Moth on Foils: 35.9 knots(41.29 mph)

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

  1. Baronvonrort
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 2, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 18
    Location: Australia

    Baronvonrort Junior Member

    There have been 3 Brass Monkey regattas in the last 3 years and the foiling moth has done diddly squat in all 3 regattas.

    When the flag drops the BS stops as they say in racing....

    As for skill levels at the BM regatta that cat sailor who won 3 out of 4 races was midfleet at his F18 nationals.The guy who won 1 race with the 18ft skiff would be happy to be a mid fleet runner in the 18ft skiffs.

    I like the Moth guys as they are what i would call quiet achievers.
  2. Phil Stevo
    Joined: Feb 2004
    Posts: 33
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 20
    Location: Sydney

    Phil Stevo Junior Member

    A few things:
    1. Affordable Crabon so beter structures
    2. Ian Ward and John Ilett's inovation and simplification
    3. Rohans sailing skills
    4. Rohan's and Bladerider's publicity blitz
    5. Dougs forum omnipresence.

    although the last one might be negative.
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Foils for the People

    Water Addict,
    Part of the big deal is that in 1999 for the first time in history a dinghy was sailed on just two foils. Prior to then dinghies and multihulls had all sailed on foils but a minimum of three foils. John Ilett ,from then until now has developed the application of the "wand" altitude control system first used in the 70's by Philip Hansford and refined on boats like the Rave by Dr. Sam Bradfield. John Ilett was the first person to ever use a wand on a bi-foil dinghy system. Compared to previous foilers the bi-foil system is extremely simple and can be used on a more or less normal daggerboard and rudder. The altitude control system on a bi-foil Moth is a single wand rather than the differential dual wands in use before Ilett adapted it to the Moth. There are continuing developments in the wand system most recently by Team Bladerider on their new boat at the Worlds.
    Because the system is so simple and you're basically just adding two horizontal foils-one to the rudder and one to the daggerboard- the boats are lighter and easier to assemble than any previous dinghy or multihull foiler incarnations.
    The only simpler system is that used on the windsurfer foil boards and kite boards which are variations of the air chair bi-foil system on a single strut.
    Back to dinghies: the Moth has a deserved reputation for being extremely hard to handle and that is amplified by the fact that since the thing is so unstable you can't sail off a beach and have to wade out to install the foils-which according to many of those that have done is a real pain. Even the Bladerider which has retractable foils appears to be too unstable to be able to use that feature.
    The Moth guys- particularly Ian Ward, John Ilett and Rohan Veal started what will prove to be a major revolution in sailboat design but there is a long(and exciting) way to go. The Moth foiler because of its low drag bi-foil system and aerodynamically superior rig has been able to demonstrate very light wind takeoff-the Bladerider guys claim that the boat should be able to take off in a 5knot wind with a slightly larger main-much earlier than most previous foilers. Rohan Veal pioneered a method of sailing-"Veal Heel" that uses the advantages of the bi-foil system to great benefit drastically improving the upwind performance of the boat by heeling it to weather. This has neve been done on any foiler before and is a MAJOR advantage of the two foil setup.
    But the future is where there is a lot of excitement: so far very little effort has been put into making a bi-foil monofoiler easy to sail but there are a lot of people working on it. The difficulties with the Moth foiler are a Moth thing NOT a required part of the two foil monohull foiler! Buoyancy pods can eliminate "tipiness" to the point that retractable foils could allow boats to be sailed off a beach and there are a lot of other developments that could make a bi-foil monofoiler easier and more fun to sail like an unstayed mast, sliding benchseats and more. As I said many people are working on these ideas and more. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the Moth problems with launching and learning to sail are endemic to the type;THEY AREN'T!!
    But the technology is such a major breakthru in sailboat design that it can be applied to many more boats than it has so far: to selfrighting sportboats, to 60' and larger selfrighting maxis whose speed would equal or exceed the ORMA 60 trimarans and more. Read the threads: "Design for Flight" about a couple of sportboats with detailed numbers, the 60'+ or- 20' ocean racing monofoiler thread with detailed numbers showing how it could work.
    And the technology is not just limited to monohulls :Kotaro Horiuchi has designed and is experimenting with a trimaran using just two foils and I've presented some numbers for an 18' trimaran that uses just two foils and rotating amas that plane in the right conditions.
    And the technology is not just limited to full flying foilers: because of the simplictity of the foil arrangement smaller foils can be considered on monohulls just to improve the characteristics of the boat without fully becoming airborne.
    Its really an exciting time with huge breakthrus about to be made in the application of this technology to keelboats and two or three person dinghies and sportboats.Hang on-I guarantee you'll enjoy the developments to come!
  4. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    I'm sure that you have heard the term "Vaporware" before, but for those who have not, this is a reference to what a software company sells to its customers before it is ever written, or up and running bug-free on someone's computer.

