Newbie Needs Help with RC Sailboat Decision - RC Groups
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Jul 05, 2012, 12:38 PM
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UncleGuy's Avatar

Newbie Needs Help with RC Sailboat Decision

I just joined this Forum because I'm a bit lost in this hobby, right now. A friend convinced me to buy a Kyosho Fortune 612 a few years ago and we've had fun sailing at some local ponds in the Washington DC (USA) area.

Then I got caught up in remodeling my house (which curtailed my free time), and was nearly finished when a large section of a 100-ft 100-year-old oak tree crashed through my guest bedroom about a week ago. The ceiling flattened my 612! It's dead, Jim!

The insurance company has given me some leeway in replacing it, and I find the 612 has been replaced by the 612 II. I finally located it in stock at -- which is in Germany. They also offer a Race Tuning Service, but only on their AC60 Series boats (America's Cup design, 60CM -- I assume). They also offer a really nice Carry Bag that fits the standard setup, but will not fit it if their Racing Keel is included. But I digress...

Questions are...
a) Has Kyosho abandoned this hobby? I find it difficult locating much from them here in the US. And although the Fortune 612 II is listed as a product on several sites, it is usually "Unavailable -- Not Known When Inventory May Arrive".

b) Is there a better option within my price range -- about $400? I see their Seawind and the Proboat Serenity discussed here. Do these compare at all with the Fortune 612 II? Or are these entirely different sizes and categories?

c) I will not be competing in racing events, but I like the idea of the Race Tuning offered by StockMaritime -- any opinions on their service, their company, and their products? It can get a bit expensive importing from Germany, as you might guess.

d) StockMaritime does not seem to offer the 2.4G radio setups -- I think I might prefer that. Your opinions?

e) Is it just me, or has the RC Sailboat Industry been severely curtailed by this economy? I find it difficult to locate anyone near me offering much. Maybe one boat -- from China. Not that there's anything wrong with that! 8-) But it seems like the online stores have all but stopped carrying a selection.

f) Finally, the biggest issue we've had with the Fortune 612 was water penetration while sailing into the battery / servo compartment. How does one prevent this? "Seal the compartment!" -- I know. But what are the best methods?

Of the boats I've found, I like a few selections at StockMaritime (but the website seems pricey -- even if insurance is covering this), the Proboat "Serenity", and the Kyosho "Seawind" (which this forum seems to think is the same as the "Serenity" or vice-versa). The AquaCraft "Vela" looks nice, but your opinions have pushed me away from this a bit.

Any help and advice is very much appreciated.
Last edited by UncleGuy; Jul 05, 2012 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Location added
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Jul 05, 2012, 02:47 PM
Useful Idiot
A quick look at shows that there are seveal clubs in your area with the boats they sail. The dolphin may be hard to get as they're probably made in batches and they're currently out of stock. For your next boat and with a view to your budget, I'd take a long look at the Nirvana. There's tons of info on the thread here devoted to it.
Jul 05, 2012, 03:00 PM
some what irregular
dostacos's Avatar
there is a 612 for sale on this board....just sayin'
Jul 05, 2012, 03:23 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
And if you join one of those clubs in your area, you might just have to make a trip down here to Richmond and sail against us in the various mid-atlantic regionals.

yesterday, july 4th, we were sailing seawinds for a a few pick up races. we also sail the RG65 class of boats. And up in your neck of the woods, breaking wind boats is a nice supplier of hulls. but they are not a turn key type of situation. you actually have to build them. 2.4 is easy to come by and cheap, once again, if you want, or can build.

My advice to you sir, is to look at this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to rebuild, and upgrade and put it on the insurance companies bill! get up with some of the local clubs. they will have members who are a wealth of information, and would probably have used boats they would be willing to sell you, and competitive racing is fun, there isn't usually a purse involved, just bragging rights, and most competitions are mostly excuses for clubs to get together and have fun.

the Seawind, is a very nice boat.... just saying...

