8 Metre Class

Everything 8m

These very pretty and rugged yachts are about one metre long (not 8) with only one rig, transportable fully rigged in a small car and comes ready to sail (just add transmitter, receiver and batteries ). They are relatively inexpensive to buy and are  a great introduction to radio sailing and racing that can be enjoyed all year round at Poole Park.

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Cliff Woods

email: cliffjwoods@hotmail.com

8m Class Captain

End of Year Wrap - Cliff  

I’ll try to avoid saying what a strange year it’s been - but it has! Really sad to say that we lost 3 members of our fleet during the year but I’ll try to keep on the positives.

The 8 metres are still a popular class, providing cheap, reliable sailing in most conditions from almost flat calms to Force 5. Yes, they take some getting used to – they’re certainly not IOMs but they’re very forgiving and extremely robust. In fact it’s a good boat for most standards of sailor, not too many areas of tuning/adjustment but one of the biggest secrets to success is the necessity to concentrate.

We actually managed a few weeks of normal racing back in January/February – I can’t think of any particular highs or lows but then, of course, restrictions came in. People desperate to sail using any excuse – mostly to do with permission to exercise in the park and their boat jumped out of the boot of the car into the water as they closed the door! We were obviously keen to sail with Government and local Council permission and so after several Committee meetings we came up with the solution that still holds at the end of the year.

We use traffic cones and hazard tape to make a compound big enough for six masked people and the starting trolley to space themselves. Although not perfect it’s meant that everybody in the fleet who’s wanted to sail has had their turn. Michael Brophy, our webmaster, has developed a booking system which has solved the problems of phoning and texting each other to find out if a space is available.

We obviously haven’t been able to run our normal sailing series but mornings have been popular and fun. Coffee and cakes normally provided by Patsy haven’t happened – thermos flasks have come to the fore but what I feel is so important – the friendly, social side - has been very evident. (One interesting development was the number of members who weren’t able to sail on a particular session but ‘just happened to be strolling around the lake’ at coffee time)!

During the lockdowns Phil Coupe organised Skype sessions, initially just for the 8 metres, but gradually the word got around the other fleets and more people joined in. Some people gave presentations- boat building, maintenance, R/C



Message from Peter Lewin - Sailing Secretary - 28th October 2020

A reminder to all helms:-

All classes in the club use the current Racing Rules of Sailing and Appendix E of those rules to govern their activities.

Only two club classes, the Lasers (from their international rules) and 8M (a Local class with its own local rules) have any variations to these rules.

 Hence the IOM, DF65 and Classics adhere to all of the applicable rules and appendices.
This includes rule 31 Touching a Mark – Whilst racing a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.

The fact that at present helms are restricted to a helming area does not vary the rule.  Many events up to European and International level stipulate a control area for competitors.  Competitors shall be in this area when controlling boats that are racing, except briefly to handle and then release or relaunch the boat. E3.1

Lake Flushing Programme - 6th August 2020

The Lake will be flushed on the following occasions:

20th August sluice open at 23.12 Sluice closed 21st August 11.44

This may affect sailing of IOM’s the Friday Morning. Classics should be

ok in the afternoon.

20th September sluice open at 16.17 Sluice closed 21st September 12.40

This may affect sailing of 8m’s on the Monday Morning depending on

how quickly the lake fills.

30th October sluice opens at 19.51 Sluice closed 31st October 8.12

Should not affect sailing.

29th November sluice opens at 22.09 Sluice closed 30th November 8.11

Should not affect sailing.

28th December sluice opens at 19.48 Sluice closed 29th December 7.19

8m Class History

8 Metre Class – a brief introduction


In 2012 or thereabouts the lake had become badly infested with weed, so much so that it was no longer possible to sail One Metres and Lasers due to their deep keels. Some members experimented with alternative shallow keels fitted to their Lasers but without much success. We even built land yachts in a bid to use the wind but again with limited success.


Then a new member - Robin Edgar - came along and showed us a boat he had built, modelled on the full-size 8 metre yacht. This had a long, shallow keel with the rudder hung on to the back of the keel, built in ballast and just one rig. We all tried this boat, sailing around the clumps of weed where possible or through if un-advoidable. It worked!


Robin left the boat with us for a couple of weeks having told us that he could build a few if we wanted for the princely sum of around £300. A dozen of us jumped at this and within a month the new 8 Metre Class was born. Initially the idea was just to let people get back on the water but inevitably we started racing each other, informally at first but within a short time this became properly organised with points series and cup races. We now have around thirty boats in the fleet.


Quite early on we decided it was to be a One Design class with strict rules on weight and measurements. Normal model yacht racing rules were adopted with the exception being that buoys could be touched on the course except for starts and finishes, also using the ‘round the ends’ rule for starts. (officially 30.1 which briefly means that if you’re over the line at the start you must go back around one of the start marks) Amendments to rules were usually talked through at coffee breaks or even at the lakeside between races!


