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Posts Tagged ‘RC yacht’

Hello. It’s been awhile.

Last year brought major changes for me, both in my work and my interests. ScaleSailing had to take a back seat while my new business partner and I launched our T-shirt design business, “odd guy art.” We have great plans for that business, and it will continue to take much of my working time. Also, some of you may know that family health matters complicated the latter half of the year. Thankfully, that worked out well in the end.

So, I have chosen to get ScaleSailing back in the water, as it were, by seriously streamlining the business. I intend to concentrate solely on the production of the Kittiwake K2 and OPUS rig/sail kits. A few of my custom accessories will be available, too, but I will no longer sell servos. Check out the products page at ScaleSailing.com for the new line up.

The Kittiwake K2 will be supplied as the same craftsman quality (yet easy-to-build) kit as before. With the comprehensive step-by-step building instructions and the extensive CD of building photographs, K2 is regarded as one of the best kits on the market. The kit builds a beautiful, fine-sailing wooden boat. Two years of increasing production costs and smaller production runs mean that I will no longer try to compete with the cheap (mass produced) kits on the market. However, ScaleSailing kits will still be produced with the same care and love that I always applied in the past and I truly hope that you will still find them to be great value for your money.

Graham

ScaleSailing

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The first OPUS Rig (TM) kits are shipping out of the footy boat yard today. During next week I will be filling the rest of your pre-production orders and building up inventory so I have rig kits ready to go in quick order.

The weather has been a little milder here of late, above freezing in fact. So with any luck the water will be turning soft earlier this year than the last two years. When that happens, I am looking forward to doing more trials with the OPUS Rig on other hulls, especially the K2 as I have had a number of questions about that already. I am very keen to hear feedback from OPUS Rig users as to what hulls they are using it with and suggestions of mast socket positions. I will add such suggestions to the building and tuning instructions for the rig.

Graham

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Pre-built boom assemblies
Six OPUS rig boom assemblies ready to go.

During this week and next I will be completing the initial batch of OPUS rig kits and filling my pre-production orders. These 6 are part of the initial batch of 24 rigs. OPUS rigs will have an attractive yellow sail as standard with white as a special order option. The sails will be plain yellow without the large OPUS logo in case you might be wondering about that. You can add the footy logo using our template available seperately if you wish or just freehand it!

OPUS rig drops into a carbon mast tube.

The extruded carbon mast socket tube  (3mm internal) is included in the kit, the rig simply drops into the tube. Switching OPUS rigs is quick and easy requiring just the main sheet to be unclipped (the sail control thread) then you lift out the whole rig as one. All sail tuning will therefore remain intact as you store the complete rig as one piece. Switching rigs doesn’t get any easier. Extra carbon mast socket tubes will be available so you can order a set of 3 to go with a rig if you are experimenting or want extra rig positions to help in tuning your footy.

I will be making the rig available through our main ScaleSailing web site by the end of this week, so watch out for that at http://www.scalesailing.com/product.htm

Any questions? Ask away 🙂

Graham

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Well it’s been a long haul what with the major computer crash and loss of all sorts of important things but it’s a new PC, a new year and a new start 🙂

To kick off 2010 we have the new OPUS rig kit available now as pre-production kits. Meaning that I do not have stock on the shelves yet but any orders I receive will be filled in received order as I complete the initial kits, finish the instruction sets etc. These will be the same as full production kits it’s just that you will not get them quite so quickly.

OPUS rig kit

The OPUS rig available initially has 140 sq.in. of area and is a good sized ‘working rig’ for average conditions from light winds up to a good blow.

The kit consists of a pre-assembled carbon fibre/aluminum boom unit which carries the rig pivot and mast mounting stub. The sail will be pre-cut with holes and requires a series of sailcloth loops to be attached along the leading edge to attach it to the mast. The carbon fibre mast tube requires a little epoxy work to attach the carbon fibre mast crane and binding on the lower end. After that it’s just down to tying a few knots and plugging the whole rig together. A mast tube will be included in the kit too. So you will be required to do some work, reasonably accurately, but nothing too difficult to achieve on the proverbial kitchen table 🙂

There will be full written instructions (working on that now) to our usual step-by-step standard plus a whole new section on the ScaleSailing Photo CD which will cover all assembly plus a ‘how to tune your OPUS rig’ section which we hope you will find very useful.

