midcoastsailor

best new foiler for beginner?

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Hello,

I am a small boat sailor in Mid-Coast Maine  and I want to try a small foiler. I  am considering a used Moth versus  WASZP versus UFO versus F101. Which has the best blend of portability and ability to deal with variable winds?  The winds are highly variable where I live and seaweed is also a pain so I like the idea of retractable foils (UFO). I am decent Laser sailor but new to foiling. Thanks for any advice..Matt in Mid-Coast Maine

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Let's imagine for a moment that knew what the hell I was talking about when it comes to foiling. (I don't)

But as a dingy sailor, the UFO looks like it has all the benefits:  stability off the foils, retractability for easy launch,  a rig that isn't complicated, nor foils to cut you in half when you swing around/ fall/ move.   Its cheap in price, high in quality, and IMHO set to be the "people's foiler" that gets bandied around.  The goal is always to have other boats to compete against, and this one meets so many of the points that people are looking for, so... IMHO the UFO would be my choice for my next boat.  It also seems like a boat you could let someone borrow without fear of "breaking a twitchy thoroughbred"  to experience foiling, and buy one for themselves. 

 

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Never foiled, but I gotta admit if I were to start the UFO would have my ticket. I see it as the entry to foiling, the Laser of foiling if you will. Nice price point too, and less fragile I assume than a moth. 

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WASZP has over 120 boats in the USA already. Factory support and the ability to set the boat up in a beginner mode and then using the same platform go right through to high level racing mode and anything in between.

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Must consider how much wind you have.  Some foilers require more wind than others.

What do you want to do, just foil for fun or foil around a course in competition?

 

 

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Imagine the fun of blasting along at 20 kts, hitting a huge patch of weed and then crashing into frigid water! Head to Florida and try a foiler where you can learn and enjoy in comfort. Happy Sailing.

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It depends on a few factors 1. Available budget 2. Your body weight 3. Crushing or racing? 4. Your sailing experience and what types of boat you sail  5. Expected local conditions. 6. Local fleets. 7. So you care about one design or not.

Without knowing any of that, I would say try a UFO and see how you go. 

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On 2/7/2018 at 9:49 PM, us7070 said:

if you can windsurf or kitesurf, you can foil for quite a bit less than the UFO

Based on his comments....

On 2/7/2018 at 3:20 PM, midcoastsailor said:

The winds are highly variable where I live and seaweed is also a pain

Weeds and puffy breeze make the windfoil tough to get the hang of things. Sure the kite is easier, but clearing the foil still sucks. My experience learning to windfoil on an inland lake has been... well let's just say the fiberglass work is more frequent than I'd like. Cheaper yes, but only if you already own the sails and a capable board. and like swimming. :D

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A friend of mine has a Waszp.  My hat's off to him as he seems to have the patience of Job.  He spent 2 years bouncing around the bay without foiling for more than a couple of boat lengths at a time.  Spent the rest of the time swimming.  It was painful to watch, this coming from me, the most pathetic RS700 sailor on this side of the Atlantic.  I was hoping that the entry level foilers would be easier than this to sail. 

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1 hour ago, kurio99 said:

A friend of mine has a Waszp.  My hat's off to him as he seems to have the patience of Job.  He spent 2 years bouncing around the bay without foiling for more than a couple of boat lengths at a time.  Spent the rest of the time swimming.  It was painful to watch, this coming from me, the most pathetic RS700 sailor on this side of the Atlantic.  I was hoping that the entry level foilers would be easier than this to sail. 

F101 (I understand) and UFOs are a lot easier to get started. No swimming between errors. Take off, crash, go again.

The other trick is to get at least 1 day of coaching. Professional coach, or mate who can foil.

Also, foilers are immensely finnicky with their setup, so when you're a newbie, you really need an experienced foiler to get the boat to the right settings. I lost 1 year because my Whisper settings we're not quite right. Again, a day with a mate or a coach will save you a year of hitting walls...

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The F101 is super easy to foil with. I also have a windsurfer with foils. That is a bit harder.

But both have in common that they dont like seaweed...

One advantage with the F101 is that you can bring a friend out and foil :-)

 

 

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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.   

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completely depends what you want to do with it. If you are new and want to get into racing, the Waszp is the way to go. It foiling tacks and gybes nicely and the relative losses in a tack are similar to a 29er hence the racing is really fantastic. The europeans this year had 100 boats and the worlds is predicted to have 200. The downside is it is harder to sail while off the foils because of the narrow hull.

If you have skiff or dinghy experience it really isn't that hard, the tramps have airbags which help keep you pointing the right way up and just remember you won't be able to move your weight or steer fast enough to keep the boat under you so you have to use the mainsheet. A bit of windward heel and you're off!

Therefore, if you want to start foiling to get into racing (personally i see this as the only option, sailing around by yourself is only fun for so long) then get a waszp. If you want to foil for the fun of foiling and aren't quite as experienced in dinghies the UFO is probably a good path.

