some questions please

I was driving past a lake the other day and saw some r/c boats sailing. Although I have been building r/c boats for years, I have never sailed or built one that is any particlur design. The boats on this day that I saw were monohulls and multihulls.

What my question is, if I wanted to get into class racing, what would be the best boat. I have raced full size monohulls and multihulls so I have a pretty good idea of how to handle either.

These boats were the first ones I seen around here, although I have never gone looking for boats to sail with.

My funds to get involved are unlimited, but I wouldn’t think that much money would be needed to get going, based on what it costs to build and sail the things that I sail at the moment.

Thanks. StevenA

you have asked a good question. sailing can be expensive , but it does not have to be. i would suggest going to talk to the sailors you saw. and ask what they are sailing. and get one of those. if there do not have a class boat. then i would suggest looking into a seawing, or a us 1 meter, if they sail a IOM. go after a boat called epoch. i have one of those. and it sails quite well
long live the cup

I just realised that I put this in the multihull section. I probably posted in this section as I was thinking more like getting a multihull because they looked like more fun and quite frankly I hadn’t thought of building one of those before.

So the question is now, are there any designers around so that I could get some plans to build one. I live in Australia so I guess that there are really good designs/plans maybe here but more likely in other places around the world. Hopefully I can access some plans on the net, or failing that have some posted to me for a price.

I would also appreciate input as to what to watch out for,design wise, if there are any problems relating to multihull’s.
The other thing is, am I on the right track wanting to go with a multihull. I am open minded and would appreciate all the assistance I can get.

Thanks StevenA

Welcome Steven

I am the secretary of the Qld r/c multihull club. We race at north lakes in brisbane if you are close come out and see us. There are several multihull designs available, but as with any class there are good ones and bad ones. My suggestion would be to go with available plans like Snapdragon, Ghost Train, Freight Train or Pulse. If done of these suit you, you could try contacting Ian Sammis, he is on here occasionally. He builds a design called Nightmare. The other person around on here, apart from myself is Doug Lord from Microsail.

My suggestion to you for things to watch out for are multihull’s can capsize quite easily if you aren’t paying attention to them and have the wrong design. The other thing to consider is tri or cat. In my opinion tri’s are easier to sail and if you use the right design less likely to capsize.

Hope this helps.



Thanks for that. I live near Maryborough, so it’s a little far to go to Brisbane, but maybe if I need any input I can talk to you in person. I suppose also if I came down I could see your boats.


Steven, you have to decide if you want to race; if you’d rather build or buy ready to sail and that will help you decide multihull vs monohull. Go to clubs that are racing both types and try the boats before you spend any money. Most people will be generous with their time in introducing you to rc sailing.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Thanks for that Doug
I am really interested in building a boat. I never trust the workmanship of some-one else, as far as this type of thing is concerned anyway.

I would like race, but I will have to first learn to sail the thing first. I don’t think that will take to long.

Could you please tell me what I should be using to build the boat(materials). I normally use either balsa or carbon fibre. Hopefully both of these will be allowed. I have been looking around the net and have seen a boat called the mini40, do you know much about them?

I was trying to find the rules, but have been unable to. The designs Peter(from here) told me about seem a bit old. (sorry Peter).

I see by your post that you are in the USA. Is the class (mini40) big over there, or is the “home” of it somewhere else?

Thanks StevenA

Stevre, because of some problems we had with the original founders of the mini 40 in Europe(the French) a couple of us here myself and Dick Lemke-formed the Formula 48 Class. It is similar to a mini 40 and any min 40 could be an F48 but not every F48 could be a mini 40. A bit confusing!
You might contact Dick Lemke (see F48 contact below in this section)in regard to some plans but thebest source would be Pierre Gonnet in France-a several time mini 40 European Champion that has a company called PG Modellisme; sorry I don’t have the URL. You might get real up to date plans there.
You might want to make a point of sailing Peter’s boats as a frame of reference and because he seems like he would be real helpful regarding conventional rc multihulls.
Again, before you build or go forward too much make it a point to sail an rc multihull-they can be a handfull but the speed is quite something to behold.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing


The designs I mentioned in my opinion are a good starting point with design. We started there but some of our members have progressed to other boats with development. I suggested using them because they are easy to get a hold of.

Doug’s suggestion of going into F-48, or following the French ideas my not work over here in Australia, different sailing conditions.


