Doug Lord

Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

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Thank you, Dave Clark, for allowing Big D and me the opportunity to see, and in my case, try the boat.

 

To provide context for the following comments, I am 59, 6' 3", 190#, not in very good shape presently, have age appropriate arthritis and bulging discs in the lower back (who doesn't at this age?), was a spare to fair Laser sailor in the past, and have had no exposure to any type of high performance sailing. I think I am as close to "Everyman" as it gets.

 

Did the boat allow me to experience foiling? Yes. Did I suck? Yes. Will I be a freaking hell of a lot better my next go around? Absolutely.

 

The boat is small, but the deck where you operate is surprisingly large. If you get too far back, the stern will sink, so there's a limitation to where you can sit yourself, but it's amazingly generous.

 

The boat is also light, coming in at 110# all up. The bare hull, per Dave, is in the 70# range sans fittings.

 

The power connection of the boat, the pod that houses the mast tube and the front foil, is very strong and virtually bomb-proof. The pod was a day 1 concept, it seems, as I saw the various iterations of the boat behind the shed. The first boat, two hulls joined by cut up Laser lowers, featured a large wasp nest of of a pod. Of course, it has evolved in the time Dave and his dad have been working on the proof of concept to this point, but it is an interesting, innovative feature.

 

The most demanding part of getting the boat rigged seemed to be raising the sail given the amount of luff curve in the main. Once the main was up, the ingenious mast support tensioner engaged, and the cunningham cranked, the noodle of a mast became gorgeous in its match to the sail. No hard points noted despite it being a 3 piece spar. My recollection is the rig utilizes only two blocks, both for the main -- the guide block on the wishbone and the main ratchet. All other line turning is performed by black ferrules, reducing the amount of stuff to break or clog with sand.

 

Dave rolled the boat into the water on its dolly rigged up, foils up (very creative and simple solutions used to keep the front foil up and the rudder up), and it had excellent manners when in the water. He sailed the boat out to the test area at low tide, so the main foil was up completely and the rudder down slightly. The boat sailed very well in this configuration.

 

Once in the sailing area, Dave sailed up to the dinghy Big D and I were in, and we easily swapped places. The boat is very, very stable when swapping out crew.

 

Dave set the boat in training mode for me -- I would be able to foil, but the training wheels were on. In the 10 mph breeze we had initially, the boat popped right up. After that first run, the wind came up making it more difficult for me as I was simply not quick enough on the sheet. I tried to hike the boat and steer it a la a Laser, and that doesn't work for a beginner!

 

For me to get going, I had to have the boat well off the wind as it would weather vane if I tried to get going, say, on a close reach. Getting the boat oriented was as easy as pushing out the boom.

 

Stability. This boat has it in spades. Despite my burying the leeward hull, the weather hull, and both hulls(!), the boat didn't capsize. I got washed off the back once and had to take my feet out of the straps; instead of the boat capsizing, it waited for me like Kevin Costner's horse in Dances with Wolves. I just swam back to the boat, grabbed the strap, pulled myself onto the deck with no hint of the boat turning over on top of me, and kept going.

 

Living in Dallas where it's in the 70s today, and going to RI where the water is in the 50s, I made sure I was not going to get cold, and I am certain the copious amounts of neoprene and drysuit material I wore constrained me in some respects, but none more than my choice of footwear. I was wearing old Aigle boots, and it was a bitch getting my feet under the straps, which were set for Dave. My size 11s had a very difficult time dealing with the straps; however, Dave said the production boats will be equipped with straps that will be held above the deck.

 

I was never able to figure out how to get back in the boat from being fulled hiked. Dave showed me afterwards his trick to swing his body forward. So it can be done, but Laser guys will have to learn a new skill there as your legs are flat on the deck with no "pop" room to get you back in the boat.

 

The sail is cut to provide an end plate effect, so one trundles through a cutout in the back of the sail. When I went for my first jibe, I thought I would get caught on the sail somehow, but I never did.

 

I never acquired enough speed to get the boat to tack smoothly -- they were two pointers -- but I watched Dave in awe as he snapped that boat through the wind and nearly pulled off a foiling tack.

 

I was on the boat about 20 to 30 minutes, and while I never had any runs of consequence, I had a freaking blast. To hear the deafening silence is a thrill. My final dismount was one I certainly won't forget....

 

On shore, Dave purposely doesn't coddle the boat. He doesn't wash anything off or cover anything, wanting to see how the boat will wear. He has identified a few areas that need addressing, and will do so in the production boats. And the blades are not designed to be the most hydrodynamic things you have ever seen. But they are safe (no sharp edges) and tough.

 

In my business life I always try to make sure I know the worst case scenario, and I abhor hyperbole; that said, this boat has the potential to be transformative for dinghy sailing. Who doesn't want to foil like we see in the AC?

 

Price. Dave is going to hit his price point. No, there won't be a lot of beautiful detailed injection pieces on the boat, but its functionality is its beauty as is bringing foiling to a lot of people who would not consider it given price and physical constraints.

 

Regarding getting bored due to the simplicity of the boat, I don't buy that. The AOA adjusters for the main foil and the rudder provide infinite possibilities.

 

While an old fart like me is not the intended target market, even oldsters like me will be able to sail this boat, have a thrill, and get the boat back to the club. Having shown the youngsters with whom I sail Lasers pics, they're fired up.

