Why do we (I) rc sail??? or another open letter!


I was reading some posts here and there is especially one that took my attention; John’s post in the BS post…I will not talk/comment about all the stuff that is happening here…or at some post…

Was just thinking out loud:


Well; I began sailing when I was a kid…maybe I was about 5 years old…cant really remember…anyway that was in Europe…I used to sail with my father…step by step…we could get infos and hints from some other sailors…years after; we got our first real yacht; for those interested the maker was SPIRIT 28; made in Antwerpen in Belgium…and we went on…we did travel a lot…a few places where we went…in the UK…London; Ramsgate; Cowes aso…The Netherlands; almost everywhere…even the Northern part…and after Germany…France as well…many many nice days they were…anyway now; back in Europe there is a 41 foot yacht…and I am not there anymore!

I left ALL I had to come to Japan…and I really mean ALL!!!
So a year passed; and the call of the sea came…but nothing to sail here…NOTHING and buying a boat was not possible!
Being a kid; like most of you (maybe) I tried many different rc classes…planes…I crashed a lot…cars; noisy and boring for me…last but not least boats…I even raced the ECO class back in Europe…but anyway it wasnt what I wanted or expected…SAILING; that was the THING I wanted to do!

So here I am…in Japan…and still had this need to sail…one day; I went to Tokyo…just for sightseeing…and there she was…waiting for me…MY FIRST rc yacht…sure in this an ABS kit…nothing really great compared to an IOM; Marble or anything else…but anyway it was MY dream comes true…after a few researches on the net; I found some websites with infos about rc sailing…it was just one step further to get the Seawind…the phone call was made by my future wife…that was about a year ago…now I got an other yacht…still a “plastic kit” some may say…sure I am now dreaming about a multihull…should come true next winter if everyhting goes right…

Yes; I now I am talking a lot about me…the point is…why do I rc sail…well; this is an easy answer: 'cause I always wanted to; 'cause I love it; 'cause I cant stop…its a drug; its a need…and I can meet new people (true the net)…I met great people here and at other places…always I received answers to my questions…ALWAYS!
Is rc sailing not about having fun?? or just to relax?? for me both…
I could complain; I sail ALONE…have NOBODY to sail with…rc sailing in Japan isnt that famous…sure there are some clubs…not so close…near Tokyo…and thats too far for me…maybe next March I will go there…and sail for the first time with other people…racing would nice too…but anyway; I ll be able to sail with someone…GREAT!

Some people here are GREAT sailors…made a few researches…was so impressed!; me the guy from Japan; not even a year rc experience talking with the “big” guys…even better they are heling me out by answering my “stupid” questions…so yes rc sailing is a sport of GENTLEMEN!!!

Yesterday; we had “mamemaki” here in Japan…well people throw beans and shout at the bad ghosts; demons or bad spirits…well lets just do the same…spring is coming…a new season for some of us …cant wait to hit water…lets take some fresh air…a new start.

Well guys/ladies (we never know)…time to open the windows; get some air…

I hope it wasnt too boring…lots of personal stuff…but I had to say something…at least I feel better now.

Just my 2 Yen…


The guy from Japan sailing alone and who is always happy to rc sail and talk about it!!!

if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!


grin Nice post!! I’m sorta in the same boat…get it? boat? I just kill myself sometimes. Anyway - I’m a long-time modeler on full-scale small boat sailor. I’ve got MS, and one of the things that’s happened is my eyes going ‘off’. When you’re flying R/C, the ground will rise up to smite thee in an awful hurry. Anyway - I swapped a flyable plane for a Vic, radio and winch…liked it. Started building a Dumbass Star 45, swapped another plane for a 'Glas Dumas Star hull… I’m up to 5 sailable boats with a couple on the bench…we call it THERAPY… :slight_smile:

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Kenneth Graeme, Wind in the Willows.

I know what you mean about not having anybody to sail with. I can relate to that a lot. I am somone of extreemly modest means, and R/C model sailing is the only way I can have my own boat/boats to tinker with and sail not to mention storage when not in use. I think I sailed for ten years here in Boston and during that whole time I could count the number of times I saw other people sailing models on one hand. I made so many boats that were non racing types just because the nearest clubs were too far to get to without a car. I’m glad you had greater success finding others than I. Now I do have a few clubs that I’ve raced with in Marblehead and here in Boston. This has been a really great positive development for me.

I like to R/C sail because I feel there is a certain magic to R/C sailing that Nothing else has. Most of the people are nice too

(Rambling for the sake of rambling)

Why do I sail R/C yachts?

I grew up in a yacht racing family. My mother crewing for my father won the North American Daysailor championships while she was pregnant with me, so you could literally say that I have been competitively racing boats since before I was born.

I grew up on Pewaukee Lake in Wisconsin (home of Harken, Vanguard boats and often claimed to be the sailing capitol of the world). I had my first crewing position with a guy that lived down the shore from us when I was 6. I had my own boat to race in the junior fleets the next year. The local junior fleet I sailed in averaged over 40 boats for the 9 years I raced juniors. I raced collegiate dinghies in college and hooked up a crewing job with a 9 time world champion helmsman in the International One Design class who took me to Norway, Bermuda and SF Bay to race in World Championship regattas.

After moving to Detriot after college, I hooked up with a local team racing a Grand Prix 40 foot offshore yacht. In the 5 years I raced with them, I moved from foredeck to Genoa Trimmer and finally to helmsman. We raced the local scene including the Port Huron and Chicago to Macinac races, we also did Key West Race Week a few times.

Then 5 years ago I got married. Then we had kids. I no longer had the time to commit to a full time racing program. So I dropped out.

