Thread: Discussion 2nd boat recommendations ?
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by marcusg View Post
Hi Boomers, thanks for the reply.

Everything you brought up is the very same reason I'm interested in sailboats. Even though I like speed (btw, my rc background is with RC car racing, helis, and planes) the sailboat thing seems kind of more challenging and needing more skill to do, at least for me since you are only using wind power.(although if I do get one I would like to get one with a back-up motor just in case : D.)

Having said that, got any first time, beginner sailboats with back-up motor you can recommend ? Btw, just how fast can these boats go ?

Thanks in advance and much appreciated
How fast do these boats go?
That is a good question. The answer is, it depends. - If you were to figure out how fast they are going in scale it would be pretty fast! Again, depending on which boat and the conditions, I think that 3 to 10 mph actual surface speeds are realistic, perhaps faster with high performance racing sailboats.

These boats like winds of 3 to 10 mph - 1 meter and larger boats are great fun in higher winds - say 10 to 15 mph. Some will tell you they sail their boats in 20mph winds - I'd say most of the time, that is bunk! It is hard to put a sailboat in the water in a 20mph wind, let alone sailing it! Winds that strong can damage an RC sailboat. I have seen a few "de-masted" in those conditions.

I use an anemometer to determine the actual wind speeds I sail in. I am not saying you can't sail the right boats in 20 mph conditions, just that it takes a skilled skipper and a well prepared boat to do it without damaging their boat.

I have never put a GPS on any of my boats to determine their actual speed. I have a buddy that did and he found on a given day his boat averaged 4 mph.
He didn't tell me what the conditions were or the wind speed that day. He was sailing a 1 meter (40" appox) - I have the same boat and believe it will go faster in stronger winds - I base that on using the "SWAG" method to determine the boats speed. A friend of mine who sails full size sailboats told me there is a general rule in sailing that suggests your boat won't go faster than the wind.

I have used my GPS on my FEs - I have two that were able to break into the low 60s and the other clocked at 56 mph - you can't really compare the two genres.

Motors in RC Sailboats

The only RC sailboats I am aware of that have a "back up" motor are kids pool toys. I have a close friend that is a skilled hobbyist and installed a small electric motor in one of his sailboats, but has found other than it being fun to talk about, to be unnecessary.

Only on rare occasions would the motor be of value. There are many other more practical ways to rescue a sailboat or electric boat in distress. See the pictures below. Most of us use the excuse of needing a "rescue boat" to buy another boat.

Once you are into sailing you will understand that while having a motor on board is a nice idea, it adds unneeded weight and drag. I have had my boat's keel get stuck on some "moung" growing up from the bottom of the lake/pond at time or- two but either through working my out of the problem with the rudder and sails, or by sending in one of my rescue boats to push me out of the situation.

On occasion the wind has stopped, but it came back up in a few minutes and I continued sailing. It takes very little breeze to get one of these boats sail, so that happening is pretty rare.

As far as a good boat to start with, there are several to consider. One of if not the best boat for a novice is a Nirvana ll - it comes ready to sail - comes with a 2.4ghz radio or you can buy it without one so you can use one of your aircraft radios. You need only 2 channels to operate a sailboat. There are advantages to using a full featured radio once you get into more advanced sailing.

You can get a New Nirvana from $200 to $300 depending on the radio issue. Check out - they are the National distributor for Nirvana's - super nice people and know what they are talking about.

I just provided a lot of information different boats to consider to a couple of fellows on other threads - so rather than me re-post all that here is the link to that information: See post #48

Here is another - note posts #2 and # 8 :

I'll send you a PM with my phone number - so if have more questions - feel free to give me a call.

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Last edited by Boomer1; Aug 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM.
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