What to get for an entry level footy.

Hey guys, I am going to buy a Victor V12 a footy, and I was wondering what electronics you need, being that there is not a website that tells me everything I need. What kind of servos do I need? How about reciever? And if you guys could put an estimate on the cost of a footy including servos could you do that please? Thanks


Hi Matt,

Welcome to the Forum. All of your question’s answers are addressed in the threads you’ll find here, you just have to do some digging. Use the search feature to find posts related to the topics you are interested in. Remember that the posts reflect the opinions of the contributers and there is no one truth. But hopefully the information archived here will help you to develop your own.

In Footydom there are a lot of different tacks one can take. There are guys interested in scale type boats, those who want to just sail about, and then there are the ones interesting in racing. Footies range in quality of build from those made of whatever is around, to old soda bottles, to those made of the lightest construction with exotic materials for top flight racing. Looking through the threads you will soon find the track you would like to pursue.

You will also glean which people post the sort of info that you think is most helpful, you can then search for a listing of all their posts. This can afford you a longer view of the evolution of the Footy and the thoughts and debates that have moulded the current definition of the class. For example, I’ve logged about 420 posts that cover mostly technical information but also my opinions about the direction of the the class.

For starters you might find interesting a thread started by Brett McCormack, “the equilibrium rig downunder”, which is an extensive discussion of the McRig (the uni-rig that most Footies sport these days). Brett is one of the original promoters of the Footy and the designer of the Bob-About (among others), the first widely available Footy plan set.

You might also look at posts by mudhenk27, aka Bill Hagerup, for his kitchen table boat building techniques and general Footy info. He designed the currently successful, easy to build, hard chine boat Razor 3, among others.

There are many other posters who have contributed their expertise and experiences to the benefit of us all and our boats. Certainly the boats that are being built now have come a long way from those first attempts at making foot long boats sail. Most of that genesis is recorded right here, at the touch of a keyboard and a search word or phrase. I encourage any new comer to work with this forum first, and then pose questions to the group.

Thanks Niel! I will most certainly take advantage of the search system, and your advice was very helpful.

One question I couldnt seem to find though was if you could first build the footy and then put electronics after just in case I have to wait for a while before I get enough money to but servos and stuff. Would it be harder to put them in? I have put together an estimate of about $103. Does this seem reasonable. This includes a Hitec servo and an Ace winch servo. I already have a trigger type controller to use before i get a dedicated boat controller so I do not have to dish out more $$$$.

As a rank begginer myself having built a Papaya III and a Bug 3. Go for Bug 3. It uses the sails of the AWK which if not a winnig design will proably last a beginner a good while , so you could swap hulls but keep essentially the same sails. Papay III while not bad for a begginer has the following limitations (big ones in the UK).

Only 1 set of sail designs so the wind range is limited.
It does not make full use of the box (short fin) so is not very stiff so again wind range is limited.
Radio installation is a a hassle compared to Bug 3, Awk etc. Whole hull/sails can be built before radio is required (its a fit in last as a cassette).

However both above are “racing” designs so not very “pretty” designs. You can get more full size looking boats and the performance appears to be reasonable.

My personal comments please feel free to disagree.

I dont think I will be building anything from scratch because I have little time around these days with school starting again and my cross country schedule.

Skipper, have a look at my step by step easy build log for an entry level Footy here:

It is specifically designed for those with little time, money or skills to get a good sailing Footy.
There is also an appendix with tips on radio gear selection and use.

Well, I found out cross country is farther away than I thought so I will be building a Razor 3!

I rave a razor the rig broke so I have never been able to test it. I spent less than 100$ U.S.D on it including all electronics. I had trouble finding a ruder tube so I used a fiberglass cylinder (This can be made by filling a plastic tube with resin) then I drilled a hole in it a little bigger than my ruder shaft.

Good choice, Matt :wink:

Look around in this and the FootyUSA forum…a couple guys have made some good build logs of Razor3. One caution…the biggest mistake people make is overbuilding. Footys are small enough that the hull is rigid without bulkheads. I suggest you use 1/16 balsa, and pre-bend the panels before taping by scraping them across the edge of your workbench…like curling a ribbon over the edge of a scissors.