My issue with the UFO is you can't tack it at any sort of respectable speed that would make racing them fun and when compared to the ease at which you can fully foiling tack a waszp with the new foil i don't really see the UFO as being in the discussion if racing is your ultimate goal.

I've done a bit of sailing in the waszp (worlds and euros) and found the atmosphere amazing and everyone is super willing to help out in getting you up to speed. Plus you end up with a really high quality fleet featuring 5 (at least) medalists from worlds and euros in the youth worlds classes (420, laser, 29er, nacra) and many other fantastic sailors in their own right. Admittedly the fleet isn't quite as large in the US as in Europe or Aus but they still got 20 something boats at the NAMs.

The F101 is too bulky and expensive in my opinion. There is also the foiling mantis to look at which may suit you depending on what you're looking for!

Some racing from the last day of the europeans:

 

 

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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.  

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6 minutes ago, Champlain Sailor said:

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. 

Oh i can't emphasise enough how much i hate lowriding! takes a lot of the fun away as you have to be focused for so long but the feeling once you're up makes it all worthwhile!! (on any of these boats)

i'll add, if you don't want to spend 20-30k Euro on a boat NEVER sail a moth because the speed difference and foiling height is ridiculous and once you've tried the moth its difficult to turn back, the feeling is uncomparible! ;) 

We do around 15s upwind on the waszp but the moths are doing 20 Upwind and 28-33DW and their upwind BS is increasing at roughly a knot a year i've been informed hence the development race is one for people with deeper pockets and more time than I, a broke uni student!

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23 hours ago, HKG1203 said:

 

i'll add, if you don't want to spend 20-30k Euro on a boat NEVER sail a moth because the speed difference and foiling height is ridiculous and once you've tried the moth its difficult to turn back, the feeling is uncomparible! ;) 

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.  

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3 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

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.

Hear hear!

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Try a Skeeta or Nikki from Australia.

I am 55 years old. Not a really experienced sailor (last 5 years sailing a tri and 20 years ago some years 470's). But I sail a lot (live on a lake).

Day 1: I got it flying (short flights), 4 day training at Stickl, Garda.

Young guy in my class (good sailor), took him a few minutes: flying (pretty long and stable as well).

 

Skeeta is very stable (does not crash/pitch pole) and very easy to foil. Sails in displacement mode as well (planing hull). Foils in 4-5 knots, gybes and tacks on foils pretty nice/fast (not done it, but seen it). We sailed the 8m2 first model (prototype) Skeeta at Stickl.

The new Skeeta has a 8,5 or 9,5m2 sail (very easy controls), and new sail designs. Nikki (6.5m2)....  a smaller/cheaper version of the Skeeta.

 

Group of Skeeta’s flying…..you get a feeling for the speed and stability.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8693iesB6b4&t=47s

 

Waszp…… I did try it (at Stickl with instructions), could not even sail it, way more difficult.

Did not sail the UFO, my observations: UFO’s hull is wide, windward angle is limited (from what I see on video’s), especially in a bit higher waves (I guess you will hit them all the time). Still hiking out all the time…….it has no wings so you have to hike all the time. But it still foils with sails slightly leeward (just less speed) and it is stable and looks very easy to foil.

Foiling a Skeeta is like a Waszp/Moth (it is designed by a Moth designer). Wings angled up (shorter wings because the hull is wider). You sit on the wings with almost no body movements, sails windward and just mainsheet controls.

F101 for me: to big (transport/rigging), full carbon(expensive to repair), more expensive too buy. But it is a tri so very stable and 1-2 person boat. If I wanted a larger easy foiler I would go for the iFly15 (but very expensive). Seen it foil (slick boat).

 

My first post, but hands on beginners experience (and input from Stickl instructors), I studied this forum and others for a while, studied video’s, talked to people/vendors that know foilers before I made my “short”  list: UFO, F101 or Skeeta (all 3 stable/easy with easy foil systems).

I went for a Skeeta in the end……..fast,  easy, stable, compact and foils/sails in almost any wind/water condition. UFO was my second choice (same price in EU as a Skeeta, probably different in the USA).

I already have the boat and the build quality and finish are very high.

 

Have fun.

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On 2/7/2018 at 4:20 PM, midcoastsailor said:

Hello,

I am a small boat sailor in Mid-Coast Maine  and I want to try a small foiler. I  am considering a used Moth versus  WASZP versus UFO versus F101. Which has the best blend of portability and ability to deal with variable winds?  The winds are highly variable where I live and seaweed is also a pain so I like the idea of retractable foils (UFO). I am decent Laser sailor but new to foiling. Thanks for any advice..Matt in Mid-Coast Maine

UFO.  Hands down.  And I put my money where my mouth is and love it.

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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.  

 

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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.   

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Funny for me (Europe), UFO and Skeeta are almost the same price after import (US boats are taxed 25% at the moment !).

For USA I agree, UFO is cheaper and better value (I guess) as entry level foiler. Witch one is better..... no idea, time will tell.

