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Let me preface this review by saying that I have never built an RC sailboat before. So more experienced builders may find some of my comments obvious. All I can say is that RC sailboats seem to have their own special world of parts and techniques, things not seen in RC airplanes or static models.

Pictured below is the kit as sold by Aquataur Models. I bought mine via eBay, but it is shown on the Aquataur website for the same price, £99. Due to the Dollar/Pound exchange rate, this makes it a little expensive at $177 (by RC airplane standards), but it's quite a unique kit.

In fact, if I had known more of model boats I would have realized how unique it really is. Most RC model boats (or "model yachts" as the sailing boats are known) utilize either a drum winch to pull in the sails, or a "swing arm" winch... the A600 has both. It also has a good many more moving parts than most sailboats, which consist generally of a winch and rudder in a hull with sails.

It's most distinguishing feature, however, is that it does not have a heavy ballast weight in the keel. Most model sailboats have from 8 to 30 pounds of lead in the keel (or in a fin below) to hold them upright. The A600 has just a few ounces of lead, attached to the movable crewman. The moveable crewman rests on a special frame. Quoting Pat Clear of Aquataur:

"What it does is to allow the crews movement to be mainly rotational about the central position allowing him to sit in around the stern when broad reaching or running downwind.Further movement becomes progressively more linear, further forward and at right angles to the hull centreline, allowing accurate positioning to balance the sideways forces on the sail, when sailing into wind."

I found this to be a challenging first boat to build, but extremely educational (and fun). I have since bought and rennovated a used "EC-12" (an American sailing class), which is much larger, but actually simpler in it's winching and radio requirements than the A600 and my experience here was invaluable.

Warning: There's a lot of cutting and shaping of ABS plastic sheets involved in this construction. I found it very handy to have a scroll saw and a disk sander. You can cut the deck openings with a knife, but the servo tray and rudder components are of thicker stuff.

Pat reports that the ABS sheets can also be cut by scoring and bending. He also tells me the boat is now available fully assembled!

This photo is from the Aquataur building instructions

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