Independence Price ?

While we are waiting for the RC Independence to get ready, what does anyone think it will cost for a finished boat including radios, in the water?

My guess is $750.00 (US).

7 replies:

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RE: Independence Price ?

We're trying to do a LOT cheaper than $750, though we've been startled how much STUFF there is to cut and pack in these kits.  May be a small boat, but a full-sized Skerry has fewer pieces.  And the Skerry doesn't have a cast lead bulb keel or laser-cut rigging parts, as does the Independence model.
I think the R/C controller is around $50.  Stand by for more on all that.

RE: Independence Price ?

I've been saving my retired fixed income nickels and dimes in this down economy figuring for a price of about $500, plus the cost of radio, batteries, charger, servos, etc. ($50-$100?) I hope I'm more on that money than the $750 bet for the kit alone.  Hurry John!  best,  bob h

RE: Independence Price ?

I can't tell you what CLC will have to charge, but we built 13 boats last winter for a little over $ 450 apiece.  This year we are doing 8 more at our yacht club on Long Island sound, and they may cost somewhat more, but...partway into the racing season last year everybody became tired of replacing AA batteries- or of not noticing that they needed replacing and having a "sail away".

So last year everybody converted to rechargeables, and BIG receiver batteries. This year we took the bull by the horns and did it up front.

In additon, we went to more expensive radios. Last year's cost $40, this year's cost $100, but they are the new spread spectrum technology, so we can sail without having to keep track of frequencies.

Understand, neither of these up-grades are at all necessary unless you are going to sail a LOT! 

We also went to custom made sails by Rod Carr, a well- known model yacht sail maker. Incidentally, he became so interested in the design he has asked for a kit!


RE: Independence Price ?

Dojackson, I'd be interested in knowing a little more about the radios you zeroed in on for the Inedpendence.  I used to fly RC airplanes many years ago and the emerging technology then was FM frequencies and Futaba radios were the premier choice of veterans.  This was back in the late eighties, early nineties, so I haven't a clue as to where the technology is today.  The radio is indeed a huge factor in the final performance.  Nothing worse than watching your beautifully crafted airplane or boat go flying or sailing off into the unretrievable sunset because of a mixed up frequency or bad batteries.  I'd think the battery technology today is much better at long battery life per charge and the newer lithium batteries avoid the old memory acquisition issue.  I'd rather pay a little more for a good radio and batteries than chance the alternative with a poor radio and battery equipment. Perhaps you should make some suggestions to the list and to John?   Best,  Bob H

RE: Independence Price ?

Last year we bought inexpensive Hitec two channel AM radios.  For a group purchase of 10 the price per radio (transmitter, receiver, two servos, on-off swith and battery holder) ran about $40 per set.  Note that while model aircraft use frequencies in the 72MhZ band, surface users (cars, boats, robots) MUST use the 75MhZ band, and the choice is thus somewhat limited. Most 75Mhz radios are designed for car use and are not suitable for sailboats.

There are 30 frequencies available, and no two radios within a 3 or so mile radius can operate on the same frequency at the same time.

Note that the radios we bought last year operated just fine for the entire season (the one exception was replaced by Hitec under warranty).  Thus, if your goal is to build a pond yacht and sail it now and then, that is the way I would go.

However, there is a fairly new technology called spread spectrum (akin to the way a cell phone works). Naturally it is somewhat more expensive .

The advantages are;  (1) There is no possibility of interference between radios, and no need to keep track of frequencies.  (2) The signal itself - the link between transmitter and receiver- is much more dependable. (3) the antenna(s) are much shorter (a couple of inches) as opposed to 39". (4) Finally, the radios, being somewhat more expensive, are of somewhat better over-all quality.  The radios we bought this year cost $95+- in a group purchase, but only included the transmitter and receiver. The rudder servo which was part of the set last year cost another $8-!0.  Note that many of us have stopped using a switch. It is just another possible failure point. We bag the receiver and put it up high with an extension hanging out.  /We plug the battery in to the extension when we want to sail.

All the less expensive radios come set up to use AA battries . Again, this is the very best way to go for occasional use. Just take the battries out when you are through sailing.  When you start racing, you'll end up buying a lot of AAs , so all our people switched over to rechargeables last summer., and this year we are starting out that way.  Don't use lithiums. You will ruin them the first time you forget to turn them off.

Instead, go with 2500 or 2700 Mah NiMH five cell (6 volt) batteries for the receiver (boat), and rechargeable AAs (nicad or NiMH) for the transmitter.  I can talk you through sources/ choices and chargers should you decide to buy a boat.

Incidentally, I have a set of instructions I did for my students before the official one existed. About fifty pages. Details a slightly different build.

RE: Independence Price ?

Thanks for that advice.  I'll be buying the boat alright; as soon as CLC gets it to market.  I keep giving the CLC folks gentle urgings to get the boat out there, but I also understand the pitfalls.  Thanks for your helpful information on radios and batteries; I'm sure we'll be chatting later on.  Best,  Bob H.

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