Sailing Dinghy Design

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Tim B, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. By the way, when we talk about performance - can anyone here think of a class that has changed its rules to improve performance, and seen an increase in popularity as a result??

    There must be some, but when someone as innovative as Rob Brown (18' skiff champ designer/sailor) says One Design is the only way to go it makes me wonder.

    Doug, maybe the foiler will have the same effect on the Moth class as the last couple of major advances. The European Moth class had a development spurt in the '60s and early '70s, so many people went to the Europe OD (see the French classic Moth site). The wings are credited with basically killing the US Moth class because people went to Lasers instead of sailing tippy winged Moths that went obsolete quickly (see the Us classic Moth site). The shift to fat skiffs decimated the class in Australia. Narrow skiffs continued the process. Maybe the foilers will complete this exciting process of killing a wonderful and important class. Even guys like Brownie, Dovell and Bethwaite happily admit they look to Moths for development clues but the class is a shadow of its former self- and they still don't go as fast as a much cheaper windsurfer.

    Why don't we have development classes where the accent is on making boats cheaper (like Phil's Moths), easier to sail, easier to build , instead of faster? There are obvious problems, but benefits too.

    The T foil rudder Moths and 14s are easier and more fun to sail than ones without T foils, isn't that what's important?

    Hey Phil, is Rohan's boat going to be in Sydney soon? I'd like to line the Lechner or Mistral up against it.
  2. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    If there can't be development within the premier development classes where should/will it occur? New One Design Classes?
    It wasn't very long ago that the idea of a single or doublehanded monohull dinghy sailing on just two hydrofoils was pure fantasy-now thanks to Dr. Ian Ward, David Lugg, John Ilet and Rohan Veal ,among others, it is clear that not only will foils work when so arranged they are very fast and controllable.
    The next challenge is to make a monohull that can sail in lite air with a retractable main foil and in heavy air on foils so the crew doesn't have to change appendages between races and guess what wind is coming-a fully retactable system will finally bring foilers into the mainstream, in my opinion.
    After hearing what the guys who have sailed them say no one could fail to appreciate the quantum leap in dinghy design that foilers and sailing in three dimensions represents.
  3. Andy
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    Andy Senior Member

    Another Guest suggested " Why don't we have development classes where the accent is on making boats cheaper (like Phil's Moths), easier to sail, easier to build , instead of faster? There are obvious problems, but benefits too". I for one would support this idea - Phil S has shown that new design and manufacturing methods can compromise performance less than one might think. It would encourage innovation and refinement within a cost and material limited environment, but the process of squeezing the most performance from what you have would be the same. Any takers? The $500 14ft singlehanded skiff?

    Thanks Paul B for clearing up the facts about the Beach Boys Syndicate - I forgot Peterson was in it! I'd also forgotten about David Egan, probably because much of the press about TNZ '95 design team was focussed on their preference of the Wolfson Tank over CFD. I think that no-one truly knows who was responsible for what parts of what boats - would make an interesting research project for an aspiring yachting journalist tho. I do think that Davidsons hulls ended up ahead of Petersons in both 2000 and 2003 though, and certainly all the press about the designs i read over here suggested NZL32 was more of Davidson's baby. Funnily enough, the boat I really liked out of the '95 crop was Mighty Mary. She just looked right, was widely regarded by the yachting press (amongst others) as the fastest American boat (some said the equal of TNZ), and probably never reached her potential due to her crew struggling comparatively (careful now...) with the heavy handling of these boats. Looking back over the AC '95 video, she also lost a few races through questionable tactics. Anyone know who was on Koch's '95 design team, or who drew the hull?

    In the meantime, nice to hear there is a 'weegie' (Glaswegian) on the forum, and if anyone has any cheap but fast ideas for boats, it would be very interesting to hear them!

  4. Andy
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    Andy Senior Member

    i forgot to say Paul - wasnt the SunLegende 41 based on an IOR hull? I do like that hull a lot, very fine, but it has the fine stern and crease. I think i read somewhere that it grew from an IOR boat. Is that right? I've not seen any of his MORC boats, but the Grand Soleil 50 looked much fuller forward than the Frers boats and the Bavaria 38 Match too. I suppose Im just a fan of fine forward sections (Farr, Frers etc) where appropriate....