 

One last comment. Dave and his dad have done something we don't see much these days in our market -- they have developed a product to a very high standard before putting the marketing machine in overdrive and taking people's orders, and money, long before a possible splash. A website is in the works, and the commencement of production is imminent.

 

If you're on the fence on this, get off the fence and order a boat.

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

Gladly! We've actually had the boat up at the MIT Sailing pavillion already this fall. Likely doing another demo day or two over one of the coming weekends.

 

And hey, here's more footage, including tacks, a downspeed gybe, upwind flight, an example of low ride height beginner mode and some old skool 1987 hip-hop

 

DRC

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

 

If there's beer at Savin Hill, I'm sure we can

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Thanks for the report True North. I don't know where I'll put it (I've got various old boats coming out of my ears at the moment), but I think I am going to have to buy one of these.

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out of curiosity, how long is a realistic life expectancy and replacement cost of a set of foils? I mean with all that load they have to die at some point?

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

Gladly! We've actually had the boat up at the MIT Sailing pavillion already this fall. Likely doing another demo day or two over one of the coming weekends.

 

And hey, here's more footage, including tacks, a downspeed gybe, upwind flight, an example of low ride height beginner mode and some old skool 1987 hip-hop

 

 

DRC

 

Nice video, but more importantly, it shows (proves?) how forgiving the boat is.

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out of curiosity, how long is a realistic life expectancy and replacement cost of a set of foils? I mean with all that load they have to die at some point?

Indefinitely, Carbon and epoxy do not corrode or fatigue like metals. I have moth foils over 4 years old. They do not wear out, they get damaged and out of date but they do not wear out. Moths do break stuff in violent crashes, but in the interest of weight saving and drag reduction moth stuff is closer to the size/stress limits than the UFO, which has been designed and built with much wider safety margins. But if you run into rocks at 20kts no guarantees.

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Wavedancer II: I understand your comment. Thank you.

I have two S9s (watch the videos, please) and I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my UFO.

I have no idea which foiler is "easier" to sail, which will foil better in light wind, or which has a faster top end.

But it doesn't matter! We are seeing a quantum change in our sport!

When I watch sailing videos now, anything in displacement mode just looks obsolete.

My opinions below, yours may differ, and I respect that:

If you like dinghy sailing, the UFO is the boat for you - buy one!

If you are an amateur catamaran sailor - then buy an S9!

If you think you can handle a foiling A cat, buy one - but that is beyond most of our capabilities.

If you are a professional catamaran sailor, or close, buy a Phantom! Most of us are not even close on this one.

 

Isn't it wonderful that we have these choices, and more to come?

 

I do understand that the manufacturers are fighting for market share. I think I made well-informed choices with both the S9 and the UFO, and I heartily endorse both manufacturers - support for my S9s has been phenomenal and I expect no less from the Clarks. You may or may not agree, and that's fine. That's why we have chocolate and vanilla - and everything in between.

 

Perhaps the UFO and the S9 fit two different markets: the UFO will appeal to dinghy sailors and the S9 will appeal to catamaran sailors.

Looks similar to the monohull /multihull preference. eh?

 

I think we will soon have a Phantom/S9/UFO comparison from our little lake - and I think we will discover that there is an appropriate flavor for everyone.

 

Anyway, what an exciting time in our sport.

 

Charlie

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Wavedancer II: I understand your comment. Thank you.

I have two S9s (watch the videos, please) and I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my UFO.

I have no idea which foiler is "easier" to sail, which will foil better in light wind, or which has a faster top end.

But it doesn't matter! We are seeing a quantum change in our sport!

When I watch sailing videos now, anything in displacement mode just looks obsolete.

My opinions below, yours may differ, and I respect that:

If you like dinghy sailing, the UFO is the boat for you - buy one!

If you are an amateur catamaran sailor - then buy an S9!

If you think you can handle a foiling A cat, buy one - but that is beyond most of our capabilities.

If you are a professional catamaran sailor, or close, buy a Phantom! Most of us are not even close on this one.

 

Isn't it wonderful that we have these choices, and more to come?

 

I do understand that the manufacturers are fighting for market share. I think I made well-informed choices with both the S9 and the UFO, and I heartily endorse both manufacturers - support for my S9s has been phenomenal and I expect no less from the Clarks. You may or may not agree, and that's fine. That's why we have chocolate and vanilla - and everything in between.

 

Perhaps the UFO and the S9 fit two different markets: the UFO will appeal to dinghy sailors and the S9 will appeal to catamaran sailors.

Looks similar to the monohull /multihull preference. eh?

 

I think we will soon have a Phantom/S9/UFO comparison from our little lake - and I think we will discover that there is an appropriate flavor for everyone.

 

Anyway, what an exciting time in our sport.

 

Charlie

Give me the complex depth of flavour of an curry any day - obsolete displacement mode boats - rather than a quick shot of sugar.

 

Foils are a direction not a solution or even a choice for many sailors. This is a well engineered boat that will appeal to many, it will be good for a blast but will not have a great impact on sailing participation overall.

Wavedancer II: I understand your comment. Thank you.

I have two S9s (watch the videos, please) and I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my UFO.

I have no idea which foiler is "easier" to sail, which will foil better in light wind, or which has a faster top end.

