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Old Oct 13, 2013, 10:11 PM
Augernaut
Wookster's Avatar
United States, KS, Overland Park
Joined Jan 2010
1,403 Posts
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Shallow water sailing?

Hi folks,
I've been looking at sailboats for about 5 years now. there is something awe inspiring about them. I want to purchase one, but with the local ponds here I am afraid that the lack of a deep launch area will make sailing impossible. Are there beginner friendly boats in something like a catamaran that would be able to handle shallow water? I'm not looking to be competitive or flashy. I just want to sail. I have ultra micro floatplanes I fly at a local pond , but I live in Kansas, it's often a bit windy. My hope is to find something affordable, durable, beginner resistant, and with a long run time (not sure how fast sailboats consume Rx packs, so that may be a stupid statement). I'd love to grab a lawn chair, throw a catfish line in the water, and cut a path through the waves until the sun goes down. The "lake" is shallow, most of the banks are about 8 inches deep. they are lined with cut stone to make a 2 foot high wall. it's about 500-700 yards across and about 8 feet deep in the center. If the sailboat wee able to be lifted by its mast and the mast was about 3--4 feet high I could launch from a dock with a railing around it. That would guarantee most of my sailing in 2 feet of water.


So, is there anything out there I should look for?
Also, is my imagination about what to expect from this hobby seem realistic? I know I may ground the boat on shallow obstacles, that's why I would bring the fishing pole.
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 12:23 AM
Useful Idiot
Asturias, Spain
Joined Mar 2001
3,545 Posts
Your option of launching from a dock for 2 feet if water would seem the most practical. All of the most popular boats are happy with a depth of 2 feet and can be lifted by their mast. Failing that, the Thunder Tiger Volans http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1814816 seems to be the most popular multi-hull.
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 01:01 AM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2011
14 Posts
Canterbury j or US12
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 01:38 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2013
31 Posts
An very affordable boat which comes with 2.4GHz radio, is easy to assemble and sail, has good performance and has a SHORT KEEL option is the DRAGON FORCE RG65.
Not sure about US suppliers but you can see the details and a video at:
http://www.rcyachts.org.uk
There are lots of tips at:
http://www.abersochboatyardservices....%20Gallery.php
and
http://dragonforce65.com/feedback/
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 01:52 AM
wolfgang
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Germany, NRW, Aachen
Joined Jan 2013
187 Posts
Hi Wookster,

Multihulls like a catamaran or the volans aren't beginner friendly boats.
Try a look at the micro-magic (graupner).
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Old Oct 14, 2013, 04:53 PM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2009
48 Posts
Micro magic or Thunder Tiger Victoria. The victoria will float in about 8-10 inches of water. The vic can be lifted in and out of the water by the mast. There are large fleets of both models across the country. And best of all, if you find sailing isnt for you, the resale value on both is really good (assuming its been assembled decently)
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 03:57 AM
Registered User
Blackpool, Lancs
Joined Feb 2006
2,890 Posts
Just held a ruler against my Victoria - bottom of the fin to trim stripe is 9", so with flat water and a clear lake bottom, 10" of water is plenty. Its also light enough to handle lifting by the mast, but in a strong breeze, can be a bit of a handful. This is probably true of any yacht being handled like that.
Alternatively, there might be some shallow water ideas here - http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2012163
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 06:39 AM
RC Newbie with lots of ideas
Chile, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Stgo
Joined Dec 2012
236 Posts
A RC catamaran or trimaran of any size would do, as they do not have a long fin, but rely on their width for stabillity.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 07:24 AM
Registered User
United States, OH, Cleveland
Joined Aug 2002
295 Posts
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...479612&page=13
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 12:39 PM
If it floats....sail it!
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Elk Grove, CA
Joined Sep 2002
4,103 Posts
One thing you didn't include about your venue was how much there is in the way of aquatic weeds. That can be a huge issue in some ponds as running into just about anything will stop the boat dead in the water. If a long "stringer" attaches itself to the rudder the boat can be uncontrollable and you will have to have a method for retrieving it.

In areas with lots of weeds, a full length keel with integrated rudder, like on the the EC12 and Canterbury J makes sailing as effortless are you seem to want. Both come as hulls with the option of the keel and rudder pre-installed, but you would need to finish the deck and rigging.

If weeds are not a problem and you want an inexpensive around 1 meter long "boat in a box" solution that requires little to no building, then a boat like the Vela or the reissued Seawind (the new version complete with Tx and Rx will be available later this fall for about $350) would be a way getting in very inexpensively and both can be launched by the mast. Both sail well if properly tuned can deal with winds up to about 8 mph. The Seawind is actively raced so would have better resale value.

If you want a boat that will easily deal with higher winds, then it is going to be longer, heavier and/or more expensive. Think Santa Barbara, Wheeler, or older used US1M or IOM with both A and B rigs.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 02:00 PM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2009
48 Posts
Seawinds are unobtanium right now. Those that are available are priced very high right now.

We actively race vics, seawinds, and ec12s. The entry level direction we are pointing newcomers is toward the Vic. Kits are still reasonably priced. You can build it stock and sail it, mod it right out of the box (follow the build threads on here for good tips), and not have a lot of money tied up in it. The newer stock ripstop sails arent bad for kit sails. Add some plastic shipping air-pocket bags inside for floatation, and youre good to go. Really windy days, just tape the hatch cover shut with electrical tape. It can be picked up and dropped in the water by the mast.

EC12's are an animal unto themselves, and while they sail great and the weed risk is minimal, its hard to justify dropping 800-2500 on an ec12 when there arent many others around to sail with.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 08:17 PM
Augernaut
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United States, KS, Overland Park
Joined Jan 2010
1,403 Posts
Great ideas,

There are some weeds to deal with, mainly floating clumps of algae. They are visible on the surface and once away from the inlets to the lake it stay fairly clear.

Trying to go the less expensive route. I just want something easy to get started, then I can move up. Essentially I'm looking for the Alpha 40 of the sailboat world.
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