Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dawn Goes Down to Day

I used to love the forum on the Australian moth site. It was full of all sorts of technical discussion on the latest developments. At some point people stopped posting stuff and it started to, well, suck. Which is OK because it remains the only Moth forum on the planet that I know of. So I still go back there and re-read all those old posts from time to time, if only to remind myself of an age in Mothing when people were less guarded and trying to help each other along.

But no one really posts much useful information anymore - technical information is guarded like it's the family jewels. And maybe that's OK - after all, if the last few years have proven anything, it's that there are far more people interested in sailing foilers than in designing and building them. So if you are one of the few people developing new things, you are in the minority, and the stuff you are making is potentially more valuable than it ever was before - potentially.

The bar has been set pretty high and there is less low-hanging fruit to pick, or so it would seem. To move the current state of development ahead, you really have to put some effort into it. This puts the process out of reach of most amateur builders, or at least those without access to good software and CNC machines, which is pretty much saying the same thing.

It appears increasingly that the only people with enough time to do development work of any real value and sail at a high level are people who neither build nor blog. It doesn't hurt to be independently wealthy either. Or to dream.

I keep waiting for John Harris to post something about the setup he used to win Worlds. It's always nice when a champion does this to sort of clue everyone else in about what worked. Perhaps the class is too contentious for this sort of thing nowdays, but if so, it's a real pity.


Teknologika said...

I don't think that anyone wants the moth forum to die, so what we need is people like yourself to get on their and start and participate in the discussions.

You are also correct that there is a lot of information that people want to keep to themselves, however that still leaves around 90% of stuff that people could discuss.



Karl said...

I suppose it is really the 10% I am interested in, and that is really not the sort of information people are willing to discuss in a forum. I do not think it is the forum itself that has changed, but rather the level of technology in the fleet that has shifted the discussion to other, more private venues.

scott said...

John probably doesn't post about his setup since it's always been completely stock-standard-out-of-the-box Bladerider.

scott said...

well... standard except for a complete re-rigging from sailingbits.com and a new rig from CST and KA.

Joe Bousquet said...

I agree about the low hanging fruit being long gone. Even so, I like the home build scene, even if it's not for the development but only to obtain a cheaper boat.

What's your prognosis on making the Nationals?


G said...

A cmon' you cranky old bastard ...
You ain't that bad ...

Karl said...

Prognosis for nationals looking bleak.

Gui thanks for the props - now could you call the nurse I went out with tonight and tell her the same thing please?

John's setup is not stock OOB Bladerider, as he was nice enough to communicate. But it was not radical in any serious way either - just pimped out in Sailing Bits and serious practice and fitness levels.

BobbyK said...

Hey Karl:
Just came across your blog... I guess I have a lot of catch-up reading to do! I don't have any F18 regatta or anything this weekend, so let me know if you will be down in LB for some moth sailing. Hope to see you around soon.