World Class RC Racer Steve Lang

Nirvana ~ Frequently Asked Questions ~ Part I

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World Class RC Racer Steve Lang

What is the difference between the Nirvana, Nirvana II, etc.?  (2012)

There is only one Nirvana RC sailboat.  Since the class is designated a “one-design” boat, that means that it must be manufactured to the same performance specifications year after year.  Note that performance specifications are those features affect speed through the water.  Therefore, the size and shape of the hull, the size and shape of the rudder and keel, the size, shape, and performance characteristics of the spars and sails,  are the major factors that will not change.

You notice that I didn’t mention the electronics.  The Nirvana II was a brief designation of the Nirvana which had a redesigned, and molded, electronics compartment to handle different brands of electronic equipment.  Since electronics only control the boat, not make it faster, changing electronics, within performance specifications, is legal.

In 2011, the Nirvana class returned to just Nirvana.  There is an international class rule for this boat, and it states all the modifications that are allowed for a boat to be considered a Nirvana for racing.  No other changes can be made.  The good news for all Nirvana owners is that the major parts of the boat are interchangeable, and inexpensive – all thanks to the strict adherence to the one-design rule.

 Is there more than one size of sails for the Nirvana? 2012

 No.  While there have been some tests completed on a smaller set of storm sails, none have yet been adopted by the class for racing.  Part of the consideration for changing a performance feature like this is that everyone would then be required to get these smaller sails to be able to compete in heavier winds.  Added cost is one of the reasons that the rules committee has not yet approved a smaller set of sails for racing.

Please note that since sails are inexpensive for this boat, you can buy a set of sails and cut them down yourself for your own sailing enjoyment.  It is just the international rule that has not yet changed to allow smaller sails for use in racing.

What is the material the Nirvana sails are made of? 2012

Even though some folks have joked that the sails look like rice paper, that are actually very high quality and extremely durable.  They are made of polyethylene film with a chopped poly fiber adhered to one side for added strength.  These sails are water proof, mildew proof, very tear resistent, and they will not stretch out of shape.  The material is also very resistent to sun damage.  Ultimately the seams (made with double sided tape) will break down in the sun.  But this is after years of sun exposure.  Never leave your boat rigged and sitting in the sun (through a window even), and your sails we last many years.   Poly sails have one issue that requires special care.  They crease easily, so never fold your sails.  Try to store them flat so they don’t get wrinkles or creased.

What is the range of the Nirvana radio system? 2012

This is a loaded question, and here’s why.  The Nirvana has had at least 4 different radios produced and installed in the boats since introduction in 2003.  However, all of the systems have been long range radios, not those used in toys.

Bottom line, you can’t enjoy sailing your Nirvana if you can’t see it, and as long as you can see it, you can control it with any of the radios sold with the boat.

Are the numbers that come with each boat official class numbers? 2012

No.  We are trying to get these low quality, hard to read numbers out of the production.  Official class numbers for racing, are a specific font, size and color but that is not what is included with the boat.  If you don’t intend to race, you can certainly use the numbers that come with your boat – but if you ever intend to race or sell your boat to someone that will, you need to use the numbers specified in the class rule.

 Why should I register my Nirvana ?  2012

 Registration was initially required to activate the warranty on your Nirvana.  Also, it was used to assign a hull and sail number to your boat for racing purposes.

If your boat was purchased from SailRC directly, you no longer need to worry about registering to establish your warranty.  However, if you purchase your boat from a dealer (not SailRC), then you do need to contact SailRC and give us your purchase information (Invoice).

As for hull and sail numbers, if you have a boat that does not have sail numbers, and you want them, register your boat and you will be assigned the proper numbers.  If you have purchased a boat from SailRC after May 2012, hull and sail numbers are not designated, and a sheet is included with every boat shipped.

16 thoughts on “Nirvana ~ Frequently Asked Questions ~ Part I

  1. Jim Raney

    The servo sail rig seems to be in error. On my rig, setting the lines with the left dial in the down position makes the sails immovable. I used the up position on the dial which seems to allow the sails to extend to a running configuration when the dial is in the down position.

    After a little shore side practice and a high tide I shall launch this weekend [in Puget Sound]

    1. Theresa Rae Gay

      Hi Jim,

      Can you give us a call? We would love to walk through this with you to make sure we take care of you and your Nirvana the best way.

      Look forward to talking to you –

      Theresa Rae Gay

    1. Theresa Rae Gay

      Hi Kenneth,

      We keep track of the hull numbers (last 2 digits of the hull numbers = sail numbers) internally at SailRC. If you are looking for a number given out, we can search it.

      The locations – do you mean where the Nirvanas are sailed? Currently, the only place I know of that lists RC Sailing clubs is the AMYA site. You will find a club directory in the menu – open it up and search by state or press “control” and “F” keys on your keyboard to bring up the find function. Type in Nirvana and it will show you each place where Nirvanas are sailed.

      I hope I have given you what you were looking for. If not, call me anytime – 727-455-1332.

