JMF

Beginning Moth - first attempt = failure

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Hi,

Yesterday I finally made a first attempt to sail my Ninja. Water temperature had raised to an adequate level. Wind was in the 9 -11 knts. So: good conditions. However I basically failed at stepping and staying in the boat. Capsizing over and over :-). I had watched the videos I could find, but would not have believed it would be that hard for me.

Have to think about it hard, because I'm in a small sailing club, without security on the water. So I have to be sure to be able to go and come back alone (no real risks for life as it is a closed space, but...risks for the boat and significant burden). And no other moth sailors around to discuss face to face.

My findings:

  • only one swimming noodle at the end of each wing does not looks enough for a beginner. Was dreaming of modern Moth bladders...
  • No wang = no support from the sail when waterstarting. I discovered that the hard way toward the end of the session,
  • When I right the boat, the boat tilts OK up to above horizontal, and then it is difficult to get the winward wing in the water top waterstart. It seems that there is water in the leeward wing. So windward wing is too high and I can't step in...

I'm looking for advices to do much better next time:

  • What is the easiest way to jump in the boat: jump into the boat, over the wing, at tilting point (seems pretty high, but didn't tried yesterday) - or "waterstart" (swimming in the boat ?
  • is it normal not to be able to drop easily the windward wing in the water to swim in ? From what could it come:
    • my dacron tramps (watertight) ?
    • boat's heading relative to the wind ?
  • Is it possible to train by low wind or not really a good idea because low stabilization from the wind in the sail ?
  • Any video to see how people do (I have those from Nathan Outterridge, provela, ENVSN)?
  • Tricks to attach swimming noodles below the tramp ?
  • Are Dacron tramps standard or can it be an issue?

 

Other beginner's difficulty, unstepping the mast after the session. I relase some slack in the forestay, then the mast tilts toward the back and it is difficult to make it vertical again and get out of the pin at the mast base. Are there trick to make it easy, or is it related to not anymore enough juice from the sailor :-)

And any other advice warmely welcomed !!!!

Best regards,

JMF

 

 

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It sounds like you are trying to waterstart with not enough wind to actually lift you out and couteract your weight, about 15 knots of wind is the point that i can start to water start

 

If its too light you need to master the art of jumping from the centreboard to the wingbar at just the right time. too early and you have to go back to the centreboard and do it again, too late and you have the boat tipping over. After a few goes you find the sweet spot and have a bit of time to grab the tiller and mainsheet as you balance yourself.

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So for you, up to 15 knots, jumping over the wingbar is the the way to go ?

JMF

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Yep, it's only when I am overpowered that jumping over the wing bar not an option. 

Bladders don't really help much. They are more to give a half second support but if your going in, it is happening regardless. I only use mine for some minor bouyancy while testing.

If you get the timing right, not having bladders will not be much of an issue. 

 

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One pool noodle a side is inadequate, one and a half is minimum for early days. Three is too many if you are light, the boat will turtle too easilly.  Bladders are better becasue they fill the space in the tramp and no water gets trapped. Your experience with water in the tramp pockets is common with beginners. Water in one wing, slowly drains then the other wing imerses and the effect is reversed. Dacon tramps are common and will be ok once you get the water out of the pockets. 

Climb over the wing at balance point in anything under 15kts. Once you eliminate the water traps this will be a lot easier. 

Keep the vang on. You need instant power as you sheet on to stop the windward flop. Use the sheet for balance, move the sheet 50 times as much as the tiller. Moths wear out ratchet blocks because the sheet never stops moving.

Once its windier and you are doing water starts, tie the sheet stopper knot reasonably short. The boat must tend to round up and feather when you are climbing on. If the knot allows the sheet out too far, the boat will bear away as you climb on (with windward heal) and nose dive. Its much easier if the sail causes the boat to feather at about 60deg to the wind, you get time to untangle things, grab the sheet and tiller, take some deep breaths and start again.

Do not give up, as soon as the moth starts to foil and everything goes quiet, you will be hooked.

