Words from Steve at Model Sailing Center
Dan - I thought you might include a message from me in your newsletter.
Welcome ABYC -RC Sailors - I, like many of you, spent most of my days sailing in crewed boats, mostly dinghies. But when I relocated to 8600 feet in the Rockies, "big boat" sailing really wasn't that great. So in 1999, I bought my first model and I have been at it ever since. At this time, I am your class secretary, and readying the final documents to have the Nirvana fully sanctioned by the American Model Yachting Association. In the year to come, we expect to start our regional and national level regattas with the Nirvana - the beginning of full fledged racing circuit around the country.
In that respect, keep your eye on updates to the class rule that is posted on the SailRC.com website. For now, it is the official resting place of this document. And please do not make any modifications to your boats that affect performance without first checking to see if it is, or will become, legal. Obviously it is your business what your club, and you, do with respect to the class rule. However, if you venture out to sail in Regional, National, or International regattas, you will need to comply. Just fair warning that this is a strict one design boat, and we in model sailing have the ability to really clamp down on the rule so that the best sailor wins, not the one with the most money!
The Nirvana as a racing boat, and certainly in salt water sailing, is new. The boat has been produced for 4 years, but primarily as a hobby store boat, with little attention to fine tuning for racing. Now we, you and I, are working on turning this great little entry level boat into a worthwhile racing machine!! Sounds funny, I know, but when you go to a major model sailing regatta, you will be surprised at the intensity and the skill level at which these boats are raced!
But it is all about fun, and one thing I must pass along as you all get going with your fleet, is to concentrate on making it fun! Sometimes certain skippers take it a little too seriously, and they can make it unpleasant for others. I suggest that you might consider a "drinking" fleet and a "racing" fleet. :) But be careful about mixing casual sailors with those always racing to win. Winning is great, but having fun is equally important. I have seen too many clubs blow up because a certain faction became "impossible" to live with and turned the rest off. A word to the wise.
Dan has done a great job of translating some hard line facts. There is no other boat under $200 that can hold a candle to the Nirvana. It is a complete package. However, it is mass produced, and some corners have been cut to keep the price down. So when things fail with this boat, we hope to be there with the solutions that will keep your boat sailing. The hull, fins and rig are well designed, engineered, and produced. But it is the little things like "O" rings, boom vang fittings, and electronic parts that we need to stay ahead of. To give you an idea, I own a 39" boat that cost me $2600 ~ and still, I need to be careful with the electronics!!!
The title to one of my seminars is "You Can't Win, if You Don't FINISH!" We all know this from big boats as well, so remember that maintenance is just as important as your skill on the course. A little extra care will give you hours of great sailing fun.
I, as your class secretary and Nirvana distributor, am here for each of you. Obviously, I can't talk to everyone on the phone at once, but I can really type and keep up with your email. So feel free to say "Hello" and let me help where I can. In the meantime, "Help each other". If you learn something that works, tell everyone else so as a group you progress to that ultimate goal of having a great time sailing in the mini world of RC boats.
PS. And yes, that is me with the white hair and goatee on the website and I look forward to sailing with your club very soon.