Hi Steven -

a variety of plans have been posted on the Multihull sight. Also many are accompanied by photos of boats actually sailing. Depending on construction techniques and materials on-hand, costs can vary widely. Also glass over foam is an alternative accepted method for building.

As you may read in other posts, Doug has a list of questions to ask regarding the design of boat you are considering. A great idea. I would add one more - ask whomever is providing advice and recommendations - “How many of this class do YOU have sailing?”

Please note that what I have provided are alternatives for your choice and decision. Email a few others who have actual experience - especially Peter as to what works locally and what doesn’t.

Welcome !

I was just wondering why would you suggest to use “your starting point” as the right way for me to go? I would like to get involved in this from a sharp end of the fleet proposition. I therefore will dissmiss your ideas.

Doug, if you are able to I would like more information from you concerning multihull’s as you have given me a point that appeals to my competitive spirit far more. I haven’t had an interest in r/c racing with the boats I have built previous, but when I was in big boat racing it was win at all costs.

Dick, I will take your information with a grain of salt as you seem to have a similar opinion to Peter, and I have already dissmissed any assistance that he might give as three steps backwards.

I spent today looking around the net and pricing items for this new boat. It’s just my out look, if i’m going to do it, get the best available regardless of the price.

Guyatt winch
SailSetc parts for rig and other parts
Carbon/kevlar composite for hulls and decks

Doug, I’m looking at around 2kg, maybe 2.5kg as a sailing weight, wnat do you think?

By the way. Peter said in his post which was backed up by Dick that things don’t work in Australian conditions. When you go sailing there is water and wind, how is this different to anywhere else in the world?

Thanks StevenA

You shouldn’t be so quick to dissmiss the ideas from some-one how has been sailing multi’s in Australia for 5 years now. I think that I have a better idea than you as to what is right.

The other thing that you will learn very quickly is that the word of Doug Lord isn’t a real good way to go. Doug has a habit of strongly suggesting the ideas that he (apparently) has developed as being the best for the class.

You are new so I suggest that take a look back through other posts on here and see for yourself the rantings of Doug. If you are as interested in getting to the pointy end of the fleet as you say you are, then you can only be a benefit to the Australian multihull seen. Listing and following Doug’s opinions won’t help you much at achieving this goal.



If I may add, at no point did I say “things would NOT work” - I said (or meant to say) that a boat design needs to consider the types of wind and waves normally sailed in during the course of the season.

As example - up here in the Midwest (middle) of the U.S. - winds are strong in spring and fall, but light and variable during the summer. Since most sailing takes place during the summer, a rig optimized for these conditions is important. When I am ready to retire, perhaps to the Southwest, I would expect my sailing to have a change in wind speeds and conditions. Perhaps I will need my maximum sail area - but in early spring I have heard that they too have very strong winds, so possibly a smaller sail rig would be suggested. I prefer to use a smaller rig, than to reef, as I know that the jib/main will be balanced at all times. No need to worry about a reefed main when there is only heavy winds, or when really gusty.

Finally, up here, I have dismissed the use of foils for summer sailing. Once again, local conditions warrant that foils are NOT used, or they instantly become weed catchers - more so than normal raked back keels. You will find a strong push by a poster to this forum for foils, but in the end, it is money spent for an even shorter sailing season, not to mention only 4 foiler multihulls spread out throughout the country. (One of which is in Hawaii which makes local sailing a one boat proposition).

I have photos of when I sailed a local fellows F3 foiler, and while I admit it had a “GEE WHIZ” factor, after chasing it up and down the lake, pausing to stop to clean weeds off the foils, it soon became clear to me that while fast, there was no one else to challenge - or for them to challenge my sailing abilities… thus why buy one? I would have as much competition if I simply posted a photo on my wall - and it would be a heck of a lot less expensive.

As a personal view, I also think to dismiss Peter’s view so early in the game might not be in your best interests (IMHO) but that is for you to decide. What I have posted are designs that have plans available and that are currently sailing. Why not start with one of them as a baseline, and try to improve from there? At least you are starting with a known level of performance, and can determine if your ideas are an improvement or not. (an opinion from many of us on the forum - how can you claim something when it has never been sailed against similar competition without your ideas)

My advice - look at what Microsail has to offer, and if you are into a “fun” factor or are interested only in “high tech” and can afford their products - go for it. If, however, you are actually wanting to race the boat against someone else, then you might be better off looking elsewhere. Seems the company has a history of producing “One Designs” that are in such limited numbers, none are around to race, and none conform to any of the normally acccepted classes - even if they are the same lengths. I could digress into the monohull side of things with a good example, but will let that comment remain unaddressed at this time. You can email me if you are interested in my views reagarding his monohull creations.

