Sunday, 18 January 2009

Thinking alloud

Just got back from an afternoon at the workshop. Flashheart now has a Fastacraft main foil and a rudder with an Aardvark vertical and repaired Bladerider horizontal... It all looks like it will work but I put lots of forward rake on the rudder (bit too much as the thing moved before the glue set) so I hope I can get enough lift from it. The gantry bottle screw has gone from one extreme of spending the summer at the very end of it thread trying to lose lift to the other of tightly screwed up in the hope it will generate some lift. Still the forward rake on the rudder looks mad, and should reduce rudder ventilation. It also fits with the Mach 2 trend if the computer graphics of the gantry are to be believed.

The Bladerider horizontal was easier to repair than the Aardvark one although the word on the net is that small rudders are in. The Aardvark rudder was definitely small and was great. I never adjusted my twist tiller (because it did not work and) because I always had too much lift and so it would not adjust any more. However the small rudder seamed a good thing, so it is a shame I have maybe taken a step back.

However the tiller twist adjustment is much better now. It is a Bladerider mechanism (without the bloody great chunk of stainless tube, as I cut most of this away and replaced it with a carbon/glass tube. This saved about 100g). This Bladerider mechanism sits in an Aardvark tiller with and Doug Culnane rudder stock.

Flashheart is starting to look like a jumble of acquired Moth parts which is exactly what she is. However I am moving on to the sanding and painting phase now so hopefully the end result will all look like parts of the same team.

It is hard to sit behind a computer or in a workshop and work out which developments are joking banter and which are real developments. It seams that people are experimenting and there is some strange stuff groining on. Check out Chris's post about the new North Sails ( Arnaud is hiking very far forward..? Rohan has indicated that sitting at the back is fast downwind. Small rudder horizontals are being used by a group of Aussies. Warm water is fast (How do I know which side of the beat is warmer?). There was an interesting paper that attributed speed to sharing induced drag equally between the 2 foils. Snoring is fast but cutting of the genitals of your competition is faster. The aerodynamic drag of the wand mechanism is very important to upwind speed. Small bows do not cause a nose dive when they crash down like big buoyant ones do (this I believe because I have the smallest bow in the fleet, so I know. However there is a problem with this which will become notorious. If your foils no longer work and you have to lowride home and home is downwind then you are fucked). So next week at work will be interesting as I hope the hoaxes and the real developments become clearer, or at least there is even more to chat and think about.

I however have 2 boats I want to get sorted and that is enough work for this winter (and maybe a bit too much of spring). Next summer is to be the summer of completing races without alphabet and my target from 2008 to beat is an impressive 4 (out of 13 races). I want to find a good home for Tomahawk, so that we have another sailor and I have less Moth bits. I also want to help any local Moth sailors get in to this amazing game.

Moth sailing is still in its infancy in Austria (like many other countries) and this stuff is very hard to do in isolation. So if there are moth guys out there that do not have a new widget that is guaranteed to win the $1,000,000 prize in the local Moth open, I hope they will chat openly and not subscribe to the secrecy is success vibe. In my line of work it is important to have fun, and at the moment this stuff is fun.

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