State of the Sport Debate.

An opening gambit from Dick Lemke.
Me? Quiet ? - You gotta be kidding - right? :razz:

(As an example) There is a quiet move afoot here in the US and within the “M” Class to return to a limited keel depth, mainly to provide the ability to sail in some shallow venues. There are hopes it will also revive the “M” Class - and see new blood joining the class and increasing regatta participation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t address the issue of a very, very expensive boat that is currently the class “yardstick”. Until costs are reined in, many of the “built boats” will continue to have limited ownerships merely on cost alone. This also seems to be a good reason why the “plastic” boats are increasing in popularity.

Over the course of the past few years, there has been a decided difference in owner/sailors in the AMYA, and I would suspect most of our membership consists of retirees – or “close-to-retire” aged folks. While we get interest from many high school age folks, it is easy to see the limited income keeps them from really joining in to a class they would prefer to sail in. When costs of books, school, or even families in the case of the younger crowd in their late 20-early 30’s are a decision point, the r/c “love” becomes secondary. At the other extreme, many retirees are living on a fixed income and disposable income is a concern for them too. Thus we have the two sides – young and old – that are trying to stay competitive within a class only to see the basic boat move further out as a possibility.

I for one would “love” to sail an “M” but even though I’m still working (but looking forward to retirement in the next few years) find the cost of a currently competitive “M” to be outside of my price range – much like a full size 40 foot sportboat! I can see from emails and forum questions many are looking for free boat plans, when in reality, a $10-$20 plan cost is so small of a percent of the value of the boat when built. Thus, if plans are priced at $20 – we have lost a number of interested parties. When they do buy into even a “plastic” class and find the hidden costs of necessary upgrades to be competitive, there is another point where we’ve lost some interest. Finally, when boats exceed $1,000 a lot of them drop out too. It’s one thing to “buy into” the concept of a development class up front – knowing there will be on-going costs to remain competitive, but it is another when the cost of ownership smacks one alongside the head – as in the case of the “M” – IOM – or even the US One Meter class. I am not saying builders aren’t justified in asking for a fair profit on their labor – I am concerned about the “ego” purchases so one can proudly proclaim I am sailing an XYZ boat with ABC sails!

I even am watching the Footy Class – having traded some emails with a few owners and while they look like fun, a lot of the requisite “bickering” may have produced a few “ghost ships” – those that exist but don’t race.

As some know, I am on the bottom floor of the 1:10 scale class, and even the current AMYA president recognizes that AMYA caters (currently) only to racers! Noting is provided to entice scale model builders to join/participate. Using the 1:10 as an example – here is a place for “builders and modelers – not racers, and the size of the finished boat can range from 1 meter up to 2 meters! The fact the emphasis will be on scale appearance first, and sailing ability/speed second may improve AMYA memberships. Unfortunately there will be some who have a ”no expense spared” attitude. They will pay for custom work, hardware, etc. and eventually those with less financial means will soon drop out since they can’t keep up.

I (like a few others) lament the day when wooden boats, wooden masts, and single panel sails left in favor of carbon this and that and paneled sails. The current ODOM and Soling 1 Meter are two current classes where the cost to participate hasn’t reached the ‘unthinkable” Too bad there aren’t more of them !

[FONT=Century Gothic][SIZE=1]Just an opinion of course.[/FONT] [/SIZE]

This opening offering from Dick has been moved here to start a new thread on the present state of the sport and thoughts on where and how to guide the future for the continued growth and enjoyment of all facets of radio yachting. Let`s hear your input please. :graduate:

Hi Dick, I have been watching your 1:10 scale class with interest, the only problem I have with it is the 1:10 scale, I think just scale would be better. It would let someone build some of the larger boats and still be able to get them in the car. I am building a schooner that is 1:12.5 scale so I can’t come and play with you. I still think it will be a lot of fun.

