james14

Buying a Moth

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Hey all, 

I am looking into buying a moth in Australia to race and sail as I am getting frustrated having to rely on crew and foiling seems to be the way everyone is going. 

Would love to chat with some people about, common issues things to avoid and an affordable budget to get a moth? 

How important is having a really top-end boat for winning events and how important is the boat for learning? 

I am a boat builder so I am able to do my own repairs. So if it is a little rough to start that isn't a huge deal. All info is greatly appreciated as I dont know a whole heap about them yet. 

 

Cheers James 

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If you plan on winning a moth worlds suggest you win a gold medal in an olympic class  first. Seems to be a pre requisite in the last 6 years. If you want to sail the most exciting, most rewarding boat available then forget about winning anything and just get a moth and go sailing. Whereever you finish in a moth fleet you will have had a fantastic day.

Find a fleet of moth sailors close to where you live, talk to them and find a boat which they think is good enough and fits your budget. You will need help from experienced moth sailors to choose the best boat, set it up properly and to learn the new techniques requied to actually get sailing on foils. Be prepared to upgrade it, not that expensive if you use other people's last generation gear, foils, sails, masts. Be prepared to spend a lot of time maintaining all the mechanical systems which do not work properly if there is slack or slop in the system. Dediacte lots of time to learning how, and listen to advice, watch all the videos and go to regattas and see what the hot shots do. 

Building your own boat might sound easy but a moth hull is about 15% of the moth build and most experience builders have no idea about foils, and control systems, and also greatly understimate the time required and especially the rig loads involved. Buying a reasonably good second hand and fully functioning boat is much better value

Persevere and it will be worth it.

 

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Thanks for your response Phil, that was very helpful! 

The issue I have come across now is it seems to be that there are not so many moths in Victoria. Do you know where I could find info on a victorian fleet? or do you know of one? 

Do you think it is possible to learn enough without another moth around to get to a few regattas? 

I really want to be a part of the foiling world as it looks like a lot of fun and its the way my industry is going and I want to know more about it.

Would you mind if I messaged you with a moth I had found, you may straight up say it's not the right one, I'm not 100% sure what I am looking for yet. Any help at this point is greatly appreciated! 

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6 hours ago, james14 said:

I am looking into buying a moth in Australia to race and sail as I am getting frustrated having to rely on crew and foiling seems to be the way everyone is going. 

Would love to chat with some people about, common issues things to avoid and an affordable budget to get a moth? 

How important is having a really top-end boat for winning events and how important is the boat for learning? 

I am a boat builder so I am able to do my own repairs. So if it is a little rough to start that isn't a huge deal. All info is greatly appreciated as I dont know a whole heap about them yet. 

Not a mothie myself, but some ideas

  • the mothcast Moth-centered podcast _just_ did a podcast on buying a beat up moth (for $15K which they consider a steal) and tuning it to win
  • there's a facebook group -- moth buy and sell I think -- that seems to have tons of moths for sale, many in Australia

It's also been discussed here that it might be a winning move to get yourself on a Wazsp of UFO for a season or two, get the first thousand crashes out of your system on a sturdier/cheaper to fix boat. Once you can wrangle the go-kart around the tight corner, upgrade to the F1.

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Contact Andrew McDougall at Mach2, he will know all the moth sailors in Melbourne and all the Mach2 boats for sale. He sails at Black Rock. There are also some at Sorrento.

Mach2 is the most numerous Moth in Australia. Been about now for 10 years. Used ones range from $30k to $10k depending on age and state of foil and rig upgrade. The older ones will need work to ensure everything functions properly, expect worn systems and slower foils and rig. There are also plenty of older Bladeriders, Prowlers and even Hungry Tigers but you have to be pretty careful to get one which is fully functional. Not many in original condition and no real parts supply available. But I do know one in Sydney going cheaply if $8K is all you have. Message me if you want. 

AMAC might try to sell you a Wasp. There is an active WASZP fleet in Melbourne but at the price of a new WASP you can buy a much faster used moth. I know of a UFO in Sydney but have never seen it sail, no idea about UFOs in Melbourne or how they will handle Port Philip waves, but they certainly win on price. Jim French is building Skeetas and Nickis in Melbourne too.

But even with a $8K moth you can join the moth circus and race against all the champions and their glammor boats, they do disapear soon after the start though.

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 7:46 AM, Phil S said:

race against all the champions and their glammor boats, they do disapear soon after the start though.

 

That made me have a true belly laugh.