To correct my post, I not saying the UFO does not go windward well..... it does. I just noticed people foiling leeward (just an observation).

What I am not sure of, how well does the UFO foil in higher waves ? I know the Skeeta handles these easy (you sit high).

 

But..... all these new foilers are great to get people foiling (10 years from now, traditional sailing is like driving a classic car instead of an Electric car).

 

 

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15 minutes ago, prettig said:

But..... all these new foilers are great to get people foiling (10 years from now, traditional sailing is like driving a classic car instead of an Electric car).

 

 

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

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A-cat catamaran, because its so much cooler than every other boat! (at least outside other flying boats;- ) 

They've gotten better, so flying on a-cats is actually pretty stable these days, both up and downwind - we are still working on flying jibes and tacks though. Around a race course a-cat will probably beat most other foiling boats, but its more important to have similar boats to race than being faster... also importantly the a-cat is way more fun in nonflying conditions than all the others flying  boats.

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Consider some kind of relatively inexpensive foiler. Then, when you are done struggling to enjoy foiling, you won't be out too much money. THEN, if you get really good, you can sell your training ( cheap ) foiler without too much loss and go on to buy really trick boat ( not cheap ). Either way, YOU WIN!  Happy Sailing!

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19 hours ago, Lars Schrøder d 13 said:

A-cat catamaran, because its so much cooler than every other boat! (at least outside other flying boats;- ) 

They've gotten better, so flying on a-cats is actually pretty stable these days, both up and downwind - we are still working on flying jibes and tacks though. Around a race course a-cat will probably beat most other foiling boats, but its more important to have similar boats to race than being faster... also importantly the a-cat is way more fun in nonflying conditions than all the others flying  boats.

An A-cat is not really a beginners foiler (quite expensive as well)...... but they look cool.

 

2017-A-class-catamaran-Spring-Cup-Lake-G

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Nikki is now shipping (video's starting to popup),  to me always prove it is a real boat.

Cheaper then a Skeeta (USD 7.5K). This looks like a real beginners foiler (up to 75kg), It uses the same foils and mast setup as the skeeta.

Video's are from down under....... still "shorts" weather :angry:

 

 

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13 hours ago, prettig said:

Nikki is now shipping (video's starting to popup),  to me always prove it is a real boat.

Cheaper then a Skeeta (USD 7.5K). This looks like a real beginners foiler (up to 75kg), It uses the same foils and mast setup as the skeeta.

Video's are from down under....... still "shorts" weather :angry:

 

 

It's good sailing weather over Florida too!

What's min weight for a nikki, so that the sailor can right the boat after a capsize? How strong do you need to be to rig it fully? How about launching and getting the foils down/set/locked? How about retrieval?

All these have to be addressed before you can say - yeah it's for kids. A boat that needs grown up forces to rig, launch, retrieve in normal conditions can be lent to kids. But isn't a kids boat.

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The kid in the video is 35kg, mentioned on their FB page). A 50kg woman was able to right the Skeeta in our class (not difficult).

 

Rigging/launching is very easy (laser is more work), pulling up the sail is easy. Not much force needed, that would be the most difficult for kids....... interesting to see how easy this will be. Nikki is 2,9m and 27kg, these are near Optimist figures.......see image below, it is small. 

 

Rudder foil is pull down and lock (pin). Main foil is push down and connect with one pin to the wand (all preset, no tuning needed).

 

Both foils have clamps to hold them in any position (smart solution):

- You can launch it on a ramp in an undeep harbor or of the beach and sail to open water and lower the foils and lock them.

 

But I agree with you, you need some good instructions and some pratice first. But that's the same for a laser, you do not send kids out unless you know they can handle it.

83817183_2768707060023267_74974429680102

 

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Ok, they just posted a video on rigging/lanching the NIKKI.

 

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I have a UFO and an old moth.  I use the UFO a lot more because it is easier and breaks less.

All of these new "budget" foilers will all work for what you are looking for, I recommend finding the one that you will get the best support on or have someone to work with.  I have sailed dinghies my whole life and struggled a bit with consistent foiling off the bat.  I went to a UFO clinic and jumped right up the learning curve as I fixed a few bad habits left over from sailing traditional boats.  I would have gotten there eventually, but having a bit of coaching makes it all go much faster.

The Wazsp guys look like they work together well on training, the UFO team has done a great job putting together clinics, the moth guys also work together well but generally on fixing boats.  I am not familiar with the other classes mentioned here to comment on their fleet.

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19 minutes ago, Bad Andy said:

moth guys also work together well but generally on fixing boats

Ha ha ha spot on :) I might one day get one maybe, because of the boatwork involved. I enjoy tossing the UFO in the water without looking after it like a baccarat crystal glad...

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Great video of rigging a Nikki. It would be great to see similar for the Skeeta.