    There are also some interesting articles about cheap wood/carbon masts on the DN iceboat site - worth a look for a budget boat?

  5. Phil S
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    Phil S Junior Member

    The moths are racing in the SIR regatta on the Harbour starting 18/12. Rohan indicated he intends to be there. If the conditions suit the foils it should get some interest, but also some animosity from the mothies who opose.

    In NSW there is a drop in enthusiasm so farthis season. We are not getting the expected numbers to turn up and race, particularly the old hands. The class is really too fragile to survive an argument about foils, configurations or rules, but I fear that is what is about to blow up.
  6. astevo
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    astevo Junior Member

    chris a few posts back you sugested a development boat where speed wsant the first priority.
    I like the idea but i feel the concept is inherently flawed. While the first few boats would be made on a budget, unless the develop within the rules of an existing class, the trend would be for people to push it further as racing got intenses and people looked for a winning edge. This is exactly what led to the development of all the things that make our current boats good. Think about all the good stuff on a modern skiff, if you limited development there wouldnt be carbon masts, the list could go on.

    And also in a class that would be mainly homebuilt boats how do you measure out the costs when your own time isnt being counted. clearly it depends on the good intentions of the class and its sailors but when the racing begins i feel that it just wont work.

    also on the topic of foils i would guess that lift off would be a fair bit faster than hull speed, we have had this debate defore but it is clear that the hull speed limit dosent seem to exist on narrow hulls. also the lift off seems to be at speeds of reaching in 10 to 15 kts , so the lift off speed it going to be around 7/8 kts.
  7. Astevo, you're right (which is why I said there'd be problems) but if the class was wild enough (singlehanded skiff???) then sailing and good ideas about boathandling gear and techniques would count for more than materials, for a while. Maybe..
    Steve Clark (C class and IC guru) was musing about a "Frankenboat" class where rigs had to be second-hand and anything else was allowed. Obviously that rules out some lines of development but there are already classes like 12s, Moths, ICs that are fairly free in rig shapes but (foils apart) close to OD in hulls. They could provide new ideas in rig.

    Mind you, I must admit I'm not one to talk, I'm enjoying my strict OD (Mistral) so much that I've still got the IC on thr trailer I've done nothing about putting a kite on it.

    Doug (LOrsail) I know we have to have development classes. But I worry about uncontrolled development in certain directions. The foiler lobby says "We can't have restrictions" but they only say that because they are protected by restrictions that already exist.

    Let me use the Moths as an example, again. Catamaran Moths were banned. There may be problems with an 11' Moth with 8m2 of sail, but in the '50s the Kitty Cat proved that a 12' cat, even with two crew and heavy gear including spinnaker, was faster than the 12' skiff.

    The Kitty Cat was banned from the 12' skiff (mono) class and went on to have a happy life as an OD while the 12' skiff still continues. Maybe that's evidence that if an idea is good enough, it can be chucked out of a development class and develop a life of its own. If the Kitty wasn't chucked out of the 12' skiffs, it would have killed a class (12s) that has given monos a lot.

    So if we had allowed unfettered development of the catamaran Moth, perhaps into something like the Laser Vortex or a baby A class cat (is it possible, Stevos???) we would probably have never had the very development you are now applauding (ie foilers). The only reason foilers are looking so good is that another avenue of development has been banned.

    A few years later, sailboards arrived and were banned from Moths. I raced one of my D2 boards against the world's best 2 Moths and even with a smaller sail, more weight (class rule) and no pumping, in 5 knots or so the board is competitive. In a brief puff to 8-10 it's quicker; above that it would sail right away. My board is 1'9" longer but my gut feeling is that if I cut it down to 11' and in exchange got a lighter hull with bigger rig and centreboard, it would still be faster overall (by some way) than the Moth. I may well be wrong.

