FOILER 1 Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Moth Facts

    These are facts ,not assumptions, speculation, or exaggeration. I try very hard to be extremely carefull about what I report regarding the exploits of the Moth. There will always be people who dispute anything they don't understand and /or fail to comprehend the nature of the Moth monofoiler revolution.There is always room for reasonable people to disagree about the interpretation of these facts but as time goes by the extraordinary nature of the foiler Moth and the technological revolution it is spawning will become clear, in my humble opinion:
    1) First reported on SA over a year ago: John Ilett, while testing a new set of foils, recorded a boat speed of 19 knots in a 10-12 knot wind.SEE BELOW FOR MORE ON GPS SPEEDOMETERS.
    2) First reported 2004: Rohan Veal beat a fleet of A class cats in five out of 6 races. The full story is in a previous post here or on In addition, there were many comments on the Australian A Class catamaran forum regarding A Cats being passed by Moths prior to the loss of much of the data there. However, at least one such comment remains: by AUS 797- "He sped past me in 12 knots absolutely flying". Go to the Aussie A class site and click on hydrofoils.
    3) Almost every major Moth Championship has been won by a foiler Moth in a wide range of conditions.
    4) Phil Stevenson, on the Dinghy Anarchy forum under"Building a Moth",page 2 of Dinghy Anarchy, post #38 did match speed with a Tornado catamaran that was flying it's spinnaker. Phil was 6th out of 7 Moths and writes eloquently of the Moth foiling experience. Read it.
    5) Rohan Veal has beaten a fleet International 14's -see a previous post and his site.
    6) Rohan Veal has just set the Australian Moth speed record at 22.9 knots which he considers so-so and feels that the boat is capable of MUCH faster. He used the Velocitek 12 Channel GPS described below.
    7) This is one I got wrong because the original newspaper clipping was lost. I had remembered it as Simon Payne beating a fleet of 49er's. I was wrong in this case; I apologize and I will continue try my best to make sure it doesn't happen again.This is a quote from the Fed week 2004 website sailed on Chichester harbor in the UK:
    "Tacking under East Head shore proved the favored course except for the Foiler International Moth
    sailed by Simon Payne whose speed over the water
    and with most of his hull out of it, was such to make little difference to his course, crossing the finish in an amazing 1hr 12 min. almost half an hour ahead of the leading International Canoe..."
    Headlines from a newspaper clipping describing the event: "Moth proves astonishing sight in windy Fed Week". From the article:" And they were certainly rewarded this year, by the amazing sight of Simon Payne's state of the art International Moth, by far the fastest craft on-or more correctly-over the waves.
    Designed to lift up on to foils on its daggerboard and rudder, it literally flew over the water, outpacing the fastest ribs and drawing urgent radio calls from the committee boat for it's location.
    Payne won every race in his class, the fast handicap, by a huge margin. His yardstick number already low could have been lowered to that of the fastest Olympic dinghy, the Tornado catamaran, and he would have still headed the fleet."
    8) According to Rohan, Simon Payne(UK) just broke 23 knots for the first time and used a Velocitek S3 12 channel GPS speedometer.
    According to Simon Paynes website the accuracy is plus or minus .2 knots and goes on:"DOES NOT PRODUCE IRREGULAR OR "SPIKED" READINGS. At this time no other recreational GPS speedometer can provide reliable readings updated at 1hz.."
    9)The 49er-Here is what Rohan says about the 49er: "I have raced the top 49er guys here on the bay a few times and can beat them around the course as long as it is over 8-10 knots constantly. If not they kill us.Generally, when there is enough wind, we are quicker upwind but they get us downwind(if it's choppy water only though).
    I did this racing so they could work out a handicap for the foiler Moth in Australia based on a good yardstick of the 49er and they worked out 'officially' that the foiler Moth was 1 min quicker around a standard course(whatever that is) than a 49er. So the 49er yardstick is 84 and the foiler Moth 83." (from an e-mail to dl)
    10) C Class cat comparison- See the thread "Little America's Cup Perth 2007" on SA main forum page post #150 and others where people who should know claim the top speed of a C Class cat is 24 knots. Considering that using accurate ,reliable, measurement the foiler Moth is currently topping out at around 23 knots the picture of what high performance really means becomes even clearer.
    None of these accomplishments by themselves mean too much but the aggregate taken over the last two years presents a picture of an incredible 11' sailing machine.The Foiler Moth is leading a revolution in sailing , sailing technique and sailing design the likes of which we haven't seen in a very ,very long time!
    There will be updates to this thread as they come in as well as to the Foiler 1 site.
  2. John ilett
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    John ilett Senior Member

    Rohan had also told me that in one of the very light wind races of the recent Australian champs that he had only managed to hydrofoil properly on two of the five legs of the race but still finished a very close second (by some seconds) to Les Thorpe the defending Australian champ who was lowriding. So foiling just two of five legs will put a foiler pretty even with a non foiler.
  3. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Thank you John.

    From your post I see 3 skippers have beaten 4 other dinghies.

    Veal beats Int 14's ans A-Class cats
    Stevenson matches speed with a Tornado
    Payne beats a Canoe

    That is the list.

    I guess three = long for someone that thinks two = mono?

    I think the Moth's are cool, I'm just tired of them being touted as the best thing since sliced and the future of boat for the common sailor.

    The 49er:
    The 49er-Here is what Rohan says about the 49er: "I have raced the top 49er guys here on the bay a few times and can beat them around the course as long as it is over 8-10 knots constantly. If not they kill us."

    Hmmm ... One of the top Moth sailors *can* beat 49er's *if* the conditions are right .... how does that compare to the BS that Doug has been spewing?
  4. John ilett
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    John ilett Senior Member

    Every class would likely have a best condition that suits their boats.

    More wind, less wind, chop etc

    The fact that the foil moth can pace these classes at least means it could be considered on par or similar.

    I know it's hard swallow the fact that an 11ft boat can be so fast but it's a different beast. They have very minimal drag in comparison to a 14ft hull or two 20ft hulls. Hey the rig has less drag too.

    As others have mentioned they have exceptional upwind speed of steady 12-15 knots and this is where they make up most ground on other classes.

    Also remember that these designs/foil systems are just a few years old with plenty more fine tuning and development to come, so you can expect more speed with more ease soon enough.
  5. Baronvonrort
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Baronvonrort Junior Member

    This Foiler 1 Gp which just had its round at the skandia week shows what boats the moth was competing against.
    ok dinghy's
    Laser radials
    It was surprising after all these claims of outstanding boatspeed from the Moth to have Rohan say 420's could beat him upwind and he also struggled against the ok dinghy.The elapsed times in the races hardly back up these claims of great boatspeed and the the boats he was racing against can hardly be called fast boats!
    I would like to see what our world champion in the Tornado cats (Bundock?)would do to a world champion Moth sailor!
    I am not the sort of person who compares a world champion in the moths against nobody's sailing another boat type.A good comparison would be world champ against world champ to give credibility to your claims.
    You should check the race results before making ludicrous claims Doug!
    Follow the link he provided.
    Where did Rohan finish in all the races Doug?
    Maybe you should read all of Rohans website.

    The Moth is not a suitable boat for the old fat unfit unskilled sailors and those who have won a world championship in moths have usually been sailing them for years before they can win.
    Trophy hunters avoid the moth class because it is very difficult and time consuming with all the hours that have to be put in before you can win.

    So lets look at what Rohan has put on the Foiler 1 gp website.
    1.Faster than a A class cat...well the A class was also slow in the brass monkey regatta and who said the a class was fast anyway.
    2.Boat speed is also faster than the wind speed.....Big deal the 18ft skiffs have been sailing faster than the wind on all points of sailing for about 25 years.
    3.They produce amazing crashes at height and speed.......No argument from me on that one.
    4.they are 1 tenth of the cost of an 18ft skiff.......$15 000 for a new moth and i could get an 18ft skiff on the water much cheaper than Rohan believes.
    5.Optimum weight for skipper 60-80 kg.......Yes the moth is for smaller men.

    I like the moth and have followed the developments in the class from the time they were scows.

    My first ride on a hydro foil was the Manly ferry and they were replaced by a cat.
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Foiler Moth

    Nobody(with apologies to nobody) claims the foiler Moth is fast in very light non-foiling conditions: not me, not John, not Rohan. You conveniently "forgot" to mention that the race you quoted was sailed in extremely light, patchy wind and the Rohan didn't sail the last race in NO wind dropping from 2nd overall to 5th. Foiler Moths excel in 8-15 and that window is opening wider all the time.
    You conveniently forgot to read the Chichester regatta story sailed in very windy conditions didn't you? 2 years ago...
    Or the story by Phil Stevenson who, at around 186 pounds is heavy for the Moth class but who nevertheless matched speed with a Tornado. Perhaps you also missed the bit about the yardstick: one minute faster around a 'standard' course than a 49er.
    The claims backed up by the FACTS show the Moth faster than an A class cat, International Canoe ,International 14 and 49er and matching speed with a Tornado(2 reports under the FACTS above) IN CONDITIONS WHICH ARE SUITABLE TO BOTH BOATS.
    And with a max speed damn near that of a C class catamaran.
  7. casavecchia
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    casavecchia Senior Member

  8. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Well that puts you a leg up on ol' Douggie.

