A BEGINNERS' GUIDE TO IOMs
We mainly race International One Metre (IOM) class yachts. Since its inception at the end of the 20th century this has become the most popular class of model radio-controlled yacht racing in the UK, probably in the world. There are, for instance, over 90 clubs racing IOMs in the UK.
A fully rigged IOM will fit into the back of some larger hatchback/estate cars, but it is very common for individuals with smaller vehicles to attach their rigging - mast, sails etc. - to the yacht hull when they arrive at the Lagoon. With a bit of practice it can take less than ten minutes to rig your boat and have it ready for the day's racing.
Part of the popularity of the class is that boat dimensions are governed by strict rules: one metre long; 4 kg. minimum weight; three suits of sails of specified area. But within these rules there is scope for experimentation with different designs - particularly in the area of hull shapes and rigging hardware. This makes for a very dynamic market, with new designs frequently appearing on the scene and people competing at national and international level always willing to buy the latest.
Brand new IOMs can be quite expensive but the dynamic nature of the market means that there is a reasonable supply of very good boats, often at bargain prices. A typical deal for a perfectly good, but older, starter boat would be the hull and a couple of suits of sails, plus basic radio control equipment, offered for £400-500. It is even possible to pay less than this - perhaps around £250 - if you're willing to start with a boat which is not in great cosmetic condition.
The most important piece of advice for a beginner wishing to get into the sport is that you should enlist the - very willingly offered - help of one of the more knowledgeable members of the club to find you your first boat.
examples of IOM hull designs c.2000-2010
It would be a shame to conclude this brief article, which has focused on specifications and costs, without highlighting just how beautiful a swan-like IOM yacht gliding, with perfectly set sails, through the barely ruffled water of the Lagoon can be. Over and above the good-humoured rough and tumble of competition with fellow club-members, there is definitely an aesthetic dimension to this sport.
So now please go to our Contact webpage and get in touch to arrange an introductory session with us!
SUPPLIERS TO THE CLUB
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Numbers and Letters for sails and boats, deck patch material etc.