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Phigit class

Posted: 06 Oct 2006, 09:52
by Lester
Hi IOM'ers

You may have noticed some recent articles in Marine Modelling International dealing with Charles Detriche's "Estrellita" and the birth of a new radio sailing class called "Phigit" based upon the Estrellita concept. The (temporary) Web site for the Phigit class is here: ... ZClass.htm

... and it has a discussion forum on WindPower:

The Phigit class is intended to provide opportunities for non-professional builders to design, develop, and race a radio controlled boat with very few restrictions to the hull and radio control equipment, while exploiting the free availability of sails, rigs, and appendages from the popular and established IOM class.

Enthusiasm has been expressed by some that this widens the appeal of radio sailing, and that the Phigit class complements the IOM class very nicely. In particular, it allows itchy inventive IOM builders and owners freedom of expression in design and materials with the Phigit hull. This may reduce rule-bending and the need for interpretations in the IOM class. There are also some very interesting ideas around measurement, equipment control, equipment certification, and owner certification in the Phigit class, such that the Phigit class experience in implementing these ideas might be very helpful to the IOM class in deciding where it might want to go in these areas in the future.

Concern has been expressed by some that the establishment of the Phigit class may lead to fragmentation of the IOM class (IOM owners abandon the class in favour of an alternative), and that both the references to IOM Class Rules in the Phigit Class Rules and the use of an IOM rig on a Phigit hull may contravene IOMICA's Intellectual Property rights in the IOM Class Rules.

Your comments would be very welcome!

Posted: 06 Oct 2006, 17:17
by RoyL
This concept raises some very interesting issues for the IOM Class.

Essentially, a new radio sailing class is being proposed that uses IOM rigs and appendages. Further, the rules for this new class specifically refer to and incorporate the IOM class rules and specifications.

However, the name "IOM", the IOM class symbol and the IOM class rules are the property of IOMICA and its members and can not be used legally without our license, consent and permission.

There lies the issue. Should IOMICA license its intellectual property to the Phijit class? Should it charge a fee or not?

It is currently unclear if this new class is a private commercial venture. It is also unclear if this class is intended to directly compete with and eventually supercede the IOM. It is also a question if this class will further fragment r/c sailing and detract from development and participation in the IOM class. It is also unclear whether the developers of the proposed new class (Lester Gilbert, Graham Bantock and Charles Detriche) have given up working within the IOM Class and have created a new organization that they will control .

In all events, this issue is important since it will set precedent on how IOMICA will deal in the future with other commercial and non-commercial ventures that might want to piggyback on the IOMs' intellectual property and rights. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Posted: 06 Oct 2006, 19:29
by Lester
RoyL wrote:It is currently unclear if this new class is a private commercial venture
Hi Roy

I realise you would never want the facts to get in the way of a good discussion. In this case, however, it is perfectly clear that there is no question that the Phigit class is a "private commercial venture", and it is disingenuous of you to suggest it might be. The Phigit class was initiated by Chris Jackson, editor of Marine Modelling International. He rather liked the "Estellita" that Charles designed, wantes to provide some MMI support for a regatta or two in 2007, and encouraged the three of us to develop the class so this could happen.
It is also unclear if this class is intended to directly compete with and eventually supercede the IOM
On the contrary, it is perfectly clear that the Phigit class is intended to complement the IOM class, by providing a hull which IOM owners can use with their IOM rigs.
It is also unclear whether the developers of the proposed new class (Lester Gilbert, Graham Bantock and Charles Detriche) have given up working within the IOM Class
I am curious what you mean here. I continue to provide input and advice to the IOM Events Sub-Committee, and this is a fact clearly known to you as a member of the IOMICA Exec. I continue to publish a well-respected and frequently visited Web site which focusses upon the IOM. Graham continues to develop his IOM designs and production processes and his current Topiko has a long waiting list. Charles is the most prolific designer of IOMs, he has recently released "yet another IOM design", and he serves as Technical delegate to the IOM NCA for FRA. But what has any of this got to do with the interesting question of IOMICA IP rights and their relation to the Phigit's use of IOM rigs?
This issue is important ... on how IOMICA will deal ... with the IOMs' intellectual property and rights
On this we agree (smile). Could you explain for a lay audience, please, how IOMICA currently licences and/or gives consent and/or permission for the use of the name "IOM", the IOM class symbol, and the IOM class rules? I am personally surprised by your suggestion that, in building an IOM rig for use on my Italiko, I am somehow violating IOMICA IP rights and apparently am not using IOMICA IP legally.


