North Sails 600 open class

[-crzwom] A guy from New Zealand sent me an e-mail about this class;he really didn’t know the details but said movable ballast was legal and judging from the picture posted under “Compression Vangs” in Technology Discussions on this site square top mains are also legal.
Can anyone enlighten me about the details of this class??? Isn’t it cool that yet another class is tossing out the old rules and going for high technology!!!


Doug Lord
High Technology Sailing/Racing

Hi Doug,
This is as much as I know.
North Sails 600 Open Class
North Sails in Auckland have developed their own class called the NS600. The yachts must be 600mm long, 1050mm from top to bottom and monohull. There are no other restrictions.

Sounds like fun to me.

Yes it’s a fun class.
It started last christmas when one of the young sailmakers at Norths in Auckland decided to make a boat, then everyone at Norths got interested. They race the last Friday of the month at the Quarry lake at Lake Pukuke on the the North Shore. I believe there are now 15 plus boats, ranging from the standard design to way out skiffs. My son has built 2 so far, and is designing the 3rd, 4th, so many ideas.

Photo of Model 1

Download Attachment: [ Model 1.jpg]( 1.jpg)

2nd Race evening

Download Attachment: [ 2nd Norths Sail photo2.jpg]( Norths Sail photo2.jpg)

2nd model alond side of the F100 trial rigs @ IOM

Download Attachment: DSC00561.JPG

I have been race his boat recently as he is overseas but missed last weeks races.

So: LOA: 23.6"; Dimension “from top to bottom”: 41.33".
Brett or John are you sure about this last measurement: does it mean from the bottom of the keel to the top of the
I was talking/kidding with Kris Harig about an “Imp 24” class a week or so ago(Imp for impossible) where we would have a challenge to try to make an effective retractable spinnaker AND canting keel work in a 24" boat. What makes it NOT impossible is that at that size a normal servo would just about operate the canting keel and maybe the spin as well keeping the weight within acceptable limits.

Doug Lord
High Technology Sailing/Racing

Class rules spelled out…

North Sails 600 ----an ultra high tech 23.6" by 41.3" high rc model monohull with canting keel or movable ballast of any type and no sail area or planform limitations. Spinnakers legal-asymetric or symetric. No materials restrictions. No radio control restrictions. Hydrofoils legal.CBTF legal.Trapeze Power Ballast System legal. Retractable foils of any kind legal.

You just never know who may build one of these boats…

I finished sewing the spinnaker last night, hopefully soon I can get it in the water. halyard duites will be handled by a retract servo. These are mini-sized, but high torque and 180 degree rotation. Sheet duties are handled by a single servo to spin and main. I has postponed canting keel for now, it should be an easy retrofit, my prototype fits in a standard keelbox <g>. Canting duties could easily be powered by a good micro servo like the HS-85. Sorry, no expensive winches, I know you don’t approve…


This is at this stage a basic class with some big ideas. My mk1 design is still top boat through sound fundamentals and ease of handling. Some boats are faster on certain points of sailing but generally come unstuck at some stage of the race. Even when a boat starts to consistantly beat it I reckon mine will still look the best. See pictures on in the custom projects gallery

Grant Mckinnon
Wind Warrior Yachts

Sorry I got side tracked in another topic.
The North 600 is the fastest growing rc class in the world (my opinion) 32 boats measured within the a year. As Grunta last post state that his mark 1 was the fastest, he claimed the title of been the first unoffical national champ, by winning all but 1 race of the series.
There where a wide range of types of boats from Grunta’s standard looking to way out open 60 type hulls. the sail plans showed signs of luncay square top mains to cat rig schooners (or ketch)with twin rudders. This boat came from my son’s thinking, I wander where he gets from somethings!!!
Here’s a photo from his boat

Download Attachment: Ketch1.jpg

Grant: Nice to see you posting here. I spend some time with Steve Lange recently and played with your Ultimate Warrior. Very nicely executed. I also spent some time last year in Auckland with your IACC model in DC’s Gift Shop, The boat captures the “look” of an IACC boat and should be worth considering for those who want to sail IACC type models. (Unfortunately, the exchange rate with the US dollar, might hurt overally affordability.)

If you have looked on this forum, Doug Lord has made some pretty big claims for boats that incorporate canting keels and other “new” technology. Having sailed at the Quarry in Auckland with the IOM fleet, I was wondering how your Ultimate Warrior stacked up to those boats? Based on Doug’s posts it would seem that a “canting keel” boat with a “square top” rig should be able to beat Ian Vicker’s, Martin Firebrace’s and the other Auckland IOM boats quite easily. I know you haven’t made such assertions, I was just wondering what your experience has shown?

