papaya III done, sailing sideways.

Hello everyone!
I just finished my sons Papaya III. He’s 4, very excited about his new boat. I test sailed it yesterday, it went downsind well, but when I tried to tack it upwind it would just go sideway’s. I’ve never seen a sailboat do this, I’ve sailed and raced full scale, Pearson 30’s, sunfish and hobbie 16’s. I’ve sailed EC12’s, though not since I was 12, and currently have a US1m, the orco. Sctatch built when I was 12. The papaya was built to the plans on the internet, with a swing rig. Is this typical of the footies? I’ve never sailed one, but the ones I’ve seen on the internet seem to sail a heck of alot better than what I saw yesterday. The pond is surrounded by tree’s, and the winds were a bit uncertain, it could have just been that, or is it possibly the rig is unbalanced?

I have a Papaya too.

You might want to make sure your rudder is the right size, and check where the CLR of the hull is, and the CE of the rig. You might need a bigger rudder or to move the rig. Some planning ahead can save you a lot of time and frustration.

that’s the thing with Footies. They are very sensitive to rig & CLR placement, and you can never take your eye off it when sailing, like you can with a longer boat.

When first learning to sail my Footy (Victor V-12a) I had the same experiences when trying to turn into the wind either for rounding marks or tacking. There just did not seem to be enough momentum to carry me through the maneuver. Not saying what I’m doing now is completely correct, but here is what works …

1 - Make sure and have as much speed up as you can then MAKE THE MOVE! You cannot ease your way into actions with a Footy a you have too much sail and not near enough momentum. Prepare for the action then ENGAGE (gotta love Star Trek:TNG).

2 - When doing a rounding, ease the sails just a bit so you do not present such a profile to the wind when turning into it. This has the effect of having the prevailing wind “blow through you”. Once the rounding has been completed, sheet in and you are on your way again.

3 - As most Footys do not have the ability to adjust mast rake, make sure the jib and main are correctly set up to the wind preset AND to each other. The slot is one part of the equation but make sure the sails, both jib and main are not too tight nor too loose. On my V-12a, I found it easy to have the jib too tight and the main too loose when I first started sailing. This would effectively overpower the jib and de-power the main which kept me going in a straight line.

Like I said, I am very new to sailing and these things worked for me by either correcting the issue or covering it with something else I’ll need to address later (shudder).

Oh, wait … I just reread your post and you have a swing rig. Sorry … not sure if anything I mentioned in my post will be of assistance to you.

KZ - Sounds like the rig is stalled. If your sails are choked off then they won’t generate lift which is necessary for upwind sailing.

Swing rigs are very efficient (in my opinion the most efficient rigs) when they are in balance. Most r/c sailors have only a foggy idea of how to tune their boats. Since this is a very new class with many first time modelers there is perhaps more general misunderstanding of the forces that make your boat go forward and how to make it do that to its potential.

Swing rigs, like the McRig, are balanced rigs which rely on the area difference and leverage between the jib and the main. This is termed the weathervane effect because the swing rig uses the mainsail to control the rig. Generally the jib area should be about 30% or less of the total sail area. For Footies the foot of the main should be no less than 1.5x the foot of the jib.

The basic concept of the swing rig is to emulate the upwind settings of a conventionally rigged boat while downwind presenting all the un-blanketed sail area to the wind. Bearing this concept in mind some of Tom’s suggestions are pertinent. A swing rig is more reliant on getting the slot width and jib twist adjusted properly. Just as with a conventionally rigged boat the mainsail and jib must work in concert to generate lift. In this type of rigging choking off the jib will retard the boat’s speed but it will still sail. With a swing rig though choking off the jib usually ends up “reversing” the rig, that is overwhelming the weathercocking ability of the rig, thus stalling the boat. This may not be something that a casual observer will pick up (it is probably the main reason that a lot of guys here in the US have a negative impression of the swing rig).

In extreme cases such as sailing off the wind and suddenly encountering a wind coming from the opposite direction a swing rig will fill backwards and stop dead in the water. It is sometimes difficult to extricate the boat from a stall like this, particularly if the boat remains in an area of confused wind. I mention this because it is a dramatic version of what happens when a swing rig is not set up correctly for upwind sailing.

I started sailing with the swing rig design I developed in the late '80’s. Until I started to experiment with Footies the swing rig was what I sailed with exclusively. In working on a swing rig for these little boats I’ve found that they need looser settings than I would use on a 36/600 or M boat (and much looser than a conventionally rigged Footy uses).