Posted: 06 Oct 2006, 21:07
by Peter_Nicholls
I am a new skipper to any form of RC yachting having only sailed since mid August 2006, I really enjoy the hobby and look foward to every IOM day at my local club.

There have been some rumblings and mumblings on the 1.5 metre class to which I have assumed they refer to the new Phigit class.

I have a feeling that in general the class would be a good thing, simply sticking a length of black tape vertically through the current IOM insignia instantly converts my rigs to Phigit class insignia, easy peasy! but where do I get a hull?

It would seem that at present I could build a Estellita and other than that I'd have to design my own or perhaps get hold of an old Marblehead hull and convert it to fit the fin and rigging.

I realise that this new class is very much in its infancy and as usually happens within the human race, we all develop and evolve. It is inevitable that new classes will come and old ones will die out, thats just progress.

In conclusion, I would be happy to try a new class, I think it would take a great many years for the Phigits to "oust" the ever popular IOMs and I am certain that this is not the intention of Lester, Graham or Charles. As far as I can tell all three remain very much involved in the IOM scene. I am sure that they would not want to see the demise of IOM. I certainly would not!

Thankyou all for reading my comments 8)

Posted: 07 Oct 2006, 18:07
by Steve Landeau
As a skipper in the USA, I would heavlily frown upon a new class. Not because the boat may hurt the IOM (and I'm not sure that it would), but simply because our radio sailing here is already diluted with far too many classes. This may or may not be a problem in your country, and a new class may help sailing in your area, but be cautious. Our sport/hobby is one of the smallest already, and we all know it's not much fun sailing one class against another. If you have too many sailors at your pond on any given weekend, then another class would likely work out. I don't see that happening anywhere on this continent though. I'd much rather see someone promoting one design within the IOM.
As for the legal garb, I'd be embarrased to be part of any legal action against another class. Who's gonna pay for legal council? To some extent, this has already happened with some other classes (AC, US1M), it's pretty silly considering the "size" of it.

Posted: 07 Oct 2006, 19:00
by Steven Oosterheert
I am new into the IOM: my boat is still under construction. I am not new in RC sailing and not new in the marketing aspect of RC sailing. In 2001 I started promoting the micromagic in Holland.

I completely agree with Steve Landeau on all his remarks.

If you want to make a class florish you continiously have to ask yourself to whom it has to appeal and how you attract new sailors in the class. The class has to grow and maybe develop more into one design.
For me the IOM is a way to enjoy sailing races and to my opinion that reason is the only one to build a class upon. For me the IOM is not a model boat, but a sailing boat you sail with RC.

If people like mr. Gilbert, Bantock and Detriche like to make different hulls under their IOM-rigs: let them be. Don't pay to much atention to it and keep them away from this forum (=free publicity to a new class which can distract newcomers)

Focus on the possibilities we have to make the IOM florish and maybe florish even more. Possibilties enough, but watch out: if we don't make use of them another class will.

RC sailing still can grow enourmously worldwide.

Posted: 08 Oct 2006, 23:53
by ole_peder
This is not the forum of promoting new classes. This forum is for IOM's and only IOM's.

I totally support Streve's point of view. Let us concentrate our efforts around the IOM class.

The IOM can be and has been designed and built by non professionals with great sucsess.

Posted: 09 Oct 2006, 09:57
by Andy Stevenson
This thread started with a question about IOMICA Intellectual Property rights and the effect the Phigit class may have on the IOM:
Lester wrote:Concern has been expressed by some that the establishment of the Phigit class may lead to fragmentation of the IOM class (IOM owners abandon the class in favour of an alternative), and that both the references to IOM Class Rules in the Phigit Class Rules and the use of an IOM rig on a Phigit hull may contravene IOMICA's Intellectual Property rights in the IOM Class Rules
Both points that IOM owners may well have a view on and certainly appropriate to this forum.

My personal opinion is one of live and let live. I’m not entirely sure the Phigit will get off the ground, but wish those who would like to try every success in their endeavours. If I was looking for a development class other than the RM I’d probably be tempted by the 3R. But I’m not.

