Moth on Foils: 35.9 knots(41.29 mph)

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    That is absolutely and completely irrelevant to the discussion, but the Mothies are infinitely more sophisticated boat handlers. A couple of seasons in Moths seems to significantly improve most sailors results when they go back to the conventional craft.
  2. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Are you stating that being the best of 1,000s is not more significant than being the best of 100's? Boat handling is only a foundation for winning races. I agree that time in a boat that is harder to handle usually improves ones skills. Once the basics of boat handling are mastered, racing in big fleets and racing as often and against as many different competitors as possible makes for better sailors. The Moth class is too much about the boat and too few in number to generate Olympic class sailors.

    The point is that the undoubted speed of the Moth has no relevance to Olympic sailing. The Olympics is about the best sailors, not the best or fastest boats.
  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Holy Cow

    You claim that Hough's argument is irrelevant and then go right out and prove his point by observing that competition and boat handling improve by sailing finnicky Moths.

    Hough is saying that the shear numbers of competitors in a class such as the Lasers force the cream to rise to the top by attrition, boat skills and preperation of equipment. Did I miss something, or is that exactly what Veal says on his pages when he refers to his own fitness level as a weapon later in a race?

    "It seems as though anyone of the foilers can lead around the course for the first lap, but there are only a few guys that are capable of winning a race after three laps due to the high skill and fitness required to sail these demanding boats."

    Rohan uses fitness as one of the skills he applies to drop opponents in his wake. Anyone coming forward in the huge Laser class has the exact same battle. They must use all their tools to forge a path to the front and then find something extra to stay there. That something is the stuff learned from overall competition and the precise boat handling required to lead the pack consistently. So, it's very much the same process, if not the same specific boat.

    If the Moths had the same numbers that are starting for the Lasers, what would you be saying then? That attrition, fortitude and prep don't count?
  4. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Bladerider/ Prowler OD

    A one design version of the Bladerider or Prowler could provide not only the highest level of singlehanded competition ever in the Olympics but could feed the television audience in a way that would be sure to raise Olympic sailing visibility -and at a level of excitement the Laser or Finn could never, ever muster for a TV audience.
    The 49er certainly wasn't the worlds most popular doblehander when it was selected for the role of Olympic doublehander.
  5. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Telegenics, huh?

    "The 49er certainly wasn't the worlds most popular doblehander when it was selected for the role of Olympic doublehander." Doug Lord

    Doug, just how many performance skiffs do you think there were running around the planet when the 49er was selected... couple thousand or so, maybe more? How many manufacturers do you think have a stake in the addition of the 49er as an Olympic class? No not just the builders of 49ers. It's way more than that as most of the small boat makers get rub-off peripheral sales due to the inclusion of the 49er if they have a boat that even comes close to looking like a 49er in the eyes of the public. What other boat looks like a Moth foiler?

    How many Moth foilers are there in existence at present and how widespread is the class... some 32 only made it to Worlds? Perhaps there's a lesson in there for you about reality?

    As to visual power on the screen... Aerialist skiers throw a pretty nice visual for the cameras in the Olympics, but they could be oh-so-much more telegenic if they would only attach pyro packs to their skis when making their runs. Somehow, I don't think the IOC is going to allow that little addition just to provide a more visual enterprise on the mountain. X-Games,maybe. Olympics, no. A much more conservative bunch in the latter group.

    The sport is supposed to have common man relevance in the sport from which it originates. That also would put the squeeze on the Moth foilers as they just haven;t got the penetration numbers in the world of sailing to make them pertinent. (Don't ask me how Curling got to the heights it has achieved. Inside schmoozing at its finest, I suspect)

    Mothies will have to stand in the same practical, as well as political, light when the committees and the IOC have the final say so.

    If it's something you feel is truly important, you better get your ducks assembled on the International political front if you ever expect to have a chance. Oh.... and bring lots and lots of money.