To start with the rig should be trimmed at about 8* from center. The jib should be trimmed a few degrees further out. If the jib setup is cantilevered from the forward extension of the main boom then I would add a topping lift (an adjustable line from the aft end of the jib boom to the tie-off point of the jib stay on the mast). A topping lift takes the tension off the leach of the jib and can be used to adjust the jib’s twist. Look down from the top of the mast to help visualize the slot width. The slot should be fairly even along the length of the jib leach. I have rather thin fingers and a good starting point that I use for tuning is being able to put my index and middle finger between the mast and the jib leach. On some boats and rigs this may be too far out. The idea is to have the jib “break” before the main does (that is start to luff). If it breaks too early then the boat won’t point up to where it should be. If it doesn’t break at all then it is in too tight and the rig will be prone to stalling.

All these little boats are very different. I have no experience with the Papaya so my best advise is to play around with the settings and see what the boat responds to. Start out with settings that are way too loose and tighten them up one at a time so that you can see what the change does before you change something else. Once you have your boat sailing well let your son change all the settings and then retune the boat. Taking notes as you go will also aid the learning curve. Approaching tuning in this way will help you to get in sync with your boat, and make it easier the next time.

Hey Brent, anything to add?

KZ - If you post a few photos of your rig then I might be able to make more specific recommendations.

If you can find a small pond or swimming pool, it helps to retrieve the boat in case you aren’t able to get it to go where you want it to, even if it sails badly. When you get it to work better, then a bigger pond or small lake is fine.

I don’t have access to a camera at the moment, but I will later, so i’ll try to post some pics of the boat when I get home. The rig is built of a carbon fiber mast, and an aluminum main boom that extends out to the jib attachment point. The only adjustment I built into it is the jib sheet, the main is attached to the boom and mast fairly permanently. The sail material is some old solar film, for covering model airplanes, and it is held together using monokote trim adhesive. It seemed to work pretty well, but it is kinda ugly. I can easily add a toping lift, and I could add a small extension off the main boom, and add a set of adjustments to the clew. The main is loose along the foot until the clew, where it is wrapped around the boom. I’ll post pics later.
Thanks for all your input. I’ve never set up a swing rig before, I’ve alway’s delt with the sloop style main and jib. It seems to be a much different monster!

KZ - I wouldn’t characterize any of the various rigging systems as monsters. Try thinking of your rig as the engine for your boat. A badly tuned engine doesn’t perform well and wastes energy. Tuning your engine can be a tricky challenge. Too many sailors approach tuning their rigs with a sort of dread. The variables seem like too many to wrap their heads around. Approaching tuning with an inquisitive outlook, kind of like a detective looking for clues, aids in the problem solving aspect and will help to sort out the variables and give you a better understanding of the invisible fluid that powers our boats.

It helps to have a basic course, like the internet course, set up so that you have some means of comparing the results of any changes you make to your rig’s set up. Just tooling around aimlessly on a pond doesn’t really do much to inform any progress. Having goals, like marks to round, gives you an objective way of determining improvements against setbacks.

Its also helpful to have someone to tune your boat with. I know that for a lot of the readers out there this is not possible, but Footydom is expanding every day so you may be surprised that someone might be reasonably close by. Assuming that you are in the US look for r/c sailing clubs nearby on the AMYA website.

I think there is some merit to tooling around aimlessly because tuning the rig on an uncontrollable boat is useless.

Before you can begin tuning, you do need to have basic control of the boat; to sail somewhat predictably upwind or down, and on both tacks, even though you may not be at peak efficiency.

Then, you can begin tuning to the very best of what you can get.

Quoting Neil “Assuming that you are in the US look for r/c sailing clubs nearby on the AMYA website.”

Hi Neil

Unfortunately, the AMYA site data is NOT up-to-date, so a AMYA search will not always be helpful.

There are 46 Florida clubs listed & I believe only one is listed as “Verified 2009”. Also only “Sunday Sloopers” in Orlando lists “Footie” (spelling should be updated so a search works) and I know that at least 5 clubs should show “Footy”. They are IRMSC in Vero Beach, South Daytona, Central Florida (Sunday Sloopers) in Orlando, Sand Point in Titusville and TanglewoodMYC in Sebring. These 5 clubs are part of the “Florida Footy Festival (FFF) Group”.

Two times, I have tried to update our data by going thru the AMYA email system and never any follow-up from any AMYA director or memner and our club data remains obsolete. It is like a “Dark Hole” somewhere in space.

There should be a better way for keeping our AMYA Club data updated at the beginning of each year as here we are 1/4 thru 2009 & 98% of Florida’s 46 clubs show “Unverified 2009”.

