Let us split gthis thread off from the matter of the legality or otherwise of Japanese Footys!:slight_smile:

The most complex and restrictive part of the Footy rule is that dealing with rudders. There are a number of reasons for this. Firsstt, when the ‘box’ rule was introduced it had to accomodate boty Brett’s original New Zealand Boats (12" long, that’s your lot) and existing British boats with transom hung rudders. If a boat with a transom hung rudder was not to be ‘unfairly’ treated, there had to be some means for the rudder to stick out of the box.

However, it was feared that, if this were allowed, a rudder could effectively become a part of the hull, adding to the sailing length and possibly as a second keel. Hence the size of overhanging rudders was controlled in terms of fore-and-aft length, thickness and (to some extent) depth. The rules on a V in the box for the steering gear were an attempt to give a wide choice of steering gears without any risk of the steering gear itself becoming part of the sailing length of the hull.

Nobody on the committe that designed the rule has any serious belief that they are faster on a Footy in the theitr commonest form - the type that appears on the tail end of an Open 60. The real target was twin rudders/keels arranged fore-and-aft in the general style of the 12 m USA and KZ23. These are REALLY complex and expensive - as well as being very effective if you can make them work. You can forget any idea of ‘simlicity’ or ‘cheap’ right awy. Moveable appendages were ruled out for the same reason.

Assuming that we do not want KZ 23 type tandam keels or USA style bow and stern rudders, there seems to be little harm in alowing to produce character boats that look like Open 60s than there is to allowing them to produce siemi-scale Chinese junks or Arab dhows within the Footy rule. The stability characteristics and geometry of a Footy are so different from those of an Open 60 that they are unlikely to sail particularly well. Any complexity involved is therefore purely a matter for the owner/builder of the boat.

What about a rule that goes somthing like this.?

On boats registerd after dd/mm/yy, transom hung rudders and all fittings rigidly attached to them may have a maximum total volume of xxx ml. Such rudders must be removeable for measurement. Rudder operating gear may not be of a shape or size that is not appropriate to its primary purpose.

I can see some ways you might get round this in the sense of not producing what the rule maker had in mind, but it is hard to see how you could get any speed advantage. What the does do (I hope) is to eliminate various artificialities and free the rule up - while retaining the quite worthy aspirantions of the original rule makers.

Now you awkward squad! It’s play time. Come and try to pull it to pieces.

NB This is written as a private musing and does not represent any official view.

I not fond of your suggested change. Mostly because I have no interest in calculating volume of rudders at regattas. I’m also not sure how it fits into the existing rules.

I am a bit tired of this whole rudder issue too. Let’s put it to rest. How about this as a suggestion? Choose a proposed change to the Rules.

Proposal #1
E.1b Only a single rudder is permitted.

Proposal #2
E.1b There is no limit on the number of rudders. If more than one rudder exists, the rudders must be contained within the box. Use of the slot for rudder measurement in multi-rudder boats is not permitted.

Let’s kick the language and proposals around for a while, about 2-3 weeks. If it looks like we have something to vote on, I’d like a registered skipper to email their registrar with the proposal. Maybe everyone will prefer Angus’ idea. We’ll forward it to the Tech Team. After a short period, 1 month or less, we’ll post their comments. Things like “well, now you’ve permitted canting keels and other movable foils” or “the proposed changes appear to only affect the number and measurement of rudders”. And then you’ll all get a ballot from your national registrar.

Comments? Discussion?

Keep going - you are still long way from an OD - but are making progress with each new sub-rule.


Gentlemen - I am bitterrly disappointed in both of you. I am also rather disappointed in myself and my ability to put across clearly what is happening.

  1. There is no longer any slot. One of the main effects of the change is to eliminate it. Transom hung rudders (i.e. ones that can extand sailing length) must be removed for measurement. We have no limits on steering gear heights, where tiller arms a located or any other such tomfoolery. What we are doing is opening the rule up, not narrowing it down.

  2. Measurement of he rudder and everything rigidly attached to it is easy, so long as it is demountable. You simply take a rerasonably accurately calibrated kitchen measuring jug and immerse the thing in water. The effect of the volume measurement is overall the same as that of the slot - lengtyh * breadth * height - except that the designer has more liberty in what he does with them and all sorts of complications about multiple rudders are eliminated(they normally have toe-in, for example. What is the overhang beYond the transom). Equally to the point, we azre allowed foils on rudders to slow us down - almost anything we like except enough volume to make any significant difference to speed.