    But the point I'm (wafflingly) trying to make is that boards are faster, and if the Moth had NOT banned boards the class would, once again, have likely become an all-sailboard class and once again, the development you are so keen on would not take place.

    So uncontrolled development does not exist, and if it was allowed it would not necessarily lead you to places where you want to go, as far as I can see. And banning some developments (ie cats, boards) can actually lead you to explore other areas (foilers) that would otherwise be ignored.

    So AFAIK either say "everything is OK", OR admit that we must look at each route of development on a case-by-case cost-benefits analysis. Look at Phil S's post to see what's happening in Moths at the moment and you'll wonder about the cost-benefit of foiler Moths.

    I just think it's a much more complex area than we often believe.

    PS I have competed sailing in 3 dimensions (wave competitions in sailboards) where we don't just go in 3' in the air, but get upside down 20' up, roll, and (in my case) then go UNDER the water. There are videos of the 12' IMCO boards I sail doing full-forward aerial loops. Sailing 3' up is cool, but is it worth killing a class?

    Andy - there was a SunLegende that was developed from a Peterson IOR boat, which sailed in the SORC the year the J/41 "Smiles" won ('84??) as "Legende". It was a late programme and rated over 1 ton and finished about 5th I think.

    we wouldn't have 12' skiffs anymore.
  8. Sorry Astevo, I started thinking singlehanded skiffs and not about the development class where speed wasn't a priority. I must admit, everything I think of sounds like an short-rigged Javelin, MG 14 or a lightweight Merlin Rocket with trap, perhaps with more stability and rig and rules that give an allowance for boats with cheaper construction. The fact that $$$$$ aren't a major problem in Javs and MGs AFAIK, yet no real development is happening, probably indicates my idea is wrong!

    Personally I think cost and low-speed stability are issues for many sailors; UK Cherubs are much less popular than stable fat Oz Cherubs, RS 300s and 400s are more popular than Merlins and National 12s because they are cheaper and more stable and have the same sort of speed, NS 14s are losing numbers compared to Tasars since NSs became tippier (I believe).

    One point; if the boat was made loooong (17' with MR/MG size rig) it would be faster, more stazble and easier to sail for about the same bucks (3' of hull isn't exxy if everything else stays the same).
  9. Andy
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    Andy Senior Member

    I agree with everyone that the foiler issue is a dangerous one for the moths. I also think the problem lies in there not being a separate playground for such boats, so designers are pushing existing classes with the result that they may end up virtually destroying some of them in some areas. I don't think the moth is anywhere near ideal as a platform for this development - you wouldn't test jet engines on a family saloon, you would build something like thrust SSC.

    Looking at the Windrider Rave for example - this seems a far more suitable platform. Using the moth is interesting from the point of view that for the designers it must seem like making the impossible feasible, but is this truly advancing hydrofoil development? using the Rave as the basis for a new class with no foil restrictions would make much more sense and let designers explore the full potential of the concept whilst still having fun racing against each other. All the traditional development routes (hulls, rig, foils) would be open to such a new class. The technology would be far more applicable to other boats too. I can't imagine the foil configuration on moths appearing on many other boats, even though some of the clever control systems might make the leap.

    AStevo is probably unfortunately right regarding a new, cheap construction class - competition would possibly force people into spending. I'm wondering if there may be potential for a kind of 'limited development rule' some of you have proposed...

    Chris - 'Legende' was the boat i was thinking about. Thanks for reminding me!
  10. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Foiling dinghies

    In fact ,of the great development classes the I14 is the best candidate for an"all round" foil system: one that is retractable so the mainfoil disapears in lite air because of the beam at the board. There are other boats where a retractable system would work but they are not development classes. I wouldn't be surprised to see a "demonstation 14" sailing with a system like this before too long...
    I do think there is great potential in the Moth class to design a breakthru boat with a retractable main foil and I think such a system would mute many that are worried about having to change out appendages.But nothing can be done for those afraid to fly or to learn new skills--except maybe trying a boat!
    The Rave is a fine multihull foiler using the (3)foils for stability-if you like multihulls.
    But the monohull foilers are leading the foil revolution on just TWO foils showing that a foilborne boat can be sailed just like its water stuck sisters --only higher, faster and quieter.....
  11. astevo
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    astevo Junior Member

    more than the fact that moths are the only class that actually allow foils, i think then foil enthusiasts look at the moth as a good example of a highly developed skiff, where speed throughtout the range is excellent. this allows a very really comparison of speed of the foilers around the course. its also a small boat so the costs of experiments are small by comparison with other full size experiments.

