Peoples Foiler :aeroSKIFF™ / M4

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Nobody
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    Nobody Junior Member

    The pictures look good. Thanks for the information. I have a few questions.

    1.Is the mast unsupported/cantilevered or are there stays? It looks to be a long way to the front and the angle for the forestay would be limited. Making it cantilevered does complicate the internal structure of the hull a little bit but does eliminate the side stays. What are you thinking?

    2. The weight of the boat is quoted at 120lbs. This is about 50kg. Does this include everything except the crew? I would have thought that the boat is going to be a little bit heavier than that. Assuming that the weight of a moth ready to go is about 25kg and scaling by (14/11)^3 whould give a weight of about 50kg. The light moth hulls are relatively fragile and are very high tech yet the construction materials you will use will need to be similar to achieve the weight you propose.

    3. The mainsheet dosent look quite right. The sheet is a long way forward and will need to put a lot of load into the boom to keep the leech from twisting off a lot. Moving the sheet to the aft cross beam from the current position is likely to be much better.

    I understand that it is very much the early stages of design and I have put these comments there to give you something to think about.

  2. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    Boats are not supposed to jump. Sure, they should be able to survive the landing, but we have all seen what happens when they dont. (Skandia, Konica Minolta, as very large examples. And they didnt even completely leave the water). Now, even if your hull and foils survive impact, what about the crew? Water is not soft, and if these foilers are as fast as you claim them to be, even landing in the water is likely to cause injury. If you hit any part of the boat at speed, you will probably be seriously injured. And jumping will be slow, so why even bother with it. It has no value, other than amusement.
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    NB- thanks for the comments.
    1) the mast is unstayed-we don't like wires at the potential speeds this thing is capable of and cerainly not with jumping in the mix. The sliding seat(s) are instead of a trapeze for that same reason. On top of that Eric is one of the foremost authorities on unstayed carbon masts-see
    2)the boat target weight is 120lb.'s with a 250lb. crew. The boat is not a scaled up Moth and we think we can make the weight-but we do have some leeway while still maintaining max performance.
    3) The mainsheet is sheeted to a cross member on the wishbone, as mentioned in the text above ,then led to a traveler on the forward cross. Much easier to sail a singlehander with the mainsheet leading from forward and well clear of the dual extension tillers..May allow us to get away w/o a vang.

    2, amusement is pricey these days and if we make jumping work like we both think it can then you'll have more amusement for the same price.
    This isn't just starry eyed nonsense -we really do believe it can be done.
    You're in good company though:regarding jumping a two foil monofoiler a noted foiler pioneer told me he thought I'd gone off my rocker-and then in his next breath said that: "..of course a monofoiler on just two foils won't work..."-- this was SIX (6) years ago. I don't always listen to my elders.....
  4. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    Of course it can be done, I wasn't saying it couldn't. I just dont see any value in it. If you market it as saying it can be jumped easily, someone will try it and end up seriously hurting themselves. Then you've probably got a lawsuit on your hands.
  5. mattotoole
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    mattotoole Senior Member


    I wholeheartedly agree with you, and this point of view -- to a point. In fact I think this is a good thread topic of its own.

    But what Doug and Eric are doing is totally new. Where would our sport be if no one ever did that?
  6. foilr
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    foilr Yes I've sailed one.

    While the flap would be up when the foil breaks the surface, it's not the flap that causes a hard crash.

    Having the main foil break the surface results in the lift disappearing instantly. The main foil stops the boat as it trips on re-entry, the still lifting rudder pitches the transom over the bow, the now negative angle of attack on the foil and lack of flow reinforce the dive.

    Being high enough to lift the main foil out of the water also means the boat has little or no rudder left to steer with, therefore no control at high speed and no way to steer out of the problem.

    Interestingly easing the sails in this situation only unloads the boat and compounds the situation.

