Rotate rudder to fit box???

What does everyone think about this one.
The rule states the boat must fit into the box in sailing trim.
Do you belive the rudder can be rotated to fit into the mearsurment box?
I belive yes,reason…the boat is in sailing trim and rotating the rudder is a normal part of sailing.
What say all of you?


The Footy measurement box has a slot on the back for the rudder to fit through, and a slot in the front. Bow sprit, bumpkin aren’t counted in measurement, and rudder is permitted to exted 51mm past the ‘box.’ Check the rules.

I helped write them…read my question again.
Can the rudder be rotated to fit inside the box?
I am well aware of the slots etc.

I would agree that it would be in sailing trim, but your reasoning for this is…? I am assuming you want to get some hull length? Excuse my questions,’ cause I am a bit naive about all of this

“In Theory” * - a rudder held hard over (as in sailing trim) yet fitting inside the box (when held hard over as in turning) could become half the length of the maximum hull width - which could easily surpass the 51mm limit if held out straight from the transom. In some cases this could possibly effect the total waterline length. Whether or not it is helpful, is another question.

Brett - my initial answer would be yes - it would be legal, since it (in effect) is NOT being measured. I would base this on the assumption that a rudder, connected to the trailing edge of the keel, could also extend in length until it too fits just inside the box - or even longer if it also is held “hard over”.

Of course - just my opinion. Technical committee? Protest ruling?

* Hey - a possible cool name for a Footy !

There’s no reason the rudder shouldn’t be able to fit in the box, either normally or turned. Especially for a balanced design mounted vertically. Otherwise, you could turn it part-way and fit it into a corner of the box, either a vertically or canted.

Why would you want it to fit in while turned? If the boat must fit into the box in sailing trim, why the slot for the rudder to stick through? IMO, the slot was included so the rudder CAN stick through (Brett would probably know more on this).

I don’t think he was asking if it was legal. Brett’s question was simple enough, but leaves room for different interpretations, as the replies show.


It’s my feeling that a turned rudder within the box should be legal. The slot is to give people another option. By keeping the rudder inside the box, it might permit experimentation with options beyond the usual straight vertical slab. I suppose we could get into some nit-picky arguments about to what degree we would allow the turning…I hadn’t thought that far ahead. So if you want to build a 6 inch hull with an 8 inch hull-shaped rudder to add up to 14 inches LWL, go for it, as far as I’m concerned. Might look even more novel than ODE.


To me, it seems logical to keep the rudder, and any other hull appendeges, within the footprint of the hull. This doesn’t include bowsprit or bumpkin, which is part of the rigging. You gotta remember that the whole idea of the Footy is to have a boat (or hull) that’s small, so we should try to minimize or eliminate anything that is attached to the hull, or reaches past the edge of the deck- or in this case, the box, however you can get it to fit.

Since I’m building mine for fun, I might even try out a keel bulb made of stuff denser than lead- Tungsten. Just to get that part smaller.


If I recall correctly, the issue of a slot in the box was to allow transom hung rudders. Those rudders could not extend beyond the box by the noted 51mm. The alternative to this, was to declare the overall length of the boat WITH rudder not to exceed the currently listed overall length. Thus, if it were not for the box slot, a boat with a 1 inch long rudder would have had to been an 11 inch hull overall. Meanwhile, those who opted for a rudder under the hull could have added that 1 inch and had a 12 inch long waterline.

What Brett is suggesting, is that using the above example, the hull (waterline) could be 12 inches, and the rudder could be 3 inches long, if it could turn and fit inside the box (forgetting the thickness of the rudder as argument only for this example).

He may not have been asking if it was/is legal - but if he wasn’t than I guess I am asking - is it legal or must it be measured with the rudder (transom hung) sticking through the slot with a maximum of 51mm? In your own first post, you “suggest” that if the rudder extends through the slot it cannot extend beyond the 51mm. Brett seems to imply by his question - and my interpretation - that the length of the rudder is immaterial if it can be kept inside the box by turning it. The rules seem to be silent on … if the rudder “MUST” be stuck through the slot when the hull is measured for length.