The Phigit Class Rules do indeed refer to the IOM Class Rules. What the legal position is on this is I really don’t know, although I suspect IP rights differ subtly country to country and would be a mine field of lawyers and escalating costs if it ever got that far. Frankly I’m not interested, the Phigit class will succeed or fail on its own merits, as does the IOM. That the Phigit & IOM share common elements is something we should embrace and attempt to find common goals to collaborate on.

If IOMICA has a need to take a position on the Phigit then I believe it should be one of encouragement rather than opposition. However I doubt we need to take a position at all, if we can find common goals to work towards then let’s do that. If not let’s leave them to it.


Posted: 09 Oct 2006, 10:08
by ole_peder
If the intention was to ask permition, it was hidden well.

I am very much against this initiative, I can not see what the IOM can benifit from this, to me the boat i completly different.
What is the point in having a class which is a "guinny pig" for the IOM class.

I am not in favour of sencouring the forum, but in this case it is very close.

Leave the IOM as it is, dont temper with it, the creativiness is at a high level as it is.

The in the IOM class it is not possible to by sucsess, and that is the way it should be.

Posted: 10 Oct 2006, 02:38
by Ken Dobbie
My personal opinion but one that I am certain my members would support.

IOMICA is for IOM's, it is not the role of the ICA (or NCA's) to promote/discuss other classes. This thread should be discontinued.



Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 00:43
by Chairman
this discussion was being held within the executive and it was decided to throw it open to the members. This is an open forum and the ideas expressed help quide the executive in the wishes of class members. No, there was never any question about permission. The interest was in their simplified rules, the IP of IOMICA and potential fragmentation of our class. The fragmentation is something we have no control over but some of the ideas in measurement are very good and awareness of all members about the cross polination of the iomica IP should be of interest to IOM owners who may or may not wish to support the new class. At this stage I would be looking for more constructive feedback and the oppertunity to further improve our class. I see no reason to stick our heads in the sand and ban this discussion.

Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 20:27
by ralph kelley
It seems to me to be an issue that the IOM folks cannot control.

Our sailplan is in the public domain and we cannot control who builds rigs using our dimensions. They just cannot call them IOM rigs.

Likewise, thinks like fins and ballast are available from suppliers so we cannot control their sale to builders of non-IOM craft.

If we are concerned over diluting the IOM effort, we should not do any promotion of the commonality of any components and stay with IOM discussion and promotion


Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 21:59
by ole_peder
Of course the rules are simpler if the the idea is to use an IOM rig, only one line in the rules are necessary:

Rigs to be IOM rigs.

And then leave the IOM class to define the rules.

I haven't been able to find any class rules. I think it was in the MM article I saw the depth gauge as in Marblehead, which we have discussed here before.

So to repeat, the simplicity is a result of letting the IOM class set the rules.

In my opinion the current class rules produces nice looking modern competitive boats that are possible to build by non professionals.

What I have seen of the phigit is a step backwards to old fashioned hulls whith too small sailarea.

Enough said about the phigit.

I appreciate the intention from the excecutive commity to bring the discussion out in the open, but to be honest this doesent lead us any further.

To Lester, I am sure that the intention was good, and I appreciate the work you have done, and still do, but in my opinion the phigit will do no goood to radiosailing and not to the IOM in particular

So again, DON'T temper with the current IOM, for the time beeing it is the biggest, most compettitive class that produces the closest races.

In 1999 when I started radiosailing with an 20 year old lokally built Walicki M boat we where 1 club in Norway sailing, and may be 13 boats as the most in a race.

I started to work with introducing the IOM in 2001 and today we have 100 boats in 8 clubs along the coast, We have 20 regattas on the calender.

We have introduced a Nordic Cup in cooperation with NOR, SWE, FIN and DEN, over 50 skippers has participated.

Would we have accompishet this if the class was complicated?? No!!

Please put this thread to sleep, let us focus on the IOM.

Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 23:12
by Lester
ole_peder wrote:I haven't been able to find any class rules
Hi Ole-Peder

A first draft of the Phigit Class Rules is now available for download from the Phigit Web site (link given earlier in this thread).

As Greg and Andy have noted, and as I hope both my original post and Roy's reply have indicated, there is an issue which is of direct relevance and importance to the IOM class, and it is this issue on which we would appreciate both your opinion and that of other members of the IOM community. It is the (rather knotty) question of whether ...
the references to IOM Class Rules in the Phigit Class Rules and the use of an IOM rig on a Phigit hull contravene IOMICA's Intellectual Property rights.