What about MARBLEHEAD ?

Does anyone knows where we can find some WEB addresses to link to Marblehead r/c boats activity and technique in the world ?

For the US - try this link: http://www.amya.org/m.html.

On an international basis, try the following as a starting link/location: http://www.radiosailing.org/

G’day why don’t you try www.radiosailing.org.au

In this little page the tile is"What about Marbleheads" . Well what about them? Apart from being a boat that will fit in anyones car, that are the right size to sail /race. That the weight is what even the ladies can handle. That the baot doesn’t Flip Flop through the choppy water. Are you going to let the Seafaring Lawyers muscle the class out from under the ordinary Joes? Time to stand up and be counted and get on with the sailings. Any takers??

Steven -
In the beginning of my entry into r/c boats (late 1970’s - early 1980’s) I had looked at and considered the M as a boat I wanted. Lack of racing locally at that time in Michigan, and subsequent move into big boats again dulled my interest.

Upon going back into r/c boats, and I found I must have missed several generations of development in only a few years, as these were no longer the Marbleheads I remembered! As I became more deeply interested in little boats due to a family member’s health issues that prevented me from sailing my big boats, I again took a look and was dismayed to find, that even moving from Michigan to Minnesota, I was unable to see any major fleet activity, and once again the “generation gap” had made a significant jump in costs.

Amazing what a couple of years and end of the “Cold War” did for the M Class. Suddenly it seemed Germany and that part of Europe was a hotbed for “M” activity (to me). The SKALPEL became the boat to have - as it seems it is today. But - in the rolling development, it seems the homebuilt has been replaced by a few very well constructed, and very high tech boats. Unfortunately keel depth and cost took their toll on my interests, and while I still fool with an open development class of limited numbers, I find I am not driven to buy, since my multihull sailing activity to now has been a leisurely build and a daysailing activity. When the multihull numbers reach critical mass, I am guessing I will continue with their building/development only because that is the style of boat I really enjoy.

If a group were to get an older vintage/generation of “M” on the water for racing, where the need to “develop” has been a bit limited, I would certainly look at some early to mid 1990 boat designs and reconsider.

Roy Langbored (poster here) has been deeply involved with the US effort as well as a few other sailors who are posters here on occassion. Roy has done a nice job of keeping us updated on the class and it’s direction, but the issue of initial cost and the cost to remain competitive is also a consideration by many. Even my r/c multihull enjoyment is tempered by the idea that what I will have tied up in my F-48 would probably buy me a new mainsail for my catamaran! That is scary, and few of us have lives that allow to be cutting edge in big boats and small boats. It is my opinion why the inexpensive “plastic” boats are accepted - along with one design or very limited development.

M’s would surely generate interest, and I am guess the class would grow once more as they are beautiful to see on the water, but costs need to maxed to some degree for this to happen. A lot of interested young people seemed turned off by what htey consider as expensive. If it was their only activity, it would be justifiable (for any class - not just M) but given the many available spare time activities, and few will pick only r/c boats in which to spend their available “fun” money.

Roy - when you read this - does the conversation ever arise within the M Class as to cost containment, rejuvenating older dsesigns, or having a separate racing category for the older boat competition? How do current M Class active members feel - if you know - about trying to expand interest and involve owners of older, less costly, and probably slower boats? Is the class growing here in US - staying the same, or falling abit over the past few years? Any opinions/views on why?

Again, just my views and thoughts.

Since you asked…The big problem with the M class in the US (and probably around the world) is the IOM…

What does that mean? Basically, virtually all of the high end sailors, designers and builders have migrated from the M to the IOM. The “cost no object” “speed is king” crowd is basically sailing their IOMs instead of Ms. Why? Well, the IOM is slightly smaller and slightly cheaper than an M. Also the rule is a little bit more closed so it makes the differences between “bad” and “good” boats smaller. Finally, its sort of a new challenge that is attractive.

