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NacramanUK

Nacra F18 Infusion FCS

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What’s the difference between the FCS and the limited? Am I correct that this is  the foil package for the Infusion Mk. 3? Z boards looks good; A’s have gone from L’s to T’s across both camps.

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That leaves the Edge and the eXploder Scorpion as none foil-capable. Hopefully they copy the Goodall brilliant trunk design sometime soon, though we don't know how well the boats work in foiling mode yet.

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Out of all the manufacturers eXploder have probably the biggest design data base, user feed back and foil sea miles of all, interesting that as of yet they haven't produced some pretty good foil conversions for the F18. If foiling works at any sort of level with the overweight restrictions of the F18 rules ( do manufacturers build underweight boats ( the Whisper is 78kgs - foils )  and then fill the void around the non foiling daggerboard case with lead in F18 races )  then there has to be a pretty good market niche for them.

But by their absence is it just telling us all that what we already think, a foiling F18 is going to be slower around a race track than the present non foiler.

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As anybody who has sailed the Nacra 17 and a decent foiler (A Class!) would know, these overweight 2 man retro fitted cats are or will be a pig, mainly because they are so heavy. Weight is the great enemy. Ask anybody who has sailed a Nacra 17 what they think of the idea of a similar sized and powered foiling cat that weighs another 30kgs! It is simply a dumb idea. The Nacra 17 is too heavy so what does that make these boats. It seems to me to be a money grab by a group of manufacturers suckering a group of sailors who currently know no better. I think Wayne has it right when he says they will be slower around the race track than a standard F18.

My recommendation to anybody who wants to foil a cat is to buy one designed for the purpose. We aren't seeing a lot of ex F18 sailors who have gone foiling heading back to the class, so you won't regret it if you put in a bit of time and effort.

 

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is this pushing for more tech at ever increasing prices thinning out the numbers?
How many old curved board C20's are even in Australia or the USA?

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Sailabout,

  There were maybe 50 F20c's built. Maybe. Probably a dozen or so in the U.S, maybe more, maybe less. Price on those is north of $35k new, so much more than the prices listed here for the F18FCS: https://www.catsailingnews.com/2018/12/new-nacra-f18-infusion-fcs.html

For the F20FCS you are looking at >$50k last I checked (with several sold for half that used after 2-3 years, so serious depreciation). In that sense the F18FCS is a good deal plus you have the option to go sailing in a fun, competitive fleet in straight board mode.

A used N17 Mk. 2 might be a good option in the future but at the moment those boats aren't easy to get as their aren't enough new boats to go around so the boats are staying with the Olympic hopefuls, and the wait list is surely longer than a F18FCS.

ACS,

  Weight is definitely the enemy and they should push the boats as low as possible by the F18 class rules (171kg I think). That would lower the delta to the N17 to a whopping 8kgs. Per the N17 class rules: "The weight of the boat in dry condition shall be a minimum of 163 kg."

Not much in it at that point, most of which is would be in the rig which isn't great but not the end of the world. At least on the C-board boat the delta between the aluminum and carbon rig in practice was small, certainly on the foiler it would be worse but personally I would train with the aluminum rig vs. risking the expensive carbon rig on days its blowing 20kts+.

The real issue here is that building the F18 down to that weight is possible but that is 9kg of fiberglass or basically an extra layer of hull laminate you are missing compared with your pure straight board brethren which isn't great for a glass foiler.

In terms of a pure foiler the A-Cat is a better boat than either of these I'm sure, partly because of the weight and high level of construction utilized (at really great prices for an all carbon nomex boat) but also due to a pretty high level of development spurred on by the AC sailors and others in the class. The N17 Mk.2 suffers from being a strict manufacture one design Olympic class where implementing changes is time consuming and costly. The F18 in foiling mode is unrestricted so it has that advantage. Also having the ability to go back to straight boards with these trunks is good for the average club sailor as many would be overwhelmed on a foiler when its blowing 20kts+. I myself would likely only sail the boat in over 15 with the foils with a handful of guys, as wipe outs can get expensive.

I do agree there is some exodus out of the F18 at the moment but at least in the U.S I'm not seeing that translate into gains on the A-Cat side. To me they are still nice compliments as the A-Cat has a great winter series in Florida and the F18 a competitive series in the New England and Mid-West in the summer. I will also stand by my belief that competition at a F18 Worlds is at a higher level than in the A, one just needs to look at Mischa's results in both classes this year to get an idea.

