Paul designed this boat for the European championship in Berlin so its name: “Berlin Go” ==> Berlingo, It was the first French M with a Swing Rig and he won !
I believe that the European Championship in Berlin was in 1989 (28 years ago… I was only 11)
Paul LUCAS was a naval architect. His last M: the Margo and his last boat: “Nij Atao”, a waterBike with Brest University.
You may find a nice photo of the WaterBike below:
I started with a bare carbon hull which was forgotten in a modeler’s private storage for some years.
This hull was also made by Mr. Christos Lardis, and is made from carbon fiber and epoxy resin.
The hull was completely open and without deck.
The first element I had to decide was the design and layout of the deck.
This time I wanted a new and improved deck design, considering my first berlingo build the “Ziggy Stardust”.
As I wanted the boat to be able to carry both swing and conventional rigs, I had to think how I will implement this function in a simple and functional layout.
The solution came from my IOM projects. As I already had a center deck mold in my hands from my “Filya” project, I thought that it would be convenient to use this part for my new project.
To sum up a little bit and explain my basic ideas and parts I choose for this project, I quote the following list for reading and understanding convenience:
Center deck part from IOM “Filya” project
Foils from David Creed in UK
Deeper keel fin compared to my first Berlingo build
Move Keel fin, Swing & Conventional Rig Box astern (8cm approximately compared with original design placement)
New slimmer bulb made in one piece in Greece. Weight 3.3Kgr
Rudder Shaft must be outside deck level.
New electronics pot and electronics position compared with my first Berlingo
I started the building with keel fin and center deck fitting…
Actually, am still measuring position of placement …
Fin/mast box alignment to deck part.
In the pitures below you can see the final alignment and placement of the keel fin and ballast.
Latest update of the build…
The hull construction is almost finished and I continued with the colouring works. Two part epoxy colour was used in 4 fine soft layers. The overall finish was more than acceptable and I decided to wet sand the surface later on with extra fine sand papers until 2000 grid. I attach some photos of the coloured hull and stay tuned for the final assembly and tests…
Scale modelling and Sailing was always my passion. When these two elements meet each other the mix gives me the spark for a new project.
The idea of a new IOM design was rounding my mind especially when my IOM “Triton” project was ceased. This time I thought that it would be a great idea to discuss my ideas with a very good friend of mine Mr. Andreas Hoffmann.
Andreas has already designed and built an IOM design named “Mamba” and we decided to use it as a base for the new design. We kept the main volumes and base-lines the same but Andreas added a hard chine across the side of the hull and designed a very beautiful deck layout. The hull came out very nice with a unique character that liked me very much.
The name of the design was still missing and we were discussing how to continue with the building. Andreas had a very good idea and introduced me to Dirk Hiller who has in his workshop some very nice equipment. Dirk also enjoys RC-Sailing and he is a 3D designer and CNC/3D printing enthusiast.
So our team grew up and now consisted by three persons.
Andreas Hoffmann is the designer, Dirk Hiller is responsible for the plugs and I will build the moulds and boats.
By the time we became three the name of the design came clearly in my head. We would name the boat “Filya” which in Greek language means Friendship.
I made the logo of the design with the friendship idea in my mind so the three different coloured figures represent each one of us.
The whole idea of the project started on October 2015 with the first discussion with Andreas. The plugs were built by Dirk on December same year and came in my hands on early January 2016.
Dirk made a very well prepared work during the CNC machining and the plugs were very well detailed and accurate…
My work started with priming the plugs by using two parts automotive primer sprayed and sanded on different repeated layers. Next step was to wax the plugs and construct the polyester moulds.
The first hull came out on July 2016 and of course was sent to the designer with honours.
Below Andreas hull #1 sailing in Germany…
The second hull was built up to deck level ready for electronics and sent to Dirk Hiller for sail testing and eventually racing.
The third hull was supposed to be built for myself but when I finished it a high interest came from a Brazilian skipper and was sent to him.
Hull #4 followed up and was finished ready to sail.
Now I have to find some spare time for sail tests.
Surfing internet last night I found an interesting ad about a RC sailing World Championship for Marblehead, IOM and 10R like classes organised by NAVIGA.
I got a little confused initially because as far as I know World and European championships can only be organised by IRSA and ISAF for this classes.
