AMYA Sanctioned Classes

Racing yachts are organized into classes, and are listed alphabetically by size

If you are new to the sport and are not sure what class of model to obtain, the best class to start with is the one sailed most often in your area. Check out our Club Listing to find the model yacht club(s) in your area. Contact the club and find out when they race. Go down to the pond and see what it's like. Talk to the skippers, ask their opinion on the best beginner's yacht that you will be able to race in their club.

Where class rules permit it, building your own yacht can dramatically lower costs. Discover whether the local club holds construction meetings or if there is someone that is able to help you if you get stuck. Most clubs are very willing to help new members get started.

Plans for building a yacht that interests you can best be found by contacting the class secretary, whose mail and email address (if available) are listed on the page for the class. The AMYA also has a few sets of plans available through the AMYA Ships Store.

There are essentially two different kinds of classes. Development classes tend toward encouraging new designs, and One-Design classes tend to focus on restricting development to make all boats as equal as possible. In reality, there is an almost continuous range of types. The dividing line tends to be whether the hull is restricted to a single design, so be aware that some of the classes listed below as "one design" may not be as restrictive as others.

AMYA Classes have one of two kinds of governing structure. Most classes found here are managed by a class secretary and is elected by an AMYA ballot. Other classes are managed by quasi-independent class associations (commonly called "COA's"), they run their own ballots on rules changes and officers.

Q. What class of yacht is the best one to get?

  1. The best class of yacht to get is the one that is sailed most often at your local club.
  2. The one you fell in love with.
  3. Either A or B
  4. All the Above
Hint: There is no wrong answer.

Footy - Developmental
That photo isn't skewed, this boat is called a Footy and it's ...yup 12 inches long.
Sanctioned in 2006. Low cost, fun, easy to build class that puts to rest the theory that boats under 30" long don't sail well.
12" long (thus "Footy") is the smallest of the development class yachts.
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Micro Magic - One Design
One of the most popular model yachts in the world, the Graupner Micro Magic was designed for racing. Its performance is all out of proportion to its small size. The class is managed by a Class Owners Association that is part of the International Micro Magic Class. 53.5 cm long.
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RG-65 - Developmental Class
The RG-65 is an International development class with a 30 year history. The class rules limit only the length of the hull (65 cm), the height of the rig (110 cm) and the sail area (2250 square centimeters)
650mm long.
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Victoria - One Design
Sanctioned in 1997. Low cost, ARS kit from Thunder Tiger modeled after the America's Cup 12 meter yachts.
30.7" long, 433 sq in sail area, 4.5 lbs displacement.
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V32 - One Design
Sanctioned in 2000. The 32 inch Victor Model Products V-32 Low-cost, Ready to Sail boat or kit.
32" long, 450 sq in sail area, 6.2 lbs+ displacement.

David Goebel's #2429
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Nirvana - One Design
The Megatech Nirvana is a popular Ready to Sail boat designed for racing. 32.5" long.

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36/600 - Developmental
The 36/600 has an appearance similar to the Marblehead yachts. This development class is restricted in overall length and sail area. While these yachts are commercially available,  their simplicity also makes them a good choice for beginning builders. 36" long, 600 sq. inches sail area.

Mike Eldred and his modified Venom #79
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Fairwind
One Design Class sanctioned in 2002. The Fairwind is built by One Manufacturer. The Kyosho Fairwind are 36" (900mm) long replicas of International Offshore Racing (IOR) yachts with cabins.

Kerry Pebbles and his Fleet
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CR 914 - One Design
The CR 914 is based on the original design of the International America's Cup Class.This one design class allows no variations in hulls, spars, sails or replacement parts. 36" (914mm) long, 658 sq. in. sail area, 6.25 lb displacement.

Alan Kew and his CR 914 Crazy
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T37 - One Design
The T-37 is a 37 inch RC sailboat with 635.5 square inches of sail area. The hull is built of 1/8 inch mahogany plywood assembled with epoxy for a light, strong composite boat. Most T37s are built from the kit by the owners although the T37 is also available ready to sail.

Ron Meicho built this T37 with its custom deck.
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U.S. One Meter - Developmental
The U.S. One Meter is a small-sized development class yacht, with an appearance similar to the Marblehead yachts. This development class is restricted in overall length and sail area. The U.S. One Meter is surprisingly fast and seaworthy for its size. 39.37" long, 600 sq. inches sail area.

Photo of Bernd Mludek's Mongoose I
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International One Meter - Developmental
Sanctioned in 1998. The International One Metre is the fastest growing class in the world. The rules in this class are identical to those used throughout the globe. The class has a one-design rig and weight minimums, but the hull design is very much developmental. One meter long, with a sail area as large as a Marblehead. 39.37" long (One meter)
An IOM and proud owner
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ODOM - One Design Sanctioned in 1995. Also called "One Design One Meter". The ODOM is based on a U.S. One Meter design. This small-sized yacht's kit must be initially purchased from the manufacturer. Sails are strictly controlled, but may be purchased or made from scratch. This one design class allows no variations. The class is managed by a class association.
39.37" long.