But it doesn't matter! We are seeing a quantum change in our sport!

When I watch sailing videos now, anything in displacement mode just looks obsolete.

My opinions below, yours may differ, and I respect that:

If you like dinghy sailing, the UFO is the boat for you - buy one!

If you are an amateur catamaran sailor - then buy an S9!

If you think you can handle a foiling A cat, buy one - but that is beyond most of our capabilities.

If you are a professional catamaran sailor, or close, buy a Phantom! Most of us are not even close on this one.

 

Isn't it wonderful that we have these choices, and more to come?

 

I do understand that the manufacturers are fighting for market share. I think I made well-informed choices with both the S9 and the UFO, and I heartily endorse both manufacturers - support for my S9s has been phenomenal and I expect no less from the Clarks. You may or may not agree, and that's fine. That's why we have chocolate and vanilla - and everything in between.

 

Perhaps the UFO and the S9 fit two different markets: the UFO will appeal to dinghy sailors and the S9 will appeal to catamaran sailors.

Looks similar to the monohull /multihull preference. eh?

 

I think we will soon have a Phantom/S9/UFO comparison from our little lake - and I think we will discover that there is an appropriate flavor for everyone.

 

Anyway, what an exciting time in our sport.

 

Charlie

Give me the complex depth of flavour of an curry any day - obsolete displacement mode boats - rather than a quick shot of sugar.

 

Foils are a direction not a solution or even a choice for many sailors. This is a well engineered boat that will appeal to many, it will be good for a blast but will not have a great impact on sailing participation overall.

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

Gladly! We've actually had the boat up at the MIT Sailing pavillion already this fall. Likely doing another demo day or two over one of the coming weekends.

 

And hey, here's more footage, including tacks, a downspeed gybe, upwind flight, an example of low ride height beginner mode and some old skool 1987 hip-hop

 

DRC

 

Can't wait to try it!

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

 

If there's beer at Savin Hill, I'm sure we can

 

 

There's endless Budweiser at SHYC! I'll supply you with a couple growlers from Dorchester Brewing company too...

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

 

If there's beer at Savin Hill, I'm sure we can

 

 

There's endless Budweiser at SHYC! I'll supply you with a couple growlers from Dorchester Brewing company too...

 

 

Can we drag race the Cone??

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For the new UFO Owners out there, who would be interested in a foiling camp this winter? This has no affiliation to Dave, just curious if there is interest before putting more effort into looking at venue, dates, and coach options. Feel free to PM me

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I sailed the UFO yesterday.


Thanks, Dave and Steve, for your hospitality, for your patience, for your foiling lesson, and for your vision.


Dave has made the UFO durable, easy to set up, and fun. There are plenty of other approaches to this type of boat, but from my perspective -- to get out on the water and fly quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, the UFO is fantastic.


I'm a leadmine sailor. Mid 40's, not quite 200 pounds except when I drink a lot of beer. Unless you count occasional frostbiting in a Dyer Dhow, I've not been in a dinghy for over 20 years.


I was up and foiling on the UFO reasonably quickly, thanks to Dave's coaching, and I loved every second of it. I've taken showers where I've gotten less wet. I had the car heater on high for an hour, hoping to feel my feet again. And I didn't care. Foiling was exhilarating. Awesome. Addicting. Twenty-four hours later and I am still on a high. The superlatives could keep rolling; I've not been this excited for the spring sailing season to get here in a long time. Maybe ever.


I put a deposit down for two boats. One for me, and the other one for my kids, my brother, my leadmine crew or clubmates, or whoever wants to give it a try. It's going to be even more fun ripping around with two of these things! Can't wait...


Cheers,


Treef

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For the new UFO Owners out there, who would be interested in a foiling camp this winter? This has no affiliation to Dave, just curious if there is interest before putting more effort into looking at venue, dates, and coach options. Feel free to PM me

 

What about doing the CT long distance river race early in the season? (late may iirc)

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For the new UFO Owners out there, who would be interested in a foiling camp this winter? This has no affiliation to Dave, just curious if there is interest before putting more effort into looking at venue, dates, and coach options. Feel free to PM me

 

What about doing the CT long distance river race early in the season? (late may iirc)

 

 

I'm in. Still thinking Florida in March. Warm water is more fun to swim in

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For the new UFO Owners out there, who would be interested in a foiling camp this winter? This has no affiliation to Dave, just curious if there is interest before putting more effort into looking at venue, dates, and coach options. Feel free to PM me

What about doing the CT long distance river race early in the season? (late may iirc)

I'm in. Still thinking Florida in March. Warm water is more fun to swim in

I'm almost certainly going to be down in FLA around then with a few UFOs. Mainly demoing and delivering but lots of time means multiple possible applications.

 

I'm also soo down for the CT river race. Almost took an early UFO to it last year, but it was still a secret..

 

DRC

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Love the stable platform! Luckily I got to try the UFO hull in beta form when I was younger!

 

post-127674-0-31756500-1479275192_thumb.jpg

 

I was hoping my own introduction to foiling would be a little more modern and exciting...

 

It seems the wasp is delivering on that promise..

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Love the stable platform! Luckily I got to try the UFO hull in beta form when I was younger!

