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Author Topic: Report on Kyosho's latest Seawind 1 Meter RTR  (Read 4350 times)

Boomer

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Report on Kyosho's latest Seawind 1 Meter RTR
« on: May 10, 2014, 05:20:20 PM »

Here in the U.S. Kyosho has finally released their newest iteration of their time tested Seawind. I posted a few images of the new boat for those that have not seen it yet.  It comes pretty much fully assembled - as you'd expect you have to set up the mast and sails, but other than that it is done. I comes in the finish you see in the photos - the boat looks very nice as you'd expect from Kyosho.

I have included a review published by the AMYA Seawind Class secretary which gives a lot of good information for those buying one of these boats. Mike Eades is a highly regarded RC sailor with many class wins under his belt. He was provided a new boat by Kyosho for his evaluation and comments. You can read more about this and other versions at this link: http://www.theamya.org/boats/seawind/

I own two kit versions of this model and have enjoyed sailing them over the years. This new version should expand their market a bit by offering the boat in a ready to sail configuration. They included the radio as well. It is a good way to get those not interested in putting a kit together, interested in sailing. I think the review from Mike is a very helpful tool to get this new boat set up correctly which will yield more positive experience for the new customer.

Factory product page link: http://www.kyoshoamerica.com/SEAWIND-READYSET_p_22749.html
The site may show a "not for sale" notation - that usually means they are sold out - boats have been coming into their stock and sent out to dealers - they seem to be selling out each shipment as soon as a new on arrives.  <:(