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+1 on that, I sailed a maricat against Darren Bundock at a regatta once, only saw him at the starts.

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James:  I have a few thoughts.  I learned to foil on a friends Mach 2 about six years ago, then purchased a UFO two years ago.  You can certainly learn to foil on a Moth, many people have.  The learning curve is steep.  In my experience, if you can windsurf (to understand the feeling of windward heel and the sail keeping you upright) and have sailed small skiffs (so you are familiar with boats with almost no primary stability), you will pick it up pretty quickly.  If not, the learning curve is longer, but still doable for those with persistence. 

The real challenge of the Moth is in boat setup.  Almost all of the Mach 2's I've seen get modified, many even before they ever get wet.  So no two are exactly the same, and some modifications work well while others don't.   If you find a Moth owner with a well sorted boat, particularly if he or she is nearby and eager to help you up the learning curve, you will be in great shape.   Many of the top Moth sailors seem to upgrade boats every few years, so the hottest setup from 3 years ago can be had on the used market this year, sometimes for half of the money the initial owner has invested in it.  You won't win the worlds in it, but it will be a blast to sail, can place well at your local club, and will absolutely be fast enough to scare the crap out of you!  

I have observed that the Moth sailors (in the US, at least) are a really cooperative, inclusive, and helpful group, at least in the boat park.  At the few events I've been to with a moth fleet in the US, the top sailors took time in the evening to help newbies improve their rigs and make repairs.  There is an acknowledgement that this is hard to learn, and folks that show an interest and willingness to invest the time, energy, and funds are welcomed in and helped along.   That being said, even the top sailors, with pretty new boats, spent a few hours each night after racing making repairs and tweaking for speed.  These are F1 cars, not sports cars, and they need lots of TLC to stay in fighting form.

Ultimately, I decided that there was not enough support in my sailing area to buy a Moth.  My friend with the Mach 2 (a professional sailor with a worldwide network of contacts) moved out of town and took it with him.  I also didn't want to spend the time needed to rig and break down the Moth every time I wanted to sail.  So I looked at the UFO and Waszp, and decided on the UFO for a number of reasons, primarily convenience and durability.   

All of these are great boats.  I would not say the future of sailing is foiling, but foiling is certainly a fun new part of the sport.  And there are many great foiling options available to us now.  I strongly recommend spending some time at a nearby club with a fleet of Moths, Waszps, or Skeetas, talking to the  sailors, and learning what is involved in rigging and de-rigging.  Most of these classes are really eager to recruit new members, so you will often get an offer to go out sailing if you hang around long enough, are ready to get wet, and are genuinely interested.  

Good luck and have fun!

 

 

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Was obsessed with International Canoes for years and loved sailing the two I had but as I got busier and had less time there became a limit it weather were I was competitive. Sold the canoe and bought a Streaker (UK one design slightly slower than a laser) because there was a good racing fleet at my club. It was an awesome decision and I enjoyed it much more that the canoe. Thrills and spills are great on YouTube but not for the vast majority I feel. 

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There is a really well written article in the current (Spring 2020) Sailing World magazine about the Moth class and what it takes to advance to the top.   In short, it takes a lot of skill, perseverance, humility, time, and money.   But the rewards are spectacular, and for those that stick with it, you will learn and improve with every session.     I don't know if Saiing World is available down under, I suspect you have your own (likely excellent!) sailing publications.   It is not on the SW website yet, but check back in a few weeks.   

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3 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

There is a really well written article in the current (Spring 2020) Sailing World magazine about the Moth class and what it takes to advance to the top.   In short, it takes a lot of skill, perseverance, humility, time, and money.   But the rewards are spectacular, and for those that stick with it, you will learn and improve with every session.     I don't know if Saiing World is available down under, I suspect you have your own (likely excellent!) sailing publications.   It is not on the SW website yet, but check back in a few weeks.   

Advancing to the top is not what most moth sailors aspire too, the top is a very rarefied environment occupied by olympians and professional sailors. Most of us are content with mediocraty because the thrill of racing a moth is just so much better than anything else.

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On 3/8/2020 at 10:21 PM, Phil S said:

Advancing to the top is not what most moth sailors aspire too, the top is a very rarefied environment occupied by olympians and professional sailors. Most of us are content with mediocraty because the thrill of racing a moth is just so much better than anything else.

and that’s why i’m buying one too- hopefully next week.    is the moth still growing in the USA?  would be nice to have “tiers” like they do in the opti fleet for old-fat-newbie guys like me to join a regatta

is there a “gathering place” online for new Moth sailors to compare notes and tips?

