Rc Mutlihulls

This poll is an attempt to gauge how the average rc’er thinks about rc multihulls and what factors enter in to his/her opinion.
Please feel free to add any comments that you feel are appropriate.
Whether or not you personally are interested in rc multihulls what factors would concern you most?

The biggest pain in the arse is getting the thing in and out of the car! Well worth it tho…

Luff 'em & leave 'em.


There is no substitute for a multi-hull.




You ask what factors are most important . Then only let us vote for one factor. Maybe you should have set it up different and let us put in order the 6 factors.

Hoj, good idea - I never considered that. I’m not sure that the poll could be set up that way …

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Yes, having multiple choices would be better?
And it would be even better having positive and negative factors.
As for me why I?m not interested in a multi hull? (in any particular order)

  1. People to sail with
  2. Size
  3. Cost

Why I would like to sail one?? SPEED!


Interesting poll. When I read " an attempt to gauge how the average rc’er thinks about rc multihulls" I thought this was a poll to gauge the interest in mulithuills. But as I read on it is mainly about preformance.
Granted there is interest in multi hulls but would it not be interesting in seeing what areas(location of sailors) the interest is.
Just wonder Doug how well does a multi hull handle strong winds and waves.Currently the pond I sail on has white caps on the waves and this is only with the winds at 37kilometerph gust to 65


Jeff, many rc multihulls can handle wind and waves just fine if the boat is setup so that it is not overpowered. Depending on the multihull, skill in boat handling can play a great role in whether you stay right side up or not. So with most well designed multihulls boat handling skill and boat preparation are key in tough conditions.
In the last three years I’ve discovered foilers using automatic stabilization systems(requires no radio channel to work). They have amazed me with their ability to let even beginners sail fast in windy conditions
with no danger of capsize or pitchpole.Big waves will slow a foiler down but it is likely to stay upright in those conditions upwind and down.
Once you get high speed sailing in your blood it’s hard to do anything else…

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

An alternative is to do as you monohull guys do anyway when it get’s windy - and that is to shift to a smaller rig.

Once the F-48 is done, I hope to experiment with small rigs in heavy air. Something with perhaps a short luff length. If you were to sail predominatly in light air, then a tall, high aspect ratio rig like found on a Marblehead or 10 Rater could be considered.

Like anything else Jeff - Wind Conditions!

If you are saying you only - or consistenly sail in wind speeds between 37 and 65 kph (22 - 40 mph) then I would strongly recommend/suggest you forget about a multihull of an r/c size. Even a full size cat in those wind conditions will be a handful - and ona full size boat, at least you can feel the weather hull getting “light” - not so on an r/c version.

Would rather NOT see you sail a multi - than to try it and complain about stability in that strong of winds! Of course, nothing prevents you from purchasing a Microsail boat at $1500 - $2000 (or more) if you want to sail in those kinds of winds. While we like speed, none of us really enjoy bashing a boat for the sheer sport of “survival”.

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by Gio

Why I would like to sail one?? SPEED!

<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Got it in one! Nothing beats seeing your model accelerate in a gust overtaking anything and everthing on the water. I often get asked; there’s a motor on that right? by passing members of the public! Overtaking everthing else modelwise at twice the speed is cool too!

Luff 'em & leave 'em.

Seems to me to be an alien view of how to start a class: what do you think a class all of a sudden materializes? Look how long its taken to get an IOM class going!
It begins one at a time. I personally have two Formula 48’s built :one ready to sail and one almost ready to sail. Another individual in Orlando has an F48 foiler.There are 8 others interested in purchasing boats from me!
I personally built two F48’s, four F3’s and two 2 meter trimarans.Ian Sammis has built at least one F48 ready to sail and has sold a number of kits. Hoj in Hawaii has at least one ready to sail F48. And there are others…
No, they won’t just materialize here on earth; the class grows one boat at a
time…If you want something ready to sail that redfines “inexpensive” please get one of Peter’s boats-I’m sure it would suit you! You can have it ready to sail and shipped here for less than $600 and he says they are the fastest boats on the planet. Can’t beat the price!

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Alien describes it! Out of 51 mono and multi orders I have refunded money on three boats as a courtesy to the individuals involved-due to an unavoidable delay in their boats.Not only that but they received interest on their original deposit- I don’t know of any builder that has done that! One of the three has replaced his order and the other two say “they probably will”.
As to class registrations contact the AMYA Open Class secretary for those figures since the acting F48 Class secretary has resigned(and had inaccurte figures even after being advised of the correct ones!)
Class building efforts have to do wth a lot more than talking about it; the former class secretary has still not even sailed a Formula 48 where as I have invested thousands in tooling for two specific F48’s -a prototype for one is sailing now and the other sailing soon.
I have a track record of designing, building and delivering multihulls and spinnaker boats all over the US and in Europe.
All the boats I have produced start out being raced intensively in two boat testing after initial prototype testing-thats why I have been able to develop the ONLY rc hydrofoil multihull and the only spinnaker boats available anywhere, and sooner or later the only rc multihull with retractable foils and the only production canting keel boats available with either CBTF or the KFOIL?.
Money for some of these boats is a problem but since they use technology that nobbody else has even been able to match in a production boat they are definitely worth it.
All the boats- even the foilers are constituted as strict one designs so that they can be raced as a class if one should develop. That is more than just words: it means the procedures are in effect to keep each boat the same weight and exactly the same dimensions.
To do this sort of thing takes dedication and determination and alien views don’t diminish that in the least.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by Dick Lemke

If you are saying you only - or consistenly sail in wind speeds between 37 and 65 kph (22 - 40 mph) <hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Ok you best sit down for this.
How windy is it. So windy I saw a chicken lay the same egg twice!!! hahaha
When I posted the question about the muiti hull in winds , the wind that day was not blowing very hard. We have had days when the wind is up to 90kilometerph (55mph). this is a regular occurance for this area of Alberta.
Winds like this I plan on staying home and doing routine maintance on the boat. Or working on building a new boat.