But I'm glad to hear you are otherwise okay. NorVa was smacked around silly by that particular storm. We had a bad one come through pretty hard the previous Monday. I was out and about and had had to pull over to the side of the road and wait it out. and it was like sitting in the middle of a CAT2 hurricane for 10minutes before I could go on my way.. and in those ten minutes it was like hell had warmed over our region. trees down every where, most everybody with out power, by the time I finally got home, I found a branch the size of tree from my neighbors yard through the fence and messing up one of pretty little frog ponds.
so off to playing with chainsaws did I.

it was that afternoon I found out that I'm suddenly allergic to bees as I disturbed a before unnoticed yellow jacket nest

rush hour, after a storm, all the traffic lights.. took me a half hour to get to the ER less than three miles away.
Jul 05, 2012, 03:48 PM
Registered User
UncleGuy's Avatar
Thanks, everybody! Yeah, the storm that hit me was the microburst event the week before the bigger storm sequence hit the Mid-Atlantic area. One second it was calm, but threatening rain. The next, it was about 80MPH winds, sideways hail, and a 50-ft section of my pin oak fell on my roof from 20 feet away. Tons of severe damage. Broke every roof rafter across the front of this 1884 home -- thank god it was built the way it was! Broke four ceiling joists, as well. The Fortune 612 never had a chance.

I must buy a new one due to the Policy terms, and show a receipt for it. I can possibly upgrade -- which is why I was thinking of the Seawind vs. the Fortune 612.

I really know nothing about the Fortune 612 II. Is it regarded a better-quality boat? Is Kyosho highly-regarded? We bought the original boat because it was the only Ready-to-Sail unit in the local hobby shop at the time. I'd be happy with the 612, but would not want to miss the Seawind (or another) if the 1-meter Class was a better way to go.

In the original post, I compared the Proboat Serenity to the Kyosho Seawind -- my mistake! I meant the Fairwind III. Any feelings about the Fairwind III??

Which is why I ended up at StockMaritime. They were one of the few stating they actually had any 612s, and then I saw a few other options that were intriguing. Their Tuning Service was also intriguing, but they only offer it on their AC60 models (America's Cup imitators). My friend had told me he had "tweaked" his recently and was going to "kick (my) patootie" the next time we went out. It would be fun to show up with something that could challenge him.

I'm afraid to admit this, but I don't have a lot of time to build a complete kit. I built every kind of model kit when I was young - planes using dope on paper; model cars; the USS Constitution (that was challenging); all kinds of things -- even a 20-Mule Team Borax kit my Mom bought for me from sending in Borax boxtops (sure wish I had THAT!). But, right now, I'm stretched in too many directions. So if the Fairwind is a kit, it probably isn't for me.

Do any of the ones we've mentioned sail much better than the others?
Last edited by UncleGuy; Jul 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM.
Jul 06, 2012, 02:49 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
I'm not familer enough with the fortune 612 to make a comparison... in fact, I'm barley familer with most of this stuff at all, but I see that a lot of clubs are running seawinds. so that seems like you would probably be best getting that in the long run because of community support.

but as to your question about things sailing much better than others? I would say that's an apples to oranges argument. its all going to be determined by how, where, and why you are running the model. So its going to be about what is the best fit for you and what you want to do.

I joined the local club to have other folks just to at least hang out with and do the RC stuff. its just that the only local club here in town is a AMYA sanctioned club that has a focus on racing. but its a young club and I'm hoping with enough interest as the club grows we can branch out from the model yacht regattas to stuff like springer class tug events and what not.

racing is a lot of fun by the way. there really arent any purses involved so its all friendly competition. bragging rights and seeing your name printed in the AMYA magazine rosters are the biggest prizes.

as for building a kit? I'm sure I'm probably just as busy as you are. I make beer for a living. usually 8-12 hours a day of hard manufacturing work followed up sometimes by doing promotional and sales calls..

granted, those promo and sales calls usually intails hanging out at a bar, or festival all night long to the point where calling in with a hangover is a legitimate excuse..
there is also caring for two elderly parents who live apart....home and car maintenance.
but part of my daily routine is making a couple of hours before bedtime to get some time in to the shop for some building... its how I clear my mind.
your results, of course, may vary.

to wrap up? if you can get a seawind for the estimated replacement value? I would go that route personally..
Jul 06, 2012, 04:50 PM
Boaters are nice people.
Originally Posted by UncleGuy
Do any of the ones we've mentioned sail much better than the others?
Hi UncleGuy,

If you think the Fortune 612 is a good sailor, you must sail her in really light winds.
As soon as the wind picks up the Fortune is blown flat.

A Fortune owner showed up at our pond where we sail Micro Magics and he was so disappointed that those MM's could sail circles around his (very) good looking boat, that he put it up for display and got himself a Micro Magic too.
Now he can sail in up to 4Bft without losing control, or get flooded.

