Champlain Sailor

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123 F'n Saint

About Champlain Sailor

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  • Location
    Shelburne, Vermont
  • Interests
    Sailing in all forms (racing, cruising, iceboating), biking, & skiing.

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  1. Champlain Sailor

    j105 class health?

    We are seeing similar growth on Lake Champlain at LCYC: 2018 2 Boats 2019 3 Boats 2020 4 Boats And there is another 105 sailed further South on the Lake that joins us for many of our weekend races.
  2. Champlain Sailor

    Advice on a single/double handed beach dinghy

    The RS Feva would be a great boat for this design brief. It would be tight with two large adults. It is great with an adult and a kid (I sailed one with my son and we had an amazing time in it!). They are hard, but not impossible, to find in the US, however. The Topaz Uno + is a similar boat. I've never sailed one with the jib kit, but they are available. If a single-sail boat is OK, the Zuma and the RS Aero are both great options. They sail best with one person, but have long enough cockpits to fit two pretty comfortably. The Zuma's can be found used pretty inexpensively. The Aero is a much more high performance boat (but not more difficult to sail) and gives you good racing options, at a much higher price point. A 420, an FJ, or a Laser II would all work as well, but those boats are all heavier and really designed for 2 people, and will be less fun to sail by yourself.
  3. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    I echo Martin's thoughts on the Foiling Midwinters in Key Largo this past weekend. What a perfect venue for foiling dinghys. Easy launching on a sandy beach, a bay that is protected to minimize chop, but with land low enough that you get good breeze, and just about the most hospitality I've ever seen from a hosting club. Hot food every day when we came off the water, and really good food at that (whole pig roast, wow!). The UFO fleet is still working out the best format to race these craft. Barry did an effective job of showing that in marginal conditions (8-12 knots), the boats are basically as fast going upwind and downwind in displacement mode as they are trying to get them foiling. I'd advocate that unless it is blowing consistently over 12 knots, sailing a triangle is a better course than straight windward/leeward as it will encourage and reward foiling on the reach legs at the least. It was a blast sailing with the Waszps and Moths. The Waszp sailors have really upped their game and are completing foiling tacks and gybes pretty often. The Moths are incredible, both the sailors and the boats. It was humbling to share the racecourse with some of the best sailors in the country. On shore, they were all really fun to hang out with and helpful with tips, a really great group of folks with no egos on display. While these guys sail at the highest levels for a living, they seem to sail moths for the pure challenge and fun of it. I was pleased to see that once the breeze was up, several of us were able to very effectively foil upwind. Blasting upwind off the starting line foiling in formation with 3 other UFOs was the highlight of my weekend! I also learned a ton about setting the boat up to foil downwind and stay in control. I still have a ways to go to 'master' it, but I can now see a little light at the end of the tunnel on that challenge. Finally, it was great to meet and sail with many of the folks that I had only known through this forum until this past weekend. They were as nice and helpful in person as they are on-line! If you are thinking of attending the 2nd or 3rd foiling event at UKSC in March or April, I highly recommend it!
  4. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Dave, I'd actually request a drawing with a cross section of the pintle pin with the rudder plate and mounting gantry. I ask for this as their are also several PTFE bushings that are pressed into the rudder head and/or gantry gudgeon holes. So it would be great to see the preferred assembly order for the bushings and the new fender washers when you are sliding the pin down through the rudder and gudeons. I know that my bushings have come loose a couple of times when installing or removing my rudder, and I'm not certain that I have a bushing everywhere I should, or that I might have one somewhere I shouldn't. If I recall correctly, I have three in there in total. So a diagram of where to put bushings, in the correct orientation, along with the new fender washers would be really helpful to keep the assembly tight and loads spread out.
  5. Champlain Sailor

    best new foiler for beginner?

    I agree with your points completely! And I would love to sail a Skeeta some time, they look terrific!
  6. Champlain Sailor

    best new foiler for beginner?

    CORRECTION- I was just looking at the Skeeta website some more (it is a cool boat!) and found that the price I listed above, $13,500 Australian dollars, was for the Skeeta without foils. To order a Skeeta with the foiling setup, the cost is $18,000 Australian dollars, or $12,400 USD. So it is $1900 more expensive than a Waszp in the US. It still looks like a great boat, and a good value (I'd argue that the Skeeta and Waszps are both good values, the UFO is a GREAT value), but it is now over $6,000 more than a UFO, which would make it tough to justify in the US.
  7. Champlain Sailor

    best new foiler for beginner?

    The Skeeta does seem to be a really cool entry level foiler. I've been following them on the web since they were introduced. The primary downside for the original poster here is that I don't think any of them that have been imported into the US, so you would have to buy one from Australia and ship it over here. I'd guess that shipping and taxes would be comparable to buying a Waszp, which costs $1100 to ship, plus $1150 in duties, taxes and fees according to the Colie Sails website. The base Skeeta is $13,500 Australian dollars, which is about $9300 US dollars. This is $1,300 more than the UFO, a $1,200 than the Waszp (not including shipping), still impressively affordable. For the US based sailor, I'd still say the UFO is the leading entry level foiler. The Skeeta is too rare over here, so there is no fleet support at this time, and its over $3000 more expensive, once shipping and import costs are figured in. If someone gets enthusiastic and brings a container of them over here, that may change the game, but I have not heard of anyone volunteering to do that. If I was in Australia, I suspect I'd say just the opposite, the local boat would be cheaper and have better fleet support, so the Skeeta would likely be the natural choice down under. The big advantage I see in the Skeeta is the fact that it has wings. The UFO suffers in that it requires the sailor to hike, and the hiking is not particularly ergonomic. Your feet are higher than your hips, and if you use the far strap, you are pretty 'locked in'. You get used to this, and you get fit, but it is tough. The wings on the Moth/Waszp/Skeeta will be much less fatiguing after a long day of sailing in a breeze. Prettig posted that he suspects that the UFO's tacking angles are pretty broad (doesn't go to windward well) based on what he has seen in the video. I do not think that is the case. Once up on the foils, particularly if the winds are steadily over 10 knots, the UFO foils to windward amazingly well. Once you are healed well to windward, it is not just pointing to weather, it acutually generates negative leeway, that is, its foil pulls it upwind, as long has you have sufficient windward heal. This is a dynamic that all centerline foilers enjoy, and it is a really odd experience once you pull it off and figure out what is going on. The UFO sails to windward pretty well low riding as well.
  8. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    Great videos Martin! You are getting LOTS and LOTS of practice in, and it shows. Doesn't seem quite fair to those of us who woke up to an ice covered harbor this morning. Looking forward to making up for lost time in the Keys next month!
  9. Champlain Sailor

