Monday, 31 March 2008


Got 9 hours in building this weekend (4 hours were spent cleaning up the workshop). I also found a sailing shop that has dinghy fittings (not bloody great big yacht junk). So I have the fittings I need to finish the laminating jobs.

They also have a sail loft and some funky tramp material that the more I think about I like. So I will go with some low windage tramps. I have to learn to sail because they will also be low hydrodynamic damping when in the water, making capsizes quicker.

I have done stage one of the filling and faring.

So I hope to be able to start putting paint on the boat very soon.

Here is another crap picture of the gantry bracket for Felix.

Great posts in this thread. Apart from the posts from an annoying turd who thinks he Gods Gift to foiling. He attacks my ego which is very foolish. My Ego is huge and unbeatable. My boat is called Flashheart for Gods sake.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Sporting Icon.

I always knew I was destined to be a sporting icon, and it has happened. I am the logo for our touch rugby club website:

Touch Rugby is great fun and fitness training. I like sports that no one does in Austria (like Moth sailing) because it make me look good. This does my ego the world of good, until we do the stretching exercises at the end and then I feel so old. Micky says touch the floor with straight legs and I can barely touch my knees.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Flashheart - AUT 3202

I got about 10 hours in at the workshop over easter. This enabled me to finish the wingbar gigging, and start filling and fairing. The wing bar arrangement is not conventional but it is kind of funky. However again the extra joint takes precious time.

I managed to get some paint from the local DIY store. This was the in-house brand boat paint... It costs about 14 Euros a tin :-). I have gone back to my original color scheme (white and red hull with a gray deck), but this means a 3 stage paint job not a one stage. The boat will look better but it takes more time.

I did the next stage of the rudder repair. Basically I removed loads of matrial to try and re-glue the T core and well as possible. I have now layed up loads of carbon in the area I ground away. This will then get re-faired and sprayed when I spray white bits of the boat.

So the big fill and fair task starts with a view to getting some paint on soon. Then it will be fit out. In the mean time I have to finish the rudder, wing bar joints, get fittings and tramps organized etc. The job list seams to get longer when i think about it, but at least Flashheart now has a number "AUT 3202". (Thanks to Adam for sending a building plaque.)

I think I have to start Moth building in the evenings rather than sorting out the flat. This is hard as my workshop is 40 min drive away from home and I still have loads to do in the flat.., I am in danger of ending up with my usual training program of not sailing before the Worlds, and testing everything in the first race. The build race was really important. Not beating the other guys but staying motivated to get flying so I had time to get her and myself sailing well. I am still motivated but with the finish line in sight I feel like I just capsized on the gybe mark. So it is time to get the boat upright and sheet in and drive her on to the finish. I am now racing to get there before the weather changes to perfect training conditions so that I can train in the new boat rather than the old one. Actually there are not many 2 boat worlds campains out there so I hope you are impressed. ;-)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Moth Mast Raking System.

This is old news but I have been getting hassle again to publish my diagrams of this system and I found the diagrams during the move to the new flat...

Back in the mists of time (~1994) Adam May and I build 2 Moths. I was in my second year of University and Adam was finishing his A-levels. The boats were Aussie Axemen and mine "Tomahawk" has done the last 2 Worlds and Europeans. It is the oldest or one of the oldest Moths to foil.

One of the ideas we copied was Klaus Hofer's Moth Mast raking system This system was amazing and is detailed in the 1994 yearbook, which can be downloaded here:

We reworked his system and built in the kicker so that it was automatically tensioned. Here is the description of the system from my Moth Paper (

This system is a development of Klaus Hofer's Moth mast raking system. It allows the mast to be raked by 12° without losing rig tension and on one control line.

The shrouds and forestay are in effect tied together. Their geometric positions and their relative purchases are such that as the mast is raked the rig tension stays constant.

