Nirvana ~ Frequently Asked Questions ~ Part I

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 he 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.

3 Florida RC Laser Regattas February 2015

Sign up today to ensure your spot as these races tend to fill up quickly. Spectators welcome at all events!

Southeast Florida Winter Regatta
Coconut Creek
Sunday, February 22

10am – 5pm
Sabal Pines Park, 5005 NW 39th Avenue, Coconut Creek, FL$20 entry fee. Includes lunch and prizes (top 3 skippers)
Register Here

Snowbird Tune-Up Regatta
Punta Gorda
Thursday, February 26

9am – 4pm
South County Regional Park, 670 Cooper Street, Punta Gorda, FL
$20.53 entry fee. Includes lunch, gift and awards.
Register Here

12th Annual Mid-Winter Championship Regatta
Marco Island
Saturday and Sunday, February 28 – March 1

Friday 2pm – ? practice
Saturday 8:30-4:30pm with Dinner at 6:30pm
Sunday 9:30am – 4:30pmFrank E. Mackle Community Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island, FL
$45 entry fee. Includes Sat & Sun lunches, soda, water, awards and skipper’s gift.
Register Here

Why can’t we play in the same Sand Box??

At issue is a long-standing American Model Yachting Association (AMYA) bylaw that states, in essence, that AMYA members, that own a boat in an AMYA sanctioned class, may vote to change a class specification. On the face, this is not particularly offensive if the class exists primarily within the AMYA. But if 99 percent of class boat owners are not AMYA members, and the class specification is approved by a multi-country class organization – then this practice is divisive.

As we all know, there are enough challenges to growing and maintaining an RC sailboat class. So why does AMYA persist in allowing a splinter group (AMYA members) to change the class specification and thus make their boats illegal for competing outside of AMYA sanctioned events. It is confusing to newcomers and unnecessarily thumbs-a-nose to larger class organizations.

RC Lasers racing at Marco Island, FL

RC Laser (17 years) and Nirvana (9 years) have long offered to work with AMYA on a solution that maintains the integrity of their class specifications. In the past, AMYA members who own one of these two large classes have not attempted to change the class specifications within AMYA, even though they could. But now, a splinter group from the Nirvana class is proposing to vote on a class specification that is not in compliance with the international class rule that Nirvana follows – and tomorrow, it could be the RC Laser specification coming under attack.

Nirvana North American Championships 2012

Again, to clarify, AMYA is supporting the option of AMYA members that own a class boat to adopt a class specification that will render their boats illegal for racing in anything other than AMYA regattas. We see no positive outcome of such a practice and think AMYA should exempt class specifications from AMYA voting where a superior class rule is in effect.

We are looking for your input on this seemingly unnecessary and class splitting action by AMYA. We encourage you to post your comments to this article.

Fold in Your Sail?

We get calls frequently about how to take a creases out of an RC Laser sail.  Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible to do (terry towel over sail with iron set to max steam).    So the obvious answer is “Don’t get a crease in your sail!”

Since preventative maintenance is the way to go, we are promoting proper packing of the RC Laser into our fantastic carry bag.  Sometimes we get a little sloppy and the sail gets folded when incorrectly installed in the bag.  So here is the article as a refresher!

RC Laser
Boat in Bag Instructions

Yes, there is a right and a “not so right” way to pack your boat in the handy carry bag.

To pack and unpack the bag, lay it logo side down,  and unzip the bag.


Sails – pack the sails first since the weight of the other items packed in the center flap makes it hard to insert the sails smoothly.  Flip the center flap up and place sails with the luff of the sail in first, the foot of the sail to the right, and the head of the sail to the left (that leaves the leech of the sail with the sail streamers closest to you, and the zipper).

Parts of the Sail

Put the tack of the sail all the way in to the back of the pocket so that the clew of the sail is comfortably inside the zipper.  Lay sail flat with no folds.  If you have the A sail, it will stick out the left end of the bag – we will get to that later.  Before folding the center flap over the sail, carefully fold the wind streamers back over the sails to keep them from getting caught in the zipper.  Now fold the flap down over the sails and check again to make sure no sail, strings, streamers are sticking out that could get caught in the zipper.

Keel – On the right side of the flap are two long thin pockets.  The one closest to the fold of the bag is for the keel.  ALWAYS insert keel fin into the pocket with the pointed end (trailing end) of the ballast pointing toward you (away from fold in bag).

Rudder – Goes in the shorter of the two pockets – right next to the keel.  Make sure to close the cover on this pocket area to keep the keel and rudder in place.

Hull – Remove the batteries and the hatch from the boat first.  Dry you hull before inserting into the bag.  Insert the hull into the large pocket UPSIDE DOWN and STERN FIRST.  When full in the pocket, the tiller will stick out through the hole in the left end of the pocket.  The two Velcro-fitted straps then cross the forward end of the boat to keep it firmly in place.

