In the heat of preparing for the NAVIGA World Championships I made the decision to apply some upgrades on my Walicki Ten Rater and Walicki Marblehead too. At this point I see your faces asking the big question why? Laci, why would you like to change anything in these iconic, high performance boats?
I know Janus made these on a really high quality which was coupled also with high performance, but the technology improved in the last few years. My aim is to change the sailwinch and the rudder servo to faster and stronger ones. In the IOM class I changed to RMG winch last year (also I changed to the biggest RMG drum) and also tried a Futaba BLS451 servo as a rudder servo. I didn’t think that it would affect the performance so much. I wasn’t so wrong a long ago. I experienced advantage before the starting signal when everybody wants to stop before the starting line in good positions. With the faster servos it’s easier to stay in the same position and avoid to touch the boats under you or go on an early start. Also easier to sheet in in the perfect moment with a faster sailwinch.
I experienced another advantage in bigger wind conditions. Previously in these conditions when I reached the mark the angle and the timing was critical for the turn, because I have to count with the speed of sailwinch servo. It’s not a real problem if nobody has a faster sailwinch in the fleet, but if anybody has, than he could earn metres against others by approaching the mark closer and make the turn faster. It could be also critical when you would like to take advantage from the turning mistake of the boat in front of you.
You could say now okay-okay than a faster sailwinch servo is better but why a high performance rudder servo needed?
A high performance rudder servo also affects the competitiveness of the boat. You don’t trust in me? 😀
Than maybe you trust in Zvonko Jelacic a great competitor from the IOM World. In an interview for The Seattle IOM Update in 2014 he get the following question from the Seattle Model Yacht Club: „I’m curious on some of equipment choices, which I think you have been consistent on for some time. You specify a really heavy high-performance rudder servo (currently the Futaba BLS155) yet a big name like Brad Gibson is content with the basic slower and much less powerful standard 3003 Futaba servo. What you are getting with this expensive servo? I’ve been wanting to ask this question for some time.”
And he says „Yes, they are heavier, but the weight is close to the hull bottom and centered in our boats so not a big deal to us. Certainly they are more expensive, but they are very strong and very durable. The real reason is how we like to sail with the rudder centered and the boat driving itself for 10 – 15 meters. To do this we need a very accurately centered rudder, and that is what this expensive servo provides us. I prefer a somewhat slow rudder, but I find that with 30 – 40% exponential that I use this Futaba works fine for me. Also we use 50° rudder throw. My guess is that people who like to actively “drive” their boat do not need the precise centering, so the standard sero is fine for them. I do not speak for them though, I am speculating.”
I love technology because it improves all the time. That means at this point there are two Brushless servo options from Futaba what are middle sized, so almost perfectly fits into the Walicki boats, and almost have the same weight as the original Hitec 5245MG.
Now you understand why I strated this project with my Walicki boats. RMG sailwinch and Futaba BLS servos are much faster and precise than the original ones which where a modified Hitec servo for sailwinch, and a Hitec 5245MG (my main problem with it was that at least one was broken per season) for rudder. I know in the never Walicki boats a modified Futaba BLS452 was applied, I also tried that one, but I didn’t experienced so much difference in compare with the Hitec one which was the original in my boat.
At this point the RMG winch arrived for the first test, but the rudder servo needs two more weeks. I will document how I could apply these servos on the Walicki boats and I would like to post them to the blog soon.
Live your dreams!