So the level and number of M races has been in decline. Not drastic, but not a good direction. Here in New York we are making an effort to encourage people to start sailing their Ms again as well as IOM. People are also scheduling dual IOM and M events and encouraging people to bring both classes.

As to cost control. No, it hasn’t been considered. The M is the “grand prix” class. Strangely, while cost are high (and much higher than “plastic” kit boats), prices has actually declined from their peak a few years ago and there are currently a number of competitive designs available, you don’t have to have the Skapel to win. (Banctock’s Prime Number and boats from Brad Gibson, Martin Firebrace and Jeff Byerly all come to mind). Funny thing also is that before the advent of the various mass market kit boats (VIctoria, CR914, Nirvanna, Laser, Seawind etc.) a thousand plus dollars for a fully functioning r/c boat with radio gear didn’t seem all that high.

Finally, as to older designs. Well, in the US the Vintage Marblehead group has done a great job in bringing back competions between older, pre-bulb keel Ms. But as to what to do with more current, but no longer competitive boats, I guess the answer is the same as what happens to old raceboats (remember the IOR?). Generally, they fall into disuse or are enjoyed as “fun” sailors by those not into competitive racing. Sometimes, if there are enough old boats in a club they even get them out together and race. But on a national/international level there isn’t frankly any effort to change the overall class rules to slow down the top of the fleet and try to bring back into use the boats of say the 70’s or 80’s. The only interesting effort in that direction I am aware of is in the Detroit area where for club races all the boats are required to use a stanard de-powered “b” rig that seems to equalize older and newer boats.

So overall, where is the M class going? I would guess a continued slow decline with the boat becoming number 2 to the IOM for the competitive r/c sailor. I also think though that this class isn’t going away and that even in decline it is still move vital that 3/4s of the classes sailed anywhere in the world.

Dick the parralells between you and me are almost scary for the same things happened to me, except that I haven’t been to minnesota. And I found the same in my country with the same developements.

However there is a developement of the M in my country that some people have been trying to fine tune. This is a class of Ms called the Clubman M and basically it is a nonball- raced , non carbon variety M.
It has had its ups and downs over a few year of trying to race as a sort of class with in the Hi-tech class.

Just when we thought it was finished as a class they have had another spurt, so it is not dead but , perhaps , just catching its breath. What comes out of this current hiotus is that perhaps it has a lot to do with convincing the older boat owners that perhaps there is a life after Hy Tech and a competitive one.

Roy, I would be very interested in hearing more about the ‘Detroit B rig boat’ , for there are a few questions that I would like to ask. I must say that I’m thrilled and excited about their prospects and hopefully their future, for it shows hansomely, that people are working at this.

Roy - I too would like to hear more from you or others regarding the Detroit effort. If the “B” rig seems to level out the racing, it sounds like a new lease on life for the older Ms, while at the same time affording competition, and even an interest for a “life-after” market.

I certainly don’t want to jump to conclusions, but it is odd that sail area alone would tend to smooth out the performance over several years of hull design/development. Please tell us more, as implications for other development classes certainly could benefit from this same type of reasoning. Thanks for sharing.

A second question - having never visited … do New Yorker’s leave their Ms at the boat house in Central Park, or are they transported back and forth? Sorry for the basic question, but my exposure has only been in movies with the lake/pond and boathouse in scenes as backgrounds.


Some of the questions I would ask of you Roy, would be . How does the Hitech boats feel about only using “B” rig. Do these races take place as a special events or on most sailing / racing days ?

Dick your experiences with big boats and family illnes is the same as mine. And I have sailed in Marblehead and SFMYC.

Guys, I’m not a member of the Detroit club and don’t sail with them. For the details of their M program, you should try to contact some of the members of that club. From a personal viewpoint (and as the owner of a few “high zoot” Marbleheads), I have no interest in racing with the “B” rig.