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I agree, the Nikki video is well done.  It looks like a really well thought out little foiler.  I really like the clamps on the rudder and main foil to hold them in place while you sail to deep water.  The UFO would do really well with a cam actuated brake like that on the rudder.   It isn't as necessary on the main foil on the UFO, as the catamaran hull shape allows it to sail quite happily with the main foil up (until it gets windy!).     Its a shame that the Nikki and Skeeta are built on the other side of the world, so getting them to North America would add a significant amount of cost.

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On 2/3/2020 at 8:52 AM, antskip said:

Great video of rigging a Nikki. It would be great to see similar for the Skeeta.

Skeeta is similar (mast setup is different), still as easy.

Nice short test, a british sailing team member (first model skeeta):

 

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On 2/3/2020 at 8:52 AM, antskip said:

Great video of rigging a Nikki. It would be great to see similar for the Skeeta.

 

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Does this qualify? 10 year old at the helm. Make sure you turn the volume up...

 

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19 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Does this qualify? 10 year old at the helm. Make sure you turn the volume up...

 

You said no (see your own comment on the Nikki)....."All these have to be addressed before you can say - yeah it's for kids. A boat that needs grown up forces to rig, launch, retrieve in normal conditions can be lent to kids. But isn't a kids boat."

For me yes it would qualify (seen some video's already and looks easy for kids, they just can't rig it).

 

 

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15 hours ago, WCB said:

Have you seen the Fly foiler for kids?  4.2m sail.  Fiberglass construction, lots of aluminum in the boom, racks, and verticals.  

https://www.sail-world.com/news/227870/FLY--the-foiler-for-the-foiling-generation

Micro moth (pitch pole)!

Could be interesting if the price is ok. Cool project. 

Kids needs to start adopting it and ask you "dad, why is your boat so slow ?" :huh:

 

 

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3 hours ago, prettig said:

Micro moth (pitch pole)!

Could be interesting if the price is ok. Cool project. 

Kids needs to start adopting it and ask you "dad, why is your boat so slow ?" :huh:

 

 

$9,975 NZD is what the builder told me.  $6,000 USD.  I'm on the email list.  I'll buy one for my two boys in a couple of years. There's still some sailing basics to learn in the meantime.

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4 hours ago, prettig said:

You said no (see your own comment on the Nikki)....."All these have to be addressed before you can say - yeah it's for kids. A boat that needs grown up forces to rig, launch, retrieve in normal conditions can be lent to kids. But isn't a kids boat."

For me yes it would qualify (seen some video's already and looks easy for kids, they just can't rig it).

Of course. It's not fully for kids, we need to figure out minimum weight needed to right it. 

But as a foiler for beginners, I think the video makes a good case :)

The FLY looks cool. It seems to have many of the difficulties of a moth in terms of stability. Honestly, this makes learning damn hard. And they haven't even put a prototype in the water. 

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Yes, the FLY will be less stable than a UFO or Nicki, but it is shown floating in the pool with mast up and its not falling over. All three boats are good value and seem ideal for small newcomers to foiling. Each can serve local markets. UFO is well ahead, Nicki has not taken off yet, maybe the market is not as big as some think. Its going to be a tough year for anyone trying to sell anything. 

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17 hours ago, Phil S said:

Yes, the FLY will be less stable than a UFO or Nicki, but it is shown floating in the pool with mast up and its not falling over. All three boats are good value and seem ideal for small newcomers to foiling. Each can serve local markets. UFO is well ahead, Nicki has not taken off yet, maybe the market is not as big as some think. Its going to be a tough year for anyone trying to sell anything. 

True will not be an easy year for most (hope we all keep healthy).

But good to see new entry level foilers, market is indeed still small. It is like electic cars....... few years ago most thought it was a niche, now if you do not have the technology you will probably go banktrupt. People will adopt these, just damn cool boats.......it turn heads. People come and ask about the boat, chase you on the water with there speedboats to see the boat, really funny. It has this "I want one" factor.

 

 

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I think if one takes this thread a bit further one could also ask, what is the easiest boat to learn not only to foil on, but also to learn to foil tack and foil gybe?

I think out of all the centreline foiler mentioned above the Skeeta looks to be the best, it has the moth style wings where you can heel the boat to weather without your feet being above your bum while hiking, you also don’t have to climb uphill to cross over the boat.

So far I have seen no footage of the UFO foil gybing or tacking, have seen plenty of Wazp footage, still waiting for Skeeta footage, but if the foils are sorted it should be very doable.

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On 2/7/2018 at 10:20 PM, midcoastsailor said:

Hello,

I am a small boat sailor in Mid-Coast Maine  and I want to try a small foiler. I  am considering a used Moth versus  WASZP versus UFO versus F101. Which has the best blend of portability and ability to deal with variable winds?  The winds are highly variable where I live and seaweed is also a pain so I like the idea of retractable foils (UFO). I am decent Laser sailor but new to foiling. Thanks for any advice..Matt in Mid-Coast Maine

It's some time now since you posted, so, maybe I'm too late: Seaweed and foils don't go together very well.

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4 hours ago, Major Tom said:

I think if one takes this thread a bit further one could also ask, what is the easiest boat to learn not only to foil on, but also to learn to foil tack and foil gybe?

