Foiler Design

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by tspeer, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    There is no other class so deep into innovation and development as the foiling Moth. They are the leaders (along with Kite boards and one-off multihulls) in being at the head of the train. Chris, you're a stuck record and off base/class with your incessant bleating about cost and popularity BS regarding the Moth - all you''re doing is not missing an opportunity at throwing turds against Doug (who admittedly, does at times, need ii) but the repetition has ... become repetitious. You're coming across as an old grumpy conservative railing away at new yacht directions. You're not going to stop it - and right now with AC 45 and 72, there are going to be radical shake ups in all yachting philosophy and thought. Ease up cobra and enjoy the changes.
     
  2. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Whether or not the wing is in - and that's something I'm not even really considering - EVERY development class regularly has to ban things.

    The Moth has already banned sliding seats, catamaran and trimaran configurations, windsurfer rigs, wing-borne foils, sloop rigs and many other things.

    Any class HAS to do these to preserve itself. Go back a few years, before the foilers came out, and the boards were normally quicker and almost certainly would have been quicker even if cut down to Moth LOA. So if people had followed the "we can't ban it" mantra years ago, the Mothies would have had to change to windsurfers or get beaten.

    The Mothies made the choice, well BEFORE boards were faster, to ban windsurfer types. If they had not, they would almost certainly have become just another board class - and boards did not invent course-racing foilers or course-racing wing rigs.

    So it was only because Moths had earlier banned windsurfers that they can still create innovations like foiling and small wing sails.

    Ironically, the same sort of thing happened in windsurfers. IT was only when they banned hulls over a certain depth and introduced other restrictions that the Raceboard type could evolve. It was only when they banned centreboards and imposed a length and wind limit that the Formula boards could evolve.

    After all, if we had no rules we'd all be sailing kites or maxi multis - it's the rules that create the competition.

    I once was one of the four guys who created a national class with three rules (including a rule restricting crews to one, and another saying that the gear could include nothing that would hurt other competitors). It may have been effectively the most open class in the history of sailing.

    . It died, just like all classes that have almost no restrictions die. I'm currently arguing for a reduction in restrictions in the International development class for which I'm on the committee, but you have to have some rules or it simply doesn't work.

    The 18s ban things. The A Class ban things. The Moths ban things. The 12s ban things. The Rs ban things. The C Class bans things. The maxi multis and ORMA 60s ban things. Canoes ban things. All classes that exist ban things, and almost all of the time cost is a major reason.

    The idea of banning things in development classes for cost and obsolescence reasons seems much more acceptable in the UK and Australia than in other areas. And where are most of the development classes? In just those two places where restrictions are accepted. Other areas do the talking but don't do the building.

    This is NOT saying that wings should be banned, but the idea that development classes can't ban things is the thinking that may have killed the once-thriving East Coast USA development class culture. You can't run a class unless you consider restrictions.

    People are running around saying that the current developments have revitalised the Moths in the USA (although numbers are still tiny) but the other side of the coin is that it was earlier developments that killed the Moth class in the USA decades ago. It is now only a fraction of its former size. If you used a flamethrower to burn every living thing on your garden, and 40 years later some green shoots started to sprout, you wouldn't use that as evidence that the flamethrower was the perfect gardening tool. That's not saying that restrictions are good, per se, but when lack of restrictions has killed the class previously in an area then you can't use a small-scale revival as much evidence that unrestricted development is good for the class.

    Whether or not the wings should be banned, the point is that restrictions are not bad, per se, even in a development class because they are necessary to keep such classes alive.
     
  3. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Having read a few articles on other websites regarding cost of a solid wing, I have to say that the cost of solid wing V a mast and sail may well make the solid wing cheaper in the long term to most moth sailors. Soft sails and masts have an annoying habit of wearing out very quickly and do get superseded extroadinarily quickly.

    The solid sail is such a big leap of technology ( and yet has had a very large development curve already ) that to supersede that will take a very long time indeed + the solid sail is infinately adjustiable within the basic design, enough to keep most techies happy, that the basic designs may last many years.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ======================
    This from from one of the most vocal opponents of hydrofoils in the Moth class.......
     