Wayne,

   It will be interesting to see how the boat goes vs. the straight board boats. The Phantom Essential rates a good bit lower on SCHRS than the F18 at 0.946 but I haven't seen race results since 2017. I think in general its tougher to make a foiler go than a straight board boat as crew expertise is even more critical and in light conditions a well sailed c-board A is going to beat the foiler. The advantage of a two man foiler though is with the kite you can probably get up on foils earlier than most and its not that bad to have a really flat kite available for foiling mode. We've already gone to DS mains which make foiling easier as well..

I have pushed eXploder to build boats with trunks that can take foils. This to me is a no-brainer at this point as it can be done with no penalty in floating mode. Even if the foiling mode doesn't work out these trunks can take C-boards which is IMO the next evolution of the F18 class if the rules are opened up a bit. eXploder have been listening to their test team however who are of the belief that the foiling board location needs to be much further forward, i.e right behind the front beam or possible forward of it. I actually think that is too far forward and most of the stability gains in foiling mode that the forward trunk position would buy you can be managed with bigger rudder winglets  (no span limits!) and possibly a rudder gantry if needed.

 

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is this pushing for more tech at ever increasing prices thinning out the numbers?

Hard to document.   Demographic trends point to less aggregate numbers across the board in all racing classes...  so you can't point to any class experience  as definitive proof either way.    The acceleration of tech driving the formation of new sailing classes  (sorry... foiling A and F18 classes are new classes)  occurs when the total group of active racers was declining... Moreover,   you are not comparing apples to apples.... the new tech comes with significant real dollar costs to the sailor yearly budget....   You have to control for the actual dollars spent racing and then factor in that  the aging demographic has more cash as well.  

You can build a case from several points of view.

You could ask...  Does dividing the fleet help by keeping long time racers still interested in the the new challenge and the new game an so keeping the participation up by mitigating attrition? ..... OR

you could ask....Does the new tech draw in New individuals interested in the new higher tech challenge.... thus keeping the participation up.   OR

 you could ask.... Hey... the foiling A cat or Foiling F18 are simply not A class and F18s.... once a sailor moves on....   the existing fleet is down a member....   Lower participation in my class leads to lower enthusiasm and the class's spiral down and so.... overall participation drops..

My sense is that racing participation depends on  "the competition"   more then the equipment...   I agree with Sam above.   Note his point in the states about complimenting A cat RACING with F18 RACING.    No mention of any other foiling racing in the states.....  So...  each sailor is looking for the competitive environment that works for them....   I think preserving the competitive environment is more significant then More Tech being positive or negative.

 

 

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One note there is there is no foiling F18 racing anywhere at the moment. The only 2 man foiling boat with regular racing is the Nacra 17 Mk. 2, and there the weekend sailors tend to get pushed out by the teams doing Olympic campaigns and spending 300+ days a year on the water. It’s hard to compare a new foiler to that simply because of crew experience differences, even if the heavier F18 is a better foiler due to better foil design/development (it could also very well be the opposite!).

To that end if you want to foil and race in the U.S without spending every hour of your day sailing, you really have two options, the A cat and the Moth. I think the Stunt S9 is also building fleets in pockets.

The advantage of the foiling F18 is you can go do a raid event in foiling configuration one weekend and the next go race a F18 nationals with one platform and set of sails. Also, if you decide foiling isn’t for you, you have an F18 to sail and sell rather than an esoteric foiler...

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2 hours ago, samc99us said:

To that end if you want to foil and race in the U.S without spending every hour of your day sailing, you really have two options, the A cat and the Moth

UFOs are getting invited to moth/wazsp events like key largo coming up jan 25th. I suspect there's a fleet...

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2 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

UFOs are getting invited to moth/wazsp events like key largo coming up jan 25th. I suspect there's a fleet...

Now UFO's have shown you can build a cheap foiler

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Re convertibles, do you think many will take on the additional cost?  Is there any indication they are?

I would think the cost would be significant and someone might just get a UFO for the same price as the add-ons for example.  

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The best case is that the convertibles will have 2 sets of foils. That's 2 x 4 foils. The regular ones might cost a bit less but the foiling ones, those I'm sure cost at least the same as a complete UFO. 

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On 1/2/2019 at 2:58 PM, samc99us said:

Even if the foiling mode doesn't work out these trunks can take C-boards which is IMO the next evolution of the F18 class

I went from a Wildcat to the N17 C-Foiler and now sail the full foiling MK2. For me the C-Foiler was the hardest to sail. The new boat is in my opinion easier to control. Yes its more dangerous but you have more options to sail the boat safe. At a C-Foiler you don't have a "safe spot", the boat can nosedive and if the weight is to much aft then you make a jump. On the foiler you don't have a problem with nosediving and if the boat is foiling to high you adjust the daggerboards... 