I think out of all the centreline foiler mentioned above the Skeeta looks to be the best, it has the moth style wings where you can heel the boat to weather without your feet being above your bum while hiking, you also don’t have to climb uphill to cross over the boat.

So far I have seen no footage of the UFO foil gybing or tacking, have seen plenty of Wazp footage, still waiting for Skeeta footage, but if the foils are sorted it should be very doable.

Tom, you are setting a very high target.

Foil tacking is a rare thing. At the recent moth Perth worlds less than half the 120 boat fleet could consistantly foil tack, you can see the differenec between the footage from the front of the gold fleet and the footage of the silver fleet. Only the best, fittest moth sailors with the best kit do it well. I manage one occasionally to great excitement, my excuse is I am too old and do not spend enough money on my boat. All the videos of Wazsps foiling I have seen are by people out of this elete moth group. Its mostly technique but good kit makes it much easier to learn.

In moths it generally requires low drag rig and foils, to get the most glide time when the rig is not driving the boat. The unstayed wishbone rigs and fat aluminium foils fall well short in this area. These might make for slower speed take off and easy rigging but do not help with foiling tacks. We know its possible on a Waszp but not consistantly. The UFO does have better carbon foils but as you say the ergonomics are an issue, it also has much more hull windage. The Wazsp, Skeeta, Nicki, (KA and Glidefree) all have alloy foils with plastic tips. We know nothing about the NZ Fly foils yet.

My criteria for a successful foiler has always been that the boat must sail upwind consitantly significantly faster on foils than a similay boat would without foils. We see that the WASP and UFO achieve this, I suspect the Skeeter and Nicki will also, the foiling laser does not even with the same foil sections, but I am still dubious about most of the other new designs with multiple foils sticking out in all directions and outrageous claims.

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5 hours ago, Phil S said:

Tom, you are setting a very high target.

Foil tacking is a rare thing. At the recent moth Perth worlds less than half the 120 boat fleet could consistantly foil tack, you can see the differenec between the footage from the front of the gold fleet and the footage of the silver fleet. Only the best, fittest moth sailors with the best kit do it well. I manage one occasionally to great excitement, my excuse is I am too old and do not spend enough money on my boat. All the videos of Wazsps foiling I have seen are by people out of this elete moth group. Its mostly technique but good kit makes it much easier to learn.

In moths it generally requires low drag rig and foils, to get the most glide time when the rig is not driving the boat. The unstayed wishbone rigs and fat aluminium foils fall well short in this area. These might make for slower speed take off and easy rigging but do not help with foiling tacks. We know its possible on a Waszp but not consistantly. The UFO does have better carbon foils but as you say the ergonomics are an issue, it also has much more hull windage. The Wazsp, Skeeta, Nicki, (KA and Glidefree) all have alloy foils with plastic tips. We know nothing about the NZ Fly foils yet.

My criteria for a successful foiler has always been that the boat must sail upwind consitantly significantly faster on foils than a similay boat would without foils. We see that the WASP and UFO achieve this, I suspect the Skeeter and Nicki will also, the foiling laser does not even with the same foil sections, but I am still dubious about most of the other new designs with multiple foils sticking out in all directions and outrageous claims.

Phil,

The description on the NZ Flys is aluminum verticals and composite horizontals.  

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14 hours ago, Phil S said:

Tom, you are setting a very high target

What he said. The tradeoffs needed for a beginner foiler, usability, durability, costs/manufacturing are devilish. Judge the beginner foiler as beginner foiler. It's a hard enough job.

There's videos of UFOs foil gybing. I can't, yet. Tacking is unclear - damned hard but a sporty teenager might show us how. And everything Phil says about wazsp foil maneuvers is correct. 

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2 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

What he said. The tradeoffs needed for a beginner foiler, usability, durability, costs/manufacturing are devilish. Judge the beginner foiler as beginner foiler. It's a hard enough job.

There's videos of UFOs foil gybing. I can't, yet. Tacking is unclear - damned hard but a sporty teenager might show us how. And everything Phil says about wazsp foil maneuvers is correct. 

Maybe I am, but is there anything wrong with that, I owned a Bladerider in the days before the Mach2s, and gybing was super easy once I had got the hang of it from watching enoughYouTube as for a while I was sailing the only foiler in Africa, however foiling tacks were much harder with the original foils, people such as Bora managed to make it look easy but I don’t know if he was using standard foils.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make, is that a foiler should be capable of remaining on foils all the time if the skill of the sailor is high enough, why would you buy a boat if it didn’t have the potential to go around the course on foils?

The foiling Laser as mentioned above would be a great example of something that was not fit for purpose.

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On 4/1/2020 at 6:20 PM, Major Tom said:

I think if one takes this thread a bit further one could also ask, what is the easiest boat to learn not only to foil on, but also to learn to foil tack and foil gybe?