    If your solution can cope with re-entry, I'd like to know more details.
  7. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    On any wand altitude control system as the boat approaches the surface(except in certain extreme wave conditions) the wand will be or should be trying to bring the boat back down unless you're using our system which allows the skipper to bypass the wand input to the mainfoil.If the mainfoil leaves the water with the flap up it will re-enter the same way and would very likely cause the boat to "trip" over the mainfoil. Our system(which controls both the mainfoil and rudder foil flaps) is designed to allow controlled powerfull takeoffs with low impact controlled re-entry. We think it will work and I personally will do the testing. We know the boat will take off well-and we think we have re-entry figured - testing will tell for sure.
  8. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Hi Matt,

    I've never been disparaging of the introduction of a boat of this type. What I have been negative about is the overwhelming hype surrounding a product that is being pushed forward as a boat for the masses, a "People's Foiler" as Doug likes to call it, while the genre is decidedly narrow in appeal, as well as application. The article I posted from the Sailing Anarchy front page was to serve as an effective counterpoint to Doug's incessant fluff on the subject in which he repeatedly tried to use the SA forum postings as substantiation for his glow. Keep in mind that this isn;t the only glow that Doug has currently fomenting in his head about boats. Look around at the postings and you;ll see what I mean. I think the recent, front page, SA article successfully trumped that posture.

    It's good to develop new and interesting boat types. I applaud the two guys who are doing that with this boat design. What I don't think they (and the use of they in this context probably means Doug a whole lot more than Eric) have done is credibly evaluate the so-called marketing position against the realistic potential of the product as a marketable boat for the everyday guy. In this case, the fluff has driven the reality to more than an acceptable level. That view is shared by others who have contributed here, so it's not an isolated case of one guy taking a lousy posture on the issue just to be contrary.

    Doug seems so surprised that the masses aren't just lining-up with drool on their chins waiting for his next revelation about the boating industry. When one puts a new product in front of knowledgeable observers, one is going to get a vast set of replies and opinions. It's incumbent upon one to take them all in and pay very close attention to those that do not agree with the hyped position. The dissenting opinions are typically founded in a stream of logic that has not been considered by the proponents while they play-off the "brilliant conceptualization".

    Big boat companies spend large amounts of money to carefully survey a marketplace before they jump into a heady new product in which vast sums of cash are going to be tossed. They listen very closely to dissenting opinions about the survivability of a chosen product to make sure they are not chasing their collective tails and tossing away money needlessly.

    In the case of this boat I see the value of such a craft for a niche market of aficionados and not much beyond that. Any attempt to solidly discuss the realities of the market have been met with more hype, silence on the salient issues as put forward in counterpoint and a huff of indignance to spice the presentation.

    My experience tells me that there's nothing behind the curtain from which Doug's voice is eminating. The team has already told us that nobody wants to invest in said People's Foiler and they don't have the cash, themselves, to flash the molds or front the marketing campaign. Doug is apparently unwilling to refi his home to push his incredible, sailing world concept to the real stage with a working production model, so I can only assume that he really doesn't believe in the concept all that much. You know the old saying about cash talking and BS... well, you get the picture.

    This means that the boat and its genius market position is being hyped on the only available platform to expose this type of idea in a search for an investor and it happens to be in places like this Forum. I don't see Forum members jumping-up with cash in hand to be the ground floor partner in the enterpise, either. If anyone is out there reading this who has, say, $300,000 for starters that is just laying around doing nothing and you'd like to be a boating empresario.... I've said it before and I'll say it again; I'll apologize when the boat is in production and it's a big hit with the sailing buyers from the Average Joe sailing market. Put-out 500 units a year to real customers and you'll have my apology right here on the Forum.

    Based on the stated goals and marketing objectives, I consider the concept to be half-baked in its present form. I am not directing this comment to Eric's design as I fell it has terrific potential as a nich product for a specific audience. This position is shared regarding the seriously premature marketing hype with no substantive product from which to base the hype. This is not the same boat as a Moth and it needs to be shown as a viable, working model if it's going to get anything more than a nod of casual interest. Hype does not make for a product in which Average Joes either will, or should, invest their money.

