Marblehead vs Multihull

When I first joined this forum and mentioned that I had competitively raced both Marbleheads and Multihull’s, I was asked to comment on my thoughts of both classes.
When racing the Marblehead class I found that it was extremely dog eat dog. By this I mean that the rules as they stood then( fortunately these have been changed) where stretched to the limit. For example, on many occasions I would be on a gaining tack and call another boat on port and starboard. So that this other skipper would not loss his position he would call “out of control” which would then mean to prevent an incident I would tack, lose my advantage and then by some miracle his boat would “start working again”. As I said fortunately the rules have been changed to prevent this happening now.

The guys I raced against(with the above aside) were a competitive group. In this group were Australian champions and also other extremely experienced sailors who had been in the class for years.

The Marblehead, I found to be a very easy boat to sail, not that different to real boats in performance. Although it did require an amount of concentration, the lead bulb was of great assistance. By this I mean big rigs could be carried without to much trouble for longer than they should have been.

I competed with my boat at two Australian titles, without any success.

I left the class when most of the guys I sailed with went to IOM’s.At about this time I saw some r/c multihull’s being sailed and thought I’ll give them a go.

It was like starting all over again. My experience that I had gained sailing and racing Marblehead’s meant nothing when it came to skippering multi’s.
They are totally different.
The speed that is produced in the right conditions is unbelievable. The control needed is precise as one small mistake, and you are in the row boat picking it up.

I think that now after 5 years I have nearly mastered the art of sailing these boats, although changing designs takes you almost back to square one.

So to compare Marblehead sailing to Multihull sailing is impossible except to say that they are both sail boats. Obviously by sailing monohull’s you learn pointing angles and how to tack etc which helps in any class.

I do not believe however that people who have never sailed before shouldn’t enter into r/c multihull sailing as to learn from step one with a multihull will put anybody off.

This is just something that the r/c sailing scene in general doesn’t need. The more people enjoying our form of sailing can only be good for the sport.

As an experienced rc multihull sailor and designer as well as designer/builder of numerous monohulls I find your conclusions interesting.
Looking at it from an “evangelistic” standpoint(being eager to introduce people to high speed sailing) I think that it is important to try to find ways to develop a multihull that COULD be an rc sailors first boat.
And I think once that boat is found-both from a performance(fast with no capsize or pitchpole) standpoint and a cost standpoint- the multihull world will grow in leaps and bounds…

Maybe it would be possible to have a dialogue under another topic(RC Multihull Development?) to explore the ideas experienced rc multihullers could come up with to improve the breed and widen the scope of interest?

Peter, what type of foiler was the foiler that was sailed at your club? What type altitude control system did it use? I would sincerely appreciate an answer…

edt: ad question

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

It was a few years ago so the memory of it is shaded. What I can remember was that it was a tri had a flat platform(no angle in the beams). It was built as wide as possible, had “L” shaped foil on the two floats and a “T” shaped foil in place of a centreboard. The rudder had a “T” foil on it. It had some kind of “soft” cord that ran from the foil to the bow.
I can’t remember it crashing down but it did ride quite high out of the water when it got going. It didn’t “foil” to windward, so was quite slow on that angle but was very quick reaching.
It therefore didn’t suit the course racing that we do as the windward legs are quite long and the gains it made on reachers were very quickly diminished on the windwards.
The member that was working on them has since left the club to sail and build IOM.
The boat was stable on the foils when at speed but didn’t jibe well on them, more often than not becoming unstable and almost completely hitting the water before the speed on the new jibe lifted it again.

Thanks Peter; that explains a lot particularly regarding an altitude control system . The altitude control system on a Bradfield type foiler works using differential lift from the two(only) forward foils. Without such a system a foiler is handicapped in terms of stability.
Windward foiling is one of the key performance attributes of a Bradfied type foiler mainly because of the differential altitude control but also because it is limited to only three foils.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing