Monohull Speed: Speed Dream by Vlad Murnikov

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Doug, I think that you should rethink your comment above and remove all trace of accusing Bill of being arrogant. That sort of accusation does not fit with the expected comportment of the list. Really, is this kind of slur any less demeaning than to be accused of being a liar?

    Thank you in advance for your rapid response.

    On a completely different topic... If the MX-Ray were such a great boat, then just where is it today as an established Class?

    Not only that, but since when do you support, as Vlad so aptly describes it, "... as the fact that MX-Ray is a very fast, simple and easy to sail boat"

    Over the last five years, I can't recall even one boat with which you were involved, either as a fan, or as a designer, where the design was simple. Now, all of a sudden, you want to include a wholly new design paradigm into the mix, simply because it is coming from Vlad M? Seems to run counter to the ongoing argument of yours where complexity rules over good, simple design solutions. Do you have any comments on that change of course?
  2. bistros

    bistros Previous Member


    1. I've spent a lot of time sailing with (yes, in the same boat) someone who owned an MX Ray (Roblynn on S/A). Rob liked the MX Ray and learned a lot on it. It didn't go upwind particularly well, due to the unstayed and very flexible rig. Hiking really hard and working the boat with kinetics did make it possible to go upwind in breeze. New folks and those who could not/did not hike hard didn't make a lot of progress upwind in breeze compared to other designs like a Laser.

    The MX Ray was interesting, and it did bring a tube launched asymmetrical to the single hand world ahead of other boats. It was a precursor to boats like the Devoti D-One or RS100. With a 12'11" LOA, it isn't exactly going to be a ball of fire when compared to more modern singlehanders like the RS700, Musto Performance Skiff or Swiftsolo.

    As you can see I have no problem accepting facts.

    2. I read through all the posted material and have followed Murnikov's work for many years. I do not think my comments are unfounded, nor do I think any of his past investors would disagree with my characterization as overpromoted and underdelivered. The MX Ray failed to meet it's sales projections and the company failed. Watching the MX Ray promotion video is like a TV advertising extravaganza that Vince of Sham-Wow fame would be proud. I've got a copy if you want to review it.

    Time passes and people are judged by their results. I'm sorry if things in the past weren't exactly wonderful for Murnikov. I hope he does well in the future, and this design MAY prove successful. I've reviewed all the evidence I can find carefully, and have formed MY opinion. It isn't arrogant, and I certainly know more than nothing about it.

    Tone down your rhetoric unless you can back up your nonsense with facts. Find me a happy Murnikov investor who is willing to say they got their money's worth on either his Fazisi effort, or on the MX Ray. I'm perfectly willing to apologize if you can produce some facts.

  3. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    I'm curious about the claim that the MR-X design was "way ahead of time". Yep, it may have been the first production assy singlehander and that's significant, but what else was new? The IC claims to have assy kites some years before the MX-Ray came out, and others were messing about with assy singlehander lash-ups in the early 1990s (or earlier).

    The Concept 302 certainly looks to be an earlier production assy design, having been selling second-hand around 1995 - and the kite in the pics looks a lot older than mid '90s/

    As for the performance - well, several people with experience in them have claimed that while was fun downwind, it was slow upwind and therefore quite slow around the course.

    We must, of course, accept what they say if we want to trust people!
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Know a lot about that, CT? The Concept 302 seems like a neat little boat as a kids trainer perhaps. Total SA(up & down) with big rig= 95.8sq.ft.. Not even in the same league as an Mx-Ray with 160 sq.ft......And no question in my mind about who introduced the first high performance PRODUCTION ONE-DESIGN singlehanded asy dinghy.

    Attached Files:

  5. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Geez, Doug, that Concept sure looks like a comparative boat to me and there it is... using a spinny, just like the setup claimed by Vlad as original.

    The sail area reference upon which you look to hang your hat is irrelevant. Well, unless you want to remove all those posts you made likening a 60 foot Moth to the behaviors of a 11 foot Moth, while trying hard as heck to justify the potential of the bigger, mythical boat.

    You've been nailed, Bubba. Is it that hard to say, Oh, my... I guess that Vlad got the, "I was first to do a single handed assy dinghy", all wrong? What do you say you stop splitting hairs to avoid what everyone else sees clear as daylight?
  6. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    "High performance"???? So the Canoes and Contenders and other boats which had experimental assys back in the '80s weren't high performance despite being faster than the MX-Ray?

    And it's hard to see a boat rated over 1000 (UK) being really high performance in these days where there are several singlehanders that rate well under 900.

    Was the MX-Ray the first production medium-performance assy singlehanded dinghy? Sure, but when you start to pare distinctions down like that, they start to become less distinctive.

