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About Reht

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  1. Reht

    Colored vs white sails

    Tell tails on the leach of the main is normal, you want to be able to see that the flow off the trailing edge is smooth, too turbulent and it's slowing you down by dragging on the sail. Tell tails near the leading edge of the foremost sail are to help you set and steer your course (you can see turbulence on the windward of leeward side of the leading edge, and you want smooth flow over both sides of the sails). You can put them everywhere on the sail to make sure the flow is good everywhere, but over decades the sailing community has settled on figuring out which few are the best indicators.
  2. Reht

    What To Choose???

    @northwestern9 I'm watching this thread with interest because a few years ago I was the OP in a carbon copy of this thread when I was in the same position as you (that thread might still be around). Suffice it to say that I was suggested the contender, the IC, and the finn. At the time I went with an old contender out of Toronto, I raced against the fleet a few times in and can in all honesty say that the fleet members are incredibly welcoming and helpful. I had other reasons why the contender was chosen, but part of it was that there was a convenient boat in my budget range available. I will caution you though, older contenders (talking about 80's and before as those are the boats I've dealt with most) are getting fragile and worn out, I replaced and reinforced a surprising amount of that boat in the first 2 years I had it and spent almost as much time fixing as sailing. I stopped sailing the contender because I was sailing crewed boats and didn't want to keep repairing it. A while later I almost accidentally fell into the IC class when @Dave Clark dragged a boat out to a race to try (suffice it to say that didn't go according to plan). I decided to give it another try, went to Sugar Island for the annual class regatta and later raced the US nationals in Newport. @Willy Clark, that photo I'm almost certain is from those US nationals when the photographer was sent up the committee boat rig. I've since raced at the IC worlds and met several sailors from around the world, and all the while I never actually managed to buy one (I have since though). While the contender is a traditional one design class with an amazing group of people who are out there to have fun and boats are widely available, the IC turns things up to 11, the class members are amazingly supportive, the boat requires a lot of skill to go fast, and is unlike anything I've sailed otherwise. But the IC is a class of tinkerers, you'll spend time repairing or changing things that you don't think are "quite right", even at worlds I don't think there was a day when somebody in the fleet wasn't repairing or tinkering late into the night. As for the finns, I've had nothing but excellent experiences when talking to the fleet and I've been out sailing them a few times, but never had the chance to race one. I'm big, tipping the scale over 100 kg, and the finn was definitely the most physically agressive of the boats, the contender is physical to a lesser degree, and the IC is all finesse and skill in comparison. The finn is a very graceful boat and has a wonderful feeling to sail, if nothing else I'd take the chance to get into one and go sailing if you can. All three boats are very rewarding and each have their own sailing experiences, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I think your question should be about what is available to you, both a boat and a fleet who can hep guide you and support you, and what you want to gain from this boat. Want trapeze racing as close to home as possible? Then go for the contender. Want a competitive fleet of racers in a boat that will physically demand everything of you every time you sail? The finn is going to get you that. Want a boat that forces you to be a more skillful high speed sailor and won't bang your head every time you tack or gybe? The IC is looking pretty good. Did I mention that? The contender and finn have incredibly low booms that will bang you over the head more than once, while the IC you just gracefully step behind the boom and can sail the boat standing up.
  3. Reht

    What To Choose???

    Valid option. Harder to find a boat and I think the closest fleet is Boston, but fun boat for sure (doesn't quite fit the trap requirements, but the seat is a whole different experience). Go for it! That's at the fleet's home club, so I'd expect a fair few competitors. Get in contact with the fleet, in the past they've been able to arrange loaner boats for people who want to try. If your budget is tight, but you're willing to travel and do some boat work, I might have a lead on a boat up near Montreal for you.
  4. Reht

    What To Choose???

