Woorabinda Lake - Stirling South Australia

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Sailing Hints compiled by Ben Morris

Date last edited 31/10/2016

These sailing hints are a direct result of experience and a desire to improve the speed of radio sailing yachts around a course and increase the enjoyment of RC sailors.  They attempt to look at ideas that are not normally covered in other publications.  They often arise because of a question from a fellow sailor such as "How did you accelerate past me like that?" or simply looking at other yachts and wondering why they are not up to speed.  I will attempt to give explanations that are not too technical though sometimes this is essential in understanding.  These are my thoughts and may well not agree with your ideas.  I would be only too happy to accept criticism or ideas for new hints and only too happy to publish them.  Please e-mail me on


What I don't want to do here is delve into the differences between different designs of yachts and sails but to accept your yacht as a given and to try to get the best from that.


This is a new section to the Stirling site and hopefully should grow over time.  Please come back regularly to see any developments.

  • Getting the best from gusts  This one did arise from the question about acceleration by Steve a fellow sailor at Woorabinda.

  • Getting the most from your rudder  This issue is often apparent when yachts seemingly fail to respond to rudder input.  What's going on?

  • Rudder and Rudder Servo Setup  Maybe this is already done but what if you are setting up your own boat or replacing a servo?

  • Servo Selection  What is this 'digital' in digital servo?

  • Balancing your yacht  What does it mean to 'balance' your yacht?  What is 'weather helm'  these and more ideas examined in this article

  • Radio selection  This page examines the advantages/disadvantages of the 2.4GHz radio system

  • Handicap starting system  May be useful for clubs to try - have a look and give it a go

  • Computer based (excel) handicap system.   Currently Version 2.7  More sophisticated than the simple one which records finishing time differences and generates a starting time for next race. Handles DNS, DNF, RDG etc  Now includes option for setting initial handicaps.

  • Radio programming for radio yachts.  Is this useful?  How do you do it?  Which functions to control?

  • More complex programming mixes.  This one for trimming the sail winch with a movement of the Rudder or a switch

  • Tuning a One Metre rig for optimum performance

  • Beating to windward how to make it to the windward mark fast and safe

  • Tuning Shroudless Rigs how much backstay tension do you need?

  • Sail Shape and Design software.  A simple Microsoft access (office 2003 or later) program with many examples to assist design of main/jib sail combinations including Marblehead with sail area calculated.  Download zip file and expand all to use.  Interested in feedback on this - email Ben at

  • An RC Yacht Rescue Boat  Is this the ultimate RC rescue boat?  No! but it is an interesting discussion about an attempt to produce a radio controlled power boat to rescue disable RC Yachts.

  • Count Down Timer.  2 minute timer for starting races. Has 30s blank at end of file.  Uses 'Australian' voice.  Click Click the link to download the file then right click and chose the 'Save-as' option.  Different browsers respond a slightly different but the file should be available readily.