Getting Started

This page contains a lot of information that may give someone the idea that RC sailing is difficult. It is not, and may be the best RC model to learn to operate without risking damage. This information is provided as a source for beginners to help ensure your experience with a new boat is trouble-free. Some of the information is not needed until you start sailing regularly in our club competition, since many of the modifications have to do with durability and convenience. Most of our skippers at the pond will be happy to discuss and demonstrate the ideas shown here. It is also much easier to learn by seeing. So please don't try to absorb it all in one sitting. In addition to this Getting Started page, also read Sailing is Fun and Questions and Answers on this website then examine the AMYA resources shown below.

When you get your new boat, it is a good idea to get some help setting it up the first time to avoid problems. We would be happy to help you set it up at the pond and assist you on the first voyage. Just give us a call. See Contacts page .

RADIO FREQUENCY: . Radios that come with the V-32 and the Dragon Force operate on the 2.4 GHz band and do not cause interference with other radios. The the 2.4 GHz radios are sold by Specktrum, JR, and Futaba--as well as other brands. The transmitter searches the channels to find an unused frequency, then when the receiver is turned on, it searches for the transmitter's signal. In addition, the receiver will only take commands from one transmitter--and it knows which one!

75 MHz radio frequencies are authorized by the FCC for non-flying models. Each of these frequencies has an assigned "Channel Number," 61 through 90. Two boats may not operate on the same channel because they will interfere with each other and both boats will become uncontrolable. You must use a freqency/channel that is not being used by another skipper.

72 MHz (Channels 11 -60) are for model airplanes and FCC regulations state that they may NOT be used for boats, cars and other non-flying models. See authorized frequency page for a list of legal RC boat frequencies. See this site for all air and ground authorized frequencies/channels for model operation.

If you already have a 75MHz or a 2.4 GHz radio (like the ones used in RC cars), it can be used in your new boat and Victor will sell you a boat without the radio at a slightly reduced cost. At this time Dragon Force boats are not available without the radio.  2.4 GHz radios may be used on airplanes, cars, and boats.


Nautical Terms

Recommend that you learn some new terms for parts of a sailboat and even for left, right, front, and back. Study the illustration below and the Definitions page at AMYA. Go to the School of Sailing Glossary to see every sailing term there is--maybe use those words to stump your sailing buddies.

v32 rc sailboat

Membership in the American Model Yachting Association (AMYA)

The AMYA is the national governing body for model yachting. The Kettering Model Sailing Club is AMYA registered club #237. Our charter requires all club members to be AMYA Members and have their boat registered with the Class Secretary. V-32s come with a hull number, but Dragon Force boats are assigned by the RG-65 Class Secretary.

  • The AMYA Join and Renew page has the infomation for joining AMYA. AMYA members receive the AMYA Model Yachting magazine, a quarterly, high-quality magazine devoted to RC sailboating not available anywhere else. Examine a Sample Issue online .
  • Get the boat registration form from AMYA, and check with the KMSC club secretary for registering your V-32 with the AMYA Class Secretary.
  • There is no need to get all this done before joining us for sailing with your new boat. Some of these registration processes take a long time, and we don't want your boat getting dusty while you wait.


Recommended Reading on AMYA website :

Getting started ; intro to sails ; sailing manual , and the faq page ., rules of racing.

Once you get familiar with RC sailing and find yourself racing, you will need to learn the Rules of Racing. Our club races according to these rules (or at least we try), so it is important to study them. Plunging into the complete Rules of Racing book before you know all the terms and have been in a race may not be the best way to begin. The first two items below are a good place to start. Initially, focus on understanding Port/Starboard and Windward/Leeward rights.

  • Simplified Rules for Beginners . Rules of racing reduced to a few pages.  A good place to start, but a good skipper will get a copy of the complete rules, and study them. Resources for rules.
  • US Sailing rules .  Online source for rules. Model sailboat rules are the same as the full-size sailboat rules with an Appendix E that contains some modifications and additions for models.
  • At some point you will tire of other skippers telling you their interpretation of the rules. Stongly recommend that you read the entire AMYA Rules Tutorial that is written specifically for RC boats. Recommend all skippers read through this each year. Learn to use the rules to your advantage, and then you can confidently call "Protest!"
  • You may want to print out this Primary Rules Card and carry it in your wallet.
  • Here is a very good animated Rule Tutorial presented as a quiz. Use this to see how well you understand the Rules of Racing. Suitable for beginners and "old salts." This covers a wide range of situations from simple, to complex, and even obscure.
  • Nice 30 minute video The Science behind Sailing by Wil Cyr explaining the basic rules of sailing.

Okay! Let's Get a Boat!

KMSC sails two classes, the V-32 and the Dragon Force.  Sources for V-32 and Dragon Force Boats are provided on Links page . 

Go to the .
 Continue on this page.