Spars – in the fold of the bag are two Velcro strap keepers.  Take your mast sections, and the boom and secure them with the straps.  Even the A mast will fit right along with your standard mast and boom.

Transmitter, batteries, hatch, etc.  – To the left of the hull pocket is the transmitter pocket.  Insert the transmitter BOTTOM FIRST into the pocket with the control sticks FACING UP. You will also find room in this pocket to put other small items like boat batteries, hatch, sun tan lotion,  etc.

Boat Stand – If you have a boat stand, fold it flat and then put the open ends around the stern of the hull with the closed end around the left end of the radio pocket.  It fits perfectly if you do it right – not worth a darn if you do it wrong.  You’ll see.

A Sail – If you have the A sail, you will now fold the head of the sail back across the radio compartment.  We recommend that you insert something (foam, or tube of some kind, to fold the sail over to keep it from getting a hard crease in the sail as it folds back over the radio compartment.  The flap then covers the fold in the sail to protect the sail from the zipper when closing the bag.

Towel – I recommend carrying a hand towel in your bag.  It fits nicely along the curve of the bag where the masts and booms are stored.  Always dry off your boat and parts before putting in bag – and make sure to leave the hatch open.

Boat Assembly

 –  Remove the hull first.

–  Install the keel in the hull first, followed by the rudder.  The keel protects the rudder from damage while boat is lying on the ground.  We do not recommend using a boat stand outside as it is too easy to blow the boat over.

–  Install your battery pack in the boat

–  Install the chosen sail on the mast, then the boom, and finally stand in boat and connect the mainsheet. Note that the mainsheet (black string) must be on the right side of the mast when inserted.

– Turn on transmitter, then boat, and make sure everything is working.


If you are going to ship your boat or check it as baggage on an airplane (which I have done countless times with no damage) these extra packing tips are worthwhile.

~ Remove the 8 batteries from the transmitter as well.  They can be stored in the transmitter pocket in a zip lock bag or similar, but the momentum of the batteries left in the transmitter often smashes the compression clips at the end of the battery trays.  Even though not permanent damage, you must pry these clips out or you will end up with intermittent power in the transmitter.

~  Use waded newspaper or other packing, to fill in the ends of the bag.  Especially pay attention to packing between the radio pocket and the stern of the boat.  A hard shift of the boat that strikes the tiller on the radio, can cause the gears in the steering servo to be damaged.  Also, plenty of packing around and over the radio is important.  A real squash of the bag can jam (and break) the control sticks on the face of the radio.  The bottom line is to fill the open spaces in the ends of the bag and you will be amazed at the pounding this boat and bag can take.

~  Put the whole boat, in the bag, in the bag shipping box.  Even though the box does not protect the boat and contents very much, it does keep the bag from getting scuffed up.  You may have noticed that if you cut the tape on this box, it lies completely flat, and yet when you need it, it only takes a little tape to reuse it over and over.

Post comments below if you have questions – we’ll be happy to answer them!

Rudder Centering Adjustment Procedure for Nirvana

Before we start, the arm on the rudder post (tiller), was designed to be on the right side of the post.  Make sure that the end of the tiller clears the right side wall as it swings through its arch. If not, trim a little off the tiller end to help it clear without rubbing.

What the ????  It is possible to put the tiller on upside down so the tiller points to the left side, but normally the rubber grommet that it passes through will bind more if it is on the wrong side.  So if you want to be a “lefty”, make sure that it moves through the rubber grommet smoothly without jamming the grommet too far to one side.  AND, always mount the tiller with the screw facing to the rear.

These instructions will guide you through centering the rudder to the radio system.  There are three adjustments to make, but once made, should not ever need to be changed.

1 – Servo end of system.  On the forward end of the steering p/p-rod, you will find an arm (servo horn) which attaches to the steering servo .  Using a small Phillips head screwdriver, remove the screw, and work the arm off the steering servo post.

Turn “On” the transmitter and then the boat switch.  Make sure that the transmitter “fine tune” adjustment (slider button below the right stick on transmitter) is in the middle.  Move the transmitter right-stick left and right a couple of times, and then release allowing the servo to come to rest in the middle of its range.

Reinstall the horn onto the steering servo so that the arm is pointed straight to the left (when viewing boat from the back).  Again, fit it on the post of the servo so that it is perpendicular to the centerline of the boat, pointing to the left.

2 – Tiller to rudder post attachment.  You will note that the rudder has a flat spot ground into the rudder post.  Loosen the screw and make sure that the orientation of the tiller has the screw directly into the flat.

3 – Adjust length of p/p rod. Leave the radio system “On”.  View the boat from the rear and determine if the rudder is in the same plane as the keel fin.  If it is not aligned, follow the next few steps.

Note:  When you remove the set screw, the rudder is likely to drop out of the boat.  If you have a boat with a brass (metal) tube through which the rudder post mounts, it should be lubricated.  Vaseline is fine.  You do not need to lubricate the rudder post if you have the new black plastic tube installed in your boat.

