:confused: When a footy appears to point higher does it actually point higher in an angular sense or is it displaying less leeway :confused:

I suggest that you think about the difference between pointing angle (heading) and velocity made good (VMG) to windard.

If you point up, then speed will reduce and leeway will increase. The trick is to find the optimum. Bare off a little and ease the sails a tad. Your pointing angle will be lower, but your speed will increase, your leeway will be reduced, and even though you sail an extra distance (at higher speed), you can tack and cross ahead of another boat that is pinching. Thus demonstrating a better VMG to windward.

This is probably more important in a footy than other bigger RC boats that have higher length to beam ratios and more mass to punch through waves.

From the point of view of windward performance in waves, the most important scaling nasty is probably that the ratio of frontal area to dislacement goes up as you get smaller. In other words, the nail gets blunter and the hammer gets smaller.


Oh the joys of making little boats go fast…

The initial thought was, and maybe I should make it clearer…

If two well tuned footys are sailing on a beat at similar speed and one appears to be pointing higher with regard it’s course to a bouy. Is it likely that that boat is actually pointing higher, ie. it’s sails are working closer to the wind. Or is it more likely that that boat is displaying less leeway.

I suspect the latter.


You’ve seen a couple of my boats go to windward at Raleigh last year. With maximum legal draft and well developed foils (I’ve been using about 1.5" chords), there is little or no observed leeway. This is with 6" beam American Footy ‘muscle’ hulls. I suspect that the skinny Florida boats may do even better.

The McRig boats seem to point better in smooth water (Needham - fall) and the conventional boats point better in a chop (Needham - spring). Because of the Reynolds numbers they sail at, Footys will never point like Marbleheads, but people are always amazed at how high they can point.


p.s. I also sail a Victoria so I know what an under-keeled boat is like!