(Based on Information provided by Phil Burgess [ADFRSA President] & Mike Jefferys [Qld DF65 Class State Champion & Qld DF Coordinator] July 2020)
We recommend the no-transmitter option - DF65 at $189 and the DF95 at $458; buying it without the transmitter reduces the cost by about $50 [ Hobby Warehouse sole Australian importer]
Transmitter – Flysky i6 - $90
The standard transmitter is fit for purpose, but, the Flysky i6 is fantastic value and used by almost all sailors because it has considerably more functionality. If you buy the boat without the transmitter, then buy the Flysky, it is only an extra $40 compared with buying the boat with the standard transmitter. The best features of the Flysky i6 are battery life in the boat is displayed on the screen (so you don’t run out and the boat sails away) and more fine tuning options of the controls are available. You can buy the Flysky from Banggood and other stores.
You have three options: alkaline throw-away, NiMH rechargeable or lithium (LiFePO4) rechargeable. Get at least 2 or 3of your preferred option. Before buying, check the class rules regarding allowable weights of batteries. Class rules link
Alkaline batteries: The main (only?) advantage of these is that they don't require a charger. However, you have to buy a new set after each day's racing so it is a very expensive and environmentally hostile option in the long term.
NiMH rechargeables: Easy to obtain, but be aware that different makes have different capacity. For longer-duration ones, go to somewhere like Jaycar Electornincs , who have a range of different capacities. Jaycar batteries link
Lithiums: Note that these use LiFePO4 chemistry, which is very much safer than the lithium chemistries used in items such as mobile phones and laptops.
Supply of suitable batteries to Australia is a bit erratic (a bit like London buses, you can wait ages for one then they all arrive at once).
The Hobby Warehouse 6.6V 850mAh DF65/DF95 RX LiFe at $14.50 are good: Hobby Warehouse batteries link
Another option is the ZIPPY Compact 700mAh 6.6V 5C LiFePo4 Receiver Pack from Hobby King, as they are lighter and cheaper than the Hobby warehouse ones.
Hobby King batteries link
Note: Research and learn how to care for 6.6V LiFE batteries as they will balloon up and be useless if left to discharge below about 4.7volts. RC battery information link
Chargers for alkaline batteries are readily available.
For lithium batteries, any charger that is designed for LiFe batteries and has a balance charge function is okay for lithiums . Make sure they come with the power transformer and plugs that will fit Futaba leads (these are the type of cable connection used in the boat)
Available from many suppliers e.g.: Banggood battery chargers
You will quickly realise that the boat is sailed predominantly in winds under 12 knots.
For the DF95, this suits the standard A rig, but you may want to consider also buying a B rig. The B rig might only be needed 3 or 4 times a year when it is windy, but when you need it, you need it!. There are also C and D rigs, but we hardly ever need them at our sailing locations. All are available from Joysway through Hobby warehouse, and from other sailmakers - see Club Suppliers
For the DF65, the standard A rig (3/4 jib) is best in 12-18 knot wind. The A+ rig (mast head jib and bigger main) is used about 85% of the time. The standard Joysway sails for A rig are okay but the A+ are a bit heavy at 50. Talk to your club members about 36-micron A+ sails available for purchase.
A+ Mast Set (Part #881530) – (Hobby Warehouse - sole Australian importer) $60
DF65 A+ rig link
The Dyneema braid cord supplied with the boat is adequate but it is better to buy some 30lb spectra/dyneema from BCF or any fishing shop. It will wear better and is easier to thread.
The low price of the boat also means the quality of parts is not top of its class, so expect to replace some parts from time to time. All are available from Hobby Warehouse but not always in stock. Examples of parts you might need to replace include: rudder servo, sail servo, extension cable, antennae holders, hatch covers etc.
If you plan to sail in salt water, it is essential to buy some CorrosionX from Whitworths ($38) and use it regularly on all electrical and metal parts.
Whitworths CorrosionX link
To find out just how good this product is, check out this video! (but use safely!)
CorrosionX underwater demo