15th Oct – 6M

October 16, 2006 at 2:23 pm | Posted in News | 6 Comments

A good days racing Today. The day turned out fine sunny and warm with a blustery wind. It was a 6M day and five boats were sailing in conditions which varied from calm to exciting, where being in the right place at the right time made all the difference between winning and finishing further down the fleet. All skippers had chances and nearly every boat won at some time or other during the day. There was some close racing at times in exciting conditions and there was a greater than average number of spectators watching the fun. A good day.

As a separate item, the members had a chat in the Clubhouse during the lunch break about a possible project for club members. As you will know, at times the low water level  in the pond has been of concern and while we have usually been able to sail the 6m, many members have fitted shorter keels to their 1m boats in order to be able to sail that class.

In order to be able to sail in low water conditions one suggestion has been to turn to catamarans, or possibly trimarans, as these boats draw very little water, but they are quite big, or at least those which have had plans published are, and I understand that they are not good on all points of sailing.

The Chairman has made a suggestion that perhaps a Thames Barge fleet might be fun. They are easy to build as they are flat bottomed and slab sided, draw very little water and if all made to the same design would again put the emphasis on helmsmanship and tactics. I do have a published plan for such a radio controlled Thames Barge. It is of modest size, being a hull length of 24 inches and 32 inches overall, beam is just over 7 inches and depth just over 3 inches. Mast height is 23 inches. Provision has been made for the fitting of a keel to increase stability, although this would only increase the draft to something like 7 or 8 inches I think. The size is modest and some members might like something a little bigger, but we could either scale up or find another design.

What do members think?.




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  1. At the moment we have 2 classes of yachts that can be bought or built and both are recognised by the MYA.

    The drawbacks with these classes are that:

    Neither class is strictly adheard to
    Both designs have different hull shapes within the same class
    Both can be expensive
    They can be daunting to the beginner
    Even the same design can vary from member to member

    While the IOM can be considered as a starter boat, the 6M takes more time and equipment (and room) to finish.

    Therefore, it would make sense, if the club were to adopt a new design then in my opinion it should be:

    Easy to build
    One hull design
    Fixed sail area
    Inexpensive for the beginner or existing members
    Able to sail in less than 12″ of water
    A recognised class

    The choices as I see them are:

    Website here
    Easy to build – YES
    One hull design – YES
    Fixed sail area – YES
    Inexpensive – £325 all inc – just need batteries
    Able to sail in less than 12″ of water – NO 17″ (406mm)
    A recognised class – YES

    Website here
    Easy to build – YES
    One hull design – YES
    Fixed sail area – YES
    Inexpensive – £143 +£11 delivery +radio+servos
    Able to sail in less than 12″ of water – YES 10′ 1/8 (257mm)
    A recognised class – YES

    Website here or here
    Easy to build – YES
    One hull design – YES
    Fixed sail area – YES
    Inexpensive – £140 + £11 lead shot +£17 delivery +radio+servos
    Able to sail in less than 12″ of water – YES 11″ (282mm)
    A recognised class – YES
    So I see it as a fight between the Fiesta or the Soling, the Soling is very popular in the US with over 10,000 sold and 746 registered in America, where as the fiesta has 136 registered in the UK.

    Although slightly more than the Fiesta I feel the Soling would perhaps be the best choice, it could be raced on a different Sunday (2nd or 4th) so as not to conflict with the existing classes the club races, with the possibility that the Soling could be raced instead of the IOM when the water is low.

    Because we would be starting from scratch we could specify what servos were used for the boat so everyone has the same. But something else we could try is to pool the boats, so every one interested in sailing buys a boat, but then we pull a boat number out of the hat in the morning, so any skipper could have any boat. Making it the ultimate test of the skipper…this way members would be less likely to try to improve their yachts from the standard boat because it might help someone else…just a thought

    I believe that by taking the hull design out of members hands it would make for closer, more competitive racing, that would be easier for beginners old and new to race and become involved with, which can only benefit the club.

  2. totally agree with all the above .i have been championing a one design since the demise of the comic as the club boat .the idea of pooling resources to get a bulk price is what was done with the comic and the idea of picking a boat on the day will stop what happened with the comic i,e cherry picking the best hull sails ect for thier boat

  3. Jim … I think the idea of pooling resources is a great one even if it will put an end to my competitive advantage, i.e. check book racing 😉

    Having said that I think I have some competition now with Hugh’s Gadget and Graham’s Triple Crown.

    Seriously, I think the idea of being able to simply pitch-up on Sunday and get allocated a boat from a lucky dip is an excellent way forward.

    Obviously, there’s no reason to stop sailing the IOMs and 6Ms except for the water problem, but having another class that is more plug and play make a lot of sense to me. It’s also easier to attract new members because costs are low and we’ll probably have a spare boat for them to race with us on equal terms, rather than have to use a badly set-up boat which is well passed its sell by date.

    I’m not completely convinced about the Thames Barge route though not least because the club already sails two development classes. So if the model making members want to make a new hull then there’s always the IOM Triple Crown or whatever the latest and greatest hull design is for the 6M.

    I would opt for one of the one designs. As an owner of a Seawind I would suggest this, but not sure they sail all that well. So in the end it’s probably a toss up between the Fiesta and the Soling. Maybe the answer is which one is better for racing versus less hassle to put together. If we could have a try before we buy session then that might make the decision easier.

  4. another alternative could be a r36 to reduce costs how about aproaching a supplier for a bulk purchase of a no longer competetive design that they may have surplus stocks of.the same could be applied to a 1 meter as i am sure thier must be suppliers who have old and in the world of 1 meters as with marbleheads a limited competative lifespan gathering dust in the warehouse

  5. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your coments. I’m working on the idea that we need at least 6 people to take up the idea of a new class to run alongside the boats we already sail. One reason I’m in favor of the Soling is that it doesn’t need too much work doing to it, so I or anyone else interested, could get one on the water with very little effort and a few free evenings. At the moment I’m still trying to get my 6M in one piece that will sail, but work and a classic car get in the way! Neither of which I’m willing to give up 🙂 So if I’m to get ANOTHER boat I’m not allowed to take up the kitchen for too much longer!!! 😀

    While the 36R Class could be a good move, it will take myself and anyone coming in fresh some time before they are on the water, then there is still more expense for a rig and sails and servos, all of which have some influence on boat speed, which defeats the one design idea. If saving money was paramount I made my IOM hull for around £30, it was the rest of the stuff on it that cost the money!!

    The problem I found when coming into the the world of radio sailing was that with the IOM there were a lot of different designs to choose from, and there is no one “instruction manual” to refer to. So buying a one design with instructions would be a great way to introduce new members/sailors to the club. Also for this reason as well existing members I feel we need to get the boat inc radio/servos/sails the whole lot need to be less than £200. Which at the moment looks possible. It might mean me going for a drive to pick them up, that alone will save around £14/person if I can. We should also be able to get discount for both boats and electrics for buying the number we hope to.

    I’ve still got to find out some more details about the Soling which I’ll bring to the club the next time I’m up. Looks like it will be the 19th as I’m on holiday on the 5th 😀

  6. Why not consider the Thunder Tiger VICTORIA ? It is very quick to complete. Only costs around £100 plus R/C gear. Has scope for improvements within the class rules and is a very handy size. I am sure there would be interest from juniors due to the low costs involved. Very popular in the USA and lots of info around for speed improvements. Having said that though, can’t remember what the draught is !! Dough !!

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