The shrouds are shackled onto 3:1 levers. The non-linear purchase of these levers (due to their operation over a 90° arc) means that the system can be turned to either increase or decrease rig tension with rake, if so desired.

The movement of the mast is stopped by the jammer which cleats the zig-zagging movement of the forestay in both directions. The jammer is uncleated by tension in the line connected to its trigger. There is tension in the line when the grabber is engaged by a pull on the control line. Then, once the sailor releases this line, the grabber flies back and the trigger engages the jammer. The system is then ready for another pump. There are two pump systems which move the mast backwards and forwards.

The system is designed so that, if there is a failure in the grabber mechanism, the rig will remain cleated by the jammer and there will be no mast movement.

The cascade kicker is linked into the system to keep the leach tension reasonably constant as you rake. Although it is set up to ease slightly as the mast goes back. This twists and de-powers the sail. Tuning is required to achieve the best effect.

The raked kingpost sets up the kicker so that it is eased as the boom is sheeted away from the boats centre line, if the mast is upright.

When the boat is on a dead run (and the mast is forward) the kicker can be applied to hold the boom hard against the shroud. This makes the boat easier to sail down-wind. However, the kicker has to be played during a gibe as the boom will not sheet in if the kicker is not eased.

In strong winds the raked mast is parallel to the kingpost and therefore kicker tension is constant with sheeting angle. This is important as a very twisted leach can be extremely uncontrollable down-wind in strong winds.

There is as boom lifter ( flattener ) control on the boom so that it can be lifted making tacking and jibing a lot easier when raked.

Here are the 2 missing diagrams (pictured with my mobile phone because I do not know how to use the scanner at work).

The system did work surprisingly well on the two boats but it took a lot of tuning and maintenance to keep it working well. The ropes and controls were hidden under the foredeck and lead through wing tubes...

When I got my boat delivered to the Euros by Adam in 2004 one of the first things I did way disable the system. I think it is too fiddly and heavy to be worth doing on an other Moth. However it was a very cool gimmick and you could freak people out in the dinghy park as they could not really get their head round it at first.

IMCA Database is On-line.

Finally the work I did last year to turn the IMCA into a database is on-line. This has taken me a while as I got distracted with buying a flat and still have not got an internet connection at home.

I have imported lots of base data and set up the membership types for 2008 for UK, DE, FR and Direct membership to the IMCA.

Committee members will get mails and access to the system so that they can check the the membership details and add payment instruction details.

They can add existing members by entering the email address in the "Add member feature".

When IMCA committee members are happy I will start sending out password reminders to members in my database. Then I will throw it open to allow other new people to register and go through the join process.

There are lots of people in the database already so please do not register without trying to use the "I forgot my password feature" with all your old email addresses. The email address is the link that identified you and stop us having lots of broken linked data. You can change your contact details (including email address).

I plan to support this now to get it working so that we can allow members to preregister for the world and we get our competitor preview...

If you have questions mail me. If you have bugs mail me. If you have translation fixes and improvements mail me.



Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wanted: Worlds Media Officer.

There is such an interest in the Moth that the huge Internet Mothing community and countless magazine will be following the Worlds in the UK this year very closely. So it is a great opportunity to promote the class by providing good content that feeds this captive audience.

As Webmaster, (Website, Media releases & Public Relations) on the IMCA Executive committee is is my job to sort this out. However when I get to the worlds it is my holiday I do not want to see a bloody laptop or worry about internet connections and result spreadsheets. I am too busy sailing, boat modifying and repairing, chatting with mates and drinking beer to do this. So updating results etc gets done when I get back home or not at all.

Therefore we seek a volunteer that will take this on. Basically you need to collect and write race reports coordinate information and mail a list of magazine editors. Pictures and video would also be great. This needs to get uploaded to the web with results etc... You could do a review of the designs and front runners. Storys from on and off the water... Basically you can do what ever you want but it is hard work which is why I am not doing it.

The payment for a week of hard work will be one years IMCA webmaster salary which at the current exchange rate is exactly bugger all.

