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Thunder Tiger Naulantia 1 Meter Racing Yacht RTR Review

An experienced RC pilot and power boater tackles his first RC Sailboat and finds the Naulantia RTR survives his initial mistakes and proves to be a good first boat for him to learn how to sail RC.

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Introduction

http://Naulantia

Nice promotional picture of the Naulantia
Nice promotional picture of the Naulantia
Length: 39.4" (993mm)
Beam: 6.75" (172mm)
Mast Height: 51.4" (1306mm)
Sail Area: 618.5 sq in (39.9 sq dm)
Overall Height: 67" (1700mm)
Overall Weight: 7.7 lbs (3.5kg)
Servos: #8141 winch servo
Transmitter: Ace Jaguar 27MHz AM
Receiver: Ace 2-channel AM
Booms and Mast: Extruded aluminum
Stand:Aluminum with black anodized finish
Battery: 4.8V sub C for boat, 8 AA for transmitter
Ballast: Low drag hydrodynamic design made of steel
Hull: One-piece ABS blow molded, factory painted
Sails: High performance plus tear resistant material
Manufacturer: Thunder Tiger
Available From: Tower Hobbies & Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Price: $299.99 RTR

I have long been interested in sailing an RC sailboat. As a teenager growing up in southwest Minneapolis, Minnesota I lived near lake Harriet and lake Calhoun. I had a chance to crew for several different sailors on their small inland lake sailboats in X and C class races. Two boat owners were nice enough to on occasion, let me use their sailboats during the week when I was on summer vacation and they were working. I did enjoy sailing when I got those chances. Recently, I became a grandfather and I though RC sailing would be a fun thing to do with my granddaughter as she grows up. Especially, since her other grandfather is a true sailor with his own sailboat on Lake Michigan. I thought we might enjoy sailing an RC boat with her together.

I have a few years to sail the Naulantia before my granddaughter is old enough to enjoy sailing RC. Time to allow me to hopefully become a proficient RC sailor. The Naulantia came Almost Ready to Sail but I still had some assembly to perform and that was a learning experience. While I know a lot about reviewing planes and power boats I was a total rookie with sailboats and I learned how much I didn't know. For example: I was surprised to learn that the only attachments of the mast to the hull was with the rigging wires. I looked for instructions of how to transport the boat but found none. I decided to travel with the mast and sails off of the hull and connect them together at the sailing site. Since I had no RC sailing experience this review is written from the point of view of a first time sailor. Unfortunately, a not too bright sailor at that. I made one BIG brain dead mistake and one beginner's mistake in the assembly and initial sailing. The good news is the boat survived. The Naulantia is my first RC sailboat so I have no basis for any comparisons. I share my mistakes so by reading this review you can avoid those mistakes. Ultimately, my mistakes taught me a lot about how to properly set up the boat and how to sail her. I share my solutions to my mistakes step by step. The end result is I now have a sailboat I enjoy sailing. I know I have more to learn to make her a faster sailboat but she proved to be a good place for this Beginner to start.

Kit Contents

Even with this Ready to Run version of the Naulantia there are a number of parts that need to be assembled. Rather than list them I have taken some pictures from the manual to show them. The parts are numbered and then identified by number and pictures in the instruction manual with a list of the parts needed for each section at the start of the section and then identified by number in the assembly instructions. In this RTR version a number of steps covered in the instructions had already been performed for me. The bulkheads and servo tray were already assembled and the servos came installed inside the hull. Most of the work inside the hull had already been done. I will cover what I did in the assembly section of this review. I assembled in sequence with the instructions for the most part.

Parts & Tools Needed to Complete Assembly

Parts need to complete the kit

  • 4.8 Volt 3600mAh battery pack
  • Charger for the Battery Pack
  • 8 AA 1.5 or 1.2 Volt batteries for the transmitter
  • I purchased additional line for rigging
  • Tape to seal the hatches
  • CA Medium thick glue
  • 30 minute Epoxy Glue
  • Paper towels
  • Small sponge

Tools

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver size 0
  • Hobby Knife
  • Scissors
  • Drill Bits 1/16", 5/64", 1/8", 5/32"
  • Sandpaper #400 grit
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Single edge razor blade
  • Hammer

