Need a plan source

I’m looking for a plan, for an RC sailboat to build from scratch. I want to find one right at 18" or close to it. I don’t want to get up to the 24" and above classes, which puts me out of most of the plans available. I don’t want to go with another footy, so I’m looking for something in that 18" range. I also would like to try one with planking.

It doesn’t have to be free, but if I pay for a plan, I want a detailed one, with all the necessary drawings and information, for a novice…

Not asking much huh??:wink:

I’m nowhere knowledgeable enough to try and make drawings myself and don’t have the tools to do that even if I had the skills, so I’m just looking for a plan that is already done. I see a lot for US 1 meter, star 45, rg-65, etc., but those are all too large…

Thanks in advance for any info…

Well, if you’re interested in a traditional design, we have plans from nine inches up.



I guess traditional would be more along the lines I was thinking. Where would I see some of those ideas?

Maybe 18" is too small, maybe it has to be longer. I guess the question arises, what length do you have to go to, before you get a smoother sailing boat, without the dipsy nose diving problems of a short length boat?


The question of smooth sailing is a good one. All the models (up to 46") I have listed below have done one the following:

  • nose under/submarine
  • Pitch Poled
  • Broached

It is just a matter of wind, waves & sail area as man pushes for high performance.

In fact, I have experienced these out of control situations on boats up to a 35 foot Bristol. Certainly in 12’ Butterfly, 20’ C-Scow and Hobie cats. I have even experienced decks awash on the 128’ Vanderbelt schooner Mandalay.

In the models I have sailed, the Soling 1M seems most stable and smooth under a variety of wind conditions, but it is considered under powered (sail area) by some skippers.

Looking forward to some good comments on this by the more experienced model sailors.

The mast acts as a lever - always trying to roll the boat hull to the left or right. The opposite lever is the keel and bulb that works to keep the boat upright.

When running off the wind (and even on a very broad reach) the wind on the sails tries to push the boat hull forward. With a lot of lead hanging below the hull, the boat can’t react and accelerate fast enough so once again the lever (mast) wants to push the front of the boat forward and down. The bow deck submerges and adds even more drag to slow the acceleration down, yet the mast and sail still want to go forward. A pitchpole results. If it happens, the boat can’t balance itself on a “pointy” bow and so the hull flops to one side or the other. This removes steering control (rudder may be out of the water) and a “broach” may occur.

Suggestion - take your mast height and reduce it’s length by 1/4 - 1/3 and see if downwind sailing improves. In our efforts to get even more sail into the air to go faster, we opt for tall rigs and sails of high-aspect ratio. Try a rig with a low aspect ratio sail (long foot, shorter luff) and it will go a long way to improving downwind handling. (but will be slower on other points of sail) - sorry there is always a “trade-off”.

It’s the hull and lead keel drag that prevent sudden and quick acceleration in a wind gust. Ice boats and land yachts with very little hull drag just simply accelerate in a gust. I don’t recall any “nose-dive” incidents with them - albeit they are usually always sailing in strong apparent wind.

Ok, so it’s not really as much a factor of the design of the boat/hull, it’s just the way a sailboat is… The lever action I understand, that helps. So as long as I use a reduced mast/sail height it would be smoother, but slower and in very low wind, the higher sail might be necessary…

Maybe that’s why powered boats are so popular, people don’t want to mess with all the problems/trade offs inherent in sailing…

OK, here’s a nice 22 incher from the 1920’s by the well-known West Coast naval architect Matt Walsh. Don’t be put off by that full keel – as anybody who has sailed a Yankee III will tell you, with that inclined rudder they’ll turn on a time. The article is from 1927.



Ok, say that I would want to try something like that, where would I find drawings? I see the drawing in the pdf file, but all those lines don’t mean anything at all to me. I’m not being smart here, I just mean that a drawing like that wouldn’t get me anywhere.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m looking more for something where the forms/bulkheads ( all the pieces) can be printed out and traced on wood as well as details that say “take a 3/4” x 2" x 4" block and use the pattern to shape the piece that holds the rudder tube in place". As an example…

In other words, more of a complete step by step build.
I am not experienced in modeling and I know nothing about sailing or engineering of any kind. If someone showed me a blueprint, I wouldn’t know if it was right side up or upside down…

I’ve seen a lot of free plans, but they most always have 1 or 2 pages of line drawings that are of no use to me, so I just thought maybe there were some that were for sale, that were complete.

I’m begining to feel like modeling is one of those “dark arts” where you have to be taught by someone experienced for a few years, just to learn it. Sort of like the old apprentice journeyman thing. I wouldn’t have a problem with that, except there’s no one doing it around here. The local “club” closed up due to lack of interest and not being able to find a place that would let them use a body of water. The local hobby shops tell me no one does that stuff any more here. The few around just buy a RTR boat and that’s it. Everyone does airplanes (over 100 guys in the local RC airplane club and the city gave them the old city airport!!), but the city won’t allow an RC boat on any of their waters (I aksed), too much liability! B.S.

Sorry I’m straying off course here, my sail is filled with my own hot air again… :rolleyes:

Sure, I understand. I’d suggest going to the Vintage site, and start at the design discussion which will teach you how to read a set of lines plans (it’s not hard, just different):

The boat was designed to be built by the “bread and butter” method from layers of wood. A really good treatise on this is the reprint of John Black’s classic “Yachting With Models” offered by Goodchild:

look down toward the bottom of the page. I also have an article on building a model of the celebrated “Snipe” design which I’ll add to this thread. It should be closer to what you’re looking for. Stay tuned.



OK, here’s a pasteup of the original scans of Wm. Crosby’s article on “Snipe Jr.” The plans show a lead keel, you can just use a slightly larger piece of iron or brass plate. Your experience in doing a footy should help you figure out the radio gear. If you’d like to try planking, use the dimensions in the plans to draw out the bulkheads and plank the bottom instead of carving it the way Crosby has it.



I’m reading…:wink:

Thank you Earl

Now that one I could work with…:smiley:

Thank you again…

So the side view of the Thoroughbred actually shows eight sections labeled and if I look at it right, those sections are actually half of what I would use as each form/bulkhead? It looks that way… So if I copy each one and fold it over on the straight edge, I can mark it and unfold to make a full bulkhead form for each?

Yep. Just subtract off the thickness of the planks.