The smallest RC sailing boat

Hi everybody,
I did it !
Finally after several months of various trials reducing the size at each time, the results are actually reconised by the Guinness World Records Organisation.
The road to miniaturisation is open…
See :
or at :
Best regards to all

Claudio, let me be among the first to congratulate you on your efforts. Well done.

Somehow I think your record may be challenged soon by Brett McCormick (or others) but you have done well to set the bar.

By the way - that is a nice photo of you sailing your full size boat. May I ask what kind/size it is?


Dick Lemke
Minnesota, USA

Hi Dick
the full size boat is a Dragon - LOA 8.90 meters - 1.7 tons
is a maogany wood fully restored by myself in 1996/1997.

The picture is taken during a Classic Boat meeting in Cannes called “Regates Royales”

I have open the road to miniaturisation, I do have already a model design for 130 mm
but I was animated to get a Guinness as soon as possible just to be the ‘first’.
I let others to take over now…

Actually I go back to the construction of my vintage model the 15 mJI Tuiga.


Absolutely brilliant! :graduate:

I like the winged bulb as well.

I just saw the weight of your hull. Wow! it’s nearly as light as my footy rudder.

The yacht in my avartar is 4 inches long with 2 channel r/c.
Claudio…concrats your yacht looks wonderful…but 5 inches long??not a record surely??ofiically I am sure it is as mine is not documented by Guniness.
Also I wonder if it is even 5 inches long,the certificate states 15.2 cm which I belive is closer to 6 inches?

Several years ago I did a 6 inch yacht with servos"peanut" pics are on this site and others.
The small yacht in my avartar is 4 inches long and ready to sail at 25gram total weight incl 2 channel r/c

I have free sailing yachts as small as 2 inches,radio gear exists to control them but I have not bothered as yet.

is time for you to apply for a better Record.

I have just create a new chapter in the “book”
is up to others to write new pages…
all the best

PS : you are right, I have asked the Guinness to rectify the errors for conversion and some missing letters…

Congratulations again on your excellent small yacht.I thought I was the only one interested in such projects.
What is the RX that you used?
Have you seen the falcon Breeze Block? RX and 2 servos together…less than 5 grams.

Hi Brett,
at the beginning was just a bet between friends, the Guinness came later.
the materials used are coming from :
The Rx is MPS4 and servos are BA-TS-2.5.
Instead for the 240mm yacht I used for the winch a modified servo of WES Tecnick to get the smallest windlass capable to offer 6.5 cm lenght sheeet.

I was forgetting this free sailing, 4.3 cm and automatic rudder, out of a nut shell

Is the nut really 4.3mm or 43mm?

Really small r/c is quite possible,look what the aircraft guys have acheived

You are right is 4.3 cm or 43 mm.
Really fantastic these miniatures ! But the sails need more torque than a propeller to be controlled !

Indeed they do,
I have made some makeshift winches from the gearboxes from the very small r/c cars.You can but a mechanical stop on the sheet and run them “Bang bang” style. same with the rudders except the small electric motors can be used without gearboxes as an actuator for “bang bang” rudder control.
This was the system used on my 4 inch yacht.

On mine the two channels are fully proportionals as visible in the videos

Yes, but to go smaller…

You can get proportional control out of a small motor by using duty cycle. Some of the aircraft rx’s that use magnetic actuators can drive a motor that way.

Here is a crude drawing of the signal sent to a magnetic actuator. You can surmise how proportional left and right are derived from the signal. I have two rx’s that generate this type of signal from the normal servo command. I suppose the small Plantraco(sp?) gear does the same. The mid line is zero volts.

I’ve only used magnetic actuators, but the standard way of using a motor is to have a centering spring and drive it with the same signal that drives an actuator. The centering spring is just a straight piece of very light music wire attached to the armature.

Hmm… Where’d I leave the plug for my kitchen sink?

Pete (looking around for a sunflower seed husk)

Hi Brett and Pete
I would like to see , if possible, more schematics because I’m not sure to have all understood .
these guys make plug and play accuator radio systems.
I lurk around in the micro and indoor forum at…these guys are showing the way forward with micro r/c.

Any chance of giving us a few details of the gear in your boats and how it is rigged?

I have a friend in Vermont with a small pond right out of his front door. He is a lifelong sailor, now approaching eighty and would probably love to have a little RC boat (maybe not four inches) that he could chase newts and tadpoles with. I visit a couple of times a year. A footy in his pond would be like a tiger pacing in its cage.

There is a nice lake very near to his house and I’ve managed to land one of my wheel equipped RC planes in it twice in one day! (The second time was when the water in the gear caused a problem about five minutes into the third flight.)

My first footy is coming along nicely for a guy who has never seen how an actual boat is rigged.

I have taken a slight liberty with the rig. I’m using a single sail pivoting rig but with one minor but, I think, important difference.

I am slanting the bottom projection and the tube it sits in so that there is a rake angle of around ten degrees. When close hauled the rig is exactly like any other similar style rig. When broad reaching or running the tip of the boom is a couple of inches higher than if I used a vertical pivot. This is the same reason that large schooners and New England cat boats used raked masts. Keeps the boom out of the water, which helps a lot with steering.

Maybe I shouldn’t give away my secrets until I am ready to take the footy world by storm, but progress is slow and maybe it’s fun to talk/write about ideas.


No problems and no secrets Pete,
here the official plans passed to Guinness. Bulb 35g
If you wish, you can make it larger, in this case more power is needed for the swing rig servo. Important to calculate the displacement correctly since the margins are very low.

Thank you Claudio.

I am a long time sailor, and a long time RC flier, but I am new to RC sailboats. I am working on my first footy, have the second planned from things I am already learning on the first build.

I won’t compete to try to make the smallest boat, but I would like a very small one for places like my friend’s pond.


if this can of some help ! It sails very well is supposed to represents an old style America Cup at 1/100 scale.

Part one :