model yachting Australia

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It is intention that this page be one for use by anybody interested in yachting in any of its forms to have published any articles of an appropriate nature. 
Any and all contributions that will further the cause of model yachting gratefully accepted and will be acknowledged.

19 February 2010 - Article submitted by Mark Rogers
Hi Don

Some build pics for you. Build is underweight by 200g at present. Trying to keep it down so I can use a IOM lead bulb @ 2.2kg.

The red boat is a Marblehead circa late 70s that’s undergoing a resto. How things have changed!

Working with Rod Carr sail maker in the US on sail plans for the T50 to suit our windier conditions here. 
Will also use his “A” suit design that won the 09 US vintage Marblehead championships.



You are invited to view maverick's photo album: The Building of a T50 MOD

The Building of a T50 MOD

19 Feb 2010
by Mark Rogers

Mark's build has progressed nicely. What a beautiful Boat!!!


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19 February 2010 - Article submitted by Karl Texler

My apologies on untidy layout. Will be corrected shortly. I thought it was more important to get content up. :(

Hi Don,

For your interest. Great to talk to you over the phone.



Here's a bit of a blurb:

"Osprey" was my first RC model yacht. I was inspired to design and build her after seeing SARYS members racing near my home at West Lakes, South Australia. She is a Marblehead (KA 109). I designed her in 1976 (when I was 14 years old) and finished her later that year. She was built out of balsa planking over plywood framing and dynel sheathed. I registered her for the nationals, but was never satisfied with her performance. After an accident which flooded her electronics (and knocked me out just before nationals), I rebuilt her in 1977 (new deck, bow, keel, rudder, and rigs). I raced her the following season. Rick Doorey built the turnbuckles, but I built the rest of the rigs and made the sails (out of drawing grade mylar). I was very much mentored by Terry Seabrook. She is still functional today.

Inspired by Terry Seabrook's design "Sea Lynx", I designed and built "Osprey II" in 1978. However, she was a disaster, the bows were too fine, the run aft too wide and she nose-dived at the slightest provocation. She was finally broken up in 1987.

In late 1980, I designed "Osprey III". The hull was built out of epoxy resin soaked cartridge paper (over balsa shadows) with unidirectional glass sheathing and microballoon fairing. I started building the internal bracing and foils, but my (repeat) final year of school got in the way, and the project was shelved. I still have the hull and the bits and pieces. She has eliptical bow sections, a single chine running aft and was designed with a raised cambered foredeck (much like the modern yachts).

In 1984, I designed and started construction of a 1/12 scale sailing model of Australia II. The hull was built of WEST resin soaked balsa over balsa frames, sheathed in unidirectional fibreglass and microballoon fairing. However, my university studies got in the way (I had moved to Perth) and I stopped construction just as I was framing up the deck. I still have her, and she seems to be the most likely of my stalled projects to be resumed. 

In 1987, I made contact again with SARYS, having landed a veterinary job in Adelaide. Inspired by what I saw (especially the Bantock designs), I designed and started building "Osprey IV". The club (through Rob Guyatt) was good enough to lend me a metal building board. Her hull was built over ply shadows and is monocoque strip planked balsa, WEST resin soaked and sheathed with unidirectional glass. However, I changed jobs and had to move to inland Victoria (no sailing possibilities nearby), so this project was shelved too. I still have the hull, and it seems comparable to modern designs - if I wanted to race, this is the one I would finish off (but I have to get a club going first!!). Unfortunately a carbon fibre mast I bought for her has succumbed to years of mishandling during transport and storage and is now irreparably crushed.

One of these days, (I keep telling myself) I will finish at least one of these projects. I will stop procrastinating about it ....maybe day after tomorrow!!

Karl Texler's Vintage Yachts

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06 January 2010 - Article submitted by Mark Rogers

Hi Don
[personal comment deleted]
Got the T50 kit, the photos don’t do it justice. It’s got everything, bulldog clips, pins, brushes, tapes, gloves, drill bit, rat tail file. Very impressed. The manual is 117 pages. The planks are pre steamed to curve.

Going to get started soon, promise to take lots of photos.

Photo's of the kit are available to view by clicking on the below link.


You are invited to view maverick's photo album: The T50 arrives

The T50 arrives

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

17 Jan 2010
by Mark Rogers

Mark's T50 has arrived.