I don’t belive the M class is to expensive.
Roger Stollery has some simple designs that finnish at the sharp end of the fleet that don’t require an oversize wallet…I am considering a build right now and it is not the cost that is stopping me.
Anyone with some boatbuilding and sailmaking knowledge can build a competitive M in my opinion.
The only high dollar items are some carbon cloth for the hull and fin,at this size not much is required. and some decent carbon tubes for masts.Everything else can be made very cheaply with some thought.
And if you can’t then it seems only fair that you will have to pay someone to do it for you.
I think it is more perception than fact that you need to spend major $$$ to compete in any class. Smart sailors and builders know what is important and can acheive results without breaking the bank.
In NZL the names Smale ,Tallic spring to mind both have hade exellent results in the “Hot” classes without another morgage…The IOMs of Michael Sharming also come to mind,and there are many others.

ps…anyone know where the next M worlds will be?

John - I see and have heard your point. Where the 1:10 (or 12th., or 12.5) decision comes in is for the fixtures to make it “look” real. Our supplier (and builder) has to know what will sell before he spend money tooling up for one size, but that class fails, yet a different scale size succeeds.

Obviously, a small winch on one size could be a maxi-winch on another size - but we have blocks, travellers, stancions and ccleats - all of one size - that we kind of agreed upon starting out. Thus - if you build a 1:10 scale Melges 24, and I build a 1:10 scale VOR 70 - the detailed winches (as example) all look in proper scale. Thus the guy making them stands a good chance of selling to many different boat styles, rather than only one. I suppose those with metal working skills and tools could fabricate to whatever size/scale they desire - but we recognize that some don’t have those resources, so trying to allow them to purchase to meet their scale was an objective when we started discussions.

I for one, liked a 1/12th class cause it was easy to do the math here in the States for our measurment system. That was soundly “pounded” by my oversea’s counter parts who use the metric system and found conversion to be easier for them if we stayed at 1:10 ! So it was minor things that contributed to the idea. An Aussie builder had done about 15 or so 30-40 foot sport boats (that would be 10 to 12.19 meter boats) and so to preserve his efforts, we agreed to stay with his initial building - only because of an immediate fleet of boats at similar scale. Add in the issue of pre-defined scale fittings that were/are available and the decision was rather easy to accept and agree upon.

The idea of your schooner is one area of sub-class we are considering - knowing that many schooners may be over 100 feet in length. Perhaps banding a group of schooner builders together will aid in getting established in AMYA under the Open Class to begin. I have a set of lines for an 85 foot fishing schooner that I arbitrarily reduced to an overall length of 4 feet - with the precise reason you have - to manage transportation. I would encourage you to consider rounding up like minded folks and put together an informal class (or special interest group - SIG) to get a concensus of size. Hving the size agreed upon might open doors for others interested, but not aware of what scale to build to. Plans, parts, and features can tehn be established - and if enough interest, I am sure suppliers will come forward.

If size isn’t agreed upon, who would spend time tooling up for perhaps 10 different size scale lifeboats, life-rings, blocks, and other things needed to get a nice looking schooner? And I do call attention to a “working” model rather than a static museum/mantle-piece ship.

I apolgize for the thread hi-jack - and would ask interested persons to discuss further in the 1:10 Scale discussion topic.

And yes - having a VOR70 is more “ego fullfilling” than a tiny Melges 24 or 32 ! :stuck_out_tongue:

Er, you may want to look at the USVMYG Schooner rules, which were derived from the San Diego Argonaut rules and have served us well. I’d hate to see an unnecessary duplication of rules.



Thanks Earl - and apologies. I wasn’t aware that you had a schooner group - so there you go! I learn something new every day ! :wink:

Was not my intent to overlook the group. Anyone from there posting on any of the forums - or do they have one of their own?

JayDee (from the U.K.) was big supporter of schooners, (He’s feeling better and home now by-the-way) and a couple of Canadians were building. Then the thread/topic kind of went dead.

Dick, thanks for the reply, I don’t much worry about fittings, I make all my own.

Earl, where can I find the schooner rules, I have looked on the Argonaut site and done a search for “USVMYG Schooner rules”

“you may want to look at the USVMYG Schooner rules, which were derived from the San Diego Argonaut rules and have served us well.”

thanks again

sorry for posting this in the wrong place

Good question. At first glance it looks like they got dropped by mistake in some Web page update. There’s a reason I’m no longer webmaster :slight_smile:

I’ll dig them out and post them. They’re not that long.