Donald W Hain
RADIO-CONTROLLED SAILBOAT RACING
ISBN: 978-1-4808-7309-4 soft cover
ISBN : 978-1-4808-7310-0 hard cover
ISBN: 978-1-4808-7308-7 E version
Over thirty chapters of information on radio-controlled sailboat racing.
RADIO-CONTROLLED SAILBOAT RACING DICTIONARY
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A great companion to Radio-Controlled Sailboat Racing with over 400 definitions sailors use on large boats and when sailing radio-controlled boats.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Don’s grandfather was a carpenter for Richardson’s Boats http://www.richardsonboats.com/index.html . Don’s parents raced hydroplanes before they were married so Don has boating in his blood. While in grade school his dad, Emory, built a twenty-foot cruiser in their basement. There, Don learned to wipe bees wax on the bronze screws his dad installed using a Yankee screwdriver. They moored their boat at the Wilson Yacht Club on the south shore of Lake Ontario.
Don began sailing and racing about age ten as light air crew on a Snipe class sailboat http://www.snipeus.org/home.asp at the WYC. Skippers invited club members' children to crew light-air races because they placed ahead of boats with two, full-sized males. Back then the snipe fleet was the largest and most active racing fleet. The club had no junior sailing so Don learned in a type of hands-on or apprenticeship learning experience. He slowly learned sailing terminology, seamanship, safety, racing rules, tactics, sail trim, sportsmanship, sail care, starting techniques and up wind and downwind tactics and of course paddling to and from the harbor to the lake while crewing on the “master sailors” boats in actual racing. He also was able to apply the line handling, knot-tying and lashing skills he had learned as a Boy Scout. It was a win-win-win for the boat owners, eager young sailor wannabe’s and for the club producing a future supply of members to perpetuate the sport of sailing and club membership.
In high school, his freshman year, he helped his father build a Lightning class sailboat http://lightningclass.org/. That winter he learned woodworking skills, gluing with resorcinol glues, sanding, painting with epoxy paint, varnishing and applying fiberglass cloth and resins. His brother and he crewed in races for their dad for three summers. His senior year he skippered the boat in club regattas and season series on Wednesday evenings and on Sundays. They originally bought used cotton sails for the main and jib. They later upgraded to Dacron and added a Nylon spinnaker. They had a cottage on Sunset Island in Wilson, New York. He purchased a fourteen-foot Chestnut canoe that he paddled extensively in Wilson Harbor each summer. The canoe was very useful in the weekly bottom cleaning of the lightning as well as getting to and from the lightning that was located at the yacht club on another island. That fall he signed on a lake freighter, the SS George R. Fink, as a deckhand. After one round-trip through Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior he decided to go to college. He took the advice of his high school Art teacher to become a teacher.
His first summer while in college he worked as a junior sailing instructor at the Olcott Yacht Club http://olcottyachtclub.com/ on the south shore of Lake Ontario . They were resurrecting their junior program that had been inactive for several years. The Junior Sailing Committee requested that he obtain a Senior Lifesaving Certificate and then were nice enough to send him to the Red Cross Small Craft School in the Finger Lakes for ten days. There he became Red Cross certified to instruct courses in Sailing, Canoeing, Motor Boating and Rowing. The first year at OYC he taught two days a week and life guarded, cleaned the pool and did yard work the other three days. The junior boats used were fiberglass Nutshells build by Hinterhauler Boats in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada. The program grew to five days per week and both a basic class and an advanced class. One summer the American Eagle http://www.americascupcharters.com/american_eagle.html , a wooden twelve meter built for the America’s Cup race, was docked in Olcott harbor and one afternoon the junior sailing students were invited to crew. That summer it was Canadian owned and called Golden Eagle. Don became a regular crew member that summer and also crewed in the Freeman regatta on Lake Ontario. The purpose of mentioning Don's 12 meter experience is twofold. First to show his varied sailing experience (eight-foot prams to 65-foot Americas Cup boats) and second to explain his love for 12 meters and how that influenced his early radio-controlled boat quest. He taught some great kids at the OYC for four summers. Some of these “kids” are now very competitive adult sailors and active yacht club members who enjoy the sport of competitive sailboat racing.
Next Don taught at Youngstown Yacht Club (YYC) http://yyc.org/ located where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario. Here his experience with river current was greatly expanded. The YYC had two days of basic sailing, two days of advanced sailing and boat repair and racing on Fridays. Across the river was Niagara-On-The-Lake Sailing Club (NOLSC) http://www.niagarasailing.on.ca/017/main.html . They also had a very active junior program and the two junior programs often combined their Friday racing to expose the juniors to a twenty-boat start as opposed to a ten-boat start. Both clubs belonged to the South Shore Yacht Racing Association which held four yearly junior regattas. The twenty boat start raised the question, why not more boats? So a new regatta was born. With the help of senior club members and some parents, Don hauled the ten boats from Olcott Yacht Club, towed several boats from Port Dalhousie Yacht Club in Canada, and the NOLSC's boats across the Niagara river so that combined with a few privately-owned Nutshells, they held the first Youngstown Yacht Club Junior Invitational Regatta with over forty boats on the starting line. Don felt that they could not have a regatta of this magnitude without great trophies. No budget for extra trophies? No problem! Rather than award broken wooden battens with magic-marker lettering or yellow, red, and blue-crepe-paper-stuffed coke bottles which a lot of clubs did back then-- Don’s decided to make half models of the Nutshell on a wooden plaque two gold, two blue, and two red hulls so both the skipper and the crew received a trophy. Well, the best laid plans--he no problem obtaining a mahogany “plug” of the half hull of the Nutshell, from a friend, but the mold and dealing with mold release waxes was a real challenge. Initially he had no one to consult and spent a lot of time experimenting. He did learn a lot and this is where his interest in model mold and scale-boat building began. He built Laser models http://laserperformance.com/ and a few custom half models for some club members that summer. He even applied as a model builder for Pearson Yachts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_Yachts .