If the rudder is cocked one way or the other, make note of whether the rod needs to be shortened or lengthened to bring the rudder back to center.  For instance, if you have the tiller mounted, as advised, on the right side of the rudder post, AND the rudder trailing edge is on the left side, then the rod needs to be shortened, and vice versa.  Turning the tiller/clevis clockwise as viewed from the rear, will shorten the rod and vice versa.

How much to adjust is by trial and error.  Remove the tiller from the rudder post by slacking the screw.  In our example with the rudder trailing edge to the left, we need to shorten the rod. Leaving the tiller attached to the rod clevis, simply turn the tiller clockwise two-three turns and then reattach to the rudder post to see how much you moved the rudder.  Repeat this procedure until you have the rudder centered.

Remember to leave the radio system “On” while doing this adjustment.

That’s it.  As long as you always center the tiller screw on the flat in the rudder post, your rudder should always be centered.  When sailing, if you want to make a correction to “center”, you have the “fine-tune” slider below the steering stick as a fine tune.

Nirvana – SOLD OUT


WE ARE SOLD OUT OF NIRVANAS but we still have parts available – click here for Nirvana Parts. And we are always available to help with any questions you have about the Nirvana. We sail them, too!

As of December 2012, there is no announced date for the next manufacturing run of Nirvanas. We will share the information as we hear it – sign up now for our newsletter to be the first to know. Click here to sign up.

Posted in Nirvana, The Nirvana.
Tagged as hobby, nirvana, Nirvana II, RC sailboat, RC sailing.

Product Description

Nirvana, the model sailboat, has not changed in appearance or performance since first produced in 2003. Even though there was a period when this boat was dubbed Nirvana II, she is simply referred to today as Nirvana.

The latest version came out in 2011, with the primary difference being a new radio system. Gone are the days when frequency conflicts cause boats to lose control. Today, the Nirvana has a very efficient 2.4 ghz frequency hopping radio system which automatically prevents interference.

This 32” model is produced to look like a real sailboat, from the extremely durable polyester sails to the look of her cabin trunk. Also note the deep fin keel with lead bulb that allows this boat to sail well in high winds (up to 22 mph). No other model in this category can come close in performance or appearance. This model will not capsize.

The rig, keel, and rudder are all quick release so the boat may be reduced to an easy-to-carry package in a moment. When displayed on her boat stand (included), she is 32” long, 66” high (bottom of keel to top of mast), and nearly 8” wide. Nirvana is available in three colors. Only 12 AA batteries are needed to sail this boat for up to 5 hours.

A complete line of inexpensive spare parts are available for this boat.

  • 32” Long, Ready-to-Sail, not a kit
  • All electronics included and installed
  • “Quik rig” system allows quick and easy unrigging
  • Polyester sails that will not stretch, tear, or mildew
  • Self-righting, lead ballasted deep keel
  • Inexpensive interchangeable parts
  • Includes display stand

Length overall: 32 inches

Bottom of keel to top of mast: 64 inches

maximum width: 7.75 inches

Sailing weight w/batteries: 5.5 pounds

Depth of water needed to sail: 13″

Sail Area
Total of main and jib: 525 square inches

For more expanded information on the features of the Nirvana, check out a couple of articles:

  • Features
  • Nirvana Class International Racing Rule

First, and foremost, we stand behind the products that we sell and service. The way we do that tells a lot about our company ethic and unending desire to serve our customers.


Satisfaction Guarantee

Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with any product purchased directly from SailRC, please return it for a refund based on the following terms:

  • Product must be returned (ship date) within 30 days of original receipt of product.
  • Product must be in resalable condition. That includes repacking of all parts in original packing, as originally packed, with complete paperwork included, and with no indication of use.
  • Shipping costs are not refundable.
  • Return shipping damage is the responsibility of the returning customer.
  • Restocking fee – 10% of cost of goods



SailRC is NOT the manufacturer of any product we sell. Therefore, we do not carry the ultimate responsibility for the warranty. However, we do everything possible to insure that you get prompt and fair service.

Specifically – we want you to contact us first with any product question or problem – see Contact Page. Steve will arrange a phone call to move quickly through your issue and provide exact instructions.

SailRC may intervene between you and the manufacturer if we have a warranty support arrangement with that manufacturer.

Warranty Statement: Warranty on products sold and shipped by SailRC covers failure of any part that is caused by defect in workmanship or materials when the product is used as intended*.

*Use as intended Model boats and boat equipment are intended to sail on water. They are not intended to withstand collisions with each other or any other obstruction. Electronics are not intended to get wet!

What is not covered Damage caused by misuse, abuse, improper care, accident, modification, shipping, wear and tear, or repair by anyone other than the manufacturer or their representative. Damage to metal parts due to use in salt water.

