Lester Gilbert's Radio Sailing

Home Design Build Race Links Reports Other Topics


Technical & theoretical aspects of RC yacht racing

Updated September 2023

I'm interested in radio-controlled racing yachts, in particular the International One Metre (IOM) class, where I campaign a Pikanto.  When times permit, I'm also sailing in the 6M class with a fine wooden hulled Ravenna.  No longer, but previously I sailed in the Marblehead class with a Quark, and in the 10R class with Graham Bantock's venerable Puzzle.  I took up vane sailing for a while in the A Class and 36R.  For some years I campaigned an Italiko IOM, and before that an Ikon, highlights being various mid-fleet placings at European and World championships.  I also campaigned a Sword A Class, my highlight was 9th place in the World Champs at Gosport in 2005.

My "Bakers Dozen" A Class, built by Graham Bantock in Kevlar to Roger Stollery's design from 1983 and the RA National Champion of that year, has gone to a good home in Norway, courtesy of yvin Halle.

This site is aimed at technical and theoretical aspects of RC yacht racing. In particular, it has a number of spreadsheets to download. Although aimed at the IOM, they should be useful for any non-rotating fractional Bermuda sloop rig.

These pages are intended for educational purposes.
My education particularly (smile), but I hope you find them useful too.
If you'd like to reprint, copy, or link to anything, go ahead,
but do please attribute my words, diagrams, photos,
 spreadsheets, and software to me so others know who to blame.
If you'd like to use anything for gain or commercial purposes, we must talk.
Creative Commons licence at foot of page.


Site news & other interest

September 2023:  In "Other Topics" I have revised my spreadsheet for estimating depth of field (in photography), Single number DoF parameter v2, with a simplified, single parametric number.

August 2023:  In "Other Topics" we have a new design for a Picnic Unit installed in our Vellfire.  Bigger fridge and, ah, a more comfortable portapotti.  Welcome to the passing years....

August 2023:  Still playing with Duplo trains, I've added an additional layout to the linked switcher system module page on "computational" track layouts.  This shows track crossing with a bridge on the CR31 layout rather than using 3 "X" crossovers which are no longer in production by Lego and hence relatively rare.

Site content

The material is classified into the three major headings of Design, Build, and Race.  Anything not fitting that scheme goes into Other Topics (except for Links and Reports which have a place on the main navigation bar).

Under Design are pages on How a yacht works, How aerofoils work, Where lift comes from, How fins and sails work, Appendage design, Hull design, Sails and rigging design, and The boat as a whole.

Under Build are pages on Hull, Fin & rudder, Bulb, Sails, Rigs & fittings, R/C, and Finishing off.

Under Race are pages on Preparation (Boat speed, Avoiding errors, Strategy), During the regatta (including topics on the racing rules), In the race (Boat speed, Avoiding errors, Tactics), and Performance improvement.

Other Topics include pages on International RC racing, Classes, Sailing venues, Event management, Event scoring, Observing, Ancillary equipment, Bulb calculator, Plans, References & book list, Alphard picnic units, Photography, Duplo train track layouts, and Terminology.

Commercial stuff

I've developed sticky-backed gauges that can be purchased from SAILSetc.
I previously published Larry Robinson's booklet on making model yacht sails using blocks, low stock running out at SAILSetc.
I've manufactured a Limited Edition adjustable spreader that, until stock runs out, can be purchased from SAILSetc.


This Web site content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
This Web site content is to be Attributed to Lester Gilbert.
You are free to Share (to copy, distribute and transmit the Web site content)
and to Remix (to adapt the Web site content)
for non-Commercial use
under the conditions of this licence as long as you Distribute under the same licence.


Some site statistics instead: approx 300 pages, 2400 images, 40 spreadsheets...

...free from those nice folks at NewsNow

2023 Lester Gilbert