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I do not repeat what has been already said, cause it is all correct. 80% of starts are by going over the wing when righting the boat.

Talking about disassembling the mast, you just have to use your weght. you do not need a lot of strenght. I like to take pull the mast as vertical as possible with one hand (grab the mast as high as you can) while I free the forestay, then I can have a vertical mast, forestay free. Then I pull it up (and slightly rake back, of course) just a little to free it from the pin; as soon as it is free I push the bottom of the mast immediately against my leg, to counteract the tendency for the tip to go down, and I put the bottom of the mast on the floor against my foot . with the mast  vertical.

From this position (mast on the floor, vertical) it is very easy to control the mast as it goes down on the boat, cause now you can put a hand pretty high on the mast when you push it down.

 

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Mast:

I have the rigging just loose enough to unshackle without difficulty. Not loose enough to notice while sailing. No need for boat breaker tackle and the rig always has the same rake, without checking. 

I shackle on one shroud and the forestay, lift the rig onto the pin then attach the other shroud. Reverse when lowering. Much easier than attaching/detaching the forestay first as you can let the rig lean back with the wind against the forestay. Very easy with Mach2 pins, only slightly more hassle with shackles. I use screw shackles with a split ring permanently through the grip end. No need for shackle key as you can get enough grip with the ring.

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The biggest trick to righting the boat in light wind is to keep the mast in the water while you get your weight on the board, what worked well for me was getting onto the side of the hull just forward of the front crossbeam, then standing upright and shuffling aft towards the board, all the time leaning towards the mast as much as possible so the head of the sail stays in the water. Make sure you are only putting your weight on the soft chine as this is stronger than the flat side panels. Once you are in line with the board, put one foot on it and lean back holding onto the side wing bar, as the mast head clears  the water get your other leg over the wing bar and start transferring your weight up onto the tramp as quickly as possible, this takes quite a bit of practice and choreography as if you get it wrong the boat will end up upright with you in the water , then you need to capsize it and start all over again. Once the boat is upright you need to have your back foot more or less in the centre of the deck and your front foot further up to weather on the tramp. Obviously you need to grab the tiller and sheet as quickly as possible too, I used to lean over the wing bar with the boat on its side and have one of them in each hand while holding onto the wing, that comes with practice. The advice in posts above is all good, don’t give up, good luck.

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Thanks for all advices and support. I won't give up ;-)

I'll reread advices twice, and will use the wing way next time.

Thanks also for the mast lowering tips. I like the one from Phil S to attach/detach one shroud last. It make sense on the paper and seems tried and tested on the real life :-)

I now have to redo some carbon/epoxy on the rear wing corner that is cracked and don't want it to get worse. I'll install a line between the the wo corners next time (did not came with the boat)

Last I attach a picture of the boat with an additional swimming noodle. Not really nice and may not do the job...

Best regards,

JMF

IMG_20180430_172659.jpg

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Fix the noodle, if you can, below the wing; it is not very useful above.

Regarding tieing the wingbars ninja, as rockets and exocets, should not really need it. They are designed to bear the loads without any rope. But if you want to do it, it should do no harm.

 

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Fill up the pockets with as many whole or split pool noodles you can. Pack them to minimise the air in the pockets. Noodles strapped on the outside will not work nearly as well and when they come loose cause heaps more problems. 

Mach 2 or Waszp bladders will fill what ever space is available, but you need to ensure they do not rub against the wing tubes, so they need separate pockets or else you can do as I do and put the bladders in their own bags before insertion into the wing bar pockets.

Or get the tramps modified with dual or bigger pockets.

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Just one thing to add after all these useful hints:

After sailing moths for more than 35 years now,  I see that one of the most common mistakes of beginners after climbing into the boat is that they instantly reach for tiller and sheet, thereby capsizing again. So, when you're in the boat, the first thing you do is balance the boat. Look at the horizon to give you a feeling for the amount heel the boat currently has, wil probably change quickly every second :). Only after you got that handled you grab for tiller and sheet. Might have to grab them in two separate attempts though. :)

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Nothing to add to the above other than encouragement. 9 to 11 kn is perfect for learning.