 

attachicon.gifafd5a8463ae8e8be78e4833208a73a66.jpg

 

I was hoping my own introduction to foiling would be a little more modern and exciting...

 

It seems the wasp is delivering on that promise..

https://vimeo.com/189258542

It is not just visually the resemblance to the peddleo but also the fact that they are both purely recreational craft. This is all DRC wants if you listen to him. He just wants to foil and as teaching boat to learn to foil and blast about it will be fine and fit for purpose.

 

With all the sycophants talking about fleets they are naturally going to want to race they will soon be very disappointed.

 

How anyone can stand up and rightly say 'small > light > fly' and then say it has a 'sailor weight range of 110lbs to 220lbs' is curious. Yes a 220lb sailor may fly but at what speed, it can't the same as a 110lb guy. I know they call it a UFO but it is bound by the laws of physics here on planet earth. To lift more weight you need more speed, more foil area or a higher angle of attack, you either wait until you go fast enough or go for a high drag option.

 

Very quickly the sycophants will realise that it is the light guys that are streaking ahead.

 

DRC has said that 'upwind is technique driven' and 'it foils upwind but it's far more a technique job than you would expect' that coming from a comparatively light guy who is a good sailor and put a lot of hours in on the water. This isn't going to make for close racing for a mixed ability mixed weight fleet.

 

So if you want to play about and foil get a UFO.

 

If you want to race 'stick to your elderly tech not having fun' (DRC), but you will have fun because proper, equal boat class racing is much more rewarding that pure speed. Oh, you can also have speed with some new tech Aero, D-Zero etc. DRC /SC talk about speeds in the mid teens as a target. Average speed around a triangular course will not be close to mid teens, probably less than an Aero and certainly less than many skiffs.

 

Tink

 

not a hater, just someone interested in good design and knows speed is not the main reason people sail and lack of speed is not they reason people stop sailing.

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Well, this is just the best thing to wake up to....

Tink, obviously I rubbed you the wrong way in my presentation and I'm sorry that what I believe offends you. You've got a right to get mad. However, I have one suggestion: wait and see. Maybe you're right in all of your speculations. Maybe I know the boat a little better than you and am aware of things that you aren't. There are weight tradeoffs that give light guys an advantage in light stuff and heavy guys an advantage in breeze. Sort of like in every other foiling class. The UFO will race, and race enjoyably. I know that and it was an important objective to us. By no means am I talking down to you or dismissing your concerns. I'm merely pointing out that there's a vast gulf in usefulness between primary and secondary data.

Regarding the 'fun' thing. I urge you to try foiling. It's great. Look no further than Mr.Macdougall's testimony in the above video posted by somebody's sock puppet where he says that foiling saved him from quitting sailing. What's your answer for him or people like me? And it's not a cheap thrill. If anything it's another layer of nuance on top of all the other nuances of dinghy sailing.


DRC

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So lucky, Tink, that you deign to impart your wisdom on us sycophants.

 

Do you think we're all so stupid that we don't know there will be a sweet spot for the best weight when racing these things? It's a dinghy for goodness' sake! But boat handling will be pretty important, too.

 

I get it. You don't like Dave's premise regarding the correlation between speed and interest in the sport, and you really, really take umbrage to his not changing the design to fit your idea of a "proper" hull/deck join.

 

Whatever. Glad you have your opinion, and this forum is made to express opinions, but give the rest of us a bit of credit.... Hard to see how people being enthused by the boat makes us sycophants....

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Well, this is just the best thing to wake up to....

Tink, obviously I rubbed you the wrong way in my presentation and I'm sorry that what I believe offends you. You've got a right to get mad. However, I have one suggestion: wait and see. Maybe you're right in all of your speculations. Maybe I know the boat a little better than you and am aware of things that you aren't. There are weight tradeoffs that give light guys an advantage in light stuff and heavy guys an advantage in breeze. Sort of like in every other foiling class. The UFO will race, and race enjoyably. I know that and it was an important objective to us. By no means am I talking down to you or dismissing your concerns. I'm merely pointing out that there's a vast gulf in usefulness between primary and secondary data.

Regarding the 'fun' thing. I urge you to try foiling. It's great. Look no further than Mr.Macdougall's testimony in the above video posted by somebody's sock puppet where he says that foiling saved him from quitting sailing. What's your answer for him or people like me? And it's not a cheap thrill. If anything it's another layer of nuance on top of all the other nuances of dinghy sailing.

DRC

 

Great reply, I agree with everything that you have said above. I am skeptical just purely based on my understanding of the laws of physics. I do genuinely hope I am wrong and that you have some how created something that will bend the laws of physics. The sail, mast, wishbone is genius and will be copied.

 

I wish you the very best of success, your dad was a big hero of mine back in the day, I still have article from 1983 about him and the IC.

 

I do get upset by people thinking that speed is the future of sailing and look down on people that like to go slow. I sailed a technique boat for years and just found my lack of time on the water and cash constraints resulted in me falling down the fleet year on year. I now sail and old design and have lots of close racing, I wish I had gone slow years ago. The UFO will require a lot of time on the water to be competitive, I think that is a big negative, families and jobs start eroding free time in the middle years. It is much less of an issue with older designs, they are more forgiving.

