Tom Kirkman

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About Tom Kirkman

  • Rank
    Anarchist

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  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Sailing, flying, fishing, knocking around.

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  1. Tom Kirkman

    A trimaran daysailer foraging boomers

    There is no such thing as a boat that excels in all conditions. To gain in one realm you give up something in another. Decide what you want to do and choose the boat that performs there.
  2. Tom Kirkman

    Weta anarchy

    OK, your adjustment is in the wrong direction, at least for sailing. You do not want the lock-down rod shorter than the placement hole. It should be longer, so that when you attempt to lock the rudder down, you have to push, not pull, the rod towards the rudder. It should be gently bowed up when locked in place. What you have now, with tension on the rod, is a situation where if the rudder hits anything it slams the rod forward and without any upward bend you get a compression fracture. If the rod is lengthened and bowed upwards, any time the rudder hits something (with sufficient force) the impact further bends the rod up and pops it clear of the retaining hole. So adjust the rod so that it is a bit too long, rather than a bit too short, and you won't break another one, guaranteed. Then make a loose loop of velcro that will fit over the tiller and lock down rod. When the rudder is up and the rod is in the "up" hole, slip the loop over it to hold it in place. This keeps it from coming out, getting loose and snagging on things or having things snag on it. When you launch, just slip the velcro loop forward and off the rod, and push the rod back and into the "down" hole. Problems solved. ........................... "Modern hull design has made a mockery of theoretical hull length speed limits."
  3. Tom Kirkman

    A trimaran daysailer foraging boomers

    There are two incarnations of the Windrider 17. The original as developed by Andy Zimmerman and Jim Brown, comprised a one-piece main hull and a certain overall width that was just narrow enough to reside within the limitations of the plastic used to construct the boat from. When Andy sold WS to Precision, and Precision sold Windrider to Dean Sandberg, the company chose to increase the width of the boat by 10 inches to further increase stability. This greatly increased the "rack" possible when the boat is under strong pressure and this second incarnation is not as stiff as the original. Also, for reasons having to do with the oven length at the new owner's facility, the main hull of the newer boats is no longer a single unit, but assembled from 2 pieces, with the mating halves just behind the rear seat.
  4. Tom Kirkman

    A trimaran daysailer foraging boomers

    Believe it. I don't make up shit. The Getaway molds were out of shape by this past fall. They could no longer get good parts out of the mold. .......... Mundt, The Windrider has a keel to serve in the same manner as a daggerboard. For whatever reason the boat just doesn't sail close to weather. Otherwise it's a hell of a boat. A few years back I suggested to Dean that a redesign might in order - something that appeared and looked more modern. He said he didn't think it needed that. I've been thinking what might be possible with same overall concept but more modern hullls like the VPLP type being used on the Astus, Diam and Mod70 style boats. Would be interesting to see what that might do for both performance and sales. The concept has merit for those who want to sail in relative comfort and without a lot of athleticism. It has stood the test of time. Andy is selling off a good portion of his various prototypes. I might call him this week and see if he'll let his personal WR17 go. Also for those that didn't know, Jim Brown's eyesight has gotten bad enough that he has given up sailing. But he is working on another project for a live-aboard style sailboat that he seems pretty excited about.
  5. Tom Kirkman

    A trimaran daysailer foraging boomers

    The Windrider 17 isn't expensive, you can sell them on a whim (tremendous market from an almost cult-like following) and for people that just want to sail without having to physically manhandle a boat, it's a great choice and is, in fact, what it was designed for. And it'll take more weather in greater safety than just about any other small boat. Just depends on what you want to do with your sailing. The Hobie Getaway may be "Gettin' Gone" as the molds have deteriorated to the point that Hobie is no longer producing the boat. Whether they will invest in new molds or not remains to be seen. The "low hanging fruit" as Hobie calls it, is in the kayaks and paddleboards. They've had a record sales year in 2020.
  6. Tom Kirkman

    A trimaran daysailer foraging boomers

    What you want doesn't exist, nor will it. $$$ and a very limited market play a large role in such a boat ever being produced. In the meantime, the closest you're going to get is the Windrider 17. I sailed the prototype for about a year. It doesn't point high, but if you're not in a hurry, so what? It's nearly indestructible, can be sailed in 40+ MPH winds, can carry 2, 3 or even 4 persons and a ton of gear. It's a clever and capable design and is easily rigged and sailed by one person. Yeah, it's ugly, but you can't see it from inside the boat so who cares. I've often thought, and even suggested (to deaf ears), that this same overall concept mated to an updated hull and sail plan design would be even more of a one hell of an all-around capable and fun boat. This video (and many others) is from a dude that seems to have reconciled his desire to sail with what has ended up being practical for him at this stage in his life. And it seems like he's pretty happy with the boat and what it'll allow him to do. Maybe it's not your dream boat, but it'll keep you on the water and going places for a long time to come:
  7. Tom Kirkman