  5. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    It's easy to take potshots at people when you have no skin in the game. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I'm sure Chris249 thought long and hard before forming his opinion. You however do not sail a Moth.

    Although baseball and football fans often strongly "feel" they should be in charge of their teams, their actual ability to improve play on the field is exactly zero. You are in essence a foiling "fanboy" commenting on a Moth player - and your ability to direct the Moth class is equal to someone sitting a Florida Gator's game giving Urban Meyer advice on how to manage his team.

    I don't sail a Moth, and I realize my place in the debate - to observe and listen as opposed to projecting my personal preferences. I have been involved in fleet promotion, and I do recognize the IMCA is trying to balance what's demonstratively working for them with their strong development class foundations.

    --
    CutOnce

    If my preferences were relevant, I'd be pro-foil, and would support a one time wing trial for the upcoming worlds, with class acceptance to be voted after they see how it would affect the top of the fleet not before they even try. I think voting the wings down before they see if are actually competitive (or not) is fear-based decision making.
     
  6. cardsinplay
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    cardsinplay da Vinci Group





    Hey, that's great. Unfortunately, along with the rapid rush to the new and coolish, there is a trail of non-competitive machinery that is typically strewn-about on the shore as previously enthusiastic membership group falls to the wayside due to escalating cost issues.

    Whenever I open a thread, or blog, that speaks about the upcoming Moth Worlds at Belmont, the lead sentence pretty much always has something to do with a loud exclamation that proclaims the record shattering numbers of skippers/boats that will be present and entered.

    Something that should be very carefully observed in that numbers game exhaltation is that Mothies are puffing their chests because they can draw their biggest fleet ever. Fair enough. Yet, here they are, giddy as can be, having not fully considered the realities of making wholesale changes to the cost of ownership to put a boat on the start line with a completely new rig setup. That really big and prideful attendance figure could be tossed right in the bucket if a bunch of previously excited guys and gals all of a sudden get priced out of the game. So, tell me, Gary, what good did it do the sailing community if you lose a third of the mid-fleet and back markers?

    It looks to me, that if that kind of slaughter takes place, that the fleet goes back to that same old crew that has the cash and the time to mess with a major change in boat technology. In short, the Class will be forced to absorb a huge setback and with a major recession still heavily crushing the world's biggest boat buying market, that does not look like a good business practice, at all.



    I understand that you don't know much about me in a comprehensive fashion, or much about my history as a risk taker. That's fine, actually, but it would be a mistake of great size to assume that my governing philosophy is conservative in nature. Like any businessman who has had to weather several serious recessionary periods, I do suggest prudent decision making in a business climate such as the one we presently experience. One of the most effective methods for surviving a serious downturn is to put a strong hand on expenditures.

    If you go back and read my last post on the matter (I have quoted the salient passages above for your convenience) you will see that I never did say what to do, I mentioned that caution be observed and gave reasons for taking heed. Phrases such as, "could be", "not necessarily good" and "it is possible", suggest, without commanding, that the Moth community might be doing themselves a big favor in the long run by exercising something that is pragmatic for the economic times in which we live at present.

    This is a touchy time and the Class deserves solid leadership in order to retain the numbers of boats for which it has fought so hard to achieve. You can call me any quaint names you want, Gary, but this central fact regarding pragmatism will not go away. Later on, I'll show you the photos of my multi-day, high altitude ascents in horrifying weather, if you want to talk some more about being a fuddy-duddy conservative.
     
  7. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    I know your type Chris, you've told me ... because in many ways you are me; I too come from a mountaineering, rock climbing, free diving, motorcycling, multihulling background (also photography and journalism too, mate) ... but what I said is that you're coming across like some grumpy conservative, didn't say you were - although you're sounding like it.
     
  8. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    All I've done on the Moth forum to "oppose" hydrofoils is to point out where proponents made statements that were factually incorrect, such as "one designs always die" or "the Moth has never banned developments".

    Please show me where I have ever said "the Moths should ban foils", as I do not believe I have ever said that.

    Yes, I have opposed claims that foiling will revolutionise most of the sport, but that has not happened.
     
  9. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Tiny? Heck, last month our club held one of the largest annual dinghy regattas on the West Coast of the USA.