Doug Robichauds ODOM
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Soling One Meter - One Design
Sanctioned in 1993. The Soling One Meter is based on the full-size Olympic Soling. One Manufacturer.
39.37" long.

Arthur Jacobsen submitted this Soling 1M photo ...in memory of his beloved wife.
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Seawind - One Design
One Design Class sanctioned in April 2003. The Seawind is built by One Manufacturer, and sold through many outlets.  The Kyosho Seawind, Seawind SE, and Carbon Seawind model yachts are meter- long replicas of a late 1990's early 2000's America's Cup yacht.
39.37 inches (One Meter) long

Mike Eades' SeaWind #86, Predator
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R/C Laser - One Design
Sanctioned in 1997. Out of the box, Ready-to-Sail scale model of Laser.
41.75" long.

A RC Laser and proud skipper
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Star 45 - One Design
Based on the full-sized Star Class of Olympic and International fame. Builders are allowed variability in materials but dimensions are closely controlled. 45" long.
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Canterbury J - One Design
The Canterbury J originated in Christchurch, New Zealand, based on the J Class Ranger. A 48 inch Fiberglass hull and lead Keel both made from Class molds. Everything else can be made by the builder. Total weight of ready to sail boat is 14lbs 5oz.
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Marblehead - Developmental
Also called "M" or "50/800". The Marblehead is a medium-sized yacht providing exciting performance and the ability to handle most sailing conditions if rigged properly. This development class is restricted in overall length and sail area. The Marblehead was considered the leader in the use of advanced construction materials and techniques. 50" long, 800 sq. inches sail area.

Tony Johnson with his Walicki Skalpel
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Soling 50 - One Design
The Soling 50 is based on the full-size Olympic Soling. This medium-sized yacht's hull must be initially purchased from a manufacturer (See Class Page). Decks, keels, rigging, spars and sails are strictly controlled, but may be purchased or made from scratch. Almost all other equipment is up to the owner. 50" long.

Mark Mason #11
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Infinity 54 - One Design
The Infinity 54 is an original design expressly for model yacht racing. This one design class allows no variations in either original assembly or replacement parts.
54" long.

Bruce Antell's I-54
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East Coast 12 Meter - One Design
Based on a 1962-63 vintage design for a full-size International 12 Meter. This medium-sized yacht's hull must be initially purchased from a licensed builder. Decks and sails  are strictly controlled, purchased or made from scratch. Almost all other equipment isup to the owner.
Approx 58" long.

An EC-12 on deck...er dock....
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10 Rater - Developmental
The Ten Rater is a medium-sized yacht with a reputation for speed. This development class is restricted by a simple formula of waterline length multiplied by sail area, multiplied by eight, to  equal ten or less. As there are few restrictions, the class allows the greatest freedom for development and experimentation.
60-65" long.

Mark Gee and his 10 Rater
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Santa Barbara - One Design
The Santa Barbara is an original design expressly for model yacht racing with the classic lines of a full-size yacht. This large-sized yacht's hull and keel must be initially purchased from the manufacturer. Decks and sails are strictly controlled, but may be purchased or made from scratch. Almost all other equipment is up to the owner.
70" long.

Dick Hein #1308
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Newport 12 Meter - One Design
The Newport 12 Meter is a 1/12 scale model of a typical full-size 12 Meter. Hulls/kits are available from McClung's Enterprises.
72" long.

A Newport 12 and proud owner
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AC - Developmental
The AC class yacht is the largest of the development class yachts, being 1/12 scale versions of the full-sized America's Cup class yachts. This development class allows variations in length, sail area and displacement based on a formula. These swift and agile yachts provide for close racing.
Approx. 75" long.

An AC Class boat and proud owner
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Wheeler - One Design Sanctioned in 1997. Large one-design modeled after full-size "Maxi" boats. 2000 sq. in. of sail, 30 pounds displacement.
79" long.

John Anderson's #41, Daddy Groovy
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J Class - Developmental
The J class yachts are 1/16 scale versions of the original 1930's J-boats only, making it the largest of all the RC yachts. These classic yachts recreate the style of yachting's Golden Era, on a grand but affordable scale.
Approx. 85-95" long.

The largest class in the AMYA, the "J" boat
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Open Class - Developmental and One Design
This is where boats that don't fit in other classes register and track their growth on the way to full-fledged class status. It is also where the multihulls, like this F48, live.
An F48 Nightmare Multihull
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U.S. Vintage Model Yacht Group
Not a Class as such, but a Special Interest Group that studies the history of Model Yachting and supports all manner of traditional models: Vintage Marbleheads, Vintage 36 inch boats, Schooners and Skipjacks.
The first Marblehead 50/800, ca. 1930