    Any guesses as to how much might have been spent to get the Oly sailboard rig changed... and then the bid to provide the rigs and boards won? That's huge money. More than all the foilers in the world could assemble. But, I wish them luck.
  6. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Could there not be some other influences there? Cross-training in itself seems to be very valuable, so the fact that you gain from sailing a certain class doesn't mean that the sailors in that class are infinitely better in their understanding; it's the cross-training itself.

    Moths certainly teach you an enormous amount, but are the sailors actually infinitely more sophisticated?? I suppose it depends on your definition of "sophisticated". The top Laser sailors would spend far more time working on the niceties of boathandling than the Mothies, I'm pretty damn sure, because even in the pre-Olympic days getting to the top required you to spend more time on the water than it did in Moths (comparing say Steve Shimeld's winning worlds lead-up to Bourkey's). Having a pro coach whistling each time you touch the rudder for a few hours a week is a fairly demanding way to train.

    One similar example could be the fact that Andy MacDougall (Moth worlds runner-up in a skiff, foiler sailor, designer of Rohan's sails) says that he only really learned to sail Moth well after he learned to windsurf (on the original long and heavy Windsurfer One Design) because that really taught him to think about the forces. A recent 18' Skiff "Worlds" runner-up brought up the same point the other day. However, while they vouch for the way Windsurfers improves your understanding of the basic forces, the top Windsurfer One Design sailors are certainly NOT infinitely better at boathandling that the Laser sailors; in the same way the multi 18' skiff world champ (another boathandling class, surely) in our Laser fleet is certainly not a particularly sophisticated boathandler. The smaller size of the "hard to handle" classes may mean that you get a great grounding in the forces involved, but rarely work quite as hard at polishing the last degree.

    I may point out that I've only spent 6 months as a specialist Laser sailor, and a couple of seasons since tinkering with them occasionally.
  7. frosh
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    frosh Senior Member

    Olympic sailing classes must be chosen on a basis that the class represents significantly large fleets in many diverse countries of the world, apart from other considerations, some obvious and some not. (money?)
    Failing that as per the 49er the high performance skiff type (but of absolute necessity strict one-design) was highly representative of a general type that has become much more popular than prior to 1976 when the relatively conservative ( by todays standards) 470 was introduced as an Olympic class.

    This is an excerpt from US Sailing-Olympic Classes desbribing the 470:
    An Olympic class boat since 1976, 470s are sailed today for both family recreation and superior competition by more than 30,000 sailors in 42 countries worldwide. The 470 is so popular that its annual World Cup event is considered one of sailing's major international regattas attended by sailors and spectators from around the world.

    Very few if any dinghy classes introduced since the beginning of the 80's have achieved these sorts of numbers and probably never will unless there is a dramatic turn around in the sport.

    As far as the 49er is concerned, it is described as a two person skiff in the official Olympic designation to differentiate it from the 470 which is either mens or womens two handed dinghy.

    The 49er obviously will not achieve the fleet numbers of the 470 but does represent a type that has mainstream support.

    Then we can consider the International Moth. 33 entries at the last worlds. More would have been welcome but that was it. It has few fleets worldwide, and most of those fleets are not active on a weekly basis, so the visual presence of the Moth on the water is extremely low. Also it is NOT representative of a type that has large mainstream support. The chances of Olympic selection of a one-design variant of the Moth will be negligible.

    The 49er made it's debut at the Sydney 2000 games. Sailors around the globe must have been hoping that the potential spectacle of a much higher performance monohull in the games than had been previously seen, would have given dinghy sailing a much needed shot in the arm.
    In Perth, Australia I awaited with keen anticipation, TV coverage of the sailing, especially the Aussie designed 49er. I was disappointed. I didn't see any. Maybe there were a few moments of highlights while I was asleep, I will never know now.
  8. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

  9. Baronvonrort
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    Baronvonrort Junior Member

    For the second year in a row the Brass Monkey Regatta has proven the foiling moth is no where near as fast as the hot air coming from Doug's computer.

    Winds below 10 knots on both days and the moth performed no where near dougs (dogs?) performance claims.

