the 3r class?

ok people.
got a question for you all
there are 2 members here that post alot. answer questions, and even help when they are not sailing in those classes.
i want to know a answer to a diffucult queston. Dan Sherman and myself have built and sailed 3rs. what we both have come to realise is that this class is not taking off. not too many people are building them. what we want to know is . what can we do to help? or what is wrong with the class?
is there too many classes? are there not enough information out there?
would a set of free plans help? :zbeer:
no i agree that building something that you design is a big deal. my 3r can keep up with most of the IOMs in my area
could you post an anwser and give us some help?

Get an educational instituion involved. The class is a natural for a design/build competition because of the simplicity of the rule. The late and much missed Stanford prof Rolfe Faste taught design that way. Do a design, do the CAD, build a boat and sail it. I once kidded him that he was giving college credit for something that used to be a 9th grade shop project (a bit of an exaggeration, I admit) and his response was interesting: “We get the best and brightest and all they have done in their lives has been to draw pictures on a computer screen. They are thrilled to build a physical object.”
(IIRC, of course).



Arrrghhhhh :mad:

Will probably P…$$ off a few folks, but that’s what discussion is all about… right? :boxing:

As most are aware, I have tried getting the F-48 off the ground since late 1999. It is a development class. It’s a builder’s class. It’s a “big” boat. It’s “not normal”.

Two would-be builders tried to promote their products and failed. One took money but had very slow deliveries. The other was fascinated by technology, but refused to address factual issues. In BOTH cases, no boat was available “off-the-shelf” - and both were very expensive due to size. This was during the “take-off” of the IOM Class around the world, and as builders of the F-48, they were amazed that folks would spend vast sums of money (comparable to our F-48) for a boat that was 1/2 the size, 2-3 times the weight, and slow in comparison. What we didn’t see, was the 1 meter size seemed to hit a “sweet spot” with most, and there were builders in nearly every country willing to build complete boats or supply kits and parts. As the IOM took off, it dragged along a lot of sailors who wanted (or perceived) the class as being the home of hot and competitive sailors. With technology and production support from folks like Graham Bantock and Lester Gilbert, scientific data and well made products were available - even if not inexpensive. Travel was also much easier with a boat that “might” fit into a family vehicle without needing to be de-rigged.

Today there is an influx of interested folks into r/c sialing who aren’t builders. They come from the “ready-to-fly” or “ready-to-drive” backgrounds where huge production companies were able to produce volumes and kept prices (for the most part) reasonably low. They didn’t have to be builders - just assemblers for the most part. They wanted their satisfaction now, today, this minute - not next spring after spending countless hours engineering and building. The “plastics” we currently see available have both good and bad values. Some are built knowing there is a market and knowing how to put out a decent product. Victor Products, Thunder Tiger, Laser, Seawind, Fairwind and CR914 are just a few of reasonably nice quality boats at a decent price. Then along comes some of the “junk” - plastic, add weak radio Tx/Rx and with a Wal-Mart price tag. Once purchased the new sailor finds out that additional time/money is required to make the boat competitive with new standing rigging, new sails, better winch, a stiffer mast, more weight, less weight, and worst of all - it’s a “leaker” ! :mad:

Seldom do they look back to see time and effort plus $$$$ needed to get a boat on the water to enjoy. Many might find they have invested more in a plastic slug, than if they would have purchased a good used boat from within a class they want to join.

Back to the 3R

  • the availability of free plans won’t change people to be a builder. Free plans abound for many classes that aren’t one-design. Heck - folks balk at paying $13.00 for a set of plans that if built will be worth well over $1,000.
  • the size of the boat may play a part - but not too important as there are still viable “big boats” that have great classes - EC-12, AC, J and a few others come to mind.
  • The construction method “might” be a factor since few new builders will have any concept of spiling planks, or fitting them. Many still have a problem understanding that most “shadow templates” are removed from a boat after building.
  • Knowledge and experience handling glass, epoxy/poly resins, finding hardware, fitting out a boat, etc. all reduce interest if new to the hobby/sport.
  • there are many more that will still see this as what it is - a builder’s class with a lack of builders.