Features*Promoted Features

Pre-painted, factory assembled ABS hull

  • Low drag hydrodynamic steel ballast
  • Rigid extruded aluminum booms and mast
  • Tear resistant racing sail
  • Scale-like deck detail
  • Display stand included
  • Available as a kit or as a 90% pre-assembled RTR
  • Available in 3 colors

Assembly

Display stand Assembly Step 1

It is necessary to assemble the display stand as it serves as our dry dock and support for the hull during the assembly process. Per the instructions the two side supports go into the support stands and are secured in place with a screw in each end. I turned the stand upside down and installed the four legs into the stand. Friction holds them in place. I used a hammer to gently tap the legs into the end holders. I next installed the four feet into the bottoms of the four legs. Again, friction alone is all that is need to hold them in place. Turning the stand right side up I cut the foam tube into two pieces to fit on the top of the stand to cradle the boat. The split foam fit into place and no glue was needed or used. The stand was fully assembled and ready to support and hold the hull.

Keel Assembly Step 2

The Keel shaft is wide at the top and tapers at the bottom. Both ends have metal shafts sticking out. I threaded the supplied O-ring onto the top shaft. I decided to install the stabilizer to the bottom of the Ballast Bulb rather than the half pipe alternative. I thought the fins sticking out to the sides would help make the boat more stable in operation than the half pipe. Skipper's decision! Either way the part is secured with two sink head screws. I next mixed up a big batch of epoxy and installed it in the slot in the ballast bulb but keeping the hole open for the metal shaft sticking out the bottom of the keel shaft. I quickly fit the keel shaft into the ballast bulb and screwed on the supplied M4 locknut onto the metal shaft that went through the ballast bulb. I tightened it with the included 4-way wrench. I used paper towels to wipe off and remove the excess epoxy that came out of the slot in the ballast bulb. I then used rubbing alcohol and paper towels to clean off the excess epoxy before it set up.

Steps 3 and 4 Were Already Done

This RTR version of the Naulantia came with the same instruction manual as the kit version. Step 3 involved installing the keel and rudder tubes into the hull and step 4 involved reinforcing the bulkhead assembly. Both of these steps had been completed on my model before packaging.

Keel and Rudder Assembly to Hull Step 5

The keel is secured in the hull with an M4 locknut and the rudder is secured and connected to the servo that will steer it. The instructions cover this fully. A couple other steps covered here had already been done concerning the winch guides. I just followed the instructions for installing the Keel and Rudder.

Hatch Cover Step 6

The hatch cover came almost fully assembled with some pieces of foam taped on it to protect it from harm during shipping. I removed the foam and tape and installed the Silicone tube into the slot for it on the underside of the hatch per the instructions and then set the hatch cover aside until the end of the assembly.

Hull Fitting Assembly Step 7

Some of the the hull fitting parts came already attached. The parts that didn't come already attached to the hull were easy to assemble and attach per page 11 of the instruction manual. The aerial frame is the most delicate piece on the hull aside from the hatch cover. I thought about waiting on its assembly but did it as part of step 7 per the manual.

Servo Tray Assembly

This was step eight and it was already done and installed in the hull. No assembly by me for step 8.

Main Mast Assembly Step 9

I performed Step 9. This part of the assembly broke down to three steps. 1) Attaching the spreaders to the main mast with the supplied hardware. A bolt goes through the spreader and the mast and is secured in place with a nut. This was easy to do and they caution not to over tighten. I placed a drop of lock tight on the outside of the screws and nuts securing the spreaders in place on the mast. 2) Fitting the two sections of the main mast together. They are held together with the top most rigging line A, but not until Step 11. I thought of using a little epoxy to secure the top section of the mast but didn't. I have since learned that would have been an okay thing to do. 3) Assembling parts onto the main boom per the instructions and illustrations. The parts are identified and the illustration shows where they should go. I had no trouble with this step. 4) Attaching the boom to the main mast was the last part of this step. The instructions covered the assembly nicely and I had no trouble securing the boom to the mast with the large screw nor securing the tie rod to the mast and the boom as I was instructed to do by the manual.