    The foils are tiny and the boats look good yet not much change from $20k.
  10. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    The original title of this thread referred to a speed attained by a Moth.There has been some quibbling about the accuracy of the equipment used and the duration of the burst of speed.There have been numerous comments from people with deeply held beliefs both pro and anti foiling and Moths in general.There have been suggestions that eking a few hundredths of a knot extra from a boat makes for a better sailor than conceiving,developing and using a new dimension to traditional sailing.
    My conclusion is that although these boats are comparitively few in number they have done more to attract attention than almost any other small boats ever.Even non-sailors gasp in amazement when shown photographs of them in action.I would like to congratulate the developers of the foiling systems for their vision and perseverance and look forward to seeing the next evolutionary steps.I sincerely hope the Moth class does not get drawn into the Olympic circus,if they want a foiler,let them consult the experts about designing something suitable and leave the Moth class to continue in its own way.In addition if anybody knows of a small boat,not sailboard,that can exceed 27.9 knots-please post the news on this forum.
  11. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    If that's a challenge, you'll have to define small boat as your first responsibility. Just about everyone in boating I know recognizes sailboards as boats in the commonly held understanding. They displace water, someone rides on it, it's propelled by a sail and it has a keel form in the water. Conveniently excluding them is a shaky stance, in my opinion.

    World speed titles include sailboards/windsurfers. Is it because they are so much faster and decidedly inconvenient in that regard?

    As for a small boat that created the biggest, attention getting rush in history... My money would instantly go to the venerable Hobie 16 and the Moth Foiler is going to have to do some extremely big time sales numbers to come anywhere even close to the profound effect that H16's have had on the world of watersports, much less the awareness of the public at large. After all these years of being out in the boating world, the H16 is still in production and now there have been nearly 250,000 of them sold worldwide. Only the Sunfish is in that category (at less than half the price)

    Here's the challenge Wetfeet... walk up to a pefect stranger and ask them if they've heard of a Foiling Moth and then ask them if they've heard of a Hobie Cat. If it suits you, ask a hundred strangers that question. That's the chasm one has to leap in order to get anywhere like the awareness you suggest.

    Foilers do hava coolness factor that is undeniable. No doubt about that, but in this modern world of ever-changing tastes and buzz, that's a long way from the long legged value of the H16.

    Lot's of work ahead, wouldn't you say?

  12. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Moth on Foils / Monkey

    Here is where you can find the actual facts as to the conditions and results; see others including post #125:
    2006 Squaddy Brass Monkey Regatta - Sailing Anarchy Forums
    Race one-less than 2 knot drifter
    Race two-less than 2 knot drifter
    Race Three- 5-8knots
    Race Four- 5-8 knots
    This information from one of the organizers of the event-hardly 10 knots as claimed in a previous post.
    The only Moth entered in Division Three -that I could find- finished last behind the OK dinghy. Anyone that knows ANYTHING about the foiler Moth knows that it is much ,much faster than this when sailed well in conditions suitable for foiling. In fact, under the Australian rating system the Moth is shown to be faster than the Division Three winner -an IC. The winner was Phil Stevenson in a brand new IC that he had just built and designed-he is a Moth Foiler sailor as well and I congratulate him.
    From what I can tell none of the experienced guys in Foiler Moths were present at this regatta and probably would have faired poorly in the first two races if they had been there. Even though a foiler Moth can fly in 7-8 knots of wind and stay up in lighter with the most experienced foilers sailing it these conditions would have been marginal for the best the class has. Perhaps in the future as the skill level and numbers improve the class may do better in light conditions. In 8-15 with both boats sailed by experienced sailors the Moth will beat almost any boat under 20'-monohull or cat....
    And this is still only the begining in what is possible sailing on just two foils: there are new,easier to sail, lower wind take off, bigger , faster foilers on the way-it's just a matter of time. All thanks to the pioneers in the Moth class that started the revolution...
    A new Prowler or Bladerider foiler sells for around $14,000 but you can build one with pro foils and a pro rig for about $7,000......
  13. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    I didn't challenge anybody to anything and I am sure that if I walked up to a hundred strangers and asked them whether they had heard of a Hobie cat or a foiling Moth the answer would be no to both in every case.Out of interest Chris,which small boat, or indeed board, that you have sailed looks like exceeding 27.9knots?As for numbers of boats produced as any kind of indicator,I would suggest that it indicates how successful the salesmen have been at getting their products into beachside resorts rather than serving as a guide to the inherent merits of a particular design.Given the fitness,which would be more fun a Sunfish or a Musto skiff?
  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Wet Feet, about "although these boats are comparitively few in number they have done more to attract attention than almost any other small boats ever."