Does anyone have a hull or complete boat ready to be shipped to the buyer? Is it competitively priced?

Finally - how are you getting the word out? I fault the AMYA for not providing a venue for boats that aren’t classes. At least once a year, a left/right coast “open” event should be held to allow new boats, new designs to sail together so photos and results help sell the product/concept. I would love to sail my 1 Meter multihull against one meter monohulls. Perhaps a Desprois or Stern one meter will kick it’s butt, but it is educational for those who might be interested. Be logical - how many people have the time to spend building a boat, the money for parts, and then find it’s a dog? Yet “IF” that boat was a demonstrated performer - and 3 of 5 finished near the top of an “open class” event, the likelyhood of it selling itself would be possible. You don’t suppose that a Bantock boat that was always a the back of the pack would command the same prices as one that was always winning, do you?

Even production builders find it difficult to get off the ground - witness the 30" HALO design, a neat looking boat, cost effective, but why no sales?

I think in summation, there may be builders out there (witnessed by the FOOTY Class interest) but they like the convenient size. Hopefully some will find the next step up to be a 1 Meter or a 3R for excitment, speed, size a good looks. I certainly hope so.


Dick, well put

I think that the footy class should be used as a gateway class for other classes. You should really advertise the 3R to footy sailors, because as you said, many might want something bigger that handles and looks more like a “big” boat.
To promote home builds, someone should make a website that shows how easy it is to scratch build, and several methods. When I started I couldn’t find a good, straightforward source. and If you want publicity for your class, use a build of your class as your example (multihull specific section vs monohull). Also bring your boat to where big boat sailors gather, most of them will know how to work with fiberglass. People looking at production boats should be turned toward scratchbuilding, it is cheaper and can have a better result, just look at miniman’s M build:
luckily, I come from a line of sailors and German engineers, so epoxy and fiberglass are always in the house and plenty of creativity to build a boat.
I am new to RC sailing, somehow I discovered RC sailing through the America’s Cup, and was first interested in the AC class. I usually start something full blown and out of my reach, but instead I am building a few footies, then moving up to us1m, M, and maybe a 10R. and if there are plans for a fast boat, maybe a 3R.
I like the US1M because 39" is enough for it to feel large, but be portable. The M is bigger, and appeals to me because of the design challenge.

I would me more than willing to produce a boat, but I need to get my fiberglassing ability up to acceptable. also if someone had access to a vacuum forming machine, that would move a class along pretty quickly (like the 507 footy)

Where can I find more info about the 3R class?

I agree with everything Dick has said.

There are probably too many classes around the one meter size for the 3R to have much of a chance of taking off. At least that is true of the US (several choices) and also of those countries with established IOM fleets.

The concept of the 3R appeals to me – but I already have two classes of one meter boat in my “fleet”, one of which (the IOM) would be the most likely be my choice for another design/build project because of the existing competition available to me in that class. In an unrestricted class, I would ether try to establish a local 10R fleet (as I have an unfinished 10R in my garage but nobody to race against) or pull out my other boat, the Marblehead. The 10R would not fragment the local meter boats (we have IOMs and ODOMs). The Marbleheads of course was active around here – until the IOM, and the cost of a competitive Skalpel, killed them off.

Of course the mention of these classes establishes me as somebody who is prepared to spend serious money on my boats – and I’m the first to recognize that for many that is neither desirable nor possible. My feeling is that the 3R could become just as expensive as the IOM.

Perhaps the best way to establish the class would be to look for locations which have some existing RC sailing activity but where, for whatever reason, they lack a one meter sized class. For example, there are a couple of very active 10R clubs in Australia which are not also into IOMs. Given the family relationship between the 10R and the 3R, I could imagine a bunch of dinkum Aussie sailors taking to it. I could see the class as being compatible with and augmenting the 10R, as a more affordable and more easily transported boat. If I was active in the 10R, and given the cost of getting a truly competitive 10R to the start line, I could see using the 3R as my test bed, and also as my midweek after work racing boat. If I was a club devoted to 10Rs (and Ms, which can dual-rate as 10Rs), then I might see the 3R as the class to attract new members with a view to feeding the 10R and M class in due course.