The OPUS rig will suit many of the footy designs on the market with the addition of the mast pivot tube included in the rig kit. A little experimentation will be required initially to find the correct position, maybe add a set of three mast tubes to allow experimentation. Once a database of converted designs is collated (with your help thank you) then that information will become available too.

I have sailed the OPUS rig throughout 2009 including taking 2nd place at the 2009 Sheboygan Footy Fest which had a good competitive entry again last year, on it’s first serious outing. It is an easy rig to sail and easy to set up for good performance. I hope that you will enjoy it if you decide to give it a try. See http://www.scalesailing.com/product.htm

Graham

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All content of this blog including text, photographs and the model designs are the sole property of Graham McAllister Designs.
Copyright 2010 by Graham McAllister Designs. OPUS is a trade mark of Graham McAllister Designs.

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The final prototype of the Dragon is being built and this is being documented to form the photo building sequence for the new kit ‘photo. CD’ in the instruction set.

As mentioned in the previous post about this boat the deck will feature a dinghy style spray rail to deflect water from the mast tube. This gives Dragon quite a distinct appearance and for me more of a feeling of the real thing. The rail is tabbed into the deck for easy location. The large hatch gives quick and easy access to the radio control equipment. Construction of the hatch is based on concentric laser cut ‘rings’ of plywood to ensure a good fit. Subsequent varnishing controls just how tight the hatch fits. On the two test boats for this method no fastennings were required, the hatch simply snaps on and has proven watertight even in heavy winds.
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Construction will follow our usual clean and simple approach. The forward cavity contains the two part plywood mast tube foot which locates the carbon mast tube and is sealed at the bottom with epoxy. The servo tray/keel support is in the main radio bay. There is lots of excess bouyancy provided by the foam core construction so like the Kittiwake K2, Dragon will be unsinkable 🙂

Graham

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The Kittiwake design of footy has become something of a standard in the footy world to my immense joy. At the beginning of October K2 number 400  was part of a three kit fleet which went to the Czech Republic and they have become  some of the first (if not the first) footys to be registered in that country.  I hope you enjoy them and the fun racing they will give you and your friends Phillip.

In August three kits went to Osaka, Japan too, I think they were the first K2’s to arrive there too. I should make an up to date list of countries where Kittiwakes create their little wakes, just for fun.

People who are unfamilier with the name have asked me what a Kittiwake is. Well from Wikipedia…

The kittiwakes are two closely related seabird species in the gull family Laridae, the Black-legged Kittiwake (R. tridactyla) and the  Red-legged Kittiwake (R. brevirostris). The  “Black-legged” and “Red-legged” are used to distinguish the two species in North America, but in Europe, where R. brevirostris is not found, the Black-legged Kittiwake is often known simply as Kittiwake. Interesting huh 🙂

So now we are looking forward to racing through the 400’s and celebrating the sale of Kittiwake K2 number 500! In the meantime we are going to do something I will call ‘K2: Ten Specials’, every tenth kit starting with KW2:410  will be a little bit different  in having coloured sails  or a mix of colours instead of the standard kit white sails.  These specials will be listed on the ‘Specials’ page  http://www.scalesailing.com/specials.htm  at our web site. As each ‘K2: Ten Special’ kit is produced I will list it there. If no one pre-orders it at that stage it will simply go out to the next customer in the usual numerical order. These will sell for the normal price. First come first serve of course and only on the numbers I list on the specials page so you can’t ask for KW2:480 until that batch is in stock and listed ok 🙂

Have fun footying…
Graham

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Well it’s been a lovely summer so far here in sunny Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The lakefront is looking beautiful and the lake itself is sparkling daily. My walks along the river have never been more fun and the Opti’s dancing in the harbour more delightful. The coffee tastes great, the music lively, the arts scene busy and the company is entertaining. So this is where I have been, choosing life!

The Kittiwake business is not being neglected though, sales have been good this summer and enough to keep me busy with those rather than any new additions to the fleet. A batch went to Canada for a youth construction project which I hope is going well. I had the first Kittiwake K2 go to the Czech Republic a few weeks ago and a batch of three will be leaving for Japan this week. Supplies have been challenging though, my usual source for carbon extruded tubing has been very slow fulfilling a current order. This is not impacting the K2 kits but it has stopped me being able to start production of the OPUS rigs just yet. Hopefully this will be resolved soon, no doubt there is a huge shipment on it’s way across an ocean somewhere.

Dragon continues to sail well and will be having one change before the final production version, a larger rudder. I have come to the conclusion that the una rig is a little more reluctant to tack than a sloop rig as on the K2 and a more powerful rudder will bring it back to the snappy tacking I think these footys need.

