Editorial Comment Archive
11 November 2009
I can only hope that this significant step could ultimately find its way into the ARYA reporting structure. But my opinion is that one should not currently hold one's breath for this to happen in the near future. But one can dream.
The promotion of radio yachting to those who through no fault of their own know nothing about how, or what, or where, to go about getting into this fantastic sport. And I know this is an issue both from personal experience and by reading the various forums'.
"Find your local club" one suggested. And just how is one supposed to do that when one knows absolutely nothing about this sport?
How does one find one's 'local club'? Where do they go to find their 'local club?"
I know where they go! Unless they are already 'in the know' and are already a 'competitive sailor', where they are welcomed with open arms into the decreasing membership of the established clubs that frown on anybody sailing anything except for the four internationally recognised classes, they fall into this huge black hole where they are promptly forgotten. And left to fend for themselves.
My intention, always has been, since I found out that I loved sailing model yachts, but found that if one was not sailing a 10-Rater, A-Class, Marblehead, or IOM, that basically nobody gave a damn about you.
In my personal experience, in Victoria at least, there were two clubs that did care about someone who did not want to sail competitively to the exclusion of fun, for believe me, as I have been there, when sailing competitively, there is not much fun to be had. But the clubs that provided fun and enjoyment to all comers, were the Lilydale club, and the Surrey Park club.
24 October 2009
19 October 2009
If you are an absolute newcomer to this hobby/sport and have no idea of what you should do, how you should approach your interest, please go through this site in its entirety. Then when you have further questions, and I know you will, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com for further information. Courtesy of my friends, if I am unable to help you, I can assure you of a prompt response to any enquiry you may wish to make.
Whilst I unashamedly confess my own particular interest in the 12-metre class of boats, this website's objective is to encourage new folks into this sport.
And I might add, that it was as a result of a most fortunate situation where I accidentally came across a couple of other fellows sailing their yachts, Geoff and Colin, to be precise, that soon our little group grew into something quite powerful. For a number of years this group continued to grow, and the pleasure and enjoyment these group members demonstrated amongst themselves was the catalyst that kept them coming back and back again.
This are clubs formed. But there was one big hitch.
The VRYA was not interested in this group of sailors as they sailed anything and everything. They did not sail the "A's", the "Marbleheads", the "10 Raters," or the "IOM's" The Internationally recognized classes.
But I've said enough at this stage. More to come shortly. (Ed: Subsequent developments have delayed this action.)
Disasters have happened in the past, all over the world including Australia, that have affected me, but I have never been more moved to tears, nor has my heart ever gone out with such tenderness and compassion for the plight of those affected, than has happened these last few days.
The destruction wrought by nature has been of such ferocity, and with such a wide ranging impact to all levels of our society, that the events of this last weekend and the ongoing dangers, that many communities still face, cannot help but have jolted anyone who thought they were safe, into a new sense of awareness to the challenges that this land of ours can present us with.
This is not a time for laying blame. But it is a time to display compassion and kindness and supporting our fellow man.
My heartfelt compassion and thoughts go out to all the souls that have perished, those that have survived, and to those brave souls that have come across the remains of those that have perished so cruelly. I cannot even in my worst nightmares even begin to contemplate the horrific effects that friends, families, neighbours, the CFA Firemen, the Police, and the others who have been the ones to discover the bodies of those who perished, will have to deal with.
Some will recover from their traumas. Others never will. But one thing is certain. None will ever forget.
And I am not ashamed, that I have, and still do, shed tears, and grieve, in support, for those who have suffered loss in these terrible fires.
I have contributed to the Red Cross Appeal for these souls, and I encourage others to do the same. The physical reconstruction of communities and homes will not be an easy task, and in some cases the destruction will have been so complete that some communities, may never be rebuilt. But hopefully in others, the donations you make, or have already made, will help these folks start the long task of rebuilding their lives, not only in a physical sense, but also in providing support to all those affected, with the means to cope, one way or another, with the mental scars that this disaster will have inflicted.
Whatever form your God takes, may your God stand by your side.
19 July 2008: - Promotion is there for the taking - but why are there are no takers!
A major part of this editorial is taken from a post I made fairly recently on the 12-metre website forum. But after I had posted it, it made me think even further. Since that post I have had discussions with folks from other hobbies as well, in order to find out how they do things, with the ultimate aim of acquiring more knowledge of how maybe I can help promote our particular sport. Read on for comments.
Extract from the forum posting:
"yes, sometimes participating in a
sport for a long time, and having experience, must inevitably, in some cases, be
restricting to the acceptance of new ideas, new methods, new approaches. Seems
that it is generally accepted that many people do not like change, and I guess
the longer one has been doing something one way, the harder it is going to be to
And I have personally made comments over many, many, years, that we, the club members, of the ARYA, have been completely, and totally inept and incompetent, in promoting radio yachting in this country of ours.
Things need to change. We need every existing rank and file member to actively promote their clubs, ON LINE. If your club's website has not changed in 3 years, UPDATE IT, if you don't have an ON-LINE presence, GET ONE. If you don't contribute to discussion groups, (forums'), then DO SO. People need to know we are out there, and alive, and well, and kicking strongly! Every single member that contributes, helps promote this sport. The Internet IS the YOUNG PERSONS' Medium. IGNORE IT AT YOUR OWN PERIL. And if you do so, then you will most certainly be remembered for your stupidity, if at all.
People in this day and age DO NOT POST LETTERS, and nor do they WAIT FOR DELAYED REPLIES by POST. They communicate via the INTERNET or Messaging on their mobile phones. We need to be able to communicate with these folks on their own terms.
They want instant action and instant responses. And whether we like it or not, that is where we are at. If we cannot meet these peoples' needs, we might as well not exist. And currently it seems to me, we are well and truly on the road to oblivion.
seems to me that in general, the current group of office holders within the ARYA
are oblivious to the needs of the community at large, and as such, should not be
The issue right now, is the promotion of radio yachting to persons that have maybe no knowledge that a hobby/sport, such as radio yacting, even exists, in this country.
