Footloose, "Footy" racing yacht; model: Nigel James.

Model: Nigel James…

“Footloose is my first attempt at a Footy class design. As the name implies, it has a length of one foot (304mm). The hull has to fit in a box one foot long, one foot deep and 6 inches (152mm) wide. Sail area is unrestricted. I have designed to the maximum length and depth but kept the beam to 5 inches (125mm).

“I was aware of the tendency of the footy to nosedive in a following wind but the effect was more extreme than I had anticipated. Footloose is fine forward which makes for better upwind performance but it really needs more buoyancy high up to keep the nose up off the wind. To counteract the effect I have fitted a deflector at deck level which seems to work but only up to a point! See photographs.

“I spent some time messing about with different keel weights and keel positions and ended up with a keel bulb of 225g (8oz). With a total displacement of 550g (1.25lb) this gives a very modest ballast ratio of 0.4. Room for improvement here I think. Despite this, for a small boat it seems to sail pretty well even in strong winds.”

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