Next bull please!:devil3:

I don’t think the current rule is so bad.
So what… you are only allowed one rudder.Pretty much like every other class.
If only being able to have one rudder is going to put you off being involved with the class then the class probably wasn’t for you anyway.

Why is it than when someone doesn’t like something in this class we have to justify the rules and then try to accomadate them??
I don’t see this happening with other classes.

The class is growing well,So obviously the rule as it is working.

If it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

removing rudders and mearsuring volumes will not help us…I can see the bun fight now…I see very thin rudders raked well aft with wings on the bottom.

edit…with multiple rudders allowed my logical course of design action in the first instance would look into having a bow and stern rudder and no keel.
2nd action…bow and stern rudder with very tiny hi tech keel strut to hold bulb…rudders are the lifting surface,keel strut does nothing except hold bulb.
3rd action…with rudder thickness restrictions removed I would look into wings on the bottom of the rudders to help with handling and lift.

3 I am certain is a big no-no as far as performance is concerned.

I have not made a footy yet but plan on it this winter.

I does not matter to me about the rudders as I will not be racing. But I had an idea from dingy racing, and that is could you elliminate the rudder slot and make a measuring tool like a rectangle peice of wood the a size to be determined by the class, and then have a slot in the middle, so the full rectangle would be max area of rudder and the slot would measure the thickness. This tool would put the rudder into its own box rule. Just an Idea

Why are we having this discussion? There is nothing wrong with the existing rule. I can not understand why JPN-001 has 2 tandem rudders. There is no apparent advantage to it (or am I missing something?)

OK Angus - a less sarcastic response. ;):smiley:

  1. This issue was addressed to accomodate the UK (and other) boats built with transom hung rudders before the existing rule was adopted. They are simply “grandfathered” in if it is such a big deal to accomodate their “older” designs. Obviously new boats built since the rule was adopted don’t qualify.

  2. If the older designs are truly that much superior than the new boats, simply issue a maximum length that will allow them to extend beyond the hull transom - again limiting any new boats to rules as written. I’m not certain why anyone would suggest that a 12 inch boat and a 14 inch rudder extending aft from the transom would even be considered as “legal”. If you are going to subscribe to being an international class - a few “hard” decisions will come along. Proof of a class that wants to remain as developmental means having to say “no” sometimes - but as few times as possible is my suggestion.

  3. How many “old” boats are we talking about? If less than a dozen, it would seem you are messing with rules and trying to accomodate a very small portion of your members. You ( and others) keep saying how easy and quick it is to build these boats - so let the rules stand and let the owner build a new hull to comply.

  4. I have a one meter in an emerging class that requires a factory deck. Prior to the rule (and class formation) I had modified the hull to allow the deck to curve to the transom, and I have wood veneer that was to be the deck. With the rules adopted (and after my lobbying effort) my boat isn’t legal - so end of story. Why would I think the class would deviate just to accomodate me? Something wrong with those folks who expect this treatment.

  5. Is it hard to say no to a boat built out of compliance? It seems to be - so why not let the class decide on proven performance. If the Japanese boat with two rudders is fast, others will modify to be equal, if it doesn’t perform, the class will allow it to sail, but then who cares if single rudder boats win? I honestly think there is a bit too much concern over rule modifications - let the class decide. Each competitor has a rule book and can protest at any race. If the boat doesn’t fit the rules, it’s illegal. People can read so try to step back and let them become educated at the race site. If they want to take a chance and stretch the rules, let the protest committee decide as a group.

  6. Again, Brett (and others) brought forward a very simple idea - and too many fingers have added rules for personal agendas, or for some unknown reasons. Your posts (Angus) on another site of a very lightweight boat seems nullified by the silly battery requirement of AA size. Since the batteries are inside the boat and not in the keel (my original design thought) the hull weight loss has little bearing. Put the batteries at the bottom of the keel as part of the ballast and … ahhh, but I would NEVER think to argue that one for a personal boat, thus I elect not to play.
    Should the rules ever settle down so I know what I can develop I might proceed with one - but let me be free to design and provide performance proof. My guess is if it’s faster, others will copy - if it isn’t, at least I had a chance to compare performance and “then” set it on the shelf as a failed idea. Every time you poke the rules with the sharp stick, you remove yet another idea that someone might like to try.