Attaching the Main Sail Step 10

Step 10 involves installing some PVC strips to the back edge of the main sail where indicated to help stiffen it. Next I strung the PE String into the main sheet and then sliding the sail with the PE String down the main mast via a groove in the back of the main mast starting at the top. Once it was in place I installed the head crane into the mast and rigged the top of the sail to it per the instructions. The last step was securing the bottom of the sail to the boom. Here I followed the illustrated instructions in doing this rigging. Here I made my first major mistake and didn't realize it until much later with my boat on the water.

Reviewer's Recommendation

Before rigging the bottom of the sail to the boom go to page 23 and look at the illustration of three boats in the top right corner of the page and read the paragraph underneath. I didn't (wasn't told to) and I ended up rigging the sail so that it was on pretty tight. I later learned that for the sailboat to take full advantage of the wind the sail has to be able to develop a proper camber or bend in it. I had the main sail so tight that it couldn't get a proper camber and didn't use the wind properly when I first sailed her. I have since rigged the back of the sail to the boom less tightly and that has allowed the boat to perform much better. This portion of the rigging is something I am still experimenting with and how tight vs how loose depends on the wind conditions and experience. Just don't start too tight or the Naulantia just can't perform well for you.

Main Sail Rigging Step 11

The main sail rigging was covered on page 15 of the assembly instructions, Step 11. The different lines came on a piece of cardboard and were labeled by letters on that cardboard. I started with Line A at the top. I installed line A and it secured the top portion of the mast and the Head Crane to the rest of the mast. I found the lines were too thick as they came to fit through the holes in the spreaders. I found the end of the lines frayed fat as soon as I cut and moved them, making the ends even fatter. I initially choose to fray the end of the line to get it as small as possible and then make it wet (mouth spit) to stiffen them and get them to go through the holes. Doing that with each line I installed them per the instructions. I did not enlarge the holes. They were large enough once the line was initially through the hole. I later learned that the best way for me to get the lines ready to go through the holes was to trim a bit at the end of the line with a diagonal cut leaving a point on the end. Next, adding a drop of CA and immediately wiping it off pulling the excess off the end of the rigging line. This left me with a pointed end to my line and I could trim it further if necessary without it fraying. I used a single edge razor blade to make these cuts and trims.

Line B was installed next and rigging it with pointed ends was easy. I didn't perform the knots at the bottom of the B line rigging, bottom spreader, until after I had rigged line C. Line C was the hardest to install as it shares the same holes on the outside of the spreaders as line B. Line B being in those holes made it all the more important that I had a nice point on my C lines to get them started through the holes. I installed the C lines starting at the bottom of the mast as they came with String Adjusters and Swivels already attached. With line C in place I tightened up the B lines and secured them in place with knots under the bottom spreader. I secured the knots with a drop of CA as well.

Lines C and D come with the line running through the top two holes of the String Adjuster and then through a swivel and a loop of 4" of line and then back through the bottom hole of the string adjuster and tied off with a knot. The Naulantia came with these already attached to the lines. I only had to run the D lines through the inner hole on the bottom spreader where I tied them off above these holes. Again I secured my knots with CA and trimmed away excess line.

Assembling the Jib Boom and Jib Sail Step 12

Assembly of the Jib Boom involved sliding some parts onto the jib boom and securing them in place with glue or screws. Next I attached the Jib Sail to the Jib Boom. As with the main sail this step of the assembly started with installing the PVC strips onto the back of the sail. The sail was then rigged to the Jib Boom at the front and the back of the boom. An easy step even for this landlubber.

Jib Sail Attachment Step 13

For this step I tied a swivel to the Jib Boom with about 1/8" of line from the boom to the start of the hardware on the swivel per the instructions. With that done I clipped the swivel onto the front of the deck on the ship in the place indicated ahead in Step 16. I inserted the mast into its location in the hull and holding it upright with just a very slight tilt forward I tied off the top of the sail to the attachment spot on the mast as indicated in the instructions on the front side of the mast joiner. By having the Jib Boom attached to the deck with the swivel, I was able to get the top rigging set to the proper position and tension. With that completed I secured the Backstay string to the back end of the head crane and per instructions to the swivel that clips onto the deck fitting on the hull near the stern of the boat. They attach this in Step 16 but I did it here. The mast on the Naulantia is tilted slightly forward as was recommended later in the instruction manual.

