Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Touch and Flashheart

Last weekend was the first International Touch Tournament in Vienna. We hosted a tournament for 8 teams from 6 countries. My Vienna team ended up 2nd and we played great.

I however am really disappointed with my performance. 2 Italian guys stayed with me so I took them out the night before the tournament to get them drunk so that they would not be on form at 9am the next day ;-). The plan backfired a bit. The next morning I was running like a scolded cat and soring tries in the first two 25min long games. Come the third my legs hurt and I was struggling. I sat out the semi final and the team played a blinder to get through to the final. So I had to play the final and had rested, re-hydrated and feed my body with all the modern energy sweets and drinks you can imagine. However running was nothing sort of increadably painful. The match adrenalin I hoped would act as a pain killer was not strong enough. So I was slow and a liability and spent most of the game subbed off. This is all a bit frustrating and a reminder that i am no longer 18.

So the last 2 tournaments I have ended not being able walk off the pitch. Time to start looking after myself a bit and getting fitter.

In order to restore my ego here is me scoring.

Our Mascot:

The players:

It was a really great day and big success so I hope the teams that traveled to play will come back again next year.

So back to the Flashheart. I have Thursday off so I hope to get some work on the boat done. Unfortunately the boat is still at the sail makers. So in an ideal world I will get my boat with tramps and a new sail from Hyde on Friday, do an evening Touch Ref course. Saturday is the Ref course practical and Sunday is rig and launch day. However the chances of the boat rigging up really easy without messing about are zero so the launch date is hopefully 10th or 11th of May. Maybe tomorrow Tomahawk may get another outing..?

There is a new skiff designed and built for foiling, rather than strapping foils on to an existing boat. I think it is an awesome project. Check it out.

Off to touch training now to see if my legs will work again.

Apache and Steam Engines: the magic of collaborative innovation

There is a very interesting presentation here . It relates a lot to open source programming but the beginning describes steam engine innovation and Patents. It turns out Patents were bad for the steam engine innovators and good for the lawyers of the time. When patents expired development ideas were shared and as a result innovation and steam engine efficiency skyrocketed.

If you want to understand how and why open collaborative development works then it is very interesting so check it out.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Moth prototype Sphinx-colibri

The Brits do not tend to like the French which is why some years ago we dug the English Canal to stop them coming over and laughing at our bad weather and crap food. But check this out. This is a collaborative French project to build a Moth, and she looks great. They hope to launch her soon and take her to the Worlds but here is a sneak preview of the project.

I'm very pleased that you hear about our project.

I worked on this project with Tristan Pouliquen. Each of us has his own society specialised in naval Architecture and building:

Sabrosa (Olivier Gouard) and Diben (Tristan Pouliquen).

Just for a brief history of the project, in early 2007, we were both in contact with Nicolas Bessec (French IMCA president) and working on a Moth project. We met finally in July 2007 at the French Moth Meeting in
Noirmoutier, thanks to Nicolas.

Each of us has worked on different part of the project, Tristan had a Hull/deck moulds made of his design and I had Foils moulds of my design, so we decided to join forces to achieve a new Moth prototype. We have also benefited of a great support from the ISMANS (engineering shool) of which I’m a old student.

Tristan built the boat in the Sabrosa’s workshop with the great help of Anthony Rezzoug (Moth sailor and Professional boat builder). We brought the boat, partially finished, at the Paris boat show in December. Back to the yard, the foils had been built and we delivered the boat to Philippe Lejeune ( 15 days ago.

Philippe has not yet find a solution for the rig/sail, so we haven't tested the boat. Hope it will be OK.

Design brief Moth prototype Sphinx-colibri:

Tristan designed the hull in early 2007, the shape is not extreme (big aft rocker and quiet a lot more freeboard than the last generation). He built it in a female mold (owned by Franck Cahagnier) in Carbon/PVC sandwich with a great finish.