Warranty Fine Print

Registration & Proof of Purchase Proof of purchase is critical to a warranty claim. Please register your boat with SailRC within one month of purchase and keep your original receipt.

Electronics SailRC is not a warranty service station for any electronics company. We are pretty good at troubleshooting most of our electronics but even we have a hard time keeping up with new technology. We will troubleshoot your issue on the phone and if we cannot resolve your issue, we will send you directly to a manufacturer’s service rep to get a resolution (either repair or replacement). We will NOT be sending you overseas to any manufacturer – all service centers we use are in the US!

Shipping Damage All items shipped by SailRC are insured for full value. If your boat, or accessories, are damaged during shipping from us to you, it is important to contact SailRC immediately for claims processing.

Important If something is damaged in shipping, most of the time the outside box shows evidence of rough handling. We need pictures of damage to the box.

Again, we are not responsible for damage in shipping but we facilitate getting a resolution in your favor.

Warranty Shipping – The customer is responsible for all costs of shipping a warranty item to and from a warranty station.

No Return If a part fails, many times we can made a decision based on your photograph sent via email. In this case, we may avoid having to return the broken part for review. So take good pictures and send to

Replacement Parts Any shipping involved with warranty parts is paid by the owner.

If SailRC ships a warranty replacement part before a faulty part is returned to SailRC, or the manufacturer, the owner will be charged for the replacement. When the part is properly returned and deemed replaceable under warranty, then a credit will be issued to owner’s credit card.

Term We do not set the term of warranty service on our products but we sometimes offer extended warranty coverage. Below are just some of the warranty terms for the products we handle.

Nirvana Megatech, International, a US company, produces the Nirvana and warrants each new boat for 90 days from the verified date of purchase. In North America, SailRC manages all Nirvana warranty services.

Nirvana – Past, Present and Future

In February 2003, we received one of the first production run Nirvanas for evaluation. I was excited to get my hands on this new RC sailboat because it was designed and performance-tested by Jon Elmaleh – a world renowned model racing sailor and the best model production engineer I have ever known.

Overall, I was really impressed with that early version Nirvana. I test sailed her in Colorado against a well-tuned and sailed CR-914 (36″ racing sloop). Since I was then racing the CR-914 nationally, it was a good trial horse for the Nirvana.

Like all new boats off the production line, there were some bugs, but the boat looked great, sailed cleanly to windward, balanced well even in the puffs, and she was easy to handle downwind ~ a really fun boat with a new modern design.

The boat was, and is, produced by Megatech International, an American company that manufacturers RC products in production

facilities in China. As of 2012, Nirvana remains the only RC sailboat produced by Megatech.

In late 2010, SailRC signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Megatech to import the Nirvana to North America and take over promotion, distribution, and all warranty and parts service. On 5 April, 2011, the first production of Nirvanas since this agreement was inked arrived in our US warehouse.

Since the inception of Nirvana, Steve Lang, president of SailRC, has been an ongoing technical consultant to Megatech on modifications and improvements made to Nirvana.

The new model Nirvana is, by class racing rule, unchanged in performance from the very first boat built in 2003, but today it features upgraded electronics with a new 2.4 ghz spread-spectrum style radio system.

We mention the class racing rule because it serves all Nirvana owners, whether they race or not. The fact that a boat must be manufactured in strict compliance with a set of rules means that all boats, whether manufactured in 2003 or yesterday, must perform the same.

What that means to the non-racer is “value”. Since the boat does not change, each owner enjoys a better purchase value, AND a better resale value. AND, another terrific benefit is that parts are always interchangeable and inexpensive!

Enjoy Nirvana – it is a story worth repeating, and a boat worth sailing.

Up a Creek – Without a Rudder!!

The bullet-proof RC Laser has long invited sailors to be more careless about collisions.  But one type collision can disable an RC Laser.

If one boat’s bow crosses the aft deck of another boat it may hit the top of the rudder, unhooking it – which leads to ejecting the non-floating rudder  %$^&*#@!

For years we have heard – “my rudder just fell out even though it was snapped in!” But we all know that if both hooks are securely snapped into place, the rudder simply cannot “fall out”.  Nod your head, Yes!

But then one day in my own fleet, I collided with another boat, my bow crossing his aft deck.  I didn’t think much of it until I looked back and saw the other boat just sitting there.  Turns out, his rudder was gone.   Then I saw a similar incident about a month later – right before my eyes!!!  Then someone else claimed exactly the same story to me on the phone!

OK, OK, it is extremely rare but I have personally seen it happen! So here is the solution I recommend and use myself.  We installed safety pins on all our fleet boats and haven’t had a loss of a rudder since – for any reason.

A picture is worth a 1000 words, so here are two.  These clips are readily available in most hardware stores.  Drill an appropriate sized hole in the rudder center post, near enough to the top so the keeper pin you use can slide through and snap in place.  Also, tie the pin to something – I use the tiller or a steering rod.  That way, you won’t lose the pin when you store your boat.

