Monday 19 December 2011

Man Cave

It is cold, dark and wet but this is my cave.

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I still have lots of work to do re-pointing the brickwork but this will end up as a workshop. Once it is finished the first project will be the easy rider velomobile...

Sunday 4 December 2011


Today I said goodbye to the workshop that gave birth to Lord Flashheart. I really felt a bit sad to dismantle the construction I had made which was her whom. But it is time to move on and open a new chapter. I now have a Man Cave. Located directly under my flat is a cellar which I will make into a workshop. The advantage of the cellar is that it is under my flat so it does not take 40 minutes to drive there. It also creates lost of opportunity for people to make Austria Cellar jokes, however I plan to give birth to new toys rather than father a family with my family down there.

This year was crap in terms of Moth sailing. I sailed 3 times and had enough wind to fly once. The good news is that Lord Flashheart needs very little work done this year. This is good news because I have loads of work to do re-pointing and fixing up the cellar. I have decided to buy her a new sail for the worlds next year so that she can compete with the boats 5 years younger than her, and so that I can rig her up with out messing around for half an hour trying to get the mast in the shredded sail head. I am looking forward to next season where I plan to sail lots with the 4 other Moths at Yacht Club Weiden and enjoy my holiday in Campione which is where I became a born again Moth sailor in 2005.

Saturday 28 May 2011

Too much time on YouTube.

I bought a new bike at the end of last summer and since then I have been cycling everywhere. I am faster, fitter, cheaper and have more fun than even on the excellent Vienna public transport (where I met my fiancée). Bicycles are certainly a much superior method of transport in the center of towns than the dominant car. This maybe explains why you get so much aggression and frustration vented at you by car drivers who constantly try to kill you. The cycle lane design means you can then pass that aggression on by venting it at pedestrians who I presume walk nervously along until they get to the safety of their car.

Being a bit of a geek and spending far too much time on youtube I have come across Velomobiles. These aerodynamic recumbent bikes are just so cool. Fit an electric motor and you have a far more sustainable motorized transport vehicle without the need to go to war in order to secure access to the last remaining oil reserves.

It is interesting to read that the racing bikes of today are very much the same as the bikes of the 1930s. Materials have changed but the basic design has not. One of the reasons for this is due to recumbent bikes getting banned as soon as they started to break records. An aerodynamic shell on a recumbent bike makes the thing a real efficient fast machine that can easily keep up with town traffic speeds. It is a shame that the sport of cycling did not embrace recumbent bikes but instead protected the status quo and self interests effectively killing all development of this concept. Luckily there are guys with beards out there so the development has continued but not at the same level of cars. However the focus of development in the car industry at the moment seems to be to make them bigger and bigger so that in a crash the other guy is dead.

So what is my point and what does this have to do with Moths? Well we (the IMCA) will decide on the banning of solid wing sails soon. Do we want to help the world investigate efficient transport systems or protect our existing investment?

I am trying to decide if I should build a new Moth, Wing sail or Velomobile next winter. However I will probably just spend in on youtube.

Monday 18 April 2011

Winter is over.

The projects for the winter are done so it is time to change into summer mode, and play.

1) New deck at the Pad.

2) Make Yacht Culb Weiden Start boat water tight.

3) Repaint and renovate Flashheart.

One thing that I failed to do was get my height adjuster working because of a supplier issue. So now I need a reverse thread and normal thread screw that I can use to attach my ball joint thing and bottle screw. Anyone got any ideas where I can get this?

Looking forward to going sailing again because I have not been sailing since the European champs in Switzerland!

In the mean time I am desperately trying to get fit for the impending Touch Rugby World Championships. My beep scores tests have gone from 12 -> 8.4 -> 5 !!! This is not good at all... and our fist game is against the joint favorite Australia. So I am also trying to prepare myself mentally for the humiliation to come.

Sunday 13 March 2011


Here is a trick for those that do not know it. Paint your deck with any old paint and sprinkle sugar on it.

When the paint is dry wash off the sugar and what's left is a lightweight, cheap and extremely non-slip (abrasive would be a better word) paint job. It may take skin off but you will not slip on it.
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Sunday 27 February 2011

Workshop Notes.

So I used my expensive (3 euro a pair) foam rollers, for chemical paints (Ones for water based paints dissolve and disintegrate in turpentine based paints I discovered...). Now In understand Manfred's comments about bubbles from foam rollers. These can be removed by very lightly re-rolling after the paint has settled a bit. So the paint job is not great but it will do and it is starting to warm up here so time to get Flashheart finished.

The roller technique is going to stay in my book of Moth tricks because it saves so much time and paint compared to spraying. Which although leads to potentially better results I feel is is just not worth it. So a chemical paint foam roller is my 2nd favorite tool at the moment. Number 1 is the thermos flask full of tea.

I got some "Spalt Abdeckband" tape and it looks like if it stays attached to the foil it could really be a drag reducer. I will wet flat my flap then stick it on so that next layer of paint on the horizontal will but up to the tape leading edge. If this works well it could really be a good tip to reduce drag on 2007/2008 Fastacraft main foils. However if it is does not stay attached it could be another frustrating waste of effort.