14 June 2008: - There is hope for his sport.
There is still hope for the health, well-being, and future of this sport, if recent, and ongoing, communications between myself and a newly passionate member of the radio yachting fraternity are any indication.
Before I proceed any further, I must state that the following communication(s) are completely unsolicited and voluntarily offered by the contributor. Further I must advise that the contributor is the person who bought my Nautic12, Maverick2, which was surplus to my requirements, and rather than see this beautiful boat sitting around, not being used, and not being appreciated, was too much for me, so I put it up for sale. It was purchased for, and intended to be used as a promotional boat for the class, when I was able to go sailing. However, that approach was idealistic, and the reality was that the boat was too good to be left in the hands of complete novices, as some of them were not concerned about damage. That was more than I could bear.
05 April 2008: - Micro Magic update.
I revisited a site last evening that I had become quite addicted to, but that I had not visited for some time due to what I saw as disturbing developments in the Class. Developments that I had made comment to in a previous Editorial Comment.
evening's visit, I am happy to report that my earlier misgivings appear to no
longer be an issue. There does not appear to be a danger as someone recently
remarked to me, of the MM becoming "a poor man's IOM". This was a huge concern
of mine, and I truly hope that our Aussie propensity to make things unique to
us, no longer, at this stage at least, appears to be a concern, with regards to
the Micro Magic.
04 April 2008: - EC12 promotion?
We now have
a set of rules approved by the ARYA.
If the class is not only to survive, but to thrive, then people other than those who already sail the boats need to be made aware of them. If only the folks who sail the boats know what's happening within the class, then that is an absolute recipe for disaster.
I personally believe the ARYA made an absolutely courageous move in finally publishing a set of EC12 rules. So where are now, the supporters of this Class? The supporters that now have direction. The supporters that now have within their own power, the facilities they need to promote their class. Or is it still going to continue to be one of the best kept secrets in Australian Radio Yachting?
There are no longer any excuses for the stagnation that has been evident in this class in Australia. Especially despite, and in contrast, to healthy growth in the EC12 Class in the USA and in New Zealand in particular, and with growing interest in Europe as well.
It almost now seems to me that I may have unfairly maligned at times the ARYA for their inaction with regard to the formulation and publication of the EC12 rules. Perhaps the real fault rests with the apathy, the lethargy, the old fashionedness of folks with entrenched and inflexible beliefs, the folks who are the sailors of Australian EC12's.
I sincerely hope not, but I guess time will tell. I just wonder, what might be the age of the youngest recruit to the EC12 ranks, and when might that have happened?
I make a plea to the folks running the EC12 Class. Please make your activities known to the public! At least when you sail, where you sail!
But we Aussie’s bless our little hearts have
decided to virtually chuck out all the rules and redo everything the way we
want. Cast new keel bulbs; change all the rigging, including the standing
rigging materials, etc., etc. For more details of what people are doing, or want
to do, just go to the MM forum site where all will be revealed. These types of
activities, plainly outside the "spirit of the rules" are exactly what led to
the IOM in particular being so regulated.
19 March 2008:
- EC12 Rules published! - Australian
12 Metre Owners' Association
The only thing that now remains a
mystery to me is why the EC12 National Championships in May will not be sailed
under the new rules, as I understand that all existing boats will be eligible to
sail anyway. Bit confused here.
On another completely unrelated issue, I did today have a rare opportunity to speak to one of the founding member's of the Australian 12 Metre Owners' Association. During the course of that discussion I suggested that as a promotional tool and as an organisation that could provide support to member's irrespective of where they were located in Australia, that a club or a group, be formed, maybe calling itself something like "The Australian 12-Metre Radio Yacht Owners Group" or something similar and that it be affiliated with the ARYA. This would provide member's and potential member's with the benefits of club membership whilst also providing members with the benefits associated with belonging to a club that is affiliated with the ARYA. A win-win situation for everyone. It could even be administered by members of The Australian 12 Metre Owners' Association, although I understand that this issue would need to be discussed with those folks.
Just some food for thought.
16 March 2008:
- Formation of an Australian
12-Metre Owner's Association!
Back to Top
That something has been the arrival of a boat called the Micro Magic.
I cannot for the life of me think of anything that has excited me as much since I sailed my Victor Model Products, America3, the small one, for the first time, my very very first introduction to radio yachting, or the absolute joy I got when I launched my Victor Model Products, Australia II. It was this last event, that subsequent sails of almost everything else afloat could not change, that got me hooked on radio yachting, but 12-metres in particular. But I digress.
My entire experience to date, of anything to do with the Micro Magic, has been such a positive experience that I am lost for words to describe the enormous benefits and pleasure my association with this boat and everyone associated with it, has provided to me. Yes, selfish, the previous comment is, because it's all about me, but my association with the Micro Magic folks, has been, and still continues to be, an almost therapeutic experience, an experience for which I do not apologise. Everything that is wrong with all the other major classes is right with the Micro Magic. Hopefully it will always stay that way.
And the reason I have mentioned the Micro Magic in the first instance?
The thing is, is that we live in
an environment where, whether we like it or not, an action here will have a
consequence somewhere else. It is absolutely impossible for anything to exist in
isolation to its surroundings, whether we like it or not. That is why it is
sheer folly and stupidity to the extreme to be say, in the world of radio
yachting, concerned only with one class, and to not even consider what is
happening in the rest of the radio yachting world. Any human with that approach
should be relegated to the same state that the dinosaurs are in. Extinct. For
these people are the ones that hold back progress.
Whilst this site is primarily
dedicated to the 12-metres and the classic boats of yore, it should be
recognised that even these old classes and boats, would not even exist, or ever
have existed, had there not been a wider general community interest in radio
yacht sailing. And no class can, or ever will, exist, in its own right to the
exclusion of everything else, of every other class of boat. And in a sport
where new adherents are more the exception rather than the rule, it places even
more importance on stuff that attracts new people.