    There are some very basic issues for a boat of this type. It needs to be very light in weight, very strong and as simple as possible to operate. By nature of design requirements and compared to conventional sailing craft, foiling boats are not simple and typically not passive in their controls. All of these things lead to expense for the finished product and take the design away from the design envelope that will ensure its success as a production boating product. Doug has lately indicated that he's going to add a sliding seat to the design. This will further move the design away from the key indicators of light and simple and will add weight to the final boat.

    So, let's look at the design closely and you guys can make-up your own minds as to viability. Remember that this boat is being hyped as a "People's Foiler". While it's not dressed in grey pajamas with high collars, the implication of that selected phraseology is that it is a boat for the masses, one that an Average Joe can just slip onto and blast his way down the waterways of his own, personal Nirvana with little experience, little ability and little money.

    The other boats in this "People's" category are decidedly simple products with few moving parts, easily understood controls, low purchase prices and are easily maintained by the average guy with simple household tool boxes. There are probably three dozen boats in this category already with some of the designs having very long and successful histories. Nothing tricky about them, they sail well and are the perfect platform for a new person to the sport of sailing.

    The AeroSkiff has: moveable control surfaces for the foils, buoyancy pods to supposedly make the boat easier to learn to sail and added component elements to allow it to foil successfully, not to mention the pending sliding seat arrangement to further complicate the use of the boat for the new owner.

    The pods a great concept in theory, but right now it's pure speculation as to whether or not they will actually improve the sailability, as it has not been tried on a functional production prototype of this boat. Secondly; pods add weight, complexity and cost to the boat. Third; added weight means bigger foils and a bigger sail to get the product airborne. Bigger foils and sail means more weight and more cost to produce. And so, much like the hopes attached to the boat in question, the design spiral has achieved lift-off, headed for an even higher price with added complexity to the Average Joe consumer.

    Pods have been seen on Moths, but again, Moths are not the same boat and are not designed for the same potential market. Pods have also been seen on every trimaran, some sailing canoes, lots of aftermarket stability applications, etc. Apples and Oranges.

    Let me make this really clear. I do like the boat that Eric has drawn and feel it would make for an interesting addition to the world of sailing. It's not a People's Boat, however, and it will sell only to a niche market of enthusiasts for whom the latest and greatest will always be the game. Could it be made to apply to rank beginners? I don't have the answer to that question, but I wouldn't buy one of the AeroSkiffs for my 16 yr. old son. Nor will I let him spend his own money on the product, if and when it's available.

    I have this suggestion as to a low cost method to market the boat to test the viability of the product for the target audience. Design it for kit construction in both strip and marine plywood build techniques and sell the kits and/or plans to interested parties. Do the boat show circuit with the working product while putting-on hundreds of free sailing clinics for shop owners and Joe Public who happen by on the given day of the demo. Advertise the the demo at each shop well in advance of the arrival of the boat and greet each and every person as if they were the only one to show-up that entire summer. Be prepared to be physically and mentally exhausted by the effort.

    Make special deals on the kits to a few, well-chosen builders who are experienced in the techniques and can sail already. Give away free kits for the hull to total novices with the dangling carrot of a full set of foils and a rig at your cost when they finish the boat to a ready state. Get as many out there sailing as you can and see what kind of noise is generated by the buzz in the industry. That's the market research program that will take the place of pure cash that you don't have sitting around to do it the more established way.

    I'd like to thank all you guys for allowing me to present my opinions on the Forum. Doug and Eric... I wish you the best in your pursuit. I'll watch what happens, but I'm now done providing my counter point to the design feedback process.