V-32 Sailboat

Please note that the V-32 class rules require that we all use a Victor Model Products V-32 to compete in this class.

If you have decided to sail V-32s with us, the first thing you will need is a boat. Factory built V-32s, complete with a good 2.4 GHz radio may be ordered direct from Victor Model Products , or from a retail distributor. Victor also sells kits (V-32k). Used V-32s can be purchased locally or from an online source such as Ebay. Check with the KMSC Commodore for used boats. Both good and bad used boats have been purchased online, so buyer beware. Most of our members sail factory built V-32s and have been very pleased with the quality of the boats. If you have some experience building plane or boat kits, and have the time, you can save approximately $250 by building your own from a kit. When you visit us at the pond, ask a few skippers about building a V-32 kit.

Recommendations for a new V-32

BEFORE YOU PUT THE BOAT IN THE WATER: Carefully inspect the outside of the joint between the hull and the deck all the way around. Once in awhile this joint has a gap that could allow your boat to fill with water and cause it to sink.  The gap could develop during shipping, handling, or maybe during gluing. Have seen this in only one boat--which was purchased from a dealer (not the factory) as closeout stock. Rebond any gaps with epoxy or super glue. Check this seam often, especially after your boat is hit by another.

A new V-32 will sail fine as-is, but the first three items should be completed as soon as possible to prevent problems, and the sail number should be applied so we know when your boat finishes first. (1) KEEL SEAL:   A few new boats have a leak around the keel box.  This should be identified the first time a boat is sailed. It is very important on the first sail to bring the boat back after 5 or 10 minutes to see if it is taking on water. This leak is easily fixed by putting a substantial fillet of epoxy inside the boat at the hull-keelbox joint and also apply some epoxy to the other keelbox joints. You may prevent this problem by applying the epoxy before the first voyage.

( 2) RUDDER TUBE: The tube that sticks out of the rudder is a hollow brass tube that may be crushed when the control arm screw is tightened. This makes it very difficult to remove the rudder, may also cause the screw to loosen, and may let rudder fall to the bottom of the pond.  To prevent this, insert and glue a solid 1/8 brass or aluminum rod inside the tube so the tube will not be crushed when tightening the screw.  Insert the solid rod as far as you can to give added strength to the rudder post. Also recommend replacing the phillips head screw with an allen head screw--the phillips head screw is not easily tightened in this awkward location. This modification is pretty important.


  • Use a thin nylon lock nut. However, on a new boat there may not be room to install this.
  • Install a small lanyard. Attach it to the a screw hook where the shroud attaches to the deck. Loop the other end over the tightening tab of the mast jack. Not a good practice since it may tend to rotate the mast out of it's preferred position.
  • Use BLUE Locktite on the bolt. Remove the bolt, put a few drops and reinstall. After curing, blue Locktite binds the bolt a bit, but allows it to be turned when needed. It will last about two months before the Locktite needs to be reapplied, depending on how much you adjust the jack. Do not use RED Locktite--it is permanent.

(4) SAIL NUMBERS: V-32 Class Rules require that at least the last two numbers of the hull serial number be displayed on the mainsail in contrasting colors--which usually means black. Lighter colors like orange, yellow, and light shades of other colors cannot be seen. Solid letters are the most visible. The purpose is to clearly mark your sail so the Race Director can read your number when you cross the finish line in first place.

Starboard numbers

  • Make the numbers at least 3 inches high. The option in the Class Rules that allow 2 inch letters is a grandfather clause to permit older boats to keep their sails that were marked IAW the older rules. Two inch numbers cannot be clearly seen.
  • You can use stick-on plastic numbers, and if they are thin enough they may not affect the sail shape. Most skippers use permanent magic markers to apply numbers. Print out the number patterns on your computer, place the pattern behind the sail and trace with a permanent magic marker. Protect the table (and your marriage)--the ink soaks through sail and paper! Choose a font that can be easily read--don't get too fancy. Sanford Sharpie markers have worked well and come in a variety of colors. NOTE: Be very careful with a new magic marker--the excess amount of ink may wick beyond its intended location. Outline the numbers with a non-water-soluble ball point pen before you apply the magic marker and it will help prevent wicking.  You can decorate sails with magic markers as well. Go through the V-32 Photo Pages to see many ways to mark you sails.

Goose Hinge

(5) GOOSENECK HINGE: The original hinge that the main boom pivots on can jam. The cotterpin on a single screw eye does not work well. The quickest fix is to install a second screw eye and put a bolt through the two screw eyes and cotter pin.  See photos.  You may also use a hollow rivet which makes a convenient place to thread the downhaul line through. The best fix is replacing the vang with the Victor brass assembly.

NOTE: It is normal for the leech of the mainsail to brush the backstay as the boom swings across the centerline. The leech overlaps the backstay about 3/16 of an inch and will not be a problem when tacking, even when battens are installed.


