Foil Optimist

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Manfred.pech, May 16, 2016.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Foiling!

    ======================

    There are new boats being developed that will change foiling forever by making it much easier to foil and allow foiling in light air. One of the most outstanding examples is this picture of the first production Quant 23 foiling scow keelboat. The wind was around 4kts over the deck and 7-8 at the top of the rig.This is the future of foiling-no longer just for athletes in strong winds-foiling for everyone! Look at where the guys are sitting!
    This is a trend in foiler design that will have a profound effect on the popularity of foilers by making them easy to sail and drastically widening the wind range available for foiling by flying in the lightest air:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. myszek
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    myszek Junior Member

  3. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Doug, none of that disproves the point I was trying to make.

    Where are they sailing? Lake Garda. Even when the winds are light it's not your typical sailing area. It's a famous natural wind tunnel. It's also got cold water a lot of the time so (as they note) the wind shear can be dramatic and therefore pics can be misleading at some times.

    This pic is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about in some ways. Garda is NOT the sort of place where you see the typical sailing craft. You see kites, hundreds and hundreds of windsurfers, and championship racing. People travel hundreds of kilometres to go to a vast, natural and aesthetically stunning wind tunnel. It's got very, very, very little to do with the sort of sailing most people do each week on their local waterway. You only have to travel to the very next lake and the sailing scene changes dramatically - back to little yachts, 420s etc.

    Yep, sure, you can get leading-edge performance on Garda. Been there, done that. The first time I was there was the world titles for the class that's still probably the fastest thing afloat in some ways. And that class has crashed and burned in terms of popularity. Why? Because the best sailors in the best places can get incredible performance - but the average sailor in the average place on the average day can't, and that means that the average sailor walks away.

    The Quant guys seem nice (I've always liked Hugh's stuff and he was nice in the very little contact we had) but I also notice that like most people, they tend to publicise the times their boats do well and keep quiet about the other times. You can tell that by digging into the races where their other boats didn't perform as well, and which they didn't mention. That's not something to be really critical of (this is PR after all) but it does indicate that one has to see their press releases in context, like all press releases.

    Saying that there is a new move to improve light wind foiling performance seems to ignore the fact that obviously the Moth guys are also trying to maximise light wind performance. AMAC's a bloody smart guy, and if he didn't maximise light wind performance his boats would not dominate like they do. And despite all the incredible light-wind foiling performance of his boats, you still do not ever get more than 9 boats turning up to a club race in Sydney - a city that has over 20 Laser fleets alone. That shows how tiny the (wonderful) foiling discipline is.

    To say it all again, not a single thing I am saying is in any way disrespectful of foiling. Many of the classes I love most are tiny. That's obvious from the fact that I am using the analogy of sailing at Garda in one of the classes I love most. The point is that the types that some of us love, and what looks cool, do not make for a strong and growing sport. If someone as living on the coast and fanatical as you can't get out there on foils each week, Joe and Joanne Average Inlanders ith 2.4 kids, a tough job and a mortgage sure as hell can't. If Joe and Joanne Average Inlanders can't do it often enough and well enough to make it worth the extra expense, then foiling is NOT "the future".

    PS - the latter part of the press release is interesting; they say that even a foiler like the Quant is hard work. It's also a bit worrying to me, where they make a sneering remark that foiling may not be for the faint hearted. I love high-performance sailing (I'm arranging a test sail of the fourth-fastest class in the country tomorrow since we broke our old high-performance boat) but we have to respect those who make other choices without making insulting remarks about why they may not like the quick craft. Sneering at your potential market is not 'the future'.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    It's not just about foiling in light air-it's about making it easy to foil. That is not possible on very many foilers yet but it will be a major contribution to the future of foiling -instead of a focus on high end speed the focus will be on easy to foil, comfortable boats that foil throughout the wind range starting in as little as 4-5kts(Whisper and Quant 23).That is the future!
    -----
    That's a goal of the Quant guys and one which it appears they are succeeding in. Opening up the wind range to include light air foiling is critical for the growth of foiling and essential to encourage wider participation as is making the boat easy to sail and fly. Those elements will change the way foiling is perceived and result in phenomenal growth over time.
    That picture(post 16) perfectly illustrates the unique capabilities of the Q23-foiling in light air and being easy to sail and foil-just look at how relaxed the crew is(skipper sitting on the lee side!!!!). That could be any of 1000 or more light air venues in the USA-or anywhere for that matter. That's the point: when other foilers can't foil the Q23 can. Which is a good thing if you want to fly. And compared to any other foiler the Q23 is probably the easiest to foil based on what those that have sailed her think:

    Benoît Marie – Minittransat Winner, successful Moth sailor and vice champion of the little America’s Cup 2015
    (C-class catamarans) tested the Q23 in pretty light air. This is what he said about his latest sailing experience:

    “I want to say a big THANK YOU for the test ride on the Quant 23, I was truly amazed of the performance and the
    sensation you get on this boat. But what really strikes me is the ease of use of this boat. No need to be a pro to
    sail it. I would actually take my mother for a sail very easily, to give her the thrill of flying without fearing a big
    crashes, happening painfully on other flying boats. Now, flying in 6-7 kts of wind on a keelboat is something I
    would never expect... But you nailed it perfectly ! Well done, I think this product has a great future, even in sailing
    school, you can just bring everyone to the foiling world in this boat... A big BRAVO !!!”

