New Footy Kit....The V-12

A couple weeks ago, I got a registration request from George Dornis. George is the proprietor of Victor Model Products, manufacturer of the most popular class…the Soling One Meter.

I asked George if his registration meant we could look forward to a new Footy kit from him, and he replied yes. The new V-12 Footy kit is now available at his website. :zbeer:

Though I don’t have one yet, George’s kit looks well designed and should give skippers another option in the moderate price, easy-build range that is appealing to first-time builders. I think it’s great that George has taken notice of the rapidly growing popularity of the Footy class, and its appeal to a broad market.

Thanks, George…no doubt your kit will help us grow.

Bill H

Welcome to another manufacturer. Like everyone else, I’m curious to see how the boat performs against other designs. It will also be interesting to see how a maker of one design boats does business in an international development (open) class.

Got to agree there tallastro!
I tell you the development of these little boats is on an exponential curve in these early days,the boats are getting faster weekly it seems as we find out what makes these little boats tick.
Will they retool when the boat can no longer foot it with the best in the class?
Or is this an attempt at a one design in an open class?

we’ll definetly have to see… the boat seems to differ a lot from the current style of boats… somebody should pick one up… i’d love to hear how it does against a kittywake, a Bearfoot, a Lajabless, and one of brett’s custom monsters! should be an interesting race…:devil3:

The question about the one design scenario is particularly interesting to me and a very good question. About six months ago I approached one of the ‘names’ in the Footy world about this very thing. I had received a number of comments from Kittiwake owners that they would welcome it being supported as a one design option either within or without of the ‘Footy’ class. I was told in no uncertain terms that it would be a very bad idea and could damage the class.

Having the best interests of the class in mind, plus of course I could see that it was not good business to risk damage to the class which has welcomed my designs, I put the idea on hold indefinitely. I didn’t abandon it, I have a new design to fit the bill in place as well as the structure of what would initially be a manufacturer run and supported kit class. The reason being that if the climate were to change and it appeared that the idea was to become acceptable then I would be ready to offer my solution.

My question now is… has the climate changed?

As a long time supporter of the ‘Footy’ class as it stands, I rather hope not. But nor do I want to be the good guy who follows the ‘guidelines’ and as a result gets left in the mud!


I’m not sure I know the answer to your question Graham. I’m a traditional person by nature and can sometimes be slow to change my ways. That said, the Footy class is a place where I feel the need to advance news ideas. If a bunch of skippers want to form a one-design around a particular Footy or you need to beat the competition to the punch, go for it. I’m not sure I guide you much in this area.

I can tell you that I support the Footy Class as is. It’s a development class and should remain so. If it prices itself out of existence then so be it (not that I think that will happen). I personally wouldn’t be interested in a one-design at Footy size. It’s just too tempting for me to try something different at this scale that I think a one-design would feel suffocating. I already sail another one-design and it would be expensive to experiment there. I like the Footy because I can afford to experiment. I think this class has many years of professional and basement improvements before it slows down any.

Are manufacturers the ones that generally start one design classes? It seems to make sense since they’d sell more boats with less setup. The other possibility would be owners organizing themselves and boat makers just happily keeping them supplied. I know that I would be drawn to an owner driven class but then I’m a computer pro with too many years of dealing with Micro$oft domination. One source for something does not appeal.

This is just one person’s thoughts. Don’t weigh it too heavily because I’m the official keeper of a bunch o’ numbers. I’ve still only been in the sailing game for a year. I’m curious to hear what others think.

Coming from a beach cat background, I’ve had the opportunity to sail both one-design cats (Hobie, Prindle and NACRA) and see the variations in these (supposed) one design attempts.

On the other side, I have competed in a truly development class - the 18 Square Meter boats where length, sail area and weight were main factors. There too I saw many innovations and ideas. Some worked, some were “WOW-GOLLY-GEEWHIZ”, and some failed before being proven or adopted.