Or, or, to stay with the Micro
Magic, for this is a boat that caters for the absolute beginner to the most
consummate competitive sailor.
now heard from three separate, unrelated parties, over a period of about 3-4
weeks, rumours to the effect that the ARYA are about to release a new set of
Australian EC12 Class Rules.
My personal understanding is that there is a concern that existing Australian EC12's would be rendered ineligible to compete should rules compatible with the USA and NZ be adopted. But I cannot agree with that, if past provisional rules published by the ARYA are considered. Those rules state that virtually all existing EC12's are eligible to be registered under a "Grandfather" rule. That would make them legal in Australia, and therefore also Internationaly.
It seems to me, that the only barrier to Australian EC12 promotion in this country is a lack of guidelines to enable manufacturers to produce hulls and decks, and manufacturers cannot, and will not do that, if they don't know what dimensions or other criteria, their boats must meet. Everything else is in place.
I mean, if somebody came to me, being a manufacturer prepared to build an EC12, and said, "I want you to build some boats for me, and the only requirement is that they weigh, fully rigged between this weight and that", I would personally tell them to get stuffed.
I have no idea what the rumoured new EC12 rules may contain. I don't even know if there are any new proposed new rules in the wings, but if there are, I hope they have considered at least some of the points mentioned above.
And my personal opinion is
that to deny to any potential manufacturer a finite set of specifications to
which to build a hull, a deck, means that no one will build. Ergo: End of
Class inevitable, due to existing boats in time becoming unusable, and no new
boats being made. A surefire recipe for destruction of the class.
29 December 2007: - The 2007 Sydney-Hobart is nearing completion.
Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Matt
Allen this afternoon formally announced the US STP65 Rosebud, owned by Roger
Sturgeon (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), as the provisional overall IRC winner of the
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
And my understanding is that the winning boat in 1972, Ted Turner's American Eagle (US-21) was a converted 12-metre, built for the 1964 defence, just being defeated at Summer's end for that right by Constellation (US-20), who incidentally went on the defeat the British challenger Sovereign in the 19th America's Cup challenge.
But in 1972 the converted 12-metre American Eagle took out the double in the Sydney Hobart, winning both Line and Handicap honours. Good for 12-metres, good for yachting.
How good is that! Just a piece of nice trivia to end the year on.
Full size, or
models, this sport is simply the best!
27 December 2007: - The year almost gone and hope for the year ahead.
Well, 2007 in now almost done. This year is almost gone. And it has been quite a year in some respects for the 12-metre radio yachting community.
The EC12's seem to be thriving, despite in Australia, where two attempts by the ARYA to have a National set of Rating Rules adopted, came to no avail. I cannot help but feel that despite the continued and ongoing support from our international counterparts, surely there will, must, come a time when the NZ'ers and the USA'ers will say to the Aussies, "get your act together or forget international competition".
The EC12 communities in both the USA and NZ seem to be not only surviving, but thriving. And I don't think they really need the Aussies, so maybe the time has come for the Aussies, to have the courage to take action, to accept responsibility, and to publish a set of rating rules, hopefully, that are compatible with the rules that have obviously been proven to work overseas.
The EC12'ers have demonstrated, from my observations, to be the epitome of everything that is good about the sport of radio yachting. They appear to have demonstrated sportsmanship, cordiality, sociability, and a general level of cooperation not only between individual sailors, but between nations, that could be used as a role model for some other classes.
Hopefully 2008 will be the year that the Australian EC12's come of age and the year when an internationally accepted set rating rules will finally be published.
On another note, 2007 was a negative year for the Nautic12 / A2 communities of sailors, one that I think any half-way respectable citizens would not like to see repeated. And it cannot but have impacted negatively on classes sailed outside the officially sanctioned big four of the A Class, the Marbleheads, the 10-Raters, and the IOM's.
Commentaries on various forums' were sometimes a disgrace and it seemed unfortunately that anybody who had the courage to make open comment was finally dragged down to the level of the lowest common denominator. And that was not pretty. It was not constructive, and it was not good for the sport as a whole.
However, after all this trauma, and possibly as a result of it, and the public were free to decide how to go, it seems that the origin's of the A2 and Nautic12 were finally settled with the latest known result, to me at least, being that in the absence of any other contradictory information, is that, in my opinion at least, both boats should be recognised as legitimate contender's for the attention's of the radio yachting public.
They appear below deck to be identical, but the decks are significantly different, and I don't see why these two boats cannot sail together, despite the individual sailor/hobbyist having a preference for one deck style or the other. And I personally confess that sometimes I am torn between the two. There is the beautiful simplicity and efficiency of the Nautic12 deck, but then at other times I love the detail in the deck of the A2. I am perhaps more fortunate than most, in that on any particular sailing day, I can choose the boat I feel like. Or perhaps even take both.
Hopefully 2008 will be the year that any differences between the folks behind the A2's and the Nautic12's are reconciled once and for all, and maybe both or all three boats, if you include the EC12, can sail in harmony, in friendship and friendliness under the banner of something like the "Australian 12-Metre Class", or something similar, a name that was suggested to me in personal correspondence. Actually I might even have suggested something similar many many moons ago, but no matter. The important thing here is to have a healthy positive sailing community with hobbyists/sportsmen supporting each other for the good of the whole.
May 2008 be a great and positive year for all the radio yachting classes, and with everybody working with each other instead of against. This was actually going to be the New Year post, but I figure that to start the New Year in a positive manner, mention of any of the problems of the past should now be tackled positively, or be consigned to the bin.
It is hoped that any future editorials, starting with the first one for 2008, will be able to concentrate on what is being achieved and what is being constructively done to eliminate problems and differences, that do already exist, be they perceived or real, rather than to keep raising old issues, ones that have worked to the detriment of the sport, rather than to its benefit.