I worked with Gerard Bouteau (former designer at the Marc Lombard Design office) for the design of the foil also in early 2007. We made an intensive work on the Hydrodynamics and chose to go for a Karman style blending to join the 2 parts Foils. There's a small recess on the Extrados of the foils on which the rudder/centerboard foot is bolted with 2 M5.

Builder: Diben Sarl
Hull/deck design: Tristan Pouliquen
Foils: Sabrosa Sarl and Gerard Bouteau
Shipyard: Sabrosa - 44 avenue FA Bartholdi - 72000 Le mans - France

We are very new in this class, and very impressed by the spirit of it. Nicolas Bessec has done a huge work in France to promote the boat and David Balkwill was perfect too.

Hope we can meet very soon, may be at the Moth World.

Best regards,

Olivier Gouard
Ingénieur architecte naval

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Olympic Logo.

I should not condone the piss take of the Olympics as is it the top level for all sports. Except sailing because the sailors are not good enough to sail hi-performance boats.

I hope my Chinese friends do not get offended by the following but I do not think they will because they are not allowed to access Blogs.

I find this amusing. And maybe we should spare a thought for the people in Tibet when we are bombarded by this logo in a few months.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Good luck and bad luck.

The good news was that Niki and I had the whole weekend for Moth training. I still have to get the Flashheart finished so I went the the workshop after work on Friday and did some boat building and loaded up Tomahawk for a sail the next day.

The wind was good and I was as exited as a 5 year old on Christmas morning. However as I rigged I noticed that my boom had a crack in it's circumference and was about to become 2 parts. So I had to carefully de-rig after a lot of swearing. A couple of weeks ago I found Tomahawk upside down on top of a car. I should have taken a photo but I was too shocked and keen to see the damage. Luckily the car was an old scrap car and not a new Merc, and there was no damage to the boat (or at least I thought). However the boom was fucked and the hull had a couple of nasty dents. So I re-learnt a old lesson of tie the Moth down always, even if it is sheltered between a car and a big box trailer because someone could move the trailer. If there is nothing to tie it to then get something to tie it too, or turn it upside down.

So I watched Niki for a bit and meet a guy that was interested in doing an article in the a magazine about the Moths, which will give us some free publicity. However I decided to use the afternoon to work on Flashheart and fix my boom.

The next day Niki woke me to say the wind was looking good and the sun was shining. The boom was repaired to, so off I went for some training. However the wind Gods fucked around and all we could manage was some drift wobble training. So I left for the workshop to stow Tomahawk (correctly) and do some more work on Flashheart.

So far my Moth training log in over the last 4 years:

- Euros 2004 low riding after Diamond foil trials.
- First sail before Denmark mast falls down.
- 2nd sail in 20 knot club
- Denmark worlds on foils that worked very badly.
- No Wind at Neuzieldersee
- No Wind at Neuzieldersee
- Broken wing bar after 15mins at a windy Neuzieldersee
- Sail before Garda Worlds main foil broken after 10 mins.
- Garda Worlds with new Fastacraft mail foil. Where I finished half the races but had fantastic sailing coming mid fleet.
- Gusty cold sail round Neufeldersee for 90 mins.
- Fantastic sail for 70 mins at Neuzieldersee before it was time to pack up.
- Broken Boom at Neuzieldersee
- No wind at Neuzieldersee

This is not the kind of training log that is going to lead to a top 10 result at the UK worlds. However I can not be too upset because sailing these boats is so much fun, and things are taking shape with a new boat lauched soon and training partner. Tomahawk needs a bit of work and she will then be available as a first time foiler for a cheap entry into the class so hopefully she will help us build our fleet here. She certainly goes well once she is set up right but is not top 10 equipment.

My back luck this weekend means I had the time to get Flashheart painted, finish the wing bars, and she is now delivered to the sail-maker for the tramps to be made. I hope to launch her early May and get as much training in as I can to get me and the boat sorted for the Worlds.

