Hey Bill & Others…

Just ordered a couple of sets of scooter wheels for the new landyacht (as yet unnamed). 4 inch diameter (100 mm) and originally made for scooters. Two wheels with ABEC 5 bearing @ $ 0.99 set plus shipping. Silly freight costs almost 5 times the cost of the wheels.

Anyway - they are a “gel” based type of wheel similar to inline wheels but of a bigger diameter. Good for 45 lbs. weight load per wheel - so no issues there. Anyone tried these as a L.S. wheel set? Purchased three sets of two - enough for two boats - a Class 3 (first) and then maybe an “Open” Class buggy.

Hey - it’s almost (??) end of January - can spring be far behind?

often scooter wheels are used for class 3 as roller blade wheels are just a bit to small. Im not totlly sure about if ABEC is good or not but im sure they will work fine… if you go to the IRCSSA yahoo group there is a thred awhile back about wearing in bearings using a drill press that i did and worked very well!

Just that you guys might like some assistance and advice here.
In another life I was a speedskater (inline skates),well actually I still compete
to this day now and then.Anyway I have more wheels and bearings here than you can poke a stick at and have had an active hand in recent years developing products for this sport.
Shoot me any questions you like regading Inline/scooter wheels and bearings for them.

[:-masked] Hi Dick, Yes your scooter wheels will be just the best thing for your Class III and for your Unlimited
My understanding on the bearing numbers is the lower the number the cheaper the quality.
However the lowest quality ABEC 3 is still OK for our use in R/C land yacht wheels. The 5s you have are better again and the 7s are top quality and priced accordingly. Tests have been conducted and the conclusion reached that there is very little difference for our usage.
I will try to find the artical I read and if I can, then I will try to post the link. (don`t hold your breath, you folk know what sort of a nerd I am)[:-blindfold]
I sincerly hope you and the others on this forum from your area came through the storm OK.
We have seen reports on the TV news which talk of some major damage, our thoughts and best wishes are with you all.[:-cowboy]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.http://www.rclandsailing.com/design.html#top[:-batman] Whose a clever boy then [:-bonc01]

ABEC rating has nothing to do with price.
ABEC rating is the working tolerance (slop)in the machined surfaces of the bearing.
A Taiwain 10 cent ABEC9 bearing is nothing compared to a swiss made ABEC1 bearing.
The ABEC rating reflects the intended use of the bearing…eg ABEC 9 tolerance for a very smooth machine which must have no “play”
The best roller skate bearing acutally have no ABEC rating at all…the tolerances are large…the wheel operates in a hostile enviroment and dirt etc can easily enter the bearing…your ABEC9 bearing is not worth much to you then…not enough tolerance to overcome the ever present dirt.
I would suggest that a purpose made rollerskate bearing would be the best for a model landyacht,but in fact any cheap bearing proberly lubed and maintained would give good service and speed
Running in on a drill is one way to improve machine bearings…a better way is to get rid of all the grease inside and lightly lubricate with very fine oil.
A properly maintained inline skate wheel should free spin for approx 3min.
Cleaning and lubrication is the key to speed.

Thanks Brett -

You are a man of many talents ! [:D]

I bought the cheapest I could find, for at the moment, we have well over a foot of snow, and I just am not sure how “deep” I intend to go with this portion of the hobby. I decided early on to forgo the ceramic bearings and wheels just to see if I enjoy standing in a hot parking lot during summer, or if I still prefer the pondside atmosphere.

If the bug really bites this summer with this creation ( a Class 3) then I will give a serious go. Bill Korsgard is about 4 hour drive way, and Tony Johnson about a 45 minute drive - so I have two well respected “experts” to judge performance against. If there is no hope - I will quietly fade into the sunset. If there is a glimmer of hope however, you are now one of my possible future “Technical Experts” to whom I will use for further information to separate “rumor” from “fact”.

I selected the larger scooter wheel and planned to cant it inward at the top a bit. Figured the larger diameter would be a help - maybe not. I guess I just didn’t like the look of the smaller 50 mm size wheels on a landyacht this big. But, I also thought the larger 12 inch spoked wheels were a bit too large. This is the “happy medium” I found.

When you say “running in” using a drill - are we talking about holding the wheel in place and letting the drill spin the bearings to sort of “wear them out” a bit? Do I want any side pressure on the bearings during running in, (like weight pushing down on the race) or just simply speed with a bit of light oil lubrication?



Take the bearings out of the wheel,
remove one of the metal sheilds(if it has 2)
soak out the grease,I use petrol but be carefull.
Let the bearing dry.
Lube the bearing with one small drop of very light oil.
install them back in the wheels with the one remaining sheild still in place.

Ian’s & Brett’s comments are right on the mark about bearings. My only concern is how hard the “gel” compound is. Do you know the “durometer” rating? It’ll be the number follwed by an “a”, eg “76a”. Lower # is softer & better to resist side slip. Also, the scooter wheels will be heavy, which is great if it’s windy & you need the “lead” to keep it on it’s feet, but will hinder you with the rolling inertia in lighter air.

All in all, I think they’ll work just fine. Keep us posted about what you come up with.