To begin with, you need to move, sheet or steer to compensate for the slightest roll of the boat to keep it upright. After awhile, it will become natural and you can relax a bit. If you haven't come from a skiff background, you're likely used to hull buoyancy helping to keep the boat upright. There is zero such assistance on a Moth, noodles and bladders just help a little bit, they are not reserve buoyancy or anything like outriggers or floats.

The only thing keeping the boat upright is you!

Oh, one tip: when climbing onto the centreboard, be careful of where you put the elbow of your arm closest to the hull. It's very easy to put it on the side of the hull and put your weight on your elbow to help getting onto the board. Every time you do, you'll likely put a dent in your boat (the little bone on the inside of your elbow, the medial epicondyle, will probably get bruised too, but it fixes itself). Put your arm up near the gunwale/wing root with your weight on your hand, it's a little more awkward but will keep your boat looking much nicer. ;-)

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On 5/5/2018 at 6:44 AM, Suppenkelle said:

Just one thing to add after all these useful hints:

After sailing moths for more than 35 years now,  I see that one of the most common mistakes of beginners after climbing into the boat is that they instantly reach for tiller and sheet, thereby capsizing again. So, when you're in the boat, the first thing you do is balance the boat. Look at the horizon to give you a feeling for the amount heel the boat currently has, wil probably change quickly every second :). Only after you got that handled you grab for tiller and sheet. Might have to grab them in two separate attempts though. :)

I must respectfully disagree. The first thing to grab for is the boom (or the mainsheet system as a bunch) and work like a windsurfer would to keep the windward wing in or close to the water. If the rake is set well and the tiller is shock-corded close to centreline the boat should sail straight-ish until you get your bearings and can pick up the sheet and tiller extension, maybe after only 10 seconds or so. You will respond naturally to heeling too far into windward by pulling the boom/sail in, which stops the movement. It also helps your own balance as it is a fairly solid point to hold onto.

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Hi all,

Thanks for all encouragements :-) The boat is now fixed (had a crack in one of the wing rear casting) and I'm ready for the second try. I have fixed additional noodles below the wing. This is far from perfect but may help for the first days.

My next attempt will be with no wind to experience how to jump in the boat from above, and feel the tipping point. I won't have the support from the sail, but this will keep the situation safe, with no friend needing to motorboat along.

Weather will not be suitable in coming days... I'll keep progress posted !

Best regards,

JMF

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On ‎5‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 10:11 PM, JMF said:

My next attempt will be with no wind to experience how to jump in the boat from above, and feel the tipping point. I won't have the support from the sail, but this will keep the situation safe, with no friend needing to motorboat along.

When there's no wind is absolutely the hardest time to get into the boat. I would definitely advise you to learn when there's a little more breeze.

But if you insist on trying, and you find that you can't make either method work, here's something else you can try: a variation of the waterstart, where you start from much farther aft & pull yourself in with a forward motion. Without the line between the wingbars, you can even start from the transom. You'll find that the boat is much more stable fore & aft than sideways, and you should be able to get in that way even when there's no wind at all.

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Quite slow progress here, because of not adequate weather, or unavailability and lack of skills. The attempt last week end raised some new issue for me.

After jumping in the boat (over the wing), I was trying to have the boat start moving. I was on the windward wing. The leeward wing was "flat" at the water surface (with still some water in the tramp). When I started to sheet in, the boat was consistently heading to the wind and stalling. because of the lack of speed the rudder was not efficient to stop the movement. Quite frustrating !

The rake was normal. Just maybe more vang than usual...

Would you have some explanation ?

JMF

 

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yes it is normal. boats with leeward wing in the water tends to go head to wind. get the boat flat asap with your weight on the wings and, if you can, try to  grab the tiller to bear away. Anyway as soon as you move a bit the rudder will start to work a bit, so the combination of pushing the windward wing down with your weight and an aggressive bear away with the rudder usually works for getting  the boat moving right after you start from a capsize. you normally do not need to sheet in at all to start moving (just put a knot at the end of the mainsheet to avoid it being too loose. you never need the mainsheet fully eased in a moth.).