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26 December 2009 - Article submitted by Yahoo "cupclassyacht" users' group

The following question and one answer that was given has been lifted from the Yahoo groups group cupclassyacht.  Even though it is based on USA experience, just substituting a couple of boat classes I feel make the topic just as relevant here in Australia as well.

Hello group. My name is Dennis Clarke. I have over 37 yrs of sailing experience, but only about 10 mins at the helm of a model sailboat and that was about 10 yrs ago. As for model building, we would have to go back in time to 1943 when I built my first sailplane, so we can say it is virtually Zilch.
As I am into my 81st orbit of the sun on spaceship earth, I thought I should take up a less physically demanding, possibly warmer and certainly drier sailing experience than rounding the marks in my 5 meter racing dingy.
What I wish to know from the group is - Which is the easiest Victor model to build for a neophyte modeller?
If I wish to be involved in RC sailing competition in the Toronto/Canada area, I have been advised to build a Soling 1M, but I am not sure I want to be involved in competition anymore. Anyway those races take place on weekends when I am in Colour a small town on the shore of Lake Ontario, with a wonderful harbour, scores of keelboats, which sometimes needs crew.
The model CUP Boat, which appeals to me, is the Blackhawk 34. Have any of you built one? How does it rate against the other Cup Boats in light to medium winds? Lastly, if anyone has the experience, how do the Cup Boats compare to the Soling 1M from the point of, 1/ ease of construction and 2/ performance?
Any and all information would be welcome and to all I wish safe and enjoyable holidays – Dennis

One Answer:  Other answers are available at the Yahoo Group website.
Hi, I am going to make a strong suggestion to you. You say you are unsure as to whether you wish to compete. To me, that indicates that you still entertain the concept so I would not rule it out. Here's my reasoning. If you buy something other than the Soling then you will not be able to compete if that is all they sail there. I sail on a pond with a lot of 1 meter boats so I keep one. But every now and then I like to take my 10Rater down and sail it because there is nothing else in the model boat arena that is so much fun to sail. Needless to say, the 10R just stomps any 1 meter into the ground and that does not sit well with the other guys. So if you just want something to sail I recommend the Soling 1 meter (S1M). As to the problem of building you can solve that by ordering your boat from VMP (Victor Model Products) already built. Yes, it is more costly but ready to sail when you get it. If the costly part bothers you then most of the guys at the pond will help if you ask. You may even be able to find a building jig that you can borrow. The latter will help you keep things square as you build. Here's the drawbacks to the S1M: it's essentially a dog of a boat. We no longer see them on our pond as the Voyagers etc beat them consistently. We have a couple of US1M (US 1 Meter) boats that in the right hands will walk away from any other 1 M boat on the pond. One other consideration concerning the S1M is that it is roughly a keel boat as opposed to a fin and bulb boat (such as a US1M). That feature means that you can sail the S1M where there are occasional weeds in the pond and you would not want to do that with the US1M. Also, the S1M has a shallower draft than many of the fin and bulb boats. I hope this helps give you some things to think about if you are still not sure about competing.
Should you make up your mind to never compete do remember that VMP will build many of their boats to ready to sail configuration. There are other manufacturers that will also do that. So, here's another suggestion. Get on to the AMYA (American Model Yachting Association) at and check out all the boats in the various classes. If you find something you like then go to the Classified section and see if there is one for sale used that will not cause you too much trouble to acquire. When looking give a lot of thought as to where you are planning on sailing. If you expect to sail in only one location tailor you choice simply to that. If you expect to go to many locations remember draft and weeds. One of the clubs in the Denver area is heavily involved in fin and bulb boats. When their pond became scummy and had a lot of weeds they sort of had to disband.
Considerations of size: You are 81 so the larger boats tend to get heavier. In my mid 60's I built a "J" boat and it weighed 87 pounds ready to sail. I sold that to a much younger man. I am restricting myself to boats no heavier than around 30 lbs. My 10R is around 12 lbs which is about the usual weight of an S1M (The 10R has a 70 inch hull and the S1M has 39.37 inches). The S1M has something like 10" draft and the 10R has around 18". As I said look at all the boats.
Other considerations of draft: The less the draft, the more "tender" the boat in higher winds. The EC12 is a gorgeous thing. But with a 54" hull and a 9" draft it will get tender in a hurry; I guess that is why the competitors in that class have up to 3 suits of sails for the varying wind conditions.
Considerations for LWL (loaded water line): The longer the lwl the more difficult the boat is to transport. My "J" had an over all length of 101.5 inches; it was a beast to transport. The 10R will not fit in my little Toyota; it takes my van to carry it and its mast. The flip side of this point. The shorter the lwl, the slower the hull speed and the more difficult it is to sail. In fact, my first mentor in sailing (I have never done any sailing in full scale boats) model boats claims that there is a break point at the 1 meter length. Under that all the boats are squirrly; and my experience confirms that opinion. In fact, I think that the optimum boat for a beginner is a plain jane M (Marblehead). There are not many of those around as the class is completely dominated by 3 to 4 thousand dollars a pop boats from Germany. However, the downside to a plain jane M is the fact that you are still dealing with a lot of draft, somewhere around 20 to 22 inches.
Other boats to look at especially: The RC Laser is by far the simplest class to get into. There is no building allowed. The boats are over 40 inches long and come with a variety of sails available for various wind conditions. They even come with a bag to carry them around in. I don't remember how deep their fin and bulb are but it isn't a lot. The US1M can usually be had used in a more or less ready to sail configuration. (For used boats check out the classifieds on the AMYA site.) These are possibly the very best of the 1 Meter boats and are usually much cheaper than an IOM (International One Metre) which is also a very good boat. Again, stay away from the under 1 M boats unless you think your responses are still tip top; they take a lot of concentration. If larger boats are attractive, the Santa Barbara is a keel boat that is very pleasant to sail. They weigh in at under 30 lbs and class rules keep the sail area to very manageable dimensions. The EC12 is a bit smaller than the S/B and if you have a couple of rigs then they can be sailed any where. If you think you must go under 1 meter then the most popular boat is the Victoria. The kits are not difficult to build but here's the rub: the instructions will cause you to do things that are actually injurious to happy sailing. The Victoria is a good little boat and some of your S1M friends can help yo with rigging considerations. You will also need some help with sail winch considerations.
Bet you didn't think you would get all this. As my wife could tell you, I have a bad case of verbal diahorrea.
Bill Young
Open Class Secretary of the AMYA