 

We are all different, we took a windsurfer friend out in a early 1900s gaffer, they all went four knots and we had an awesome sail, lots of close tactical stuff. Windsurfer bloke said it was boring. I bought I windsurfer reached across the lake came back, never went out on it again.

 

I don't have a solution but I think people have many more demands on this time than they had twenty years ago. Sailing is a very time hungry sport. I am very lucky my club has a good youth section and I have eased off with my own sailing to get my daughter hooked which she is. So perhaps that is part of the formula, a good youth section, if the kids are sailing dad gets to sail. I was also reading a thread about handicaps and how it is failing in the US, can't find it now but that has to be a solution.

 

Anyway I hope I am wrong.

 

All the best

 

Tink

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not a hater, just someone interested in good design and knows speed is not the main reason people sail and lack of speed is not they reason people stop sailing.

I don't think you can generalise. The large Solo fleet at my club are presumably not motivated by pure speed. The smaller contingent of Aero sailors are evidently not motivated to sail in the largest OD class at the club. Different strokes.

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Hi. Another sycophant here.

 

It seems the Waszp folks maybe feel threatened by a better product called the UFO and have sent in their socks to stink up the place.

 

Sorry socks... still liking the UFO as a better option.

 

I don't see (m)any never-evers talking up their great first experience with the Waszp like Treef (and many others) talk up their first experience in the UFO.

 

Wess

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Tink: I would like to purchase a UFO, not because I view all other sailing as antiquated in comparison, but because it looks like a cool toy that would offer a new sailing experience. I have a blast on my Aero, and there's no way the UFO can replace it. Going out in 35 mph, sailing and surfing in 3-4 foot seas: the UFO would be a disaster in those conditions. So, my Aero has an enduring place in my fun quiver.

 

Similarly, I'm excited about my new RS700. Learning to balance a skiff like that will provide an enormous challenge and offer rewards that the UFO could never hope to match.

 

All that being said, the UFO looks freaking cool as sh*t!! Simply put - I want to hover in ethereal silence above the surface of the sea. Don't care about racing. Don't care if it's harder for me at 230 lbs to get it to fly, or if, because of my weight, I can't foil at as high an angle of attack. I want that experience. And the UFO, unlike any other foiling product on the market, says to me: "hey, you can have that experience for a reasonable price and without having to train every weekend for 6 months before having your first foiling experience."

 

That's pretty freaking cool.

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Tink

Make up your mind

Are you a troll or not?

Not a troll, an elf or a gnome,

 

Just I guy interested in design of sailing boats and the more radical end of the market. I do think it is a great bit of engineering, I don't think it is going to have a big impact on sailing short term, the innovators rarely reap the rewards of there hard work, think Creative / Apple. As I said I hope I am wrong

 

Tink

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Tink

Make up your mind

Are you a troll or not?

 

Not a troll, an elf or a gnome,

Just I guy interested in design of sailing boats and the more radical end of the market. I do think it is a great bit of engineering, I don't think it is going to have a big impact on sailing short term, the innovators rarely reap the rewards of there hard work, think Creative / Apple. As I said I hope I am wrong

Tink

The irony is Tink posted in an earlier post about different strokes. ( windsurfer peeps on a gaffer ghosting)

Without understanding how folks tick then clunky pontificating will always appear comfuse. :)

#peep1 Real Ale is best ! #peep 2 larger is king ! #peep 3 cider is better ! #peep 4 rum or you`re dum!

Strawberry flavoured water but just about to have an espresso. I am dyslexic so words are not my strong point, makes me a bloody good designer mind.

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Tink

Make up your mind

Are you a troll or not?

 

Not a troll, an elf or a gnome,

Just I guy interested in design of sailing boats and the more radical end of the market. I do think it is a great bit of engineering, I don't think it is going to have a big impact on sailing short term, the innovators rarely reap the rewards of there hard work, think Creative / Apple. As I said I hope I am wrong

Tink

The irony is Tink posted in an earlier post about different strokes. ( windsurfer peeps on a gaffer ghosting)

Without understanding how folks tick then clunky pontificating will always appear comfuse. :)

#peep1 Real Ale is best ! #peep 2 larger is king ! #peep 3 cider is better ! #peep 4 rum or you`re dum!

Strawberry flavoured water but just about to have an espresso. I am dyslexic so words are not my strong point, makes me a bloody good designer mind.

Except that you seem to be designing a cocktail umbrella for clients wanting a device to eat food without getting dirty hands. :)

I have been project manager / engineer of lawnmowers, my products have been number one best seller for years only replaced when I brought out a new design. For years my products took a quarter of the European market. My products have sold in their millions. I know about engineering design. I have designed and built a number of innovative sailing craft and they have been less successful but they did work. I thought this was a forum not an 'academic peer review'

 

Tink

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Well you started the peer review by talking up your superior design skills.
So let's see your boats. Make a thread. We don't care about lawnmowers here. Not to take away from your professional accomplishments but yacht design is not lawnmower design. Just because you are a good engineer doesn't equate to being a good designer...

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Everybody please chill out. Serious audience question, though: have I made my point that the boat foils upwind? I can go out with a drone, a wind sock and a protractor and probably get more sophisticated footage.