    (Benoît Marie, Lake of Zurich, Sept. 23rd 2015)
    ===================================
    From Quant Boats/ Michi:

    The new Q23 opens up a new horizon in light-wind Foiling.
    Another day of testing on Lake of Garda without the conditions one would expect. Very light northerly breeze. We went out to do some practicing in the light and to look for speed and angles - also best heel angles - while sailing upwind in displacement mode.
    As you all know, good lightwind performance is vital on the lakes of Europe and elsewhere maybe as well - and the development from the proto to the production boat definitely went in the right direction.
    We sailed upwind that the day - just the two of us - when Roger suggested to bear away, trying to foil under kite. He obviously did that before, when i got stuck in the office. I thought he is joking - but we did and then somebody took this pic! I estimated 4kts true around my nose - a sailing coach nearby on a RIB told us later about the measured true windspeed in over 2m above waterlevel: 3.5kts!
    I am fully aware that you never know about the layers of wind higher up in the rig. But however, foiling in these condtions is new i guess. And A-Cat and Moth-Sailors in the neighbourhood said that there was no way to get up and going (a bit later we actually passed one of the latest type of foiling A-Cat on leeward, coming from behind).
    What is different on our new boat and the Q-foil philosophy? It is an interesting question. I think it is not just that we have a good ratio between weight and sail area - it is more about the type of foils: After some practicing and getting used to these big foils, you learn quickly how you can slowly and carefully leave displacement mode, first changing into steady semifoiling mode, getting rid of some drag and then into fully foiling mode loosing even more drag to get the real benefits of the apparent. In conditions like this with flat water it is not even too difficult to learn launching the boat like this.

    I have not a lot of experience with high loaded T-foils, but i learned that you have to accelerate quickly to get up and stay there. Developing enough lift while slowly accelerating over maybe 10 to 20seconds is something really difficult on T-foils, as you always run the risk to overloaded and stall your foil section - something low loaded foils like ours can do as well, but it needs much more. Pro sailors may have their own limits when it comes to launch a Moth – i am just talking about experienced Joe Average.
    On the other side - in more breeze - smaller, well immersed highloaded foil sections will allow higher speeds. But
    if you look at the reality while sailing on Lakes and even in sheltered coastal water - once stronger winds (but not too strong!) sets in - a boat like ours may lie miles ahead by then. All the more, if you take in account that the Q23 also is a quite capable and well performing sportsboat today, also in conditions, where nobody is foiling, on both ends of the wind scale (we still have the ace of DSS up the sleeve, to limp home with comfortable 15kts of speed, once it gets a bit nasty:)
    To look out to a possible future, where more "normal" sailors wish to foil: I guess doing the first steps in the light makes a lot of sense, as there you are able to train your reflexes and instincts. Once, higher up the learning curve, you will recognize quickly, that sailing on any type of foiling boat is hard work, be it on a well balanced boat or on an absolutely unstable centreline-foiler. Maybe nothing for faint hearted characters - but still you will get used to this type of sailing – same way we learned to handle a 200hp motorbike, anybody can buy around the corner today.

    Hang loose
    Michi
     
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ==================
    That is a complete misrepresentation of what Michi was saying- taken completely out of context!!! He was talking about sailing in strong winds-the kind of wind where any boat is hard work.
    Both Michi and Hugh have repeatedly pointed out how easy it is to foil a Quant 23 in light to medium air. The fact that it is the first foiling keelboat ever AND foils in light air is extraordinary.
    The comment you make about "sneering at your potential market" is just simply ridiculous! If you read all that Michi, Hugh and others have written about the goals of the Quant 23 program you would realize that.
     
  6. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    That makes perfect sense at this stage when the major foiling class is still 'development' rather than 'one design'. I would venture to say that the majority of foiling boats in existence are not competitive but still great fun.

    I would propose a class that uses low cost standardized foils (air and water) but leaves the rest of the boat limited only to material (for cost consistency) and minimum weight. The water foils would be larger than the open classes for low wind takeoff and to emphasize strategy.
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  8. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Doug, thanks for the link to the Wasp, which appears to be more user friendly and practical.