It is possible that the higher weight  and the adjustable foils of the new boat influences my opinion. 

I don't think that the F18 and the average F18 sailor is happy with a foiling boat. An F18 is relatively simple to sail and to maintain. I don't know if its just the Nacra but compared with the Wildcat I put much more hours in keeping the boat ready to sail. At the wildcat it was 3 month of sailing and 2 days of boat work, at the Nacra its 3 hours of sailing and 1 hour of boat work. Polishing daggerboards and rudders every week is kind of annoying. Most people don't think about how much time you loose by simply putting the boat in the water. Everything needs to be extra tight, putting the boards in is more difficult and you scratch them all the time and its more difficult to have boards or rudders half in for going back to the ramp. At the C-Foilor or the Wildcat it took me 1 minute. Now about 10 in every direction. 

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Born,

  Have you sailed a C board boat with sliders and t-foil winglets? Those are very stable boats compared with C-board only boats.

The Wildcat comes out of the box as one of the best rigged F18’s and is well built; pity they got the hull shape and to a lesser extent the foils wrong. I’ve spent about the same time you are talking about rigging my eXploder Scorpion and Nacra Infusion F18’s. Of course team Nacra have sailed the boats successfully with mostly stock rigging so it’s possible and less critical than a foiler I would say. Flip side is one of the top teams in the country spent at least 40 hours sorting their C2 out before the worlds and most regard those as ready to sail out of the box. Generally, the higher the caliber of sailor the more customized the rigging...

There certainly is a maintenance increase with foilers. I just spent 10 hours working on A cat rigging and foil setup to go sailing for 1 hour. That’s not really common though and this is a custom boat that has only been in the water twice with the foils. On average I would say the time is comparable to sorting an F18 out in total, with less spent on rigging and more on board fit and rudder controls.

I definitely agree that sailing a foiler in and out of the ramp/beach is more time consuming and troublesome than straight boards. It’s not for everyone or every location.

The UFO did a good job with their foil control system and overall simplicity. I forgot that they have a lot sold and I’m sure racing will be coming in the future.

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1 hour ago, JoeyG said:

Let’s see it go upwind on the foils.

Will have a full video to post of it foiling upwind as well as downwind towards the end of this week......the one  posted earlier is just a 'teaser'....keep your eyes peeled for the full video...

 

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Looks cool! The gooseneck is pretty low. I'd think that a higher gooseneck would help maintain leech tension with lighter mainsheet loads. I'm sure there's other considerations at play, but unclear what might be.

There's so many models of 18 foot foilers. Are any of them selling in significant numbers? In other words -- other than the globe-trotting red bull foiling generation Flying Phantoms, and a couple of France-based fleets, where are fleets of 18f foilers clustering?

Who'll make these F18 FCSs move

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4 hours ago, Lars Schrøder d 13 said:

The 18 foot A-class is pretty popular on most continents. And flying nicely.

Fair enough but that's not what I meant. I mean twin trapeze, 3 sail cats, 17 to 20ft.

Other than the Olympic Nacra 17, who has built up a decent fleet? FPs in France and in red bulls shipping containers and... ? There's some Nacra 20FCS but they're a beast, is there a fleet anywhere?

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Mixed fleet of F20's in Europe, I think 6 or so in Switzerland. Same in Israel. By mixed I mean including C-board boats.

The F18FCS looks good on foils. I think it will serve its purpose pretty dang well, and in over 15kts of breeze I expect it will be more than competitive against a standard F18 on all points of sail. Below that upwind the standard boat may still win but downwind if you can get on foils the floater will suffer. Still, I suspect most folks underestimate what it takes to race a 2 man foiling boat around the course, just take a look at how some of the top A-Cat foiling skippers do in the N17 Mk. 2 without tons of training time and rock star crews...

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17 hours ago, samc99us said:

Mixed fleet of F20's in Europe, I think 6 or so in Switzerland. Same in Israel. By mixed I mean including C-board boats.

The F18FCS looks good on foils. I think it will serve its purpose pretty dang well, and in over 15kts of breeze I expect it will be more than competitive against a standard F18 on all points of sail. Below that upwind the standard boat may still win but downwind if you can get on foils the floater will suffer. Still, I suspect most folks underestimate what it takes to race a 2 man foiling boat around the course, just take a look at how some of the top A-Cat foiling skippers do in the N17 Mk. 2 without tons of training time and rock star crews...

Hi Sam,

Firstly apologies I didn't respond to your questions early in this thread, but I had a period of hospitalisation and recuperation that took me off line for quite a while!