That’s fine Roy, I don’t mind if you own a few ‘high zoot’ marbleheads. I own a waliki myself, a Robinson M7.

Its just that I thought you may have had a few thoughts about helping to solve a big problem that is going to effect not only Ms but IOMs and 10Rs and sure we can go out have a BBQ of all the old ones. but if you don’t mind me mentioning this it is like sweeping it under the carpet. If you will excuse the metafor.

Roy I think your pretty lucky if you don’t have to get out of A rig where you sail. I spend most of my time in C1 or C rig. About two months ago I got to use B rig and only once in 4 months have I’ve been able to use an A rig. If we get less than 10 knots we think we are having a drifter.

So shipmates lets not get into a discussion about just where sail and how. Lets have a meaningful discussion about American 's past Marblehead designers. By showing and telling about the greats , just maybe we might be inspired to go out and do like wise, Any body want to have a go? The VMYG have just about published every thing that John Black ever done but what about the rest. Perhaps try for Lassel and Kethmann , Potheroe and Amelec ( i know the last one the spelling is not right), what ‘sons of a guns’ where these guys.

And before we get the almighty dollar into this conversation . Try the other American designers such as Allan, Bithel, Black Chuck & Buddy, Houk, Ballantyne and who could forget DARLING. Well shipmate most of you have forgotten even this little list.

Sure the European boats go and they bloody go fast but your not going to beat them , bleating like sheep in the wilderness. I will may a side bet here,(a slab of VB) that a EPIC by Potheroe properly set up with the latest gear, top rigs, good skippers would put a great big hole in the european performances. But will you buggers have a go, no, you want to whinge about hard it is and go and sail woozy boats with three hulls on them. You people have been in “Isolation” long enough. Its time for a National rethink on ‘Who you are and Where your going’.

Perhaps somebody who is not an American can say this to you all, for at the end of the day, we want you all as International sailing mates again.

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by Steve Crewes

… and sail woozy boats with three hulls on them. You people have been in “Isolation” long enough. Its time for a National rethink on ‘Who you are and Where your going’.

<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

[:-bigmouth] With the exception of the first part, I can strongly agree with you ! [;)]

“Woozy” [:D] - I don’t know about, however… a boat with three hulls, no lead and weighing at least half of what you propose in a monohull, yet with similar waterline length and sail area! How one can call such a performance type of boat “Woozy” is beyond me !

[:-graduate] YES - we Americans have been in isolation long enough, and it is time we join the likes of our European, Australian and New Zealand brothers and start putting “multihulls” on the water!

[:-graduate] YES - we need a National rethink of “Who we are” and “Where we are going”!
If we are racing, the word itself (racing) implies “speed” … and I and a few other multihull diehards have yet to understand how one goes faster by adding that dreaded blob of lead down below, making the boat heavier and slower?

Ahhh well, the thread is back to you. I had to hijack it for a moment to defend my multihulls that <u>are</u> fast! I am now off my soapbox ! Cheers and good luck with your revival efforts, Steve. [:D]

I now return you to the program already in progress …

Well Dick , seeing you did hijack it a bit we might answer your comment. I belomg to a yacht club that sails the bigger varities of Sail Boats and it is considered that Cats and the tri’s are woozy boats because you guys don’t like getting you duds(trousers) wet.

The thing that I see about these Tris are that you never see them in action. They never regularly race and when they put on some sort of regatta they cancell out at the last minute. Even in this forum they never seem to be in the water , they’re on dry land and I figured that that is about their strength, a good talking point. Even the ones on this page are NOT SAILING, NOT RACING. If they are so good what are you guys hiding from?

Dick, is all your argument is about a lump of lead? To prove your argument on how good these… um boats are. You are going to have to come up with a better argument than a bit of lead. How about loading two extra hulls in the FORD and two cross beams, after doing all that the bit of lead looks like a breeze that.