I will move the rudder with its servo lingage in place in normal racing trim.
The rotated overhanging rudder and hull all fit inside the box…any one see a problem?
The rules don’t state that the rudder must extend through the slot.
The rules don’t state that the rudder must be in the centreline of the box.
The rules don’t state if you can turn your rudder to fit it in the box or not.

I belive it to be legal and I think I would pass mearsurment on any boat so presented to me.

No worries, mate. I’ll go with that.

I agree…and I’m itching to see what prompted you to clarify this point of rule!!


I read the class rules to require that the rudder hang in the slot of the box to be measured.

B1 states that the slot is to accommodate overhanging rudder.

E1 states that the rudder cannot exceed 51 mm aft of the measurement box.

The attached rules summary picture displays the rudder in measurement position to measure the overhang.

These all lead me to the conclusion that the rules require the rudder to be straight for measurement.

If I were a measurer and built a jig ( a box) for confirming compliance, I would not measure a boat with a turned rudder and then do a separate measurement to confirm overhang.

B1 states the BOAT (highlighted to bring attention to ISAF definition) must fit into the box.
ISAF defines BOAT as Hull(s) and hull appendage(s).
Therefore I am permitted to have my hull appendages inside the box.

B4 states that I “may” have an overhanging rudder and bumpkin.
Therefore my overhanging rudder is not required to pass through the rear slot?
As a mearsurer how will you know if a rudder is straight when the boat is presented for mearsuring? will you build some sort of device to ensure this is so?

Thanks Brett, I see what your original question is now…

One rule says the boat (per ISAF) has to be in the box, and another provides a slot (for a rudder which probably cann’t fit in the box) so you can have a rudder that doesn’t fit in the box.

So for this class, we must amend the definition of boat so that it means, in this case, the hull and keel, and then the rudder can either fit into the box somehow, or through the slot, with the limits specified there. And possibly change or add a rudder rule to specify if it can be turned, or must be straight, either in the box or in the slot.

I think this will be animportant point, because, as the design of the Footy is unexplored, to the point of what an efficient hull & rudder arrangement is, we need away to allow the different arrangements to fit into the rule.


Hello everyone, I have been in Australia for a week, just got back and am anxious to add my twopenneth worth to this subject.
Like all “Rating Rules” the Footy rule is going to be challanged by clever designers trying to make their restricted design faster than my restricted design.:p:jester:
No problem with that, that`s the whole idea of yacht racing.

The problem only arises if the new development is of a nature that offends the owners and or governers, of the existing boats.

Bretts question is a valid one for some interpretation.

My personal opinion is : The rudder should be measured in a “straight ahead” configuratation.:what:
That would be in accordence with the spirit of the class.
Is not the SPIRIT of the class the most important aspect of any rating rule?
Let`s hear your views…:devil2:

Ian said,
My personal opinion is : The rudder should be measured in a “straight ahead” configuratation.
That would be in accordence with the spirit of the class.

Why? nothing else in this rule is mearsured straight head…just has to fit into a box…couldn’t be simpler right?
playing devils advocate here…

Usually, when you mention the word Spirit, you’re talking about the major priciples, which are the things that should be kept SIMPLE. In that, it’s logical to follow that things on the boat should be in ther usual positions (straight ahead for the rudder) for measuring. The same as Rule C2 (Finishing) that requires equipment to be in its ‘normal position’. For measuring, it means the rudder is straight ahead.

Who thunk up this rule in the first place? They’d be able to tell you what it was supposed to mean.

Since this is a box rule it it possible to fit a double ended boat in the box diagonally and gain some waterline length (about 1.25" more). Personally I intend to stick with building conventional a Footy.

I would ask that the boat be measured in normal sailing trim, therefore if your rudder was hard over with the radio on and the sticks centered that is how I would measure it and expect you to sail it in that condition.