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45 minutes ago, 1sailor said:

and that’s why i’m buying one too- hopefully next week.    is the moth still growing in the USA?  would be nice to have “tiers” like they do in the opti fleet for old-fat-newbie guys like me to join a regatta

is there a “gathering place” online for new Moth sailors to compare notes and tips?

The winter regattas in Key Largo have "tiers" of sorts. You can to one lap around the course or two. The crowd is very welcoming to all skill levels. The hotshots are fixing their boats along with everyone else.

(I sail in a different class -- separate starts for Moths, UFOs and Wazsps)

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On 3/5/2020 at 6:33 AM, Champlain Sailor said:

I have observed that the Moth sailors (in the US, at least) are a really cooperative, inclusive, and helpful group, at least in the boat park.  At the few events I've been to with a moth fleet in the US, the top sailors took time in the evening to help newbies improve their rigs and make repairs.  There is an acknowledgement that this is hard to learn, and folks that show an interest and willingness to invest the time, energy, and funds are welcomed in and helped along.   That being said, even the top sailors, with pretty new boats, spent a few hours each night after racing making repairs and tweaking for speed.  These are F1 cars, not sports cars, and they need lots of TLC to stay in fighting form.

Not moth related but this was my experience coming into and sailing an I14 for 5+ years, we held regular post race debriefs!

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8 hours ago, 1sailor said:

and that’s why i’m buying one too- hopefully next week.    is the moth still growing in the USA?  would be nice to have “tiers” like they do in the opti fleet for old-fat-newbie guys like me to join a regatta

is there a “gathering place” online for new Moth sailors to compare notes and tips?

Have you had a chance to try a Moth yet?  I took a guy out many years ago, he was convinced that he wanted to write a check for one that day, but he couldn't balance on it and after twenty or so minutes of trying, he got back on the safety boat and never looked at a Moth again.  Definitely worth trying before buying whenever possible.  I still have my Moth but I've also picked up a UFO as it would be easier to build a fleet of those here.  We'll have two UFOs when mine arrives in a week or two.  I think that there will always be one Moth...

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On 5/1/2020 at 7:58 PM, WCB said:

Have you had a chance to try a Moth yet?  I took a guy out many years ago, he was convinced that he wanted to write a check for one that day, but he couldn't balance on it and after twenty or so minutes of trying, he got back on the safety boat and never looked at a Moth again.  Definitely worth trying before buying whenever possible.  I still have my Moth but I've also picked up a UFO as it would be easier to build a fleet of those here.  We'll have two UFOs when mine arrives in a week or two.  I think that there will always be one Moth...

That's no doubt good advice for any reasonable person.   I have never claimed to be reasonable.    More of a gambler  :-)     I do have some Moth sailor friends, many of whom have endorsed my plan and have suggested that if I can (competently) sail my Laser in 20+, then I will be able to sail a moth.  

I dont think it'd be fair to "try" one out as your pal did, and give up in the same day- this looks more like a long and frustrating journey to me.

So, we'll put my sorry fat ass on board and see what happens.   Boat is in the mail this week-- I'm ready to get frustrated, bruised, excited, and disappointed all at the same time, and I have zero delusions about ever being 'good.'    

My biggest problem is that my kids think its for them, so if we can actually sail the thing I may need another one soon !

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3 hours ago, 1sailor said:

That's no doubt good advice for any reasonable person.   I have never claimed to be reasonable.    More of a gambler  :-)     I do have some Moth sailor friends, many of whom have endorsed my plan and have suggested that if I can (competently) sail my Laser in 20+, then I will be able to sail a moth.  

I dont think it'd be fair to "try" one out as your pal did, and give up in the same day- this looks more like a long and frustrating journey to me.

So, we'll put my sorry fat ass on board and see what happens.   Boat is in the mail this week-- I'm ready to get frustrated, bruised, excited, and disappointed all at the same time, and I have zero delusions about ever being 'good.'    

My biggest problem is that my kids think its for them, so if we can actually sail the thing I may need another one soon !

I fully expect that my boys (hopefully) will want to sail my Moth someday but since I just bought a UFO too, I figure that they can start off with that.

What'd you get for a Moth?