Steve, I would imagine you could get some good information from Pierre Gonnet if you can handle the language problem.
There are new technologies being applied to rc multies all over the world that are experimental right now but hold great promise: hydrofoils and movable ballast.
You can post here or e-mail/pm me(as I will you) for more information.
You might want to try looking up those subjects and “multihull stability” under the search facility of the forum.
Also you might want to read the foiler posts and “F48 for the masses” below just to get some idea of what the previous posters were referring to and to help you understand the kind of thinking that seems to dominate some circles…

adt:add: last para
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 lorsail

Also you might want to read the foiler posts and “F48 for the masses” below just to get some idea of what the previous posters were referring to and to help you understand the kind of thinking that seems to dominate <font color=“red”>some</font id=“red”> circles…
<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Steven, perhaps Doug had a typo in his last post, and it should read as amended below…?

<font color=“blue”>Also you might want to read the foiler posts and “F48 for the masses” below just to get some idea of what the previous posters were referring to and to help you understand the kind of thinking that seems to dominate </font id=“blue”><font color=“red”><s>some</s></font id=“red”> <font color=“green”><u>MOST</u> multihull </font id=“green”><font color=“blue”>circles…</font id=“blue”>

A few minor facts that might help frame this discussion.

To date, there has been no multihull racing of any kind whatsoever in the USA. Dick Lemke is trying hard to get something going, but fact is there are no active fleets.

The “hotbed” of r/c multihulls seems to be in France. However, even there the number of boats participating is a fraction of the number of r/c racing monohulls. If you are looking for heavy competition in r/c sailing, you might consider one of the many monohull classes. (And if price is no object, I can assure you that you can spend all the money you want in active racing classes like the M or IOM.)

Peter seems to have an active fleet of r/c multihulls in Australia. If your desire is to race multis, it would probably be a good idea to at least interact with him and his group. I’m not sure if there are any other multi fleets currently racing in Australia. Peter would be the expert on that subject…

Finally, as to Doug Lord and microsail you should know that while Doug is the most prolific poster on this internet site neither he nor a boat or even a part he has designed or built has ever won a signifcant r/c sailing event of any kind in any class anywhere in the world. Caveat Emptor.

A few more facts to help frame this discussion:

  1. I have designed and built and delivered four of the first production sailing hydrofoils built anywhere at any time.
  2. I have designed and built the first 2 Meter trimaran with an asymetrical spinnaker.And the first production monohull using an asy spin with retractable bow pole.
  3. designed and built the first production monohull rc spinnaker boats of which almost twenty have been delivered.They make use of the first letters patent ever issued on an rc spinnaker system.
    4)I designed ,developed and introduced the first bent back tip modified squarehead rigs (Wing Tip Rig?) ever used on a production rc sailboat. Don’t require full battens and have an adjustable upper outhaul.And use a proprietary reefing system…
  4. designed and built the first rc catamaran with a Trapeze Power Ballast System in 1992 and have since produced a production prototype.
  5. designed and am in the process of developing the first production rc sailing hydrofoil with retractble main foils.
  6. Filed a patent on the first retracable bulb mounted wing system as a lateral resistance solution for canting keels and low aspect fixed keels.
  7. In the process of experimental work on my design of the first monohull hydrofoil keelboat.
    So, Steve, if I can be of any help just ask…

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

As always Doug, when you again put forth this list of “breakthroughs”, I have to ask a simple question: “Wanna race?”

Your spinnaker boat against a conventional marblehead?

You “aeroskiff” (if it still exists) against an IOM?

Your “micromoth” (if it still exists) against a 36/600?

Your “reefable” “wing tip rig” against a conventional rig of the same sail area?

Any hull designed and built by you against a hull of similar size?

Ready whenever you are…

And once again, another thread turns into a dispute over Doug Lord.

This is incredibly off topic. I put in a simple caveat for a newcomer to be cautious and off we go into another war about Doug Lord.

Simple fact is Doug, your boats became “one designs” when you found out you couldn’t beat conventional boats of equivalent size. My offer to race “conventional” boats against your “breakthroughs” has been
longstanding and remains in effect.

The only evidence of your multihulls superior performance is races you claimed to have engaged in on your home waters against what appears to be other boats designed by you. Not a single person (other than you) has backed up your multihull performance claims. And your boats haven’t even appeared at a single sacntioned race.