In either case, it still cost money to sail and race. Sure in one design classes the sails were only allowed from one sail maker, but the hot sailors had to have new sails each year. Sliding travellers were replaced with roller-bearing Harkens if allowed. 4:1 mainsheets were replaced with 8:1 setups. Fixed jib cars, if not controlled by rules soon were Harken blocks and moveable/adjustable cars and tracks. If anything wasn’t tightly controlled by rules, it was a sure bet someone would buy something new. If it worked, “everyone” had to have it for fear of being left behind. And this, I remind you are in classes that billed themselves as “one-design”.

In the development class, you knew up front there might be a costly breakthrough going into the class. It didn’t creep up on you either. I enjoyed working with composites when the traditional hull at the time was hand-laid fiberglass and polyester resin. Ultralight cedar strip or 3mm plywood cat hulls held an interest for me beyond just being light and fast. And of course, when our first carbon fiber laminated daggerboards, or rudders appeared, or the solid wing sail - it was time for a reality check. Some stayed even though they were not front-of-the-fleet performers any longer. Others stayed to see what the next round of innovation would bring. And of course, some threw in the towel and left developement for a “one-design” class.

If you truly believe that a one-design class is without design innovations or costs (even though they may be small) you are delusional. Even tight classes like Lasers offer pay-for-performance options. In the r/c laser world - they “suggest” entry at $400 but after buying three rigs, it might be closer to $700-$800. Maybe the options are fewer, but they are still there.

If you divide costs by boat length, some of the numbers are surprising. Regardless of what you think, “rectangular dollars still provide linear performance” It’s just “how much” - and don’t forget to include your labor for home builders. You wouldn’t build production for free, so it is unfair to consider your labor as free if you home build.

Just trying to look at the one-deisgn vs. development arguments in honest and complete comparisons. Interested in any rebuttals or opposing points of view.

I very much agree with that paragraph John, the Footy is what it is, a one-design would be a different thing.

My question is not what do we think of open versus one design, interesting though that is. I am seeking whether we are still desiring to avoid the one design creeping into or around our class. Not so that I can do it, rather so that we discover where we (the core enthusiasts) currently stand.


Quote: I am seeking whether we are still desiring to avoid the one design creeping into or around our class.

Graham - and others more directly into the class.

Just a comment heard … about a “GHOST FOOTY” - one that may have been registered but will likely never race due to all the early squabling, and seemingly lack of direction. No - not mine but a good friend of mine down the coast a ways from you.

For me from an outsider’s view - and one who had contemplated a boat - it seems as there is difficulty in simply stating your (majority agreed upon) misssion and getting on with the building, racing and promotion.

You have rules,. The class was identified as developmental. Cast the rules in concrete for at least 3 years. Live by 'em even if terrible, but at least those interested will have a feeling of some permanent structure. I admit to not reading every post on every site about the FOOTY, but it seems to me as an observer, that you may be trying to make accomodations for anyone and as a result, indecision is taking hold.

Brett came up with a wonderful idea of a development class boat that was controlled by simple rules, but it has been so henpecked it is literally a shell of it’s original idea. If a boat fits in the box, race it. If it seems not to be legal, file a protest and let the technical committee make their determination. The class is being run by “No One” yet it seems everyone is adding to rules that haven’t even been out there for any length of time to be tested. Not everyone will want to play - so for those who are “running” the show, simply run it and pick up your members where you can, and be cordial about those in disagreement as they leave.

The class was designated “developmental” - so end the on-going rehash of one-design. As a viewer, I want to see race results. On water, boat to boat action. The internet course is unique but takes out any rule tactics that crop up in fleet racing. Which boat is fastest? Which boat is winning it’s share of entered races around the country or the globe? Prove that a well built balsa boat can be competitive with a carbon boat - or that chines are as fast as round-bottomed hulls. If one can build ultra-light, what good was the rule about batteries. If solar-panel sails generate enough power to drive the servos - isn’t that development? Why spec where batteries must be placed? If they become ballast for a lightweight boat - isn’t that development? One rudder, two rudders - why the question. The rules seems pretty clear - there is a (one) rudder slot. If you want 7 rudders - hang them all under the hull - and end modifying the rules to allow multiple transom rudders.