As I mentioned, rudders don’t float, so save yourself the grief of losing one and the cost of buying a new one!  Do it today.

The Joy of Sailing

Radio Controlled Sailboats

RC model sailing, like all sports, has different levels of participation. We would like to point out a few ways you can enjoy RC sailing.

Family of Ducks – All Aboard!

The Hobbyist – There are those that participate as a hobbyist, finding much of their enjoyment in the construction and display of a model sailboat. After construction, the hobbyist often enjoys sitting on the couch, admiring his work, and even dreaming of what it would be like to be aboard such a boat at sea.

Get Away – Then there is the “relaxation” sailor, that uses his boat to get away from the free-for-all of daily life. Sailing an RC model sailboat on a quiet lake, blocks out the rest of the world and refreshes the senses with beautiful images and the soothing sounds of nature. It is not unusual to see models sailing next to a highrise office building during lunch break.

Family – A model sailboat is a special treat for the family – easy to own, easy to control, and harmless to play with. Children of all ages will enjoy quality time sailing with Mom and Dad. Kids relate naturally to the miniature world, and enjoy playing “make-believe” as they sail out to sea.

Learning – RC sailboats provide the ultimate learning tool. You quickly learn sailing basics in just an hour or so, and if you chose to learn more, your model is the perfect learning tool. If you want to graduate to real sailboats, all that you have learned with your model applies. And for those sailors that have raced around the marks a few times on full sized boats, you won’t believe how quickly you will learn new tactics and the finer points of racing rules when you take the helm of a model.

Camaraderie – Building or buying a RC sailboat is the price of admission into one of the oldest clubs in the world. Sailors love to gather, look over each other’s boats, and tell tall tales about their sailing adventures. Whether they sail a vintage RC sailboat, or the latest high-tech speedster, it all relates. We are now seeing an explosion of hometown sailing clubs all across the country. These model clubs are informal, social and tremendous fun. No need to be near the ocean, models sail on bodies of water as small as a swimming pool.  We even have clubs that race in the winter on inside swimming pools, powered by fans.
Racing Challenge – With the advent of reliable and easy to use radio control equipment, and model sailboats that look and act like the real thing, racing has taken a major step forward. Precise handling challenges the most seasoned racer. Model sailing clubs provide the structure for competition and the education to compete at a higher level. Entry level racing is found in all sailing clubs.

All of the Above – So what does this all mean? Whether you enjoy building and displaying a boat, a relaxing sail to bring you back to nature, or you want to compete for the national championship, there is a place for you in model sailing. And don’t forget the camaraderie of all those that enjoy the art and beauty of sailing.

Get an RC sailboat today and go sailing – it will bring a smile to your face whether alone or in a group.

Will it Capsize?

Capsize – to turn bottom up, overturn.

Most of the time when sailors discuss capsizing, they are referring to “turning a boat over”, and they are usually talking about a small boat that is ballasted by the crew. For the most part, this terminology means bringing the mast level to the water or even down under water, so the bottom of the boat is exposed – but more importantly, the boat stops and is inoperable in a capsized position.

So – does the term “capsize” apply to an RC sailboat? Not really. The vast majority of model sailboats are ballasted by a keel. If the wind blows hard enough to knock the boat down (sails flat in the water), the boat will still recover on its own and continue to sail because the keel ballast is in position to right the boat as soon as the wind lets up a little. So you will often hear the term “knocked down” rather than capsize.

This is a classic picture of an RC Laser caught in a big puff going downwind. We call this roll to windward a “death roll” because it is a well known predicament on the full sized Laser where the skipper is usually on the opposite side of the boat from the boom, and as you can see, would be “in the water” at this point, and the full sized Laser would most certainly capsize on top of the skipper to make matters ever worse!  But in this picture, the model has a keel that is about to bring this RC Laser back on her feet. So technically the boat does not capsize, but is just knocked-down momentarily.  This is the moment the model skipper mumbles to himself “sure glad I wasn’t on board for that death roll!”  🙂

Since most models are watertight to the point they will not quickly fill with water when knocked down, they are not out of commission.  So the next time some one asks you, “will it capsize”, the answer is really “No”.  But don’t try to explain!

Setting up the race course

I am working to start a local regatta in my area, and need some basic information on how to setup a race course. I read that you can easily make racing markers out of empty plastic bottles. What is the best way to get the markers set in the correct positions, and what is the best way to weigh them down? Do I need to bring a kayak out to the course, or can I set it up from the shore? What is the suggested distance between markers?

Also, what are throw outs, and how many should be set?

Capt. Jack – I have seen and made them all from casual sailing destination buoys – to national championships buoys where precise placement is critical as well as the buoy itself.