For these reasons I cast a suspicious eye on the so called development theory of the class.

A second thought/suggestion - if you really must, make your rudder dimensions effective January 2008. Then those who are pushing limits at least have a deadline to build a boat that complies with the “class” rules.

I agree completely Brett…

As an OOD who hopes to run many more footy events I also agree with John that removing and measuring the volume of parts is not something I would want to do. May I dare to suggest that such a suggestion would not come from one who has to do it!

Anyone may build a 12" boat with twin rudders… it simply isn’t a ‘Footy’. How hard is that to grasp?


i have to agree with brett… if tandem rudders bacame legal, then the first thing i would be doing is breaking out the plan i have in the SMM skunk works for a “geek” rudder system, [and some other “dirty, underhanded” tricks!:devil3:] which would do all that brett says – complicate the class primarily.

the experimenter in me would love to see that happen… the things we could do with footys then!
however, what would happen to the lovely kittiwakes, flatfoots, bobabouts, pintail 12s and other “lowtech” designs that are not designed to be turned into rule exploiting, record killing machines? we would effectively drive a stake through any racing we ever wished to attempt in the future because we will have created in essence two classes, the super-footys, and everyone else.
if the majority of footys were customized lajas, bearfoots, akelas, sirens, etc. or homebuilt all out racers, i would whole heartedly vote for a rudder rule change. however, this is not the case. we have a lovely mix of boats in our ranks, and to create a situation where those who were not as addicted to “tuning” our boats as i and some of my esteemed colleagues are, could possibly feel like they ought to go elsewhere because they have no place to fit in with their non-souped-up boats, well that would be a tragedy.

so, much as i would love to start work on that plan that is burning a hole on my shelf, i have tosay in the interest of the class, had no we ought to consider what would happen to the class if we change it so drasticly?:graduate:

i must apoligize. i posted this, and then started thinking again, so i will add this to this post, as a polar opinion…

the footy is a very small boat. they go at relatively the same speed due to this small size. it takes a large change in a boat to make a small change inthe overall speed. why not allow the speed freaks to do what they do best, namely push the edges of the envelope? perhaps they crash and burn, and it is proven that single ruddered boats are better, and that becomes the norm again, but then again, perhaps they are incredible, and everybody can learn something.

footys are really relatively inexpensive. the Soling OM, which is the one of the biggest one design classes in the world, and is hailed as incredibly inexpensive costs more for the hull kit than most complete proto footys. most of us already use micro servos in our boats. they cost between $10 and $25. what is wrong then with allowing those who wish to add another control surface to their boats? keep the rule the same and require that only two channels be used, but allow the use of multiple rudders, what can be the harm? the people who want to play with fire can, maybe they get burned, maybe its a breakthrough… everybody is happy…

it is a developmental class after all!

ok, well, now i have split myself into two sides… sigh… lets keep talking!:devil3::smiley:

i love this class!

Go ahead–create your class where 6 channels and hearing aid batteries , a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret the 30 page rule book, and no material other than unobtainium are required, or whatever else blows your skirt up. More power to you and I wish you success.

Spend the rest of your lives arguing about it, if you like.

Just PLEASE leave my little fun, inexpensive, simple, beginner-friendly class the heck ALONE!


Angus & Bill (for USA questions)

Was just out to the Footy web site to read rules (again) and nothing is there regarding the removal of rudders for box measurement. Is this a proposal? Is it out to members for a vote? Is it a done deal?

The rule:

E.1 The overhang of the rudder is restricted to 51mm aft of the measurement box.
E.2 Except for the rudder, the following are prohibited: retractable and or movable hull appendages.
E.3 Rudder thickness shall not exceed 6.3mm.

Prior to Januaary 2007 the following was ruled:

[i]Only one rudder is allowed.

A rudder includes any associated hangings, transom standoffs, steering gear, etc. capable of fitting through the appropriate aperture in the measurement box[/i]

This limits the length of the rudder beyond the transom
This limits a legal Footy to one (1) rudder
Wings on the bottom of a rudder cannot fit inside the 6.3mm slot with any advantage, so that effectively limits the rudder thickness - Unless rudders are under the hull, in which case is a set of wings on a rudder part of the rudder thickness or not?

