What we cover in our boat building eBook

Download a sample of our eBook

Chapters include:

  • Strip planking the hull.
  • Fibreglass strengthening.
  • Mould and casting lead keel ballast.
  • Electrics installation.
  • Spray painting and masking techniques.
  • Sail making.
  • Mast, rigging and tuning of sails.
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Build Your Own Radio Controlled Yacht - book cover

Build Your Own Radio Controlled Yacht

This book is designed to help you build a RacingSparrow 750 from scratch using minimal materials and a very minimal tool set. When you buy the eBook you download a PDF version complete with detailed plans, clear illustrations and photos. It lists all tools & materials and shows centimeters & inch measurements. 

Are there other plans I can build?

You can download these plans for free , 7 differing sizes and designs.

The techniques and materials detailed in the book can easily be adapted to the other plans to get a boat that suits your tastes. Along with the RS750 the other very popular boat is the RG65 designed RacingSparrow. The RG65 can be used to race and measures within the rules.

How much does it cost?

Some modellers manage to build for as little as $50. This might be someone who has some of the materials already or are good at repurposing old things. The authors boat cost around $300 including the radio gear. That was for all the materials described and used in the book. 

Download some free pages from the book. View as Two-page view (in Chrome).

Racing Sparrow model yacht glossary page from the eBook showing an illustration of a red boat with diagramatic text explaining all the parts of the model.

Anyone can build a Racing Sparrow

The book has been designed to make a quality model yacht. One that looks stunning, sails like it's on rails yet is playful and fun on the water. Also not cost the earth or require specialist tools.

What tools do I need?

Not that many as you can see in the picture. Those are all the tools used in this eBook. One less excuse to build that model boat you've always dreamt about. Get amongst it!

Racing Sparrow model yacht toolset showing the 20 tools spread out evenly and clearcut on white background

Common questions

What radio gear do I use?

For a radio-controlled sailboat in 2023, you need a transmitter, receiver, 4xAA battery holder, and 2 servos (1 for sail arm, 1 for rudder) that plug into the receiver using JR connectors. Waterproof options and different servo sizes for sail arm and rudder are abundant. You can choose from a range of transmitter and servo options, from simple to high tech.

Futaba Sail Arm

The simple setup NZD$70(cheapest):
Transmitter & Receiver
Servos x 2
Battery Holder

The mid-range setup NZD$230 (all waterproof):
Sail arm servo
Rudder servo
Rechargeable battery

The no-limits setup: NZD$720
Sail winch servo
Rudder servo
Rechargeable battery

Is it that hard to make a boat?

Is pouring lead within my skillset and safe?

How much does it cost all-together to build a boat?

The radio gear and servos will set you back a few hundred, depending on what you end up buying and what needs you have. To start the project however, you really only need the balsa to build the hull. This will keep you quiet for some months. I'm willing to bet in that time you will spend time on the internet choosing components for your yacht including radio gear. You will need things like paint, resins and cloth, small aluminium lengths, lots of small and cheap parts which will add up. Most people doing this project may already have most of what they need. The toolset required is very simple. No specialist tools are needed. A craft knife and ruler will get used the most. You won't need to buy any special or expensive tools.

A budget between $300-500NZD would be realistic, this is spread out across typically a 6-12 month project. Fitting this in between the rest of your life!

Garry Angels Racing Sparrow one meter model yacht showing beautiful strip planked decking with alternate light and dark strips of cedar wood. Stunning looking model.

Some of the boats people have built using this book. Awesome!

You can send us your images and we'll post them on this site.

Gwyn Alway

Apr 20, 2020

Gwyn Alway's green racing sparrow model yacht hull sitting on the work bench

I bought the racing sparrow book about 18 months ago, didn’t ever think it would take an awful pandemic to prompt me to build it. Now can’t wait to rig and sail it. I opted for flush hatches to run the sheets over the top.

Eric Rosenbaum, USA

Feb 2, 2009

A perfect example of a Racing Sparrow model yacht. The sail plan looks to be exactly to the plans given by the designer. Fantastic lines. The boat is sailing upwind with sails in tight and a 30 degree heeling angle, Location: USA

One Meter RacingSparrow - Garry Angel, France

Jun 2, 2009

A one meter yacht, a racing sparrow design, cream coloured hull with yellow appendages and semi see-through sails, Location: France

Tools of the trade

Feb 2, 2019

A moody image of the materials needed to build a racing sparrow model yacht, layed out very evenly

Rod Patterson, Christchurch, New Zealand

May 4, 2012

A yellow model yacht with the hatch open showing the internal workings and servos, Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

'Sparrow' based RG 65

May 2, 2020

A red to blue gradient paint job on a model yacht hull, the boat sitting against a wall on display with a large lead bulb keel

LegoC 750

Jun 19, 2019

Racing sparrow model yacht sailing, the deck is made up from lego bricks

A reconditioned RS750 by the designer Bryn, New Zealand

Aug 3, 2009

A red racing sparrow model yacht looking at the bow of the boat, Location: New Zealand

Budi Santoso, Indonesia

Apr 4, 2019

A model yacht sitting on a cradle on the beach, golden sand. The boat has lovely blue wavy graphics at the bow and faux-wood at the back in a swirly transition, Location: Indonesia

DKM247 - Proud RacingSparrow Builder/Owner, Melbourne, Australia

Dec 1, 2016

DKM247 holding his racing sparrow model yacht, Location: Melbourne, Australia