Niki and I bought a trailer on E-bay so we can transport the 2 Moths to the worlds in a bit more comfort. This will also give us a way to transport the rigged boats round Austria a bit more easily and with one car. So I hope we can do a few events. However it is another project to build a frame for the Moths to sit on etc so it means more workshop time...

RE: Navel Grazing.

Karl wrote a very interesting Blog Post here:

I want to comment on some of the issues and but wanted to do this outside of a comment context and so here it is in a blog post.

I work with and am project admin for some open source projects I also work with SAP Java technologies. I can not really blog too much about my thoughts here as it may compromise me professionally. However I understand a bit about OpenSourse and closed source corporate software development. So how do these ideas translate into Moth production?

Development of software and Moths is very different. Software is easy and fast to produce and modify. It is used by many consumers and there are many people that have the skill to improve it. Where as a prototype Moth takes longer to build and the community of users is much smaller. Once a prototype is produced the expensive tooling for a production run can be started. So if we are to compare the two production processes we have to take in to account the different time frames.

It has always been the case that a Moth builder develops a boat normally for themselves and makes a small production run of their original prototype. John Claridge, Andy Patterson, Roger Angel, Mark Thorpe... the list is long. The Bladerider is attracting a lot of new blood in to the fleet because it offers a good quality packaged product which is familiar to consumers idea of buying a thing. This new blood can have their packaged product or use it as a base to play with new development ideas. Some of these product consumers are then becoming the prototype deveopers by fitting new ropes, or fittings or making other changes etc...

Paternts are evil and bullshit. The Bladerider patents could not be enforced because the "innovation" in them had been done before in the Moth class by others. These pattent have expired and are not valid in any legal sense. Any patents of this sort will not only have to pass the legal requirements in the Nations where the patent are applied for they also have to pass the community test of "Hey I saw something like that on a boat at the Nationals in ....". Since no ideas are made in a vacuum patents are unlikely to pass this test. The only problem is that in some countries (with very bad patent law made by lawyers for in oder to protect the interests of lawyers) Patents are not contested until they are challenged. That means you could say that an 11ft long Moth is your idea and it is up to users of the idea to pay for the layers to prove that this has been done before. This is my understanding of these issues but I am not a Patent layer. So in my humble opinion Patents are evil and restrict innovation but due to the strong open development community in the Moth class they are not an immediate threat to our open development community.

The Bladerider have applied traditional corporate tactics to market their product and have been very successful but the development behind it came from established Moth sailors, like other successful Moth design. I do not know of any super designers that have had any success in the Moth class without sailing one. So the idea of a Moth design coming out of a computer alone from some design lab are way off, unless the design lab includes a lot of traveling to Moth events sailing and testing Moths.

There are also initiatives in the class where open development is encouraged such as the various forums and community websites and for those lucky enough to have a local fleet there is the dinghy park or pub where the best ideas are born.

The Flashheart design is licensed under the GPL. This is an open source initiative to give home builders data and a design for reference and to improve upon, if they wish.

The Gilmour Girls and Hungry Beavers are also a great example of guys getting together and pulling recourses to make a small production run of Moths.

Therefore I think Karl's rose colored view of the Open collaborative Moth class is there if you want to see it. You will also see a lot of off the self products where the development is in the color its painted. You can get what you want out of the Moth and it does not need to be a battle of evil corporation against hard working innovative inverter in the shed. The cooperation needs the Moth development community and they sell their products to the next generation of developers. If someone that buys an off the shelf product does not want to go on and develop their boat then that is fine too, as there will hopefully be more companies selling them a new one every few years.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

We have a winner.

Martin has won the build race.

Well done. Flex is in a very close second and I think he will post a picture this weekend. I am last but hope to be not more than 2 weeks behind the leader.

So well done Martin. As a Brit I did the usual of making the rules up and then getting beaten at my own game. however it help motivate me to finish my boat so everyone is a winner.

