New to RC Sailing

Good Evening to everyone.

I am new to RC Sailing, I had never even thought about it until 2 weeks ago whn I happened upon some RC Sailors in the Wetlands park in Northern Yuma AZ.

I have a big Sailboat at least to me. It is a 27’ Trailer Sailer. Problem is now i can’t run around on deck any more with two hip replacements. My balance and stability is not good.

So now I am looking at building my own Wood/Glass Larger Pond Boat.

I am looking for a nice plan to build a boat with a LOA of approx 40-50 inches or so. I have built full sized Western Red Cedar Stripper Boats and Canoes. The building is the fun part.

I will be lurking and learning.


Hi Tom, and welcome.

Are you looking to scratch-build using plans only, or are you thinking about a kit with most of the stuff included? Check out some of Claudio’s designs/plans on the site for scratch-build Marblehead (50/800) designs, or Google Tippecanoe Models yachts and take a look at their 50/800 (design is T50 series).


Hi Dick,

I really like to scratch build. I love to play round with a plan and modify it to be what I want it to be, I am not so interested in class racing.

Just this morning I came across “J” boats. I have always like the look of the old beauties. I love the long bow and stern curves and the sheer curve of the deck. I have done a search and can’t seem to come up with a place to buy plans. Would you have any suggestions?

My wife is a Traveling Nurse and we go to lots of different places. I would like to build a 50"-60" LOA Hull. I also don’t want the really deep keel that such a length would warrant. It would keep me from sailing some of the smaller park ponds that don’t have the depth.

Any help would be appreciated.


Maybe start here ----- and see what is being sailed in areas where you live and/or travel. At 50 inches, keep in mind you will be moving a mast around that can easily reach 7-8 feet in overall length. The completed boat can weigh in at 15 plus pounds, and travel to/from the pond is a consideration.

If you are traveling a lot, I wouldn’t recommend anything over 1 meter in length as masts in these will run 5 1/2 feet tall or more. As mast height goes up, then a corresponding depth of keel becomes the norm to “leverage” the wind on the sails. Some classes that don’t have the deep keels, rely on lead weight to keep them upright - and this is then another consideration.

I would look at the SeaWind class at 1 meter, the Victor Products Soling 1 meter, and just a bit shorter at around 25-1/2 inches the RG65 class. Some of the classes are one-design where modifications are limited - or not allowed. Other classes may have a minimal set of rule, and finally some classes may be development, allowing “anything” that isn’t restricted.

By looking at the AMYA class pages, not only do you find others sailing a boat like yours, but you have a wealth of build information as well as sailing experience. Sailing alone gets “lame” after a while - it’s always nice to have a similar boat to sail against/with - just for fun. If you eventually turn into a hard-core racer, having a boat design being raced will also help.

Finally, budget may also be an issue - with average prices running from $300 to $800 for a complete boat and radio. Of course you are welcome to spend as much as $1500 - $2500 for a boat in the 50 inch size. Self-building will reduce costs somewhat - but be aware like any hobby, it does “cost” to play.

Others will provide recommendations for a design, or class - and all I can suggest is to look at what they propose, do a lot of reading, and then decide … keeping in mind to try and sail what others in your area are sailing.

Good luck - Dick

Hi Tom,

my opinion is the opposite of most You read until now. I believe, as an owner of a 27ft trailer Boat, You drive not a compact car. So travelling with Yiour model is no big story. With a little “hand trailer” you should be able to walk some yards with Your boat to the lake. So 40 pounds or 20 kilos shouldn’t be a problem.

If You like building and this is the most enjoying part for You, You need something scale built of wood! Not an IOM or any class boat. Build something scale with a plan! Scale boats are often not as high as regatta boats. Often the mast isn’t much higher over Deck, as the lenght of the hull.




Thanks for the input everyone.

Lothar, Yes moving a boat with an 8’ mast would only be a little challenging. My pick up truck has an 8’ enclosed box and our Travel Trailer has plenty of room for a boat to be hauled inside while in transit. My thought was to borrow from the Trailer boat ideas and use a mast tabernacle. to let the mast hinge down for transport. As I have said, I am new, with no practical eperience directly with RC Boats, lots of experience with the real thing and wood working and epoxy application. I will look at other idea boats as well before I begin.

What are some sources of Plans and pre cut frames for building the hull?

Thanks again for help.


Hi Tom & welcome,

If you like the idea of building a scale J class then I’d definitely recommend reading this thread which also has all the frame drawings as PDF files -

It’s also a design that I’m very slowly working through (no real progress for quite a while). If you like the idea of laser cut frames (and you don’t mind paying) then the following may be worth a look at -

In terms of guidance for building, this forum is a truly phenomenal resource and there are plenty of other forums too, particularly Dutch & German sites (unfortunately I’ve lost the links at the moment) but if you can bare the results of the Google translations then well worth the effort.

Hope you find something suitable to build soon,



Hi Tom,
We may have met at the pond in Yuma. You may have sailed my Yellow IOM even. I have left for the summer, but hope to see you at the pond next winter.

If you have the skills to build from a set of line plans, then I would suggest that you build a Goth US1M or a Goth IOM from the free plans available from Frank Russell’s web site.

We have a building fleet of both classes and it would be great for all if you chose a class boat.

Regardless of which boat you choose, the US1M building tips download will be a great help.

Hope to see you in November.



See Tom - I told you so !!! Guys come out of the woodwork when someone asks questions, and the provided alternatives are great. John’s makes a lot of sense since you would be sailing with others with the same size of boats - and with the added benefit of experience should you need it. The J Class is a nice yacht - but if you are the only one with that style - it get’s lonely sailing along.

Yepp Dick is right!

Yesterday I wasn’t sure to write it. The first Job is, to find someone with same interests. To sail J-class or skerrycruisers as I do, is lonesome, without somebody with a similar boat. The other problem is, to build and sail IOM or Marblehead is not a big challange for Your modelling skills… In the shop I wouldn’t be happy with that boats.

By the way, of course I take away the riggs of my boats for transporting in the car. This takes less than three minutes, even on windy days. So the main transportation challenge is the hull. The Rigg is at a scale boat not much longer than the hull.

Please look at It’s mostly in german, but I believe the pictures explain, what we are doing there. No J’s, but beautifull scale yachts in scale 1:5. Also look at “Bildergalerie” on top of this page.

By the way, I am the producer of the frames…

Best Regards


We travelso much that finding someone with similar boats would probably be difficult. I am some what solitary, however I do enjoy talking with men who have similar interests. I have purchased the pre cut frames for a Star class Santa Barbara 45. However I lost interest in it when I saw the “J” Boats.

I will start building my 45 probably next week with the help of one of the men who has a shop here in Yuma that he has volunteered the use of in the construction of the hull. Having hime help at the beginning stages will be good. He has built 10+ boats to his own designs. I will keep you posted on my progress. I just wish I could find some plans for the 45.


Tom - may also want to consider the “Canterbury J” - which is a much much smaller version the “real” J Boat class. There are a few posts here about the boat - use the search feature - but good forum topic posts on this size/class is found here: