I respect Hugh and actually promoted his designs once or twice many years ago. However, the facts appear to be pretty simple - on available results the boat is normally going around the course slower than a 1980s sportsboat.
That does not mean that anyone is not being truthful. It may merely be that the claimed speeds are only obtained in certain conditions. Either the '80s sportsboat is faster than the claimed speeds for the Q23 (which is impossible) or the speeds are not being obtained very often on the racecourse. If those speeds were being routinely achieved at the right angles, and if the boat was a reasonable performer in other conditions, then it would dominate the racing. Far from being dominant, I can't find even a single race win.
I note that you publicise the race results that show the Quant 28 and 30 performing well. If you think there is something to be learned by looking at the good race results of Quant boats why do you think there is not something to be learned by looking at the results that are not so good?
This is an e-mail with his links from Michael Aeppli, builder of the Quant 23 that I'm posting with his permission:
Some people have no idea what it means, what it needs to get a boat going and how time consuming such a process is. Especially in a case with a boat which is completely new and where experiences you gained with classical crafts, wouldn’t help a lot.
Next to this : we are a team of 3 people next to Hugh Welbourn and we all have other jobs, to earn the money we spend on the boats. This makes it even harder and it is slowing down the process timewise. 90% of the people/targetgroup accept this and have a lot of respect in general if you try to go new ways. But there are always people making everything down. This is so easy and shabby. But i am sure, in the end they do not feel good – i guess all in all it is just enviousness. I do not care anymore – stying focussed is the important thing.
I respect people a lot who have real questions and I always try to answer and give explanations as good as I can. But I am clearly not interested to interfere, if somebody just wants to bash a project. Such people never ask why something is done this way or another. I think it is only natural to ask after the list of tasks someone did for a particular boat. If you do so, you learn a lot and you will quickly understand why a boat is good in one thing and maybe not so good in another. There are neither boats nor cars etc. which are top in any discipline. If somebody is denying this, he or she ignores the law of physics – or have no idea that they exist (…there was once a president in the US who did so – but I forgot his name)
Foilers are special boats whether they run on centreline foils, L-foils or Q-foils like the Q23 : All foilers love middlewind conditions and flatter water. http://www.foilingweek.com/blog/2016/12/racetobermuda/ (Dean Barker and Spitthill etc. about « Foilers paradise »)
The Q23 can be sailed in almost any conditions if you know how, but you won’t fly the boat in 30kts true in a 1m chop ! But you will get home in one piece if you respect boat and material. The Q23 is a boat for real - although experienced - amateurs !It is done, to get more people into the « age of foiling » – but next to its excellent foiling capabilities it is also one of the fastest 7m sportsboats if you leave the foils up, or take them out. Versatility is a very important attribute of this particular boat, with the result, that you may sail against other foiling boats, but also normal sportsboats.
So where do we stand today? It is about 8 month since « Allianz » the first boats out of the moulds, is on the water and sailing. During these months we tested and did some further developments what the handling is concerned. Although the production boat looks like the orange prototype from a distance, there are a lot of parameters which are different. Just compare the foil shape for example.
We learned a lot more about the boat and next to this we have been building more boats – soon the 10th boat will be done. Racing – yes we went to some geographical races on our lake in ultralight conditions (Summertime nothing or too much in thunderstorms) and the results where good to very good for sailing in displacement mode. Actually much better than I thought or hoped.
If it comes to foiling in geographical races the question always is the course you have to sail. Due to the development of the apparent – as soon as you are on foils – the course you are sailing will be totally different from the one of all the boats which are sailing slow or slower. If we want to go on sailing in mixed fleets we will have to handle this peculiarity and this can mean that you wouldn’t go to foiling mode, even if you could but maybe to semifoiling mode (DSS Modus) or conventional mode just planing.
I personally think that the so called „semifoiling mode“ is something which is completely unknown to the average sailor but it will be very important in the future – just think of what we saw in the last Vendee Globe – although these boats are far from perfect – mainly because of the rules they have to follow today.
So – as a conclusion - the Q23 is a „Two boats in One concept“ and the boats we sold so far, mainly went to sailors a bit aged already which sold their faster boats and dinghies they have been sailing before too early – and now they see the chance to get back in fast and thrilling which at the same time is good natured and very easy to handle compared to its performance level.
I am almost 62 and I started the „QuantBoats-Movement“ because i - at the end of my sailing career - finally wanted a boat which meets my demands in the places I mostly sail. As I am not the only one with such a need – the boat is selling itself quite nicely and the target group likes it for the two faces it has (foiling and displacement sailing) and because it is 7m but just 300kgs and around 35sqm upwind it is fun to sail also in no wind and with 2 on the hook upwind from 8kts it is fully planning (without foils). Next to this it is an easy boat to own, step up the rig and slipping can be done by two and you are out on the water quickly. It can live on a mooring, in a berth and also on a dinghy park . So it meets the requirement of our time as it seems.
Foiling singlehanded: I can not offer a clip, but I foil the boat myself and with my 70kgs I get out – just main and jib – in 5kts true on deck level. It looks that you can sail it singlehanded up to maybe 9kts. As soon as you have to handle also the jib sheet, you will miss a hand. I had runs of up to 6min. Which means I crossed the lake with an average of around 16 to 17 kts – I have to stop then, because I am running out of water
Somebody which is very skeptical will doubt this, but if you look at these two clips (crew of 2) you will maybe get to the conclusion that it is not impossible what I was saying – and sorry: after all, it is also a question about how good and experienced the driver of a Q23 is – although it is really easy to fly this boat steadily compared to any other foiling craft existing at the moment.
No one is trying to "bash a project". What I was doing was trying to understand to what extent and why (to use Michael's phrase) "a boat is good in one thing and maybe not so good in another."
As Michael says "There are neither boats nor cars etc. which are top in any discipline." We often get subjective promotion when a boat is "top of its discipline" but rarely get the same publicity from the same sources when the boats do not do so well because of the compromises that (as Michael points out) are inevitable. That is perfectly understandable, but it does mean that we cannot rely only on press releases and other subjective sources when we are trying to discover the truth about overall performance across the range of conditions. This is Boat Design Forum, not "we must believe all press releases forum".
Yes, Michael is correct when he says that new types of sailing craft take time to develop. I've been involved in some of the first regattas in new classes and types (everything from very early asymmetric rigged winged offshore yachts through to new windsurfer types) and yes, it took time to learn how to get the best from them. But that doesn't mean that those people who were trying to get an objective view of the performance of such craft were biased or bashing - they were just trying to learn about design. Getting confirmation of strengths and weaknesses of any design is not bashing anything - it is adding to the sum of our knowledge about boat design.
The vids have been around for some time, and they definitely show very impressive performance in certain conditions; no doubt about that. The point is that the current race results indicate that the boat must not be performing at that level a lot of the time or it would be winning everything. When Michael says "If it comes to foiling in geographical races the question always is the course you have to sail. Due to the development of the apparent – as soon as you are on foils – the course you are sailing will be totally different from the one of all the boats which are sailing slow or slower. If we want to go on sailing in mixed fleets we will have to handle this peculiarity and this can mean that you wouldn’t go to foiling mode" he is confirming what many racing sailors probably suspected.
"If it comes to foiling in geographical races the question always is the course you have to sail. Due to the development of the apparent – as soon as you are on foils – the course you are sailing will be totally different from the one of all the boats which are sailing slow or slower. If we want to go on sailing in mixed fleets we will have to handle this peculiarity and this can mean that you wouldn’t go to foiling mode, even if you could but maybe to semifoiling mode (DSS Modus) or conventional mode just planing.
I personally think that the so called „semifoiling mode“ is something which is completely unknown to the average sailor but it will be very important in the future – just think of what we saw in the last Vendee Globe – although these boats are far from perfect – mainly because of the rules they have to follow today."
Blue text omitted from CT quote and CRITICAL to the meaning Michi was trying to convey.
yes, it is a Revolution WOLF-daughter of fire arrow
Fire Arrow Foil System-small and large trimarans!
It comes down to the owner or owners not having the experience necessary to sail the boat at its best, poor conditions or a combination of factors. No one has yet sailed a production boat for even a year so far.
There will be a gathering of (hopefully) all the boats at the Stickl foiling camp later this year and maybe some class racing will come out of that that will raise the level of all the skippers. Early testing with experienced sailors has shown what the potential of the boat is in light air foiling and speeds to 26 knots +.
In addition to whats below, the boat takes off earlier than a Moth or an A Class cat which means it flies in lighter air than almost any other foiler. Only the Whisper claims a similar light air takeoff.
Light air takeoff extends the usable wind range of the boat which has got to be good news for owners of the boat. The days are gone when foiling in 10 knots plus was "normal". According to those who have sailed other foilers and the Q23 this is one of the easiest boats to learn to fly and tremendous fun w/o the physical demands of most other foilers. This is the main purpose of the Quant 23.
So far her extraordinary light air foiling performance is supplemented by top speeds over 26 knots according to the builder and designer.
More performance milestones:
1) takes off in about 5 knots of wind,
2) in 7-8 knots of wind boat speed can hit 19-20 knots,
3) can be sailed and foiled singlehanded!