Talking of frustrating waste of effort I thought I had done a great job on the repair of an Assassin main foil. However I managed to break it with my bare hands which is my scientific measure for if it is strong enough to sail with. The original problem and reason it broke again is de-lamination inside the T joint. I think that to repair this I would need to make a Bladerider type fitting so that the T can not de-lamination so easily. This can wait for next winter (I hope).

2 more paint jobs, wet flat foils, fix trolley cradle and rig a height adjuster so that I am ready to sail. However I still have the Yacht Club Weiden Start boat to silicon back together before the season starts as I removed all it's fittings, windows and woodwork and still have to attach them back on. I am doing this to pay off my entry fee into the sailing club. I do not fully understand how charging a lot of money to enter a sailing club helps promote sailing but I do not have a problem with being an active member of a sailing club and helping out with the club's work load. It should only take me 1 or 2 days to get the Start boat water proof and ready for the first race so that I avoid being keel hauled by the Commodore.

This time of year is always a tense one. The job list for the winter needs to be under control so that you can look forward to the spring with time and energy and not be spending warm sunny days in the workshop. With Touch Rugby World Cup training commitments this is starting to get a bit stressful but then it always does at this time of year.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Hairy Bum

I am slowly getting through the list of jobs for the new moth session. Nothing dramatic but tidying up stuff.

Opinion about the best way to paint a boat is divided. There are those that say spray painting is the way to go and there is me. Spray painting is lots of mess and waste and I can not be bothered so I thought I would just use a roller to get close enough to a good finish so long as you do not get to close. I have learned my lesson (the hard way) that rollers for water based paints dissolve in chemical paints so I bought the slightly more expensive ones. Now i am not saying that my workshop is a dust free environment but I am really disappointed that half the hair from the roller stuck to the roller and the other half did not.

So maybe it time to spend even more money on roller quality or give in and spray paint.

I have ordered some of this: Spalt Abdeckband and I hope it will give me that missing 3 knots of boat speed off the line. It better do it cost 30 Euros.

Monday 17 January 2011


I love Moths and I am a bit of a Moth trainspotter. That with my database geekyness has resulted in a Statistics Page of the Boat data in the IMCA Database:

The first thing to notice is that this data is not a complete set of data of all Moths built since 1928. Does such a record exist? I know that year books contain some lists but I do not think there is a complete record.

I hope the Boats For Sale feature (see my last post) will feed more data into this but so far zero response. Maybe it does not work or no one is interested? Anyway I want to get this data and use it because it gives a nice picture of the class and the trends within it.

If you want to reuse this data there is a dump of it here: This can be used to sex up gear tables for events.

If you are a member you can log in to the IMCA site and add your boat into the database (if it is not there already). The problem with this is I do not know who is a member and who not as my centralized membership management features have at best failed miserably.

Am I the only trainspotter out there or are there others that are interested in this project? If so do you have data and time?

Friday 14 January 2011

Content Havesting.

I have been meaning to finish this off for a while but there is now a new feature on the IMCA site that allows you to "Sell a Boat".

You have to login to the site. Then in the IMCA toolbar you can click "Sell a Boat". You search (by name, number and sail number) and select your boat to sell. If it is really not there please add it to the database. You can not add new designs or builders at the moment so send me an email if yours is missing. You can edit the boat data and enter advertisement text. The Contact details come from your Contact data which you can also edit with the toolbar link "Edit your contact details".

Boat for Sale can be found here: and on the National pages filtered to Boats in that country. Adverts run for 2 months then expire. To reactivate open and "Save" them and they will be active for another 2 months. Your adverts and their status is listed on your Home page.

The reason for doing the above is to use the Boat Data from Boats for Sale to feed the Boats database on the IMCA site. It is hoped this harvested data can then be used to provide data for gear tables at events, track boats and produce statistics. You can Search the boat database with the now open to logged in users "Boats Search." toolbar feature. Also the harvested contact data can be searched and viewed by Members and National Committee members.

As I blogged earlier I want to increase the content on the Side without having to do too much work and this initiative I hope will be a step in that direction.

Please continue to use the Moth Market and test out this feature as well. Feedback and bug reports are very welcome.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Ticks in all the important points boxes

I am really really really impressed with this video and how it ticks all the important points boxes of the wing issues.

I have nothing to add. I totally agree with everyone in this video. Unfortunately that leaves the wing issue unclear in my mind.

Great work guys.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Back in the workshop.

All the moth news from the worlds has got me all keen to get Flashheart ready for next season. So I have spent some hours in my workshop.

The picture above is the making of a trophy for an Austrian Moth event. It is a bit of an experiment so I am not sure how it will turn out but that can be said for everything that goes on in my workshop.

It is great that the Moth sailors take time to blog and tweet at the Worlds because when I go to an event I find it very hard to turn on a computer in my holidays. So thanks guys.