My very best wishes for a most satisfying New Year in 2008 to everybody associated with the model yachting scene!
Happy New Year folks!!
16 December 2007:
You know, it never ceases to astound me how well the EC12 folks get along with each other, not only in Australia, but internationally as well.
I am absolutely amazed at the cooperation that exists between the different competitors, not only within their own countries, each with their own rules, except, again, and still, in Australia, where there are still no official published EC12 rules, yet where State and National Championships are still held, under the auspices of the ARYA.
Point is, even in Oz, with no official rules, friendly competition exists, and has done so for many many years. And even more astounding is that whilst we don't even have any official rules, our EC12's are recognised as being legitimate in international competition, even if I sometimes think the USA'ers and the NZ'ers take pity on us because we Aussies cannot get our act together to formulate a simple set of Rating Rules.
Seems to me that the EC12'ers are a special breed of person. They seem to be participants in this hobby/sport for the sheer enjoyment of it. And if you throw in a competitive race or two, that is the icing, the cream, if you like, on the cake. And this is so different to my own experiences of any other class of boat involved in not only local, but international competition, the other approved ARYA competition classes.
And I don't think the EC12'ers should have any fear of their Class dying out, even with the new found popularity of boats like the A2/Nautic12. To me, the ultimate test of skill will always be, can you sail an EC12? I personally cannot, but I have one, and I will take her out again one day, when I have acquired more skills. To sail an EC12 well, in company with another 12-metre, irrespective of design or style, is a goal I would dearly love to achieve.
And as history has shown, and proven, time and time again, every single boat on its day can be a winner.
Again, I got side tracked. And I got carried away, because the main point of this whole diatribe was that the EC12'ers have not only extended an invitation to compete for EC12 owners, but they have made known accommodation options, yeah, yeah, all the classes do that, but in this case they have also put together some what else to do/see options. A nice personal touch, for a nice personal group of people.
My assessment is that is seems to me that friendliness, tolerance, sociability, acceptance and a lack of ulterior motives are the reasons for the continued success of this class, both here and overseas.
Hey, but how good would it be if these same qualities could be demonstrated by the A2'ers and the N12'ers!
What a bonus that would be for this sport!
And there is room for everybody!
I have yet to see a situation where there are too many radio yacht sailors on the water.
But in the meantime, seems to me that the EC12's reign. Long live the EC12!
11 November 2007:
Click on the following link to register your Micro Magic irrespective of where you bought it from. That at least is my understanding. The following link enables you to register in the Australian no tional Micro Magic register
Addendum: The comment has been made to me, questioning my involvement with the Micro Magic. My response to any people that may be asking themselves the same question is as follows.
It is a personal decision based on my experiences to date regarding my own involvement in the radio yachting scene, from the moment I first acquired an interest in model radio yachting, to the point where I now have a publicly stated preference for my own yachting enjoyment.
There are many radio yachting clubs scattered around this country, most of them sailing competitively in the ARYA sanctioned classes and they encourage new members and folks to take up yachting, to have a try-out sail, to see what you think, but the very nature of the animal is, is that if the new folks show any interest, they are typically encouraged to join by way of purchasing a boat that an existing member has for sail, and quite often at considerable cost. That is not a criticism. It's just the way it seems to work. But someone being exposed to this sport for the first time is most likely not ready to go to that expense, especially if they are not sure they will continue in the sport for an extended period.
That is in fact my own experience.
And that's where I see the Micro Magic fitting in. First up, people are going to be a bit more relaxed about having a sail because the boat is a lot smaller, (read - inexpensive in the trial sailor's mind, and not likely to be expensive if he/she makes a mistake), whereas if they are suddenly given the controls of an IOM with an A rig, or a 10-rater, or an A, or even a 12-metre, they are going to be on a bit of a stress edge, irrespective of the comforting words of the owner.
In contrast, the Micro Magic is available at reasonable cost and in both standard and racing versions. It is sailed internationally, at least 12 countries at my own last count, and the support is absolutely first class and prompt, based on my own experiences. In particular the support is genuine and very friendly, and the folks are patient. I personally asked questions to which the answers were already available on international forums' but I still received the answers I was after. And to add to that, I also received personal emails from some of the forum contributors'. That created an ear to ear smile, I can tell you. And such a good feeling.
The other main factor with this particular boat, is that not only is it suitable for the beginner, but as the sailor's skills increase, the boat lends itself to experimentation, and do not be mistaken, some deadly serious international competition, but always with the "spirit" of enjoyment and interpretation of the simple rules, being the most dominant criteria.
That folks, is just a little explanation of why I am taken with the Micro Magic, and why it is worthy on mention here, even though it has nothing to do with 12-metre boats. The sport is much, much bigger than the class one is particularly interested in. And it needs to be supported in that way.
21 October 2007
"You know there
is no way anyone can stop it! We have EC12 sailing with us at Ancient Mariners
and generally there is about 3 or so there at most of our sailing day and a
couple of IOMs thrown in as well as the Nautic 12s to round off the bunch of
saturday arvo sailors at our club. And hell we seem to get on with one another.
So much so that forming into our club Ancient Mariners is in reality a 12 metre
club. Yeah the Ec12 do get up in their weather and the Nautic do get up in there
time and that is how it should be . There is this sort of freindly competition
think it demonstrates the most positive comment or sentiment I have heard, since
the 12 metre radio yachts became my passion some 5 or 6 years ago. It indicates
a significant shifting of sentiment. And it hopefully indicates the start of a
"reconciliation" between ALL the 12 metre classes in Australia. And I do mean
ALL. I would like to think that the A2 will also be included in this
reconciliation. And when that happens, not if, but when, Australia will have the
best 12 metre competition in the world, for the best big boats in the radio
yachting world. Big boats that can sail in 12 inches of water, and not in the
least be concerned about the problems and divisions being experienced in other
big boat classes such as the 10-Rater's and Marblehead's where people are
fighting about proposed reductions in keel length issues, due to a shortage of
deep water sailing venues.
can only be good for this sport. My compliments to the Ancient Mariner's club in
NSW for taking this first huge step. And whether this happened by accident or
design, it matters not. What matters is that is has happened.