To further explain what I mean about there being a positive tradeoff to being heavy in a breeze. I would be going faster upwind in this footage if I had 10kg more bodyweight. As it is, I'm de-powering (which our rig tension system allows a LOT of) and sheeting out. A big guy would just collect thrust, go faster and get an equivalent amount of foil lift. The sailplan is deliberately big to grant that benefit to heavier skippers and also drive the takeoff wind requirement on the whole fleet as low as possible. Further, the foils are deliberately large to keep them efficient even when seriously loaded up by a big skipper. You can also adjust AoA at very high resolution on both foils. So while I (160lbs) can take off in 1 knot or so less wind than my big brother (225lbs) and horizon job him in light air, I expect that, just as is the case in our IC racing, he can make size pay a lot in big breeze. Moth sailors and A-class sailors already know this. In fact my dad is really excited because foiling has finally levelled out the playing field in the A-class for 230 pounders like himself. Foiling hasn't broken sailing. If anything it may have helped.

DRC

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I sailed the UFO yesterday.
Thanks, Dave and Steve, for your hospitality, for your patience, for your foiling lesson, and for your vision.
Dave has made the UFO durable, easy to set up, and fun. There are plenty of other approaches to this type of boat, but from my perspective -- to get out on the water and fly quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, the UFO is fantastic.
I'm a leadmine sailor. Mid 40's, not quite 200 pounds except when I drink a lot of beer. Unless you count occasional frostbiting in a Dyer Dhow, I've not been in a dinghy for over 20 years.
I was up and foiling on the UFO reasonably quickly, thanks to Dave's coaching, and I loved every second of it. I've taken showers where I've gotten less wet. I had the car heater on high for an hour, hoping to feel my feet again. And I didn't care. Foiling was exhilarating. Awesome. Addicting. Twenty-four hours later and I am still on a high. The superlatives could keep rolling; I've not been this excited for the spring sailing season to get here in a long time. Maybe ever.
I put a deposit down for two boats. One for me, and the other one for my kids, my brother, my leadmine crew or clubmates, or whoever wants to give it a try. It's going to be even more fun ripping around with two of these things! Can't wait...
Cheers,
Treef

 

Yo Treef, thanks for the write-up.

 

Sounds like you had a blast.

 

Where (region) are your boats going to be?

 

And yes Dave, at least for me the video makes the point clearly that the boats foils upwind.

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Everybody please chill out. Serious audience question, though: have I made my point that the boat foils upwind? I can go out with a drone, a wind sock and a protractor and probably get more sophisticated footage.

To further explain what I mean about there being a positive tradeoff to being heavy in a breeze. I would be going faster upwind in this footage if I had 10kg more bodyweight. As it is, I'm de-powering (which our rig tension system allows a LOT of) and sheeting out. A big guy would just collect thrust, go faster and get an equivalent amount of foil lift. The sailplan is deliberately big to grant that benefit to heavier skippers and also drive the takeoff wind requirement on the whole fleet as low as possible. Further, the foils are deliberately large to keep them efficient even when seriously loaded up by a big skipper. You can also adjust AoA at very high resolution on both foils. So while I (160lbs) can take off in 1 knot or so less wind than my big brother (225lbs) and horizon job him in light air, I expect that, just as is the case in our IC racing, he can make size pay a lot in big breeze. Moth sailors and A-class sailors already know this. In fact my dad is really excited because foiling has finally levelled out the playing field in the A-class for 230 pounders like himself. Foiling hasn't broken sailing. If anything it may have helped.

DRC

Thank you, proper use of a forum, I raise concerns, you explain and we all move forward. Again I will be happy if you prove me wrong and that you have twisted the laws of physics. As I said this morning the rig is genius. As always the best of luck

 

Tink

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But the laws of physics aren't any different than a planing dinghy. The drag angles are less, that's all. When light guy is overpowered, heavy guy goes faster. When heavy guy is not powered up fully, then light guy is winning. Upwind powered up comes at lower windspeed than downwind. Crossover at some windspeed where gains upwind for big guy are lost to light guy in downwind.

Dave isn't bending the laws of physics. Tink, you are simply obfuscating said laws.

There's nothing new here. If you sail high performance anything (FD, canoe, etc etc etc) rather than lead mine (Star) you already know this....it isn't fundamentally any different. And we've all been happily playing with planing dinghies for years.

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Wess:

 

I'm in Southport, CT (Long Island Sound).

 

I feel like I should go to confession. "Father, it's been three days since I last foiled..."

 

I sailed as a kid in lasers; in college in 420s, FJs, Tech Dinghies (blech) and so forth; post college crewing on big boats from J24s (on the boat with the best name ever: "Small Flying Patio Furniture") to IOR 50s. I've owned a Quest 30 and currently own a Santa Cruz 37.

 

And I can say without hesitation, my one hour on the UFO was a game changer. "Had a blast"? Understatement!

 

I recognize that there are plenty of alternate approaches to boats in this foiling space. Tons of great ideas and different execution methods which will appeal to different sailing goals. That's one of the cool things about this sport; so many nuances and so much flavor. For me, as I posted earlier, to foil quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, the UFO is a great platform.

 

I'm not giving up on the big boat sailing, around the cans or overnight. But I am psyched to have such a different, exciting outlet, with such a low barrier to entry, to get me (and my kids and friends) on the water, or, rather, above the water.

 

I appreciate the comments that point out shortcomings in the boat, real or perceived, but am still totally enthusiastic and very much obsessed!

