I should be interested to know if any UK member has tackled Flavio’s Presto yet please. I guess some of our American friends may have built this charming boat?



Presto study plan.pdf (184 KB)Presto description.pdf (114 KB)DSCI1150.JPGDSCI1254.JPGDSCI1277.JPGDSCI2263.JPGDSCI2257.JPGDSCI2634.JPGDSCI2211.JPGDSCI2156.jpgDSCI2153.JPGA little “resumè” of my Presto footy:

  • this model was designed during october november 2008 to enter a design contest ( the chris dick award ).

  • it was conceived to be a “cruising footy” : unsinkable, simple, strong and - most obviously - to be pretty and classical.

  • building of prototype has been a bit slow, but I have been able to finalize my own model just one day before euro gp 2009 ( it was launched in livepool half hour before the first start )

  • my good friend Andrew, also buid an almost sistership ( tha was registered under italian flag, due to the fact that andrew is a proud owner of a Ducati :-).

  • both boas suffered to technical problems during the championship due to lack of tuning

  • even if I almost destroyed ( once again ) sail servo, I was able to arrive on 8th place on the overall score

  • two months ago, I have started an extensive upgrade program, changing rudder, keel and other parts

  • the modified version has been able to win 8 races out of 10 ( + a second place ) and it is now very balanced and responsive

  • following this improvements ( as well many other small aestetic improvements such as portlights, and a prettier deck house ) the moel has been mailed to wooden boat magazine , and has been put on display ( side by side with brando ) during the wooden boat show in mystic

  • our american friends asked me to draw plans of the model and to study the details of a commercial kit box to be sold within nex christmas

  • due to the fact that my own Presto is oversea, and that my Folgore is currently “not seaworthy” I have started to build a second one ( Presto MK II ) to enter next european footy championship

  • I can report that yesterday night at 2 a.m. I was working on topmast tapering

launch is planned on next thursday ( my plane to Wroclaw is on friday :slight_smile: )

I will be happy to give more details about this model in the next future

Stay tuned


Presto MK II ITA - 21

Very nice work! I would have loved to see your Presto in person!

I will post pictures of my Bea

May I ask how heavy is your Presto ?

I used an 8 oz. sinker on my Bea

happy sailing

Flavio thank you

I much enjoyed racing with you at Birkenhead but alas can’t get to Wroclaw thanks to knee repairs going on this week. Best of luck in Poland and looking forward to seeing pics of MkII



6 th place overall…

more in the future


Presto is indeed a beautiful boat. I was surprised to see that it fits diagonally in the rule box, which raises the question of whether the bowsprit is part of the hull, or part of the rigging. The rule box has a slot for the bowsprit, which implies that it is considered part of the hull. Was there any discussion of this topic at the race?

It really is a very unfortunate picture (Flavio - you shoot yourself in the foot! ;o)
But Presto II is the most legitimate footy and falls straight into the IFCA box.
This was confirmed by an official commission before the start of the competition
(not as pictured - it is of course not legal position of the footy sailboat).

Presto has been designed to be - most obviously - to be a diagonal Footy.

About one year and half ago, I presented the basic design on this forum, and somebody ( most probably my good friend fastfrank ) expressed doubts about rule compliance of the bowsprit on a diagonal boat.

The matter was extensively discussed ( before building the prototype ) and if my records are correct Angus and/or Bill Hagerup reassured me that my point of view was correct.

Moreover, the very first version of the design was also submitted to Roger Stollery ( member of the footy technical committe ) to enter the Chris Dickson design award.

The first Presto ( ITA 13 ) was measured - without problems - during Euro GP 2009, and the second presto ( ITA 21 ) has been measured once again during the Wroclaw contest.

May be it would be nice to ask for an official “request of rule interpretation” in order to have a final word about the matter.


I will try to find somewhere on the forum the old thread about the “bowsprit claim”

Flavio, I hope in the near future you will sell the plans for the Presto. Between this thread and seeing the one Andrew built, as someone new to scratchbuilding, I would love to build one!

Presto was designed to sail at a displacement close to 500 gr

So far I have tested it in a range between 400 gr ( approx ) and 750 gr ( during euroGP 2009 )

After many trials, I feel that this hull is happy when sailing around 600 gr.

The first prototype was very heavy, following an improper selection of balsa planks.

Hull weight ( no rigging, no spars, no electronic, no keel, no rudder - shell and deckhous only ) was close to 250 gr ( !!! )

After a careful exploration of several modelshops, and a systematic use of a electronic scale, I have been able to cut 100 gr from hull weight.

Please note that this use is an almost solid block of balsa, and for this reason final weight is very sensitive to wood specific gravity.

The first boat was designed to float @500 gr, but on the second one I have refined bow and stern shape to optimize performances @ 600 gr

Bow entrance has been modified to semplify carving, and transom draft has been reduced 5 mm

On first prototype I have used 5 planks 10 mm thick, but on the second one ( following the wise advice of my good friens andrew ) I have used 8 planks 6 mm thick.

This change has been carried out both to enable modeller to use both 6mm or 1/4" balsa, as well to simplify final carving of “bread and butter” hull.

Most probably WB magazine will sell pre-cut parts in order to speed up the work

I have ( for the very first time in my life ) recorded the time I have spent to build Presto MK II, and final figure is a bit impressive : 60 hours are needed starting from zero.

Using a kit, most probably it should be possible to go down to 30 hours.

In any case I will try to write a building booklet divided into different “sessions” aimed to plan and organize workload ( try to imagine 20 after dinner sessions, for example )

I have been able to find an old mail from Roge Stollery, that - with reference to chris dick design award - confirmed me that Presto is a legal design.

I will post that mail on my next post.


The bowsprit is allowed to extend above the box because a bowsprit is defined in the ERS as a SPAR. Rule B2 permits SPARS to extend above the box. As Flavio said, this was a Tech Committee judgement some time ago, and a diagonal boat with an extending bowsprit was raced in the USA Nats for the last two years.


I just remembered an amusing answer I got from Angus when I asked his opinion back then. His response: “a spar is a spar is a spar!”

Hi Bill , many thanks for your comments about the bowsprit rule interpretation.

I also remember the words used by our good friend Angus… :slight_smile:

This is and old e-mail ( dated 11 dec 2008 ) from Roger Stollery about the matter :

[i]Dear Flavio,
Thanks for sending some more superb stuff! I have been away recently and
going back through the e-mails I see that I have not answered your final
question as below about bowsprits.

I cannot answer for the tec committee, but am copying this to them for a
formal answer.

My own opinion is that the bowsprit is a spar that is part of the rig and so
may be above the box as in B.2. So if you have a diagonal boat a bowsprit
may be OK.

The only other consideration would be the fitting that fixes the bowsprit
down to the deck. This too may project above the box as it is an associated
fitting, as B.2. However it may not have any other function such as a sheet
lead or whatever and must comply with F.3.

Such a bowsprit on a diagonal boat may not have a stay below it as it must
fit the box as sailed. The slot in the front of the box was designed to
allow such a stay on a boat on the axis of the box.

The same would apply to a bumpkin.

Very best wishes for Christmas, Roger[/i]+

Have a fair wind


I will be far from computers for next two weeks ( hopefully :slight_smile: )