But none of this is the point. My initial point is what’s important.

Very simply, any newcomer should be very skeptical of Doug’s (and for that matter anyone else’s) unverified claims off the internet. See what the locals are sailing. Check out what boats are winning races. See who has a track record in designing fast boats. Don’t take anyone’s unverified word for their products. In other words check things out in the real world.

And Steven, you are on the right track with Sailsetc and Guyatt winches. There are also other good choices available. In Australia you might check out the boats, trackrecords (and websites) of BG Yachts, Mirage Boats and Craig Smith to name just a few. Also go back to the pond you passed and talk to the guys sailing.

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

<font color=“red”>(1)</font id=“red”> My F3 hydrofoil has raced against a much larger 2 Meter and convincingly beat it-by large margins.
<font color=“red”>(2)</font id=“red”> It has raced against a Formula 48 catamaran and sailed a circle around it. It has raced against larger monohulls on a triangular course and finished before the monos reached the weather mark.
<font color=“red”>(3)</font id=“red”> Amerca One and the Spinnaker 50 my first of their kind rc spinnaker boats each have almost half the boats necesarry to have an AMYA class and are raced as strict one designs.
<font color=“red”>(4)</font id=“red”> The national champion in the 36/600 class was going to use my spinnaker system in that class and I’m developing a 3R that will utilize an rc spinnaker. Those two boats are the only monohull boats that allow an rc spinnaker system
<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Ahhh once again, facts are facts unless they come from Doug… Steven, … don’t be misled by what you read here as posted by Doug …

Please refer to the above numbers…

<font color=“red”>(1)</font id=“red”>
(a) no one saw it, no photos exist, no class held the race, and the race was not sanctioned by AMYA CLass - if it indeed was really raced. Considering Jerry Grigg is/was the only known 2 Meter boat in the U.S. - this claim is questionable.
(b) ask who was sailing the other boat, a phone and an email address and follow up with that individual to find out the results, dates, wind conditions, location, etc.

<font color=“red”>(2)</font id=“red”>The boat (F3) is larger than an F-48 Multihull, and unless Doug was sailing it against the NIGHTMARE owned by Bill Hojnacki from Hawaii, there are no other registered F-48 multihulls sailing in the U.S. at this moment in time. Perhaps it is deemed worthy to ask the same questions as noted above in #1 - who was sailing, location, dates, and any witness names/emails who actually saw the event take place. Again - no photos, no proof, - just hot air.

<font color=“red”>(3)</font id=“red”> America One and the Spinnaker 50 - hmmm, let’s see, America One is out of production, and the Spinnaker 50 - well that is really an interesting tale. At 50 inches, the Spinnaker 50 is equal in length to a Marblehead. Doug has declined to make his Spinnaker 50 available to be raced against the Marblehead, and finally after being pressed, he admitted it was too heavy to compete. This MEANS … that you get to pay the same (or more) for a Spinnaker 50 <u>WITH</u> a spinnaker, yet the weight won’t let it get out of it’s own way - THUS, it has to be called a one design, so it doesn’t have to compete with lighter and faster 50 inch boats. Even though … IT HAS EXTRA SAIL AREA IN THE SPINNAKER! So, you can order one, and like I mentioned about the foiler, there aren’t many/any to race against, there have been no National Regattas - either sanctioned by Microsail OR by AMYA. I’m sure you can use your own judgement here on the value of having one of these high tech wonders with no one to sail against, and no active fleet racing, and never a National Championship - even sponsored by the builder ! If you want 50 inches of monohull speed, you certainly won’t find it in any of the Microsail monohulls. Look toward a good competitive Marblehead - it will be faster than anything Doug has to offer of the same style and size.

<font color=“red”>(4)</font id=“red”> Key word to note in Doug’s post … the word “WAS” ! Important to note that after well over a year of Doug telling us this, the spinnaker concept was never used, and didn’t appear.

And finally, isn’t it interesting to note there was no response from Doug as to Roy’s claim…<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>you should know that while Doug is the most prolific poster on this internet site neither he nor a boat or even a part he has designed or built has ever won a signifcant r/c sailing event of any kind in any class anywhere in the world.<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”> Which must mean what Roy has posted is TRUE - and a matter of fact!

First I heard about a retractable pole spinnaker equipped boat. Got any photos? Oh, that’s right, can’t afford a $5.00 Wal-Mart camera with processing to CD of digital photos! Something that your “secretary” could post for you on this forum!

More hot air? Perhaps!