    We all see the Moth foiler and we also see its inherent limitations. For most of us, these issues are just too much to deal with at the expense platform as it is currently being presented.

    In your most recent post you hold up the possibility of great and wonderful things to come in the world of foiling. To me, this comes across very much like a salesman in the computer industry who would want me to buy-in to a USD$15K software package which does not exist and has little promise of doing so.

    When an everyday sailor looks at the Moth and/or any other foiler, they see the possibility there on the surface. What they also see, after looking into the real world of foilers, is the hassle, the fiddle routine, the potential for breakage (I believe the word used by Mothies after the first few days at Lake Garda was CARNAGE) and the on-going expense as it relates to a boat that is difficult to drive and has little chance of being instantly rewarding to a recreational sailor.

    You have spoken to some of these issues while ignoring most of the others in pursuit of something you wish to hide from view while you are supposed to be building it. This possible boat of yours may or may not actually work once complete and it very well could have dozens of substantive issues relating to cost, complexity and a whole list of undiscovered maladies. It could also work reasonably well (I wish you well on this) and be a total pig for a manufacturer who wishes to make money from the potential enterprise, be it you or anybody else.

    I suspect that you are loading-up the beast with too many objective goals to make the whole thing viable for anyone who is recreationally inclined. Complexity = weight = money = a declining marketplace. I posted the target example for a successful People's Boat earlier today with the O'pen BIC thread. Those BIC guys understand what it takes to make a commercially successful product for sailing and here you are, going in the opposite direction, as if nobody ever bothered to mention the fact to you before.

    Truly, Doug, I wish you well in your enterprise. It is, after all, your money and time. But, simply stated… What in the world are you trying to accomplish here?

    While the Moth is not a boat I would ever be interested in owning myself, for many well-stated reasons, I will say this about the guys currently building them. They have narrowed their target market nicely, so that their high-tech product only has to satisfy a very slim niche in the boating world. They are going after the same psychological market that is being chased by the makers of bullet bikes and the attendant accessory market. Theirs happens to be in the boating world, but it's the same mindset that drives future owners of their machines.

    These types of buyers are used to the objective hassles of owning a fast bike or boat. They expect there to be pain associated with the learning process and look forward to that process. They also don't mind dosing-out the cash for their toys, as it were.

    You, on the other hand, are stating that you want to leap into the general recreational boating market. PI Design laid out a really well reasoned argument about the realistic hassle with stepping into a foiler as a suitable boat. You have responded to some of his concerns with the routine answers you have always given while offering no acknowledgement of the process as it exists today for the typical boater. You haven't one shred of proof that any of your conceptual solutions will actually provide benefit to the existing model. You do not have a track record, which would inspire confidence in your work, and until that time comes (if it comes) you are simply waving a Vaporware Wand in the air which is next to meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

    I'm sorry to sound so harsh, But facts is facts, my man. I adore your model work, Doug, but they are not the same thing as cranking-out a full-sized and operational boat that you are willing to say you produced, fulfilled promise or not when it does hit the water.