 

Cheers,

 

Treef

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But the laws of physics aren't any different than a planing dinghy. The drag angles are less, that's all. When light guy is overpowered, heavy guy goes faster. When heavy guy is not powered up fully, then light guy is winning. Upwind powered up comes at lower windspeed than downwind. Crossover at some windspeed where gains upwind for big guy are lost to light guy in downwind.

Dave isn't bending the laws of physics. Tink, you are simply obfuscating said laws.

There's nothing new here. If you sail high performance anything (FD, canoe, etc etc etc) rather than lead mine (Star) you already know this....it isn't fundamentally any different. And we've all been happily playing with planing dinghies for years.

Well aware he isn't bending the laws of physics, it was meant as a compliment, you have done something magical

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I've got one of the first 9. it will bounce between Newport and Central LIS. My beach is right next to Yale Sailing, so if you're in the area and want to fly, let me know. Dave, if you want to do a demo day at a Yale Intersectional, let's make it happen

Dave -

 

If you can, ignore the hanger-ons and the haters, and if possible share how many boats will come out of the first run, when they will be available, and what regions of the country they are going to? Help us understand where fleets may form first...

 

Wess

 

Can you bring to Boston for a weekend? :)

 

Gladly! We've actually had the boat up at the MIT Sailing pavillion already this fall. Likely doing another demo day or two over one of the coming weekends.

 

And hey, here's more footage, including tacks, a downspeed gybe, upwind flight, an example of low ride height beginner mode and some old skool 1987 hip-hop

 

DRC

 

 

UFO is the most stable foiling I have seen

My Weta covers both my solo-blasting-dinghy sailing and my cruising-with-family needs. If I ever go to a bigger boat for the family needs, I´ll get a UFO for blasting around

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Stick to lawnmowers. Your boat designs are ugly. But - good luck and all the best!

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Tink,

 

I think your designs have some effort put into them, that much is clear. But, as you are aware, we're discussing vastly different products between the proas you've designed and the UFO which is the topic of this thread. While you might not intend it, many of your comments come off as attacking the design (this may relate back to your first post and the criticisms levelled there), don't be surprised when the UFO supporters come back and critique your proa designs.

 

Dave, all the attention looks fantastic. How are you going to choose what to sail? The amazing UFO or an IC?

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Stick to lawnmowers. Your boat designs are ugly. But - good luck and all the best!

Have posted a reply on Proa thread to keep the one about the UFO

 

Tink

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Dave,

 

This picture showed up in my facebook feed along with some others of you sailing w kids. What a great shot!

 

15110373 1778943275688048 2606979075158436834 O (2)

 

Should let folks vote.. is the kid saying:

 

a.) OMG, where is my cell phone?!

b.) OMG, the deck to hull joint...

c.) OMG, the rig design the sail control is genius...

d.) OMG, foiling is wayyy cool. Must text Mom to get me one... see "A" above

 

I vote D then A.

 

LOL, never mind you beat me to it... like my pic better though. The look on the kid's face is priceless!

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Better post to wake up to today Dave, the UFO has been nominated for the Yachts and Yachting dinghy of the year, congratulations.

 

Its a very strange list! I should have thought 70% of UK sailors have seen none of them, and almost no-one more than two.

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Photos just got back from the legendary photographer, Billy Black. Hop over to the fulcrum speedworks facebook page to take a look.

https://www.facebook.com/fulcrumspeedworks/

DRC

Well I have zoomed in and studied those photos in a lot of detail.... Well you don't have and leach tell tails. But seriously you can really see the thought that has gone into design and they have answered questions I dare not ask. Bill4 took the mic out of me earlier for 'good luck and all the best'. Luck comes from hard work and preparation you are going to have good luck in buckets. This is an exceptional and ground breaking design, it has taken me while to see that and I am truly sorry for and upset I have caused you.

 

Tink

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Photos just got back from the legendary photographer, Billy Black. Hop over to the fulcrum speedworks facebook page to take a look.

https://www.facebook.com/fulcrumspeedworks/

DRC

Well I have zoomed in and studied those photos in a lot of detail.... Well you don't have and leach tell tails. But seriously you can really see the thought that has gone into design and they have answered questions I dare not ask. Bill4 took the mic out of me earlier for 'good luck and all the best'. Luck comes from hard work and preparation you are going to have good luck in buckets. This is an exceptional and ground breaking design, it has taken me while to see that and I am truly sorry for and upset I have caused you.

 

Tink

 

 

Sheesh...what has SA become? This is a sincere apology. Good on ya Tink.

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Photos just got back from the legendary photographer, Billy Black. Hop over to the fulcrum speedworks facebook page to take a look.

https://www.facebook.com/fulcrumspeedworks/

DRC

Well I have zoomed in and studied those photos in a lot of detail.... Well you don't have and leach tell tails.

 

 

 

 

 

leech woolies mostly useless on a unarig except sailing by-the-lee which is for those of us stuck in displacement mode

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Photos just got back from the legendary photographer, Billy Black. Hop over to the fulcrum speedworks facebook page to take a look.https://www.facebook.com/fulcrumspeedworks/

DRC

 

Well I have zoomed in and studied those photos in a lot of detail.... Well you don't have and leach tell tails.