Generally speaking every boat sails better than the Fortune 612, specially if the hull is larger, a big boat sails more like the real thing.

A Seawind is a good boat (though my 12m Voyager will beat them at most occasions over 3Bft...)

Regards, Jan.
Jul 06, 2012, 05:44 PM
Registered User
UncleGuy's Avatar
Well, I only have experience with the Fortune 612, so far. Which is why I'm here asking questions.

The larger boats are an option. I have a Honda Ridgeline, but a boat like the Vela by AquaCraft is taller than the bed of my truck is long. So is the Seawind. Do these break down for easier transport?
Jul 07, 2012, 04:12 AM
Boaters are nice people.
Hi Uncle (or Guy),

That's a most unsuitable car for transporting a fully rigged 1M sailboat, I have a sedan where the boat fits on the hats shelf, with the mast touching the roof between the front seats.

Most 1M boats have relative simple rigs that can be removed for transport, also the keelfin is removable.
My Voyager goes along on our holidays, and we go camping by tent...

Too bad all the video's I've seen of the Vela are made of maiden trips without the boat being dialed in properly, or sailed by really bad pilots in awkward locations.
The Vela seems very tender and a typical light wind boat to me.
Not something I would like to sail in the conditions I sail in overhere.

Don't buy a sailboat based on its looks, buy one based on performance, you'll get to like it better than a stunning looking boat that gets blown flat at every fart...

Regards, Jan.
Jul 07, 2012, 06:40 AM
Registered User
RTR choice is probably the Micro Magic.
As has been said in an earlier post, check out your local clubs, find out what they are sailing, discover if a) you like that kind of boat b) if it fits your wallet c) if it fits your car.
The Nirvana is well spoken of, I have been pleasure sailing a TT Victoria for a few years. Although it is a kit, the job is more reading the instructions (available on line, so you get to see what you are in for) then assembling parts to the preformed hull, in that order.
IOMs do derig for transport, but the sail rigs usually don't due to the nature of the usual sail material (mylar drafting film doesn't take kindly to bending),
Jul 07, 2012, 12:53 PM
Registered User
UncleGuy's Avatar
Well, I got caught up in a thread I came across last night. And stayed up until 1AM mulling things over.

Next thing I knew, I had purchased the Tamiya Yamaha "Round the World" that was available from cpdog46. And it's all Boomer's fault!!

The Runners-Up were the Vela and the Seawind. I really liked the looks of the Vela, but the detail and beauty of the RTW just did me in.

Start asking about a Fortune 612.
End up buying a Yamaha RTW.
Waitaminnit!! -- Who. Stole. My. Wallet...
Jul 07, 2012, 07:05 PM
Registered User
Reading post #11 above, I see you have made your purchase, so my comment is probably redundant - however may be of value to others.....

There are a range of budget sailboats available at HobbyKing. All up costs are typically $US180 including freight and a (separately purchased) budget 2.4GHz radio.

These are cheap Chinese boats, make no mistake, and need a few minor alterations in some cases. However, they are cheap, good fun and competitive. For the cost of some of the other boats that are about you could get 2 complete boats and radios and take a friend sailing with you!

Regarding size, they range from the 500mm Discovery to the Ocean Sailor 1.2m. If you want a boat that will transport fully rigged in a smaller vehicle, have a look at the Surmount. This is available in their US store sometimes (improves freight).
Link for Surmount:

Link for radio & receiver

Lots of online support for this range of boats at
Last edited by mrpenguin; Jul 07, 2012 at 07:14 PM.
Jul 08, 2012, 02:59 AM
UncleGuy I don't think that Boomer would mind thanking the blame for someone buying a Round The World boat as he loves his. They are a beautiful boat both on and off the water.
Jul 08, 2012, 05:08 AM
Boaters are nice people.
Originally Posted by UncleGuy
End up buying a Yamaha RTW.
Excellent choice!

Good luck with it!

Regards, Jan.
Jul 08, 2012, 05:42 AM
Registered User
UncleGuy's Avatar
Yes, the detail and its beauty are what sold me. Boomer 's opinion and enthusiasm was the catalyst. I'm still afraid of its size. I'll have to add an addition onto the house, methinks. And I made an appointment with the psychiatrist for Monday...

As my Avatar might say: "If I only had a brain!"

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