More Modifications for the V-32

Here are modifications often done by V-32 skippers. New boat owners should not be intimidated by this list--the mods are not critical, not required, and may be done at your leisure. Many skippers complete these items over the winter when we can't sail, but still want to play with their boats. V-32 Class Rules are pretty specific about what you can and cannot modify, and these mods are considered legal.  Many of these mods are shown on the Kit Builder's Help Page.

(a) KEEL ATTACHMENT: There are two ways to attach the keel.

  • Use the wing nut and rubber washer. This is what is used on the factory built boats. This allows the keel to be easily removed. Since there is really no seal between the bottom of the hull and the keel, water can get into the keel box area and cause some problems. The Keel Tang (little wooden tab that sticks out of the keel with a threaded screw) may become water logged. Remove the keel and coat the tang and the top of the keel with super glue and epoxy to prevent water damage.  It is also a good idea to coat the inside of the keel box.  Use waterproof epoxy.  The stuff I use usually needs to be reapplied twice year.  If you don’t get this done right away it is okay to do it after the first season when the parts get dried out. If the wood in these areas does not have a waterproof coating to seal out the water, the bolt will become loose and the plywood may get wet, separate at the laminations, and break off while you are sailing in the middle of the pond.
  • Permanent keel attachment: V-32 fleet rules, effective Spring of 2010, permit permanently bonding the keel to the hull. This reduces the chance of leaks, and also prevents the problem discussed above.  I Recommend the permanent attachment. 

(b) BATTENS: Batten material should come with the boat, but battens are not installed on the sails at the factory. Batten material are the narrow strip(s) of clear plastic with self-stick. Use them to make the battens IAW the V-32 Class Rules . We can discuss and show you battens on our boats at the pond.  New sails are stiff enough that battens may not be needed. However, after a few months of sailing, especially if you get caught in  a rainshower, lack of battens will slow your boat because the leech will bend over.

(c) HATCH:   The finger hole in the sliding, clear plastic hatch is a major source for taking on water splashed on deck in 8 to 12 mph winds. Most of us plug this hole. We can show you easy and fancy ways to do this.  Best explained by looking at boats.

Jib Cringle

(g) CRANE: This is that little arm that extends back on the top of the mast. The crane may come loose when you catch it on a car door or when sailing in high wind conditions. If it comes loose, clean up the glue, glue it back in with epoxy and insert two small pins into holes drilled through the mast and crane. Pin the crane on a new boat before it comes loose to prevent missing a day of sailing.

(h) MAIN SHEET ANTI-FOULING : The mainsheet (line that pulls the main boom) may get tangled in the radio equipment inside the hull. Most skippers place a small clear plastic sheet above the equipment, and under the sail servo arm so when the mainsheet and jib sheets are slack, they lay on the clear plastic sheet. The clear plastic can also prevent water from falling on the receiver when it flows through the cracks between the hatch frame and hatch. Other skippers install a cross bar, strings, or rubber bands to keep the sheets free. When the sheet gets caught on equipment in the boat, it not only prevents the sail from going out to the proper setting, but can also prevent the sail control servo arm from rotating to the full in position. This causes the sail servo to draw a very high current which will quickly drain the battery and in many cases, damage the wiring, servo, and the battery. (See Photos)

BE CAREFUL: It sounds silly, but most damage to a boat occurs when it is being taken in and out of a house or car.

V-32 Kit Builder's Help Page

The V-32 Kit Builder's Help Page has a number of  V-32 photos that may be helpful for a kit builder who has never seen a completed V-32. This page was posted in response to a kit-builider who requested more detail than found in the instructions. If you are building a kit and need some other details, let me know, and more photos will be posted on that page. Go to Kit Builder's Help Page .

If you are a V-32 skipper and have other legal modifications that improve durability or convenience, please let me know and I will post your idea with a credit to you.

Request for correction: If anyone finds items on this page to be controversial or incorrect, please contact me .

-by R. Kanko

v32 rc sailboat

Learning to sail an RC sailboat is easy.

Getting it to go to a certain mark takes some practice., the hard part is getting to a mark before everyone else., sponsored by victiques.com.

Copyright 2010, 2011, Kettering Model Sailing Club. All Rights Reserved.



435 sq in.



6 lbs.

A completely assembled two channel model sailboat designed especially for those who are new to radio control sail boating. This model yacht is great for the young or the young at heart. For those who want to spend their time sailing instead of constructing, this model is perfect. The V-32 almost-ready-to-sail yacht is only a few minutes from package to pond. With this boat you can choose from seven exciting hull colors and eleven complimenting sail colors. Matching hull pin stripping adds to the beauty of this gem. Included in the package is an installed top of the line radio control unit including a powerful sail winch and a handy display stand. By following the simple preparation steps, you will be sailing in no time. Included sailing tips are helpful for the first time sailor.

v32 rc sailboat

ProductID: VMP-V32
Price: 535.00

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