    None of that's saying the MX-Ray is a bad boat, but maybe it wasn't the sort of giant leap in design that gives one the credentials to say that the current guys who go for records in multis are getting it wrong.

    The comment about trust was merely a comment about the fact that once we just start trusting every claim (like the claim that the MX-Ray hit 27 knots) then we have to trust every other claim - like the claims that the MX-Ray was a poor upwind performer and therefore not a great design.

    Surely it is better to examine all claims for truth, rather than just accepting all claims on trust. It is illogical to trust all unverified claims, because they are so often contradictory and because even the best of people are wrong sometimes.
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    OK. Now lets get the thread back on the subject of Speed Dream. I believe Vlad Murnikovs comments on the MX-Ray because I'm convinced that he knows the boat and what was done with the boat better than everyone posting on this thread combined.
    If you or anyone else doesn't thats fine but the subject of this thread is Speed Dream not the MX-Ray.
    early description by Vlad Murnikov:
    About the MX-Ray
    Q.: What is the MX-Ray?
    A.: MX-Ray is the first high performance one person dinghy equipped with an asymmetrical spinnaker. The spinnaker not only doubles the sail area on reaching and running legs, making the boat two times faster than any other one person boat; it also adds a great deal to the balance of the MX-Ray and makes her a very simple and well behaved boat.
    "The MX-Ray sailboat was a remarkable design, able to give plenty of excitement to those that want to go really fast but have a small budget." ERROR: 1) Hull weight is 115, all up about 135. 2) Vlads speed was based on GPS measurement as reported by a MX Ray owner-it is the maximum recorded for the boat.3) there are other errors in this document I missed as well. sorry.
  8. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    You write this, then go on to write the rest of the post not about Speed Dream, but about the MX Ray! --------------------

    Looking at the document you link to here are some things that stand out:

    With a top speed of 20 knots,

    Seems to be in disagreement with the claim of 27 knots.

    it is similar in concept to the Moth sailboats,

    Really? .. “2 feet 6 inches at the waterline”

    In the Moth, which was normally wooden,

    In what century?

    Not only is there a mainsail with a deep roach,

    Deep Roach?

    but also a jib, genoa,

    A Jib and a Genoa?

    The MX-Ray sailboat is made from advanced materials, ..LOA: 12 feet 11 inches .. Weight: 175 lb

    That’s some advanced construction, making a 13 footer weigh in at 175 lbs!
  9. Vlad M
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    Vlad M Senior Member


    Thank you for valiantly defending me, but now it’s time for me to take the fire.
    Though I’m not sure why there should be any fire? Boat Design forum is supposed to celebrate design innovation, not attack it. To question, test, argue, but not attack…


    I appreciate you accepting the facts about the MX-Ray.
    Still, I find your comment about dropping the boat from a tall building not funny and beneath a civilized discussion.
    Similarly uncalled-for is you reflection on the topic whether the past was wonderful for me or not. Let me judge.
    As for the former MX-Ray investors and FAZISI sponsors, I’m happy to inform that several of them are getting involved in the SpeedDream project and are enthusiastic about it.
    I do regret greatly that MX-Ray is no longer in production, yet I’m proud of what we’ve achieved as a small start-up company. We had built 300 boats in less than 4 years, brought to the market a radical new concept that no doubt moved sailing forward and let many people enjoy it in a fun, fast and simple way. Many of them are still sharing their experience with me in their emails.
    If MX-Ray were a failure, how has she become, in your own words, “a precursor to boats like the Devoti D-One or RS100”?
    Well, in sailing – and business – success ultimately comes not to those of us who never fail, we all do.
    It comes to those who, in the words of Alain Thebault, would “fall 10 times to get back 100 times.”

    To finish this post on a positive note, I’d like to invite Boat Design members to take part in the SpeedDream forum by bring in your suggestions, ideas, constructive criticism – but not prejudices.

    With best regards,
    Vlad, The SpeedDreamer
    1 person likes this.
  10. Vlad M
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    Vlad M Senior Member

    The Concept 302 certainly looks to be an earlier production assy design, having been selling second-hand around 1995 - and the kite in the pics looks a lot older than mid '90s/


    Show me that the Concept 302 was developed before the MX-ray and I'll be happy to accept the fact.
    Well, perhaps not that happy, but hey, I'll always give credit where it's due.
    Vlad M
  11. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    "Boat Design forum is supposed to celebrate design innovation, not attack it. To question, test, argue, but not attack…"

    Dunno, it seems to me that we WERE questioning, testing and arguing a design.

    I started off by questioning the evidence for the top speed claim of the MX-Ray, so that we could test whether it was an example of a true breakthrough in performance. Isn't that exactly what questioning and testing is?

