Upcoming (inevitable) Proposed Rules changes

Hello Angus,

Since you have opened the Pandora’s Box of upcoming rules changes, I would like to submit this to the rules committee:

As I read the current rules, section B.1 states that “all components of the boat shall be installed and be capable of the full motion used while racing, without being restricted by any part of the measurement box”. This broad statement clearly includes rudders under “all components”, since they are not specifically exempted. While rudders that extend through the slot are specifically exempted (by section B.5) from having to be able to move freely when the boat is in the box, rudders on diagonally placed boats are not mentioned (most likely this was added due to the design of the extended rudder check gauge shown on the box). This means that the rudders of the diagonally placed boats must be capable of full motion, yet this is seldom noted when the boat is measured, and boats that clearly have their rudders wedged into the corner when placed diagonally in the box have been allowed to race.

Having a rule that applies to some rudders and not others, simply because of the way a boat sits in the measurement box is confusing and arbitrary.

I formally request that rules should be amended either by exempting ALL rudders from the full motion clause, or by changing the design specification of the box’s rudder slot and measurement gauge so that it can allow full motion (which can easily be done using four standoff screws & spacers to support a piece of clear acrylic mounted parallel to the back wall of the box at the specified 51mm dimension).

Bill Nielsen
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
AMYA #0835
Footy #835

Hi Bill,

The problem isn’t the extended rudder check gauge, it’s the box wall itself. If boxes could be make of zero thickness, we wouldn’t have that exemption. We’ve thought about redesigning the box but want to keep it easy to build and use. Cutting the slot at an angle may work but is beyond my abilities to keep the slot cut straight and even.

I recommend protesting diagonal boats that have their rudders jammed in the corner. It’s unfair to all the other skippers to allow these boats to break the rules.

If you still want to pursue this idea, send me an email.


Rather than protesting boats, especially those that came from a distance, it is much better to make it clear in the rules. Moving the rudder, or trimming it, may not be a simple operation.

One alternative could be to “Ban the Diagonals.”

Using the diagonals was, after all, considered to be a method of “circumnavigating the regulations.”
Some would call it “CHEATING,” I would never say that, but others may. :devil3:

Such a revised regulation could be worded …

"The hull shall be placed in the box with the deck, level with the top edge of the box, the bow in the centre of one end and the stern centred at the other end. :graduate:


Please lets be considerate as a developmental class ~ it was borne from a simplistic idea formulated from a box ~ as such “if it aint in the rules its ok” is exactly that.

It is my fervent belief that the relaxation of the rules is a GOOD thing ~ this is a developmental class and needs space to breathe and develop.

Please allow designers to expound and explore their ideas without limitation ~ this is what this calss is all about and why i joined it.

Here, here, Andy!

Bill, the headaches that come with having the rudder rotate on a diagonal boat is only compounded when that hull is also angled in the box. I’ve had all sorts of fits and starts getting my unconventional boats to be legal. I can see how this important detail can be overlooked in the excitement of constructing something new. But it is an important aspect to get right the first time.

That said diagonal boats have certain advantages in my view, but the advantage of a longer waterline length comes with a more inboard placement of the rudder which in turn effects both turning and concentrates the appendages closer together which can adversely effect tracking (sailing in a straight line hands off the sticks).

I have never been totally clear about the “top of the box”.
Many boats, mine included, have a circa 1 inch length of polywhatever tubing extending above the actual deck to prevent the flow of water down the “plug’ole” where the main-sheet comes out. Often there is also some sort of tubing where the aerial comes out. There are also some boats with McRigs where some sort of ‘turn-around-pulley’ is mounted on the foredeck, where the mainsheet controls the forward extension of the McRig “mast cum Z-wire”. I also have a ‘switch on-off’ which consists of two Futaba plug-in terminal connectors to act as both switch and charging jack.
All these things are “fixed” to the deck in some way. Must they ALL be below the “top of the box” when it is measured? I have only been ‘measured’ once and those little excrescences seemed to be ignored.
Not wishing to be thought a ‘sea lawyer’, but the topic seems to be raising its ‘ugly’ head.

Hi Ian,

While I agree completely with your feelings on the diagonal boats, this has been discussed before, and the concensus of the group the group was that they should remain legal. I think all of this sort of caught the rules committee by surprise when they came up with the definition for “in racing trim”, and it was pointed out that a perfectly legal center measured boat with extended rudder couldn’t move that rudder because of the design of the box, so they wrote in the exclusion (section B.5) to correct this problem. I do not think there is really anything to be gained by trying to restrict only the diagonal boats to having full rudder motion when in the box, and I believe it is far better to be consistent (and clearly worded) and exempt rudders on ALL boats from needing to display full motion when in the box.


Diagonal boats were foreseen by the rulemakers. There is no way they can be described as even sharp practice.

If there is a dificulty it is because it was believed that all cmpetitive boats would be of approx max beam - which gives little sope for diagonal positioning.

Remember this - a diagonal boat gains length, but looses stabilty (beam).


Sir, with the greatest respect, I would contend that any “Practice” that allows a FOOTY to be longer that 12 inches, must, by definition, be “Sharp.”

I am not one to get my knickers in a knot about any of this and so I could be accused of simply being a stirrer who enjoys speaking up, perhaps on behalf of a number of more polite, potential, FOOTY owners, who ask me, “How can that be?” :confused::witch:

It`s all good fun so please no one take offence…:lol:


And what of the “in racing trim” definition, and it’s after-the-fact effect on the legal boats with their external rudders resting immobile against the box’s rudder gauge, was this also “part of the plan”? :devil3:


It’s a ‘notional’ box. However, only if the axis of the rudder tube was vertical to the box, and positioned with its centre exactly in the center of the slot, would anybody’s rudder be able to turn “in racing trim”.
Writing good ‘laws’ is probably the most difficult job for any ‘legislator’. We should all, therefore, sympathize with all of our downtrodden and underpaid politicians. Yeah, sure!

Writing rules is easy, it’s writing good, clear, and concise rules that is difficult!


Well said Bill

“I’m the parliamentary draughsman and I write the country’s laws.
Of half the litigation I’ undoubtedly the cause”


This sounds like Gilbert & Sullivan, my favorite music

I am the very model of a modern Vice Admiral. ‘Rear’ sounds vaquely vulgar, while ‘Vice’ somehow doesn’t sound like an ‘honest’ sailor man.
Just to lighten the mood— music??? Poetry next!