martin.langhoff

Whisper Foiling Cat in Miami FL

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Couple months ago a Whisper landed in Miami, where Biscayne Bay and local weather provide for great foiling opportunities :-)

 

I see there's plenty of interest in foiling around here, and a lively Stunt S9 discussion. So I thought I'd start a thread on Whisper sailing (leaving behind the theoretical/flamey old Whisper thread).

 

To be frank, I'm hoping to see a community of practice and knowledge grow around small/easy foilers. Love what I see about the S9 for single-handling; I'm loving my Whisper. So here's my contribution: I'm documenting what I'm learning, and hoping to spark discussion.

 

Rigging videos
Sailing - we've had a slow start at foiling (for many reasons), but getting better at it now
Rigging notes
Along the way, WhiteFormula folks -- makers of the Whisper -- have been incredibly helpful.
So -- have you sailed a Whisper? How did it go? Did you change anything in the rig?
Any questions about the boat? I'll try to answer to best of my abilities :-)

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Does downforce from the windward foil allow the boat to be singlehanded in almost the same wind as doublehanded?

I think the Whisper is one of the greatest new foiler designs around.....

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Hi Doug!

 

For the sanity of this thread, let's not discuss downforce here. Open a downforce discussion elsewhere :-) -- with out without downforce, Whisper is great, and I sail it singlehanded. ~m

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Thats an unexpectedly strange answer from someone who owns and sails this boat. Are there any advantages to the dual wand system, in your opinion? Have you also sailed the S9 that Michele designed and built? Any difference in response of the wands compared to his system?

How light a wind can you foil in?

Have fun!

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Couple months ago a Whisper landed in Miami, where Biscayne Bay and local weather provide for great foiling opportunities :-)

 

I see there's plenty of interest in foiling around here, and a lively Stunt S9 discussion. So I thought I'd start a thread on Whisper sailing (leaving behind the theoretical/flamey old Whisper thread).

 

To be frank, I'm hoping to see a community of practice and knowledge grow around small/easy foilers. Love what I see about the S9 for single-handling; I'm loving my Whisper. So here's my contribution: I'm documenting what I'm learning, and hoping to spark discussion.

 

Rigging videos

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoO1STST8XYTOkLxW1lvm3_NduJLAazJL

 

Sailing - we've had a slow start at foiling (for many reasons), but getting better at it now

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoO1STST8XYRKpt4hfFSSxvsRftKCIA58

 

Rigging notes

https://martin-langhoff.github.io/whisper-foiling-catamaran/

 

Along the way, WhiteFormula folks -- makers of the Whisper -- have been incredibly helpful.

 

So -- have you sailed a Whisper? How did it go? Did you change anything in the rig?

 

Any questions about the boat? I'll try to answer to best of my abilities :-)

 

I think you've taken the right way by choosing a Whisper.

It's the best double crew -foiling cat that you can find on market, and the builder is really excellent.

Go on with training and passion .

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Thanks Michele! I did look at the S9, and like it a lot. But my girlfriend and son sail with me and 3 sails > 1 sail so bigger boat :-) -- while I have never tested an S9, I think both boats are amazing, I am intrigued about the S9 improvements you are toying with. I'd love to hop on one for a test!

 

We are still getting the hang of foiling -- in part because we are doing it as a family, so not going super aggressive -- so we aren't the wildest bestest foilers out there yet. Boat matches wind speed (as recoded by a local weather station), I am sure it can do more.

 

When we are doing 11kt of boat speed onwards, we definitely foil. As I understand it, it should foil with 8kt of boat speed "easily" and I spoke with an olympic Nacra 17 sailor who said he can do it in 5kt when he's doing "everything right".

 

(speeds are approx, from GPS on the camera and on my wrist, as a crew we are a bit heavier than specs recommend)

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Martin

Congrats on your purchase. Having not sailed a wand T foil cat, I am interested in your observation on sailing techniques. How much can you simply leave it to the wands and how important is it to move your weight about and how you sheet the sails. On the A, that is one of the main ways we control foiling, beyond what the foils themselves can do. Sheeting in harder pushes the boat down, easing the sheet helps it get up on foils. I know that on the flying Phantom and other V foil beach cats you need to be pretty active, and on the S9 Charlie reports that you also need to be aware of the effects your inputs have, but being bigger and heavier with 2 crew, I wonder if the inertia helps reduce the amount of inputs needed from the sailors.

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Hi A Class Sailor!

 

For complicated reasons my ride height adjuster setup (wand, levers, etc) is kinda hosed, so it's taken a few tried to get it to a half-decent setup. WhiteFormula has been great and are helping me get a better setup, but I haven't got the new bits in my hands yet.

 

My experience and humble opinion is that you have to "walk" your boat with this setup too. And we work the main sheet like crazy -- eats gloves! -- the ratcheting block is halfway on the boom.