In the beginning, you can use just about anything that floats but it should be at least the size of a 1 gallon jug. The anchor can be a brick, and the line no more than simple fishing line.  To avoid catching passing boat keels, the anchor line should go straight down under the buoy.  To do that a small counter weight on the opposite end on the line from the anchor, which is routed through a turning fitting on the buoy, will keep the tension in the anchor line, and the buoy relatively close to vertically above the anchor.
As to where ~ in championship racing we are concerned first that markers are no further from where the skipper is standing than 300 feet.  Actually in club racing, 200 feet is more manageable.  If you can walk up and down the shore, then the markers can be further apart than 200-300 feet, it is depth perception that is the factor here, thus it is range from the skipper that really counts.
Where buoys are for championship racing, positioning is based on which way the wind is blowing.  One end of the course is located where the wind is coming from, the other end straight down wind from the first.  It is always beneficial  if the wind blows in a direction parallel to the shore where the skippers are.  Then put a starting line in the middle – start tacking into the wind to the windward mark and then go down wind to the leeward mark, and then return to the start/finish line.  Because inland lake sailing is plagued with lots of shifting winds, clubs often put out an array of buoys (our club uses 10), so we can pick the marks for each race based on where the wind is blowing from.
Often clubs put out permanent buoys – our club has permanent anchors but because surrounding residents don’t all appreciate our brightly colored marks on their lake, we use snap-on buoys and decoy ducks.  After sailing, we simply snap on the duck, and snap off the buoy, and we have a bunch of ducks floating around looking quite natural.
Throw-out buoys are another thing, and I will be glad to explain those to you if you will question directly.  A person that is experienced in throwing throw-out buoys can only get them out about 80-100 feet from shore.  And it takes a technique that takes a little learning.  Thus there isn’t much call for throw-outs unless there is a real need to launch and retrieve all buoys every time you sail and they can be within 80 feet from the shore.
Yes, a kayak or small boat is invaluable for launching and retrieving buoys.  Some clubs have built RC power boats with special hooks to launch and retrieve marks and anchors, but most are very inefficient and not worth the effort in my view.
Hope my 14 years of messing with RC sailboat buoys helps.


Let us show you why all over the world, where ever you find serious RC enthusiasts and/or sailors, you’ll find our RC sailboats. Click on an image below to find out complete specs and features, and what makes each boat unique.

42″ RC Laser

32″ Nirvana

Wonder why we list only two product lines? That is because we are extremely picky.

We sail only the best so we sell only the best.

Fairwind III


This RC Sailboat looks incredible on display or on the water – and it sails nice, too!

For a limited time, we are offering free shipping to any address in the continental US via UPS Ground. When you purchase a boat – all accessories ordered at the same time will ship free.

Posted in Fairwind III.
Tagged as Fairwind III, fiberglass, Kyosho, RC sailboat, sailing, salt water safe.

Product Description

One of the most beautiful RC sailboats available today.

  • Hull and deck molded in fiberglass – completely finished with all deck fittings installed, rudder installed, keel is molded as part of hull.
  • Mast and booms are shaped, extruded aluminum. Mast is two-piece, main mast and boom is slotted for mainsail.
  • Sails made of polished dacron.
  • Entire rig comes assembled and is owner installed and removed quickly and easily with six simple hooks.
  • All electronics are installed and adjusted.
  • Boat electrics on-off switch on deck – waterproof.
  • Very easy access to all internal parts through large hatch.
  • Ballast steel shot is supplied with two-part epoxy for easy owner installation. (Not factory installed to protect boat in shipment.)
  • Two channel FM radio system (requires owner added 12 AA batteries for 4-5 hours sailing time).
  • Boat is corrosion resistant and salt water safe.
  • Wooden scissor display stand included.
  • Looks as good on display as sailing on water.

Overall Length – 35.4″
Length Waterline – 34.5″
Beam – 8.8″
Draft – 11.5″
Mast top above deck – 48″
Bottom of keel to top of mast – 53″

Sail Area
Standard Rig 710 sq. in.
Competition Rig 600 sq. in.
Displacement 9 lbs.

Seawind is About to Enter “Stage Left”

Kyosho predicted the new Seawind would be in the US by the end of Jan 2014, but now that we have passed that date, they are saying sometime in February . . . and so it goes.

SailRC represented Kyosho selling the Seawind when it was only available as a kit, but eventually dropped it because there were not enough customers that wanted to build a kit.  So now, after a couple of years out of production, we are very excited to have the boat coming back on line in a ready-to-sail configuration.

As soon as we can get one of the new boats in our hands, we will write a full breakdown evaluation complete with a sailing report.  I know this model very well having built over 30 for Seawind owners from the kit version, and from racing her sparingly for about a year (2d in the 2007 Nationals).

In any respect, keep an eye on our website since we have already placed our order and expect them to be available to ship in late February or early March or . . . . . when they get to us.