Here in the US I might suggest you show the boat to the guys in Denver – but many of the 10R sailiors there also have Ms (some dual-rated) and their chosen entry level boat is the Soling 1M. They probably have their hands full.

In NZ, talk to the guys at the Waikato club – at present they are pure Marblehead and nothing else. A smaller boat can compliment the bigger boat.

I dislike the idea of fragmenting our scarce supply of sailors over too many classes – especially the very small subgroup of us who are designer/builders. But I am all for development, development classes, and their place in the overall mix. I do think they have to find a niche, and be compatible with, rather than competing against, other classes.

Perhaps this is why the Footy is developing a momentum – there was really nothing similar. But then again, the Footy has been around for years, going nowhere. Then with the hard work and communication of a small and committed group (and the internet), it has started to take off in a relatively small space of time. So who knows.

I’m not sure of any of this makes sense.

Don, you can find info about the 3r class here, though the site is all but dead.

Dick, Earl, Muzza, Don, all,

Are any of you interested and collaboratively drafting rules for a new class?

I think the premise of the 3r class is sound, but I believe some minor changes could insure low cost, and simple rules.

I’m thinking of something along the lines of what happened with the footy class on this site.

So I couldn’t keep my mind off the topic, so I wrote up this rough outline. I would be interested to hear opinions.

[li]Mono sloop rigged[/li][li]Rating rule based on SA & LWL, maybe displacement?[/li][li]Maximum LOA[LIST][/li][li]Short enough to fit in a small cars trunk[/ul][/li][li]Maximum Keel Depth[ul][/li][li]Easy to measure[/li][li]Shallow enough to sale in common venues[/ul][/li][li]Minimum hull weight[ul][/li][li]What can be accomplished by a beginner home builder using balsa and fiberglass[/li][li]Counter weights added inside mast at deck level to bring under weight boats up to spec[/ul][/li][li]Hull building materials[ul][/li][li]Wood[/li][li]Fiberglass[/li][li]Others?[/ul][/li][li]sails and mast[ul][/li][li]maximum main sail luff length (to keep mast height under control)[/li][li]cylindrical masts[/li][li]other methods to keep mast costs under control[/ul][/li][li]radio[ul][/li][li]maximum number of radio functions 2 , 4 ?[/li][*]needs to keep costs down[/ul][/LIST]

Hi Dan

Getting a new class off the ground is like throwing a six on a die – a somewhat low probability outcome that seems to be a matter of chance rather than anything else (smile).

The 3r was an interesting concept, and I’ve kept an eye on it. I’m sorry it hasn’t taken off. Some suggestions:

  • When you think you have it, review the rating rule with someone who knows and understands such things. I believe the 3r rule was a little faulty in that the optimum design was a no-brainer to an experienced designer, rather than allowing a range of more-or-less equal possibilities. Graham Bantock might respond positively here.
  • Ask a known designer to provide a plan. It is true that not many folks are interested in building from a plan, but some die-hards are, and a new plan does excite them. It also tells others that the class is, erm, being taken ‘seriously’… Charles Detriche might respond positively here.
  • The Phigit class has useful approaches to very simple measurement. I’d be happy to discuss 'em.

Good luck!

Hi lester,

I have followed the phigit class, and it only had a few things that personally turned me off.
[li]The dependency on IOM sails – This is mainly do to the fact that I like to experiment with sails. [/li][li]Non rating rule – Again this is do to my personal preference, as I find rating rules more interesting.[/ul] [/li] Would you be interested in collaborating on the writing up a set of class rules, even if in the end it amounted to nothing more than a mental exercise?

the reason you got me into the class was the fact that the rule was simple
lwl x sa/ 7000 = 3
anything else was allowed, you could adjust lwl. and gain sa.
there was things to play with.
the idea that it would be a monohull. was a given. the fact that you could have only 2 sails. was also a given. but there is no rule that says the main sail has to be bigger than the jib.

i think the idea would be a central location . where you could get information . like don suggested. but also a set of drawings that could be given out.
lesters idea of graham or charles doing a design. would help greatly. after all
who is cougar? what the h@ll does he know?:zbeer:
so what i am saying.

