How to get started

First of all, you do not need to be an experienced sailor: true, it helps, but it’s not necessary.

Radio Controlled yachting is an internationally recognized sport, with participants in over 100 countries. A good number of the top skippers are here in the UK, and we have greater strength in depth than any other country.

In the UK, the sport is organised by the Model Yachting Association. The MYA is affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association who oversee water sports for the whole of the UK. The MYA looks after the ‘big picture’ and is very accessible to the individual classes of boat. These individual classes are organised by Class Owners Associations.

There are 9 major classes in the UK:-  A Boat, 6 Metre, R10R,  Marblehead, 1Metre, 36”, Micro Magic, Dragon Force  and Laser, with several other minor players. All are sailed by radio control with the A Boat, Marblehead and 36” still holding Championships for vane sailing.

Find a local club
There are some 100 or so clubs in the UK, some are more active than others, some are active in name only.
Find where they sail, then go down and talk to them. Most are friendly and you may well find yourself in control of a boat on your first visit. If you enjoy it, try again. If you still enjoy it, buy a boat.

Buy a Boat
The RC Laser is the first boat that we have come across, in over 20yrs of RC sailing, that comes in a box and is not an embarrassment. It is well packaged, well made, reasonably priced, sufficiently powerful and sails really well. As with a lot of specialist items made in China, there is a little 'fettling' to do, but the people you buy from should be willing to help.

Get Insured
Any half decent club will be affiliated to the MYA, and so have access to a responsible MYA organised insurance scheme. £14.00p/a, £3,000,000 public liability. Don't sail without it.

Join the association
The RC Laser Class Association is a volunteer body that looks after your interests. It oversees the One Design principle of the class, organises Championships and generally provides a forum to help you get the best out of your boat. Without the Association, the value of your pride and joy could nosedive. You can contact the Association via the information list at the end. For 2010 it cost £7.50

Get on the water
Having sorted out the odd bits that need sorting, then either charge your batteries, or fit dry cells, and go sailing. If you can find a copy, The Ladybird Book on Sailing is a really good starter. It doesn't matter that you are no longer 8yrs old, its clear and concise. Sail with others if you can: if they go faster, then copy them!

Look, Listen and Learn
As with most sports, there are those who can do it, and those who think they can do it. It doesn't take long to learn who to listen too. Sailors the whole world over have the ability to talk the hind leg off a donkey if you push the right buttons. Pinch ideas, try things out but remember, only copy the best.

There are lots of publications to help you. Some are listed at the end of this article. When you join the Association, you will receive an A4 sized booklet full of hints and tips. Read it.

 

Information

MYA                              www.mya-uk.org.uk
Laser Information            
www.rclasers.com
Laser Class Association  
www.rclaser.org.uk

Boats and equipment 

RC Boats UK - North West approved supplier  Tel 07977 302696      robert@rclasers.com