It was a thought that came to me when reading a different forum about the IOM Class and a reader’s question of why it hasn’t “developed” further. I know the IOM class is a somewhat restricted development - more so than our RG-65 boats. Some of the theory brought forward in the IOM discussion was why the class doesn’t move forward to allow new ideas, materials, or additional radio channels.

This of course made me think of the RG-65 Class. I decided to put this topic here so it doesn’t appear I’m trying to mess up the original RG-65 class concept - yet at the same time, recognizing the class “IS” 30 years old.

This brought the concept of taking a current RG-65 and making it a “SUPER RG” for lack of another name. Given that we can already “play” with carbon, and given most all products have declined in cost - I wondered ( and am now doing it out loud) why the class hasn’t moved on for further development? An entry level 4-6 channel 2.4 gHz radio is available for well under $50 allowing more than just 2 channels for less than what I can purchase an AM 2 ch. radio for. The old thought of two channels keeping costs contained has left us wondering what to do with the other channels that came with our cheap radio, but can’t do anything with them. What if the SUPER RG allowed more channels - so the jib could be trimmed separately? How about a channel and unlimited rules to allow canting keel, rotating mast or even multiple rudders? Like the Mini40 multihull class - allow unlimited sail area for speed trials and see what a sprit pole and asy sail could do?

Again - I’m not advocating a change in current RG-65 class rules - only asking/suggesting what an “unlimited SUPER RG” might be capable of doing? I have a feeling there might be a lot of inventors who might be interested. There may be other ideas to come out. Just thinking that with all the monohull development classes out there, they are all limited in some fashion - certain products or ideas that in the past were added in for (now) unknown reasons.

Is the SUPER RG concept worth investigating? Is anyone interested in a boat that is basically controlled by overall length, and perhaps maximum mast height? Movable ballast, dual rudders, rotating masts, etc. Just seems the size and costs for this size of boat would provide limiting factors, yet still let people experiment. I happen to believe there might be more home builders willing to experiment - if only they had a venue to try sailing against something of equal size. Maybe I’m wrong - but would be interested in hearing ideas comments and opinions.

In the meantime - enjoy the holidays.


Hi, Dick,
first of all Merry chrtistmans and a happy New Year to all!

But now back to the topic:

It’s an interesting topic - the Super RG. I have thought about by myself. I can imagine a simple box rule (length and total height from keel to masttop) and a restriction to monohulls. It can be an interesting field for experiments. We have some guys here in Germany playing around with canting keels and wing masts and experiments with the r/c equipment are well known from the German MM class, where up to 6(!) servos are working in a 53cm boat.

No doubt that one can configure a model yacht class in any way agreeable to those who wish to participate. My question would be to what end? What is the goal that an open rule sets about to address? Just about all the racing classes that have been formed on “invention, experiment, development and innovation” have either vanished from the scene without establishing themselves as a viable racing class, or underwent a rapid decline as soon as someone really provided a “development” that obsoleted most of the boats in the class. Classes like the 3-Rater never took off, older classes like the International 10-Rater, Marblehead and A-Class hang on in only a few places, with few if any boats being built. The AC class underwent a rule change that pretty well consigned the older boats in the class to 2nd tier performance and its membership and competition schedule has been drastically truncated. The experimental nature of an open box-rule class is intriguing to the wanna-be Olin Stephens sitting at his drawing board, but if actual on the water racing is the goal, the development and innovation emphasis seems to work against any kind of stability in the class and forces even the most interested into building a new boat each season. My upcoming report on the AMYA Class Secretary Survey will outline the situation for a number of such classes, as most of them are facing declining membership issues that are precluding real racing activity.

I don’t say dispense with innovation, experiment, development and invention. But so far our experience with it seems to indicate that is more of a builder’s area of interest than that of the racing skippers that can be counted to come back to the lake again and again.

If on the other hand, if windling or pottering about in boats is the goal, such experimental/development activities can be extremely satisfying to those who choose to focus on them. Whatever floats your boat, I believe is the mantra.