    i was thinking of a new class, simply because you have no chance of trying to lead a development class away from high speed simply in the name of affordability. The whole idea just makes me see more splits in the class, and really we know what can happen with that. (just look how far the europe and the us moth have come since the 1960's)

    my main point is that all class are developing, hey even the laser has a vang that works. but the development boats are at the forefront of that technology, at the same time money is always a factor in small skiffs (where most are not sponsored) so the effort is already there to make the boats as affordable as possible.

    think of carbon masts, in the beginning they were wet layed up and really pretty ordinary, now you can easily make your own moth spar for $300or 400 aus once you are all set up. sure there are setup costs and the prepreg in bought on a big roll which costs but the materials cost per mast has come way down.
    we wouldnt have got there without the development boas leading the way. and how many people like the idea of giving up a carbon mast just to save a few bucks.
  12. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member


    Actually, the Jeanneau Sun Legende was not based on the One Tonner Legende, rather the one tonner was built in the Sun Legende production mold with parts of the mold blocked off at the measurement areas. It did race in the SORC in 1984 and overall was not as well prepared as they should have been, but was pretty quick for something built out of a cruising boat mold.

    Boats like the GS50 and Bavaria 38 are really C/Rs and end up with more volume than most of us would like to see. All designers run into this. Take a look at the big non-race production boats from every office and they all look similar.

    I'm sure the people on this forum who have sailed in OZ recall the Blazer 23 from the early 1980s. That was a Peterson non-IOR and was pretty quick and fun for that era. The Peterson/Adhara MORC 30 footer was the same weight as a Mumm 30,but from more than 10 years earlier.
  13. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Blazer 23

    Here is the Blazer 23 from the early 1980s, sort of an earlier Melges 24, with trapeze for the crew.

    Doug stretched the linesplan about 10% and had a custom boat built for Wednesday Night "Beer Can" Races in San Diego. With a used Etchells rig and two on the traps the thing sailed right along in light air with 40+ foot IOR boats, until the kite went up. Then, see ya...

    At the same time Doug did the Lake Garda Classe Libre Centomiglia boat (47 foot dinghy with 12 on traps) called Cassiopea Due. Led the Centomiglia for more marks than anyone for two years running, but sadly not at the last mark.

    Attached Files:

  14. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Peterson "Adhara 30" MORC boat

    In the USA MORC was similar to JOG in AUS and the UK. Limit for overall length was 30 feet.

    This design is from 1985 and is still winning races in SoCal. Faster than the J105s, even with the old style keel and short rig required to rate under the rule.

    The Mumm 30 is the same weight, 10 years later, but admittedly on a much longer waterline. I have been on one of these boats in fairly flat water, planing solidly in the mid teens (but never planing upwind).

    Oh, Andy, the Mighty Mary was one of the leftover '92 boats I think. Also, if you follow the design lineage from Beach Boys to A Cubed to TNZ 32 to Prada I think you'll see the family resemblance, and Peterson was the only constant. Let's see, the '92 winner, the '95 winner, the 2000 runner up, and a 2003 final 4 that could have been better if the designer had been allowed to stick around and optimise the design. Peterson isn't the best PR guy out there, so he doesn't always get the attention he deserves.

    And even though I did live in Glasgow for about 18 months I couldn't consider myself a "weegin".

    Sorry to get so far off topic, I'll shut up now...

    Attached Files:

  15. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Just one more

    The Peterson 5.5 Metre dominated the class from 1993 to 1998, winning every Worlds and Gold Cup. Still winning.

    Attached Files:

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