New to the hobby, need some advice - RC Groups
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Nov 12, 2012, 10:19 PM
Registered User

New to the hobby, need some advice

Hello everyone!

I am interested in purchasing my first rc sailing yacht, but I wanted some advice first!

I am not new to the rc hobbies (helis, planes) but I am new to boating. There are a few models I am considering but they all seem to require radio electronics which are not included.

I am "ok" with that seeing as how I own a dx6i. My only problem is I am now concerned about which receiver I should use to go along with it as well as a "receiver battery" which I'm not entirely sure about. There are so many different ones (and counterfeits) I'd hate to invest in the wrong products.

I look forward to your suggestions and can't wait to get started!

Also: which models would you recommend nowadays? There are some REAL cheap ones over at hobbyking, but I'm trying my best to avoid them as seeing the reviews are very up and down in regards to their longevity and performance. I'm not really too interested in racing, just looking into a great boat for a nice day.
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Nov 12, 2012, 10:43 PM
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thorsail's Avatar
Hi Daniel
I can start the ball rolling on one topic - since your already using Spektrum
technology your golden - if you want a dedicated RX for a sailboat all you really
need is one of those "orange" generic ones- very little chance you will run out
of range - just keep the antenna up under the deck as best you can, and
oriented with the bow/stern of the yacht.
batteries will be a interesting topic - as you already have a charger and RX
packs, we just need to see do you have anything "in stock" that will have the
MA's to give enough run time - and if you just cruising around for laughs maybe
that don't even matter ? when we race, my boat can be powered up for like 4
hours - I could use smaller packs and change during a lunch break -but I run
bigger heavier boats, so I don't care about pack weight. in smaller boats weight
can be an issue. also, smaller boats,smaller servos, so less power needed...
I think a lot of "rtr" boats probably use 4.8v, my big hulls I need 6v. neither will
be too much for any RX, voltage wise.
I'll let the next guy jump in here now...
by the way - where are you from ? any RC sailboat clubs near you ?
you can find out on the AMYA
look under the "club locator" tab there.-local help/hands on is always good
for a newby.
Nov 12, 2012, 10:55 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the post!

Outside of a bunch of 2300 mah AA rechargeable energizers and a 1000mah nimh I have nothing. Not opposed to getting some more, just not sure of what I'd need. Run times for me wouldn't need to be too extraordinarily long, I'd hate to be in a situation where I'm lost at sea though!

I know of the orange rx and I'm ok with getting one. My only concern is we tend to avoid those with our rc planes, and I fear the sailboat might get "stranded" out in the lake!

I'm currently living in AR due to work, no clubs unfortunately But tons of little ponds and lakes I'd love to relax at on the weekends!
Nov 12, 2012, 11:08 PM
Registered User
thorsail's Avatar
those batteries are fine-I run 2300 nimh packs and can't run them out-and
that is on some BIG servo's.
you said planes/helos so I figured little lipos or such for you.
if ALL you batts are charged, and you can still see your boat, you will have
a signal.yes, they sell those add on antenna's, you shouldn't need it.
another perspective : plane=lost signal=crash
sailboat=lost signal=it drifts to shore (eventually)
Nov 12, 2012, 11:12 PM
Registered User
OK thats great! Do you think I could get a 4x AA battery holder for the Rx pack then be good to go along with the orange rx?
Nov 13, 2012, 03:24 AM
Registered User

Batteriies first - I use the 5xAA 2300 ESD NiMh packs from HobbyKing they will last all day with anything up to and including an A class. Works for me...

You are also asking for advice on what boat.....big question, there will be lots of opinions - my two cents worth:
1) Have a think about how much money you want to outlay
2) If there is anyone nearby sailing already, consider something similar
3) Consider the size - relating to storage and transport - a one metre boat will be nearly two metres high fully rigged
4) Consider the sailing location - shallow ponds mean smaller boats
5) Small boats (eg 500mm) are much more tricky to sail than larger boats (eg 1000mm) Larger boats are faster. Smaller boats need less draught

You are wary of HobbyKing - from my experience you get what you pay for. I have three Chinese boats (two of them from HobbyKing) Example - a 1 metre Phantom plus batteries plus charger plus Hobbyking TX and RX plus freight comes out under $200 in most cases. The Phantom is a great boat for the price. Ditto for the 800mm Surmount and the 900mm Monsoon. Yes they do go better and reliability improves with some simple modifications.