I think out of all the centreline foiler mentioned above the Skeeta looks to be the best, it has the moth style wings where you can heel the boat to weather without your feet being above your bum while hiking, you also don’t have to climb uphill to cross over the boat.

So far I have seen no footage of the UFO foil gybing or tacking, have seen plenty of Wazp footage, still waiting for Skeeta footage, but if the foils are sorted it should be very doable.

here you go (just one off several video's on youtube)...

 

 

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4 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

What he said. The tradeoffs needed for a beginner foiler, usability, durability, costs/manufacturing are devilish. Judge the beginner foiler as beginner foiler. It's a hard enough job.

There's videos of UFOs foil gybing. I can't, yet. Tacking is unclear - damned hard but a sporty teenager might show us how. And everything Phil says about wazsp foil maneuvers is correct. 

I think you can if you (or ufo) changed the shape of the sail. Cut of the front part that goes down to the hull. During a gybe/tack It forces you to go to the back with the weight on the rudder (you don't want that) and you cannot look forward (seeing were you are going). I watch the video's and they all trying to roll fast over the back of the hull (unstable) completely blind trying to gybe...... not ideal. 

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And to be fair..... it can be done with a UFO (still convinced...... would be easier with more room on the front/under the sail).

 

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Gybing is heaps easier than tacking on foils. Not unlike any planing boat: go fast, turn steadilly with confidence, cross the boat before the boom moves, pop the battens and hike early on the new tack. Boat speed makes it easier as the apparent wind gets softer and eventually comes around the front. But windage is minimal.  The battens must pop easilly, so excess sail depth will have you in the middle of the boat shaking the boom and this is SLOW. Unlike planing boats you are going faster than the waves so just do not do it when climbing the back of waves, as the sail pressure comes off the bow will lift a little riding too high in waves leads to crashes.

With gybing there is only a half second where the sail is not driving the boat unlike tacking where there are several seconds of no sail drive and huge adverse windage. So gybing is mostly about technique, while foil tacking is at least 50% about equipment.

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9 minutes ago, Phil S said:

Gybing is heaps easier than tacking on foils. Not unlike any planing boat: go fast, turn steadilly with confidence, cross the boat before the boom moves, pop the battens and hike early on the new tack. Boat speed makes it easier as the apparent wind gets softer and eventually comes around the front. But windage is minimal.  The battens must pop easilly, so excess sail depth will have you in the middle of the boat shaking the boom and this is SLOW. Unlike planing boats you are going faster than the waves so just do not do it when climbing the back of waves, as the sail pressure comes off the bow will lift a little riding too high in waves leads to crashes.

With gybing there is only a half second where the sail is not driving the boat unlike tacking where there are several seconds of no sail drive and huge adverse windage. So gybing is mostly about technique, while foil tacking is at least 50% about equipment.

On a moth most  gybes are actually tacks as the change in apparent wind direction is across the bow, not the transom as you are normally going faster than the wind as you go into the ‘gybe’. Foil tacking has been done for years now, so I will go more with technique and practice as the equipment has steadily improved over the last 10 years and boats like the Exocet seem to have an amazing ability to not stall even at low speeds or in bow up situations during a tack..I will however admit that I have not sailed an Exocet, but merely observed one being well sailed while standing on the balcony at Hayling Island with a pint !!!

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I can not argue with someone who has all his expertise from not doing the very thing he is talking about.

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Check out the footage from Day 1 of the INSPIRE Youth Racing Program aligned with SailGP, a lot of these younger kids it was the first time in the boats. The NZ sailors had a few months in the boats. Check the FOILING TACK at the 50second mark of this video, there are many better ones that were perfromed at last years European Champs and all events since.

The next VIDEO Shows the week in review and what a great opportunity this is for youth boys/girls aged 14-20 as a pathway. Bearing in mind the strongest age demographic is 18-35 in the WASZP with a good Masters scene. With 900 boats out there currently and once events start rolling again the big fleets will continue off the back of 100 boats at last years European Championships.
 

The last video is of the SLALOM racing and how good this class is with a variety of racing formats. With a lot of the class infrastrucutre already set up, it is a great introduction to foiling and beyond into competitive racing. 

 

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1 hour ago, ASA said:

 Check the FOILING TACK at the 50second mark of this video, there are many better ones...

G'day ASA

I don't want to rain on your parade or anything but if you're looking at the same video as me there is no foiling tack anywhere near the 50 second mark or anywhere else in the first video. Doesn't really reinforce your point.

They did look like they were having fun though and that's what I think you should concentrate on...

 

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15 hours ago, Jethrow said:

G'day ASA

I don't want to rain on your parade or anything but if you're looking at the same video as me there is no foiling tack anywhere near the 50 second mark or anywhere else in the first video. Doesn't really reinforce your point.

They did look like they were having fun though and that's what I think you should concentrate on...

 

Yes, there is. It's at 48seconds.  I've watched it four times so far to look at the technique.