You may gather from this that the class is a fairly casual affair. True in some respects. Members tend to be retired, although not exclusively so, and arrive anything up to an hour before racing starts and stand around socializing. In fact, the social side of the class is probably as important as the racing. Although we stick to racing rules we do tend to occasionally adopt a more forgiving attitude. Arguments are actively discouraged and quite a few of our class members tell us that they joined the club and bought an 8 Metre because we were such a friendly bunch!



8m Class Rules

8 metre class rules for use at Poole Radio Yacht Club 2018

A. One Design Class.

The primary purpose of these rules is to regulate all 8 metre boats used for racing at Poole RYC to be equal in all characteristics that effect performance.


No modifications or additions or substitutions shall be made to any supplied boat part unless it is specifically detailed in this document.

Manufactured Standard. Only boat parts supplied by the manufacturer shall be used unless specific authorisation is given within these rules to allow substitution. These are on the basis that if it does not say something is specifically allowed, it shall not be permitted.

Radio Equipment. Only two channels of radio equipment may be used. (one for the sails and one for the rudder) That radio equipment may feature:- end point adjustment, differential rates and all other methods of altering the response rate and throw of the servos. The equipment may use radio transmissions from the boat (telemetry) that indicate servo position, onboard battery monitoring and radio link information only.

Batteries. These may be of any suitable type for the receiver and servos. Battery voltage monitors are permitted (even encouraged) but a battery switch is optional.

Sailing Weight.

The boat and rig in sailing condition must weigh between 7.00 and 7.5Kgs

All ballast must be of a density no greater than that of lead (11300kg/m3) 

B – Authorised modifications to a standard boat.

Cosmetic Alterations. The hull may be flatted down and painted if desired.
The drawing in of a planked deck and additions of scale like cabins is permitted (total sailing weight must not be compromised). Any flatting down process must not alter the profile of any component. A modification to the rear of the keel to stop weed catching on the lower rudder mount may be made provided it is no larger than 20mm fore/aft and 10mm wide and does not extend more than 5mm below the keel. 

Electronic and electro mechanical fittings.
The sail and rudder servos may be replaced. The material and dimensions of the arm may be altered. Electronic devices may be introduced between the receiver and servos that will limit or extend the throw of those servos.
A BEC or voltage regulator may also be used but no form of gyroscope or similar electro/mechanical stabilisation is permitted.

Running rigging can be from any suitable material but adjustments to running rigging must be made by bowsie or sliding grommets only.
The Jib topping lift may incorporate a method to stop it catching on the spreaders if desired. The shrouds must be adjusted by turnbuckles.

A jib counterweight may be added if desired. It must not exceed 20gms in weight or its foremost part extend more than 60mm from the end of the boom.
The foresail swivel may be replaced with a ballraced device, or a Kevlar/polyester line may be used.
The kicker(vang) may be replaced with one of a different design but should not incorporate a vertical plate.
The attachment point of the backstay to the deck may be moved if desired.

Replacement sails are limited to those produced by Housemartin sails,

Sails may have coloured corner reinforcement patches. Luff tapes may also be coloured.
Tell tails may be attached to the sails and rigging.

B. Rig and sails
If the spars are replaced they must be of round section alluminium with an external diameter of 11.1 mm +/- 1mmfor the mast, 10mm +/-1mm for the booms. 
Main boom length min 390mm
Jib boom length min 290mm
Masthead crane to have a maximum length of 60mm and the shall
be at 90 degrees to the mast. 

The measurement from the mast cap to the stern of the boat with no tension in the backstay shall not be less than 1470mm
The booms must not visibly deviate from straight when not loaded. 
The mast shall have no prebend. (i.e. shall be straight when there is no forestay and back stay tension).  
Grooved masts and rectangular section booms are not permitted.

Sails shall be made from the same ply throughout and have no more than 3 parts joined by seams.
Sails shall not deviate below a straight line joining the tack and clew.
The material shall be either 50 micron film or 140gm Dacron/ scrim

The main sail.
Luff Length 1275mm min 1285mm max
Leach Length 1325mm min 1335mm max
Head width 20mm max
Foot Length 380mm min 390mm max
1/3 rd width 275mm min 285mm max
2/3 rd width 155mm min 165mm max
Shall have 2 battens of length no greater than 80mm at the position of the seams.
Batten width max 10mm
Cringles max 10mm diam.
Reinforcement patches max.125mm from corner 
Seam width max 10mm

Luff Length 1050mm min 1060mm max
Leech Length 1010mm min 1020mm max
Foot Length 280mm min 290mm max
Head width 20mm max
Cringles max 10mm
Seam width max 10mm
Reinforcement patches max.125mm from corner 
No Battens  

Sail Numbers.
Initially as supplied, but to be increased to 100mm height a.s.a.p. and certainly on new sails.

Alterations to standard rules of sailing 
Boats will be permitted to make contact with buoys marking the course (with the exception of those marking the start and finish line) without being required to do a penalty turn.

Shortening the course.
The course may be shortend whilst a race is in progress provided it is done before the leading boat rounds the buoy that will become the last mark of the course before the finish line. All helms must be made aware of the changes.