At this point I completed fitting the mast to the hull. The four rigging lines close to the mast were secured to the deck hardware called chain plates. I adjusted the the main mast rigging to secure the mast in an upright but slightly forward tilted position as mentioned above. I connected the main and jib sail control lines to the main boom and jib boom respectively.

I disconnected all of the the swivels and set the mast aside and covered steps 14 and 15 for Radio Installation.

Radio Installation Step 14

Here I installed a fully charged 4-cell 3600mAh battery into the slot designed for it for it on the assembled servo tray that came installed in the hull. On the opposite side of the battery is the space for the receiver. Here I installed the included receiver and taped the antenna wire to the underside of the deck and threaded the antenna to the rudder steering well as directed. The rest of step 14 had been completed for me.

Radio Installation Step 15

In this step I made a major change from the instructions and only time would tell if it would come back to haunt me. (It didn't and my modification has worked well.) They instructed me to epoxy the mast mount in place in the hull. This covers the keel mount and I thought I might have to remove the keel for long travel and so I trial fitted the mast mount with the mast in it. I decided that the mast mount could be glued to the bottom of the mast and just inserted into the mast mount hole as the rigging lines really secure the mast to the deck either way that is how I did this installation.

The cover over the rudder is done in this step. I had to sand the edges of the plastic cover to get it to fit into the space for it on the deck. I doubled checked that the rudder was straight in the neutral position and secured the black decal onto the plastic cover. I drilled a hole for the antenna wire and ran it out the hole. I secured the cover in place with the decal and later with tape.

The jib boom and main sail control lines came already installed in the hull with swivels attached. As discussed above I had connected them to the sails earlier in setting up out of sequence in step 13. In the kit form I would have installed them here. However, I made a BRAIN DEAD move and failed to properly set up the winch lines by not paying more attention to this step and properly setting up the winch servo in coordination with the transmitter. My mistake was HUGE! Don't do it as I did! It set back the successful operation of my Naulantia. Tired at the time, I checked the length of the sail control lines and made sure the back line was 1 5/8" long and the front line 1/8". But being tired I did this with the transmitter winch control stick in the middle position and not the down position. The measurement is for the winch in the down position. (I know pretty stupid!)

Reviewer's Recommendation

This is what I should have done before sailing the Naulantia. I had to come back and do this step later to properly set up my boat. Remove the white plastic cover that goes over the winch drum. There are five parts involved here: the cover, two long screws and two tubes the screws go through and then into the wood servo mount. I removed the winch drum with the sail lines from the servo and carefully set it aside. I turned on the transmitter and plugged in the receiver and pulled the winch control stick down and the servo moved to the position that holds the sails over the hull. (THE DOWN POSITION!) I unplugged the battery from the receiver and then turned off the transmitter. I rotated the winch drum while holding it over the winch servo so that there was 1 5/8" inches of line out of the hole for the main sail line and then the swivel. I positioned the drum properly back onto the servo. I had the right amount of line out for the main sail and the jib boom. I secured the white winch line cover back in place as it had been with the screws through the metal guides and into the servo mount. I had a friend holding the winch stick down after he turned on the transmitter and before I plugged in the receiver. I grabbed the jib and main sail lines and as he let up on the stick to the neutral position I gentle pulled those lines out as the winch servo turned. The control lines and winch drum were now set up for proper operation. I will share the results of my not doing this right from the start below in the sailing section. But please don't do what I did the first time. Set the controls up properly from the start and don't ASSUME it has been done as I did!

If the lines had not properly set up to the right length I would have made the back line correct and trimmed and retied the front jib line to the correct 1/8" position. Again with the full down position on the winch control.

Completion

I decided to store and transport my Naulantia in two pieces: 1) The hull and keel in the stand and 2) the mast with both sails attached. At the lake or pond I have the fully assembled hull in the stand and I place the mast in its mounting hole in the deck of the boat and secure the front clip under the jib boom and the backstay wire to the hardware on deck near the very back of the hull. I next connect the four lines near the mast working from opposite sides back and forth. I tighten the adjustments on the lines to hold the mast in a very slight forward tilting position as recommended in the instructions. Next I connect the swivels on the sail control lines coming from inside the hull to the appropriate booms.