PRODUCT REVIEW – SEAWIND READYSET VERSION
By Mike Eades, Secretary, SeaWind COA
The SeaWind Class has gone through a long period of uncertainty since it became apparent in early 2012 that
Kyosho Japan’s production of the SeaWind yacht kits and parts had been disrupted by the effects of the Tsunami
and subsequent nuclear disaster in 2011. Very little information was forthcoming from Japan as to the future
plans for the SeaWind product line until in mid 2013 it was announced that no more SeaWind kit production
could be expected but a new Readyset (RTR) version, produced in China, would be the next offering and a flyer
with some photos and a brief description was circulated and posted on the KyoshoAmerica web site. After some
delays, in early February 2014 I received the good news that a small shipment of SeaWind Readysets had
arrived. Through the good offices of Efrain Manzano, Manager Customer Service, KyoshoAmerica, I was able to
obtain one of the first shipment for evaluation. In evaluating this new product offering I have tried to look at it
both from the point of view of a prospective new skipper and also from the standpoint of an RC sailor used to RC
sailboats from other classes or already a SeaWind owner.
After opening the plain shipping carton the new box is quite impressive with a lot of information in English and
Japanese on the outside and good illustrations (Figure 1). The contents are well packed and secure as Figures 2
& 3 illustrate. The contents of the box are as shown in Figure 4. As described, all but final assembly of the
components is done and only 12 AA batteries are required to complete the boat.
 The Instruction Manual, completely re-written for the Ready set version is, as usual with Kyosho products,
comprehensive and generally easy to follow. The hull (Figures 5 & 6 show top and bottom views) is nicely
finished and painted with a distinctive blue and white color scheme with a number of decorative decals added
and all hull fittings are installed even including the sheet lines and main sheet fairlead bridle. There are distinct
edges where the blue and white paint areas abut which many skippers will want to carefully smooth and polish.
The keel trunk insert (Part C1) is in place and beautifully finished (Figure 7) a task that many skippers found
trying with the kit! The lazarette cover fits snugly as does the hatch however the hatch includes the same old
sponge seal that came with the kit which is totally dysfunctional. The rudder retaining screw is new with a
knurled metal head which is a big improvement over the old set screw and the later plastic headed screw. To
install the rudder simply loosen the screw, insert the rudder post with flat towards the stern and re-tighten the
retaining screw (Use pliers to ensure a secure grip!). Grease and install the lazarette cover.
The fin and bulb present the most significant change as it is a steel bulb instead of lead (due I believe to
environmental regulations in Japan) and is longer and larger in circumference than the previous bulb even with
the optional vinyl bulb cover installed (Figure 8) .The bulb and fin (3 lbs 3.6 oz) are approximately the same
weight as the original lead painted bulb and fin while slightly lighter (3.4 oz) than the lead bulb and fin with vinyl
bulb cover. The hole in the base of the bulb where the securing nut is located is left open (Figure 9). Class Rules
allow this to be filled and faired if desired. Inserting the fin into the base of the hull and securing with the
retaining nut completes fin and bulb installation. The hull is ready to set on its stand for inspection of the
electronics. Interior hull fittings are standard as for the kit version.
The electronics package is all new and has Kyosho label radio transmitter, receiver and servos. Very little
information regarding specifications of any item has been forthcoming until recently when some specification details are now published on the Kyosho America web site on the SeaWind page. The Perfex KT-21 radio
transmitter is a single model 2.4 GHZ Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum, 4-channel unit with manual trims ,
channel reversing switches and a Dual Rate switch (100% or 70%) on the rudder control (Figure 10). The unit
requires 8-AA cells and there is a charge port (500mA) but no charger supplied! One disturbing feature is the
stated Max range for ground operation of 150 Meters. Unless this is conservatively stated it may cause range
problems at some ponds! The Tx is ready bound to its Perfex KR21-BV receiver but a bind plug is supplied. The
light weight end-plug receiver with a single 5” wire antenna comes enclosed in a plastic bag secured by a cable
clip which prevents access to the plugs. Not sure what purpose is served by this bag as the receiver is supposed
to be waterproof so I removed it. Receiver and servos are powered by a standard 4-AA cell battery holder
(Figure 11). The RX fits standard Futaba or Hitec servo connectors and operates these servos without problems.
The KS202W Waterproof rudder servo is a standard servo apparently equivalent to Futaba S3003 or Hitec HS
311. It has orange, red, black wires to a Hitec type connector. The KS501SW waterproof sail winch appears to be
modeled on the extinct Futaba S3801 which was originally specified for the SeaWind but later withdrawn by
Futaba. However in operation it sounds like a coffee grinder, very noisy, perhaps due to new metal gears,
hopefully they might wear in and become quieter? The sail winch arm appears a direct copy of the Futaba sail
arm. The sail winch has white, red, black wires to a Futaba connector. According to the stated servo
specifications the sail winch has more power than either the Futaba S3801 or the Hitec 765HB but operates at
slightly slower speed while the rudder servo has slightly lower power and speed compared with Futaba or Hitec
standard servos but should be adequate for the duty. The sail winch is 1.13 oz heavier than either of the
commonly used servos probably due to its metal gear construction.
The jib and main sheet control lines are installed complete with attachment clips ready to attach to the rig.
However the same old stiff line supplied in the kit is used which is unsatisfactory for running rigging like sheet
control lines especially in light air (see below).
I was interested to see how the sail rig had been handled. It comes fully completed according to the old kit
specifications, which is both good and bad news! For packing, the main sail halyard is loosened and the mast
separated into two pieces at the joint with the sail in place (Figure 12) and the rig folded in two. Re-joining the
mast however is a job for three hands and needs to be done with great care maintaining tension on the head of
the sail while easing the two mast pieces together (Figure 13) so as to avoid snagging and tearing the sail on the
sharp corners of the mast ends. The good news, especially for new skippers, is that the complex task of
assembling the rigging and tying all the knots has been done. The bad news comes in two parts, the design faults
inherent in the kit rigging have been perpetuated instead of being eliminated (see below) and the workmanship
shows signs of being done by someone with no knowledge of the requirements especially in the way the
halyards are attached to the sail heads and while all knots are glued, over liberal use of CA glue results in lines
being glued to sail corners and stiff glued line extending some distance away from the knots. Even a raw rookie
skipper will need to do some work to modify the rig as received in order to avoid dissatisfaction with the boat’s
performance.
Here I will address the defects and what I did to overcome them in two sections,” must do’s” and optional
upgrades to improve operation , tuning adjustments etc. The first item that must be addressed is the halyard
attachments on jib and main. Figure 14 show the main sail head as it arrived showing the line attached to the