4) foils upwind in 8 knots of wind at a speed approaching 15 knots.
yes, it is a Revolution WOLF-daughter of fire arrow
Fire Arrow Foil System-small and large trimarans!
From Michael Aeppli-a detailed analysis of the races quoted by CT:
The races and the results CT was naming : It is much more informative to look after the whole result list (fastest boat out of the pack first) with all the boats which are participating in such races. These are all geografical races, they start on a certain day, at a certain time (10am or so) whether there is wind or not and out of any direction. There is a fix starting line ! Sometimes you sail upwind from the line sometimes downwind or across the wind – and all the boats start as one fleet. Sometimes over 250 in the biggest race in spring.
I just want to give the right perspective what the character of these so called « Long distance races » are concerned. This is not really serious racing and some of the competitors, who are making mistakes, they won’t fall out of the result list. No fights etc. as people come to have fun. Sometimes this is very annoying.
Then « Lakeracing » as a type of sailing races unknown for people used to sail on open waters. Lakeracing is a very strange thing. I have a number of OZ friends sailing with us sometimes on our lakes and they just do not understand why we are doing this. This is the situation in general.
Now imagine a Q23, a Shaw 650 and all other smaller boats (the majority of the boat is taller to very much taller) on the starting line on leeward side of a X35 (35feet) or another boat for example- the named Chaps 30. About this boat : one has to know that this boat is almost totally rebuilt with carbon etc. and they added almost 2m in length, the rig is up to something like 14m and an immense sail area which can be reduced if there is once a bit more breeze, which statistically is happening in about 15% of the times, when we are sailing these races. A good breeze for us is maybe 7 kts which is blowing maybe for an hour or so. If this is happening we are absolutely delighted.
Just to give all the interested readers a picture of what we are talking about. So now you know what will happen if you are unlucky to lie next to one of these much bigger boats with much taller rigs in no wind. You sometimes you just loose already 15min on the starting line, sometimes it is your mistake, sometimes not. And then you have to catch up.
Have a look at these list of overall results and read about the details below. Please see the pdf's for each race below:
Einlaufliste SCE 2015
This was just a roll out of the prototype – I was abroad, one of the crew was driving. We all had to learn how to sail a Scow in the light- right heel angles etc. -before we mostly sailed more skiff like boats. But ok. the result is not so good and this race in the end was very important as we decided to add 900mm of rig and about 100mm of draft on the production boat. Next to this we moved rig keel etc. about 100mm forward. These measures have been changing the boat completely: it is much faster in the light and of course it takes off significantly earlier. Not to compare anymore with the Proto.
Einlaufliste SCPf 2016
About 55 boats on the line – not a lot of wind – some turbulences and our boat was capsizing because everybody sat on leeward side for appropriate heel angle. I was not able to sail myself again (had to go abroad). First small boat on the finishing line. They could have done better, words of the crew – we didn’t do a proper job - not at all.
Einlaufliste SVK 2016
I was not able to drive myself again – but I was able to follow the race during the first 3rd of the race. Difficult conditions no foiling – the Q23 was leading the pack by far. Then wind was dying completely and this means – advantages for the boats with the longest rig. 23 managed to finish again as first of small crafts.
This was a summer holiday race. I was driving this time (that sounds a bit immodest i know, but I am good in this type of racing and the previous seasons I always won 90% of these races be it on the Onyx, Longtze, and then Q28 and Q30 anyway.) So in this race we have been changing the setup of the boat in the prestart phase starting more than 1 min too late. We just missed the the first signals.
Very patchy conditions 3min here a patch, no wind for 5 min, a patch again, just to give you an idea. No foiling at all – we didn’t touch the boards once. This was the last race we did so far and we knew a bit more of the boat by then – so we ended as 3rd boat over the line out of over 70 boats. The Shaw 650 a comparable sized boat, once in the beginning a competitor lost about 21 min. But here you also can see that it depends who is driving – not to play the hero – but it is a fact.
What is the Q23 thought for :
The path we are following with the Q23 is not serious racing as a priority. We want to give people a fun boat to get back the joy of sailing, many are missing coming from all the slow boats like Dragons, Star etc. tired of the so called serious one-design racing up and down. Having a good time while sailing - for me and many of my sailing friends got more and more important.
Foiling is one of the most intense feelings you can have on a sailing boat and many of our potentials got hooked – and very interesting : like the Porsche once in younger years under your bum, foiling seems to be sexy and gives you a big amount of social prestige in sailing circles – and it will be the thing to come for the juniors. Look – we live in a time where «speed » in many ways (good ones and not so good ones) is paramount – so foiling boats are a logical consequence up to a certain degree. It is very hard to deny this.
