Puttin' my Best Foot(y) Forward

Been lurking and reading here, because I am new. Got tired of seeing the little blurb up top saying that I haven’t posted yet. So, here I am, mainly because of the footies. I am no stranger to modeling in many fields, just never buillt a sailboat before. But, no stranger to full size sailing; my first sailboat was a 1927 gaff rigged alden yawl (too costly!!!), next was a snipe, and, then, later a thistle. But all of that was many years ago and I have been away from it for a long time. But, the passion never goes away!
I just as soon build a model schooner, but life is not allowing me the room to store or transport anything of any size. So, this why the footy is having such an appeal for me. Today, I dropped into a hobby shop and picked up some balsa and ply. Enough to easily make a couple of footies. I will build two at the same time so I might have someone to race around here. I liked the lines of the razor and I will be using that as my basic design. I know, I know, with my name I should be building the bob-about.
I don’t think that I will have too much trouble building the hulls, but I am sure I will asking a bunch of questions when it comes to the rigging and sails.


Ask away, mate, and remember there’s no dumb question. Not asking and making mistakes because of it is the dumb thing.

BTW, where are you from? please update your profile with your location if you can.

Good to see you here Bob,The Footy is fun and costs little.Enjoy the building and sailing.

welcome bob
i hope you find what you need here. and even makes freinds. i have not built a footy…yet. but i have to build one for my wife. she likes them. if you can find a picture. maybe brett can help. there is a real nice picture of a footy covering a IOM boat. i am still looking for it. I think it would make a great wallpaper picture

Thanks for the friendly replies! Looks like I am well on my way. Found it to be a bit of a wrestling match at first. Probably because I made the pieces out of 1/16 balsa instead of 1/32. certainly says that right there on the web page. Anyway, it’s a 50 mile trip to a hobby shop from my house.
Torque on the bending the balsa proved to be too much for tape so I spot glued with CA glue. I still was getting cracking and spliting so I got the brilliant idea of wetting the wood and things went much smoother. I have some 3/4 oz cloth and I was thinking of covering the hull with that. Will that make it too heavy?

I think the light glass will be ok Bob,use epoxy resin and watch you don’t use to much.Sounds like your on the case.

In RCBM Magazine, there was a boat build with balsa (crackerbox) and the builder covered the hull with 0.5 ounce cloth, and thin CA as the resin. He claimed the finish was very good; only needed light sanding, a coat of primer and some color. I’m planning on using ‘Polycryllic’ clear (like spar varnish) on the 0.5 ounce cloth.

If you go with epoxy, thin it with some alcohol. Do both outside & in.

Do not thin epoxy with anything.

Why not? It’s a common practice…

maybe common practice but not recommended by the manufacturers.Why thin it with something that alters its chemical properties and effects its cure and final cured state?
Use the proper laminating epoxy for the job and there is no reason to thin it.
Warm the job and resin and you will have no problems.

From the West System site…
There are epoxy-based products specifically designed to penetrate and reinforce rotted wood. These products, basically an epoxy thinned with solvents, do a good job of penetrating wood. But the solvents compromise the strength and moisture barrier properties of the epoxy. WEST SYSTEM epoxy can be thinned with solvents for greater penetration, but not without the same compromises in strength and moisture resistance. Acetone, toluene or MEK have been used to thin WEST SYSTEM epoxy and duplicate these penetrating epoxies with about the same effectiveness. If you chose to thin the epoxy, keep in mind that the strength and moisture protection of the epoxy are lost in proportion to the amount of solvent added.

There is a better solution to get good penetration without losing strength or moisture resistance. We recommend moderate heating of the repair area and the epoxy with a heat gun or heat lamp. The epoxy will have a lower viscosity and penetrate more deeply when it is warmed and contacts the warmed wood cavities and pores. Although the working life of the epoxy will be considerable shortened, slower hardeners (206, 207, 209) will have a longer working life and should penetrate more than 205 Hardener before they begin to gel. When the epoxy cures it will retain all of its strength and effectiveness as a moisture barrier, which we feel more than offsets any advantages gained by adding solvents to the epoxy.

To add just one more thing to this (I lived about 35 minutes from the Gougeons and had opportunities to see/touch some fantastic projects) the idea of using heat needs a bit of clarification - especially for speeding cure.

If you apply resin - then add heat, as the wood warms, it “outgasses” and creates bubbles and small craters on the epoxy surface. This requires more finishing attention than necessary. As Brett indicates - warm the wood FIRST - which, as it cools will pull the epoxy INTO the wood. No outgassing, no bubble, no craters.

That said, I admit to thinning with alcohol, for penetration. On big boats I will also apply a “neat” second coat. However, while I certainly don’t want to argue technical issues with the “masters”, my feelings from experience are that a foot long model certainly won’t have stress issues of a big boat, it is drysailed and not kept in the water like a big boat, and lastly, if painted, the paint will act as a second barrier coat. Gougeons, one must understand - must provide instructions to prevent coating/adhesive failure if used on whatever sized boat or project is being coated. They are covering their butts - so if it fails, they can point to “operator/applicator error” and there won’t be warranty claims.

There are other products from manufacturers that are advertised for penetration. Keep in mind, the epoxy is designed to fill the pores of the wood. It is also designed to be an adhesive. Adding fillers could be the reverse of thinning relative to coating or joint strength?

Using the correct resin and ‘heat’ are the other common practices. The ODOM assembly manual suggests using a hair drier to warm the epoxy resin after coating the keel bulb so that it will coat more smoothly. Using the correct product is always preferred, but theses are just little fun boats, so IMO, there’s no need to go overboard with technicalities, unless it’s the norm for your modelling habit.

Have you measured the length of your Razor? After I built mine it was 12 1/2 inchess long. 1/2 inch too long! I would have expected only a small difference, like about 3-5mm, but not that much.

I read your post as to the length that your hull came to and immediately measured mine. And to my surprise it is 11.5". I’ve read the discussion here with great interest concerning resin. I can’t get any epoxy resin locally, but I do have a can of regular resin. I doubt that I will have the patience to wait to order proper resin. I guess this is just one of the foibles of living far away from civilization. Will this be a problem?

Well guys, the original Razor is 12" on the nuts…built from the same plans made available to you. There’s only two reasons I can think of for this to happen. One is a difference in the thickness of the material, but that shouldn’t amount to much. The second, and more likely, is a scaling problem with your printing. When properly scaled, the deck template should measure 11 3/4". The other 1/4" comes from the slope of the transom.


Bob, I live away from civilization, too, but fortunately in an area where boating is popular. I’m able to get West System products at a marina about 40 minutes from home. That qualifies as local. If you can’t locate a supplier, you can order their stuff on the web.


I agree, Bill, I considered it a printing problem and should not be an issue anyway since the rest was printed at the same “scale”


Could you give us the measurements (length & width) for pieces like the deck, transom & sides? That way, if the prinout is a little off, you could correct it by hand before cuting the pieces.


If you ca, check out www.fiberglast.com as they have a full line of resins & all.

got Aloha?

I have that Picture. It was taken by fellow club member Rick Monynahan of my Footy design “Sneaker” sailing against his IOM . It is a great pic. I sent it to the Footy site and hopefully it will be posted soon

Fairwinds, Rob Amaral

When you print the plans on 8.5" x 14" paper you musr remember to turn off the margins in your printer set up. when I first printed it came out wrong, but when I turned the margins off they came out bang on.