This just a different viewpoint on what a choice of class rule content can produce based on what’s been seen in development classes so far.

Rod Carr
AMYA #002

Rod -

I will look forward to your report. Hopefully it also addresses the direction of most new sailors - “buy a boat today, sail it tomorrow” which in part seems to continue ( in my opinion) the further decline of builder’s classes. If you wish to look backwards - the Marblehead is a case in point where technology and experimentation actually “grew” the class - fostering many innovations, ideas and designs. The very fact that many owners were also the builders seems to indicate there was an interest in “playing inside the rules”, yet developing something that added to performance of the yacht. I have not been a model yacht builder long enough to witness the conversion from vane/Braine steering to radio control’s infancy. I would have to think there were many (like yourself) who viewed this technology change as the death decree for those boats. Hey, they still are out there, and they still sail/race - but it is my belief that the new owner (then) wanted to be able to steer his yacht from a single location on the bank of a pond - have the boat sail to his commands, and then return to the starting point - all without the owner running around the perimeter of the pond (or needing a crew) to redirect the boat. Somehow I can hear similar arguments then as we hear now.

It is unfortunate, that when a particular “development class” was growing, there were rules that allowed “some” development - but not “all” development. As a long-time member - perhaps you would care to elaborate on what/why some items or ideas are allowed, and others aren’t? I am especially interested in exactly “how” a class back in it’s start-up days suddenly decided that having two rudders (as example) would be illegal? Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of of those folks around anymore to respond. Staunch defenders of of the “development limits” often used the “cost to play” argument, much like you have - and it may have been a valid argument back then - but is it still valid today? There are so many of these tiny and incidental examples that they appear on the surface as “fly specs” - but taken as a whole, they are considerable yet some feel they are still illegal - for whatever reason.

As an example, the government may build highways and mandate a speed limit of 65 mph - but I would offer there are more cars today that can attain such speeds without being in 5th. or 6th. gear. In fact they can do it in 2nd. or 3rd. gear in less time than it took to read this sentence. Still automakers make cars capable of a lot of things that “aren’t legal” - but it doesn’t stop their sales. Again - to the Marblehead class as example - it was the first class I can recall which reached a $3,000 selling cost because an European made some ideas that worked. Sure it may have suddenly turned all (then current) Marbleheads into those second tier sailing vessels - but the class could have stopped it by imposing a upper cost limit - a shorter keel, less radio channels, etc. - but I point out … it was accepted “worldwide” as a class. How much would the cost of an IOM increase by simply allowing a carbon tube mast? Virtually nothing. It isn’t the cost of the boat that effects decisions - it is the ability of the builders to command a high cost for something with their name on it. We both know that given building skills and available products, the IOM can easily be built (and be competitive) for under $1,000 - and perhaps even down to the $500 -$600 true cost (less building profit). So before we “assume” the words “developmental” cause folks to leave a class we really need to look at the inexpensive boats on the market today to see where the competition is - and why. Secondly, let me ask you why so many actually play in this hobby? Could it be that when the “old” classes started up, it was because many could not afford real boats - so these models became their substitute? After all - owning anything larger than 18 feet or so was limited to those with the means to pay for them - however a home-hobbyist could own a replica of famous racing boats for a fraction of the cost. Today it is easily seen that the “plastic boats” replicate the AC Cup boats in many cases - or sportboats and skiffs since buying is easier than building. It is too bad, because the gradual loss of builders will simply provide more customers for plastic boats - whether they sail well or not.

Is there any reason why AMYA can’t take a stand a promote home building? Offering a prize to the highest placing yacht actually built by it’s owner - and not simply purchased from a “big name” builder? To me, (and only my opinion) AMYA can be doing more to promote boat building - than boat buying. It is a past suggestion made that fell on deaf ears. Perhaps there can be a new direction and focus toward home building. Heck even the FOOTY and RG classes are falling prey to buy instead of build for some. Good or bad? I’m not sure. I just would like to see something where anything is allowed and a venue upon which to demonstrate it. Consider - without development your Mylar and scrim based sails would still be made of Dacron - or perhaps even before that - some other form of material. YIKES - I certainly glad “those” changes were allowed. Will be interesting to see if “wing” technology developed for “A” - “C” and “AC Cup” classes will eventually replace the fabric sailmakers. Of course, that is just another rule that limits performance. Sigh.