With the boat basically ready to sail I turned on the transmitter and then connected the receiver battery and placed the hatch cover in proper position and secure it with tape to seal up the hull. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP! Seal the hatch cover with tape. The boat is then ready for the water and the sailing session.

After sailing I unseal the hatch and unplug the battery from the wire from the receiver and then power down the transmitter. If I plan to sail more that day I stop there until it is time to seal things back up for the next session. When I am done sailing for the day I reverse the assembly process to remove the mast. It takes me from ten to fifteen minutes to attach or remove the mast. I sometimes use tweezers to open and close the connectors on the swivels (weak fingers) but normally I can do it by hand. I leave them open when not connected to the deck of the hull.

Sailing

As a long time RC sailplane pilot I have long known that Mother Nature controls whether I can fly or not at the slope. The same is true with a sailboat at the pond or lake. With my boat fully assembled and ready to sail I saw some very nice sailing days. Unfortunately, they were on work days. Weekends were often calm or so windy I didn't want to try sailing her for the first time and that was most of my winter weekends. I even drove over to San Francisco on one Saturday morning when the weather was predicted to be good in the morning with a storm in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the storm was in full force when I got to Spreckel's lake at 9:00 and no one but me was at the lake there in Golden Gate Park. There were even white caps on little Spreckel's lake. Finally, one Saturday my schedule and the weather came together in a beautiful day for me to attempt my first sail. That day I learned how much I didn't know about what needed to be done to be successful in sailing an RC sailboat. The failures were mine and my lack of knowledge and simply not thinking.

To be fair the boat did sail on that first day and the jib boom worked pretty well. However, I had the main sail too taut and there was no camber and without that camber the boat was fighting with the wind more than responding to the wind. That day I learned about my two main mistakes discussed above in the Assembly Section of this review. It took me only one attempt at home to get the boat's winch servo and drum properly set up so that it would perform properly. I accept complete responsibility for the initial failures as it was the sailor at fault (me). It was not with the boat but my set ups on: 1) The transmitter setup and 2) Needing some camber in the main sail. Accordingly, for my fellow Beginners I have shared what I learned about properly setting up the Naulantia above in the assembly section and again here.

Author's Initial Setup Experience ... DOOH!

1) Transmitter Setup

On my ready to sail version of the Naulantia my boat came with a Jaguar two channel transmitter. The right stick controls the rudder and moves side to side. I made sure the rudder was in the center position for straight travel when the stick was in the neutral position. Moving the transmitter stick to the right moved the back of the rudder to the right and if the boat is moving causes a right turn. Moving the right stick to the left causes the boat to turn left when it is moving. Perfect on the rudder.

The left stick controls the winch servo. Pull the left stick down and the line is rolled in by the winch. Push the stick up and it lets out line. It is best to do this when there is pressure from the wind and that pressure will move the sail in or out. On the transmitter the left stick comes with a spring to keep it centered and to hold the desired sail position it is necessary to move the stick and get the desired amount of line in or out for sail position and hold the transmitter stick in that position. Many sailors don't want their winch servo control to have springs. That way they can move it and leave it in the desired position and don't have to hold it. I was not concerned about this as I could sail either way. Captain's preference for the desired setup. This was not a problem. I left the stick with its spring and centered for the sails half out.

My mistake was not not having the line tension set up so that the lines were in the desired position with the stick down. Mine came with the lines in the desired down position with the stick in the middle position. The up position didn't let out enough line and the bottom position pulled in the lines all the way and created way too much tension on the lines and on the sails. Although I could see this situation on the dock I was so anxious to sail that I put the boat in the water. The first full down movement damaged the eyelet in the top of the jib sail. My friend Richard repaired it with tape while I re-positioned the control lines on the winch servo. I got the line pretty much correct for the jib sail but I left it too tight when the line was pulled all in on the main sail. On the second launching the boat sailed but wasn't reacting very well to the wind and was sluggish. During this attempt I pulled down too much on the winch control and the line was stressed and actually snapped. The wind was gusty but the line broke I believe due to my improper setup. Fortunately, I was able to sail the Naulantia back to the dock using the jib and the rudder control.