In a similar vein, Doug has repeatedly asserted that spinnakers, moving keels, modern day gaff rigs, are the fast, future of r/c sailing. Yet I noticed that your winning boat in the North 600 class (which seems open to just about anything) is largely “conventional” with the apparent exception of a “square top” main. Care to comment on how it performs and why you chose not to incorporate other technology?

Finally, as a manufactuer, I notice you don’t post promoting your own products. What are your thoughts on the appropriate internet behavior for manufactuers and designers?

Hi Roy

Thanks for your comments on the Ultimate Warrior. As you have seen the UW is not just about going fast but a lot of effort has gone into making a good looking, quality model. The canting keel is intended to add a point of difference from other production models and add an extra dimension to the sailing. As a by-product of this the perforance in certain conditions is stunning. There has been no direct comparison of the local IOMs but Ian Vickers has sailed the UW and agrees that it is very fast on certain angles. I am pretty sure that on any given day that the IOMs would beat the UW around a course (particularly a windward leeward) but this is to be expected when you see the level of optimisation of the IOMs, the multiple rigs and the fact that a canting keel boat (RC or full sized)is strongest on a reach. I have made some ballast and rig modifications to the UW since Steve’s boat and can claim some signifcant improvement to the performance of the yacht already.
The square top mainsail is largely used for the agressive and modern look. Performance is actually lost in some conditions through lack of topmast backstay and healing moment from the high center of effort.
My NS600 is relatively conventional but refined (in a similar way to the IOMs) and I have 8 sails to cater for all conditions. In this case the square mainsail is used to cram lots of sail area on a boat very restricted in height. I have some ideas to use adjustable ballast but at this stage my current boat is going just fine (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). It is still a MK1 hull and I am inclined to refine the same concept further to extract known gains before going radical.

The AC boat in the S&S store is from a mold I built to represent NZL32 from 1995 so is obviously not up to date. The kevlar sails are too heavy for optimum performance as the boat is intended as semi display/sailing. The sails on the UW are on a similar vein but are much more resonsive as they are lighter and bigger.

I think that a manufacturer would be crazy not to endorse their own products on a free discusion site like this and you won’t hear me saying bad things about my own boats but I try to present a balanced view for the sake of integrity. I am very busy building the very popular Wind Warriors and now the UW and have plenty of exposure from the boats already sold. Perhaps when the sales slow down and I have more time I will make more posts.
I have no problem with anyone making as many posts as they like and admire people who have so much enthusiasm for RC yachting which can only further the sport.
Posts from people you don’t want to hear from are easily ignored or if they provide fuel for your entertaining responses then all the better for the rest of us to enjoy.
(there, did I sound neutral enough)


Grant: Thanks for the great and yes, very balanced, response. It reminded me of why all of us involved with the IACC loved NZ. As a minor side question, do you have any contact info for Ian Vickers? Mike Eldred and I have been trying to get it touch with him for a while. Best wishes, Roy

Here’s his web page

Roy; If you want Ian’s cell phone number e-mail me at

This is a photo of my NS600 in its current configuration with the No.1 sails on.
it’s name is Stacey Jones after the legend player in our NZ rugby league team “The Warriors”. (Stacey is small, agile and very fast)

Download Attachment: [ ns600](

Download Attachment: [ ns600](

the zip files are empty :smiley:

just 4 info


if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

Ok, I’ve figured out what size to upload the photos so I’ll try again


Download Attachment: [ ns600 1.JPG]( 1.JPG)

Download Attachment: [ NS600 2.JPG]( 2.JPG)

very nice!



if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

Grunta, very cool looking boat!! Is that a rotating wing mast? How do you hold the head out on the square top main; are there any problems with getting the shape to change sides in a tack?

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

The wing mast and sail tack very easily. If there is enough wind to sail there is enough to tack the rig. The sail fits into a bolt rope track molded into the mast (for ease of changing sails) so the mast “follows” the camber of the sail. The head is supported only by a diagonal mylar batten at the top of a similar weight to over-head transparency film.
The sail does fold over ocasionally but only in out-of-trim situations like running “by-the-lee”. When acting as a wing the sail holds its own shape because the pressure difference is greater near the centre of the sail than at the leech.