Seawind is a great boat.  It’s sexy, fun to sail, and doesn’t have any bad habits.  It also has a very nicely organized racing class in the US.  So smile is you have always wanted a Seawind.  And if you haven’t always wanted one – consider it.    Steve

Once a Sailor…

My name is Steve Lang – and I have led a very full and rich life. When I was 8 years old, my father and mother came home one day and announced we would be moving onto a 60 foot sailboat . . . permanently! When we pulled up to the dock in Essex, Connecticut, you can imagine the excitement of a young boy about to embark on a magnificent adventure.

Thus began a three year, full immersion process of becoming a sailor. Unknown to me at the time, my father had been given 6 months to live and therefore, this was to be his final fulfillment in life. He was only 36. In a hurry to get it all in, we shortly took off from the calmness of dockside never to return to Essex. I learned the feel of a boat, night and day in the ocean, sailing in all conditions ~ steering, eating off a gimbaled table, and basic navigation. Life at sea was much like flying, hours and hours of the tranquil joys of sailing, punctuated with moments of shear mind numbing terror.

When three years expired, and my father hadn’t, my mother demanded to go ashore (“like normal people”). We did, but now we are in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I grew up in St. Petersburg where racing sailboats at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club was a full time sport. My father was at my side from the first time I touched the wheel on our big boat through all those years of racing dinghies. As I neared graduation from high school, I had raced most of the popular boats of the day – Lightnings, Thistles, Bantams, Flying Dutchmans, Snipes, Luders, Y-Flyers, etc. I was already on course for West Point, the US Military Academy. My father was a Colonel in the US Army, and always looked forward to my attending the academy. Unfortunately, one week after I graduated from High School, my father suddenly died. He had earned 11 wonderful years past his six month sentence.

In 1963, I graduated from West Point, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, headed for my beloved tanks. I married my high school sweetheart, now a registered nurse, and away we went with nothing in our pockets but dreams for the future. In addition to normal duties, I was selected to go to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. There I studied the Thai language for 13 months. As a reward for my fluent command of Thai, I was next stationed in Korea!%#, where I was the liaison officer to a Thai unit remaining there from the Korean War.

My last big adventure in the Army was combat in Vietnam. There I served six months with a Thai division before getting command of my own U.S. tank company. Even though war is no fun, it was the highlight of my military career. On my wall are the awards I earned there, including three awards of the Bronze Star with “V” device for valor, which only serves to bring back memories of the brave men that fought and those who died by my side. Unfortunately, there was no nobler mission in Vietnam than bringing home as many of those men as I could.

Steve in Vietnam 1970

I returned to civilian life in 1970, and guess where I headed? Back to boats. Within a year, I formed a corporation, Fleet Indigo, to operate a charter fleet of sailboats out of Tortola, British Virgin Islands. In the following 10 years I expanded the operation to 70 boats and a new fleet in Belize, Central America.

In 1985, while sitting on my back porch in Florida, I conceived the idea of building a pond business. I knew just enough to be dangerous, but within six months, I had firmly established my new company, Southern Garden Ponds. Within two years I was hamming it up at the podium teaching hundreds of folks the inside secrets of making back yard ponds work. I loved this completely different part of my life and was totally immersed in ponds until 1991.

All of a sudden my bride and I had no children left at home. Both daughters had completed college and were on their own. We had been living in St. Petersburg, but not liking it very much. On a winter ski trip to Colorado with high school friends, we realized that we had always wanted to return to Colorado, where we were first stationed in the Army nearly 30 years before. So we abruptly sold our home, my pond business, and headed west.

We found our place in Evergreen, a mountain town just west of Denver, Colorado. In 1992, I decided to build my bride of 30 years a new home on a ridge at 8600 feet of elevation. Over that winter, I was able to take a kit of lumber, plumbing, wiring, windows, etc., and single-handedly build our new home in heavily forested wilderness. Here we thoroughly enjoyed the mountains, snow shoeing, back country skiing, hiking, kayaking, and hot tubbing for 11 years before my high school sweetheart unexpectedly died of cancer!

It took me almost two years to even think about going on, but now I am fully immersed in RC sailing and distribute RC sailboats and teach model sailing all over the country. I am a kid again in many respects. I am racing and enjoying all my new friends – and I rarely go anywhere without my dog.  In 2007, I remarried to Judy, and within a year we left Colorado and moved to TN where the living was a little less demanding in the winter.

Sailing the Geezer

Of course we choose a community with a premier model sailing lake and facility, where I can now sail almost year round.  Life is good.


How to Set Up Main Halyard on the Nirvana RC Sailboat

The top of the sail often fits improperly allowing the trailing edge of the sail (leech) to be loose. at the top. An easy solution is to tie the halyard around the mast to the hole in the front of the mast crane. This will hold the head of the sail both up and forward eliminating the leech tension problem.

Loosie Goosie

Help! I have a loose gooseneck on my RC Laser. Now what?