Bill -

they are rated at 85A - whatever that means and I did skip over the 88A wheels.

Am now having second thoughts - do you suppose I should have gotten the wheels that light up? [:-bulb]

Do landyachts allow “low-riders” ? [:-eyebrows]

How about flame paint jobs ? [:-idea]

Gosh - the sailboats are so … well, blah … compared to what “could” be done with the land yachts !

Ho Ho [:D]

85a is pretty hard, but go ahead & try them. Maybe the extra weight will keep them from side slipping. If not, you don’t have much $ invested & they’ll be easy to change.

In my past life (the 70,s) I used to built and race slot cars sometimes 24 hr races.
We would make the driving wheels from jandells thongs flipflaps etc The material is a closed cell polythene I think (there are so many polys around thes days)
We would punch a hole (tight fit on the wheel) and glue it to the wheel, when dry the od was machined dowm to the required diameter by mounting the axle/wheel/tyre in a drill and sandpaper the od smooth, making sure that the outside corner had a small raduis and the inside had a sharpe corner for better handling.
As the compound was reasonable soft it would last only a few races.

For land yachts the tyre would need to a very low profile as there would be alot of side flexing. You will be the envy of all the boyracers with an set of 255/4/10.
But then again do you need a wide footprint or a large diameter with a narrow tyre like the Model T (yes I can remender them!!!)

I agree with Brett about bearings, as in another life time when I used to make conveyors, we would used unground unsealed ball bearings for the gravity rollers as the precision bearings with seals have to much friction.

John & Brett -

Wheels have arrived and I now see what you mean about seals and friction. Way too stiff unless it was blowing way too much!

So - I have broken a jack knife blade tip and managed to bend a very small screwdriver tip trying to remove the exterior side seal. It looks like it was press fit, and around the outside perimeter of the seal itself, it looks like a series of slits which may make the seal stay in place. Before I screw something up - anyone know if these seals are simply press fit into place? The old fiber kind were easy to remove - and usually I want seals. This process (removal) is a new one for me. I also have an email question off to Detroit Ball Bearing for any assistance.

Here is a photo (a bit too close - bad focus) that shows the area of slots around the edge of the seal. Just wondering if pushing in between the slots will loosen the seal for removal.

<u>EDIT: Added Information </u>- Disregard the above, the seal is actually very soft metal, and by pushing in on it near the center, it will bend enough to get a small screwdriver tip inside to lift off. Unfortunately, the seal is damaged and can no longer be reused. I think I will add a nylon washer just to divert the dirt and grit from sailing. Didn’t find much grease - but was there was enough to slow down the wheel rotation on the axle. Washout time and then relube with some silicone spray. Not enough weight to worry about ball damage.


I have found a great bearing supplier up in the states. They supply stainless steel, ceraamic bearings for models. I have used them sereval times good services even to downunder.

Web site www.bocabearing.com

Not sure if they have unground bearings.

John B

PS Dick looking at the photo the bearing looks like a sheilded bearing with seals. the sheild is that large disc (metal)located between inner race and outer race but attached to the inner race and the seal is attached to the sheild and rubs on the outer race. I will try and found some drawings that showing the different types of seal and sheild arrangements.


Sorry to open up “such an old topic” but I’m looking into the land sailor again, and in my research, I read that some people are using FOAM wheels or tyres. Opinions?

A couple really neat links you should check out:

mini (free-sailing) landsailor: http://www.vintageprojects.com/kids/LandYachtModel.pdf

WindJammer yachts: http://home.comcast.net/~northernwizard/lyle2.html

Windjammer is now out of business the last I heard. The old model plan was real interesting, I’d never seen that before.

Here’s the foam wheels that I find to work great on dry pavement;
They’re best if retrofitted with small bearings (10mm or so) if you have access to a small lathe, or supplied by Robert Weber. The foam will wear down in time, but is easily replaced & the hubs can be reused. Another choice is the pneumatic inflatables sold by Dubro ( http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXD767&P=7 ) which are heavier but better if used on hard wet sand beaches. They also can be fitted with bearings

Mine has foam wheels, at the advice of Robert Weber. I think skate wheels would be fine in a parking lot. So…are you thinking Footy landsailer:)

A Footy-sized landsailor would be OK, but I’m not sure if you could get get the r/c gear on it and still make it go. It might be better free-sailing. I would just go with a LS 2 design. The beauty of my Footy is that I can borrow the rig for a landsailor (maybe.)

I remember seeing a plan for a dirt-cheap land sailor that used PVC pipe for the fuse, because the servos & radio stuff went into slots cut intto the
pipe. :scared: scary-


Inline skate wheels can be bought inexpensivly from your local skate shop
or if you visit a local flea market then purchase a set of well used inline skates cheap and wreck them for the parts.

Like Bill mentioned, the foamy tires would be better on the wet, or probably even the softer or slick surfaces, and the hard wheels for hard pavement. That’s what the research indicates so far.

Unfortunately, flea markets won’t be around for a month or two. :sad:


I went to a second hand store and found many sets of inline skates. Picked up some for two bucks.