    Yes, it is hearsay that the Concept may have been developed before the Mx-Ray. That's why I said it LOOKS to have been developed earlier, whereas the 27 knots claim with the MX-Ray was stated as a definitive fact. Isn't the onus of proof on the person who makes the initial claim of speed and priority in design?

    And surely the question is relevant. If the MX-Ray could do 27 knots, then it's quicker than the winning boat in the 2007 Garmin Speed Freaks comp, (the 12 Foot Skiff) and the MPS. The 12 Foot Skiff has a hull the same weight, twin trapeze power giving it several times the RM, up to 4 1/2 times the sail area OR a rig specially designed ONLY for strong winds that is still about 3 times the size of the MX-Ray's rig. The MPS has about double the rig size, much more power (trap and wings) on a lighter hull and has a max speed lower than the MX-Ray claim.

    If the MX-Ray did go faster than the 12 and the MPS, then it's obvious that Vlad has one hell of a lot of design skill. If not, maybe some things are a bit hyped. So surely that is relevant to questioning and testing the Speed Dream project?

    That brings us back to the basic point - should we question the basis of claims so that we can test them (which is what some of us are doing) or should we just stand back, accept all claims, and applaud? Surely, under all the rules of logic, it's reasonable to closely question and test the credentials of a team that states AS A FACT that they know how to make monos go much faster?

    In an email that Doug posted, you said "Naturally, we are venturing into totally uncharted territory here, and only time will tell whether our assumptions are right." If the initial exposure we had to the project was "only time will tell whether our assumptions are right' instead of "our team just happen to know how to make it to go much faster" then the attitude of many people may have been different.

    It's just like the difference between two untested sailors, one saying "I hope to win the world Laser championships this year but only time will tell whether I'm good enough" and another person saying "I just happen to know how to win the Laser worlds easily". Sure, the first person may get the sponsorship, but they would also attract a lot of criticism compared to the one who speaks softly.

    The problem with accepting all claims is that so many of them are contradictory that it's illogical to accept them all. And we can't learn when we just accept all claims, especially when so many of them are contradictory to other claims that we 'should' accept and when many of them are just wrong (according to better factual evidence).


    Back to the Speed Dream and some technical queries;

    1 - Given that is is a very slim hull, and that slim hulls are less efficient at planing than flatter ones, why would it beat the big multis?

    2- How does the WSA compare to the big multis?

    3- What sort of superior planing characteristics does this single long skinny hull have, compared to the long skinny hulls of multis?

    I'm NOT a designer, just interested.
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    1) Asked and answered previously. Vlad said that the 27 knot claim was made by one of the owners involved in a GPS "contest" similar to the Moth contest that used peak speeds. He knows it can't be precisely verified but that he trusts the person that made it. No point in further discussion of this point since the boat was the first production high performance asymmetrical dinghy-and broke major new monohull dinghy design ground as such.
    2) Ct did did you read the pdf in the very first post? I don't think so. In that post the GOALS of the team were announced and were backed up by descriptions of the types of expertise that would be brought to bear on those goals. This was the initial exposure you received to the Speed Dream Project,if you read it, along with the comments of a talented designer saying that he thinks that with a concerted effort these goals can be achieved.
    And there was this: "Murnikov says his unique Speed Dream concept improves upon the once revolutionary FAZIZI blueprint and advances the scientific art of boat design into uncharted territory."
    Ct, if you read the first pdf. then I think you misread it substituting "claims" for "GOALS". If you didn't read it then you have made these comments without having all the facts.
    I think you owe Mr. Murnikov an apology .
  13. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Thanks for your response. It is wonderful to have the designer respond and participate here, rather than an obsessive sycophant that lacks objectivity.

    I never indicated the MX Ray was a failure - only the business behind it. I like the MX Ray and very much considered buying one used - it would have been a much more friendly transition into performance sailing than my current boat. Business failures happen all the time, and generally when there are investors with a preconceived notion of how much and when they are going to make money, things get very tense quickly in a tough market. Introducing dinghies isn't easy, even in the UK where the MX Ray got it's first toehold. Here in North America it is even harder - people are still sailing Lightnings, Snipes and Beetle Cats in racing fleets. (note: I'm from Massachusetts and still own a Snipe!)

    I've been there with angel-turned-demon investors and venture-funded businesses, and it is not a fun place - especially when projects are saddled with overzealous marketing folks that may not understand the subtleties of niche markets. You have to admit the MX Ray promotional material was over the top in comparison to that from the Laser and other competitive boats.

    I did take exception to the 27 knot claim, and I think attributing it to a "trusted" third party was dodging things a little. GPS peak speeds are dodgey at best, and after "washing" GPS tracks through software to normalize data things often change quite a bit. I'd certainly buy the idea of an MX Ray doing brief sustained speeds over 20 knots - my friend who owned one did track GPS speeds around 20 kilometers per hour on multiple occasions - and he's on a small lake that doesn't get a lot of chop. I sail in a club with a large fleet of top notch I-14s, and I've seen what 25 knots looks like and what kind of boat (B5, M3), rig and crew (Worlds caliber) are needed to get there. There is a vast difference between 20 knots and 25 knots - especially in the planing dinghy world as you well know.