There are about 8 or 9 F20's in the UK (a mix of C and FCS's). A few of the FCS's teams have also bought curved boards and bearing kit as well as straight blades for their cassette rudder stocks so they can fleet race with the C's as well as still having all the fun of foiling available to them.

The photo and video I posted above were in about 10 knots of breeze and the boat hit 20 knots! As mentioned full video and more photos later this week. I think the important thing to remember that you are in effect getting 2 boats for the price of one (once you buy the conversion kit). It takes around an hour to convert the dagger board cases from Z-foils to straight foils and the rudders from L-foils to straight foils/blades.......

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Nacraman,

   Sorry to hear about your hospitalization, hopefully you can get back out on the water come spring!!

   Foiling in 10 kts sounds pretty good. I'm anxious to see the stability, I suspect it will suffer with the heavy aluminum mast; the Infusion mast is among the heaviest of the F18 sticks, but that is well known and it is still a good mast in that application. We have noticed that foiling in over 12 kts on the A cat is much easier with the short rig as the platform is more stable. Surprising how much difference 2.4' makes!

I'm interested to see how well the boats hold up over a year or two, the fit and finish of the Mk. 3's I've seen was very good and the platform very stiff but foil loads are high! Also unfortunately for Nacra the hull shape is now a bit dated (too round aft, they should have scaled up the N17 hull IMO) and can't perform in breeze as well as the newer boats. I know the trunks were an issue but they are as well on the Cirrus R2 and the new Scorpions have a boxy trunk as do the 2019 C2's so there is more to the story there. The new sails look good so that will probably help things as well.

All in all a good move by Nacra as it may pave the way forward for the F18 in foil development now that the hull development has plateaued.

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On 2/20/2019 at 2:20 AM, samc99us said:

 I suspect most folks underestimate what it takes to race a 2 man foiling boat around the course, just take a look at how some of the top A-Cat foiling skippers do in the N17 Mk. 2 without tons of training time and rock star crews...

This may be 3 point Foiling, but the gybes could be just as fun.  And what about when not in flat water.

 

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Those guys are inshore in a very gusty venue, which is not good for foiling! Apparently the FP likes to tip you to weather as we saw in that video, and staying on for the ride is nigh impossible. The 4 point foiling should be much better in terms of control but yes gybes will be hairy and even tacks; on my A when I come up to tack the old leeward hull will often go full foiling as I come head to wind and the resultant roll tack is scary fast. At least on a 2 man boat your crew can run to the other side!!

I'm looking forward to the F18FCS video but expect the boat to mostly behave like a Nacra 17 Mk.2 as I believe those are the foils they are using. The issue there is ventilation at the wrong times, which happens still on the A but much less as the main foils have progressed. The Nacra 17 is sort of stuck with what they have due to IOC issues, and I completely understand Nacra not wanting to take on additional development and tooling for the F18FCS when they have a decent foil package already available.

I should also be a little less harsh on the Infusion's hull shape, it is still pretty darn good and very competitive in 0-15 as Pete Melvin and Ferdinand van West showed at the Sarasota Worlds.

 

 

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10 hours ago, OZCAT said:

This may be 3 point Foiling, but the gybes could be just as fun.  And what about when not in flat water.

 

The last one is due to the helm just f'g up. Wild. You can't just pull the rudder abruptly like that on a foiler. Rate of turn is key.

The others are classic foiling capsizes to weather. 

Foilers are pretty unstable, until you get the hang of it. Foilers with high aspect ratio mains and kites are super unstable - these twin trapeze cats fit that bill. Center of effort is high, has lots of leverage, and your fulcrum  - the lee foil - is "playful", with changing lift and drag moment to moment.

Foilers with a lower CoE are more manageable, you get into a groove in windward heel, a bit like a windsurfer. You're hanging from the rig, the foil unloads a bit and it's more forgiving.

This only works in reach or upwind, so your downwind stability comes from speeding up on a reach and having AW of a reach while heading downwind. AW goes aft for any reason - boat slows down, wind picks up, if you don't head up quick your stability groove vanishes.

It's a dynamic puzzle. A unicycle. A ball of fun and crashes.

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I wonder what the speed is in the video, it doesn't look that fast. F18's are already pretty quick, would be nice to know whether the extra speed compensates for the additional hassle in getting the boat to foil. 

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6 hours ago, keesw said:

I wonder what the speed is in the video, it doesn't look that fast. F18's are already pretty quick, would be nice to know whether the extra speed compensates for the additional hassle in getting the boat to foil. 

Wind speed topped out at around 8 to 10 knots.......boat speed topped out at 20 knots....

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