  1. get a website that people can go to
  2. a set of desins that people can build from
  3. people need someone to talk with . when building the 3r

dan i think this class can grow. it just need a kick start. talk to jim about this thread

Hi Dan

Sure, happy to help if I can.


Lester, and others

Let me know what you think of these basic sail rules. Please note that the rule language needs to be clean-up, so let me know if something is un-clear and I will try and clarify.

The goals:[ul]
[li]Keep the rules simple[/li][li]Minimize the number of measurements needed to calculate SA.[/ul]The attached example is an extreme case and the error compared to cad was 1.6%. The error can be decreased further by increasing the number of width measurements. The zip files contains the excel spreadsheet SA calculator.[/li]
luff length - red line + blue line
working luff length - blue line
Foot - orange line
Head - orange line
Widths - green

1.1.The Tack, Clew, & Head corners must come to a definitive point.
1.2.The head shall for a 90 degree angle with the luff.
1.3.The foot angle shall not exceed 90 degrees.
1.4.No sail edge can contain concavity.
1.5.Widths shall be measured Perpendicular to the luff, and equally spaced across the working luff.
1.6.The working luff length is the distance from the head to the point on the luff formed by a line perpendicular to the luff through the clew.
1.7.Foot rounds shall not exceed 13 mm.

Hi Dan

Do you want discussion on the forum here, or via e-mails?

Hi Dan

Is the 3R restricted to soft sails?
May be worth having a look at the 10R Class Rules (from ISAF-RSD Web site downloadable documents) if not or if you are undecided. They can be simplified, but illustrate the writing of rules to do what you would like to do with three cross-widths.

I was going to say the same thing about the 10R rules but Lester beat me to it :slight_smile: Here are my thoughts on a rating (requires tradeoffs) vs box (gives fixed limits) rule:

1: The rule needs to be accompanied by an official worksheet which is submitted when the boat is measured and which contains the required formulae (in graphic form if possible) to compute the rating.

2: The rule should require that measuring marks be placed on the boat to simplify the measurer’s problem. In an L/SA rule, a critical one is the location of the upright LWL plane. Requiring a mark at each end of the LWL simplifies draft measurement as well (see 5 below).

3: To permit maximum ingenuity in sail configuration, sail areas can be computed (via the worksheet) by dividing luffs into even intervals, say 5, and using Simpson’s or Trapezoidal rule. Yes, this can be cheated, as can all approximations.

4: To keep costs in range, something must be done to discourage use of exotic materials (such as carbon fiber, which is going to get even more exotic when Boeing and Airbus slurp up the entire world production and inventory). The IOM rule does this nicely with the minimum weight/maximum ballast rule.

5: With today’s R/C boats, something has to be done to control draft (witness the decline of the Marblehead class). Rulemakers in the freesailing days didn’t have the problem because the boats had to be able to go anywhere on the pond and that imposed a de facto limit. Measuring actual draft is a bit of a pain, although made more feasible if the LWL end marks are required. A variation of the Footy box with adjustable ends could handle it. I’ve always liked the Kiwi class that set a limit on distance from bottom of keel to top of mast, forcing the designer into a tight aspect ratio/righting moment tradeoff.

All IMHO, of course.



Let me work on these rules a little bit and i will see what i can change/come up with.

i have an idea. alot of people would shy away from a new class. simply because they dont know what is involved. right now I am in that spot with my marblehead. what do i need to spend. how much is this going to cost me. ect
well i just thought of this
dan and I or lester and dan. but somebody comes up with a set of drawings for a boat . that would use the seawind rig. or the sails from victor. both classes use 600 sqr inchs. the people that have the seawind could just build the hull and use the rig from thier own boat, untill they feel comfortable. then they could design thier own boat with what ever sail they need
it is basicly the same idea that i had with my boat. i was going to use the seawind rig. just sort if plug and play. thing
would be an idea anyway:zbeer:
yes or no?

Sounds like the concept and idea behind the MultiONE Class - which has resulted in few if any takers. Plans were free. Construction from foam or balsa. Sigh … S.O.S. :wink: