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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