The trick here is that the pre-mentioned ISAF classes are measured according to NAVIGA proprietary rules which are almost the same as ISAF classes rules. The classes names are also different and named as following:
The first thing that really got my attention and wanted to do a little more research was that the championship was organised in the countryside of a very beautiful country , Hungary.
I then searched about the participation so far and realised that most already registered skippers are from Austria and Slovakia. It is very early of course until May but I guess most participants would be from nearby countries and towns.
The second and most important thing for me was to search about the participation fee and services. My surprise was phenomenal when I saw that for each class the participation fee was only 30 EUR for seniors and 15 EUR for juniors. With this kind of extremely low entry fee, I see this organisation as a superb alternative to ISAF and IRSA organisations. I guess you will not have the same competition level and organisation quality but it would be fun enough to keep most skippers busy and do some nice international racing.
Years was passing by and I was always trying to get involved more actively with boat building.
In the late ‘80s I started dinghy sailing with Optimists and Lasers in a local Yacht club. During an excavation in my dad’s storehouse we founded a marvelous wooden planked Marblehead called “Skippy”. It was built by my father somewhere in the early ‘70s and it was fairly sailed by him back then. We decided to restore it and hit the water again after so many years.
The spark was given and the rest is just history…
In 2010 I Joined the Hellenic Navy-modelers Society an online forum dealing with model boat generally. www.rc-boats.gr
I found a lot of people with the same interests to me and with some new friends we tried to gather all the sailboat modelers in Greece in one common group.
We did a great job as we found a lot of old and inactive modelers with very good model yachts and also some really interested newcomers.
We built some new models like RG65, IOMs and Marbleheads and we tried to organize some fun regattas.
Year by year we improved our techniques and knowledge base. We found more skippers willing to participate in our regattas, we built better boats and supported extremely well the newcomers.
In 2012 we established the Hellenic RG65 Class Association.
I always enjoy building hulls from scratch and this time I decided to go for a little designing also, something I have never done before.
Inspired by “BritPoP” and “Alternative” hull lines I designed a narrow hull with a very hard chine reaching almost the bow of the boat. I added also some extra volumes on the bow area to avoid nose diving and some more ideas in the deck layout.
I named the design “Triton“
I firstly build a wooden prototype as I was planning to go for a negative polyester mould.
Despite the fact that the hull looks very similar to BG designs it is a totally different boat with many personal ideas.
Unfortunately I didn’t keep any photos of the moulds. I only have some photos of the ready made boat…
I only built 6 hulls of this design and gave them to some friends of mine.
Prototype #2 sailing in Germany
I used Dave Creed foils for half of the prototypes and MX Components foils for the rest of them. Below you can see an MX Components carbon look bulb.
Today the mould is destroyed and the project is ceased.
My second IOM was a commercial boat made by MX Components in Thailand named “MX-14“. It is a Frank Russell’s design also known as “Goth XP” but is slightly modified for MX Components production purposes.
After selling my “Image“, I was searching for a modern narrow design for my next yacht because most of the times the weather conditions where we use to race are very calm.
I was offered a second-handed boat from Italy which was the personal boat of Maurizio Morbidelli the owner of MX Components brand. I couldn’t resist to that offer and grab the boat without a second thought.
The boat came to me in September 2014, very professionally packed and I started the assembly and rigging immediately.
The first thing I did was to install the winch. I bought a S300-XS from MX Components and installed it in the provided mount plate.
Below it is clearly visible where the correction weights are placed.
The next step was to fit my rigs I kept from my old IOM. The main problem I faced was that the mast tubes I was using were 12,7mm and the mast box was for 11,1 outer diameter tubes.
I decided to cut them and make in my lathe an adapter made from ErtaCetal plastic in the desired outer diameter of the mast box.
Absolute fit and the rigs are ready for some serious tests… 🙂
Next thing to do was to install RX and rudder servo.
My first true racing Marblehead was given to me by Mr. Christos Lardis, a senior Greek boat modeller with an enormous experience and great knowledge.
It was an old French design from 1989 and the name of the designer was Paul Lucas, if I type it correctly. I am not very sure.
The name of this beautiful narrow hull is “Berlingo”.
The hull came in my hands as seen on the picture below.
It was made very well by Mr. Christos and he kept the total weight very low.
The first thing I did with the hull was to clean with my dremel tool the carbon/kevlar fabric excesses.
I made a plan in my head about how I wanted to build the boat and what would be my main criteria.