But next to this, the Q23 will get faster and then maybe racing in the class (we are 6 boats on our lake at the moment) will start, where all crews will have the same situation (advantages and problems) but first we will have to learn more ourselves and educate others.
The good thing on the Q23 : it is the only foiling boat at the moment which is able to sail as fast in conventional mode as almost all comparable sized sportsboats and mostly faster (and one thing you cannot compare OZ and Kiwi type of sportsboats with what Europeans call a Sportboat. They are all lame ducks compared to the OZ type boats. we do not have a lot of Shaw type boats here, I imported those selling them to friends. What we have are older t-boats from Thomson boats)
Race results – if you analyse the situation – are not very relevant at the moment for our boat. But it can change and I absolutely want to give our customers a versatile product, means you can go racing in mixed fleets having a chance to end up in the top region – and this is the case with the Q23 much more than any other comparable sportsboat of today. On the other hand : you can go out with your kids sunbathing and swimming – it is an incredibly stable and good natured construction – which also is able to do 27kts if you have the guts- it is not absolutely what I am after I do not like to torture boats.
Doug this you may post also but then this chapter is closed for me.
yes, it is a Revolution WOLF-daughter of fire arrow
Fire Arrow Foil System-small and large trimarans!
Thanks for passing all that information to everyone here, Doug, as it clears up a lot of questions. Please pass our thanks on to Michi when you reply to him, and reassure him that his design is not being bashed by anyone here - it was clearly just a misunderstanding if that impression was accidentally given.
1- I can understand the issues of learning the boat and of inexperience; of course in the case of the Quants those factors are balanced against the fact that they have often been sailed by Michael who wins even in other boats.
2- Re the issues of lake sailing; my own local sailing ground is 200m higher in elevation that Lake Leman/Geneva, 120km inland, tucked up under mountains, and has many of the same issues plus the additional problem of being so tiny that you very rarely get much space, so I understand the issues. The fast boats still normally win.
The main point is that while the conditions on Lake Geneva may not be perfect for scows and foilers, conditions in many other areas may also be problematic. Boats without fine bows and with topsides flare tend to do poorly in Sydney Australia, for example, whereas boats that cannot tack without losing speed and cannot run very deeply do poorly in many places in England. In the wild conditions of San Francisco, Melbourne, Adelaide and Wellington foilers and scows may be problematic. So as Michael implies, the speeds obtained in (for example) the wide expanse, steady winds and fairly flat water of Garda may not be replicated elsewhere.
It all means that some of us may look at pics of what a boat does in a place like Garda and say "very nice, but we still don't know if it's going to be common where I sail."
3- Regarding "Look – we live in a time where «speed » in many ways (good ones and not so good ones) is paramount – so foiling boats are a logical consequence up to a certain degree. It is very hard to deny this."
Actually, with respect you can easily deny it. Look at what is often called the fastest growing watersport, stand up paddleboarding; it's slower than kayaking, it's slower than shortboard surfing, and yet it's booming. Look at another booming type of watercraft, plastic sit-on-top kayaks; again, they are slower than traditional kayaks but much more popular in many areas. Look at what is said to be the fastest-growing watersport in some places like the USA - it's wakeboarding, which is far slower than waterskiing which is dropping in popularity. So the fastest-growing watersports are all slow ones; slower than the similar but older sports that people are turning away from. The equipment in these boom sports are also cheaper and simpler than their older counterparts*. Maybe sailing should look at the boom sports?
The same thing's happening in sailing in many areas. In many significant areas the racing fleets of the fastest type of boat, the multis, are shrinking. In Australia many clubs have moved from faster beginners boats to the slow old Opti, and the fleets are huge. In England there has been a move away from fast boats. You can very easily argue that speed is not paramount and that concentrating on speed is actually harmful to the sport, whereas concentrating on economy and ease is beneficial. Of course, it could easily be argued that the Quants are actually the easier way to go foiling!
4- Thanks for the information about the Chaps; I didn't realise it had been modified. Incidentally, while our current sportsboats may be faster than yours, they only got 9 boats to the last national titles which says something about speed being paramount - slower monos are much more popular.
5- As David mentions, this isn't a case of bashing anything but a case of trying to get information. Every sailing craft, including my own, has weak points. Personally I find the weak points to be as interesting as the strong ones; for example the fact that the Tasar isn't particularly good in the light winds and short courses of much English racing is as interesting as the fact that it's a great boat in Sydney. Trying to see how craft work in less than ideal conditions is not bashing them; it is how we learn.
* I'm not 100% sure about this in the case of wakeboarding; maybe 75% sure there.
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