Saturday, 1 March 2008

Model Boats for Protest Hearings

In a protest hearing you have to give the parties some help in recreating the situation. Most people have trouble drawing on a piece of paper and staying consistent about things like distance and scale. Much better is to use model boats. They are available in many different shapes and sizes. Some of the club owned are beautiful handcrafted pieces in wood or metal. There's even an artist in metalworks who makes them on spec for prize giving. (

You can buy them ready made, set of boats, complete with marks and wind direction arrows. If you buy the book about rules by Paul Elvstrom, it comes with a plastic set of it's own. Or you can make your own. Remember to make them bigger if your sailors are younger.

A practical and not expensive plastic set is produced by YRC (Norway,) called the Sailors Quarrel bag. It contains 5 different coloured plastic boats with a cut-out sail, a committee vessel, wind arrow and two marks. They cost about € 10,- including shipping and you can get them from:, or in NED from: Webshop Watersportverbond, or in GBR: from John Doerr (download a page with his Retail Items here) (sorry, I had to remove the link)

Top of the line is a kit with Magnetic Models of 16 boats (in four colours, each numbered 1 - 4), committee vessels, jury-, wing- and umpire boats, gate-, finish-, start- and numbered marks, wind-, current- and tide direction arrows. The sails are attached on top and can be adjusted to any angle and every piece is magnetic so you can use them on a white board. Complete with plastic container.

These kits are made by Noel Allen in Australia. He can be contacted on this E-mail address: ppillare(a)
Sets are available directly from him at AUD$60.00 (€ 37,53) plus postage Air Mail (8-10 days) AUD$23.90 (€ 14,95) or Sea Mail (8 weeks) AUD$ 13.35 (€ 8,35) per set. (100AUD$ = € 62,56)

The same set is also distributed in North America, USA, by Pat Healy:
In Europe in Great Britain by John Doerr (download a page with his Retail Items here)
And also in Great Britain by Chris Simon. They can be ordered on this e-mail address: chrisimon(a) or go to his TSS-ad.
He's currently charging GBP 45 (or Euros 70) for a kit which includes air mail postage and packing. Payment has to be by bank transfer to his account in advance of shipment. He also sell TSS software and the laminated rule books for fleet, match and team racing.

To stay consistent when parties give evidence, I usually assign a model boat color according to the clothes a party is wearing; i.e. green shirt uses a green boat. Easy to remember and also a light note in what is perceived by most sailors as a "difficult" environment. Something to break the ice.

If any of you have an additional source for model boats, please send me an E-mail with particulars for posting.


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