Ahhh - but like my big cat that is 12 feet wide and cannot be trailered set up to race sites - a little bit of extra space and a little more setup work is more than made up for it in the end with the extra speed generated by 12 feet of beam instead of 7 1/2 ! And you (may) have never sailed a true beach cat (not a cruising charter boat) - [:-graduate] as for many years Supercat (A.K.A. Boston Whaler, FormulaCat) used to include two sets of ski goggles when purchasing their boats to keep salt spray out of the eyes - so much for wet pants… We get wet all over!

Back to the little ones however…

  • We have video of them sailing.
  • We have still photos of them sailing.
  • There are Aussie Nationals results posted.
  • France hosts three or four major (national) regattas. Etc.

Now - unlike most other classes - if you don’t build your own, you don’t get to sail one !

Also unlike most other classes, we are not blessed (world-wide) with production builders. Here in the US, only Ian Sammis is building on what I would call a “custom order production basis.” [Ha Ha - how’s that for a descriptive title?] Thus, with limited builders, and even fewer home builders, the actual numbers of boats are limited. This in turn makes regattas more difficult to hold, since a few boats are spread over a wide spectrum of the country (here in the US).

Peter Birch is your Aussie contact for the multihull scene down under by you. Queensland - if memory serves me correctly without leaving the forum to look it up. Drop down on the forums and we do have a separate area for multihulls - both the 1 Meter as well as the 1.2 Meter versions. As to photos? Well, I can post quite a few - as many as you care to see - but many (admittedly) are not in the US. We just started talking about the class concept in 2000, so definitely trail the other countries who have been at it since early 1990’s. Also I will admit to a much smaller interest group. If you take a look at the r/c ice boat/land yachts people, it is even smaller than the multihull group, yet I think we both have to admit it is a viable (and even faster) part of the r/c hobby sailing scene.



Well Dick, I’m impressed, at long last I see some on the water , now I can see what your talking about. But Dick they are all moored. Is it lunchtime?

I had visions that they would be flashing across the vista one hull aloft and some yankee yelling Wahooooo!

Now as far as the ones in Australia. They may race too but after they didn’t show for the nats a couple of years ago, for where they were going to have a demonstration regatta, they have gone quite.

Now the moderator is maybe thinking “what has this all got to do with putting marbleheads into the water” . Well nothing, all it shows that we are communicating. So can we now get back to Ms.

What worries me greatly is that you yanks have forgotten your heritage in marbleheads not only that but while crying that the VMYG is not serving your purposes. Your country has got this enormous story(history) in Marbleheads and one guy can’t possible write the whole bloody lot. If you guys spent half the bloody time that you do on this forum , helping Earl write about the old Marbleheads it would be more constructive than mooring Tri’s. Lets face it , it is like watching paint dry (according to the photo).

And Dick those sails are diffinitely NOT Marblehead sails.

Ratttzzzz ! [:-headache]

I Have Been Found Out !!! — In the photo in the above post … if you look, the little one to the far right is really a Mini40/F-48 (1.2 meter) and the sail area, while not the high aspect of modern day M’s is really at or less than 1400 Sq. Inches of sail area.

I do admit that the remainder in the above photo (large boats) will put a Marblehead to shame, as they are the 2 Meter (giants) with a tall rig and lots more sail area. (2000 mm x 2000 mm x 2800 mm mast height)
For US readers, that would be “approximately” 6 foot x 6 foot with a 9 foot mast!

Herewith - a photo of true Mini40’s ready to start, with a few possible M sails to be seen.

and a well trimmed and sailed Mini40 belonging to Alan Hayes of New Zealand.

As to the issue of Aussie multis - I can’t comment, as we are in different seasons, and I can only base on information and regatta reports. I do know that Peter has sent me a number of photos of different boats sailing in his club, that began life as an “M” and were modified to be a multihull (trimaran).

Has been a while since Peter posted here - so not sure if he is reading or not. Peter - if out there - drop Steve an email and outline your multihull sailing program, location, dates, etc.