 

Perhaps with a well-functioning setup, a beginner can get foiling without too much "weight management", specially without having to figure out the "step forward until you pick up speed, step back to pop out, half-step forward to stabilize" dance, and getting the timing of it all.

 

Talking with Whisper experts, you have to do it with finesse if you want to foil in moderate wind conditions.

 

With the t-foils, wands and enough wind and boat speed, _if you put your weight in the right place_ you can probably shoot a video that shows it to be trivial. And I think it's a good way to intro people into foiling. And that's what I think I see in some of the videos shot to make it look easy. In other videos, you see the crew working both dance steps and main sheet... pretty actively.

 

It's still early days for me. The rig wasn't entirely right when the boat got to me, and I complicated matters by misunderstanding some aspects of the manual. I _think_ I got it right now. Will post more as I get better at it:.

 

And to be frank, I didn't expect to be smoking a pipe while foiling :-) I fully expected to be working it. Spoke today with a young chap who's done the red bull foiling generation thing on Phantoms. I'd love to have a run on a Phantom. Expensive though!

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Looks like you're having fun with some great wipeouts! Please keep the videos coming, they're great entertainment.

 

You're right to concentrate on boatspeed to get foiling, focusing on windspeed is not very precise. When a wind guage somwhere reads 5kn average over a few minutes, there can be lulls of 3kn and gusts of up to say 7kn or more. So saying "It can foil in 5kn" is really just an indicator, but onoce you find the boatspeed you'll likely get it down to ±0.5kn very reliably.

 

It seems to me that there's not enough mainsheet action. Try and keep the boat very flat, don't let it heel to leeward as it greatly loads up the leeward foil. As soon as it starts to heel, drop a bit of sheet and as it starts to roll back to windward, sheet on again.

 

Going downwind in particular it's very difficult to feel the wind, you have to respond to pressure on the rig and the feel of the boat.

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martin.langhoff: Great videos! It seems that your wipeouts and ours are similarly entertaining!

To everyone: your "entertaining crash" days don't last too long when you are learning to foil.

You figure it pretty quickly, stop crashing, then the videos get boring - the sailing doesn't but the videos do.

(By the way: I was not the skipper that fell of the S9s in the two autonomous sailing videos.)

 

RobG: Really good advice - thank you!

We have to run the traveler out about 8 inches upwind on the S9 to control heel.

Anything closer to center and you might as well not have foils - you sail like a floater.

Heavier skippers may have another view - but that is my experience here.

Speed is more important than angle - if you sail as high as your old habits tell you, you won't foil well. Just a little bit lower is a lot faster.

Downhaul, outhaul, and rotation help too, but the traveler rules in keeping it flat - on the S9 anyway.

 

Smooth tiller movement is really important, as you see in Martin's videos, the boats can bear away fast enough to overcome the force of your feet against the hull. When that happens you sail slowly but you get a good crash video.

 

RobG is right about the sheeting I think, but Martin I think you will need your crew to step forward or back a step to keep the boat flat fore-and-aft.

The Phantom crews do this, I was told. Really important on the S9.

 

Martin - great looking boat - have fun - send more videos please!

 

Charlie

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Hi Rob, Charlie,

 

great notes yes. Quick reponses:

 

* Over time we've ramped up how we work the main sheet, and how we work to keep the boat flat. My crews have uneven experience, so I have to talk a lot about the sheeting, but... getting there.

* Main factors I observe (and sail against) are what wind angle we sail to and boat speed. We have a NOAA weather station where we sail so I later correlate boat speed with reported wind speeds, to have a rough idea...

 

We haven't capsized in quite a while, the big wipeouts were at the beginning. The main improvement in that regard is a line I have to keep me (skipper) on the boat. Tied under the rear crossbeam, a knotted dyneema line I pull on to keep positive pressure on my feet even when the boat is trying to fling me out. Feels like sailing a mechanical bull :-) -- the boat is extremely responsive, and I can recover from almost anything now without capsizing.

 

Yesterday we had ~2hr sail, relatively stable 15~18kt; and we flew long stable stretches for the first time. Videos coming soon.

 

Days are getting longer now, and I can squeeze couple hours sailing after work :-) -- boat has reg lights with duct tape, in case we return in the dark.

 

My tiller right now has massive weather helm when it picks up speed, and when foiling. It's killing my arm -- hard to steer with finesse when you're fighting the helm, and as my arms get tired, my steering gets coarse.

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So I did miss the Quiberon get-together. WhiteFormula did invite me, but logistics, work, family...

 

Anyway, yesterday I had to move from one marina to another, and it was blowing 15~18kt fairly stable, so we had a good outing...

 

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No races yet. Boat and crew not ready yet. I might join the start, tag along a bit... Also Miami key largo requires some logistics...

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With the speed you have, race down and sail back to Miami before lunch. That's what the RC 30 does every year.

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