Hey Jeff - thanks for the clarification…

I knew “The Gorge” was out west - further than you - so all I could picture was the little narrow valley with winds howling through it, and dogs and cats tethered to trees !

Take care. I still would think about not sailing in winds much beyond 15 - 18 mph with a multihull in an r/c scale. Will probably take heat from some of the monohull guys for that recommendation (or maybe Doug) - but I always question what the purpose is in trying to sail in that kind of weather?

OK - so you prove you can survive. Even with the big cat, if sand is blowing off the beach, I’ll pull out a baseball bat, hit the crap out of my shrouds for about 3 minutes, then put the bat away, pull out the lawn-chair and beer and hide behind the van, to keep the sand out of my beer. The boat gets abused; It doesn’t turn over; I don’t have to get wet righting it (multiple times); not too much gets broken that then needs to be fixed; and I am never thirsty ! [:D]

Normal rc multihulls can be configured (with the right rig) to sail in very strong winds.
I’ve seen reports from all over the world of normal(not foiler;no movable ballast) multihulls racing in conditins over 20mph.
One of my 2 Meter trimarans was outfitted with hydrofoils by Dr. Sam Bradfield and I was there when it was test sailed in 30+mph wind.
I personally have sailed my 56" F3 foiler in wind over 20mph with NO capsize and NO pitchpole.
Normal rc multihulls require a great deal of attention and skill to sail in strong winds; foilers with automatic stabilization offer the high speed multihull experience to less skilled individuals; in fact,someone who has never sailed a multihull can take a foiler out in 20mph of wind with no fear of capsize,pitchpole or damage.
I’ve also sailed an F48 catamaran equipped with a movable ballast system that moves weight like a crew on a beach cat: loads of fun and much less chance of pitchpole or capsize than a normal multi with no movable ballast but still not as good as a foiler.
I’ve had 40 years experience sailing small mutihulls and only about four with foilers and I think foilers will revolutionize rc multihull sailing because of their superior control in heavy conditions.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Good for you Doug!

You must be getting information from someone else, because …

  1. no race reports published on web sites indicate wind strengths being sailed.

  2. none of my French or English, Aussie or New Zealand contacts have commented on 20 mph wind racing, nor have they seen any of your boats competing in any of their local or national events.

Again, I notice that all of your claims are for boats that consist of two (the 2 meter), four ( the F3) or one (the F-48).

For a “fact”, I know Rich, Chris and Bill have never attended any national race event for foilers, sponsored or hosted by Microsail.

Perhaps someday you will be kind enough to demonstrate the capability in high winds of “ALL” of these boats. I don’t think I’m the only one waiting to get a glimpse of them in an organized race. In the meantime, I certainly am pleased to know about all of your “I’s” that you’ve done. Someday perhaps we will be treated to a post that says “WE”… that will be really interesting.

In the meantime, since few can afford to purchase these boats (if they were available) I again suggest that sailing in winds stronger than 15 mph as a new multihull skipper with a full sail area is an invitation to capsize the boat. Start with a small sail area and increase the size as you feel confident and become experienced in the differences in handling of a multihull. Either that or get your experience and learn to sail in light to medium winds until you feel confident to try higher wind speeds.

You <u>DO NOT NEED </u>to purchase a moving ballast or foil supported multihull to enjoy the thirlls and fun of multihull sailing, regardless of what Doug says. Also, by NOT buying one won’t break your bank account either.

If you are interested in less cost multihull sailing, I urge you to contact Ian Sammis (NIGHTMARE) design builder, or Peter Birch an Australian builder for less costly multihull options to meet your desires.

If one has the skill to build a boat from scratch then there is no need to purchase a foiler completely ready to sail: the details of how to do it are published right here on this forum. With expert building skills you could build a Formula 48 foiler for less than $800 including sails and radio! Not only that you can use the provided information, with guidance for free from me, to build a multiONE or 2Meter foiler…
In just the last two days a guy from New Zealand has said that he will build an F48 foiler -from scratch- using the info published on this site with guidance all the way thru from me- over the New Zealand winter. This is an experienced modeler and the finished boat should be exciting to see…

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Gee - another non-USA boat !!

Well Done, Doug. When are you going to start selling boats or encourage builders here in the States?

You know - to help build that AMYA class you’ve been wanting?

<font color=“green”>edit: added
Pardon me for the sarcasm that you might have picked up in this post.</font id=“green”>

Dick, I didn’t feel it would be right to turn the guy down and refuse to help him because he was from New Zealand! He is not the only one interested in scratch building a foiler but is the first as far as I know to commit to do it .Another first for New Zealand!
I’ll help anybody build one these things pretty inexpensively-if they have the skill they can do it now.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Ummm - if they aren’t beating down the doors, or flooding the forums looking for info and wanting to build the foiler, might want to reconsider and offer help to build a MEDIUM WEIGHT, “normal” MULTIHULL that costs the builder less than $800. Then you might see some activity.

My own feeling, - there aren’t many home builders out there anymore. With free plans available of several designs, and offers for free help - it seems the offers aren’t being accepted. Maybe a new poll asking “WHY” ?

Cost, Size, Complexity, Lack of competition, etc. might generate honest answers. Then again, based on the dismal response to the current poll - you probably are hitting all the serious (or semi-serious) potential multihull owners/builders.

Again, if we turned marketing efforts toward real life multihull sailors, there might be more of an interest. JMHO