Wednesday 21 November 2007

Austrian Sailing Christmas Party

Niki and I got an invitation to do a presentation of the Moth at the Austrian Sailing Christmas Party. This would have been a great opportunity to rig up a boat and present it to lots of Austrian regatta Sailors. Unfortunately neither Niki or I had time due to previous commitments.

The party is in some brick Gasometers. About 5 years ago these were converted into shops offices and flats but before then there used to be rave partys there...

Hopefully we can plan this in for next year. The good thing is that Niki will have to do the stage presentation to 200+ sailors due to my bad German. I can consentrate on righing the boat and drinking guwein.

Monday 19 November 2007

Tomahawk Hibernates

Kati and I had to dig Tomahawk out the snow so that I could hang her up for the winter. This was not as easy or as fun as we first imagined...

Flashheart is off the frames and feels light and stiff. I am starting the fun jobs now working out how to fit wing bars, fitting the trolley to the boat and car, working out how to fit the the foredeck and bulkheads etc... Doing the arrangement design is fun. There are so many little ideas, options and things to think about finding the best solution takes some time.

I have changed my mind about the wing bars which I was going to have fixed. I will now make them removable so that it is possible to get 2 boats on the roof of one car. This may make traveling to far away events much easier, now that Austria has a fleet. I also had to hack up the trolley which was half finished so that I could change the way the axle was mounted and make it removable.

Adam gave me a tip about how to laminate around wing bars to make sleeves for mounting in the boat. Parcel tape does not work even with a 3 stage layup. I had to cut the bloody sleeves off in the end. This is frustrating, slow and has slightly damaged the wing bar. If the new method works I will blog about it.

Friday 16 November 2007

Check out my bottom Woof Woooof.

I am determined to get some workshop time in this winter in the hope that the Flashheart will be launched in spring. Now that it is too cold for sailing building has started again and Niki kindly helped me to do the lamination of the hull outside skin. The lamination went well apart from the disappointing lack of vacuum in the bag due to numerous holes. (In retrospect vacuum bagging without a proper mold is hard to get working well.)

With Mike Cookes new Axion and the May/Chisholm design the hull shape developments are becoming interesting again. This hull shape is Adam May Flashheart design with a bit of weird flat panel twist modifications by me. See earlier blog.

The shape is radical looking and a departure from the hunger tiger design family. That does not mean it is necessarily good but it is at least there is new experimentation and development happening.

With Moth sailing developing fast in Austria and around the world I want to get this thing on the water ASAP. I hope to post some more build progress blog reports soon.

So what do you think, have I got a cute ass or not?

Another Austiran Moth Video.

The Austrians are competing hard in the BR video competition.

Markus who had never sailed a sailing boat before he bought Rohan's Moth after the 2007 worlds shows that Moth sailing is possible to learn from scratch.

Niki who bought Markus's boat a few weeks ago has already beaten me in the GPS to speed table is now tying to pull off a foiling gibe before me. Luckily he is still having issues staying in the boat.

So the competition is hotting up here in Austria just as it is starting to snow. I had better get a new boat built before it melts.

Thursday 15 November 2007

The ISAF ridicule is getting nasty but they deserve it so check out:

Tuesday 13 November 2007

New Olympic Sports ideas.

So what about some new Olympic sports:

- Gymnastics's for heavy people (>200kg).
- Ironing for women (if they are allowed by their husbands).
- Climbing to take place on children's playgrounds.
- Swimming 10 lengths of the paddling pool.

Then Olympic bath tub sailing would have a chance of being interesting.

Thursday 8 November 2007

No Moth in the Olympics.

So is does not look like the Moth will be in the Olympics, unless the Europe dinghy is reintroduced. So what effect will this have on the Moth class?

I always thought that if the Bladerider was accepted for the Olympics then the sailing that would be going on would be very different form the Moth sailing I have done. Olympic sailing is full time professional 7 day a week 24 hours a day stuff. This is not traditionally the Moth level of competition although Rohan is a full time Moth sailor and promoter now and (I think) Si Payne spent 3 months not working and only Moth training before he won the Worlds. A lot of the fleet are ex-Olympians (3 out of the last top ten at least) or sail in things like 18ft skiffs (another 2 out of the last top 10), or boatbuilders and sailmakers (2 more) so the fleet is no stranger to top level competition. However the Olympics is a different game, where travel expenses make the boat cost irrelevant.

In the Moth class we have a saying, that has been valid for many years, that you can tell who is taking Moth sailing seriously because their boat is worth more than their car.

The Olympics would have raised the profile of the Class even more and meant that there would be a lot of bits around on the second hand market or that could be repaired. This would have been good for guys like me that could collect up broken or "old" bits and build competitive boats out of them. This is a shame but it also means that I have more chance of getting into the top third of the fleet.

The people I feel really sorry for are the Olympic competitors. The poor bastards must now spend 7 days a week 24 hours a day sailing a Laser or a Fin or a ..... This is like asking an F1 driver to steer a shopping trolley round a supermarket. It is also about as interesting to watch as supermarket shopping. I would get to the bottom mark and look up the 1 nautical mile beat, that I have to hike my way up for the next 20 minutes trying to get a fraction of a meter advantage form each tack, and think fuck it do I really have to do this again.

I respect the bravery of the people that support these out of date classes because I would not be able to sit in meeting after meeting discussing how the Fin is the best way to represent sailing and have a good visual completion, and keep a straight face. So is it corruption, stupidity, religious fundamentalists or creatures from another planet that control this. I do not know or care but I will be spending as much time following the Olympic sailing as I spend following Americas Cup legal battles.

So is this an opportunity for the Moth to reinvent sailing events, with a fresh look and without the baggage of traditional views. Maybe, or maybe if it ain't broke then why try to fix it. I will be happy if I get round a mark point the boat, hike, sheet in and blast along looking to gain 100m from each tack or gibe, that is fun and where it is really at.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Check out JavaFoil

Found JavaFoil on the web and it is fantastic. I am not going to pretend I understand all its features but it has loads of data and you can play and compare and optimise different foil shapes.

You will probably have to brush up on your foil theory but it is really a useful design tool. Check it out: JavaFoil

I have been out of the design game for the last 10 years so it is interesting to see that not much has changed in section design in the last 60 years except for the ease of access to data and the ease of its use.