Let me respond in a measured way.

First, there is no AMYA conspiracy as you seem to find at every bend in the road. How can there be, when for 40 years AMYA has awarded Sanctioned Class Status to any group of 20 AMYA skippers who set out, defined a class and commenced to sail it? New classes are totally the responsibility of those who decide to take the plunge. It is not AMYA’s responsibility to support them…for it it did you would then likely post great complaints that AMYA was interfering or meddling. C’mon Man…you can’t have it both ways!!

Second, I’ve never said anywhere that “cost” is an issue in development of a class rule. Never, not once, so please stop putting words in other people’s mouths.

Third, it is not a conspiracy that today’s skippers would rather shake the box and go sailing. It is simply the direction the sport has taken and is a reflection of the time available to folks who have families and jobs, and who must fit their hobbies into the odd moments that are available.

Fourth, You again are calling for AMYA to spend money on a prize for home building, and yet you will not pay your membership dues. Where is the money for the prize to come from? Time for you to give up on this lame bit of gamesmanship.

Fifth, Here is a direct challenge for you. Join AMYA, and form a class with the “open” architecture that you seem so sold on promoting. If on December 31, 2010 you have 20 different AMYA skippers registered in a new AMYA sanctioned class, I will provide a perpetual trophy that can be awarded each year at your National Championship Regatta. If you don’t, I would like you to post your excuse for why it didn’t happen…Oh, I know, it was AMYA’s fault. C’mon Man!!!

I’ll stand by the substance of my original comments. Totally open development classes are so unstable that they are inherently unable to attract and maintain enough skippers to provide for any kind of reliable racing program. Builders, tinkerers, spare bedroom naval architects should be encouraged to enjoy the aspects of the sport that tickle their interests. But blaming AMYA for not supporting such individual efforts borders on lunacy.

I don’t feel there’s any conspiracy, whether voluntary or involuntary, against home built boats and I think Dick was just arguing for a bit more encouragement for these boats. There’s always a risk when someone who is a known critic of the “establishment” gets into a discussion with someone who favours or even represents it, that more will be read into posts than is actually written.

why discussing a “new class” when Dick has mentioned only some (interesting) thoughts?

I am pretty sure that there will not be enough sailors here in Germany to build a Super RG class, but here are some with quite intersting ideas and developments which do not fit neither into the international RG65 class nor in the German “open” version. I believe that it could be quite interesting to create some opportunities for them to test their developments. Instead of building a new class I am thinking of making a Super RG contest, for example, during another race. Having two races or so outside of the official race to give the developer the opportunity to sail against themselves and against the conventional RGs may be good platform to judge the sense (or the nonsense) of new ideas. Will a canting keel give really an advantage? will be a boat with a twin rudder still competitive despite of the enlarged drag? Where is the optimum of sail area vs keel depth? How to get an RG planing? and so on …

Joachim, just the point. Since Mr. Lemke didn’t answer the question, you did. The purpose of a development class like a SUPER RG would appear to give a place of departure to test new concepts. Not necessarily a racing class, which my original posting was focused on. It is absolutely not an issue for me or for AMYA how skippers choose to enjoy the hobby. That is completely the province of each and every one who decides to embark on a project that has sails and can get blown by the wind. I am not sure how AMYA can develop or support one-off building activities, especially if we don’t have the skippers identified or if they haven’t joined the organization. Standing on the outside of AMYA and calling for support seems to be putting the bowsprit behind the hull. I say again, it only takes 20 like minded individuals to form a class, any kind of a class. At that point they would have identity, a page on the AMYA website, and could present themselves in a way that would lead others of similar interest to their activities. Or, maybe they wouldn’t want to be so “organized” and prefer to enjoy the process on their own. That is fine too.