If you are planning on coming to the worlds or would like to get evolved with the event and take on this role then please contact doug at culnane dot net.

Time to change the rules a bit.

I spent Saturday in the workshop doing wingbar structures, UD on the tramp lashing eyes, control rod work and centerboard re-enforcements. I also started to repair the rudder, and make the rudder stock. I can see why early foils broke at the T joint because there is loads of sheer on it. The rudder T joint has cracked bad so i feed resin it to the crack in the hope it will re-bond it.

I am loosing bad in the Build race with Martin reporting that his boat is at his mates getting sprayed and Fleix's posting pictures of several boats looking completed. My ego is now at a new low. Doug Lord hates me, I have no internet at home because the builders did not lay any bloody cables in the wall and water leaks tho the wall into my bedroom when it rains. So the Boat and Flat job lists seam to be getting longer at the moment rather than shorter despite me putting lots of effort in.

Time to change the rules of the game then and start a new race. Bora has raised the Moth blogging stakes with pictures of his blisters. Well you know when you were a kid and the big people told you to always use a knife to cut away from your body. I found out that it is good advice this Saturday when I sliced my thumb knuckle in two. Check this bad pic:

I think I win Bora.

So with Ego restored I can report on the Austria Boat show which was great. The guys from SegelWelt did great presentations about the Volvo Race and Mini Transat. This was hard core yachting and makes a change from the usual Austria marine stuff like a boat in the shape of a car, or a floating washing basket.

(Actuall the guy behind the floating washing basket was the reason I came to Vienna 14 years ago. If you think that this craft is innovative you should have seen some of the other innovations that sadly did not make it off the drawing board...)

So the stories of falling off your Mini Transat yacht and swimming after it alone in the middle of the ocean were great to hear, scary and incredible... SegelWelt had a competition to win a place in the Volvo Ocean Race but after Christians stories I went and asked for my entry form back.

Niki's Moth was hung over the SegelWelt stage and generated a lot of interest which I hope will lead to some more Moth sailors in Austria. There was also a video running and some Bladerider hand outs. More info here.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Show Time.

So after a long evening of driving, loading, rigging, cleaning and stringing up, Niki's Bladerider is hanging in the BOOT Show in Halle 5, above the Segel Welt stand. I just checked the Segel Welt website and they say they are in Halle 4, so I hope it was there stand that we hung it above. It was dark and late and everyone had gone home.... it is not our fault...

Here is a crap picture.

She does looks dramatic, and I am sure she will generate interest. She will be one of the most hi performance boats at the Show, one of the lightest and the muddiest...

So if you are going to Tulln check her out. We will probably be at the show on Sunday afternoon so come and say Hi then. With other commitments (like the build race) I am not sure if we can man the stand at other times but I hope that the interest will find its was on to the web and we can chat to people there.

In other news I got my new rudder for Aardvark which looks beautiful. Unfortunately the fucking hooligan shit heads from Fed Exp decided to use it for a month as a leaver for lifting the heavy boxes. Now that the T junction is fucked they forwarded it on to me. Mike from Aardvark has been really great and offered to replace it but frankly I want to get sailing and do not want those cunts to fuck the new one. Therefore I am going to have a bash at repairing it but the crack is deep so I hope this will work out. This is frustrating as I bought a rudder finished so that I could get sailing faster not so that I could repair stuff.

Here is an other really crap picture:

So a note of advice if you are thinking of sending foils by post: Do not. Last year I sent a lowrider rudder to the UK and that also got fucked too. They need to travel in a metal box inside a padded container or the delivery monkeys will break it for fun.

So another Moth weekend is coming up with Saturday in the workshop and Sunday at the show for half a day at least.

I fixed the IMCA database problem I had so I will set this up soon (been saying that for a while now). I hope have to have internet access at home soon so I can work on this more. The interest in the worlds is building so it would be good to do a who is coming preview again soon.