    Your local contender fleet is in Toronto. Look them up and give them a call, they are fairly active and really happy to support young sailors with advice and help getting to events. I raced in the fleet a few years back and had an absolute blast!
  5. Definitely if you have the space, consider something big enough to take 2 people. Once you start looking at double handed boats, there are a lot more option (many of which have been mentioned already). If space is a consideration, then that's going to define a lot of your options as MikeR80 pointed out. Mike, that sounds like a tough spot to be in. I take it you considered some of the slightly bigger boats (bic, pico, etc) and found them to just all be too big/cumbersome? I know it becomes more inconvenient, but if it's a tall 1-car garage, have you considered slinging a boat from the ceiling?
  6. When I was a sailing instructor as a teenager I got in an opti to help out a kid who was just starting and was nervous to be alone. I couldn't fit under the boom, and unless it was blowing I wasn't going anywhere near the gunwales. It was cramped in the cockpit or I was laid out hanging off both sides. I guess in the end the kid got to sail around, not that they could actually do anything from up in the bow except hold the main. I can't imagine doing that for more than a couple minutes at a time. Good on you for getting in the boat comfortably with 2 on board, but I'll stand by my earlier point that there are better vessels for parent-kid sailing that the kid can still sail alone (especially once they grow a bit).
  7. Chinese boats, but the distributor is based about an hour east of Montreal. Maybe they have something sitting in storage? But really, the opti is going to be wicked cramped for you + kid unless you're the size of an average 15 year old. There are other options which have been suggested around here that might be a better fit if that's the way you want to go. Given you're in Ottawa, definitely look at the local junior programs to see if they sell on any of their old boats or if there's a program where you can get access to a boat through membership.
  8. Reht