    His "foiler" still hasn't, has it? Right, it's always "under development". Convenient.

    A year ago he claimed he would have a 20 foot foilerer ready about now, to prove the foiling thing could scale up and smash an upsized Eighteen. No evidence of this yet, eh?

    Right up there with the 12 foot foiler he was developing with a "major" boat producer, along with a 16 footer as I recall.

    What about the 18 foot canter he had in development?

    Oh, and the Mini that was going to scorch the existing fleet using his patented keel thingmabob? Haven't seen that spash yet, have we?
  9. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Wheel Spinning

    This is way off the pragmatic objective of whether one of these dudes can be manufactured cost effectively, with simple-to-use controls like other "People's Boats" and with the utility and compelling usefulness that you can see on any of a dozen (or more) small day-sailing machines already in the marketplace.

    Nobody disputes that foil equipped Moths can achieve some astounding performance marks in the correct conditions. At least, nobody should be disputing the good word of many well known proponents. That data is out there within plain view unless there's a worldwide conspiracy to flummox the sailing public, and I don't have that impression.

    That has never been the issue for me and never will. But technology for technology's sake is not compelling enough in a world of cluttered products. There has to be pragmatic utility, or the game itself is limited.

    When you look at the car racing environment, you can see that on certain types of road race tracks, a very small shifter equipped go-cart can establish faster lap times than can many larger, more heavily horsepowered vehicles such as 800HP NASCAR rigs. This is because the NASCAR machine is out of its element and it can't be made to do that which it is not designed to do.

    Unfortunately, the conditions don't always cooperate for the common, recreational sailor and when those situations are present, the foiler will not be as cool as the owner thought it would be. Unfortunately, those types of uncooperative conditions are present more often than not.

    When you couple that with the big learning curve and the damage susceptibility of the foils, the fact that any plastic bag, or other crap in the water will virtually destroy the horizontal lift of the foils and the shear number of parts to be fiddled with (not to mention the wacky addition of a sliding seat) you have moved as far away from a "People's Foiler" as you can get.

    You have entered the heady world of performance skiff dujour with all its wonder. This paradigm is in direct opposition to the paradigm of a "people's boat" in which any Joe can climb aboard and get it on with a smile on his face in a wide array of water and wind conditions.

    To have a successful product that has inherent complexities, the complex technolgy has to be embedded in the design in such a way as to make it, in fact, simpler to operate and not more complicated.

    All wheel drive, automatic braking systems, airbags, evolutionary transmissions, heads-up displays, you name it in the automotive industry... they're all passive technologies with little, to no, adjustment necessary from the owner/driver. If you want to sell a mass market device to the public in these times, you have to have a simpler product, as they perceive it, and there's no other way around it or you are doomed to a self-limiting market place of afficionadoes.

    There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not the same game.

    When Doug can definitively demonstrate a boat that is, in fact as simple as a Laser in all respects, he will will be able to claim he is producing a "People's Boat" with a foiling performance potential. I look forward to saying I was wrong, but it's my opinion that it's not going to get done in my lifetime. I have outlined the definitive reasons in previous postings and have not heard or seen anything to counter the arguments in subsequent postings from either John Ilett or Doug Lord.

    What I have heard and seen is vitriol and invective from Doug, designed to create a smokscreen around the issues. This is the type of argument platform that is usually reserved for those who have no legitimate response, so they shout really loud about nothing in order to generate the noise that will hopefully make the real issues go away. John's responses have been presented as a gentleman and his products reflect his integrity in his efforts to bring foiling Moths before the public.

    For the life of me, I don't know what you thought you'd be getting from a group of educated and insightful enthusiasts when you dropped your People's Foiler" in front of us. Of course, you're gong to have the concept scrutinized with all its half-baked ideas tossed around publicly. You could have taken it all in with an eye to learning from the many points of view and possibly made your product better, simpler, more likely to be manufactured. Instead, you took offense when folks with experience stepped-up and said, "hey, wait a minute... what about this?"

    Doug, you can civilly engage the argument or you can continue to blabber around the issues; your choice. It would be really good if you could simply address the complexities and manufacturing issues in a straight forward and honest fashion while recognizing that there's a credibility gap present that hasn't come close to being addressed. Another harangue about speed-over-water issues is not the direction that resolves hard problems like the ones stated.

    You could get the entire mob of guys here on your side by turning down the jets on the performance angle and getting to the meat of the topic for this "People's Boat". Come on, what do you say?

