Sail Squadron

Welcome to the SAIL SQUADRON Section of the SFMYC.  This article describes the activities of Sail Squadron.  In contrast to the POWER SQUADRON, which is generally devoted to fully working scale models of full sized boats, reproduced in exquisite detail, the SAIL SQUADRON is generally devoted to model racing yachts, designed to be competitively raced.  The distinction is that model racing yachts are not “scale” models.  A few may have lines proportionally reduced from full sized yachts, but most have been designed by naval architects to be sailing models and never had a full sized equivalent.  Model racing yachts do not include realistic details scaled down from real boats, such as portholes, winches, railings, etc.  They are intended to be used, not displayed.  The primary purpose of the Sail Squadron is to race.  Recreational pleasure sailing is also encouraged, of course, but racing is the chief activity of most sail squadron members.

The model racing yachts in the SFMYC fall into distinct “classes” and in order to keep fair competition, each class has its own specific set of building rules which a boat must measure up to before it is accepted into that class.  These are known as the CLASS RATING RULES.  Races are generally restricted to boats of the same class.  In addition to the class rules, there are sailing rules.  These are the “rules of the road” that skippers must follow while sailing to establish who has right of way when two boats meet on the water.

There are two basic types of model yacht classes:  ONE-DESIGN, and DEVELOPMENTAL.  Both types are sailed in the SFMYC.  One-design boats are all strictly controlled to be as identical as practical.  Innovation is not allowed.  With all boats the same, race outcomes are determined by the skill of the skipper as assisted by Lady Luck.  Developmental classes, by contrast, encourage innovation.  To a greater or lesser extent, as allowed by each classes’ rating rules, variance is allowed in certain design parameters, such as length, weight, hull shape, sail plan, etc.  This has great appeal to the amateur yacht designer, who is always convinced that he knows of a certain “improvement” which will make his newest design faster.

In addition to the one-design and developmental  categories, model racing yachts in the SFMYC are further divided into either RADIO CONTROL (RC) or FREESAIL, i.e. no radio control.  There exist a great number of radio control and freesail classes, not all of which have active fleets in the SFMYC.  SFMYC hosts the following classes:

To view rules for individual classes click here.