eyelet in a tight loop at the edge of the sail. If installed as is it will distort the head of the sail under tension. Also the halyard should simply be led through the inner hole on the mast crane to allow rotation of the head of the
sail. Corrected attachment is shown in Figure 15. Similarly the jib halyard is also incorrectly attached (Figure 16).
I corrected this fault and modified the jib head attachments as described later. The jib pivot connection line was
too short to allow proper rotation and also almost completely stiffened with glue (Figure 7. I replaced this line
and also the hook for attachment to the deck with an optional alternative design hook (Figure 18 and see
below).
The inherent design faults that need correction concern the outhaul attachments for both jib and main sails.
First, the outhaul lines are attached to cleats located on the side of each boom (Figures 17 & 19) which routinely
snag the sheet control lines and second, use of a single outhaul line provides no control of sail camber,
especially with the jib where adjustment of the single line simply results in lowering the jib boom and loosening
jib forestay tension. Alternative ways of rigging the outhauls that are both effective and class legal are described
in an article on page 10 of Issue #169 of Model Yachting, the quarterly magazine of the American Model
Yachting Association (AMYA). For this boat I used Ken Bauser’s method replacing the cleats by spare eyes (Part
#B2, jib and #B1 main) and attaching the inhaul and outhaul lines to the two eyes with adjustment bowsies as
shown (Figure 18 Jib) and (Figure 20 Main). On the main sail I used an optional alternative attachment method
for the outhauls at the clew using a simple hook instead of tying each outhaul line to the eyelet which allows for
ease of removal of the sail for travel or replacement. I trimmed the corner of the sail with scissors for ease of
movement of the hook around the sail corner.
Other optional modifications I chose to install on this boat are the main sail tack attachment and the jib forestay
and halyard attachments. The main sail tack (Cunningham) attachment employed is a simple fixed loop of line
through the tack eyelet and through the hole in the gooseneck post (Figure 21). I modified this by adding a very
small screw eyelet located in the front of the black plastic part of the gooseneck bearing with a single line
running from the tack eyelet through the screw eye and secured at a cleat located on top of the boom (Figure
22). This allows for easy adjustment of main sail luff tension and ease of removal of the sail for travel. The design
jib halyard is attached to a bowsie which slides along the forestay which is a single line running through the mast
eye and secured at a cleat on the mast. While this arrangement works, if the jib forestay is not properly secured
at the cleat it may come undone and lose the whole rig. Also fore and aft adjustment of mast rake is a key tuning
component and precise adjustment is difficult using a cleat. I removed the mast cleat and modified the whole
forestay and halyard attachment using separate lines with bowsie adjusters each leading to the ring of a swivel
and locking clip (Figure 23). This allows simple adjustment of forestay tension and mast rake and independent
adjustment of halyard tension as well as easy removal of the whole jib assembly for travel.
The modified rig was attached to the hull at jib pivot, shrouds (carefully setting upper shroud to the forward
eyelet in the chain plate) and backstay and adjusted to ensure the mast was perpendicular to the deck and the
mast rake Jib attachment eye to tip of bow set at 51 & 9/16” with shrouds just taut and backstay barely taut. I
attached the jib and main sheets and checked the operation of the rudder and sail winches. The rudder could
only be centered using full left trim so I re-checked the seating of the rudder post flat against the retaining screw
and found it was slightly off. Once corrected the rudder was perfectly centered. With the sail control trim at
center the jib and main sheet lines were adjusted at close-hauled position to put the main boom pointing to the
aft transom corner and the jib boom pointing to the shrouds. At fully open position the main boom was not
quite back far enough to touch the shrouds. I found that if I set the close-hauled control line lengths using full inward trim (trim lever down) and switched to full outward trim (trim lever up) for downwind sailing the main
boom was able to get full extension to the shrouds. This was how I used to operate using AM or FM
transmitters. We forget how simple travel adjustments on Spektrum DX6 and 6i transmitters have made our
lives!
The fully assembled SeaWind Readyset is pleasing to the eye with the customary Kyosho quality of fittings and
components. The all-up weight ready to sail, with 4 AA cell alkaline batteries installed, is high at 7 lbs 2.6 oz
compared with Class Rules minimum of 6 lbs 8.0 oz although my competitive SeaWind with sliding hatch and 5-
AA NiMH battery pack weighs in at 6 lbs 14.2 oz.
I was able to conduct some sea trials including informal racing against a fleet of 10 other SeaWinds and handed
the Transmitter to others to try. Our agreed conclusion is that the Readyset behaves very much as the original
SeaWind and there was no discernable disadvantage from the new bulb. Conditions were very light, shifty winds
and after about 3 hours total sailing time a couple of issues were evident.
1. Using the supplied stiff sheet line was a distinct disadvantage in the light air as it was obvious that it
took a stronger puff of wind to get the sails to open compared with other SeaWinds with lighter and
more flexible sheet lines. Replacing the line with, for example, 200 lb test Spectra fiber line from winch
arm to the joining knot and 50 lb test Spectra line for jib and main sheet line from knot to the booms is
recommended.
2. During the last two races another skipper and I both found the sail winch appearing to be unresponsive
when at some distance from shore. Luckily the rudder was still working and when the boat came close
to shore sail winch operation resumed although quite sluggish in its response. I replaced the 4-AA
alkaline cell battery pack with a 5-AA rechargeable NiMH battery pack and restored proper operation.
The alkaline cells still had approximately 80% of charge with just under 5.6 volts. I conclude that the sail
winch is extremely sensitive to voltage and operation with a 4-AA alkaline cell pack is not
recommended.
Futaba S3801 and Hitec 765HB sail winches operate satisfactorily down to 4.8 volts. More testing will be
carried out to determine if the power consumption of this servo is excessive and if it can be operated for
longer periods with a good 6v re-chargeable battery pack which tends to retain the initial voltage over a
greater extent of cell life.
 
The demands of mass production inevitably require some compromises and the SeaWind Readyset is no
exception as was the original kit. However in the field of Hobby Store RTR RC sailboats the SeaWind Readyset is
far above most of its competitors. For the new recreational skipper, with a little care in assembly and some
minor remedial work on some of the rigging knots, the boat will provide fun entertainment and reliable
performance. For the serious RC sailor, after some minor modifications as described, the SeaWind Readyset can
produce an excellent competitive fleet racing machine with performance to satisfy even the most discriminating
skipper. In summary, the SeaWind Readyset version is a very welcome addition to the SeaWind fleet.
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Netleyned

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Re: Report on Kyosho's latest Seawind 1 Meter RTR
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 06:00:35 PM »

Thanks for that Boomer :-))

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