I wanted to use both swing rig and conventional rigs so I would need two mast boxes.
I could make my own foils to keep the cost low.
I wanted to lower the rigs to deck level the most I could so I have to make a lowered deck layout. (this one is the most difficult part)
With these three main aspects always in my mind I started my project with the foils preparation.
I used the layout and dimensions of the original design and I started with a 3mm balsa core trimmed to the desired NACA profile.
I laminated several layers of carbon cloth with different thickness for each side of the fins.
I continued with some endless wet sanding of the surfaces and then sprayed them with two part automotive primer before painting.
I then made the finbox by wrapping carbon cloth on the upper section of the keel fin in which I had before applied several layers of P.V.A realease agent.
Next step was to properly align and glue in place the finbox…
Rudder shaft tube placed also and aligned accordingly.
After all of those almost straight forward works, came the time for the most difficult part of the project which was the deck design and construction.
I had to design a deck layout and then to find out how it could be attached to the hull. I liked very much the skiff type deck layout and I tried to make my version by lowering as much as I could the deck level.
The main idea was to have the opportunity of lowering the conventional rigs as much as I could and also place an electronics pot also lowered into the deck.
I started with the build of the deck layout by using carton paper and then transfer it to 3mm plywood.
When the wooden deck was ready I removed it from the hull and prepare it to make a negative polyester mould.
Mould got ready and an epoxy deck came out very nice and light.
Mast boxes for both types of rigs were ready in order to be placed together with the deck.
After a lot of measuring, trimming, aligning and much more I managed to glue the deck in place and the result was very satisfying.
As every part consisting the boat was placed the next step was to apply some putty where it was needed to…
I made a custom putty by using epoxy resin mixed with micro balloons which gave me a very light and high-density media.
Filling and wet sanding before spaying the primer was more than necessary.
I used a nice utility named “Bulb Calculator” to make the bulb of the boat. I made a wooden prototype and from that, I made two gypsum moulds in order to cast the two bulb halves from lead.
The final bulb weighted 3300gr with a total length of 42cm.
The boat was near completion and I had only to paint it. I was thinking to paint it all a pale white but when I did it the final look was too empty for my eyes. I was struggling to find a nice logo or an additional colour scheme for the boat. For several days my mind was focused to this desired colour scheme I was looking for…
The Story behind the name:
One day I was listening to one of David Bowie’s greatest hit named “Starman“. Immediately I imagined the boat like a white spaceship… The concept of David Bowie’s album from which this song was a part of, was about space and a fiction character named “Ziggy“. The title of the album was “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars“.
The boat’s logo was finally very clear to me and in front of my eyes. I was going to name the boat “Ziggy Stardust“. I made a logo on the computer and send it to a friend who was responsible for the painting and artworks of the project.
I always get very inspired from music and I like very much to use ideas that comes from songs into my projects.
The colour set of the fins were chosen to match the logo and the concept of “Ziggy”. The lighting which David used to paint in his eye, was printed as the main logo on the sides of the hull.
The colour scheme was painted on the hull on 13 of April 2014. Who could imagine that David would leave us for heaven on January 2016…??? RIP our beloved Ziggy…!!!
Final steps for getting ready the boat to hit the water commenced by placing foils and rigging…
Construction of the various rigs and eventually sailing…
Initial sailing tests with B-Conventional and breezy conditions…
Rig caused modifications:
The boat was designed only for swing-rigs back in 1989. One of my main and most critical requirements was to use conventional rigs for the lower rigs. I had to face a crucial step during the building of where and how to place the mast box for the conventional rigs. After a lot of research and reading of various sources, I decided to move the keel fin closer to datum for about 4cm. I then placed the conventional mast box as close to the leading edge of the fin I could and also move the swing rig mast box after a little bit. Below you can find a detailed sketch with all of my measurements.
To tell the truth I was worried about my modifications and I was anxious for the first sail tests. I didn’t receive a clear impression after the first sail tests and I thought that racing would give me the right feeling and correct conclusion.
My thoughts were correct and regatta by regatta the boat evolved to be a real winner. Upwind speed and angle were magnificent, downwind sailing like a charm with minimum nose-diving . My project was successful and manage to win several regattas and two annual championships.
Ziggy Stardust today continues to participate in the Greek championship and still continues to win regattas with his new skipper.