    I should think you would be wanting to show your work-in-progress and not be so secretive. There's nothing at all new about any of the stuff you plan to do with this thing, as you have stated so many times before in order to substantiate the hype. So, what's the secret thing anyway? If, in the great mystery of the cosmos, you do produce a working model, don't you really know by now that there is a burgeoning marine industry in China that is ready to knock you off at a moments notice if your boat looks even half way doable?

    Just get it out there and invest in the collective thinking of so many enthusiasts, Doug. There aren’t that many boat manufacturers who would even have the slightest interest in what you are doing. Really, it would probably come from the makers of existing foilers, if it came at all. Since you have blabbed about your boy genius routine so often here, it would seem that all the cookies have long since fallen out of the jar. There are plenty of really smart folks who could probably make all the necessary design decisions in one afternoon if they cared to undertake the enterprise, Doug. I certainly know that Ilett has the goods to produce the solutions to this so-called need in the boating community.

    In any event, good luck with your effort, but ya just gotta have some trust. You'll eventually be dead in the water without it.

    Best Regards,

  5. foilr
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: Sydney, Australia

    foilr Yes I've sailed one.

    No, the link is still there. Still misspelled. It's under Moth Blogs with the rest of them.

    Post the link? Have you heard of Google?
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Peoples, no, I mean Moth on Foils,no I mean X18/21 T

    Mr. Ostlind: I know you are speaking most sincerely and are trying to help me as best you can.I am so very grateful for that. However, you have your facts a little wrong: my personal boat (X18/21 T)that I've been designing and building is not now nor has it ever been a Peoples Foiler candidate. It is a highly experimental boat that will test several major ideas including a canting keel on foiler, on-deck movable ballast , rotatable planing hulls, buoyancy pods etc. as well as being just a fun boat to sail. It is a test boat and long term project-not a prototype.
    However, a Peoples Foiler is never far from my thoughts......
  7. Foiler4dapeople
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 19
    Location: Sydney

    Foiler4dapeople Junior Member

    can you share the progress of your X18/21T Phot's Etc... anything bar the calculations.

  8. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Scott, I apologize-must have misread Rohans site.
    Here's Scotts blog url from which much will be learned now and in the future:
  9. water addict
    Joined: Jun 2004
    Posts: 325
    Likes: 6, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 73
    Location: maryland

    water addict Naval Architect

    Doug- read your post, I have yet to see a foil configuration or read of one in your description that convinces we are in for a breakthrough.
    Seen so many permutations of foil/pod stuff in the past, and none of it proved out.
    Perhaps I'm just a skeptic, you could be right.
  10. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    First of all, you're welcome, Doug

    Second... just how is anyone really supposed to know just which boat you are actually working on? There've been what, 3-4 major design iterations each with what seems to be many, stream of consciousness, versions as the past two years have wound their way through these various threads. To be honest with you, it's pretty tough to keep them all in sequence as to what is currently on your plate.

    From my experience in designing and building my own boats, there's probably a bit too much stuff planned here for one craft. The issues for each of these elements will not be easily sorted singly, much less in a coupled or trebled fashion.

    Best of luck.
  11. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,709
    Likes: 82, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    "If its important to know how fast the Moth is compared to other boats you need a Rohan or somebody equally as good to sail it."

    Hang on, when we have been discussing comparative performance previously (ie foiler v A Class, foiler v Formula board), you have repeatedly ignored this point - now you say it's important.

    I believe that you will find that the guy who sailed the Moth at the BM has been in the top 10 Moths in Australia. At the last States he ranked between Scott Babbage and Ian Ward, who was on a boat of the same sort. This chap ranks a lot higher in the Moth fleet than Martin from KA Sails ranked in the FW fleet, yet a while back you kept on telling us that Martin's speed was a valid representation of the speed of an FW board. If according to you the performance of a sailor in the back third of the fleet is a valid representative of the performance of an FW board, why isn't th performance of a sailor in the top 1/3 of the fleet a valid representative of the performance of a foiler?