The V-12 is specifically designed for entry-level builders & sailors, and is easy to build and sail. Having built 8 hulls and 5 boats so far, I would not recommend that anyone scratch-build a Footy as a first sailboat unless they are very good at scratch-building, or have a modeler friend, because of what Bill just commented; It’s TOO easy to overbuild. Get a kit (mine was a Kittiwake) for a first boat and do EXACTLY what the instructions say. You should even have another Footy sailor help or observe.

But don’t let it scare you. When you finish, you will look back at it and see where you could have simplified it more, or build a little better, and if you build another, it will be that much better.

The V-12 building instructions should tell you what to get for the electrics. It’s probably two standard servos and a receiver. You only need to decide on the radio system you want. Victor can sell you that too. I still use the standard 75 MHz because it works great, but if you have lotsa money, you can buy the new Giga-stuff.

See if you can get a copy of the assembly instructions.

You can see my (surely overbuilt) Razor 3 build log at www.townsendpdx.com - click on FOOTY at the top then scroll down and click on Razor 3.

I am actually having my dad help me. He has never built a footy but is very good with this kind of thing and has built other sailboats before.

But for electronics and stuff. I am confused about where stuff goes! Could someone put together a drawgin or something please? Or a video. I have seen the video of the servos above the deck but I just want reasurance of placement of the electronics.

Hi Matt,

I havn’t used it yet but I’m thinking of getting a 2.4gig transmitter/reciever combo - some of them are VERY cheap. Quality will obviously be lower but if price is your main concern then look at:

Planet T5 transmitters (their reciever is the lightest of the cheaper sets - 6g)

Or Hobbyking: www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_listCategoriesAndProducts.asp?catname=2.4Ghz+HobbyKing&idCategory=295&ParentCat=190

Or this site in Hong Kong: www.r2hobbies.com/eng/products.php?cat=71

The postage is obviously high but you should be able to get a tx/rx set for around $40 (25.00 pounds)

You might want to check if there are any import duties to pay though, as far as I know this hasn’t been a problem in the UK.

I have no personal experience of this cheaper 2.4g equipment but it has had quite good reviews and I will probably buy a set myself sometime.
It’s another option for you to consider though…

I have 2 footys, one a micron was built from the bare hull, with no previous model yacht experience. It has a mis-match of parts bought from all round the world, despite this, it sails extremely well.

To give me something to judge it against, I also bought a V-12 kit and assembled it - the instructions were quite clear, the parts included were all ok except the keel which was very warped, so I substituted a piece of wood from my dad’s scrap bin.

I have been sailing with both boats on local ponds a number of itmes now, along with my nephews who have RC speedboats, we have no organised sailing of Footy’s here in Scotland - it seems to be something political! - it appears to be just me and my Dad sailing our 3 - something about “these boats just dont work in Scottish water”

(MEEEOOWW!!! - saucer of milk to my house!)

Every time we go, the speedboats stop working or its too windy for the Micron (its a tad over-canvassed) - The V-12 - carries on regardless, sailing in everything form almost no-wind to far too much, it never breaks, it never sinks (needs drained occasionally if its windy), it has impressed my teenage nephews, as it always is the last boat on the water, and never has any issues.

lots of bystanders are impressed at how well something so small sails.

I rate it very much as an intro to a footy - the sails are not particularly hi-tech - I will be fitting a McRig onto mine when I get the time to build one, but right now, I dont want to screw about with it as it works perfectly “straight from the box” so to speak - Im just using it to gain experience sailing an RC boat.

The Micron is about to get a longer keel fitted - its a bit short - if that doesnt help, a bit more weight will be added to the bulb.


I can recommend the Hobby King 2.4Ghz 4Ch Tx & Rx V2 (Mode 2). Less than $40 with air mail S&H. Rx is small and light. Binding is easy. Plenty of range. I actually prefer it to my Spektrum DX5e system.