It’s great the class was started on the internet, but this on-going issue of one-design versus developmental seems to be an issue that has already been decided. If builders are concerned about tooling, then they can build what they want and let the market decide. Don’t force a class to become what is wasn’t originally intended.

And please accept my use of the word “you” to be inclusive, not specific. I just hate to see this great development class smother ideas because someone doesn’t want to spend money to develop something new. Please make it and keep it a development class - a place where folks can try out their ideas within a MINIMAL set of rules. Let development happen. If 8 of us locally all build the same boat and agree to sail it one-design… so what? We all know if we show up at any true class regatta, the door was wide open and we had the opportunity, we just elected not to take it.

Sorry for the rant - I return you to your regularly scheduled topic.

Victor’s entry into the Footy class could do a lot to add ‘Footy interested’ people to the class. I would have thought that some will just sail and a few will race. If the boat performs well they will stay with the Victor, if not some, hooked on Footy’s will move on to other boats. Victr produce a wide range of boats yet only the Soling 1M and maybe the V32 have become real AMYA one designs. I 'm not sure we have to worry. As for a Kittiwake OD all the Kittiwakes in my club appear to be development boats, rig variations, sail control variations, different keels, each one different. Even in the same hull kit boats people are modifying their boats. Good luck trying to rein them in. Footy’s to me are naturally a development class, even the kit suppliers are busy innovating and changing their own boats, so I don’t think w have to panic just yet.

I am hopeful that Bill will not mind us hijacking his thread as this discussion moves through to cover thoughts on the creation of a “one-design” sub division of the FOOTY class.

I would begin my input with my concept of the nature of the owners of FOOTYs. The two extremes are the "racers" and the "windlers." The racers are interested only in having the fastest boat on the track. It does not matter what it looks like or how much it costs, or if they have to purchase a new unit every 12 months as designs evolve. Winning is the name of the game. Some have the skills to "do-it-yourself," others have to buy their boats from those who have the DIY ability, but whatever skill level they have their main interest is in racing and winning. Windlers are much calmer people who desire to have a little boat that looks really nice sailing and spectators cluck over "what a cute little boat" "did you build that yourself" "what sort of engine do you have in that?" etc. It is better if it looks sort of scale, perhaps with portholes and gaff riged or even a dipping lug sail and if you have little men or even animals as crew you are sure to be a hit on the local pond. Somewhere between these two "extremes" lay most of us here. I personally am more at the racer end of the scale. Give some thought as to where you sit on the scale. Fun isnt it.

About where the X marks the spot I reckon there are a huge group of sailors who could be starters for a one design type of division within the FOOTY class.
They would most likely be Kittiwake owners who are new to radio yachting and not much interested in spending any extra money on the latest go fast bits, do not want to sail if the wind is more that six knots, don`t even have a B rig, are not interested in learning more than the very basic rules, would never ever “protest” another sailor, are happy to stay out of the way at the start so as not to get yelled at and just enjoy the fellowship of like minded blokes.
The challenge for the class is, do we have enough total participants to be able to fragment the class as this would do.
In my humble opinion the answer is “NO”
Let the windlers windle and the racers race and the rest of us find our place on the scale and the class continue to grow.
Ask me again in five years time when every school woodwork shop in developed countries have any option for designing and making a FOOTY and those in emerging countries are being sent kits and materials from those workshops to do the same.
When registrations have reached over one hundred thousand world wide.
Maybe then?

I must say that you are painting a rather dismal view of the current state of the Footy Class rules. Yes, there has been some rather strong controversy about rule interpretation in the past. Personally, I have stayed clear of these arguments, as I always thought the original rules were basically sound. Some of the issues were being raised by people who derived more enjoyment from being argumentative than actually building a boat, and other issues have been resolved. I totally disagree with your statement that “it seems as there is difficulty in … getting on with the building, racing and promotion.” and would argue that,in fact, just the opposite is occurring.