    "There is no way a functioning, well sailed foiler Moth is going to get last or second to last in that fleet".

    Sorry, can you remind us how many times you have raced on or against the boats in the fleet, ie foiler Moth, 12' Skiff, FD, 18' Skiff, F 18 and 49er? How many times have you seen a foiler Moth race against the other classes? How many of these classes have you watched racing? How often have you raced on the waters the BM is sailed on?

    I don't think anyone's done much foiling against FDs, 12s or 18s so how can you be so adamant about comparative performance, particularl;y when you have never laid eyes on most of these craft?

    None of us doubt that the performance of a foiler in the right conditions is extraordinary. The point is that you cannot judge ALL-ROUND performance just by looking at the way foilers go in the conditions that favour them. Hollywood had a couple of not-so-good races but he also had some bloody impressive ones against the 12s. The world's best two foiler sailors have also had not-so-good performances at the BM (and brilliant ones elsewhere).
  12. catsketcher
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 1,315
    Likes: 165, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 790
    Location: Australia

    catsketcher Senior Member

    Careful with predictions

    As a boat nut and amateur journalist (about 15 years ago) a friend and I were impressed by a foiler that travelled the Pacific in the late 60s early 70s. The boat was Williwaw.

    To get some idea of how long ago she was built - she was known by Arthur Piver (he died in 1968).

    Dave Keiper designed and built Williwaw and proved a very solid foiling system. It was pretty complex and weighty but the thing really did fly - with pretty bad sails from the 60's. I emailed Dave a few times and then did an article for Multihull World mag in Australia. In it I talked to him about the future of foilers. He was adamant that within years everyone would be sailing foilers.

    Sadly Dave died of a heart condition and can't be part of this debate. His predictions haven't been borne out. I think one of the reasons is that us tragics (and anyone who spends too much time talking boats online instead of doing the mowing or talking to real friends is probably a tragic) can't accurately predict what will get non-tragics excited.

    I think the Moth is a great boat and I would like to sail one - once or twice. I don't want to buy one. Some boat tragics will need one - that is great. Asking those who get really excited by boats whether "normal" people will want to buy and own one of these machines is another thing. This is a question for a focus group that contains none of us in it.

    If a group of rev heads decided to make a car they would probably make some 6 litre turbo charged fat wheeled loud and responsive car. They would love it and wax lyrical about it. Looking at cars today it would probably not sell well in most countries - the muscle car is pretty dead. Small, easy to use cars or the large easy to drive 4WD sell well. Neither have what car tragics would call street appeal.

    We are like the muscle car tragics - we all appreciate a good boat but even the most far sighted of us is incapable of truly gauging what will stir the masses. I do not think it will be the Moth. As for predictions they have been worthless so far so it would seem best to wait and let the boats (and their sales figures) do the talking. That is the ultimate and most objective reality.

    cheers all

    Phil Thompson
  13. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Moth on Foils What happened?

    CT , you misrepresented what I said about Amac and Martin. My point then was that they were NOT racing but two boat testing which is a co-operative effort not a competitive effort.
    In the Brass Monkey for the Moth foiler- in conditions that were described as foiling conditions- to get last and second to last in two of four races shows that something was very wrong.
    Whether it was the sailor, the boat or the conditions or just a bad day I don't know but I do know that the Moth can beat the F18, 49er and Flying Dutchman. I crewed on a Dutchman as well as racing against one -and beating it in light air.
    Phil, while the Moth has led the development of bi-foil technology it is by no means a Peoples Foiler. There are huge improvements that can be made to ease of launching , sailing and pricing and I imagine that sooner or later a bi-foil monofoiler dinghy will come along that combines the best of what makes the Moth foiler extraordinary with what is needed to appeal to a much wider audience. Foiling is way too much fun to be left to a certain 'tragic' class of people...
  14. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 1,709
    Likes: 82, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 467
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    Doug, I wasn't just referring to the FW v Foiler although I did use that as one example. I was also referring to the times when you have referred to foilers beating A Class cats etc, without giving supporting information such as the date, time and place.