14 October 2007
It has just come to my notice that Triple Y Yachts, the manufacturers of the Nautic12, have "wiped', for their own reasons, from their "building register", reference to the hull "serial numbers 107 and 115". Now why would that be? Those hulls exist! See the pictures below. There is also supporting evidence of the shipment of these two hull numbers from Triple Y yachts in New Zealand to Australia. Manifests, invoices, consignment notes, Customs' dockets, etc., etc.
Now, why would a reputable manufacturer delete reference to these two specific hull numbers? Were they a bad batch? Was there something wrong with those two hulls that they do not wish to speak about? Leaving personalities aside, why on earth would a manufacturer wish to deny its involvement in the manufacture of a quality product, especially when its brand and authority is firmly affixed within the product itself? I stand to be corrected, but does not the deletion of information that is contrary to actual practice amount to a falsification of records? I do not know the answers to any of these questions, but it's sure got to be enough to make one wonder about the modus operandi of this organisation.
If none of the previous reasons are appropriate, then what on earth could the reason be to strike those two particular hull numbers from the building register?
If the argument is that the hull numbers were wrongly placed or applied, then surely the next question that follows would be, how many other hull numbers have been so wrongly placed or applied? From there would follow the question how reliable are any of the other records maintained by this organisation?
Just for the open public record, it would be remiss of me not to mention that I am currently the owner of those two hulls. And that kinda makes me wonder. Is there anybody else out there who's boats are no longer on the official register, but who can actually prove that they do exist.
Just as further confirmation, I have been made aware of the following comments on the Nautic12 Forum. It has been reproduced here in its entirety, because their past record has demonstrated that once a problem has been exposed, the Nautic12 people selectively delete the problem issues that have been raised from the forums' where they have some influence, if the comments are unfavourable to their own financial interests. And funnily enough, it appears that the whole conversation is not recorded on the forum, only parts of it appear. So.... one needs to ask, why bother posting on this forum? Obviously if you disagree with the moderator's of this primitive forum, your post will not appear anyway.
"Fun - I'm not seeing the funny side of this. I was only commenting on Triple Y Yachts serial numbers in that we have now wiped serial numbers 107 and 115 from the building register for our own reasons and as far as we are concerned you can use whatever numbering system you like. We have decided here in New Zealand to use the building serial number as our sail number as you already know, and if we want to deregister serial numbers from our register it doesn't affect you in any way as it is purely a Triple Y Yachts decision. I hope this clears this argument up for once and for all. Silverspoon"
The above post was made I do believe on or around the 6th October 2007. Do not be surprised if it no longer appears on the N12 forum, after this editorial has been posted.
Now, why innocent hulls should be penalised is absolutely beyond me. What have the manufactured hulls done that is so wrong, that they should be stricken from the building register? This editorial, now almost a novel, this almost tome, could be, would be, made unnecessary, if Triple Y Yachts simply made public the reasons for wiping the previously mentioned hull numbers from their building record. Is that too much to ask? After all, there just might be a valid reason for their actions. But if they don't tell anyone, then no-one knows.
If the above event has been a direct reprisal against me, then I am most disappointed. Issues and questions regarding the origins of the Nautic12 had been around long before I came on the scene. And the questions persisted simply because they were never answered truthfully and honestly and/or openly. And they were raised by a diverse group of people over many years. Shoot the messenger if you like boys, but the facts don't change and I had nothing to do with the cause of the problem.
If the above actions have been directed purely at me, the messenger, then I can most certainly live with that. But if other people in the radio yachting community have also been exposed to this type of behaviour, then that is absolutely and totally unacceptable. Not only for the well being of the persons directly involved, but for the sport as a whole.
I absolutely hate writing this negative, confronting stuff, but by the same token, people have a right to know what's happening, if only for their own protection.
As always, please feel free to email
the firstname.lastname@example.org to make
comments, or alternatively visit the d'12metre radio yacht forums' if you want
to enter into discussion about any editorial comment issue.
05 October 2007
Radio yachting as it exists now
is an expensive hobby/sport. No matter which way you look at it.
It seems, with some new developments, it doesn't need to be this way.
Enter the Micro Magic.
Whilst this boat has nothing at all to do with 12-metres or America's cup boats, it is still a part of a hobby/sport that the 12-metres, etc belong to. And the reality is, is that no matter what our passion may be, the hobby/sport is much bigger than our personal likes or dislikes. Not everybody likes the IOM for example. It doesn't look like a real boat! And not everybody likes the 12-metre, or the A-Class or the 10-Rater, or this other design or that other design. But for the interest in this hobby/sport to not only survive, but to thrive, we need the variety. It is absolutely essential! For we fickle humans get bored with sameness.
The Micro Magic (MM) in the Southern hemisphere, is to the best of my knowledge, virtually unknown. But it is popular in Europe and its influence seems to be spreading to the USA as well. Well, seems it has now arrived in Australia.
I am not particularly promoting this boat, although I have ordered one just to see what the fuss is about, [and maybe in a future comment I might be in a position to say some words, one way or another], but it seems to have a lot to offer in addressing most of the challenging points mentioned above. The British/European folks seem to be deadly serious about their MM's. That to me indicates that the boat provides enough challenges to keep serious people interested whilst at the same time providing a reasonably cheap entry into model radio yachting for the absolute beginner.
And it seems to me that we could do a lot worse than encourage the popularity of this boat, in order to grow the model radio yachting base.