    They' ve attracted much less attention than other classes. The early Hobies were seen in high-rating TV ads and in mass media; the Sunfish was a cover story in "Life" or "Time" mag when it was one of the most popular media in the USA (sort of like having a high-rating TV special all about a class would be). The Laser's success was so great that it got people like Harvard University and business mags to get Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby to give interviews and speeches. The televised Grand Prix 18 Foot Skiff series in Australia was said to out-rate the cricket, the national sport, when it was shown in the lunch break of Test matches. To bring in boards, the early Windsurfer was subject of multi-page stories in things like Australia's best-selling magazine, in the '80s Robby Naish was rated 3rd best-known sportsman among German youth and the World Cup at Schevinengen used to get 250,000 live spectators. I can recall a windsurfer race with 7 TV helicopters overhead.....rather more than a Moth regatta gets.

    The Moth's publicity, while great, isn't at that level.

    "Even non-sailors gasp in amazement when shown photographs of them in action."

    The query is, does that actually help the sport? As Foilr said here, the evidence is that publicity and performance does NOT increase popularity. ISAF or YA surveys show that people are turned off sailing because they think it's expensive, elitist and difficult. Laser US did surveys and found people thought boats were too complicated and tippy. "Boring" and "slow" were NOT problems.

    When the public thinks the problem with sailing is that it's elitist, expensive, difficult, tippy and complicated, it's hard to see how showing off an elite, expensive, difficult, tippy and complicated boat will keep bringing new people into the sport.

    People gasp at a guy looping a windsurfer on flat water, or double-looping in the surf....and windsurfing is about 5% as popular as it was when boards were big and heavy and the sport was more about sailing in 10 knots with your friends. There's a lesson there and it's been repeated all the way through the history of small-craft sailing, from the Canoes of the 1880s onwards to today. It's funny but some people who accuse others of rigid thinking are so fixated on the "performance=popularity" idea that they can't even open their minds up enough to look at 120 years of facts and try to learn from them.

    That's NOT saying the Moth foiler isn't great, it's fantastic, it IS saying that looking at complicated fast craft as the way forward and putting the spotlight on them may not actually be helping the sport significantly.

    As one good Mothie said on the subject...."Just to give you an example I sailed in the 94/95 Moth Worlds on Lake Macquarie in NSW (won by Emmett Lazich) there was about 95 boats for the Worlds and 75 for the Nationals the week before. (This was about the time when the pocket luff sails, TFoils and all carbon everything became the norm. ) NSW was considered a stong hold of the class and had huge fleets racing at several clubs.
    Ten years later the Nationals were sailed at the same venue and struggled to get 30 boats. A foiler Moth may be a great boat but it reduces the number of people that can and want to sail in the Moth class."

    One might add that the proportion of leading-edge boats was higher in the first regatta mentioned - in the later regatta many of the boats were old skiffs or ply Scows, without the move back to Scows the fleet would have been even smaller.

    "Given the fitness,which would be more fun a Sunfish or a Musto skiff?"

    For most people, the Sunfish. I sail a singlehander about as fast and hard to sail as a Musto....even most experienced sailors can't keep it right way up for too long in gusty conditions. I really wish I could persuade my mates to get one so I'd have someone to race - but they try it, fall in, zip around, fall in, and say "that was great but no thanks". These are experienced sailors in a warm climate, with backgrounds like Youth Worlds on boards, Flying Dutchmen etc, and they think the fast but tippy boat isn't enough fun to be worth the bother of owning it.

