Wednesday 21 May 2008

IMCA On-line database update.

There is a new version of the IMCA online database deployed to the live server. In this version:

- I have fixed the sailing club data.
- There are French translations from Jean.
- Active IMCA Members can search the contact database.

Please log in and report any problems to me.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Results from the first foiling Moth Race in Austria.

Niki and I were on the water early. I had my newly repaired tramps and new Hyde sail. I had spent the morning rigging and sorting out the boat. The sun was out the wind was light but forecast to come in up to a force 6. There were loads of day sailors and a few cats as we sailed out the the start in the building breeze. There was loads of interest in our boats and we needed a little more wind to fly and take on the Hobbie Tigers. As we got to the start boat it was looking like it could be an awesome debut for the foiling Moths, in this 2 race regatta.

5 min later the wind had fucked off totally and then after one and a half hours of sun bathing the race was abandoned. So I drifted in only to find my prodder from the old boat had collapsed under the pressure from its wrong angle. The wind came after I de-rigged but I was to disappointed to get motived to try and go out again with a splint round the prodder. Niki launched and destroyed his centerboard after loosing his flap.

Bit disappointing all round.

So I have some more boat work which is no big deal but Niki has more. I am not sure when i will have the next opportunity to test the boat and get her more sorted... So worlds preparation is looking characteristically poor... Could this be the model for surprise win against the guys who get nervous when they go 2 day in a row without training? I suspect not.

Moth sailing can be like that at times so you have to make the most of the good days and shrug of the bad.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Chocks away Woof Wooooof.

I name this ship Lord Flashheart, may the winds good bless her and all that shall fly in her.

The grin is still on my face after a fantastic weekend. Max and I had 2 days of boat basteling and pimping. I wanted to put a double black stripe down the hull to add a touch of class but they had run out of black stripes at the car accessories shop and so I took pimping advice for my 7 year old son. He could not convince me that the dragon tearing its way out of a Carbon Fiber petrol cap sticker was very Moth, so we settled on flames. He is convinced they are cool so at my age I have to seek the advice from the younger generation on such matters. (Flames are also very Flashheart and a nice reference to "Nemesis" which was the basis for her design.)

The new Hyde sail had not arrived last week so I rigged up the old sail on Monday. We weighted the boat (on a grass surface so it is not an accurate number but it is fair to say) she is under 30 KG. This is surprising and a very competitive weight. (We did not get round to weighting Niki's Boat but I do think it is lighter...!...)

We launched the boat into a very light wind, which gave me the chance to gently test things. However although she is much nicer and easier to sail than the older low-riders in light winds, there is no escaping that Moths are not fun in light winds and the Laser Pirate school is better use of the time and more fun.

After schnitzel we went out on the Laser for more pirate school. The wind had built a bit so I had to try the Moth again. Pirate school went a bit too well as it meant I lost my camera crew to the call of the sea (or See). Therefore I have no pictures of Lord Flashheart flying, for the build race with Felix, which is now a who can upload a picture race.

When a Moth launches it is a crowd puller. These boats are cool or maybe the crowd just want to see a car wreck, however half of them seem to want to buy one until you tell them how much they cost. I even got asked if I would build one to order so the paint job on Flashheart can not be that bad.

I had to set the rudder angle of course which I got way wrong and had a bow down flight attitude to start with. But with that sorted she was awsome. She takes off easily low rides well and nothing looked like breaking. I was one happy chap. I even pulled of my first foiling gibe.

Niki rigged up and we did some formation flying buzzing the various stationary boats out on the lake. Both Moths are well matched and we had some fun drag racing which really shows that small mistakes lead to big looses. Unfortunately the low windage mesh tramp material turned out to be low strength as well so I was slowly going through it.

I swapped boats with Niki just as the wind was dieing to lowriding only conditions. The Bladerider seamed huge. It is not really that big but the Flashheart is really an arrow and all the buoyancy if aft with pinched pin tail. This is really a radical step away from the Hungry Tiger standard and so far I would say it is a good one, or at least it is definitely not a disaster. Full credit to Adam May for the lines of this machine they look like the mean business and they seam to do the job well. He had the courage to do a flat panel design with rocker and I think it works well.

So the conclusions are she is light fast (drag racing she matches the World Championship wining Bladerider). She is easy to sail and behaves well. (my control cable mounting on the wand being at a different phase to the normal boats I think is a winner.) The small rudder horizontal from Aardvark seams to make the boat less critical to rudder AOA position and I never changed it other than the gantry strut length to set up the right amount of lift. Her paint job is a bit rough and lines are a bit wobbly if you look close but to get this right I would still need a couple more weekends to finish her off and be launching her at the worlds.

So now the job is to learn to sail. This is the really fun bit. Of course I expect a few problems and jobs as she is a prototype really but so far so good. The tramps are at the sailmaker's and will get a new stronger mesh fitted this week (I hope). I have measured up the correct prodder dimensions, and laminated up some airfoil sections so I hope to get this glued together soon. There is a handicap race on Saturday at Weiden (where the boat was launched) and so Niki and I will do our first race. Niki tells me that we will use the official Austrian handicaps for the Moth which have not been updated in 40 years. So if we can beat the Lasers round the course we should do well... Maybe a little chat with the race officer is a good idea or we will not make too many friends.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Never ending job list.

I picked up the boat from Maletschek on Friday before my Touch Ref course started. I was busing on Saturday with the Ref course practical so it was Sunday before I got to finish of the boat so I can sail her.

However the end of the tunnel keeps moving. The tramps look good and should let air through nicely, and most of the fittings are sorted. However the rudder stock is still not laminated and the wand control rods are not working well enough and so I will try to scrap them and use a cable instead.

So again I have at least one day of boat work before she can launch...

The sail should arrive this week and I have a 3 day weekend next weekend. So it should be realistic to launch the Flashheart next weekend.

Luckily my stays from the old boat are the right length to use, however the prodder invokes inverse bend in the mast. This should be OK to launch the boat but I will have to make a new prodder before the worlds.

The job list is:
Laminate bottom gantry strut to gantry.
Spray gantry
Laminate tiller to ruder stock.
Fit rudder raking mechanism in tiller
Fit tiller extension.
Get Cable for control linkage.
Cut out old control rods and fill holes.
Fit anchor points for control cable.
Swap tramp lashing rods for smaller ones.
Check new sail fits.
Set kicker length.
Fit protectors on mast.
Rope out.

Check everything works on and add problems to new job list.

Make new prodder.
Help sort new (second hand) trailer for worlds trip.

It is frustrating that the launch date keeps slipping but it is a lot of fun doing the last bits. These bits are worth getting right because they make a big difference to the boat on the water. So long as she works well an holds together I will be happy, the build finish is not so important. That is why I will rethink the control rods rather than lash together the half working system I have now I will fit a more solid cable.

The build quality is not great as I should have used more than 40 grid to sand her before spaying... However I need her in the water now and she look good from a distance. I can always spend a few weekends sanding down next winter to get a good finish but right now it is time to sail.