Who knows. Once the new folks have been hooked on this boat, I can see in 12-18 months time, them becoming really serious about the MM and staying with that boat for all the benefits it offers, or maybe deciding to move to an equally exciting and challenging class, say......, something like a 12-metre for example. Oh, OK, there might also be some other classes these folks might become interested in as well.
But the important thing here. Get the newbie into this fantastic hobby/sport! Once they've enjoyed the challenge of sailing a yacht a few times, of battling the elements, of testing their skills, they will be hooked. I know I was. And maybe the Micro Magic might just be the way to do that. Time will tell.
For more information, click on the following link to take you to an International Micro Magic site and forum http://www.micromagic.info/news.php and the following link which will take you to an Australian Micro Magic Forum http://www.aus.micromagic.info/news.php. There is also some information on the Radio Yacht Supplies Australia website.
28 September 2007
My dilemma is that I do not want to raise issues that might cast the radio yachting experience in a negative light. Yet I cannot sit still and accept the blatant misuse of the ability of a forum moderator to delete someone else's postings, simply because that moderator has a dislike of the poster. Or of persons wanting a forum topic deleted because the factual evidence as posted on the forum indicates that assertions made by many different persons, over as many years do indeed have substance, but are in conflict with the moderator's point of view.
But ....... in recent times, some events have occurred regarding forum postings that have given me cause for concern. And alarm. Great alarm. And it relates to the operations of some of the radio yacht forums' that exist both here and in New Zealand in particular. And the thing that has given me cause for concern, and alarm, is that there has been a demonstrable editing, and censoring, and deletion of forum postings, that have not been in agreement with the views of certain persons, in particular, those of the people officially associated with, and behind, the promotion of the Nautic12. I will in a future comment show proof to justify these comments.
And the reason for this?
Seems to me that there has not ever been in the radio yachting world, an ongoing controversy surrounding the origins of a boat, as with the New Zealand produced Nautic 12. And just when the controversy was resolved, and it was made public, and accepted that the Nautic 12 was a flop of the original A2 mould, the Nautic12 people, who disagreed with the comments of noted and respected individuals, pulled the plug and asked that all posts be deleted from their forum. If that is not an indication of a lack of propiety, then I do not know what is.
Please feel free to email the email@example.com to make comments, or alternatively visit the d'12 metre radio yacht forums' if you want to enter into discussion about any editorial comment issue.
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I heartily applaud the quick response taken by the people behind the forum to ensure its integrity, which I am now sure will soon be confirmed, as the decision to make the move they did can not have been an easy one.
They've been a very good forum in the past, and I have no doubt they will be again, very soon. Thumbs up guys.
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08 September 2007
Graeme also stated in his comment that Steve Crewes was instrumental in firing up interest in the EC12's. And I will give credit where it is due. A genuine thank you Steve.
But isn't it ironic. Reminds me of a song, but I do digress. Isn't it ironic that the man who fired up interest in the EC12's has now so utterly and completely turned his back on that class. Just read his posts on the Kiwi Radio Yachting Forum for confirmation, where he actually refers to the EC12 as "that other class" or something similar. That is a shame, but it just shows how volatile even the world of radio yachting can be, especially when potential new classes may emerge, and I think it serves as a reminder, that one should never be complacent about the status quo.
What happens when the next new boat comes along? Do we turn our backs on what exists now, or do we put our personal prejudices aside and put in the effort to make them all work together? I vote for the make them all work together option. And despite what people may think, I would like to see the A2 Class, The EC12 and the Nautic12, all sailing together. Seems to me the only thing preventing this is the N12/A2 conflict and I still have hope that this can be resolved between the parties concerned, because once that is done I can go back to promoting all three boats again. Surely the resolution of conflict has to be good for this amazingly addictive hobby/sport.
Not related to anything referred
to above, but one question still plagues me. Why are the EC12's so popular in
QLD and NSW but virtually ignored in the rest of the country?
07 September 2007
At the end of August 2007, the Australian National Championships were held with what must have been close to a record number of entries, irrespective of boat class, except possibly for the the IOM's. And today, the ARYA have posted on their website "Notice of Race" notices for two more State/Regional EC12 Championships.
If this activity does not underline the healthy state of the EC12 then I don't know what does. But one thing really puzzles me. Why is this class so strong in QLD and NSW but virtually ignored in the rest of this country? What are the ingredients in the magical elixir that the Queenslanders and the New South Welshmen must be drinking to make them appreciate the beauty of the EC12, but that is being denied the rest of the population? What is it that has kept this class going despite setbacks more severe than any other of the recognised classes have ever experienced?
23 August 2007
Good luck for a friendly but still spirited competition, and may it bring pleasure to all who participate, not only on the water but to those folks that will also be there for encouragement and behind the scenes support as well.
18 August 2007
Seems from my reading of the recently ARYA published proposed rules, along with the Explanatory Notes, that all existing boats are pretty much assured of being registered under the Grandfather Rule, with only the rigs needing to be measured for confirmation of compliance and the resultant measurement certificate issued, if one has not been already.
But, if the class is to survive nationally, it must have National rating rules, otherwise it just becomes another club class, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that if that's what folks want to do. But more importantly, in this writer's opinion, the rules for this particular class must be in line with those of the other nation's that sail EC12's in competition, no matter how friendly, as well. And the only reason I see a need for this is that there has already been a proven and demonstrated desire for EC12'ers to sail with, and against, in friendly competition, with their international counterparts. (World's 2006 in Nelson, New Zealand just has to be absolute confirmation of this).
Maybe, just maybe, if we can accept that, the EC12 just may go on to live a long life, providing the promise of gentlemanly and sportsmanlike competition for existing and future generations, but basically it seems to me that if we want International competition, then we absolutely must have Internationally accepted and compliant rules.