The class has now moved on to some very interesting development, and creative designs/products that fit within the rules. So the question that Graham raises is not one about the basic rules, but whether or not there is any merit of establishing a “One Design” (OD) class within that context.

Personally, I have a fair amount of experience within OD classes:

  1. “ODOM” rc sailboat ( )
  2. “Renegade” full size iceboat ( )
    3)J-24 sailboat

I find the main benefit of OD classes is that it can limit the extent of the inevitable “wallet wars” needed to keep up with the latest “go fast” improvements in the wide open developmental classes.
On the other hand, no one should delude themselves into thinking that all craft within an OD class are indeed truly equal, as variation within sail rig construction/tuning etc can make a big difference. The one exception to this may be the RC Laser class, which is VERY tightly controlled.

I see no harm in a group of sailors getting together to have OD races, as it will tend to more closely compare sailing skills. Other Footys could even sail with them with separate scoring for overall/OD finishes. Whether this needs to be set up in a formal manner within the Footy Class rules is an open question, but my intuition tells me that this may be premature at this point in time. It’s hard enough to get a decent number of boats together for racing at this stage, so I wouldn’t like to see the opportunities restricted for Footys of all types to get together for racing.

I myself like the variety that comes from a development class. We all face the same goal and have all been given a “box” and a simple set of rules to follow. I like seeing the creative designs people develop and bring to the pond to race, and they inspire me to think differently about design ideas I may have.

Nothing to say that groups shouldn’t adopt a footy design and have an OD race series on their own. The idea of all boats being equal if you so choose and the only difference between a win and a loss is the skill of the skipper would be appealing to some. OD also does reduce somewhat the “spend the green for the speed” syndrome that plagues many racing sports today.

As for making the official AMYA Footy class an OD class, I don’t think it would be good for the class. Too much creativity going on out there that you would shut the door on. I don’t see it going OD anytime soon anyway.

My 2 cents worth…

The Footy is …well what it is.
A One design class is something else altogether and if promoted as a one design should have it own identity.
A one design class that fits into an existing development class(Footy) is interesting. but development goes on and such boats would eventually be left behind when racing in “Footy”(development) fleets
No one would seriously take a Victor Soling to the AMYA one meter class nationals and expect to do well.
Right now the Victor boat may well be fast within the Footy rule(new rule,not much development yet)…but if it doesn’t change or evolve it will not be in years to come(more development)

small pockets of sailors may well choose to sail Footys OD at there own clubs etc…and should be encouraged.
OD rules on a grander scale than that may be difercult to control with such small boats.

Has anyone been seriously suggesting that the Footy rules be changed to make the Footy a one-design in the eyes of the AMYA?

If so, let us just look at trhe problems:

  1. The rule change would have to be put to a vote of ALL Footy owners, since it is a single class throughout the world. There apperars to be no desire whatsoever outside the USA for a one-design ‘Footy’ except by a little man in Australia with obvious commercial pretensions. This means that it is at best a cliff hanger which side wins. The result is certainly a total split between Footys inside and outside the USA. Whether it is then legally possible for the version in the USA to be called a ‘Footy’ has to be a matter of some doubt. ‘Footy One Design’ is a contradiction in terms. A Footy is a development class. In law a passing-off action against anyone who attempted to sell boats on such terms would probably succeeed.

  2. Which Footy one-design? The one made in Hickville, Nerdville, Schmuckville or Goonville? The market for registered boats in the USA (i.e. ones to whom any consideration of one-design-ness is relevant) is about 150. This has to be split over ALL the one designs. Would ANY of them initially have AMYA recognition - remember that the existing fleet presumably have to do something active and pay money to 'become’a member of a new one-design class?

Frankly, there is little point in going on: the whole notion is risible.

On ther other hand, if owners want to race boats made from the same kit togrther, that is there business. No-one should want to stop them. Ij offshore boats there there have historically been many instances of ‘classes within classes’ that have flourished quite happily over the years. Fortunately most of these boats have been owned by Ian’s windlers, which takes a lot of the pressure and acrimony out of what is often a rather skeletal one-design rule.