Other news is that the 3x cell battery boxes with integral receiver switch are selling very well. It’s a nice simple solution, I convert the boxes with a servo lead so that they plug directly in to your receiver without a seperate switch harness. Three of the Lithium Energiser dry batteries give plenty of voltage (they are marked as 1.5v but give more like 1.75v even under load) for operating a footy. I have been using the 3xAAA box in the Dragon prototype and it just seems to keep on going and going!

Other other news, my daughter in England just bought her first house so I’m ‘chuffed to bits’ for her about that. So I’m told I need a plane ticket to go and help with the painting and decorating. Cheap accomodation, I can camp out on the job 🙂 . My MGB engine work has just been completed so I’m looking forward to getting my hands back of that and starting assembly intead of stripping things apart. That looks like an over winter rebuild now but I’m determined to have it ready for the spring. Of course my daily runner Ford, isn’t, running that is. But it’s a Ford right, pity it’s only a 4 cylinder or I could get it ‘clunked’!

Anyway, I hope your summer sailing is proving to be fun too. If you are in the northern parts like me, enjoy it while you can, get out of the basement 🙂

Graham

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Sheboygan Footy Fest 2009
May 17th. Wood Lake, Kohler, WI.
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Our third annual Footy Fest is in the book and a good and enjoyable event it was. The weather was good with wall to wall sunshine and around the mid 50’s F with a light to moderate NW wind. The forecast was for W swinging to SW but that didn’t happen unfortunately because it would have given us a less flukey wind.
I was there bright and early about 8am to set up and we had our first arrivals after 8.30. Measuring and registration was an easy affair with no controversy to deal with, we don’t do controversy here anyway. I must thank Frank Thorley for the loan of his excellent perspex measuring box, it is so nice to see what is going on in there. We had a good mix of boats and ideas to look at this year with Frank’s new assymetric sterned boat ‘GoldFoot’ and the ‘JimBobs’ from the Tanglewood (FL) guys. It was nice to see a bunch of Kittiwakes come up with their owners from Chicago from the Fleet 4 Commanders club. Three very nicely built boats named ‘Huey’, ‘Louie’ and ‘Dewey’, made me smile. We were running a little late having had some technical difficulties with the bouy launching system so after a friendly skippers meeting we got underway.

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The first race went to Graham McAllister with Frank Thorley second and Toby Vetting third. I was sailing my new ‘Dragon’ design with Laser dinghy inspired una rig for the first time competitively so this was an encouraging start. Then ‘Fast’ Frank (GoldFoot) got into gear and took the next 4 races with second and third being shared by Toby Vetting (Kittiwake), myself (Dragon) and John Gallenburger (JimBob). We took some longer breaks between the first couple of races so that we could take a look at the boats which had struggled in the first race and see if the experienced guys could breathe a little more speed into them. This is part of what this Footy Fest is meant to be so it was good to see that the slower boats did improve and were later finishing just a leg or so behind.

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After a good lunch break at Quizno’s Subs just along the walkway we were back bang on schedule with a restart at 12.45pm. I took the first race again with ‘Dragon’ with Frank second and John third. Toby Vetting was fourth, Larry Tregear fifth, Larry Schleis sixth, Dick Chvojka seventh and Don Powell eighth. Then ‘Fast’ Frank did it again winning four in a row with Graham, John, Toby and Larry S. sharing second and third. The last race of the day was a very slow affair but fascinating non the less. Graham won this final race with John second and Frank third. During the last two races the wind had dropped very low and some floating weed which had been held against the bank by the wind started to encroach on the course. I came ashore and pulled weed and relaunched in those races as did others so it was becoming very tense as weed avoidance became a part of the tactic. As a result of the weed we called the eleventh race as the last, just one short of our target of twelve races.

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So the day was about over and a few guys had already started on their way home so the group shot is missing a few. Jan and I conducted the prize giving in the foyer of our lovely venue at Woodlake. Jan McAllister made the three trophies this year as stained glass plaques which we hope the winners will enjoy owning. The final results were 1st Frank Thorley, 2nd Graham McAllister and 3rd John Gallenburger. The full race-by-race results should be posted somewhere closeby. We hope that everyone who came along felt that they were a winner in some degree, whether they picked up a few tips, made new friends or just had a good day out. It was particularly good to see a young man among the fleet at his first Footy regatta, Adam Zimmermann from the Chicago area. Well done Adam on your 8th place and we hope to see you here again, all it takes is practice and you will be beating us older guys as you have youth and good eyesight on your side!

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I would like to thank again Paula Williams of ‘The Shops at Woodlake’ without whose help and encouragement we would not be able to have the use of this lovely venue. Mark Klarkowski who was dragged away screaming by work but provided our bouy set and tug boat launching system. Jan Mcallister for making the trophies and standing all day watching the starts and scoring the finishes. ScaleSailing for sponsoring the trophies and event which keeps this as a ‘free entry’ regatta. Don Reimer who rose literally from his sick bed to help us set up in the morning. Don took 4th place the last two years so would have been a tough guy to beat with his new boat had he been able. Frank Thorley for his Footy Box and encouraging other of his Tanglewood Club members to come along too. And last but not least everyone who came along and took part, first or last, a regatta needs you all.

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Full race-by-race results can be seen here

We hope to see you all again next year.

Graham McAllister
Sheboygan Area MYC

 

 

 

 

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Well the ‘Orlando Twins’ are coming along nicely. Both have been finished in spar varnish over the ply hulls and deck with the balsa hatch covers being spray painted in off white, lead bulbs to match. One of these boats is for sale and I just put details of this at the web site. Click on the ‘Specials’ link on the contents page at www.scalesailing.com
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I am fitting my Spektrum DX6i radio control with tiny (3 gram) AR6100 receiver in the boat. I have sailed with this radio quite a bit now and radio range is as much as I need with a footy even with the shorter range receivers such as this one. Next I need to sort out a range of rigs ready for the event. I have three ‘A’ size rigs so far and need to build a small ‘B-rig’ in case the wind gets up strong. I like to use a small ‘A-rig’ rather than the rules specified ‘B-rig’ in windy conditions but over a two day event it is just too risky to go with a small ‘A-rig’ and lose the choice of a larger rig if the wind drops. So I will make the biggest ‘B’ I can! 

Only two weeks away now and I must admit I am getting pretty excited about our trip down south to race and of course holiday.

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I have had a few questions about compatibility between the original Kittiwake kit and the new Kittiwake K2. Probably the most important aspect being whether the sails and rig of the K2 will fit on the earlier boat. The simple answer is yes, with a few small modifications.

The mast is the same diameter on both boats so the new rig will drop straight into the mast socket in the earlier Kittiwake. However to handle the larger jib sail it will be necessary to add a bowsprit to the hull. To do this you must first remove the brass screw eye at the bow. Then sand off the finish on the raised deck support strip so that a wood dowel bowsprit can be epoxied in place. The bowsprit is 3 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ will project in front of the bow. Sand or file a flat on the bottom of the bowsprit to give a larger gluing area and epoxy it down. Add a couple of small brass screws if you like. That’s really all there is to it.

I am making the new K2 sails available at $19.95 the pair, taped and holed ready to use. Also a full conversion kit which includes the sails, carbon tube booms, carbon strip forestay, aluminum mast tubes, various fitting parts,
thread, bowsprit, extract from the K2 instructions, drawing and photo CD showing assembly of the rig is available for $29.50

The hulls are the same so you can expect the balance of the converted Kittiwake to be the same as a K2. The keel of the K2 is a little longer with the same 7oz keel weight so a K2 will be a little ‘stiffer’ and able to handle a little more wind than a converted Kittiwake. This is not really a problem though because you can quickly change back to the original sails and rig by making a new jib pivot thread which will then slip over the bowsprit. The control line guides for the main and jib booms all stay in the same place. You will just need to make sure that the lengths of the lines work for both rigs by adjusting the K2 rig connections to suit.

For the racers… about the possible rules changes
There are a group of proposals currently being voted on by registered Footy Class members. None of the changes if they are accepted will impact the Class legality of either the Kittiwake or the Kittiwake K2.

The most significant is if the 4x AA battery restriction is lifted. If an owner  changes to lighter batteries in our designs the performance will not be adversely affected. Lowering the overall weight in this way will automatically improve the ballast-to-overall weight ratio and make the boat a little stiffer. I would most likely stay with the heavier batteries in many conditions because it looks like a little more inertia is a good thing in footy racing.

If the rig choice rule is changed the kit rigs will be unaffected and the alternative rigs available as free download drawings at our web site will still all be relevant. We will always add details of more rigs as I make and test them. So come what may you will continue to be able to enjoy the extra fun of class racing your ScaleSailing footy.

All the best,
Graham

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