07 August 2007
AUSTRALIA 2 / NAUTIC 12 "ORIGINS"
My name is Jack Woodward, I live in Tasmania at a place named Franklin, it is here I run my Model Shipyard having moved from Balmain last year
I first meet Alf Willoughby on 29/11/2003, when I visited him at his house /
workshop , which was the home of Mini Mariner, Alf had been mass producing EC
12's (more than 200) and was the sole producer of the Aus 2 model that he
developed with the help of his best friend Ben Lexcen. He was not sure how
many Aus 2's he had built, but thought it was about 30.I did not see a boat only
On 2/8/2004, Steve Crewes brought an Aus 2 model to my model shipyard in Balmain. This was the 1st one I had ever seen.
It had been painted olive green,and looked pretty crappy. Steve told me that it had been on display at some vineyard, and he was trying to sell it . It had never been in the water. I brought it on spec, stripped and repainted it to the same as the original one in the ANMM.
When finished this boat looked stunning, .( This boat has still to be sailed, and is on display in my gallery at Franklin opposite the wooden boat school.) I then set about trying to buy another one
A couple of weeks later Steve Crewes told me that Terry Thearle had an Aus 2 for
sale. On the 30/8/2004 I went to Terry's place with Steve, after a cuppa and
chat I was shown two EC 12's that he was wanting to sell, then the Aus 2 model,
which was the 1st one built by Alf Willoughby and Ben Lexcen, complete with
Frank Russell sails.
I am still over the moon with this boat , and have raced it in several events, it also is on display in my gallery.
Keen to see if I could get the Aus 2 class up and running I asked Alf Willoughby if I could buy the moulds. He agreed to sell them providing I brought both moulds, which I did on the 15/1/2005, I also bought a yellow reject hull at the same time.
One mould was sold to Allan Edwards in Canberra. I then set about finding some one who could lay up a hull. On 14/6/2005 gave my mould to Troy, he was keen to make one for himself, and would do one for me also.
On 26/8/2005 Steve Crewes came to my work shop, wanting me to sell the Aus 2 moulds to a N.Z. syndicate. I was not interested in doing this, and felt confident that Troy could make a hull. So Steve Crewes bought the yellow reject hull from me, agreeing to pay $100 at a later date. This is the hull he shipped to N Z. !!
And so the Nordic 12 was soon after in production.
If anyone is interested in discussing any of the above please feel free to call me on 03 6266 3846
If the above tale does not put to
rest the controversy surrounding the Nautic12's origins, then it may well be
that ulterior motives may possibly be at play. But in my mind, the matter is now
It seems that the number of entries for the EC12 National Championships In Canberra on the 26th August 2007 are approaching record numbers. What makes this astounding is that the sailing is in Canberra. Canberra! Canberra Australia! Sailing in Canberra in Winter! Canberra is a freezing place even in summer. Seems to me that despite a lack of a new set of rules, the comment made in my last editorial may have been a bit premature. If people are determined to sail in Canberra in Winter, what can one assume other than that the EC12 is very much alive and kicking and well. Perhaps, and I am relieved if this is the case, there may yet be a future for this Class after all.
And if I may just copy an extract from a comment I have previously made on the EC12 web page, maybe the reason why this class is still doing so well, despite the odds is as follows and seems quite appropriate: Also saves me retyping it.
But it is by the grace of the international competitors, and the spirit of friendly competition, that keeps this class alive, not only in Australia, but overseas as well. Maybe that's what makes this class, the class of gentlemen, when gentlemen were gentlemen, and played by rules of sportsmanship instead of law.
On a separate issue, and not to
take away from the above, stay tuned for some astounding information regarding
the origin of the Nautic12. No wonder the powers behind that boat have always
been, despite numerous and repeated requests, over and over again, by many many
different persons, reluctant to state how the Nautic12 came to be. This will not
take anything away from the boat itself which has been built by a very competent
builder and the quality is superb. But the Kiwi's have always been competent
seafaring folk and their yachting prowess is absolutely second to none. Stay
The bottom line and the point of all this? Well, TNT have demonstrated that they are indeed a reputable organisation and ultimately did what they said they would. The only problem was the exceedingly long delay in settlement of the claim. My recommendation to persons wishing to ship their boats and wanting to insure them, clarify before, or at least at the time of pickup of the boat, specifically, to whom any claims should be addressed, and what the procedure is. Unnecessary delays were incurred in this case because of what seemed to be a fairly significant lack of communication between the Sydney and Melbourne offices. But if you can get specifics first, hopefully problems like the one referred to here should not arise. Remember, the only time you may experience a problem with an insurance company is when you make a claim!
On another and separate issue, the ARYA released on the 1st August the results of the second ballot of EC 12 Class interested parties regarding the acceptance of rules revised after the first Australian EC 12 rules ballot. The way I see it, and it pains me to say so, the results can only be deemed to be the death knell of the EC 12 Class in Australia. A reduced number (from the 1st ballot) of voters decided overwhelmingly to reject the latest draft of the rules. Something like 66% against acceptance. Number of voters around the 38 mark whereas on the first ballot there were approximately 50 voters if memory serves me correctly.
And the statement by the President of the ARYA on the result of the ballot seems to have put paid to any further action regarding the establishment of Australian EC 12 Class Rules by the ARYA. So where does the Class go to from here?
Certainly as a manufacturer, I would not be prepared to go the not inconsiderable effort of making a mold, then building boats, when there is not agreement on what the rules should be. And that means, no new boats. And that automatically will exclude some potential sailors from the EC 12 Class ranks, as some individuals simply do not want second-hand boats. They want new ones. Already we have reduced the potential market size in what is already a small market. But there will still be sailor's who will enjoy sailing their EC12's, the competent ones. I would defy anyone to try to take their boats away from them.
But my mind wanders. The why's and wherefore's are largely irrelevant now. No new boats to be made in Australia, reduced numbers sailing EC12's, with notable sailor's selling their boats, including past Australian EC12 Class Champions and moving to other classes. Newer design radio 12-metre boats based on the Australia II becoming more popular due I believe, primarily because they are readily available, even in brand new form, and because they are easier to sail. Why on earth would one stick with an EC 12?