  10. Nobody
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Nobody Junior Member


    This is a long way from what Doug was/is spewing forth about the Moth being 15% quicker than a 49er. 15% is 9 minutes every hour.

    Don't take my comments here as critisism of the moth. I really like them and think they are very cool. If I was 70kg I would be building one. I just get frustrated when soo much exageration is repeated over and over.

  11. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    I apologize(as I did earlier) for the comment about "15% faster than a 49er"; that's what I remembered reading and I should not have said it without having the paper in my hand. It won't happen again. Under the Australian yardstick the Moth is one minute faster than a 49er on a standard course.
  12. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    This makes them 10 - 20% faster than an ACC boat upwind. What's the tacking angle at this speed?
  13. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Foiler? Moth USA

    For those interested in the Foiler Moth there is hope in the USA. Check out Dinghy Anarchy(under Sailing Anarchy Forums) and there are several threads regarding the homebuilding of the boat with input from Steve Clark and Phil Stevenson. Steve seems to have come up with a price around $3800-including mast and sail. In his list foils are $500 but I don't think they are hydrofoils-but I'm not positive. Both Steve and Phil Stevenson seem to have bought into the idea of sailing a seahugger Moth for some period of time before adding hydrofoils-two or three seasons has been mentioned.
    I think that buoyancy pods and going with foils right off the bat might be a good idea-but I haven't sailed a foiler Moth-but then again neither has Steve. There is some discussion of this subject on the Australian Moth forum. And as mentioned earier discussion of buoyancy pods on the UK forum-see link in one of the earlier posts. From an expense standpoint ready built foils from Fastacraft are expensive but first class and they can get you going without having to reinvent the wheel. Even the seahugger Moth needs a rudder foil- I don't know whether the aft seahuger foil and aft hydrofoil are equivalent but John Ilett would. You could sail the foiler Moth as a seahugger with buoyancy pods until you felt comfortable enough to try foiling in the right conditions. Even with Johns foils and the rest of the stuff on Steves list you are talking about getting one of the fastest sailboats under 20' for in the vicinity of $7-8000 ready to fly* + your labor. Which is about the same price as new Hoot and half the price of a new Voodoo. Bang for the buck is unexcelled with the foiler Moth!
    Cost estimate USA International Moth, see
    post 186:
    Sailing Anarchy Forums
    Foils- My personal opinion is that no one should attempt to build the hydrofoils unless you have the capability of doing them at the highest level including using pre preg. John's foil package comes with the wand altitude sensor as well:
    * New ready to fly International Moth from Fastacraft not including shipping:$12,094 US as of today.
  14. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    John, having sailed against/shared a course with foiler Moths on a few occasions, it's obvious they are amazing machines and in the right conditions for the foiler it's hard to see any singlehanded mono other than a Formula board hanging in with them.

    But can I ask whether you think a boat's performance should be judged across a full set of conditions, or just in the conditions that suit that boat and may not be ideal for the craft being used as a comparison?

    When we are assessing all-round performance, how can we allow for the fact that some craft (many boards for example) are incredible performers in a breeze, but cannot actually finish a normal race in other conditions, or will be miles behind all-rounders?

    How do you think when talking of performance, we should allow for the fact that some craft (foilers) are amazing in 8 knots+, but not very good performers in lighter winds?

    What about those boats that are not incredible in any one breeze, but great all-rounders; is it fair to just imply that they are second-rate because they may never be quite the fastest in any particular wind?

    Is it reasonable, fair and accurate to say "design X beat design Y in race Z, therefore we can say design X is faster", without mentioning that the conditions may have been ideal for one and not the other, or the fact that X may be really slow in other conditions, or that Y was just behind in that race but would beat X by a lap another day?

    How do we "rate" craft that perform incredibly well in some rare conditions? Is it OK to say "type D is the fastest craft in the world" because in freak conditions, type D could beat an 18 or a foiler Moth or a C Class or a 130' cat?

    By the way, what do you consider to be a fair overall yardstick for a foiler Moth, and what sort of boat are they competitive with in say 6 knots? One of the Brits punched some numbers indicating speed around Laser Radial level - does that sound OK (it's a lot quicker than a FW board which seems to be the only small singlehander that can rival the foiler in a breeze isnn't it)?

  15. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    I've been thinking a lot about this and it seems to me that if the boats are compared when racing IN CONDITIONS THAT SUIT BOTH BOATS then that gives a fair assesment over the widest range of conditions.
    Chris, what singlehanders do you sail that can beat a foiler Moth in conditions that suit both boats?
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