    Kingston Ontario regatta advice

    Having done Kingston many times as an athlete, coach, support, etc. I'm hoping I can lend some advice. Public transit exists, it's usable, but it's not super regular (sort of half-way between your European experiences and American systems). We relied on cars when we had to move a lot of people and equipment, otherwise we walked, took bicycles, skateboards, whatever. The parking lot at the venue fills reasonably quickly during events, so if you drive it's a good idea to go down early. Housing is a mix, the best bet for a youth event is the Queens University dorms, their western campus dorms are a couple minutes walk from the venue, the main campus is maybe a mile further down the road but has generally nicer buildings (I think St Lawrence College rents dorm rooms, but it's been over a decade since I stayed there). It's a university town, so during the summer there's more AirBnB and short term rental options if you're willing to rent a student house. Weather can be anything. I've seen drifters, I've seen thunder storms throwing boats around the yard, and everything in between. The prevailing winds in the summer are SW, and big wind days are fueled by a thermal effect (only really kicks if it's hot and sunny, but when it kicks in you'll not be wanting for wind). The understood weather pattern is a light SW building through the day as the thermal gets going, the thermal causes a massive left-hand bend the closer you are to the island (on the south side of the racing area). In those conditions you go left, keep going left, then tack straight to the windward mark with the rest of the fleet. The forecasts sometimes struggle to predict the thermal as it is a local phenomenon. But you can get a cool northerly or the odd easterly, and that throws everyone for a loop. Temps can be anything from ~20C to well in the 30s, it's fairly variable even day-to-day, so pack something warm (a thin wetsuit is plenty), something cool (shorts and a rash guard), and lots of water and sun cream. Food (and other things): there's plenty of restaurants in the town center, there's also a few reasonably big grocery stores near the university area, so if you have cooking facilities there's no shortage of food. Shops are generally centered around the downtown area, but there is some basics available near the venue like a pharmacy virtually on-site, boat repair shop not too far away (I think, again it's been a while since I used them), and the Portsmouth Tavern across the road that Mustang alluded to. The local sail loft (Kingston Sail Loft) has been exceptionally helpful in my experience getting sails back together during events should disaster strike. Note that the venue is almost certainly NOT Kingston Yacht Club, it will be at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour (the venue for the 1976 olympic sailing) which is down the street. At least that's where they generally host major events, there's a lot more space and facilities there than at the yacht club. Kingston is one of my favourite places to race, especially dinghies. You won't regret going.
  9. Just go earlier in this thread, Dave talked about foiling gybes a number of times. I think there was a time he reported to have foiling tacked (though I don't think there was any video of it, there is of the gybes).
  10. You leave it there while sailing. Soak the progrip when you launch and it's slippery enough that you can push down the rudder and it'll just slide down.
  11. I had the chance to try a UFO on Sunday, Merde2 took the time to show me around the boat and let me go for a ride. I only had about 45 minutes of time to play in the prevailing 11-12 knot conditions, so my experience was reasonably limited. I'm 100kg, 197cm (6'5"ish), putting me at the heavier end of the spectrum. Most of my previous dinghy experience is in high performance boats, 29er, 49er, IC, etc. Here's what I found from my quick experience: Leaving the harbour was a deep reach, I left the main foil all the way up and put the rudder about half way down. This provided plenty of steerage once the boat was going, and was quite easy to get around. Sailing with just the rudder down you have to be reasonably careful not to load up the rig too much (especially on reaches and runs) as the nose will go straight under quite quickly once there's pressure in the top of the rig pushing forwards. Deploying the foils once out in the open was really easy, getting the retaining pin into the main foil was probably the hardest part and that only took about 15 seconds. In big waves this might be a little more difficult if the waves are washing over the deck. Once I was sailing (took longer to back the boat out of irons than to deploy the foils) it took under a minute to get into what Dave has described as the "foil assist" mode, the hull was just barely in the water and occasionally clearing completely in the flat spots. We had the ride height and AoA of the foils all set pretty low to make it easy for my first time in a foiling boat. Less than a minute from the foil assist state I was up in the air totally clear of the waves. It's a neat experience, the acceleration is not too crazy (nothing like a 49er going around the top mark and setting the kite), the stability on the foils felt solid (not like a narrow IC skittering along), and the silence slicing through the water was fantastic. OF course, I only stayed up there for a minute or two reaching out into the lake before I unceremoniously put it down so I could take a quick swim. Capsize recovery was easier than almost any boat I've ever sailed on. The little handles on the undersides make it really easy to flip upright, and with my weight it took virtually no effort once I got to the underside of the boat. Only frustration was that there's no easy way to dry capsize the boat like a traditional dinghy (where you can climb into the boat as it recovers), it's too wide to climb over the hull and comes up too quickly/easily to give you time anyway. That might prove to be a problem when it gets really cold out, but then I'd refer people to the clothing discussion above. Getting back on the boat was quite easy as the floating platform felt more like climbing onto a low-lying dock than a sailboat. Overall, I was impressed, if I had an empty spot in the garage I'd have a boat on order ASAP. For now I'll be trying to steal as many rides as possible. It is so much easier to foil the boat than I expected, but you have to be dead flat if not healed slightly to windward for the foils to work. And body placement seems to play a huge role in getting the balance right for takeoff and then once in the air. The boat accelerates so smoothly you almost forget to sheet in to account for the apparent wind (if you forget, you may quickly find yourself back at sea level). I didn't manage to do much more than reach back and forth (I got upwind a bit up on the foils, but not enough to go around a course), but it was a fantastic ride. My only gripe with the boat in the short ride I had was that the hiking straps are tiny. I could hardly get a single foot under each strap, and once locked in I'm not sure I'd be able to get out in a crash. But I have big feet, Dave and Merde2 don't, so I'll let that pass as a personal adjustment. Well done Dave, you've produced a fantastic little sailboat. I can't wait to see them out in fleets!
  12. See the bottom of the page:
  13. MidPack, sorry, I meant "difficult" as in it would be difficult for somebody to sustain it. The motion itself is not terribly hard to figure out, certainly not as a reactionary action, seeing and anticipating wind variations takes a little bit of skill. But mostly the "difficult" I'm trying to refer to (and I realize re-reading my post that I could have pointed this out) is that it's actually possible to make the sheeting motion very efficient while still being quick, but figuring out the motion and how to pull for that efficiency is difficult (lots of trial and error). If you learn to do the sheeting on a double handed boat, which often has a higher sheet load than the UFO will, then quick efficient motions will be easier when you get on the UFO. (I don't know if that helps at all or if it just makes things more confusing)
  14. The sheeting is an acquired skill, but by no means is it difficult. If you're worried about trying to learn it on your own in a laser or other single-hander, try it in a double-handed boat. Have the skipper steer a straight course from the tell-tales and you can sheet, ideally keeping the boat flet so nobody has to move their weight for an entire beat. Same idea on a laser, UFO, IC, etc, you just also have to think about steering.
  15. Dave posed about the rudder foil earlier, and I think there's something on the website about it (so for a direct quote you might have to go searching back a bit). From memory, the rudder's horizontal foil is fixed relative to the vertical, but the angle of the rudder can be adjusted as a set-and-forget adjustment, something you adjust on land (maybe it's adjustable on the water? Dave?). But it's not a twist-grip adjustment if that's what you're asking about.