Whilst I personally believe the popularity of the EC12 in Australia will wane, it is not without regret. I own one of these boats. And I love to just look at my boat. It is historical. It is a thing of absolute beauty. But I cannot sail it. It demands skills, more's the pity, that I simply don't have. And maybe that also sounds the death knell of the EC12. Today's person does not have the patience to take the time to acquire those skills.
But I still hope that sometime, in the future, when I walk by a lake's or pond's edge I will see someone who knows what they are doing, sailing one of these beautiful and graceful boats and be a reminder of an age when boats were not only designed for function, but for form as well.
This question needs to be asked
after my own extremely unsatisfactory dealings with XYX, dealings that have left
me out of pocket to a tune of $1,220, after a delivery on the 25th May 2007,
(yes, that's right, two months ago!), that resulted in structural damage to
the boat, rendering it unsuitable for its intended use. And at this stage the
only hope of resolution of this issue are the past and indeed ongoing comments
by XYX staff who state that the cheque in settlement of the claim, which XYX
accepted and agreed to pay within two days of the event, is either on its way or
was posted some time ago. But they cannot tell you who the cheque was posted to.
They cannot tell you when it was posted. Does this indicate incompetence, or is
it just a delaying tactic hoping the parties involved will just go away, or is
it something else? Two months is a long time to wait, whichever way you look at
it. It's getting to the stage where this matter will need to be referred to the
18 July 2007
Weight, rather than waterline length is proposed, and this appears to be the main difference between the Australian rules and those in other countries. The ARYA have specified three manufacturer's whose boats are approved for the Australian rules. In this regard, waterline length should theoretically be automatically taken care of. One other significant difference is in beam measurements, which give the Australian boat a much more pointed bow-midship section than the overseas boats. However, this is not a problem from the Australian point of view, as in the explanatory notes accompanying the rules it pretty much states that all overseas boats will be able to compete, and unless I am mistaken, even be registered in Australia, and there are generous allowances made also for local boats that might be in one way or another not quite the same as all the other boats.
And there's no longer an need for an Australian EC12 Owner's Association to be formed. This also has to be a relief to many owner's/sailors.
These proposed rules seem to be pretty good, and I guess, unless any of the overseas organisation's sailing EC12's have a problem with Aussie boats sailing with, and competing against them, and that would seem to be the only sticking point I can see, there does not appear to be any reason why they should not be approved.
Well done ARYA!
Well, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I guess it all depends on how you look at it. But it was raised for one reason and one reason only. That is to try to give readers food for thought and to try to get the claim/counterclaim about the Nautic12's origins sorted out and resolved in one way or another.
This issue, even now, keeps raising its head in in different forums. This issue has been raised in forums for the past two years, maybe more. It has been raised in various forum's in Australia and New Zealand and probably other countries as well. And until it is resolved, it will keep keep being raised by someone, some where. Seems that there is a period of quiet when everyone involved just stick their collective heads in the sand and pretend that the problem does not exist. And that may be fine, until the problem inevitably rears its ugly head again. It needs to be resolved so that everyone can move on. The Nautic12 is a beautiful boat to look at and a beautiful boat to sail. But I wonder how many potential sailors have been put off acquiring one because they may have heard of problems regarding its origin. Is it too much to ask that the two main players in this game get together and resolve any issues. To resolve matters once and for all.
22 June 2007
On another issue, I suspect there are people out there that may feel like they have a comment to make, but don't want to go to the trouble of registering on, and then posting on, an appropriate discussion forum, if such a thing can be found, never mind having to logon again to read replies, post responses, etc., etc., but do not agree with the Editor's comments.
What I have decided to do is, for a trial period, create a "Letters to the Editor" page on this site where people will be able to express their views in response to comments made by the Editor. This is only fair as I can absolutely guarantee that the Editor will not be right every time.
If persons interested in responding to "Editorial Comment" wish to make an unchallenged comment they can post an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with a message containing their comments. It is requested that comments be kept to a maximum of say, 100 words. The Editor reserves the right to edit messages where offensive language is involved, or where the comment is excessively lengthy, or is irrelevant.
19 June 2007
I don't know the answer to that question.
But what is important is; What
would be/could be the long-term ramifications of a State body accepting for
registration, a class of boat whose existence may be a result of possibly having
been flopped from somebody else's property? I don't think I would want to
be party to that. I would suggest that one way to address this conundrum
would be for all parties concerned to simply provide any National or State body
to whom they wish their boat recognised, to provide evidence of their boat's
origins. Then let that body make its own impartial decision.
09 June 2007
If people are out there promoting
a product, and I believe there is always room for at least two suppliers in any
particular industry, then let it stand on its merits. If it's a good product it
will survive, even thrive, and happily co-exist with its deadliest competitor,
but most importantly of all, it will provide a choice to the consumer.
Disappointingly, response from
the radio yachting fraternity has been very very poor, save a post by Graeme
Turk who made a comment in a post on this subject that I found important enough
to include on the letterhead, so to speak, of this web-site. That comment?
Never let an interested bystander or
member stand alone!! My
thanks to Graeme, and I hope he doesn't mind being mentioned in dispatches like
this. To me, this comment, based on personal experiences, can mean encouraging
someone new into this sport, or maybe turning them away forever. I can only hope
that the sailing groups out there act on this comment. It can only be good for
Whilst the version I have put together is by no means perfect, it just may provide a bit of food for thought. While some points still need to be addressed, such as waterline length, min-max weight, deck beam widths, these points should be able to be sorted out fairly quickly. But even so, in the absence of anything to the contrary, sample measurements have been included.
The file can be downloaded by right clicking on the following link and "save target as " Aussie EC12 Rules
As there is no the slightest
intention of usurping the authority of the ARYA these rules are for your
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site or its contents.