Further up the price scale are a wide and varied range that others will no doubt be able to advise you on....

Hope this helps....
Nov 13, 2012, 03:27 AM
20M northeast of Hell Mi
liljimmy's Avatar
Be for you purchase batteries an such do remember their are air and ground radio channels (being that you fly you know the routine) 2.4 gig hetz? Boat size; the larger boats handle differently then the smaller ones you can scale size and weight but you can’t scale the wind or water that’s why I prefer the lager boats(that and I have a pick up truck) Their are a lots of starter kits on the market when you decide on size (will it fit into your car)maybe a used one just to get your feet wet ? I started with a ryobi kit that sailed just fine. got involved with local amya club they help out a lot
Most sail radios that I have seen only need 2 servos (rudder and sail winch ) believe it or not I use rayovac or the local brand and I sail all day (no power needed when sailing in a straight line )
my newport 12
I bought for a bought $ 500 back in the late 80s it was used but it was ready to sail. I redid the deck and painted it and a new set of sails, deck oal is 1 inch shy of 6 ft the mast is 80 inch and weight is aprox 40 lb that would not fit into most cars of today
Just post your findings and ask, most of the comments a helpful on this sight
Nov 13, 2012, 03:44 AM
SleepySean's Avatar
Might want to consider LiFe batteries for RX packs. No more expensive than nimh, but lighter.

Something like this?
Nov 13, 2012, 04:04 AM
Boaters are nice people.
Hi DaniŽl,

In my 1M sailboat, I use a 2S lipo 4000mAh, combined with a UBEC, so the receiver and sailservo get their 6V.
The boat has a runtime of several days on one charge, depending on wind and weather ofcourse.

Check the sticky on top of this section for information on the various choices of sailboats available.

The Chinese boats suchs as Monsoon are not bad, but need a number of modifications to make them sail reliable without sinking tendencies.
Check out this forum for those threads.

If you have questions, post them here, prior to buying something that is known to sink at the first outing...

Regards, Jan.
Nov 13, 2012, 11:28 AM
Registered User
I was thinking about picking up a thunder tiger victoria and the appropriate servos for it. Do you know how well it runs out of box?
Nov 13, 2012, 02:27 PM
Nirvana 38, Seawind 178
seabee CE's Avatar
The victoria and Nirvana are both nice boats, I believe you can get the Nirvana with or without radio gear. Haven't been around a vicky for awhile but seem to remember them being nice once some updating was done. The Nirvana will need less tweaking to be a good sailer. Doubt you could go wrong with either, surprised you haven't had someone suggest building a wood kit, but sure it will happen. Welcome to the sport, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Nov 13, 2012, 04:11 PM
Fokker Ace's Avatar
You should build a wood kit.

Try a Tippecanoe T27 or T37. You can request it without the radio to save money. The boats sail fantastic, take only a couple weeks to complete and in the end you'll have the wonderful satisfaction of creation rather than simply opening a box from China.

Nov 13, 2012, 11:59 PM
20M northeast of Hell Mi
liljimmy's Avatar
oooooo nice boat what are specks for that ?
Nov 14, 2012, 04:49 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by danielwow12
I was thinking about picking up a thunder tiger victoria and the appropriate servos for it. Do you know how well it runs out of box?
Very well. It does need a high torque servo to work the sails if it is to perform in wind, as opposed to moving air. Mine was second hand, and benefited greatly from re-rigging after I had read the instructions.
Nov 14, 2012, 03:48 PM
The Tippecanoe T37 is 37inches long and a total height of 5 feet. It weighs 4lb ready to sail and has a sail area of over 600 sq, inches. It's easy to butld and could been built in under 2 weeks. The nice thing about his kits is that they come with every needed to build the boat and the only thing that you need to buy is paint to finish the boat. I have built a T37x and am now building a T50.

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