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About DerekF

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  • Birthday 08/12/1980

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  • Location
    San Diego, CA
  • Interests
    UFO, Dinghies, foils, wing sails, technology

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  1. I will be there with you guys in spirit! Have a great weekend and take some pictures. I'm looking forward to lighter travel restrictions and more fun later in 2021 or 2022. I got out yesterday for the first time in six weeks in 12-15 knots of breeze and had a blast. The six week hiatus was due to my wife and I having a new baby in late Jan. @Dave Clark how is the stock on UFO / Fulcrum branded baby onsies?
  2. @Ledge, welcome to the team! My background is very similar: sailing Lasers and wanting a boat that is more modern. I launch my boat at a beach that requires me to sail or paddle (not foil) underneath a bridge. The UFO will fit safely under a 19 foot bridge clearance. The boat is easy to paddle but there's not much space to store a paddle on the boat. I think the community knowledge on paddling is to paddle like a surfboard by putting your chest out on one of the bows and arm paddling. I have found that I can steer the boat with one of my feet on the tiller. I hope that helps and keep asking questions and watching videos to climb the learning curve. We're all here to help each other!
  3. Hey Paul, I think setting the main foil pin in the center and working on adjusting the rudder foil rake using the plastic spin adjuster under the tiller is your best bet. For San Diego winds I usually have the adjustment screw for the rear foil about 1/3 to 1/4 of the way out--that is about 1/3 to 1/4 of the threads are sticking out beyond the plastic spinning nut. You will have to do some fine tuning from there but that and moving your body weight fore and aft should get you close.
  4. A foil with the same surface area but a higher L/D ratio should give a lower takeoff speed without seriously increasing drag. It would also likely have a much higher aspect ratio and that would lead to two problems: 1) the main foil would no longer be able to be retracted up between the hulls because it will be too long 2) the materials to make something so long and thin strong enough to deal with the force of lifting the boat and pilot might be expensive or non-existent The soft wing sail "should" have a better L/D ratio than a standard 2D sail. This "should" increase power out of the sail without increasing the drag (heeling moment). Perhaps these types of loads would be acceptable to the existing mast. Development of something like this would take some serious engineering effort however and probably a few broken masts until someone got it right. I think the big issue we haven't touched on is the fact that with light breeze, it is very hard to use the sheeting technique / windward heel to control heel angle and stay on the foils. I was out in a light air day with a friend in a RIB this summer. We were messing around to see if he could tow me up on to the foils and, once foiling, if there was enough wind to sustain foiling. The result (besides being hilarious) was a motor assisted takeoff, but a sail that was limp to the point that it really couldn't adequately control the boat. The only technique we found that worked was continuing to hang on to the tow rope and ride the UFO like a giant wake board using body weight to maneuver the boat at which point the sail was just in the way. Perhaps lowering required take off wind from 8-9 knots to 6-8 knots is possible but anything below 5-6 knots is just not realistic without some sort of active heel angle control system.
  5. So Dave, what I'm hearing you say is that the official Fulcrum recommended approach is to add JATO bottles to your UFO and that a retrofit kit is available for preorder?
  6. I can verify this finding as well. While developing my digital flight controller / wandless foiling system, I noticed that maxing out lift below 5ish knots only slowed the boat down. Beyond 4-5 knots, the lift on the forward foil is needed otherwise the bows dig into the water. The sweet spot seemed to have the foiling system start to engage at 4-5 knots of SoG as read by the onboard GPS. One of my main drivers for developing the digital flight control system was to foil in lighter air by reducing wand drag. I ended up finding out that reducing foil flap drag at lower speeds was perhaps the bigger benefit. The wand drag has some effect but not a large one on being able to foil in lighter air. I've asked Dave in the past about a larger "light air" sail but it sounds like it would require a new upper mast section. If Fulcrum made one, I'd buy it. Perhaps a more efficient sail on the same mast? I love those soft wing sails the AC-75 guys are using in NZ right now. It'd add weight but might improve the Lift / Drag ratio enough to get foiling in 6-8 knots. Crazier ideas: maybe a jib or a Code Zero--we already have a spirit and mount point on the upper mast section?? Would Fulcrum void the warranty on the mast and mast track??
  7. Dave, love the new loading system. Solves the problem of how to make catamarans fit in a square shipping container with maximum efficiency. BTW, might be able to sell a few of the boots to the Harbor Police for when you park your UFO in illegally.
  8. Completely agree. I've had great days in 8-10 knots of breeze and great days in 28-30 knots of howl. The boat is always fun and never feels overpowered or out of control. Conditions that would terrify me on a Laser are a fun challenge on a UFO!
  9. Hey team, I was out yesterday with a repaired and healthy lower mast section. I was out in ~15 knots of breeze and I was swept off the boat during a higher speed crash (not too uncommon). Typically, when this happens the boat heads up into the wind and sits there for me to swim over, but this time it put itself on a downwind trajectory and sailed off into a slipped mega yacht at about 6 knots (according to my onboard GPS). Not that hitting a $20M yacht is a good outcome but considering the boat could have sailed miles across a fairly empty bay leaving me stranded, it wasn't terrible. Has anyone else had a "sail away" experience like this? I suppose I should get in a better habit of holding on to the mainsheet with a death grip if I feel I'm getting ejected. Any other tricks or tips? I have some bow damage and will need a new want and spirit; the mega yacht suffered a minor paint scuff. I left my contact info for the owner, we'll see if he calls me.
  10. Love the video, a great end-of-summer gift for the kids. I hope they have lots of great weather and fun to enjoy the new ride!
  11. Another image of wear on the mast base
  12. Hey team. Heard some funny noises coming from the mast earlier this week. I noticed that the collar that sits just below the deck (pic) had cracked. I also noticed a lot of wear on the lower base of the mast (pic). Should I be concerned with the wear?
  13. By "the worst should happen" you mean Martin forgetting to put the plugs in his boat!
  14. Hey team, was out with a few junior sailors from our club on Wed teaching them how to foil. We had a great time but the breeze didn't quite cooperate. We did have a power boat however. If you've ever wondered if you can tow a UFO to foiling, the answer is yes. Without wind in the sail however, controlling heel angle is more akin to foil surfing than sailing.