It just seemed to me that sharing my observations on what repeated attempts to form “wide open development” racing classes had really come to was a positive contribution to the discussion. If someone is observed to be reinventing a wheel that has never worked before, it should not be off putting to discuss what historical efforts along that line of development have been, if, and I was specific, if the intent was a healthy racing class. If the activity is to be structured as you suggest, then my comments aren’t really applicable, as your focus and goals are substantially different. Those goals being not better or worse than anything else that people decide to do in the wide world of toy boats. The process you envision has been standard operating procedure in big boat classes who wanted to test the impact of say, new mast materials, or other innovations. After comparative sailing performance data was gathered, then the tough work of deciding whether an existing class ought to allow the innovations to be adopted. That gets back to some of Mr. Lemke’s points, whether cost should be a deal breaker, or whether having everyone in the class have to buy a new mast was proper. In model yachting classes, I would say 9 out of 10 times these decisions have been made in various classes, the result has been to retain the status quo. (AMYA didn’t do it…the class members decided to pass on adopting the innovation.) It just is what it is.

Rod Carr
AMYA #002

Rod -
Perhaps it is time to get off the “defend AMYA against anything connected to Lemke” podium, actually read “what” is posted, not from “whom” - and respond accordingly.

The ONLY Mention I made about AMYA was the following - a direct quote from my second, not original post…

Is there any reason why AMYA can’t take a stand a promote home building? Offering a prize to the highest placing yacht actually built by it’s owner - and not simply purchased from a “big name” builder? To me, (and only my opinion) AMYA can be doing more to promote boat building - than boat buying.
Your First Point: I’m certainly unaware of any issue of conspiracy that you claim. Perhaps it is only you? Is there a grassy knoll I’m not aware of?
Your Second Point: I never quoted “YOU” as saying cost was an issue - although a read of any of the many posts on various forums one can easily detect there is a concern about high cost of boats - valid or not - it’s a perception.
Your Third Point: - back to the conspiracy again?
Your Fourth Point: - As a MEMBER of a Class Owners Association - there is no requirement to be an AMYA member. Posting a suggestion surely is still allowed here in the U.S. - I would hope?
Your Fifth Point: - Join AMYA in order to promote an “open architecture” concept. Again - nothing was said about needing AMYA membership or recognitions to discuss the pros and cons of a pure Open Box class - in fact I even appreciate your comments - whether you are an RG Owner or not.

Of all of these points you make, you seem to have - and continue to focus ONLY on the racing aspect of AMYA. Perhaps as such a long time member, it might be time to reread your own constitution and comprehend what it says. If AMYA (as you see it, want to be ONLY involved in racing - on which you base your arguments) then it might be wise (as a non-member suggestion) to go back to the old name wherein it was clear to see it was a “Yacht Racing” organization.

From your very own constitution:
Article II: Purpose
2.1 The purpose of this organization is to promote the designing, building and racing of radio controlled model sail yachts.

No where does it preclude support for builders or designers if they don’t race. Going back to my original post, I asked only if folks were interested in further discussion and used the RG Class as an example. In my response to you, I made a simple suggestion/question if in classes that allow home building, could A**A (at risk of a conspiracy) provide some form of incentive ( I did suggest a prize - so my apologies for spending “your” money) to recognize the highest finishing boats built by their owner. In my original post which had NO reference to AMYA - I wondered what provided for carbon fiber to be allowed, but not a rotating mast? (it was an example - not a conspiracy) !

Anyway - I have in no way taken any “shots” at AMYA - but if making a suggestion is not welcome - then simply ignore my posts. Will keep your blood pressure down, and the rest of us can continue discussing grassy knolls, multiple shooters, and perhaps canting keels.

Oh - as for dying classes - it’s a fact of life and buggy whips are most difficult to come by since the new fangled automobile came along. Some live, some die - and I agree it’s the owners that control that aspect. But because a class isn’t recognized doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of boats out there being sailed for fun and enjoyment. There is pleasure in building, much like in racing. If nothing more, perhaps that point will help you understand.


Oh, sigh, here we go again.

