Monday, August 3, 2009


Sort of like machismo, but more pain and no bad cologne. Wind from Sunday:

18-20+ mph from due West, regular as Clockwork this time of year, but not always that strong.

Some really good foiling with Richard out on his Bladerider doing some work to windward and sticking a few downwind runs in for good measure. He seems to be making great progress on the boathandling front and will no doubt soon be even more difficult to keep up with. Our fleet being quite small and me sailing Inspector-Gadget-prototype mode has heretofore kept me from comparing speeds against other Moths, but suffice it to say that the boat seems to have decent pace. Richard sent me a file (see below) of his fastest runs with several over 20 knots and I seemed to be going as fast as he was occasionally without pushing super hard, so the boat should do 25 without much fuss, and I still have yet to install the new rudder. Rohan seems to be going these speeds uphill lately so I clearly have a long way to go, but I am pretty happy whenever I can go out and sail these speeds with any semblance of control:

Overall I'm starting to feel like I can trust the boat offwind, which is a huge step forward. But there is still a lot of tuning to do.

It all started to go wrong very subtly when one of my control set points shifted, changing its effective range and launching me into the sky. The effect was almost imperceptible at first and I was tempted to put it down to poor sailing, but no, the boat was actually was trying to kill me! The mainsheet has been sticking lately also, just to make life more exciting, and the rudder flap had started to lose its flap down also, though I didn't realize this until much later.

At one point I pitchpoled in a new fashion. It involved bearing off, accelerating to warp speed, then capsizing slowly to leeward. I was looking a long way down at the shroud thinking "that could hurt" when of course I was thrown off the wingbar down on top of the wire. In the end it didn't hurt, but I did manage a complete cartwheel around the shroud before hitting the water off the bow. First time for everything I guess.

I was pretty much as tired as I have ever been when I got back and was very happy to have Richard and Nat come down and help me onto the dock.

At this point, after at least a year of weekends building and messing about with the tilting foil system, all I can say is that a Moth is about the worst platform for foil system development ever conceived. My hat is off to anyone who does something fundamentally new on this boat and makes it work, because the boat and the speeds it achieves will absolutely kick your ass if the control systems are not functioning perfectly - and they never are in the beginning.


Anonymous said...

It was great sailing Karl. Talked with Chris W over at North and he recons we need to be hitting 15.5 - 16.5 knts up wind now to be competitive. Sydney about 9 months ago 11knts was competitive, that's what you get I guess in a development class :)

You definitely had the boat speed!


Karl said...

Sounds achievable. Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

"Anything that we have to learn to do, we learn by the actual doing of it."
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)