    Something that quickly defaults from on the foil to use as a regular efficient boat would be a nice option...

    PC
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Retracting Foils

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    PC, the Quant 23 is designed to do that-it can be sailed with the foils fully retracted. I think there may be more boats like that before long.

    See the picture here: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/quant-23-foiler-scow-53468-4.html#post776002
     
  10. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Doug, it is not a misrepresentation. Michi's post mentions moving up the learning curve - not sailing in strong winds. You may feel that he is talking about strong winds but he does not specify that.

    On the one hand you talk of "boats that are easy to sail and fly" without specifying the conditions you're talking about. Then you say "any boat is hard" in strong winds. It's contradictory. It's also wrong - there are plenty of boats that are a doddle to sail in strong winds. If a foiler that is designed to be easy to sail is hard to sail in strong winds, then foiling won't be as popular as you claim.

    I have read about the goals of the program. I still think that my interpretation of the "faint hearted" remark is reasonable and (IMHO) correct, especially when seen in context of the sort of over-the-top nonsense and hype that so often accompanies foiling. It's like the "foiling is the future" nonsense. No sane person would think that everyone is going to give up Beneteaus, Dragons, Lasers on tiny lakes, Flying Scots, Hobie Waves and Sunfish and get into foiling, therefore foiling is not THE future. It's great and it's a significant (although absolutely tiny) part of sailing. But no one part of this wonderful sport is THE future - there are many futures.


    Oh, by the way, I see that Michi says that accelerating onto highly-loaded T foils is "something really difficult". Haven't you been telling us that foiling on Moths etc is actually quite easy? So which one is it, Doug? Is it "something really difficult" or is it easy?
     
  11. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Foiling!

    I'm not the only one that saw your misrepresentation of what Michi said-you've done that kind of thing for a long time. It's unfortunate that you still do that to try to make a point.
    What Michi said about Moths makes sense to me as did all his comments.
    -----
    The fact is that until the proto Q23 was launched no fullsize foiler had been designed and built specifically to be easy to sail, easy to foil, comfortable and capable of foiling in very light air.
    The Quant guys have begun a design trend that will unalterably change the perception of and the reality of foiling and this is just the beginning. It's a huge change in the direction of foiler design and it will have a profound influence on the popularity of foiling by introducing foilers that everyone can fly and enjoy.
    --
    The picture(post 16) of the crew at ease and skipper sitting on the lee side while foiling in very light air says it all..........
     
  12. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Doug - have the decency to follow forum rules and stop insulting other members of the board. I am NOT misrepresenting anything. It is a simple fact that the sentence to which I was referring does not say anything about strong wind; nothing in the paragraph does. You could try sailing high performance cats or monos; you'd find out that the learning curve and wind strength aren't always related.

    How it can be said that "something really difficult" is actually easy is (ahem) rather interesting, to say the least. Most people think that "something really difficult" is actually, y'know, something really difficult. If you're going to say that "something really difficult" actually means something quite easy, then you are in no position to claim that anyone else is misrepresenting things.

    A photo of one or two people at ease says nothing at all. If you sailed high-performance cats or monos you'd know that some people can be at ease while jumping a windsurfer, running bow on a maxi or hooning on a skiff or cat. That doesn't mean that those boats are used by the average sailor.
     
  13. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Sorry, but I emphatically disagree with your assessment of the comments you made about what Michi wrote.
     
  14. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I agree completely about the waszp.

    I laugh out loud about the opti "IF!" -it doesn't work. The one in the OP is nowhere near a workable design. The one in the utube video is a fine home built effort that could possibly work in some conditions, but all indications are that it is not stable and they gave up. If they did manage to get get it working there is still no indication a viable product would come from it, let alone any sales.

    I don't know Hugh but I can see his past work and note that he doesn't do boats under six figure cost and he only lends his name and support to others efforts.

    So the waszp carries the torch alone as far as affordable foiling one-design goes.
     

  15. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Foiling!

    -----------------
    That is completely wrong-the 23 is somewhere around 60-70 grand and there are other boats below 6 figures. The bit about "only lends his name and support to others efforts" is completely wrong. Hugh has been 100% hands on in the development of DSS for years(from the very first one meter model!) and on the Quant 23 since its inception. However, he did visit me while I was building the Fire Arrow and gave me great encouragement.......
    The Q23 is a one design- I would not pass the torch to the Waszp alone.... There are bound to be many smaller versions of comfortable, easy to sail ,easy to foil boats that can foil in very light air. My only concern about the Waszp is that I'm not sure it fits in the "easy to sail, easy to foil" type that the Q23 does. But hopefully it will be able to sell for about half of a Mach II.

    click-
     

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