Upon reflection the solution was clear. I needed to set up the sail control lines so that both the jib and the main sail were in a straight line above the hull but without any excess tension on these control lines. All I needed to do was to take the drum off of the winch servo. Run the winch servo to the down position and reattach the drum and drum cover and then let the servo/drum move to its neutral/middle position. At home I was able to make the adjustment to the jib line by adjusting how the reel above the servo was positioned so that the line had just the right amount of line out in the bottom stick position. This also allowed for more line out to get the desired 80 degree angle with the left stick in the full up position. Since I had broken the main sail control line I removed the few inches of broken line from the boom and the swivel and threw that away. I removed the line for the main sail from the drum and I replaced the line with extra line I bought and ran it into the hull through the line cover in back. I snagged the line and brought it back to the drum. I secured the line to the drum and mounted the drum back in place. I wrapped some line for the main sail around the drum and measured the line above the hull and tied the swivel to be 1 5/8" out from the line guide and trimmed away the excess line after using CA on my knot. It was repaired and ready to sail. Now you know the rest of the story about what the proper line set up should be for the Naulantia. Problem 1 solved!

Problem 2 was easy to correct. I cut the line securing the main sail to the back of the boom and used new line to allow it to be secured less tightly to the boom. This would allow camber in the main sail from the wind.

Now for the rest of the review!

Sailing Basics

The sailboat is entirely dependent on the wind, current and tides to move about. It is good to have a way to retrieve the sailboat should retrieval prove to be necessary. I have an electric powered retrieval boat that I can use to retrieve my sailboat if necessary. Some people sail at ponds where they can walk out and retrieve their boats if necessary or the ponds are so small the boats will come to shore on their own accord. Others use fishing poles and cast and snag to retrieve the sailboats if necessary. No matter your method you should have a retrieval method ready to use if necessary that doesn't involve any swimming for your sailboat.

There are two controls on the sailboat: rudder and a winch to control the amount of line available for the sails to be let out or drawn in. If you are not used to sailing I strongly recommend reading the instructions on sailboat operation several times to learn how to position the sails to catch the wind from behind and to bring the line in when sailing sideways to the wind.

Launching

The water needs to be deep enough for the keel to be free in the water and not touching the bottom at all. From a dock or at a sailing pond this is usually not a problem. At a local lake and the Delta where I sail it requires me to walk out a couple steps into the water for the keel to have clearance. I only sail where I am sure I will not have my keel get hung up on the bottom of the area. Having seen people do it, both with RC and full size boats, I know it is no fun to recover from these mistakes.

Construction Confirmation

I am happy to report that my mast modification has proven beneficial. The mast is secured in position by tightening the guide lines and that has worked very well. By having the plastic holder at the bottom of the mast glued to the mast and not in the holder (as per the instruction manual) I am able to remove the hardware holding the Keel in place. When I move the Naulantia to Seattle for my granddaughter I will remove the Keel from the boat for the long car trip.

Sailing Performance

I strongly recommend that the first few sessions be on days when there is a steady but light breeze. I learned I preferred to launch with the breeze coming from the front or the side. If the wind is from behind I could sail straight out or to either side but returning would take more time and more sailing skill. I would have to sail to one side, tack (turn around) and sail to the other side. Turning was best done with the boat holding some speed and using the rudder sharply to use the boat's speed to turn and shift the sail to catch the breeze and start off in another direction. If done too slowly you may you loose the breeze and it may take some time for the boat to get in position to catch the breeze again.

I am glad that I sailed my first couple of sessions with friends who knew how to sail and not in front of a crowd of people as it took me a couple of sessions to get smooth in properly trimming and handling my boat with the wind coming from different directions. However, after just a couple of sessions I was ready to sail in front of friends and strangers even though I still had a lot to learn. Getting the sail setup so it gets the proper camber for the wind is critical for sailing the boat. With the sail too taut or too loose if is fighting itself in the wind and the boat performed poorly. Getting the correct camber the boat can start to "run" across the water.

Is This For a Beginner?

Yes! The instruction manual makes assembly pretty easy and then the manual gives some good basic instructions on how to sail the boat. It does take a little practice to get skillful in changing direction efficiently but the basic skills can be quickly learned and it can be a very relaxing experience or race the clock or another sailor and it can be an intense competition. Choose to sail how you want to sail. If there are experienced RC sailors in your area I strongly recommend that you politely seek their advice. Just remember they are there to sail their boats and ask your questions when their boats are in and not when they are sailing and never when they are racing.