    best new foiler for beginner?

    I recommend getting out on a Moth sometime if you can. True, the foiling speed and control is tremendous. And once up on the foils it is no more difficult to sail than a UFO or (I suppose) a Waszp. But, even beyond the price tag for the boat, make sure you are there to help rig the boat up (30-60 minutes), carry it into the water (lifting it overhead until it is shoulder deep), and de-rig it (20-40 minutes). The time and effort necessary to enjoy that foiling performance is significant. For an everyday boat, one that I can sail in the 90 minutes of wind that I have after work, I find the UFO far superior. Add to that the fact that if you run the Moth foils aground, you are looking at a several thousand dollar replacement. Most Moth owners I know are hesitant to loan their boats out to new foilers, for the very understandable concern that gear failures are expensive. The UFO is pretty darn tough, I'd say similar to a Laser in durability. I have no qualms about letting folks try out the UFO, it is part of the fun. I had over a dozen sailors on it last season. So my only disagreement is that I DO think you should try to score a ride on a Moth at some point. It is great fun, and as long as you have some ability to think through the whole boat ownership logically, you won't want a Moth unless you are really determined to sail the most high performance dinghy in the world. Some do, and hats off to them, but for most of us, a very high performance dinghy that asks very little from us in return is more than enough.
  10. Champlain Sailor

    best new foiler for beginner?

    HKG1203's post is well thought out. I raced at Wickford last year with UFO's and Waszps racing together and I agree with the post, the Waszps had much closer racing. Their ability to consistently foil through tacks and gybes was the primary factor. We had fun racing the UFOs, too, but on a separate reaching course, figure eighted to eliminate the need to tack. With the new, larger foils, the Waszps were able to foil in 8 knots of wind, while the UFOs were still marginal (light, energetic and talented pilots could get up, but many found it faster in 8-9 knots to low ride). That being said, the UFO's sailed out onto the course in 5-6 knots of wind, while the Waszps stayed ashore until the wind built so that they would be certain they were foiling. I think that allowed us to get in one more race than they did (mostly low riding). The Waszps are far less fun to sail if not on the foils. I've had my UFO for two seasons now, and bought it to sail recreationaly, not race. The racing I've done on the UFO is mainly for the camaraderie and accelerated learning that comes with sailing with other experienced UFO pilots. I love sailboat racing, and actively race my laser and J boat, but foiling for me is just for fun and thrills. If there was a fleet of Waszps within an hour of me to race with, I might consider one. But the closest races are 5 hours away, so I would at most travel to 1-2 events a year. The convenience of the UFO for me far outweighs the racing potential of the Waszp. I'll admit, I'd love to spend some time on one to work on foiling tacks and gybes.
  11. Champlain Sailor

    best new foiler for beginner?

    I'll throw in another vote for the UFO. If you are on the coast of Maine and sailing without a chase boat, you need something durable enough to get you home. The UFO is far more capable when the wind dies, and can low ride surprisingly well in light air, even upwind. It is also reasonably easy to clear the foils without getting in the water, although I'll admit it is still pretty irritating to catch seaweed often (true for any foiler). A friend test sailed the F101 and spoke highly of it. I'd love to try it myself. It looks like it is easily sailed by one person, but has the flexibility to take out another with a really flexible sail plan. However, it is $25K, so it is 3X the cost of the UFO.
  12. Champlain Sailor

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    I just booked my charter UFO from Nick and registered for the event. I'm exciting to finally meet Martin in person, and not just because he'll be supplying the Dark 'n Stormies (although that doesn't hurt!). Seriously, can't wait for some warm water foiling fun. I've heard so many positive reviews of this sailing venue, I'm thrilled to be able to head down from the frozen North to join everyone!
  13. Champlain Sailor

    J120 Swim Ladder Source

    I looked in my files and found that the original fabricator for our pulpit was "Tops in Quality Inc." They are in Marysville, Michigan and can be reached at 810-364-7150. I don't see the on the web and recall that they were pretty old school, phone only and credit card payment over the phone. The work they did was excellent. This was back in 2009, I don't know if they are still around or not.
  14. Champlain Sailor

    Light weight traveller block - is this new?

    Great thinking! I'd imagine it would be quite a challenge to get it class approved, but it does indeed appear to be a better technical solution. Lower profile, lighter, fewer moving parts. Thanks for sharing!
  15. Champlain Sailor

    J120 Swim Ladder Source

    When the bow pulpit on our J/110 was damaged and needed to be replaced, I called J/Boats and they put me in touch with a Stainless Steel fabricator in the midwest that built them originally. They were happy to fabricate a new one. I don't know if they did the ladders or not, but I'd contact J/Boats and ask. I don't seem to have the name of the shop handy here, but when I get home I'll look and see if I have it. If I recall correctly, they were somewhere in Michigan.