I suggest very strongly that we do not be deflected from our ‘broad-church’ course. Let the market do what it will - but be sure to safeguard the Footy name so that it means a development class boat within which individual designs can ‘freeze’ if they so desire.

Here is one yank who isn’t interested in the Footy adopting any official One Design sub-class or sub-classes ever. I’ve seen my other favorite class, the US 36/600 class, fracture over similar issues where the “windlers” wanted to remain be competitive, using boats that where a decade out of date. I don’t want the same for this class.
By the way Angus, with your list of registered boats you’re just 15 boats shy of qualifying for your own AMYA class. The list is almost a post in itself!

And my fleet is definitely NOT one design!

Does this mean that Footy owners here who are disaffected with the MYA can join the AMYA, register their boats there, get getomatic rercognition and then thumb their noses at the MYA? My sense of naughtiness is now fully aroused!

More seriously, when the V-12 first came out, I was slighly concerned that it, if sales went well, it might well be possible for Victor to hijack the class through their customers. I rang George Dornis of Victor Model Products (the people whu ‘run’ the class do actually do things sometimes, Dick!:slight_smile: ). I had a long and intersting conversation with him. He is aware that a builder of quite highly standardised production boats is embarking on quite an adventure in getting involved in a development class. It was his intention to go with the flow rather than attempt to dominate in any wy. Neither did he have any proposals for a Footy one design. After we (metaqphorically) shook hands, I did not feel any particular need to count my fingers.

Plesse do not let this thread degenerte into a witch-hunt for builders. The vast majority of them are very welcome members of this and other forums who contribute greatly to the class. The odd exception is best ignored.

I think the time to consider a one-design “spinoff” is only after it has become clear that one “corner” of the design space is clearly an optimum. The Viper seems to have done this for the US 1 Meter. On the other hand, the International A Class seems to continue to evolve, at least in the UK.

In full-sized boats, the R Class was essentially killed by L. Francis Herreshoff’s “Live Yankee,” which was both exceedingly fast and exceedingly expensive. It’s also interesting to consider the Sonder Class, which sought diversity in design by a rule in which LWL + Beam + Draft was a constant (32 feet), plus a sail area and minimum weight. This turned out to be overconstraining; the designs converged rapidly to planing scows that look very much like each other.



yes, i must agree. inserting a “one design” ruling into the footy group - at least while it is still reletivly small - would be fatal. the soul of the footy is for the wacks out there [to which offence i readily admit] who have a burning need to push the envelope, but who are also normal people, who don’t have the money to build a new IOM/M/USM, etc. whenever the bug hits them. we must remain true to our origins.

besides, isn’t it so mush more interesting to hear the on-going debate between Angus and some of the brits, and some of us yanks about the ideal shape of a footy?:devil3::lol:

After a few minor things, sheets and varnishing the deck I will have completed the Victor V-12.

The build and instructions were quite good other than a few minor things that were missing in the instructions to make them complete. But this is a development class so we shouldn’t need all the detailed explanations.

The one thing that I would have liked to have better measurements for is the fore/aft rake of the keel. Aligning with the hull is rather approximate and I think that mine ended up about half an inch aft of square which might result in a leeward helm tuning challenge.

The supplied parts are complete. As with other Victor boats, the emphasis is on cost savings rather than high tech so the weight might be a bit more than necessary but we shall see.

I built it with all the stock parts to see how it performs. If I were to modify it in the future I may change the aluminum spars to lighter CF arrow shafts. Replacing portions of the 1/64 ply deck with heat shrink might be worth doing as well.

Making my own paneled mylar sails with a more aggressive plan would be another modification I will probably do. The stock sails are flat rip-stop Dacron. They look to be well made other than the grommet at the jib tack was placed about 3/4 inch from the foot so I replaced it with another closer to the foot.

All-in-all a nice boat that will be interesting to try out.

We have two other Footys in Minneapolis to offer some competitive comparisons.