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Introduction to Radio Sailing

What is this Radio Sailing all about?

Radio Sailing and particularly Radio Controlled Yacht Racing is an absorbing and detailed sport and often complex for the observer to understand what’s going on.

As an introductory guide you might find the following notes and the following YouTube links below helpful:


Radio Controlled Yacht Racing is considerably cheaper than full sized racing.

The DF65 is the cheapest at just under £250 with two sets of sails.

The 8m is available second hand from £250. 

The RC Laser new at about £600- £800 depending on the number of rigs (up to 4) and radio equipment. Second hand start from £200.

IOM’s – International One Metres vary greatly in price with older boats from around £250 to new ones at £1,800 plus.

The club races for Classic IOM’s (older designs) with racing open to all boats that measure as an IOM but are not competitive in a modern fleet.

Rigs & Sails

Why more than one rig? As the wind speed increases to make the boat more controllable the size of the sails are reduced in size. So that changes can be made quickly most sailors opt for complete rig sets (mast and Sails) rather than just changing just the sails which takes a lot longer.

Like to see more?

Check out the MYA Video & Phill's Video

One of our leading 8m Skippers, Phill Brigstock  produced an excellent YouTube video please click the  buttons :




What Motor does it have?

There is no engine it is just powered by the wind.

Actually that's not strictly true, the yachts have 2 small motors to drive the rudder and steer the yacht and a second to trim sails, but no propellor to propel the yacht.


How do you control it?

It is controlled by a radio link from this transmitter.

The stick on the left pulls the sails in and out and the one on the right is for steering. 

Why are they shouting?

Yes, sorry about that!

They are not being aggressive or grumpy, they like each other really

They are simply pointing out to other Skippers that they have right of way or requesting room to round a mark or clear the bank.

How do you know when to start?

There is an automatic countdown from the device on the starting trolley, the start sequence is one minute in length with a final 10 second countdown. The race officer looks down the line to pick out any boats that arrive too early as those boats then have to restart.


Where are you going next?

The course is made up of 3 buoys ie D, B and G. There is a Start Line and there is also the Finish Line. We sail a triangle anticlockwise around the 3 buoys and then a “sausage” around D and G before finishing. Courses vary using a combination of the buoys in the lake depending on wind direction and strength. 


How do you finish?

At the finish boats sail numbers are recorded in the order in which they finish.

How much do they cost?

That depends on which class of boat you are looking at but an entry level DF65 from £250

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