    If that's what most experienced sailors think (and they do, that's why there are more Lasers and Ents than Mustos and 14s) then why would the general public prefer a Musto?

    The fact that a boat designed as a beach toy is easy to sail is surely one of THE most important "inherent merits of a design"......which is not to say the foiler isn't great, but it is to say that surely it's unfair to say a good stable boat is inferior as a design. A Sunfish does what it's meant to do (work as a mess-around beach toy) bloody well.

    If we say the Sunfish only does well because of marketing, there seems to be the doublethink that's been seen a bit here. One hand some people shout loudly about the publicity the Moth gets and how that will help sell the sport, on the other hand they complain that other classes only succeed because they are marketed better. If all the publicity you spoke about ISN'T marketing the Moth, what use is it? If it IS marketing the Moth, why aren't more people buying?

    As for the 27.9 knots question....maybe 15 or more? Oh, and all of those types (bar one or two one designs) have shrunk badly because they worried more about going fast than about budgets and being practical to sail. There's a lesson there.

    If only we didn't have to fight the mistaken assumption that performance+publicity = popularity, then maybe we could put our heads together and work out how to grow the sport, both Sunfish AND foiler.

  15. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    Let's go through this one thing at a time.

    "I didn't challenge anybody to anything and I am sure that if I walked up to a hundred strangers and asked them whether they had heard of a Hobie cat or a foiling Moth the answer would be no to both in every case."

    Well, you can see it any way you want, but this next quote looks suspiciously like a challenge to me. From your first post... "In addition if anybody knows of a small boat, not sailboard, that can exceed 27.9 knots-please post the news on this forum."

    There's an air of, "if you think you can do better...", about this type of statement along with the stuff that preceded it and it has challenge written all over it.

    As to the man in the street, random survey suggestion... You've got to be kidding. Nobody in your entire community has ever heard of Hobie cat as the defacto, generic name for a fast, fun, colorful twin hulled lifestyle boat? The Hobie franchise is so popular and so long lived that it's in the same league as the use of Kleenex for facial tissue descriptors or Coke for any cola flavored soft drink.

    "Chris, which small boat, or indeed board, that you have sailed looks like exceeding 27.9knots?"

    What, exactly, does that have to do with the discussion? And for that matter, did you ever decide on a definition of small boat? Personally, I don't have a lot of gush for singly fast boats anymore, so the challenge there is pretty moot for me. I do enjoy the odd sail where the boat can evidence some measure of power, but it doesn't hold a lot of magic in my eyes in the same way it obviously does for you. I can appreciate that it can be done without finding it compelling on a personal level.

    "As for numbers of boats produced as any kind of indicator would suggest that it indicates how successful the salesmen have been at getting their products into beachside resorts rather than serving as a guide to the inherent merits of a particular design."

    You're out and out sure of that are you? Pure salesmanship drove one quarter million Hobie buyers, screaming, into their local marina dealerships, demanding to toss money at a boat they didn't want or couldn't figure out how to sail? And that is lasted for the past 25+ years? Really, you think that?

    The H16 is an icon in the marine business as a model of efficiency of design, intuitive market positioning and an unmistakable lifestyle element as a beach culture product. You don't get sales numbers like that for a multi-thousand dollar product without it having huge amounts of perceived value for the buyers. Salesman didn't drive the beach cat energy, beach lifestyle sailors did that all on their own. And it's still going. Why, with all the thousands of used boats out there in the world, would anyone still want to buy a new H16 if it were simply salesmanship?

    "Given the fitness, which would be more fun a Sunfish or a Musto skiff?"

    If I'm at the beach with my favorite little kids, it's Sunfish all the way. I wouldn't go near a complex, fast boat. Hey, you asked.

    Don't ever ask a question in an argument, to which you don't already know the answer.
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