    People like me have said that we need such information, because sailor skill is so important that we need to know it's a good A Class (or whatever) that the foiler beat. If a foiler beat a slow A Class, then it means little. My club has a couple of As that a Laser could sometimes beat.

    We must be consistent. In this case, you're trying to explain a "poor"* performance by a foiler on the basis of sailor skill - yet in some of the cases where the Moth has beaten other boats, the other boats may have been beaten by sailor skill as well. If you want to use the sailor's skill as an explanation when foilers get by conventional boats, you should also let us make sure that sailor skill is not the explanation when conventional boats are beaten by foilers. We can't do that if we keep on getting referred to examples where foilers won, without giving us details so we know who they beat.

    As for the FW versus foiler Moth testing, on the one hand Phil S says that it is consistent with his experience. On the other hand, in windsurfers sailor skill has a HUGE impact straight-line speed and it is a vital factor. This is very well known because boardsailers do so much speed sailing in contests and GPS. A top level sailor is knots faster than a not-so-hot sailor, even in steady straight-line conditions. There is much more difference than in any other form of sailing craft I've sailed, although foilers may also have a huge difference.

    I don't know how we can that we do know the foiler can beat the F18 and 49er IN THE CONDITIONS OF THE BRASS MONKEY. Sure, we know that on Port Phillip Bay, the world's best foiler can and does beat world-class 49ers and 14s. Those conditions are different to the conditions on Sydney Harbour - I seem to recall Rohan writing that he would not return to the Harbour after the first Brass Monkey.

    The fact that a foiler can beat a 49er or 14 in conditions that are kind to the foiler is amazing, given the size of the foiler, but it doesn't mean the foiler can beat those boats in other conditions. A FW board can beat a 14 in some conditions but it can be beaten by a Sabot in other conditions. A Raceboard can beat just about anything in some conditions, but it's easy meat for a Radial in others. Taking the best-case performance and applying it across the boat is not a good indication of true all-round pace in many craft.

    I have yet to see cold hard undisputed evidence of a foiler consistently beating a top-class F18. It may - but we haven't seen it.

    * I still reckon Hollywood did damn well to knock off the 12s a couple of times. I can't believe anyone would be worried that a boat with about 700 sq ft of sail and a 35kg hull beat a boat with 80 sq ft of sail.

    PS - If Hollywood was sailed by PH, remember he's in the top 1/3 of the fleet - he was surely at least as good at current foiling as the other guys are at sailing their own boats.

  15. Foiler4dapeople
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 19
    Location: Sydney

    Foiler4dapeople Junior Member

    Hi Doug,
    Firstly, only a few of the BEST in the moth fleet can beat boats such as the F18 or 49ers around the course. Don't make the mistake of judging the overall performance of these boats with the achievments of one or two sailors.

    Pete is a great moth sailor, well respected and a gentlemen and from what I have heard, knows his way around the harbour.
    You said that "I do know that the Moth can beat the F18, 49er". Rohan on a moth may consistently, don't judge the class of boat intirely due to one persons achievments.

    Secondly, I don't find the moth that hard to launch, getting on the thing in less than 5-7kts of breeze is a different story.
    As for cost I don't that it will come down too much if carbon is involved. Unfortunately if you want to be in the top ten, carbon boats greatly helps.
    In saying that, Phil's "Chainsaw" I believe is a ply wood boat and foils very well. $4000.00 Aus is a bargin.

    I LOVE foiling, one of the most thrilling experiences I have had. But sailing is what you make of it. I have friends who love the idea of my moth and marvil at what it does but they would personally rather sail a there cat relaxed on the wire or on the tramp. They are far from "tragic".
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.