The USVMYG which, last time I looked, was part of the AMYA, supports building with books, videos, two members teaching classes at the WoodenBoat School, over a hundred Vintage M’s registered, a new Vintage 36 inch class, and a Craftsmanship Trophy consisting of a restored Stanley 101 plane awarded at every Vintage Regatta since (IIRC) 1996. Plus support for the Great American Schooner Society and the Skipjacks built out at Solomons. Plus a 22 to 26 page newsletter three times a year. Which publishes Mark Steele’s “Windling World” column. Which is not about racing.

I guess what you see depends on where you look :slight_smile:


Good evening Earl - Only a thought -
I acknowledge the ability of your Vintage Group to rebuild, restore, or build to old plans, however I’m not following you in the direction I had made about new ideas and innovation. I will also admit that my interest doesn’t lie in history (although a multi-masted boat of the 1800’s is still a future consideration) but I certainly have no negative comments about the direction your group takes. I don’t preach they are wrong. I don’t point out that many of the designs you work to restore, are the same classes that are pointed to in a recent post as having somehow failed since they are only hanging on by their fingernails. It was you who provided me with photos of the John Snow “multihull” - another design that “failed” according to an earlier post because there weren’t enough numbers to justify a class for “racing”.

I assume (could be wrong) that the Vintage group collects enough funds to allow for such a wonderful idea of a presentation to the outstanding craftsman - or perhaps there is a generous benefactor member. In any case, you are publishing the newsletter (I think) without AMYA assistance, and your group formed by itself - and probably without the comments or warnings of pending failure from other individuals. I can only assume that the membership in general, is more interested in preservation/restoration - and that racing is merely an added benefit once a boat hits the water.

In the past, I have noted my own thoughts about canting keels and foils - and have provided specific examples to back up why I was suggesting they work - but not necessarily for small radio control boats. I make my comments but leave it up to the builder iif they decide to include or ignore. For some strange reason, it seems a seeming innocuous post about discussing an open ended class based on the RG size somehow became my personal attack on AMYA. Given from where that suggestion came from - I can understand.

My personal apologies to you for using the RG-65 class as an example of how rules seem to have stayed pretty much the same, while technology improved and costs declined. I could have chosen a different AMYA class as an example. But when it’s associated with the AMYA, I guess coming from me it’s a personal attack. Hmmmmm - someday I may have to level one of them so they can tell the difference between discussions, examples and personal attacks. :rolleyes:


I doubt that outsider speculation about the relationship between USVMYG and AMYA is of much interest to the general readers of this group. My point, which I repeat, is that building is encouraged and supported, and non racing sailing is encouraged and supported. How that happens is really a matter for the respective memberships. Anyone who is interested in what we do, how we do it, and why is welcome to PM me. It really has nothing to do with the topic of this forum.



Hi Earl-
You may remember me, we’ve met at Reds pond once or twice. (i’m probly a little off topic here, just futzing around, anyway here goes-
( i should ad I didn’t read most of this thread so ignore what I say)
I’d like to make an RG65 but I hope their development doesn’t get maxed out like the USone meter. its become nothing but “how light can you build it, and how big are the sails?”
which is fine but I hope there’s a way we can keep it like the footy where you can make flat bottom boats and race againts the best ones and shock them by how well you do.
just blabbering,
John Storrow

Hi John, I remember you, hope to see you again at Mystic in August :slight_smile:

All development classes are theoretically unstable in that an optimum configuration can be found and then it becomes an exotic materials race. The RG65 class has avoided this for (IMHO) a couple of reasons. One is the small size. The amount of area in an RG hull is so small that the weight advantage of exotic hull material is pretty minimal. In another thread I show a depron+fiberglass shell that comes in at 70 gr.

The combination of a sail area plus mast height restriction means that there is a maximum amount of righting effort required, which in turn limits effect fin depth. After a certain point, which seems to be around 30 cm, a deeper fin just increases drag with no practical gain.

The class has “type formed” at a weight of 1 kg with ballast ratios of 50-60%. Getting much lighter than that leads to a boat that is really tricky to tack.