    We had 6 Foiling Moths enter, and 4 showed up. Two managed to sail all six races. Yeah, call that tiny!

    Of course we also had about 70 or so Lasers enter...
     
  10. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Isn't CO just giving a more nuanced and realistic appraisal than those who simply say that ALL developments MUST be allowed, despite evidence that they often harm the classes?

    What is so wrong with assessing how a development may affect a class? What is so right about going blindly forward with no consideration for revenge effects?

    The simple fact that no amount of insults can hide is that development classes DO run the risk of developing themselves out of existence. This has occurred with unrestricted 18s, Open B Class cats, Suicides, 18 Squares, Ultimate 30s, ORMA 60s, F1 multis, Formula 40s, Div 2 boards, F 42 boards, D Class cats and a long list of other development classes. It's also happened with other sports, as CO noted - seen any CanAm racing lately? Anyone here watch unrestricted air races?

    Many more have come very close to death or are much smaller than they once were, including C Class cats, R Classers, and Moths. How, then, can people ignore the fact that developments have to be considered in context?

    Would the "don't ban anything" crowd really like it if the Moth class had been turned into yet another windsurfer class years ago? Things like that are the inevitable outcome of not banning some developments.

    None of this is about whether wings should, or should not be, allowed. There are good reasons for them, and it is odd that some of those who were pro-development in other areas are now drawing a line in the sand. But to slag off those who dare to hold a more nuanced view than "we MUST allow developments and no one can question them" seems a lot like blind fundamentalism, rather than an appraisal of the facts.

    Surely the open minded approach is to say "hey, this development looks cool, but shouldn't we open ourselves to the complexity and assess whether it will end up for the better?" and the close-minded approach is to say "we must allow everything, ignore all the other possibilities, blind yourself to the downside, don't even consider the problems."

    So to those who deny that development classes should consider closing doors - would you like it if the Moth had become a cat in the '30s or '60s? Would you like it if the Moth had become a windsurfer in the '80s? If you vote "No" to those questions, how can you say that the class doesn't have the right to consider closing a similar door?

    BTW, I'm slightly in favour of allowing wings myself, not that it matters as my Moth hasn't been on the water in years and I'm more likely to get into kiting than foiling - this is just about the wider question of allowing developments.
     
  11. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    But yet it was just that, foils that added cost to be competitive but also revived the class. How are wings any different?

    Is it a case of the foilers with soft sails being the new "old guard" and wanting to stop the change that was one of the reasons the class grew?

    R
     
  12. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Good point Randy, but the wings are different for a bunch of reasons:

    1) The foil "revival" came at a time where people were turning over old boats to start foiling, and buying a whole new boat with foils was more practical for many as just retrofitting foils to an old boat. This was a major expense within the last four years, and buying new guaranteed a well sorted out, competitive boat.

    2) Wings are an additional purchase at a multi-thousand dollar level for those who do not build their own. The technology isn't sorted out yet, and I suspect many different homebuilders would arrive at many different actual variants - even if they started from the same plans. The facility (Object 2 Skiffworks) where Bora Gulari built his is a first class professional facility - and getting the same strength components at the same weight may not be within a homebuilder's grasp. Until there is a commercially available wing "product" available, it isn't going to work like the boat/foil "product" did when Bladerider got in the Moth game. You have to give Veal/McDougall credit for making the Moth a real product, instead of a tweaky home tuned mismash.

    3) No one actually knows even if the wings are going to be competitive over a regatta that may include low wind, no wind and dogs blowing off chains. It's all conjecture at this point, and a wing optimized for average conditions isn't necessarily going to work in insane breeze.

    4) Wings may prove too expensive if breakage becomes frequent. Although I'm sure this generate another repeat of Adam May's post about walking the wing, I saw a half million dollars worth of C Class wing breakage this past summer.

    I'm not sure if it is. Sure, it is easy to jump on the youth/cool bandwagon, but unless you are a trust fund baby, at some point money is a factor. I think the class grew because it was cool, it had major extreme sport appeal, and a whole bunch of skiff people were looking for a single hand ride they could do themselves.