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On 4/2/2020 at 1:23 PM, prettig said:

I think you can if you (or ufo) changed the shape of the sail. Cut of the front part that goes down to the hull. During a gybe/tack It forces you to go to the back with the weight on the rudder (you don't want that) and you cannot look forward (seeing were you are going). I watch the video's and they all trying to roll fast over the back of the hull (unstable) completely blind trying to gybe...... not ideal. 

I think I can safely speak for the designer when stating that having the front of the sail cut down to the deck was not an arbitrary decision.   The sail sweeps the deck to minimize airflow around the bottom  of the sail, it is an endplate design.   You are right that it makes crossing the centerline of the boat more challenging.   This is one of the first skills you need to master in a UFO, and it takes some time, even when (especially when) you are not on the foils.   This is not unique to the UFO, current moths use split lower sections to envelope the boom and vang and endplate to the deck, requiring the skipper to move to the other side using the aft 1/3 of the hull and wings.  Gybing centerline foilers requires a well choreographed sequence of moves.   I would not be surprised if good dancers made good skippers.   Like dancers, skilled skippers, with practice, make it look effortless.  I am not one of those skippers (or dancers). 

I sail a  UFO and have sailed on courses with Waszps and Moths.   In my experience, a few UFO skippers can foil jybe some of the time.   I've done it 2-3 times now, so I know its possible, but its not easy.   I have yet to see a true foiling tack on a UFO, but I believe Dave has managed to complete a few.  Waszps foil jybe well, and I've seen a few foiling tacks. The foiling tacks that I have seen have been pretty marginal, right on the verge of stalling, but they are certainly possible for the advanced skippers.  Moths, obviously, foil gybe and tack very capably, but only after lots of practice.

So to answer your question, can a foiler for a 'beginner' foil tack?   If the beginner wants to buy a modern Moth and invest the time to learn to sail it, sure.   Most folks, however, prefer to start with a boat that is easier on the wallet and easier to learn the basics on.  For those boats, foil tacking seems to be asking more than the current crop of 'budget' foilers can offer.

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10 hours ago, WCB said:

Yes, there is. It's at 48seconds.  I've watched it four times so far to look at the technique.

Sorry ASA and thanks WBC

I was looking at the first youtube video posted and it just shows a bloke coming up onto the breeze at 50 seconds. I hadn't looked at the link in the text box... :blink:

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11 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

I think I can safely speak for the designer when stating that having the front of the sail cut down to the deck was not an arbitrary decision.   The sail sweeps the deck to minimize airflow around the bottom  of the sail, it is an endplate design.   You are right that it makes crossing the centerline of the boat more challenging.   This is one of the first skills you need to master in a UFO, and it takes some time, even when (especially when) you are not on the foils.   This is not unique to the UFO, current moths use split lower sections to envelope the boom and vang and endplate to the deck, requiring the skipper to move to the other side using the aft 1/3 of the hull and wings.  Gybing centerline foilers requires a well choreographed sequence of moves.   I would not be surprised if good dancers made good skippers.   Like dancers, skilled skippers, with practice, make it look effortless.  I am not one of those skippers (or dancers). 

I sail a  UFO and have sailed on courses with Waszps and Moths.   In my experience, a few UFO skippers can foil jybe some of the time.   I've done it 2-3 times now, so I know its possible, but its not easy.   I have yet to see a true foiling tack on a UFO, but I believe Dave has managed to complete a few.  Waszps foil jybe well, and I've seen a few foiling tacks. The foiling tacks that I have seen have been pretty marginal, right on the verge of stalling, but they are certainly possible for the advanced skippers.  Moths, obviously, foil gybe and tack very capably, but only after lots of practice.

So to answer your question, can a foiler for a 'beginner' foil tack?   If the beginner wants to buy a modern Moth and invest the time to learn to sail it, sure.   Most folks, however, prefer to start with a boat that is easier on the wallet and easier to learn the basics on.  For those boats, foil tacking seems to be asking more than the current crop of 'budget' foilers can offer.

First I find it really brilliant that the UFO team designed a good and cheap foiler with "limited" foling design background. Waszp and Moth designers have far more expierence and these boats are around for years already. Skeeta, the designer (dr. Ian Ward) has a moth designing background and glidefree has been designing foils for years.

But I agree (not that expierenced yet), foiling most can do (especially on a UFO, Skeeta or Nikki). Gybes and tacks on foils just takes a lot of time. Skeeta Gybes look pretty easy (but the people doing it are pretty good sailors), tacks with a Skeeta can be done (Jason Belden did it......but no surprise, a competitive Moth sailer). 

I guess for most of us it will take a year or so to manage foil gybes. That's fine, we need some challenges in life. 

 

So back to real life: this weekend I go sailing the skeeta for the frist time this season and not even thinking about trying a foiling gybe :) (just trying to stay dry and fly)

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I don't see why turning corners on the foils is a necessity for a beginner foiler. It surely makes racing more tactical but for recreational reasons i don't think it's a huge deal. If they can foil upwind, it is already much better compared to sportsboats or most dinghies that only plane downhill.