As far as hard vs. soft chined hulls go, the absolute decrease in wetted area is, like the decrease in weight from carbon fiber hulls, pretty minimal. I don’t really see boats like a balsa JIF-65 becoming totally uncompetitive anytime soon, if ever. It still boils down to tuning and skipper skills.



Hi John - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Good to see/hear from you again.

I don’t dispute a thing Earl has posted. However, I mistakenly used the RG-65 Class as an EXAMPLE, and some folks seem to think I am bent on making a change to the class - of feel there is a conspiracy within AMYA.

All I asked (out loud) and based on a similar set of questions on a different forum, is why (or anyone) interested in seeing a class develop that could make use of lower cost materials, higher number of radio channels, and technology proven in big boats that might (or might not) transfer to small radio controlled boats.

At the risk of continuing to “feed” some with my revolutionary comments, ANY class I might have used as an EXAMPLE probably would have brought forth similar responding posts.

I used the RG-65 strictly as a class E-X-A-M-P-L-E (note - EXAMPLE !) of a class that started 30 years ago, and with minor changes has maintained the same class rules. I was “trying” to point out, that even though it is a development class, the hobby has seen many changes in the last 30 years and I was curious as to why it (and other) development classes, ended their development perhaps 10 - 15 years ago? I also wondered why classes specifically exempted certain technologies from their “called” development direction. I wondered why - with 2.4 gHz 4 or 6 channel radios costing less than an old AM 2 channel radio, some classes continued to limit the radio functions to only two? Why some would limit rudders to one (and if they produce too much drag as some claim) - wouldn’t the owners decide not to use them without being mandated as such? Just like you used the FOOTY as an EXAMPLE, I chose to use the RG-65 as my EXAMPLE, but some didn’t comprehend my questions - but felt it was a personal attack. Oh Well - the ability to comprehend isn’t a prerequisite when reading a forum. So once again - I simply ask if a new class, based on an existing class could have broad appeal in which to continue development of technology, ideas, etc.?

In doing so, I was hoping for dialogue and discussion about if/what could be done to improve performance - that’s all ! I recall you having had some radical ideas and designs, and it is guys llike you that I was hoping to entice to join in discussions about “new stuff”.

Cheers, Dick

Well, as I said before, all class rules are what naval architects call “type forming” in that eventually a small number of optimum configurations are found (typically one for each kind of sailing condition) and then the game becomes one of getting the best strength/weight for various components.

For non-foiling monohulls, the three determinants of speed are LWL, sail area, and displacement. We already know the type forming effects of each of these dimensions, because there have been classes in which each determinant was the only one restricted; that is the rule said x LWL, anything goes, or y sail area, anything goes, or z displacement, anything goes. LWL only rules were in effect around the 1900s. Sail area only rules, in model yachts, were the 1920s Marblehead 450 class (450 square inches, no other restrictions) and the 1940s X Class (1000 square inches, no other restrictions). Displacement only rules were tried in Germany in the 1930s with two classes (2.5 and 5 kg, no other restriction). They all end up at the same place: light displacement/length ratio scows with long overhangs, that stretch out their waterline when heeled on the beat and shed wetted surface on the run, permitting surf/plane performance. In large scale yachts they are lovely, wet, miserable to sail, all-out racing machines.

If you allow tunnel hulls/multihulls then you get into another set of issues that I haven’t studied particularly much.

If you allow foils then you get into this :slight_smile:

Other fancy stuff, like dual rudders, canting keels, etc. mostly show up on ocean racing boats that are optimized for long reaching legs in steady winds (the same conditions that led square riggers to look the way they did). They are of doubtful utility on models that sail windward/leeward in puffy air. Unstable air is a factor in canting keels or other forms of moving ballast – if the wind suddenly drops while you have the keel canted, you can find yourself doing a real quick capsize/broach to windward – which happened to one of the big ocean racers, but I don’t remember which.

