line, and I’m looking forward to Ian’s experiments.

I’m planning to use the Internet course for at least some (maybe it has the potential to be used for all) of the fleet races we hold next season. That way, we can compare results across the country and support the international effort as well.

I think organized racing is a key to class growth. Another is visibility, and racing isn’t the only way to get it. Taking your Footy to the local pond and letting others sail it will hook people into the class. Take advantage of opportunities to show off your Footy at lunch break during the next regatta you attend. When someone asks you to give a talk or demo to a group of people, make the Footy your topic.

This class is growing in the USA, and with the great group of skippers we have I am confident that it will continue to grow. I count on each skipper to help with that, and, so far, you are all responding to the challenge. I look forward to your suggestions in this thread to help us make Footys a popular class. Keep up the good work…and thanks!!

Bill H

Graham, a Wisconsin event is definitely of interest. Let’s talk off forum about travel logistics for people…convenience may be important.

OK people, things we’ve done today.

We’ve publicised the Footy locator map started by Tallastro. It’s also on the 0fficial Footy Website

The Charter of the Footy Class Association is now on the Official Website.

Graham Pugwash is contacting all his past cutomers to try to get them to register.

What next? Who’s doing it? When?

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

We already have the Frapper map as a link set in our user group.

For those who haven’t visited or joined our yahoo Footy group here’s the link.

See ya there,

Last year, before my employer was bought out and made lots of changes in my life (including 2 moves), I had volunteered to be the webmaster for the nascent Footy class. I apologize for any difficulties I had caused for anyone then by not following up on the responsibilities I had taken on. Sorry.

I purchased a ‘HalfPint’ kit from Brett and started it (it survived the 2 moves and should be in the water soon-thankfully I still live in Florida, no ‘hard water’ to put up with), and my registration was the second Footy registered with the Open Class Secretary at the time. I have found a little time since to watch the brilliant arrival of this class, thanks to Bill, Brett, and many others.

In spring 2005, when I intended to make the Footy web-page a going concern, I purchased the URL “”, and pointed it to the home Footy page. The pointer still works and may be a good way to get a little publicity thing going, since this address is a little easier to publish or remember.

Bill, as soon as I find my records and figure out how to transfer ownership of the name, it belongs to the class. I will keep in touch. Meanwhile, I’m gonna finish my HalfPint, learn to sail her really well, and get some others involved down here so we can bid for a Region 3 Regatta in the near future.

Bruce Crichton / Jacksonville

No harm, Bruce…I know what it can be like to have your work and subsequently home life disrupted like that. I hope all worked out well for you in the end. At any rate, I’m glad you’re back!

Charles Hall has done a bangup job on the website in your absence. As Angus has been heating things up around here, though, I’m sure Charles would like to know that he could call on some backup. Maybe you could send him a note.

I like the domain name Maybe we can find a way to kind of move everything at some point.

Your Footy is a “Pipsqueak” from Brett. Halfpint was one of my early designs. Just want to give credit where due. Given what I saw a couple weeks ago on a friend’s Pipsqueak, you might want to build it so you have some mast position adjustment. I think you might want to be able to put the mast a bit farther aft than Brett’s original plan showed.

Welcome back…lots has been going on, and some interesting new developments. Footys are getting serious, but still fun for all.

Bill H

Something tells me that Texas will see something happen in 2007 with regards to a Footy race. We have several traveling Victoria Skippers who have either built or purchased Footy’s and have expressed interest in doing such a race. We talked it up after the San Antonio sail. I have already expressed willingness to encompass a little race at “Frostbite” for those coming in to sail and I would also be willing to open our lake (Burke/Crenshaw Park, Pasadena, TX) at any time to host an event for the Footy Class so long as interest is present.

I will continue to promote the Footy Class whenever an opportunity presents itself and show people what these great little boats can do.

See you all in 2007 on the water with Footy’s in hand.

More been done.

[b]Appointment of an Australian registrar seems to be under way.

We’ve identified the existence of a potential Footy fleet in Los Angeles, USA from the Frappr map. Perhaps something will come of it.

Identified another potential commercial builder in England.

Number of registrations on the Frappr map is up by 3 (not a lot but it’s about 12% and its early days yet)

British Chris Dicks design competition for Footies announced on web site[/b]

More updates of trhe website being implemented.

Anyone else done anyting useful?


Thanks for the welcome back, Bill. I have missed much, I can tell, and I must agree that the web-site is great - admittedly far better than I could have done, I think.

That said, I seem to be the only Footy in Florida according to that ‘Frappr’ map, and I’m not even on the water yet! The entire state sometimes seems to be sailing EC12’s (everyone locally) or Soling1M’s (the major boat in the state). Looks like I have some work to do…


Footy 761

Hi Bruce. If you zoom in you’ll see that there’s another one in St. Petersburg.

You live in a big country for a small screen!

Thanks for volunteering, Mark…looks like we have three Regionals for 2007. I’ll set up the New England race, Graham has volunteered in Wisconsin, and you for Texas. Los Angeles, anyone?

Bill H

Hi Bill… before we use the ‘Regionals’ tag we would need to discuss that. I had in mind a Wisconsin Footy Regatta to encourage participation and make things happen. To encourage Footy participation to the maximum.

My understanding of the ‘Regional’ tag is that it would then restrict entries to AMYA members with AMYA registered boats, much too restrictive in my mind. We would perhaps be better served to approach this from a ‘Footy Class Association’ standpoint rather than ‘AMYA’. Even beyond that I would not turn any boat away so long as it met the Footy Class rules.


From previous experience in power R/C boating we always ran under the IMPBA organization. Mainly for the liabilty insurance required by pond owners before we could even drop a boat into the water. So every entry had to me a member of the IMPBA. I think we able to write up memberships the day of the event.

If we ran a non-sanctioned IMPBA event we had one or two day insurance coverage from an outside source. All entrants signed paid an insurance fee and signed a legal release form.

With any event, we were able to modify class rules to suit our location as long as they were published on our flyer …ex. mufflers required etc.

Or in the case of Footy’s—NO signal cannons…LOL

Aaaaagh! I’m told that 75% of the world’s lawyers are resident i nthe United States. This is SOOOO foreign

I’m with Graham on making these regattas as inclusive as possible. Can we have AMYA supported events without them being Regional championships? We just need a willing club right?

I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get to any of these, there are far away. TX and WI are not on my regular vacation routes. New England is likely though so I’m hoping the timing works out.

OK, guys, I’ll keep an open mind on the AMYA thing. Sometimes it’s tricky to wear two hats. I’m certainly in favor of open participation. Maybe the same event could be held under both flags.

Just to note, I currently have 44 boats registered with AMYA, and another 13 that are registered with the IFCA only…and some of those are with AMYA members who, for whatever reason, haven’t decided to invest their $7.00.

That doesn’t mean I’m insisting on AMYA Regionals…the only point I’m making is that the AMYA registrations and IFCA registrations, at this point, aren’t that far apart. I hope some of the new registrants (special thanks to Graham for encouraging Kittiwake customers) will also become AMYA members.

We’ll work it out for the best of Footys overall.

Bill H

Tallastro in NC, and the Georgia boys, and those of us hanging out in Florida are feeling a little left out. Maybe we can sort out a site for a regatta / get-together sometime next year…