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20 December 2009 - Article submitted by Don Leitis

The following pictures have been published as a result of increased interest in construction of yachts by individual modeller's.

Australia II Build
Construction Photo's of Victor Model Products - Australia II   
By Don Leitis
Options shown in the link below are available from the album.



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19 December 2009 - Article courtesy of Tippecanoe Boats Ltd

A couple of most enthusiastic fellow yachties have provided me with a link to some more T50 construction photo's, Photo's that I found to be most educational.

T50 - Construction Photo's
These photo's are courtesy of Tippecanoe Boats Boats, ltd. 4305 Nordum Rd., Everson, WA 98247 USA phone/fax 1-800-206-0006 1-360-966-SAIL

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12 December 2009 - Article submitted by Steve Crewes

I had the good fortune recently to communicate with a fellow radio yachting enthusiast who has just purchased a "Tippecanoe T50 MOD" radio yacht, eligible to sail in the Marblehead Class. I'm sure Mark won't mind me mentioning his name, (fingers crossed), and I look forward to receiving more photo's when his own boat arrives and Mark stamps his own mark on the new boat. The photo's below come courtesy of Mark who obtained permission from Will Lesh, Tippecanoe Boats designer and trans-Atlantic sailor for me to use these pictures. Thank you Mark, and thank you Will.

The Tippecanoe T50 MOD Boats, ltd. 4305 Nordum Rd., Everson, WA 98247 USA phone/fax 1-800-206-0006 1-360-966-SAIL

T50 Teaser Pictures 

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11 December 2009 - Article submitted by Steve Crewes

An absolutely exquisite example of a gaff-rigged yacht
Owned by - Jay Rich of the Central Coast in NSW

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Apparently this breathtakingly beautiful craft started life as an "A" Class yacht.
Click on thumbnails for larger images, then on your browser's [back <-] button to return to this page.

Above photo's courtesy of Steve Crewes

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October 2009 - Article submitted by Steve Crewes

How One Successful Group Does It!

Lake Tabourie news - 10 October 2009

We did the South Coast Lake Tabourie Regatta.  (Or what a country club can do).

G’day Don, we did the regatta down south from Sydney on the 10th October weekend and what a time we had. Just shows you what a little club in a country area can do if they set their mind on it. Of course it went good because all the participants in the club work for the common good of the club. They all sail a Victor’s Soling OM and this is the only class they sail.

