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Welcome to Radio Sailing in South Africa website - Enjoy the fun world of Radio Sailing

The 36” Shipmate is a South African created, ONE DESIGN CLASS.

All yachts were built to tight tolerances and exotic materials like Carbon Fibre and Kevlar are banned to reduce the enty level to compeditive sailing.

The class is about 35 odd years old and there are still some examples of boats this old being sailed today

The sails are restricted to 3 rigs of different sizes to match the winds strength.

Very close compeditive sailing can be had in this class

There are many variations that have crept into the class over the years because they were built by different persons - some have wooden fins some have fibreglass, etc. This has caused some controvicy which has led to a decline in activity in this class.

There are still fleets been sailed especially down the Natal South Coast and Pietermaritzburg, but it is a class whos days are numbered.

Expect to see fewer of these boats been sailed and more of the skippers choosing to move over to the DF95.


A Brief Summary of the different classes  of yachts that are sailed in South Africa.


The INTERNATIONAL ONE METER Class is the largest class of yachts in the world. It is also a compeditive CLOSED RULE CLASS where designers and skippers seek that elusive compeditive edge.

There are allot of local designed hulls sailing in fleets here in South Africa, but be cautious if buying a second hand design. It may be going cheap but is it a hull that performs well? Ask around before committing.

Unlike the Dragon Flite  and 36S that has a Single Paneled sail, the sails on the IOM class are all made by specialists and have shaped seams. Its a case of you pay for performance. Most of the Sails, Masts and Sail Winches etc, come from overseas and this does add to the costs of getting started in this class.

The only exotic Carbon Fibre material allowed in this class is on the Fin and Rudder. The Hull and deck can only be fibreglass and the masts made of aluminium of certain sizes and grades.

You are allowed only 3 sizes of rigs ie an 1,2 & 3 suit of sails to use in varying wind conditions.

This class would be the natural progression if you are looking to upgrade to a bigger class of yacht or would like to try your hand at a new design

Click here for more details on the IOM Class

The RADIO CONTROLLED LASER Class is compeditive ONE DESIGN CLASS from the USA, where all boats are essentially the same.

In this class, only equipment supplied by the Manufacturer is allowed

You are also restricted to two rigs here in South Africa

There is a strong fleet in Durban at the Model Yacht Pond at the Blue Lagoon.

Other provinces have had strong fleets in the past, but its best to check around in your area to see if they are active.

The DF95 was introduced into South Africa by DF Yachts in May 2017 with an initial shipment of 16 boats - another shipment of 14 boats then 2 further shipments of 20 Boats and a ton of spares - There are now over 65 boats sailing and a further 20 will arrive at the end of January 2019

It is by far the fastest growing class in South Africa with boats in Durban - Pietermaritzburg - George - Port Elizabeth - Cape Town & Gauteng.

It’s designed by 3 top British Radio Sailors and yacht designers and made by Josway, in China.

The finish is surperb and the performance is fantastic in all conditions.

Inexpensive relative to other classes sailed in SA it is also a boat that will never be out of date as a ONE DESIGN, it will retain it value.

Click here for more details on the DF95.

The RG65 is a development class for 65 cm long radio controlled yachts which means that anything not mentioned in the rules is allowed.

The Class originated in Argentina in the early 1950’s and haf grown worldwide since then

The simple rules are designed to encourage people to try new ideas at a modest cost. One of the ideals for the RG65 class was to be able to transport the boat easily.

A group of building and sail making enthusiasts locally have been putting kits together and there are boats in Gauteng, the OFS and in Natal.

The class is restricted to 3 rigs and Carbon Fibre is allowed throughout.

In the 1950s don Juan Gherzi created the G-65 class, limiting the length and sail area to carry out competitions for free-sailing sailboats (without radio). 

For many years, regattas were held in Rubén Darío Square in Buenos Aires, where a large number of athletes / manufacturers met, including those of "big" sailboats that experimented with their ideas with these 65 cm long sailboats.

Initially they had a fixed rudder. Around the year 1962 the automatic rudder was added, that with an elastic band allowed to control the position of the rudder automatically, keeping much better the direction. The same system was also added to the sheets, to release wind before the gusts.

The activity was raging, bringing together great designers and sailors. He enjoyed using recycled materials, such as umbrella cloth for candles, as a way to build very cheap and compete against other fans. Then the wind rudder, spinnaker for the stern was added (it was competed back and forth, allowing adjustments on the part of the captain on each side of the pool), dacron sails, aluminum masts, stainless steel fittings, in short, a whole arms race

On June 24, 1978 radio control arrived, and from the hand of Raúl Landó the RG-65 class of today was born. since then this captain has held the ARG-1 sail. A new arms race followed, now with the electronics in between, and with the freedom that any water mirror could be used. 

Since then this class has not stopped growing, the class spread first through Latin America, and then to the rest of the world. The combination of great performance, together with a practical size, and not having a high cost, have made this class the choice of many builders and sailorss.

In 2013, with the introduction of the Dragon Force 65, which is a commercial kit that qualifies in this class, there has been a global boost to this class, selling thousands of these kits and appearing fleets that compete regularly in various cities around the globe. In fact, this sailboat is so popular that a subclass DF65 has been regulated in order to have a monoclase within RG65

Kyosho's Seawind ReadySet Racing Yacht captures style and performance of a JF class yacht racing in a model.

The classic design of the 'Seawind' has cruised the waterways since it hoisted its colors more than 20 years ago.

The large aspect ratio of the long span keel and tight response from the push-pull rudder control make up the Seawind's race-ready specifications.

Sharp acceleration brings the Seawind quickly up to full speed while exceptional energy efficiency delivers maximum stability in light winds so you can use light breeze like a pro.

This yacht is a molded one-piece ABS hull factory finished in a beautiful color design that comes fitted with a 2.4GHz RC system that automatically manages frequency band selection.

In addition, the mast, keel and rudder can be detached without the use of any tools for compact storage and transport so you can take it with you without it taking up a lot of space.

There are currently around 31 Seawinds mainly in and around Gauteng.

Contact: Andre Steenkamp Phone:  082 878 1465  E-mail:andrest964@gmail.com Contact: Joe Robbertse Phone:  082 850 7660  E-mail: joe.robbertse@gmail.com RG65 PROJECT SOUTH AFRICA Contact: Terry Flyn Phone:  081 265 2373  E-mail: tflynn@telkomsa.net Contact: Des Fairbank Phone:  074 180 2824  E-mail: desf@telkomsa.net