Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Bladerider FX and sailing on my own.

In Rohan's blog he states the X8 is selling well but he expects the FX to start out selling it...

Now I know nothing about Marketing but that is not going to stop me blogging about stuff I do not understand.

If I was going to buy a Bladerider I would buy and painted X8 hull with FX wingbars. Here you save a good deal of cash for not much penalty.

At the moment it seams that all the Olympic sailors are ordering so they have a new toy for after the games. This is going to create problems when they have to get back in their bath tubs for the next games. (poor bastards). Theses hot shots all want the best boat, so that means X8.

Not sure if we will see a shift to budget foilers but it could well happen, and the FX lowers the barrier to entry by dropping the price, so that is great. And there is no end of people fascinated by the boats and the fun they see you having in them.

I also believe that the difference in speed compared to the difference in sailors ability is negligible, and that even my old Tomahawk would be at the front of the fleet in the right hands. However if you are lowriding and others are flying then it is a sole destroying killer. I think the board windsurfers, who may be interested in the FX, will soon realize this and want the light weight boat. They all buy expensive windsurfing gear to be their first on the plane and not left floundering around while others shoot around them. I can see them buying an FX for the days when there is not enough wind for windsurfing, and then getting a lighter boat later, as they will be sailing in this marginal conditions a lot and notice the weight difference.

I hope the FX does sell and that there are more moths out there, as I have been sailing on my own for the last 2 weekends.

Managed to get my boat fixed up with a rebuilt foredeck, and even had a chance to fit an adjustable outhaul. Which is one hi tech gismo I have not have for the last 3 years...

I went out on Saturday and there was no wind at the lake when I got there, but I could see a storm coming. Going out into a storm is stupid and irresponsible but very Flashheart, so I rigged up. The storm feed me with 2 hours of force 2 to 5 winds and a great sail (or be it on my own apart from Yachts sailing back to the marina and windsurfers looking for gusts). I bailed out when the lightning got a bit too close and I was the only one left out there to get hit by it.

8 comments:

phil said...

Hi Doug,

You can't blame the bladerider boys for trying though eh? Afterall the only thing that separates them from the other moths is their exceptional marketing! Who knows, we could start seeing chavs sailing budget moths soon :-)

Chris said...

i have never been one for promoting the bladerider, even if i am a reseller. They are competitive, and are untouchable in terms of customer support, even if the support is sporadic at best.

The Fx is a mere marketing tool that they can sell on the back of a very successful worlds. I bet John Illet is kicking himself after john won??? I suppose the big question is... would John have won if he had stuck with his prowler program.

Kerem said...

I was half expecting for Rohan to reverse his decision and turn up with an FX for the worlds. If he raced an FX and won again that would have been the ultimate marketing opportunity. Risky but he could have pulled it IMHO.

Doug Culnane said...

Good point Kerem.

I believe that setup, fitness and sailing skill are really the key issues, for most of us. Time in the boat is more important than the weight of the boat.

However Rohan had not done much sailing so it would have been a shame if fitness was his week point.

Lochlin showed the FX can go well enough, at least in strong winds.

Ole said...

Actually I think there is no point in making a glass fibre moth hull with a weight penalty of 7kg. The little total surface area of a modern foiling moth hull (say roundabout 8m² including inner and outer skin, bulkheads, deck etc.) means the amount of carbon needed is very low resulting in a negligible cost difference between the carbon one and the glass fibre version, especially if one considers they have to use much more fabric and hence more resin on the FX.

With all important components like the foils, the rig etc. being the same on the FX I don't think this can justify the large price difference between FX and X8.

Conclusion: If I was polemic I'd say the FX only proves the X8 to be far too expensive... ;-)

Kerem said...

Fair comment. I am no expert but I suspect the savings don't just come from the material but more so the manufacturing process and more readily available labor in perhaps even cheaper locations. Afterall McConaghy is one of few shops that can do hi-spec carbon work in China and I bet their margins in the overall cost is large. We're competing with maxis & TP52s eye for production time. Anybody and their dog can make fx hulls for Bladerider on the contrary.

Doug Culnane said...

I do not know the numbers, but I think there gell coat and other changes to the composite and it manufacturing process have contriobuted to the cost saving. As you point out Ole 5kg of carbon costs very little compaired to the whole cost of the boat.

Any maybe there is a bit of cheap model expensive model, as a car manufacturer would do.

Eric said...

I believe the FX is a "resin infusion" wet layup hull while the X8 is a carbon pre-preg hull. The pre-preg requires a large oven for the cure. I'm not sure which resin the FX uses but I hope it is epoxy.