Sailing Video/Photo Gallery

Naulantia RC Sailboat from Thunder Tiger (3 min 7 sec)

Conclusion

I had fun doing the final assembly on the Naulantia. Especially as much of the construction had been done for me in advance. There was just enough final assembly for me to feel that I had been really involved in putting her together. As mentioned above, Mother Nature didn't cooperate with my schedule initially. Once I got her setup properly and out in a breeze all was forgiven. It took me a couple sessions to get somewhat skillful in coming about and not loosing the breeze. I am sure it will take more practice to get my skills good enough to try and race another sailboat. However, I have seen some rapid improvement and my efforts have been rewarded. I have enjoyed doing this review and while I will have the boat for a couple more years as my granddaughter grows old enough to enjoy the boat, I am ready to assembly another boat, this time from a kit.

I made a horrible mistake in not understanding what the tension should be when the sails are in line with the center line of the boat. I have described that mistake in detail, the harm it did and what I did to correct it and have a proper setup of the sail lines for the boat. I hope it helps you! Trust me when I say I get no pleasure from sharing my mistakes but I do it to help others avoid the same mistakes.

I also had the sail secured to the boom too tightly and the main sail couldn't get a proper camber to take advantage of the wind. When I loosened that back line I saw improvement of the boat in response to the wind as the sail could then get a proper airfoil shape. When I got the camber right the boat performed even better. Again, I have described this in hopes of helping my fellow beginners.

I honestly recommend the Naulantia to anyone who has an interest in trying RC sailing. It made a good first sailboat for me. I have learned a lot about properly setting up a sailboat and seeing the changes in operation when the tension and camber on the sail are properly setup for operation. I am now able to tact without loosing the wind and keep on sailing, most of the time. With the large recommended 4-cell 3600mAh battery she can sail for hours at a time. Most of my sailing has been of a relaxed/learning nature but since setting up the Naulantia's winch properly it has all been fun and enjoyable. I have had no trouble with the winch or the sail lines tangling with this boat. My lines have never become tangled and that is with multiple sailings in strong and lite wind. I have always had the white drum cover in place over the drum on the winch servo and it has done a good job. No trouble with the lines at the winch thus far.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • Good directions for assembly
  • Numbered parts and instructions very helpful
  • Easy assembly
  • Mast comes off for storage and transportation
  • Installing of mast at sailing site takes only about 15 minutes
  • Skillful handling gives a real feeling of satisfaction
  • You can sail in either a relaxed fashion or in competition
  • I think this will be a great parent/child or grandparent/child experience
  • Properly setup she is great fun to sail
  • Wind i felt to strong at the beginning proved to be very fun once i had some experience

Minuses

  • I could have used a little more rigging thread due to my errors
  • Knots can come undone if not secured with CA
  • PVC stays on sails needed to be secured with CA after a couple of sailings
  • You are dependent on Mother Nature
  • Don't be brain dead on Step 15 and assume they set the lines up properly with the transmitter
  • My learning curve was longer than I expected, hopefully I helped shorten yours!

Thanks

My thanks to Thunder Tiger and Hobbico for supplying this boat for review. My thanks to Richard and Jeff for their help in teaching me how to setup and sail RC and with the media for this review. My thanks to our editor for her assistance with this review. I have learned a lot performing this review and I hope my sharing proves helpful to other RC sailors.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Jul 13, 2014 at 09:52 PM..

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Old Aug 25, 2014, 12:43 PM
Boomer1
Boomer1's Avatar
United States, CA, Temecula
Joined Sep 2009
3,469 Posts
Michael
Terrific job on your review/artical. Very professional. Once you get more familar with sailing your boat, the enjoyement level will be even greater. Many boats in this price range/category have similar drum stype winches. They work but can be improved with the installation of a sheet tenstioning devise. This type drum winch/servo has a tendancy to get the sheets fouled inside the white cap when the wind drops off suddenly with the drum still turning. One other observation - this boat likes to heel over in even light breezes, which is likely the result of it having more sail area than the boat really needs.

Anyway, your review was terrific and certainly of the best posted.

Thank you
Boomer
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