  9. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    That assumes the pitch attitude of the boat does not change too much. If the boat over-rotates, it can enter at a negative angle of attack, which would be bad. I've heard (but haven't been able to find confirmaing evidence) of a hydrofoil powerboat in Switzerland that broached the surface in a wave, pitched down and entered the next wave at a negative angle of attack. A crewmember was thrown through the cabin roof in the resulting crash-dive.

    This is a fundamental problem with all fast sailing boats. If you would not travel at a certain speed in an off-road vehicle without wearing a seat belt, why would you consider operating at the same speed on water completely unrestrained? Whether it's a crewmember breaking a leg while asleep in his bunk in The Race or stays turning into meat-slicers, the crew provisions appropriate for 10 kt become increasingly unsafe at 20 kt and above.
  10. Raggi_Thor
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    I remember some years ago in the local competition for human powered boats, usually between students from the Norwegian institute of technology (Trondheim), Chalmers (Gutenburg), KTH (Stockholm) and Delft. Well, I remember the first time one team came up with a foil design. One man could quite relaxed cruise around in 10 to 15 knots. The forward foil was mechanically adjusted with a small floating "ski" or a streamlined pod on the surface. This was maybe 15 years ago.
  11. Shife
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    Shife Anarchist

    Dougie: I really have no interest in whether or not your latest creation ever leaves paper, but you will be doomed to failure if you don't drop the "Peoples Foiler" crap. Every time I hear it, I get this vision of you in a Hitler costume shouting about how it will change the world. While I admire your enthusiasm, there is no way you're going to convince the masses to drop 12 to 15K on a overly complex dinghy. At least not while there's a huge supply of inexpensive used beach cats available. I can check just about any newspaper and find a used Hobie 16 with a trailer for 1k. Let's see, minimal investment and fun on the water tomorrow, or double the price of a jetski and large learning curve. Which one do you really think the masses are going to go for?
  12. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Peoples Foiler

    I ran across some notes from last year when I discovered that Steve Clark was going to build and test a 17' foiler-his would use surface piercing foils back then. The idea -as I understood it- was to make a prototype for an easy to sail foiler-you know something like a Peoples Foiler. Maybe we'll hear more about this as time goes by.
    There has been some rubbish put out by those that don't understand the Peoples Foiler vision: that what Eric and I are doing is trying to come up with a foiler for begining sailors. Hogwash!!-the Peoples Foiler concept and ,in particular, the aeroSKIFF™ concept is for a boat that would appeal to a wide range of EXPERIENCED sailors who got their start in any number of other classes. The concepts we are developing could lead and probably will lead -with or without us- to a mass produced strict one design foiler capable of jumping*, easy to sail and set up , beach sailable ,light with a large range of effective( and competitive) one design crew weight, unstayed rig and a safe, fun and very effective sliding seat crew/ballast system instead of a trapeze.
    Despite what the visionless may say this is trully a revolution in sailing still in it's infancy with tremendous potential in a number of sizes and configurations. And all because of some pioneering work by a handfull of Australians.....
    Raggi- sounds like the system used on the Hobie Trifoiler -very interesting time frame....
    * Thanks to Randy for the "duh" enlightening me to what I've known about for a couple of years but have failed to have the sense to present in any discussion of jumping a foiler: it works well, it can be done safely and it's a hell of a lot of fun; see:
    Monofoiler Jumping!!:
  13. alyne
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    alyne Junior Member

    Video of Simon Maguires M4 hydrofoil

    Slightly changing the theme, but I think of interest in this thread, Simon Maguire has posted video footage of his
    M4 hydrofoil

  14. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    M4 upwind @ 15°

    New stills on the site as well-looking good-maybe the first Peoples Foiler is here?
    Check this out:
    The M4 concept @15° upwind
    Note the bouyancy pods. Note also that the rig does not seem to be the high speed camber induced rig used on a Moth and the new Hoot(seahugger). I'd like to hear Simon's comments about that....

  15. dimitarp
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    dimitarp Junior Member

    What is the maximum speed when sail on foil?
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