As a slight change to the rules I will buy the 6 beers at the worlds and I look forward to drinking one of them with the other competitors.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Awesome sail on Sunday.

I took a break from the build race and I had one of the best sails of my life on Sunday. I borrowed an old Laser and went out in a very light northerly wind that was shifting 90 degrees before it shut off completely and then blew very lightly from the south. It was day 2 of Pirate School for number one son Max.

I have been reading Swallows and Amazons to him for a while and employing various other brain washing techniques to make him think sailing is cool. Maybe it is a sign of the times that the DVD from the Moths Worlds 2004 is way cooler than Swallows and Amazons. However I read the book more for me more than him of course. It is a book that is better to read to kids than have read to you as a kid.

Day one was theory and quiz games and day two was the real deal. A Laser is not really an Optimist but at the end of the day he could steer it and had a feel for what was going on. He still can not remember the magic "There is Red Port Left in the bottle." sentence but again I will brain wash him.

So all you hi-performance Moth sailors out there when you get board of sailing it can be really fun to rediscover it again through you kids, however I suspect the success of our high seas adventure could be about to get expensive.

Now it is back on with the build race. I plan to get the boat to the sail-makers for some tramps in a week and I still have a few jobs to get done before then. Niki and I plan to do some sailing this weekend which will probably mean the last sail of my old boat for a while. I will then rob her of her bit to rig up the new one. So Flashheart will be launched in a couple of weeks I hope. This is too late to win the build race. but it turned out to have been a very close finish. I think both Felix and Martin have flown their boats but neither have posted a picture to claim the prize.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Who is comming to the Worlds then?

I have started at Competitor preview at:

Register or log in to the IMCA site to enter your personal details and email me your boat details with a picture 500 px wide.

My address is doug at culnane dot net

Shit I ran out of paint.

Monday, 7 April 2008

After spray and after party fog.

Martin sent me pics of his painted boat which he plans to sail in Italy next Sunday. She looks great so well done to him. Felix is busy trying to get his bits together for his sailing holiday in the south of France. So it will be a close finish between the two of them for the build race title. Who will be the first to fly? (We need pics guys.)

I got 2 hours in on Friday after work then I went to a fancy dress party so I did not get changed. The theme was what do you want to be when you grow up so I went as a boat builder. This is what I wanted to be once until I did it for a year or two and decided that it is a hobby rather than a career for me. The party was great fun which meant that I had a slow start of Saturday but I got 7 hours in at the workshop which enabled me to spray paint my white bits.

This pic was taken through the after spray Fog. This is why you need a decent mask or this environment can be deadly.

Saturday night was the Irish Charity Ball with free Guinness and Jamesons bar. I slept most of Sunday.

So I have to spray the red bits of the boat and paint the deck. There are a few other jobs to do but I want to get the boat off to the sailmaker for the tramps to be made. Then it is fit out and finish all the little bits like ruder stock etc... I hope to launch her in about a month.

I could have spent a couple more weekends on the finishing. Filling fairing painting wet flating.... however build quality is not as important as time on the water so i have to put up with wobbles in the chine lines and a base coat paint finish. I can always spend next winter repainting if it bothers me, but I made a conscious decision to not build a boat like my first Moth. I spent loads of time on it and she was beautifully finished. However this is the Flashheart where brash unsophisticated boat building will lead to flying heroics.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Join the IMCA On-Line.

If you are a Moth sailor in a country that does not have an official IMCA then you can join the IMCA direct. Some Countries that have official IMCA organisations also use the facility.

In order to join you please follow the following steps:

See if you are in the IMCA on-line database. Go to:

enter your email address(es) into the form to get a password reminder sent to you. Check your inbox and your SPAM inbox. If this does not work then register (link top right).

Once logged in you can edit you contact details and request membership. You will then get bank details so that you can pay the fee. Once you have payed the fee your membership will be confirmed by your class committee.