The Footy is Dead, Long Live the Footy

The Footy is Dead!

The Footy is no longer a 12 inch boat … the Footy’s beam is no longer restricted to 6 inches. The 12 inch Footy is dead. Does she therefore still deserve the name?

It may surprise some to hear me say that I believe a Footy proper should be a 12 inch boat … that’s what I thought it was 3 weeks ago, and that’s what attracted me to it … I know that there is very little enthusiasm for writing in such a restriction, but hell, I think you all know the road you’re tending down without it …

… but but but, I know

…to give reign to the creativity and imagination of those who wile away the midnight hours scheming, why not a CUBED FOOTY rule … 1 rule only … hull must fit in a 12x12x12 inch box … and that’s it … a Footy Rule and a Cubed Footy Rule … make the former official, make the latter unsanctioned and informal … no need to administer it until it needs administered …

… benefits are obvious … everybody gets to experiment to their hearts content within the Cubed Rule … builders, buyers, parts makers, etc get to continue developing building and racing boats knowing that their efforts and money isn’t going to be wasted by someone playing the rules instead of the wind …

Give her back her name … Long Live the Footy!

I prefer the strict Footy rule of the box, and having the deck even with the top of the box ( call this the classic Footy.) Anything else takes away from the original idea of a really cheap hull & easy building. Plus the new box rule was selected to limit the wide beams of the earlier generations.

The cubed- Foot idea might make 30cm multi-hulls possible.

Geez! I tire of this!!! If you want to sail a bigger boat, go sail a different class!!!

your rules, not mine Bob … they’re out there building bigger boats already … you ARE going to have to accept it or do something about it … how long is a footy?

Well, where does it stop! The Footy class was born to see how a LITTLE boat would perform. You make the box bigger and people will figure out how to put a meter boat in it. I think that many people are losing what the gist of this class is all about. Frankly, if things continue in this vein, I may just sail off in the sunset on this class.
People like you want to see how big of a boat you can fit in the box, people like Brett want to fit a dozen boats in the box. Brett wins my vote hands down!

A Footy is 305mm, L.O.A.

The Footy is supposed to be 305mm long- PERIOD. the box rule was created to keep all the boats in the same perspective, dimensions-wise. Otherwise, we get into crazy measurement rules, and that is not the idea behind a boat you (or even a Cub Scout) could built from cheap or free materials- balsa scraps even! Not to see how big a boat you can cram into the box. It’s to see how well you can build a little boat to sail well, and to have fun creating the ‘little things’ to go with it.

You may entertain the thought of fitting bigger boats in the box just for the fun of it, but it’ll never catch on with the serious class builders/sailors.

I think that if some (just a few addballs) do get off the mark on this box rule thing, that all the rest of us Footy sailors will still be building correctly built Footys, and the oddballs will die away…

So if you want a bigger boat, try the Victoria, or the Ocean 500. I think the Ocean 500 might even fit into a Footy box. I must build one and see.


Bob & Tomo,
I totally agree. Whenever a set of class rules is agreed upon, it seems like some people get more enjoyment out of trying to figure out a way to “tweak” or change them, rather than simply accepting them as a “given” & trying to design/build something within those constraints. It reminds me of the box rules for rc land yachts (see below) which called for a max length , height & beam. One fellow got off on a big tangent about whether or not “height” meant vertical or not. He wanted to argue that the box could be layed on it’s side & still qualify as legal. My opininion was no, but he wouldn’t accept that.
Of course, if he had ever actually gotten around to building such a thing, it wouldn’t have sailed for sh#t anyway. The problem was that the guy was a talker, not a builder, & the whole discussion was a big waste of time.

Bill, Bob, Tomo, I agree with you in many ways. There is, however, one historical point. The box rule is based on the rule for the Britsh 36R class, which has been around since about 1935. It has always been accepted in that rule that diagonal boats are allowed.

Part of the problem with the Footy rule is that the dimensions are pretty extreme. The dimensions of the 36R box are 940mm(37") long, 229mm(9") wide and 279mm(11”) deep, which allows far less scope for ‘tweaking’. The double diagonal of the box (i.e. between diametrically opposed corners is 39.7 inches) and exploiting this would entail tremendous sacrificies in terms of hull form and stability. Practically you might manage to scrounge an extra inch.

However, it should be noted that the Footy rule (like the 36R rule) requires that the boat fit into the box in sailing trim. In 36Rs this has always been taken to mean that any part of the rig that falls within the box at measurement must also remain within its limits when sailing. In other words, a 16" boat can probably go to windward like s*** through a goose but has to sail off the wind with its sheets pinned in. It might work, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion.

Of course there is no guarantee that the Footy class will interpret its rule in the same way as the 36Rs, but there is at least the power of precedent pointing in that direction.

I dont even have my first Footy on the water yet! Keep the rules the same! I am building the footy as my first sailboat because it is a footy! The cubed idea as a different class is an interesting thought. But keep the footy as it is!

Just my 2 cents. Thanks.

I’m not going to worry about the demise of the Footy class because a few folks talk about building diagonal boats with mythical speed. We have barely raced the existing designs. How long will it take before anyone ever sees one of these on a lake? There will be drawbacks to going diagonal just as there are to fitting straighter designs. Let’s not worry until we see a few of these boats.

Even if they’re faster, they should still be very small boats compared to other classes. The building shouldn’t get too much harder either. So anyway, I still stand behind the existing rules. Folks can build whatever they like, i.e. cubed boats, but if it doesn’t fit in the box it isn’t a Footy.

Right, tallastro

Even a 16" (400mm) footy is still only about 1/3 the length of a 1meter.

To my knowledge no Footy much longer than 12 inches has passed mearsurment yet.
Just cos some guy has built a long boat and says its a footy doesn’t mean its so.

All I can say to you is:

  1. Build us a boat that you say fits the box with your questionable placement of the rig
  2. Go build a race course and give us your time for the five laps
  3. Take lots of pictures so it is a reality
    In other words, put your money where your mouth is!
    I am pretty well reminded when I use to sail in Mission Bay in San Diego. When there would be a good blow, I would be out there in my little ol’ Snipe passing up the Hobie Cats and looking at those shocked faces.

oh my oh my … what trouble does an idle mind … how about I shut-up about this …

… you guys, however, MAY wish to keep talking about it in anticipation of the eventuality … you’ve much more invested than me …

Cheers all, Trevor

Personally, I don’t have anything invested that I didn’t want to invest in in the first place. Just a few pieces of balsa and ply which made a couple fun little boats to enjoy myself with. Which I wil continue to enjoy no matter what else is built. I just think that you are full of BS and doing more talking than producing. All I am saying is produce something rather than stiring a cauldron of words. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

I’ve always preferred “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.”


I know it is easy to not read posts fully, so if you missed it the writing is on the wall… quote: However, it should be noted that the Footy rule (like the 36R rule) requires that the boat fit into the box in sailing trim. In 36Rs this has always been taken to mean that any part of the rig that falls within the box at measurement must also remain within its limits when sailing.

So the tool is in place, it only requires the twist of a wrist.


whenever I think I like sailors a whole lot more than I like golfers some lawyer pipes up :scared: and I run for the bar … who wants a drink

… um um um … gotta be a cat rig then :devil3: