Dec 15, 2012, 11:23 PM
Auckland, New Zealand
Joined Feb 2006
Got mine wet today!
But before that had a good look at it:
Nicely boxed with model stand screwed to hull and box. Good English instructions.
Small and light enough to mail okay with card over the transparency.
This new version with the 2.4gHz radio has thankfully deleted the reference to it being a Footy on the packaging. It does state :"14+ this is not a toy"!
Package rattled which is not a good first impression on an item mailed from China.
Inside found two transmitter sticks. These require installing on the 2.4gHz. Very hard push required to drive plastic end home, scary that you will damage the stick mechanism. One stick metal tip could unscrew to give variable stick length, other one is either jammed or won't unscrew. Again risk of damaging plastic stick end or mechanism deters trying to unscrew too hard.
Followed good English instructions to charge battery but not charging - no light. After some half an hours discharge still won't charge. Battery has a protection circuit on one end. Only 100mAh, half an hours sailing according to instructions! Need to double that immediately.
Receiver is shrink wrapped with LED bind light and button. No idea what protocol it uses, but it is not FlySky. Attached on top of 3 wire traditional 9 g servos. Servos flat on hull floor driving vertical plastic horns. Sail servo horn is quite long and would benefit from a Stollery sliding power lever to reduce length and increase torque in winching in. Movement adequate to give inline and about 80 degrees boom out.
Rudder servo very coarse with unequal throws and only three steps to starboard and four to port and hums at extreme throw.
Very thick and heavy plastic hull and deck. Short metal keel and tiny bulb. Plastic rudder. Removable hatch fits into recessed groove in the hull and secured with single tiny screw that is instantly losable. Magnetic catch mod indicated. No hatch sealing material at all. Float in the bath shows small free board with anticipated large heel immersing hatch side. Transom touches water ok but bow low - usually knee proud at rest rather than half immersed. Bulb already well back on keel and nothing of substance to move rear in hull. Rudder post barely 15mm above hull floor, put some petroleum jelly around top and on fairlead hole.
Carbon mast, steel rigging, plastic booms and gooseneck. Can't see why they didn't go up slightly in carbon rod size and do away with the rigging wires. There is no mast or sail adjustment at all - no raking, no camber, no sheet length, no slot adjustment, nada. At this scale might as well have used a unarig with some adjustment.
Tried it in the park paddling pool, about a foot deep, in 4-5 knot light breeze straight down the pool. I sail my Footys here frequently and lots of kids have tried them successfully from aged four. I need something to recommend to the parents that ask where they can buy something similar that is ready to go.
Difficult to tack upwind, often drifting sideways and hard to turn across the wind even with easing the sails. Goes okay downwind with 5 knots being about the limit. After about 15 minutes of sailing, most of the time struggling to get upwind, it sank quickly too far up the pond to get to quickly. The low freeboard and distance did not help me see the problem until too late. Drained it out and water kept coming as many crevices and turns inside the hull. Turned it back on and still working so far. Though I expect the chlorine in the pool may do some long term damage.
This is a toy. Definitely not model quality in design or execution. As modellers we know that buying a toy radio item is usually going to mean a disappointed kid, especially with a yacht. Don't treat a kid you know to the pain of owning one of these. Redeeming factor is the radio can be reused if it survives a dunking. But no toy yacht should be made that is sinkable.This yacht should have been a light weight polystyrene hull designed to Footy specifications by real yacht modellers (call Brett!). Maybe that will change with future models now that Joysway have a racing and design crew on board for the RG65. They need to discontinue this one immediately!