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3 hours ago, barney said:

I don't see why turning corners on the foils is a necessity for a beginner foiler. It surely makes racing more tactical but for recreational reasons i don't think it's a huge deal. If they can foil upwind, it is already much better compared to sportsboats or most dinghies that only plane downhill.

Yeah. Beginner foiler, so many priorities

- sturdy

- affordable

- easy to launch, land back

- learnable in a broad range of wind conditions (or, the broader, the better)

- sailable in a broad range of conditions

- can be sailed back home in rough conditions

- less capsizes

- easy to recover from capsizes

- easy to get to baseline tuning if you're disconnected from sailing community (ie: no local foling sailors to help)

- can stop for a break when tired, stretch, drink water

- easy to repair / can be repaired inexpensively with off the shelf parts, basic composite skills

... some more..

- can perform advanced maneuvers - 

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Nice video!   He makes it look easy!   Practice, practice, practice.

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We (my sailling buddy and I) would be interested in what wind ranges you guys foil.

The Skeeta can foil from 5-6 knots (9m sail), but we are not good enough yet (we get it up but can't keep it flying), so we start with 7-8+ knots and with the 8m sail we have been out several times in 15-25 knots already (surprisingly easy) just goes damn fast (still learning to control the speed). Up to 20 knots is ok, above is challeging.

 

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The new Nikki:

100643645_2970271343052676_5679605331357

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20 hours ago, prettig said:

The new Nikki:

100643645_2970271343052676_5679605331357

Are there any of these in the US, preferrably East Coast? ... 

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10 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Are there any of these in the US, preferrably East Coast? ... 

I don't know but send them an email (attn. Jim). I know they are working really hard to get more distributors and they are already shipping boats wordwide.

I got mine (skeeta) directly from them as an end customer, they will work with you to get one. And maybe they are already talking to a US distributor.....

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On 5/19/2020 at 11:52 AM, prettig said:

We (my sailling buddy and I) would be interested in what wind ranges you guys foil.

The Skeeta can foil from 5-6 knots (9m sail), but we are not good enough yet (we get it up but can't keep it flying), so we start with 7-8+ knots and with the 8m sail we have been out several times in 15-25 knots already (surprisingly easy) just goes damn fast (still learning to control the speed). Up to 20 knots is ok, above is challeging.

 

I find the UFO begins to foil in about 9 knots of breeze.  10 is better for me, at 180 pounds.   From what I've seen lighter skippers that tune the rig well and pump the rig hard (talkin' about you, Dave) can get the boat foiling in 7-8, but I believe that is the lower limit.   Personally, I find 10-15 knots the perfect range.  Under that and foiling is iffy and can be frustrating.  Over 15 is fun, but a lot of work.   There is a smaller sail available for the UFO, but I don't have one yet.  I've had it out in 20-22 and it is a handful.  No problem getting home, but I was damn tired and had several good crashes.  In 10-15, there is no boat I'd rather sail!

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7 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

I find the UFO begins to foil in about 9 knots of breeze.  10 is better for me, at 180 pounds.   From what I've seen lighter skippers that tune the rig well and pump the rig hard (talkin' about you, Dave) can get the boat foiling in 7-8, but I believe that is the lower limit.   Personally, I find 10-15 knots the perfect range.  Under that and foiling is iffy and can be frustrating.  Over 15 is fun, but a lot of work.   There is a smaller sail available for the UFO, but I don't have one yet.  I've had it out in 20-22 and it is a handful.  No problem getting home, but I was damn tired and had several good crashes.  In 10-15, there is no boat I'd rather sail!

What he said, but I also like the ufo a lot in 15-25. I think all 2 legged foilers get very sensitive to shifts in the gusts in those conditions. 

Where I sail gusts shift in predictable patterns and once I figured that out I could ride a good 20kt day. Two hours and I'm toasted though.

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I put an order, and deposit on a Skeeta from Melges, they are now distributing the Skeeta in the US. There was an order put together by Ed Cox of Melges, and should deliver in July from Australia.I live in the Los Angeles Area, I sail on a J70 in San Diego, and when we lived in Portland, I picked up an investment home. I am trying to decide if I should keep it in SoCal or the  Gorge and Willamette Sailing Club on the West side of Portland. Either way, I am drawn to the Skeeta, as I have always been intrigued by the Scow Moths, that are DIY plywood jobs put together in the 60's and 70's. I am big fan of Melges in general.

I really enjoyed sailing a Melges 24. I think having Melges as a US distributor makes total sense.  There is a West Coast Aero distributor in Portland, they are good guys, but again, I always though the Melges 14 as a bit of sleeper, and if the Aero didn't have such a wide base, I would migrate towards the Melges 14 over the RS Aero, the hull design looks really elegant and IMO better designed than the Aero. Not starting a Melges 14 vs Aero debate, just my own preference. Anyways, I like Skeeta, the wings, and the ability to windward jibe, this foil checks all my boxes.   Can't wait !!! :)

 

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