 

leech woolies mostly useless on a unarig except sailing by-the-lee which is for those of us stuck in displacement mode

I beg to differ, I like to see what flow is coming out the leech but we are going off topic. I was being ironic and making the point that I really have nothing to criticise.

 

Tink

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Photos just got back from the legendary photographer, Billy Black. Hop over to the fulcrum speedworks facebook page to take a look.https://www.facebook.com/fulcrumspeedworks/

DRC

 

Well I have zoomed in and studied those photos in a lot of detail.... Well you don't have and leach tell tails.

 

leech woolies mostly useless on a unarig except sailing by-the-lee which is for those of us stuck in displacement mode

I beg to differ, I like to see what flow is coming out the leech but we are going off topic. I was being ironic and making the point that I really have nothing to criticise.

Ö

Tink

I don't strongly disagree, just wanted to take my turn being combative ;-)

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Since buying a moth I've done untold amounts of things to myself and seen many other world class sailors do the same. The shortlist, off the top of my head:

- Black eye

- Whiplash

- Concussion

- deep cuts from foils

- strained/sprained joints all over the place

- Whiplash (see if you can get that in a firefly)

- Broken ribs

- Broken fingers

- Whiplash

 

A lot of this is ameliorated by reducing the number of shrouds in your crash path, booms to hit, crossbars to hit, tramps to get caught in (and that catch in the water to leeward and catapult you) , sharp trailing edges to get cut on (we leave them deliberately dull) and decreasing the outright speed capacity to a civil scream. The worst damage I've suffered at the hands of the UFO this year has been a cut to the top of my bare foot on a since removed bolt head located at the front end of a hiking strap. I went bow in and as I took the 'waterslide ride' down the bow into the water, my foot slid out past the bolt head and got a nice 2 inch slice. Besides that I can't recall any nasty bruises or messed up joints. Foiling is dangerous and you should go into it knowing that. For the love of god, don't try it for the first time near any obstacles. But that said, I can pretty confidently say that we've made a boat which takes a lot of the conventional booby traps out of the foiling learning process. We come in peace.

 

DRC

 

To give some rational balance to the anti moth argument, I have been moth sailing without a season off for 17 years, and have been foiling (or at initially attempting to) for over 10 years. I have attended all AUS championships in those years except two, plus club raced every summer weekend, and raced at the last 6 worlds, and yet I have yet to suffer any injuries requiring any first aid or which needing me to abandon further racing. Just some cuts and lots of bruises. The crashes may look violent but there really are very few real injuries.

 

how much does 10 years of moth spare parts add up to?

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About 16 years ago I was at a small boat repairer's factory, he had had many years of sailing experience in all types of boats, and he stated to me that foiling would be the death of the Moth class in Australia. How wrong was he!

 

Give the UFO some time on the market and we will see how good it really is...

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Agree, Rainbow, let's give it some time. Having seen a prototype up close, it's really well thought out. The final production version will differ some in all likelihood, but there's no denying it's really a neat boat.

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Had race duty this past weekend, and one of my Laser friends asked me the price of the UFO. When I told him, he was shocked, saying that was in line with a new Laser. We have 50 Lasers at our little club, about half of which get used on a fairly consistent basis. My friend told me that he is putting his new Laser plans on hold until he sees a UFO in person.

 

The point of the story is that Dave's target price is certainly getting people interested in the boat. Early days yet, but good chatter.

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Price point has killed a thousand great boat designs. Thanks to Steve and now Dave's lifetime of first-hand experiences of the dinghy scene, the Clarks thankfully know this fact, and that's why I am so high on this project compared to the Waszp or iFly or any of the other attempts to democratize flying. It's rare to find builders who can and will keep it real

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I think Dave or Steve should post a video showing us how to right this stable raft from a capsize when it is upside down to prove it can be done, I would like to see that

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I'm sure they will. Do remember it weighs less than 100 lbs and is less than 11 feet long including overhangs---it isn't like you are muscling a hobie 14 or something...and the hull shapes have considerable waterplane area so that once you filp it upright, there is plenty of stability to allow you to slide onboard without flipping it over. The freeboard is properly minimized to make it low enough to get on. Small is beautiful.

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I'm sure they will. Do remember it weighs less than 100 lbs and is less than 11 feet long including overhangs---it isn't like you are muscling a hobie 14 or something...and the hull shapes have considerable waterplane area so that once you filp it upright, there is plenty of stability to allow you to slide onboard without flipping it over. The freeboard is properly minimized to make it low enough to get on. Small is beautiful.

Actually when you turtle it, it emits a loud keening sound, burst into bright white flames and sinks to the bottom without a trace. You'd think that it would be so easy to right from a turtle, what with only having a 7.5kg rig, righting handles, and a centerboard to pull on. You'd think you'd sit down on the leewardmost hull and lean out, will pulling against the mainfoil and it would right in a matter of moments. But nope, it blares that weird sound, burst into flames and sinks. Some sort of self destruct feature that we couldn't reverse engineer out of the original UFO we found in a tree out back, I suspect. Clever aliens.. Luckily we've managed to memory-wipe everybody who's seen the various prototypes meet their end like this at foiling week and other events.

 

Being serious though, I've got some footage of righting from a turtle kicking around. I'll see what I can do when I get the time.

 

DRC

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