This little seafront town Lake Tabourie, just south Ulladulla and about 4 hours from Sydney, if you take your time. I hadn’t been there since 1949. The Last time I was there I stayed at the Camping Ground with my Parents. I remember a 1948 new Studibaker car turning up one day back then and the back of the car almost looked like the front of the car.

The Soling OM class has done really well in this country town situation, for the water they sail in, really suits this boat. This boat is very suitable for novices. They say that it wasn’t too far back when the club started (about 2 1/2 years). That the boat being a one design is pretty basic, which suits them right down to the ground/water, for the club is made up of mostly Non- sailing retired folk and this boat come on the lower end of the Model Yacht cost market. And being a club boat, people can help you with building, tuning and all that stuff, when you get it into the water for the first time or good for the novice sailor. It is recommended you build this boat in a jig.

The “local watering hole” is also the Clubhouse. With the club’s trophies sitting around the walls and these become a talking point for all the traveller's that drink there.

We spent 3 ½ days there. Our room, if you could call it that, for it was almost a suite and I thought it was the best room in the house till I found out there were more of them. They had Sauna and Spa there and a heated swimming pool if needed.

This little boat is well received in this town for the entire club sails this class. It has what I call a flipper keel or a keel that looks something like a flipper on a dolphin. The boat is pretty basic, very easy to sail and a treat for a novice to learn on, as many do. What I liked about the boat is that the better skippers can get extra out of the boat too because it can be souped- up as you get more experienced with it. Some of these retired folk have become expert after sailing them for 2 1/2 years.

While the boat is one design in all its sailing features, many skippers “tease them up” with beaut paint work, stick –on tapes and other things to make them look different in the fleet situation. The boat takes the minimum radio installations, like, Hitech winch and rudder servo. Most skippers have basic radio gear as well and the performance is wonderful. This boat with the flipper keel readily planes down wind, is easy to handle in most situations whether windy or in the light. Although some skill is needed as the wind gets really going. If you sail in either Pond or Open water, this is the boat for you. The boat come in a kit form and it does need some experience to do a really good job on it to finish it properly. It is recommended that a jig be used to build it. So the novice is advised to hook up to a club who sails these boats to perhaps give you a hand the first time around?

 Might I venture further Don in discussing something that I have been observing of late. The weather!!

We all know in some degrees is that the weather is changing, or should I say the weather appears to be changing! Have you noticed that we are getting more windy days and we are getting more, no wind days? More than usual. This in little ways effects our Model Yachting. The “normal” yacht these days has a bulb keel attached to the hull and this helps the boat to stabilize in  “middle of the road” weather. The Weather is changing to the other ends of more windy and more light winds and bulb keels don’t go to their optimum in these two conditions. In the very light wind a bulb keel boat will actually stop and start turning in a circle on its axis. On the other-hand the bulb keeler in a really big blow will tip over till the lead bulb actually surfaces. And again both these situations are not good, for it shows the weakness of the bulb keel. I‘m not saying that you rush out and buy something else here.  I’m saying to you to be aware of what’s happening in our weather, at this stage and plan for the eventuality of weather change.

 These little Soling OMs have it built in already, with a flipper keel.

This club has a meeting place at the Motel. Any club that has a central spot to gather, is a good thing for the club in general. It is high on the hill overlooking the beach and the lake, which are in the foreground between the ocean and the Highway. They seemed to have made it with the local newspaper for I noticed their regatta reports go in there as well. The club members are mixed from farmers to retirees in the town itself to the local Motel owners. I found it a bit hard working out how this club ran with its officials, for I saw everyone helping out. If there was something to be done then there were too many volunteers, always a good sign that the club is working well. All the boats were weighed before the regatta, both visitors and club boats, to see that they weighed over the minimum limit. We all had a beaut time there. There was only one protest and it was against me. I thought it was a bit rude but I did the penalties. On the Sunday of the regatta we had Handicap racing on a different part of the lake near the entrance where it can go into the sea but it has been blocked with sand for awhile. The handicap racing was interesting but like the rest of the one-design racing, fast and furious. The day ended about 1.00pm for BBQ at the motel. I gave a book for the “concourse de elegance” or the best looking boat. There were some really nice boats there but most of them had not been finished off. Till I found one that had everything finished on it and it was great and he got the prize.

Good week- end, we went home Monday morning buggered, after a great week end. Recommend it.


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