    As I've said before, let them race this time and see what happens. If there is a distinct major advantage to the wings, then the class has something to seriously debate - but is there isn't and a soft sailed boat comes out ahead of a few winged boats, then there may not be a debate to have. Like all scientific analysis, there has be enough of a sample group to be statistically relevant.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  13. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    It's good that you point out that the change to foils may only have been one of the reasons that the class grew. The undoubted marketing appeal of the foils lead to the arrival of a company that (according to internet rumours and ex-contractors) lost a great deal of money in promoting the Moth foilers.

    While the foiler Moth is a fantastic craft, surely it benefited a great deal from having a company that was doing such a great job of promotion, at such a great loss in cash. That makes it hard to see what would have happened in a normal situation, where there's no one prepared to lose big time in promoting the class.

    Again, this is NOT saying that development should be stopped, merely that the issues should be investigated. The class has seen other innovations that saw its numbers collapse, therefore no one can be sure that this innovation won't follow the norm. Personally the wings look cool, but I won't be one of those having to perhaps buy one to remain competitive.

    And while some say that sailors will just be able to buy new rigs and put them on existing boats, that doesn't generally happen. We were told that foils would allow old boats to become competitive again, but in reality almost everyone is sailing new boats designed as foilers, as shown by the world's entry list. In the 14s, the same thing happened - foils arrived and sailors had to upgrade to new boats designed for foils. If the wing works, it's quite likely that it will affect hull and foil shape and cause existing gear to become obsolescent. How many people who have just spent $25k+ can afford to sell at a significant loss and upgrade is an open question.

    And to repeat myself, I am NOT saying that wings should be banned, merely that these are complex questions. Those I know in charge of the class are, luckily, wise people who know a lot more about development class boats than those on this forum.

    So, if you are in favour of allowing development, would you have allowed the Moth class to allow windsurfer rigs and effectively become a windsurfer class back in the '80s?

    PS, CO - issues about allowing wings to race at Belmont on a trial basis is that;1) in the past, there have been innovations that were allowed in to various classes that were not initially faster, but later were developed and made boats or sailors obsolete, reducing numbers. So even if the wings are beaten in Belmont, nothing about their long-term effects will be proven.
    (2) there is a tendency for people, allowed to use gear on a provisional basis in one way or the other, to say "now that you have let us in, you cannot chuck us out". So allowing stuff to race to see how it goes can be a trojan horse. The fact that the C Class cats let tris in for some races is an example, as is some pressure on the IRC from sportsboat sailors.

    This isn't saying that the wings shouldn't race at Belmont, just that there may be unconsidered consequences.

    THIS IS NOT SAYING WINGS SHOULD BE BANNED, MERELY DISCUSSING ISSUES AND HIGHLIGHTING THAT THIS IS NOT A SIMPLISTIC CHOICE FOR THE CLASS!!!!!

    *I'm including the Butterfly among those as it seems to fit the Moth rules and design, as they were when it was created, exactly apart from LOA. While I haven't been able to research its history I assume it borrows a fair bit from the Moth. Even ignoring them, the US Classic Moth class attracts similar numbers to the International Moth.
     
  14. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    =============
    Bill, No potshot-I participated in the early discussions on the Moth forum. Among a few others CT249 was staunchly opposed to hydrofoils irritating Rohan Veal no end.
     

  15. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    ********, Doug.

    I did not oppose hydrofoils, per se. I pointed out that some of the claims made by some people who I will not name (such as "one design classes always die"; "the class has never banned development", "faster boats are more popular", or "without development the class would die") were not true.

    Those were factually incorrect statements. If people were trying to use incorrect statements in a debate about the future of a class or sport, they should not get upset when someone points out that simple history, numbers and truth show that some of their statements were wrong.

    I don't think that anyone was going for The Big Lie; it's just that understandably, they had just not studied the history in depth. However, if one makes a false claim because you haven't done the research, surely you shouldn't shoot the messenger who HAS done the research.

    It's a bummer if providing the historical facts annoys some people, but they should accept that truth is better than promoting myths. If your argument is good enough, you can win without concealing reality. If your argument cannot win without hiding the truth, it's not a very good argument.
     
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