Don supplemented his junior sailing salary by working in marinas and driving a launch. He crewed on big boats on Wednesday evenings, and weekends and was race committee for the Thursday-evening dingy races. He eventually received an undergraduate degree in Industrial Arts Education. In the spring and fall he rowed crew for his college. Basically, Don is interested in almost anything related to boating.
Don has been crewing for over twenty five years on a Pearson Flyer http://www.sailingworld.com/article/Pearson-Flyer-Undeniable-Appeal , “Scottish Lion” that races out of Buffalo, New York on Lake Erie.
In 2009 Don retired, moved to Florida, and visited the local model shop intending to build a scale model of a twelve meter. He discovered radio-controlled sailboats and three clubs that raced these models locally. The idea of racing R/C sailboats was something he had to see firsthand.
One Saturday morning he drove to the Sun Coast Model Sailing Club's (SCMSC) http://www.suncoastmodelsailingclub.net/ pond, located in Punta Gorda, Florida and was impressed with the large number of Soling’s http://www.soling1m.com/ sailing in three different fleets and how intent each sailor was and how organized the group was. He met the Rear Commodore/Race Director Art Hawes. He shared with Art his goals about 12 Meter boats and Art and others suggested that Don start R/C sailing with a used Soling 1M (a great boat for beginners), the clubs largest class, and gain experience and “thumb time” on the transmitter as well as learn about all of the variables of constructing a model R/C boat before I attempting a “new build”. Don later found out that SCMSC is the second largest club in the American Model Yachting Association (AMYA) http://www.theamya.org/ .
Don successfully raced his used soling for a couple of years and moved up from the bronze fleet to the silver fleet. He then built a jig for building a new Soling 1M and completed a boat for his brother to race at the Buffalo Model Boat Club (BMBC) http://www.buffalomodelboat.com/ . Don brought both Soling’s north with him that summer and joined the Buffalo Model Boat Club to race with his brother. His brother had not sailed big boats for decades and had never sailed R/C sailboats. Jim did have some experience with R/C planes and helicopters and a lifetime of experience in electronics. Jim is an avid reader and uses books to expand his knowledge in a subject. He expressed a concern that there should be a book to assist new R/C sailors. This idea was the catalyst for this publication. Don started taking mental notes of the kinds of questions new R/C sailors were asking. How new racers interacted with experienced racers and he felt that the theory that a “rising tide lifts all boats” fit this sport. The experienced sailors help the new sailors become better racers who, in turn, challenge the good sailors to become better. The BMBC introduced Don to the US 1 Meter class http://www.theamya.org/boats/us1m/ and the uniqueness of this very light- weight development class. The next year he built a new soling for himself and then purchased a used US Twelve Meter. He has won trophies in both classes at Sun Coast Model Sailing Club.
Several members of the BMBC built Soling 1M boats one winter and started a Thursday night Soling fleet to complement their Monday night US One Meter Fleet. Don observed how the members built variations into their boats that he had not observed at SCMSC. These variations were the result of the various professional backgrounds of the builders, the influence of the US One Meter class that most of these sailors already sailed, and their personal preferences. A number of the members inquired why Don did certain things to the two Soling’s he built and he noted their curiosity. Learning at a large club Don just took the information he was offered and used it. It didn’t occur to him that this new fleet needed instruction similar to what he had received. One evening several of the top sailors did not show up. Don's focus, which was usually on competing with those now absent top sailors, turned to the boats behind him. Being a former teacher a “teaching moment” was now obvious to Don. It was time to give back to others what had been given to him. Don remembered the American Red Cross's Small Craft School ® philosophy of “People Helping People”. and incorporated it into his own teaching philosophy. This reinforced his brother’s suggestion about the need for a book. Don wondered how many other smaller clubs, start-up clubs, and individuals looking for a club across the country needed information about R/C sailboat racing.
Don loves building R/C boats, sharing his knowledge about R/C sailboat racing as much as actually racing his models.
His teaching style is not to tell you to do it because he says so. He likes to explain why you change it, so that you can apply your new knowledge to future situations. Being a retired Drafting and Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) instructor he loves to take the time to sketch when explaining.
You may find him looking over your shoulder at your model next to the pond or observing your tactics on the water. He loves the sport, loves to learn about it, and loves to promote it at every chance.