Just be prepared to move your weight down to as soon as your boat is coming up flat, to avoid capsizing to windward. It's a bit of a fine balance, but after 2-3 times you get to know when to move your body to balance the thing. Cookie's boat, with no big buoyancy, are not the easiest to balance in lowriding mode, but once you learn you can basically roll the thing continuously to windward/leeward and move pretty fast even  2-4 knots winds.

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If you can get the windward wing in the water when you sheet in the boat will want to go straight or bear off, as the wing clears the water the speed immediately goes up and the rudder starts working, if you are head to wind , put the weather wing in the water, reverse the helm, in other words push the tiller to lee, and push the boom out, the boat will reverse and the bow will drift off wind, then pull the tiller up so it is a few degrees to weather of the centreline, sheet in, do not let the leeward wing touch the water, and you should be sailing. It is almost worthwhile sailing with the boat set up not to foil, with the push rod disconnected and the rudder set completely neutral so you get used to sailing in low rider mode, goor for practicing tacking and gybing and moving across the boat. It also comes in useful if you have to get the boat home with a broken foil or pushrod.

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Thanks for all those advices. Those small bugs are quite sensitive :-) You reall must have the right balance and timing: forward/backward, windward/leeward and just in time before capsizing.

I imagine that once instinctive it is pure joy... but it can be a significant way to achieve this. I admit that I dream of those modern big buoancy bladders. Even with my additional swimming noodles, it still capsize fast.

JMF

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11 minutes ago, JMF said:

Thanks for all those advices. Those small bugs are quite sensitive :-) You reall must have the right balance and timing: forward/backward, windward/leeward and just in time before capsizing.

I imagine that once instinctive it is pure joy... but it can be a significant way to achieve this. I admit that I dream of those modern big buoancy bladders. Even with my additional swimming noodles, it still capsize fast.

JMF

I have never been a big fan of bladders, but now that I have a solid winged boat with huuuuuuuuge flotation in the outer wings, I have to admit that side flotation makes life a bit easier when lowriding :)

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4 hours ago, JMF said:

You reall must have the right balance and timing: forward/backward, windward/leeward and just in time before capsizing.

I imagine that once instinctive it is pure joy...

Light air lowriding is still painful after years of sailing the boat. Especially downwind.

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On 8/8/2018 at 5:08 PM, JMF said:

After jumping in the boat (over the wing), I was trying to have the boat start moving. I was on the windward wing. The leeward wing was "flat" at the water surface (with still some water in the tramp). When I started to sheet in, the boat was consistently heading to the wind and stalling. because of the lack of speed the rudder was not efficient to stop the movement. Quite frustrating ! 

The rig steers the boat more than the rudder, particularly at slow speeds, but even when foiling.

Heel to windward and sheet in at the same time to power it up and bear-away. Grab the tiller when you get a chance, early or late in the process, just sometime before you need it, but the mainsheet is the biggest priority.

A friend sailed a rudder-less moth downwind in +15knots and decent chop for about a nautical mile hanging off the rear beam to steer with his body drag. Through the channel entrance, mooring fingers and right to the launch ramp. Was a spectacular effort.

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On 8/8/2018 at 1:11 PM, 17mika said:

I have never been a big fan of bladders, but now that I have a solid winged boat with huuuuuuuuge flotation in the outer wings, I have to admit that side flotation makes life a bit easier when lowriding :)

Mika could you post some pics of the solid wings? i'm curious what other options people have come up with besides a carbon tube frame 

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34 minutes ago, ziper1221 said:

Mika could you post some pics of the solid wings? i'm curious what other options people have come up with besides a carbon tube frame 

just have a look at aardvark technologies facebook page and you will see a lot of them and also how the wing moulds are made.

superhappy about it, now that I have sorted the bugs out.

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