I think it would be helpful to also list “Fleet Captains” for clubs having more than one(1) fleet. For examle, TWMYC has US-12’s, Solings, Fairwinds and Footys. This way, an individual can contact directly with someone in the fleet of interest.

Hi Frank - Since the Frapper locator evaporated the AMYA is the best resource we have at the moment to find each other. Your Regional Director’s job is to act on member’s problems so if he is not actively working to solve those problems then he needs some prodding. Getting pressure from many voices is a good place to start. It is a volunteer position but it also is one of responsibility with a good deal of inside access to address member’s problems.

Having been a Director I can attest that it is not an easy job (and the pay sucks). I often enlisted help from energetic volunteers in handling matter’s that were of special concern to them. If you offer assistance to Jack Wubbe in this area then I am sure he will accept the help. Good organizers like you or Butch Bragg might consider running for Region 3 Director in the next election if you think that you can better serve the region’s needs.

Neil, Thanks for the reply. After going thru the effort twice to change the data and no response, I am sure you understand the frustration. I have not been able to find direct email addresses via AMYA system. If I had them, I would know it went thru.

My other motive for the post is to try and get all clubs to make sure there AMYA data is up-to-date and complete. If you have an email address for making these changes, please fwd to me via email. It seems a single link on the directory page should be used for updating all club info.

I wish I had authority to directly edit our TW club data on the internet. Is this possible?

well, heres an update.
I moved the mast location forward 1". On the plans, it showed the mast even with the leading edge of the keel. If I would have thought about it, it would have been obvious that the CE was to far astern. There is a vast improvement in sailing ability. It will sail closer to the wind now, but is still a bit of a handful. From what I’ve read about footies, this seems to be the case. I’m gonna build a mold for a star45, and build some for my family to get started on, while I fiddle with the footies and the rg65m. Too many projects.
I also increased the slot width. Fun little boat, but requires more forward movement to sail than I’m used to.

You need to take the time with an less-tested design like Papaya to determine the CLR of the hull with the finished keel and rudder attached. You’ll need a tub or pool or something to float the boat to do that. Then you’ll have a much better estimate of the mast location, after you determine the CE of that too.

Ufortunately, you have found out why itis important, and you can now let others know to do some testing or calculations before committing the deck to the hull.

Just out of curiosity, what method do you use to calculate the CLR? And the experiment? I’ve got another footy I’m working on that is rather unorthodox, and was wondering how to do this with something this small. I’ve got a couple naval arcitecture books at home, but they deal with full scale. How well does this translate to a hull that is one foot long?

The usual way to find the CLR is to put the boat in a tub or pool, and push it sideways to find the spot where it will push evenly. The “alternative” way is to cut out the boats profile from thin plywood or heavy card and find the balance point using a pencil or dowel. The former way is obviously much easier, after building the hull.

I believe that the Papaya plans have a profile view with the keel and rudder. Print it out full size, rubber cement it down to cardboard or light Strathmore board and cut it out from the waterline down. Then balance the cardboard as described above.

A good plans set should give you CLR and center of bouyancy information at several angles of heal, along with the recommended center of effort. The center of effort is located ahead of the other centers, that distance is generally referred to as “lead”. The amount of lead to provide varies from design to design.

What you really want to know is where to locate the mast tube. The easier test is to find the static center of bouyancy. You need to float the hull. If the boat is already built then use the battery to adjust the balance fore and aft so the boat looks like it is floating on its lines. If only the hull is made then the hull should be floated with enough weight to balance it so that it sits on its lines (needless to say the hull should be waterproofed first, in a pinch you can tape a plastic bag tightly around the hull leaving access to the inside). Once the boat is floating correctly lift it up out of the water with your index fingers placed on the inside of each gunwale for an open hull or on the underside of the hull. Your fingers should be directly athwartships from each other. The object is to lift the boat out of the water level, without the bow or the stern tilting. This way you find the balance point or center of bouyancy for the hull.

On my design, Tanto, the center of bouyancy is 6.8" aft of the bow. The mast tube for my McRig’s location is 4" aft of the bow. The leading edge of Tanto’s keel is 5 3/16ths" aft of the bow. On Brujo the c of b is 7" aft of the bow and the mast tube is 4 5/8ths" aft of the bow. These locations show the variation of forces from design to design. I use three mast tubes, each 1/4" apart, to cover the range of locations that different rig sizes or layouts might require. Its a good way to hedge your bets.

If you are taking the CLR off the plans, then you gotta make the rudder and keel the same exact dimensions as the ones on the plan. But who can actually do that? Floating the (waterproofed and weighted) hull to find the CLR is still the best way, IMO.

Niel- I forgot the part about cutting the cardboard from the waterline down, so thanks.