Question for new idea

I’ve got 6 footys so Ithink Iqualify as a footy fan. But they are twitchy to sail and my granbsons dont like sailing them. To be honest they love to sail my 2 half meter solings. Ive build 2 jif 65 rg65s and I found them no harder to build than my footys and cost is about the same. My grandsons havent sailed them yet but I have found them easy to sail. At a special showing at gunstock visitors sailed them just fine but they also sailed one of Bills footys and had no trouble sailing it. The only problem we had was getting any stick time ourself. The visitors were having such a goodtime.
ps we also had our sm1’s there as well.

Hey guys,

I agree that many Footys are twitchy and challenging to sail, but designs have improved a lot over the last 2 years. Moonshadow, Duck, Cobra3, and Razor3 are all stable, good handling, straight tracking boats. I know there are others, but these are boats I’ve sailed myself and can make the claim from experience. This is still a young class, so I’m sure designs will get even better.

Byron, you saw me sailing Cobra4 Saturday in 15mph wind. I think it was handling better and tacking more cleanly than the Solings!

Razor3 was the one the kids were sailing at Gunstock, and it proves that Footys can be a good boat for kids.

So far the homebuilt boats have proven to be equal or better to any professional offerings in performance. I see no reason to think that will change. Cobra4 is a 350 gram lightweight that can be built with inexpensive, readily available materials on the kitchen table…maybe even by a kid.



This may well be a loaded question - but who built the Razor3s that the children were sailing at Gunstock ?



I agree with Bill his boats do sail great. I have two that we took yesterday to Lilly Pond and after soom tuning we had them sailing in a stiff breeze hands off sailing a straight line. And yes I did see his boat sailing in a breeze that was breaking the solings so much so that we quit early and his little boat was sailing great. So I think things will improve as time goes on. Great work Bill we love our new boats. Dont know the model but they sail great. Oh yea I have a v12 that wont sail nearly as well. Yesterday was my boats maiden sail by the way. Pauls second sail but he had a rudder problem I can fix easily. Needs a new servo.:zbeer::zbeer:

I’ve seen a lot of Footys that don’t handle well over the years. Assuming the boat is built reasonably well and straight, the most common handling problem appears to be rig position errors.

Balance is critical for any boat, but seems even more important on a small boat like a Footy. A very small change in rig position can make a very big difference in handling and performance.

If anyone has a boat that exhibits too much weather helm, or won’t point, or won’t tack through the wind…I highly suggest you move your rig a little and try again until you find the best position.


I note from several references in the forum over the last few weeks that many people have given up on Footys, and that many previously active groups are gradually dying away. Mention has been made of the RG 65 as a small boat replacement, and there are probably others.
In my small group of three, one has given up on 3 boats, one sails only one boat out of the two he has built, and I am the only one left with 3 active boats.
The cause seems to be the point that is emphasized in the previous posting in this thread----that balancing of the rig position has to be done very precisely, or the boat is so difficult to sail that the owner just gives up.
An easily adjustable mechanism for changing the mast position by small amounts seems to be a much needed feature for Footy hulls, even when built carefully to a satisfactory design.
I will put on my “thinking cap” and see if I can develop something. Everybody in Footydom should perhaps do the same.

With regard to accurate mast position tuning, it is relatively simple with the McCormack rig. Just bend the rig a little.

I note that in many photos of recent races in GB as well as NH in the States that many are still using sloop and swing rigs. Perhaps some sort of slot from deck to keel with either a movable tube and spacer-fillers, or perhaps a series of tubes allowing the mast to move in 1/4 inch (3 or 4 mm ) steps. If this was permanently in the hull, minor changes due to several differently sized rigs could be accomodated.
While experienced sailors could dispense with such adjustability, new and junior sailors would have a means of correcting minor positioning errors without becoming frustrated by a boat which refuses to sail properly.

I would agree with a moveable mast position and I did exactly that on FootyCAT.

Please see attached photos