Five years ago I came to RC sailing from sailing full size yachts and regret that I didn’t try it 20 years earlier. I started out with a 25 year old IOM, built by Squire Kay, that was well past its best and really not a good start. I then bought a second hand IOM by Barry Chisam, an ASBO, which I used to learn how to sail. I then bought a new Sedici, an Italian boat with an impressive pedigree. I had to wait around 14 months which was less than ideal.
My primary goal is to bring an affordable, modern design, IOM to the market with rapid delivery for self assembly and finishing.
As an engineer, I’ve always been interested in innovations and became aware of the potential for 3D printing around 12 years ago. Around 3 years ago I began to explore the idea of using it to print IOM boats. I was fortunate to be in a position to place a order for a Sedici but had to wait 14 months for delivery. From the placing of an order with the large, prominent manufacturers, it can take anywhere from 4 months to over 2 years to get the boat into the hands of the owner and the costs can easily spiral towards and in some cases way beyond £3000
Using 3D printing, I believe, it is quite possible to shorten the order/build process to just a few weeks and get many more IOM yachts into the hands of skippers at price that is much more reasonable.
If you want to look at the whole subject the best site to start with is https://3dprintedradioyachts.com/. There are even some free designs there for you to print yourself.I spent many hour on the site and cannot commend the author highly enough.
Having looked at several designs for 3d printing I printed a few for testing and while they might be wonderful designs they all had flaws. Some were:
- awkward to assemble
- took a long time to finish
- needed glass cloth reinforcement
Eventually I settled on the Alioth IOM design from Juan Egea. Juan is a very experienced IOM sailor and has done well on the world stage. His Alioth Design, in its second iteration, is a good performer in all conditions and has the results to back it up.
The Alioth may look familiar but the painstaking work Juan has done to produce a strong and light hull is what marks it out. It is printed in a continuous spiral which is capable of producing an outstanding surface finish which really needs very little finishing. We know of several boats that have been printed and put on the water without any surface treatment. The innovative thing about the design is the way Juan has kept the weight out of the fore and aft ends and the strength in the centre.
For the moment the best way to contact me is to use the contact form on this website.
We are working on several fin designs. Parallel, tapered and wine glass forms. All use the same head fitting and will be available very shortly. As fins are critical to the performance of any boat we are now supplying Dave Creed fins and rudders as an option.