I did no sailing for a couple of years until my wife bought me an RC sailboat - a fairwind - for christmas 3 years ago. The RC boat requires a small fraction of the time that a full sized boat would require, so I am able to do some sailing with minimal imposition on my family.

So why do I sail RC boats? It is the highest level of competitive yacht racing I have time to do…

And, by the way, when the kids get old enough to crew for me (Evan will be starting sailing school in 2 years when he reaches the ripe old age of 6), I will buy a full sized sailboat to race with them. I will either but an E scow to sail on the lake where my cabin is, or I will buy a J-105 to race here in Detroit. But I will most likely keep my RC sailboats and race them too…

  • Will

Will Gorgen

why do i sail
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm let me think about his
1 it is relaxing, and with no other people complaining that my boat is not to scale.
2 most of my good friend sail, and it takes skill. not just push the stick forward.
3 my grandpa taught me how to build and sail.
but most of all my wife and i enjoy, sitting on a warm summer day, with a lunch and drinks. a litlle music in the back gorund( my favorite is cristopher cross. "sailin)). it was played at my wedding. and just watch the boats go back and forth. even when people come over and talk with us. i will let them use my boat for a bit. sailors are a friendly bunch

I have 2 blokes to sail rc with out of a “full scale” yacht club and it does suck not having a big fleet but as soon as a couple start others always get interested and end up sailing next to you. I started building (never baught a box kit) because i’m a boat builder at that club and have sailed since i was 6 but i really wanted to build after sailing offshore in a couple of sydney to hobarts and to tazzie etc. and seeing those waves in full scale and then seeing the waves we get at our club after a good southwester and they are a dead ringer scaled down big offshore wave. I just wanted to build a boat to surf those mini breakers and see how it looks wiping out when it hits the trough not from the cockpit but from the pier sitting ontop an esky sipping the finest cold beer in the world. ~such a romantic psycho huh?? it’s such a fun sport/hobby and so much you can do with it and a great community to boot. on another note i have to say i’ve been building boats for about 7 years now and “playing” with rc for about 2 and i have learnt a hell of alot more than i ever expected to and alot of the methods and theory learnt i use regulary in my full scale work.

Some of the old books on yachting I have read discribe sailing as a disease. If it was proven to be I wouldn’t be too suprised, I have a very bad case of it! What other sport or hobby (sailing is both), can you go to the extreams of getting a full on adrenaline rush racing a 80kg skiff, and then take a cruise on a 80tonne classic gaffer the next day and find most of the same skills apply? To me R/C sailing is just another part of this whole family (I include windsurfing and even kitesurfing in that family too!).
I love making models as its a great way to learn about this fantastic sport(hobby!). Its also great to be able to talk to people across the globe of all ages about model sailboats, and to see what others are building and sailing.

Luff 'em & leave 'em.

My Reasons, that I wrote some time ago.

Hi Grampa,

It?s been a long time. I want to thank you for all that you made me. It?s been such a long time since you passed, but your memory is never far from my soul. I still sail, as you taught me. But I had to take a long break between our last sail, and my current ones. The boats are smaller, but are as pretty as ?Juno II?.

I now have my own boat, I?ve refitted her, and blazoned your initials on her gunwales. She is fast and right. She?s a miniature version of what your always wanted. A full-keeled beauty, only in 1/12th scale.

I can?t sail upon her, but I can sail her with you by my side. Though it?s been well over 20 years since we together stood watch at the helm of ?Juno II?, you always seem to be there, to steady my hand upon the tiller, and sniff the shift of wind.

Thanks for making me the master of your vessel, even at the tender age you did. Few would give a teenager, not only the helm, but his pride and joy. Thank you for teaching me responsibilities beyond my years that have followed me since. Thanks for showing me the love of life you always had .

My proudest day, was the day on the dock you told me, ?set for sail?, and to ?prepare take her out?. When I asked where, you said ?where you want, your going alone?. I was terrified at the thought of taking ?Juno II? out, with out your steady hand nearby.

I was also terrified of not taking her out, and what kind of sailor you would think I was, by not rising to the challenge.

I learned more about my self that afternoon, than I have ever learned. I also learned more about life than I could have dreamed to know. I learned that I could master my way without help, and bring the boat to dock, but more importantly I learned how valued trust is.

Someday, God willing, we will sail together again. I dream of hearing you bark out, ?hard to lee?.

?Hard to lee?, Grampa,

Hard to lee, and sheet in, light on the helm and follow the sea.

To nw1582,
Thank you for an absolutely,Fantastic Post.
Any one who can read your Post and not be moved by it,is,in my Opinion, dead from the neck up!.
Thank you very much for sharing your Grandpa he must have been a wonderful man.

Thanks JayDee,

Grampa was one helluva man. To this day I’m not sure if he would have been more proud of being called a sailor, or an Irishman.

We lost Grampa this past November at the age of 94. He had given up sailing due to health reasons in 1981 to move to a dryer climate (Florida to Arizona) just about the time I left for the Army.

(I often wonder, and would like to think it was because he knew his first mate wasn’t going to be around to sail with).

I got back into sailing in 2001, after child-rearing and the Army. We talked often, about R/C sailing in the past few years. By then, he was blind and quite infirm physically, but still had his quick wit and loved to pass on limericks.

My last conversation with him was a week prior to his passing. He said he had only one regret,
“I should have stayed and kept the boat until I dropped dead at the tiller, even if it had taken 20 years off my life”.

I’ll remember that as I get older.

God, I miss that crazy Irishman.


Hi Sodium,
what kind of RC boat do you have?