    My problem with overpromoting comes from the fact the 27 knot MX Ray claim was made in promotional materials for the proposed Speed Dream. I think your work is capable of standing on it's own without making these kinds of suspect statements. The renderings and your work as a naval architect and your experience with high speed design provide the substance to back up your idea.

    I wish you well on your future ventures and designs - and as a long time product developer who has had his share of successes and plenty of failures, I think you would be smart to take close editorial control of promotional materials and make them meet the same standards of credibility as your designs. If that means you have to step on some marketing toes, so be it. It's your name on the front of the brochure.


  14. Vlad M
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    Vlad M Senior Member

    Hi CT 249,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I totally agree with you that we should not accept any claims without questioning and arguing. There's plenty of this going on this forum, and that's great. But you have to admit that in the earlier posts there's been plenty of unsubstantiated attacks on the SpeedDream concept and myself personally, coming, let's be honest, from people who know little about design - and that's unacceptable.

    Now, let me test your logic a little bit, if I may, using your example of the two hypothetical Laser sailors you've brought above.
    First of all, you were talking about the "untested" sailors, so this example cannot be applied to the SpeedDream design team in general or to me in particular.

    Further, surely we should be associated with the first one, the careful sailor, saying "only time will tell..." That's exactly what we are saying all along.

    Now, where do you see the contradiction between us being careful and the claim that "our team just happen to know how to make it to go much faster"? Yes, we do know, and, yes, only time will tell whether we are right. Ask any designer, and he will tell you that he knows how to make a boat faster, or improve her in some other way. Otherwise, what's the point of getting into new design at all? Some designers are moving forward incrementally, refining already developed concepts, we just happens to enjoy quantum leaps. To progress forward, sailing needs both.

    I'm not a boastful person, but I don't hesitate to claim what's rightfully mine.
    Both FAZISI and the MX-Ray are revolutionary designs, and they left their mark on the sailboat design. I anticipate the SpeedDream to accomplish at least that much, hopefully more.

    Unfortunately, that's all time I have for now, but I will get back to your technical queries very soon, perhaps tonight.

    Sail Fast!

  15. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Peak speed claims are BS and even the guys making them should know that. If it can't be factually verified, then it should be dropped from the "marketing materials" as excessive hyperbole. If there were no point in further discussion, then one would suggest that there was no point to initially utilizing the questionable claim.

    Doug, it was you who introduced this MX-Ray stuff to the fray in an effort to justify Vlad's capability as a designer. You should know after all these years of doing this kind of hype push, that there would be an obvious set of questions from the guys on this list. The fact that they are now being asked and you are beginning to get all huffy, is an indication that you still don't understand your marketplace here at Instead, you have jumped into this topic as if you were an employee of the Speed Dream outfit and had a vested financial interest in its success.

    Actually, Doug, it is my opinion that it is you who owes Vlad the apology and while we are at it, you still owe an apology to Bill for tossing out the arrogant comment some posts back. If you fail to apologize to Bill, then you are doing your part to up the ante towards more abusively written posts on this Forum. You also succeed in inching your way closer to being banned from yet another boat discussion forum. Go back, edit the comment from the post and issue a sincere apology to Bill and it will go a long way towards a happier, kinder place.

    It appears that Vlad was unwittingly dragged into this thread. I'll bet that an urgent email was sent to him expressing an untainted love for all things Murnikov, complete with excessive use of the exclamation mark !!! All, so that Vlad would drop a line and create an artificial air of importance on behalf of the exclamation mark sender. Now, Vlad is standing here trying to defend his 27-knot claim from marketing material, which was crudely sprayed across the net.

    Lastly, something additional has come to mind about this claim as to 27 knots of boat speed out of the MX-Ray. For years now, a certain proponent on this list has been crowing about the Moth and how it is the fastest boat on the water under 20 feet in length. The claims have been made so loudly, that there's even a whole thread dedicated to the claims.

    From everything I can read here on this thread, it looks like long ago, another boat had far surpassed that claim and established a blistering speed which wasn't surpassed by the Moth until only recently. So, it looks like all those fabulous claims that have been made in the past were just pure hokum. The Moth was not the fastest boat under 20'. Ironic as hell that the reality has been revealed, unwittingly, by the same guy who was crowing loudly about the Moth claims in the first place...

    The saga of excessive hype continues to role with ever-more chapters having to do with ironic lack of research. I guess that this is what happens when one hypes faster than one thinks, or does.
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