Here is all you need:
• A ruler of some sort
• Your mast
• Your gooseneck
• Gorilla Glue or similar glue
• A rag


Apply glue around the mast from the 4 ½” mark to about the 6 ½” mark. Slide the gooseneck down over the glue and spin it a few times to evenly distribute the glue. Check to make sure the base is 4 ½” from the base of the mast and clean off any  excess glue. Let it dry.


Which Boat?

At first glance the array of RC sailboats can be overwhelming. We want to break it down so that you can make a wise choice and then get on with the Joy of Sailing. All RC model sailboats use the power of the wind for propulsion, and all use the same basic radio equipment for handing as RC boat

RC Model Sailboats

Categories – There are two basic categories of RC model sailboats, “one-design” and “developmental”.

  • One design– Radio controlled sailboatsin a one-design class must adhere to strict class uniformity. The uniformity is applied to the features of the boat that affect performance. The purpose of one-design, is to ensure that sailor’s skill will be the primary factor in the outcome of races among boats of that class. One-design boats appeal to those who would rather sail and race on equal terms and enjoy a good support system of other owners and a strong class organization.One-design model sailboats hold their value well because they do not become obsolete and  are also easier to buy because they are very specific and come either ready-to-sail or in very complete kits.
  • RC Lasers racing at Marco Island, FL

  • Developmental RC Sailboats– RC Sailboats in developmental classes have only a few standard specifications. For instance, they may be restricted in length and the amount of sail area they can carry. But they might not have restrictions on how the hull is designed, how heavy it must be, etc. These boats appeal to those that like to work on building a better mousetrap. Normally developmental boats are not a good choice for newcomers because the bits and pieces that make up the boat come from all over and there is little support for someone to learn how to sail because the boats are rigged so differently.
    • US One Meter shown by Jim Linville

    • MisIdentified Boats – There are a number of RC sailboats on the market that call themselves One-Design, BUT they allow a number of performance related modifications. In fact, they are not one-design at all.  I would caution you to look into the class racing rule and see if the class you are considering allows modifications that affect performance. If they do, no matter what they are called, they are not one-design if you can change major parts, sails, keel, rudder, weight, change shapes of these items, whatever.
    SailRC Commitment – We sell and service only true one-design boats because we know your investment is sound, and the enjoyment suitable for all newcomers. In fact, one-designs are the choice for many of the world’s greatest racing sailors because it tests sailing skill not how much money is invested to have a faster boat.

    Classes – Above we have talked about CATEGORIES of boats, One-Design or Developmental. Now, let’s talk classes. An RC sailboat class does not refer to classification as much as it refers to a name, a recognized group of sailboats that normally race against each other.

    • RC Laser – The most popular class of one-design RC sailboat in the world is the RC Laser. There are thousands of RC Lasers sailing around the world (Over 9000 in North America alone). No matter where you go, you will find fleets of RC Lasers sailing and racing on even terms because all the boats are exactly the same. All hulls molded in one mold, all sails are cut from the same pattern and made in only one shop, all authorized parts supplied come from a single manufacturer with no modifications allowed – period. Like most one design RC sailboats, however, owners may personalize their boats in appearance, colors, graphics, etc., since these variations have no affect of performance.
    • 50/800 or Marblehead – Another class of RC sailboat is the 50/800, so called because it is restricted to 50″ overall, and 800 sq inches of sail area. This is an old class of boats dating back to the early 1900s. However, many of the older Marbleheads are no longer competitive with newer designs because this is a developmental class. As the boat develops, it gets faster . . . and normally more expensive. Older boats become obsolete and lose value quickly. Except for their size limitations, you may not even recognize that you are looking at a Marblehead.  These highly developed and sophisticated boats are fun to sail, but are not at all appropriate for a beginner.
    • Roy Langbord tweaking his Marblehead – Goebel Photo

      So what’s right for you? – If you are new to sailing, we highly recommend that you buy into a real one-design class. Because they are identically produced, they are less expensive to buy (better value) than a developmental RC sailboat, and they hold their value well. Also, most one-design model RC sailboats come complete either in kit or ready-to-sail form. That means you won’t need to run around looking for all the required parts.

      If you enjoy the challenge of the cutting edge of development, developmental boats are for you. There are many great classes that you can choose from, just don’t start there.

      Last word – Since model RC sailboats are so INexpensive compared to real sailboats, RC sailors often own several boats, some one-design, and some developmental.

      As mentioned, SailRC offers the very best in radio controlled sailboats – one-design only. We support all owners with specific hands-on knowledge because we know every piece and function of the models we sell.

      This entry was posted in RC Laser, Nirvana and tagged “radio controlled sailboats”, “laser sailboat”, “rc sailboat”, “sailboat drawing”, “rc laser”, “rc laser sailboat”, “nirvana radio”, seawind, “rc sailing”, “rc sailboats” on  by Steve Lang.