As far as the restrictions on radio gear goes, advances have indeed made most of them anachronistic. What is really important, and is for each class to decide, is what elements of the boat are to be controlled (or not controlled) from shore. This defines the nature of the sporting competition. For example, in the 1950s Francis Reynolds devised a vane-controlled automatic sheeting system for his early radio boats. This used a vane to “read” the apparent wind angle and adjusted the boom angles through a servo mechanism. It sailed a boat better (especially when distant from the skipper) than most humans could. It was banned in early AMYA classes on the grounds that controlling the sails was an essential part of the sport of sailing.



I think I’ll make an RG65
just for the heck of it. The best part is its easy to transport, fits in your cupboard

there’s tons of creativity you can bring to all the classes we already have
happy sailing everyone

The boats are great fun and sail amazingly well. I have two very different boats, and last weekend my friends and I sailed them against each other to see how much difference there is in the two designs. One boat is a design called the BlueSplash which has a conventional rig and weighs 1,000g with a 550g bulb on a 28cm keel. The other boat is a Little Best design which is a swing rig boat that weighs 1,200g. Its bulb is 750g and is on a 32cm keel. The wind was in the 5-8mph range on a large lake with a fair amount of chop.

What we found was that the conventionally rigged boat could point about 5-10 degrees higher than the swing rig. The swing rig was faster through the water, but not enough to make up for the extra distance sailed. On the run, the conventional rig was not as efficient and lost ground to the swing rig every time. The swing rig is not as fast on a reach.

It was really interesting to see that after several WL laps, the two boats were basically equal. There would be separation on the windward leg where the conventional rig would gain several boatlengths, and then the swing rig would regain the lost distance on the run. We traded boats amongst a few of the sailors to make sure we weren’t measuring the sailors’ skills rather than the boats’ characteristics. Like in any racing, a blown tack or a mistake at a mark would determine the final outcome. It is great that two dissimilar designs perform so well. Each had its strong points, but neither has an overall edge. The testing has made me think about blending some of the better features into a new boat. Should be fun!


Great Info Eric, and thanks for sharing.

The differences have been (somewhat) alluded to by others from outside the U.S., but I don’t recall as precise a comparison as you have done. Thanks to you and friends for providing this comparison. Without the need to “win” (i.e. at a regatta) this is the kind of experimentation I was originally questioning. It did raise one question, though … downwind, was there any noticed tendency for the “swing-rig” to be a bit more unstable and pitchpole tendency prone? I have no experience with a swing rig, but based on other classes for comparison, (M Class as example) it seems they use the swing rig for very light (A size) weather, but switch to conventional rigs as the wind increases. Just curious.

Thanks again. Dick


The wind was too light for either boat to have an issue on the downwind legs, but a few weeks ago I did sail the swing rig in 10-15 with gusts to 18mph. Using the full size rig, the boat was actually controllable up to 15, but the gusts caused spectacular wipe-outs. When the gusts hit, the boat nosed in and swapped ends - quickly. Getting back under way was almost impossible until the wind dropped a few mph. By the way, some IOMs using their A rigs were having exactly the same issues at the same wind speeds.

At the top of the controllable range (12-15) the boat seemed to squat down and keep driving. Sometimes, the boat was in semi-submarine mode driving straight ahead with the entire deck 1cm underwater. It slowed some, but was still making good progress. Depending on the waves, which were a foot or so tall and close together, the boat would jump back up on top and surf away at a very high speed. All in all, the performance was quite a surprise as we all expected the RG to have to switch to a B rig by 10mph or so.

I have not had the chance to sail the conventional rig in higher winds yet, so the jury is still out. With the ability to sail with a blanketed jib, it may be as capable in the top of rig conditions. However, the conventional rigged boat is 20% lighter and is more tender due to the shorter keel length and lighter bulb. That may cause it to have issues earlier than the heavier boat.

In talking with some of the guys, I suspect that you are right. The swing rig is probably at its best in the lightest conditions, even though this particular model can hold up in heavier conditions. I think a boat with dual mast steps (forward for swing rig and back for conventional) could be a great idea - the Swiss Army knife of the RG65 fleet. Maybe two different keel/bulb combos as well. Hmmm, perhaps another deck mod is in order!