    Astus 20.5 new VPLP trimaran

    You're correct, but much of the problem here in the USA is a lack of dealers willing to sign on with overseas manufacturers and invest in boat inventory. Yes, they'd likely sell more boats if they had them on hand to show and demo, but it's a risk that few are apparently willing to take. One of the marine industry trade groups had stated back in 2018 that only 5,000 new sailboats are being sold in the U.S. per year now. And this in a nation of 335 million people with thousands of miles of waterways. Conversely, France has a population of just over 66 million people and their countrymen purchase nearly 30,000 new sailboats per year. And by the way - you're correct about many American sailboat companies relying upon sales of other items to stay afloat. Hobie, for instance, makes the bulk of its sales via kayaks, paddleboards and accessories. I have been told by Hobie personnel, that if they had to make a go of things just by selling sailboats (other than the Island sailing kayaks) they'd already be gone.
  8. Tom Kirkman

    Rocket 44 by Grainger

    They are finishing up the first boat and preparing to do testing. I was told that they may have boats for sale by end of this year/first of next year. Tony Grainger designed the boat but not sure he is involved with it's build and marketing. Rocket Factory Trimarans is the company building the boat. At least as far as I know.
  9. Tom Kirkman

    Astus 20.5 new VPLP trimaran

    When the boat is heeled and you need to sit on the amas, you will be sitting on a flat portion that is outboard of the ridge and which, by design will then be level per that heel angle. VPLP put a lot of thought into the design of the amas.
  10. Tom Kirkman

    Astus 20.5 new VPLP trimaran

    In many states the sales tax for automobiles and boats is lower than the standard state sales tax. Check with your DMV. You may only owe 3% to 5% in sales tax on a new boat.
  11. Tom Kirkman

    Astus 20.5 new VPLP trimaran

    The 20.5 has become their best selling model. The VPLP pedigree is beyond compare. If the Astus build quality has improved, you couldn't got wrong. Best value on the market.
  12. Tom Kirkman

    Weta anarchy

    Right. Who will buy it. A person that is older, slower and maybe not terribly proficient at tacking or jibing will buy it. Or, a gear junkie that just wants the latest and greatest on their boat. A lot of people will order the self-tacker. But the idea that a person can't be competitive against another Weta sailor that has a self-tacker just doesn't hold water (no pun intended). Maybe that's the way I should have stated it on the first go around...
  13. Tom Kirkman

    Weta anarchy

    If you are in good physical condition and have your timing down, the self-tacker isn't going to beat you. You should be just as fast. How long does it take to move the jib over anyway? Maybe 1/2 second if done correctly and you know a couple of tricks. A person that is older, slower and perhaps not in good tacking or jibing practice, will likely find the self -tacker advantageous.
  14. Tom Kirkman

    Weta anarchy

    On the Weta, the jib doesn't interfere with the air to the screecher so there is no need to furl it. Just swap it over and sheet on as you would if you were sailing upwind. It won't block the screecher so no need to furl it. And, this way, when you furl the screecher and turn upwind, you don't have to bring the jib back out - it's already there. Yes, it means there is an extra sail to jibe but just like the self tacking aspect, this is a 14 foot boat - it's all right there and you have to move past it in going from one side to the other so... At any rate, mind-muscle memory is the key regardless of what set-up you use. Get your method down, do it 1000 times and it'll become a 5 second process, tack or jibe, rail to rail, self tacker, twin tiller.... or not.
  15. Tom Kirkman

    Weta anarchy

    Having the tillers captured so that they remain on the tramp rather than tethered behind it can result in a problem. If you are hiked out on the opposite side and running in strong winds and turn the boat to windward, if the lazy tiller comes inboard and the end catches on the tramp, screecher block, etc., you will be in for a rather unpleasant surprise when you attempt to turn back down... Roger Kitchen assures me that in their testing they have not experienced this. Of course, you never have a problem until you do. I have run twin tillers since 2012 and found the best way to capture the tillers is with a short tether off the back of the tramps. The tillers will not drag in the water. You can still swing them forward. The tethers weigh next to nothing and will not tangle with anything. They are as close to foolproof as possible and arguably the easiest and simplest way to capture the tillers.