      Theresa Rae Gay

  2. Kenneth Bryce

    My other message must have gone astray.
    You sent me a FS-GR3F-T2B and FS-T2B-GR3F.
    In there also is a small black plug. With a bit of wire attached and a plastic spike
    Can you please explain where the wires crossed go etc.I also want to sail my Nirvana11 in the salt water?
    Kenneth Bryce
    SV Code Zero

  3. Steve Lang

    Kenneth – The black plug with the small wire loop is the binding plug. You only need this if your transmitter loses it bind with the receiver. The plastic pin is also used in the binding process. You should keep these two items even though you will probably never need them – BUT, if you do, they are really handy.

    Yes, you can sail your Nirvana in saltwater, just rinse off with fresh water after you sail. If you get salt water into the electronics compartment, you should spritz it off with fresh water and then dry completely with a hair dryer on “low”.

    Enjoy your boat. Steve

  4. Pete Davis

    I am an owner of the RC Laser, and am trying to decide whether to also get a Nirvana or a Seawind. Could you provide the technical specs (length, width, height, etc.) for both, as well as anticipated availability dates, anticipated prices, accessory items, etc.?



    1. Theresa Rae Gay

      Hi Pete,

      Hmmmmm, great question! Both the SeaWind and the Nirvana are sharp looking boats – the SeaWind is what we call a “mantel” boat because it is pretty enough for a mantel but it sails very well as well! The SeaWind has two helms to make it even more realistic. The SeaWind has only one color – the graphic design including bright royal blue and white. The Nirvana comes in blue, red or yellow hull.

      Both have established classes and regattas in North America – not as established as the RC Laser but the SeaWind has been around for a while. The Nirvana came out in 2003 and has been building quite a strong following. Both are sloops – they have both a main and jib sail. Both come with everything except the batteries – 2.4 GHz radio systems, sails, booms, masts, keels, rudders, servos, fully rigged hull and boat stands. Both take about 30 minutes to set up the first time.

      The SeaWind is 39″ long, 8.9″ wide, 72.8″ tall with 605 sq in in sail area. We have these in stock now for $399 including shipping.

      The Nirvana is 32″ long, 7.75″ wide, 64″ tall with 525 sq in in sail area. We expect these to be in stock the end of August. The price has not been finalized – somewhere between $299 (2012 price) and $349 including shipping. Make sure you are on our email list (go to bottom of home page to sign up) to see the price and to place pre-orders when they “set sail” for the USA!

      The only widely found accessories for either boat are the recharge systems and bow bumpers.

      I hope that answers your questions! Steve has sailed and raced both of these models – he can jump in here to cover more specifics.

      Theresa Rae Gay

      1. Urban Underbrink

        I really would like to own a Nirvana! Just purchased a Joysway Orion small 18 inch and love it! I’ve been flying R/C airplanes for a while and thought about trying sailboats. Would like a larger boat, but my car is a Scion XA which is quite small.

        I need answers to 2 questions before making the purchase: How easy is it to remove the sail so i can transport it?

        Can i get one with a way to recharge the boat batteries without having to remove the hatch tape, charge batteries, and tape it back?

        I can sail my Joysway for a long time before needing to recharge, but i have been sailing in a small pond. Would be nice to get into a small lake, but would like to top off batteries each outing!

        1. Theresa Rae Gay

          Hi Mr. Underbrink,

          When we sail our Nirvanas at a local lake or at the National Championships, we remove the mast and sails as one piece each time we transport them. You just unhook the two stays, two shrouds and one jib hook from the deck to release the mast and sails together. We put the sails and masts (again, as one piece) somewhere flat like the back seat. We have seen other Nirvana sailors sandwich them between two connected pieces of cardboard to protect them as well.

          Then we leave the hull, keel and rudder as is and place on the stand. We either put that in the trunk with towels or toolboxes around it to keep it from falling over or put it on the floor in the back seat.

          We don’t use hatch tape with any of our boats. We just make sure the hatches are the best they can be! The Nirvana has two hatches – one that is pliable and doesn’t leak and the other for looks. We have never taped it so the batteries are easy to access. All our boats can sail 5-6 hours on one charge. That is a long time to sail unless you are at a regatta…

          If you love your Orion, you will flip for the Nirvana. She is a great boat – much faster and better construction.

          Hope to see you out on the water,
          Theresa Rae Gay

  5. Andrew E Andrews

    Have my whole life owned and raced sailboats, both real ones (from prams, Sunfishs, Snipes, Cal’s, Catalinas, Ericsons, to R/C) – Have some friends that have the Nirvana and will like to get info on how to order one of these (I tried one Nirvana out and loved it).
    I am now 79, but have not lost my spirit!
    Thank you

    1. Theresa Rae Gay

      This is the perfect choice for a sailor of full-size sailboats!

      Please click here to buy one online or call me at 727-455-1332.

      Theresa Rae Gay

  6. Mike Palmer

    Just purchased A Nirvana- What material do you recommend for sail numbers or graphics on the sails?
    Can you recommend a web site for purchase?

    1. Theresa Rae Gay

      Hi Mike,

      Your best bet is to go to any quick sign maker – think political signs. They will make you a decal with Oracal or similar product.

      If you just need numbers, we sell them for $8 per pair that are class legal. Find them under Parts>Nirvana then under the Sails/Rigging section.


  7. Wayne Burdick

    How long does it take to put a Nirvana totally together out of the box for a non-sailor to make it ready to sail?

    1. Theresa Rae Gay

      30 – 60 minutes depending how handy you are. It is very straightforward and we are here to help you with questions if needed.


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