Nothing in the rules prevent a sail to be reefed so if the sail is soft fabric, it can be reefed to any size and the “small rig” dimensional issues are of no concern.

By the way …
How did you guys get away with calling the class an “International” class? The F-48 class got hammered - (even from some of our own AMYA members) - by the International Radio Sailing Division since the class needs to be recognized in eight (8) countries (as I recall) and then must be sponsored and voted on by the technical committee to be recommended for international status, which then must be voted on by the ISAF RSD members before you are “allowed” to use the word international to describe the class.

Just curious how you are/got away with that one as I recall the “biting” correspondence that went back and forth when we tried to add the word “international” in front of our class name?

O my bretheren, I do solemnly swear that I will never, ever again comment on a rule. Neither will I ever again introduce the slightest hint of levity into any forum discussion. And why will I not do these things, O my bretheren? Because you, the intellectual shock-troops of Footydom do not understand what I was getting at.

I started the thread primarily to get the forum moving. It has been very boring of late with few interesting contributions. It appeared topical, not to involve too much chance of blood on the floor and to offer quite a lot of room for ingenious thought and a little fun – what this forum should be about.

I started off, perhaps whimsically, from the notion ‘Can we open this rule up and make it simpler and less prone to artificialities without courting disaster?’ This could often be paraphrased as ‘If some silly man wants to slow his boat down, who are we to stop him?’

This seems to have got all sorts of people into all sorts of modes. Walt-H very rightly says there is no apparent advantage. I agree, But if there is no advantage, why not let the man have his designer accessories. Since he will be at the back of the fleet, they will be easy to photograph so that people an rave at the ‘sexiness’ or otherwise of his design.

Brett says ‘it ain’t broke’ so don’t fix it. This is perfectly valid and I’m not sure I don’t agree – the whole thing is an Aunt Sally. The run ons are interesting though. “with rudder thickness restrictions removed I would look into wings on the bottom of the rudders to help with handling and lift.” I am very sceptical indeed about whether this would work on a Footy – and if it does, why not? The other two possibilities I am not sure whether I am frightened of or not. I was certainly aware that the rule change as mooted (let us use no stronger word than that) did not did not cover these possibilities but omitted any wording to deal with them out of sheer laziness Bitter experience is increasingly treating me that ‘advanced’ solutions on Footys involving mechanism tend to be heavy and unreliable. Things that work in practice tend to be simple and light.

Doug is entirely right. But I strongly suspect that natural forces will give him what he wants. The reality is that in a class that tends to insist in putting a dozen beck beams in a 12” boat, Brett’s use of a few grams of moderately expensive thermo-curing resin on Akela 2 is about as high tech as anyone has usefully got.

I’m not sure where Graham is coming from or going to. Yes it is easy to understand that under the current rule something with twin rudders is not a Footy. It is I hope equally easy to understand that, if the rule were changed, a boat with twin rudders could be a Footy.

My learned friend Mr, Pushmipullyou Sparkman comes nearest to the way I am thinking.

Finally, my even more learned friend Mr, Lemke seems to think that what is being suggested is an extension of the existing rudder rules. It is not: the idea is that they might all be replaced by a much simpler system ty=hat was less prone to create artificialities.

Yes, I do.
In this case, KISS stands for, Keep It Simple, Stupid. I am sure those living in North America located between Canada and Mexico are very well aware of this. Keeping the rule SIMPLE, and hence IDIOT Proof, I think, and I firmly beleive, is a necessary inherent virtue and THE golden rule of the thumb to keep any class of R/C hobby fun and interesting for all. When I learned about the footy class about two months ago, things were simple and quite easy to comprehend. If dual movable keels and rudders, coupled with dual masts effectively controlled by state of the art Hi-Tec computer programmable Txs were the norm in a Footy, I would have dismissed the class for GOOD, and would not have designed, built and saild an own designed Footy. Now, I KNOW how to program a sailplane with 6 servos in it using THE satate of THE!!! art computer radios. So pushing buttons the correct way is not a problem for me. However. Simplicity is THE beauty of the Footy. AND IAM STILL HAVING A HARD TIME TRIMMING MY FIRST EVERY FOOTY, and am HAVING A BLAST!!! doing so. She ONLY has one hull, one rudder, and a fixed keel. Come on fellas, a mono hull fixed keel single rudder 305 mm hull sailboat IS FUN:zbeer::smiley: Isnt what this class is all about? For the modeler in ALL of us to have a blast, a great time, designing, building, sailing our creations. Rules are rules, and they exist to omit overkill, confusion and chaos. So, how come we cannto stick to it.
Cats and trimarans, I think are okay. At only 153 mm breadth, they WILL suffer. So, as with the rudder rules, why not just say, “The number of movable rudder"s” shall not exceed the number of hulls". I think this will give a great room and freedom for the experienced and the innovative to display their skills, without adding UNNECESSARY pressure to a newbie in desiging and building an original footy. My Yen’s worth.:smiley: :graduate:

Not so difficult for anyone who actually wants to grasp what I said Angus… my simple assumption is that we are talking about the ‘current’ rule. If the rule were to be changed then so be it… do remember though that the idea of a ‘development’ class is to develop within (just) the rules… what we appear to discuss so often here is instead ‘development of the rules’ … a completely different thing.

Pot stirring Angus… have you considered that when the forum is quiet it does not mean that the class is dying, it may well mean that we are all out here building and sailing… good heavens what a thought!


No Graham, the fact that here have been as many replies to this thread as there have suggests not that people are out, building, doing or anything else so worthy. They are passively using the forum but not contributing because, since your quite inspired question about one-dersigns, everything that has appeared recently has been rather boring.

That is why you stir pots. It makes the stew taste better. (you do it with the mash as well! :zbeer: )

Just remember that what a new owner/sailor sees of a class is a perception rather hard to change later.

As I noted, a good friend has a “GHOST FOOTY” - one built, registered, but likely not to race. Why? Seems the earlier bickering and some of the rather cranky emails put him off. Before you cast judgement, he sails a few of the larger AMYA classes and I don’t remeber, but “think” his AMYA number is less than double digits.

He has seen these issues and has elected not to play. How many others he has mentioned of this dislike is hard to say, but one can imagine there are a few. Now, he isn’t out there to “bash” the class, but when asked gives his opinion.

I really don’t understand how causing “forum traffic” over possible rule changes and their focus can be helpful - but then, if you feel it is helpful - so much the better. I would opine that it is more beneficial for someone to suggest the rules are “cast in concrete” for at least 3 years" so production builders can realize return on tooling, and the last thing anyone wants is a class that has a “rules du jour” approach. Could we next discuss allowing the “box” opening to be at least square (same width and length) so multihulls can play? How about a vote on the issue of AA batteries that “just happened”? Any one of these will also evoke hot responses to further fuel a “dull and quiet” topic on the forum. :scared:

If you want experimentation, and new ideas to emerge, a removal of some of the current rules would seem logical. On the other hand, development inside the rules that are there is possible - just don’t start a discussion of many of the rules for sake of forum traffic.

Sorry gents. If all the Spetznaz are telling me it was a dumb thing to do, it probably was. So what oyjer burning issue of the day does anyone want to tyalk about. See next thread.

Okay, here’s my two bits… The rudder slot concept is part of the box rule that I like. (The two parts of the rule that I don’t like are the battery rule and the 6" breadth of the box, which I think is too narrow and results in Footies being easily overpowered, but I’ll save these concerns for another time).
If you want to add something to define the rudder’s allowable shape further then “box” out the slot’s dimensions. Put a bottom below the 200mm depth and a cap at the 51mm aft extension. You could extend the “Y” shape tiller arm accommodation back 51mm as well if you all think its necessary. Since the rules state that “the boat in racing trim, shall be capable of fitting into an open topped rectangular measurement box…”, boxing out the aft rudder slot would not interfere with placement of the boat into the box from above and would put to rest any controversy. If you want an transom hung rudder (as I do) then it either fits in the boxed out slot or you go back to the workbench.
I think that this is a simple solution to a non-crisis. I certainly don’t see the logic emanating from one of our tech committee guys arguing that Open 60 style twin rudders are too complicated for the average builder to construct and get set up correctly while at the same time proposing to require transom mounted rudders to be dismountable for volume test comparisons at race sites.
As to Dick’s comment about the Footy’s dubious title as a development class, well he’s right. The Footy stopped being a true development class when it got stuffed in a box. However, given the restrictions of the box it has become a builder’s class and thats to be applauded. Now if the MYA can leave the rules alone for a while it may continue to grow and inspire everyone’s ingenuity.