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If you have eager young sailors at home, be ready for an additional helping of humility.   Young kids seem to pick up foiling way, way faster than us old guys do.   Less muscle memory from years of sailing conventional dinghys, I suppose, better flexibility, and less fear (or lack of good judgement....its all perspective).   My younger son picked up the UFO like it was nothing.   He didn't practice much, but could jump on it in pretty big wind (and he's a little guy) and rip around on it.  I was impressed (and a little irritated!).   

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On 5/4/2020 at 4:12 PM, WCB said:

I fully expect that my boys (hopefully) will want to sail my Moth someday but since I just bought a UFO too, I figure that they can start off with that.

What'd you get for a Moth?

Mach 2, a few years old but with updated foils (large / 'geriatric'  early-lift horizontal), bowsprit upgrade, couple rigs...   full package set up in 'simple' mode (no canting rig or adj. forestay) 

I'll have a shit-ton to learn but as much of our offshore stuff is cancelled for this year, less time doing that means time to try something new-- will see if it works !   

Anyone know where I can see any news about 2020 regattas for the Moth, any other Moth discussion forums etc ?   Facebook buy-sell is quite 'international' and the USA moth site is badly outdated

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1 hour ago, 1sailor said:

Mach 2, a few years old but with updated foils (large / 'geriatric'  early-lift horizontal), bowsprit upgrade, couple rigs...   full package set up in 'simple' mode (no canting rig or adj. forestay) 

I'll have a shit-ton to learn but as much of our offshore stuff is cancelled for this year, less time doing that means time to try something new-- will see if it works !   

Anyone know where I can see any news about 2020 regattas for the Moth, any other Moth discussion forums etc ?   Facebook buy-sell is quite 'international' and the USA moth site is badly outdated

Sweet...nice purchase.  You'll be fine on the Moth, it just takes a little time.

That's my complaint with the class.  There's next to no information.  It seemed like they were headed in the right direction this year with a series in Florida in the Winter and also in SoCal but obviously both were cancelled.  I'm not sure what is still left for this year.  I'd reach out to the US Class Prez, I think she's doing better than what has been done in years.

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Don't believe a lot of the BS you read on forums and listen to people like Phil who really know. If you have a Moth fleet near you, buy a boat that works and go out and sail. It sounds as if you know enough to pick it up. It's a new skill, you will swim lots, but so does everybody when they first get into a Moth unless they are a sailing god of some sort. Don't buy a boat that "needs sorting" unless you know enough about Moth set up to do it yourself. It is false economy and will set back your learning a long way. A good boat will shorten the learning curve significantly.

The only problem I have with what Phil says is the following......

On 2/20/2020 at 11:09 PM, Phil S said:

If you want to sail the most exciting, most rewarding boat available....

Don't get me wrong, the Moths are great, but I will stick with my A and make the same claims about sailing it as he does about the Moth:D. The reality is they both rank as the 2 most rewarding boats to sail, and each has their different appeals. I like trapezing, so the A is good. I also like the fact the A is probably harder to sail fast in a straight line but far easier through the corners due to not foiling. I know I swim a lot less on the A than I would on a Moth.  Pure straight line speed is interesting. Even an old idiot like me is able to do 22-23 knots upwind at about the same angle as a Moth in about 15 knots of breeze, but when it comes to VMG, the Moth foiling though tacks would gain so much back. Downwind I think there isn't a lot in it with the A a little slower (say 27-28 knots in 12-14 knots of breeze) but deeper, but again, the Moth making it up on the gybes.

What i am really trying to say is that at the top end of foiling, you have a great choice of boats each of which has their own special points. I would choose which one to sail based on local conditions, the local fleet and your budget. I love both classes. In my case, i can train on the A with a 3 time world champion and a 2 times Olympic medallist who are probably the fastest A Class sailors in the world (or equal fastest) for about half the cost of joining the Moth fleet of the same level, even if i were capable of training with those guys in Moths. However, if I lived south of the harbour, I would probably be sailing a Moth against Phil, and getting pissed off at being beaten by him!

There is an old bastardised version of a Chinese proverb or curse - May you live in interesting times. With foiling, we certainly do and it is great that there is a choice of boats at every level.

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On 5/6/2020 at 8:20 AM, SimonN said:

I like trapezing, so the A is good.

Trapezing feels pretty intimidating to me on a foiling boat. Makes very spectacular content on youtube when it all goes wong though. :)

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On 5/5/2020 at 11:20 PM, SimonN said:

Don't believe a lot of the BS you read on forums and listen to people like Phil who really know. If you have a Moth fleet near you, buy a boat that works and go out and sail. It sounds as if you know enough to pick it up. It's a new skill, you will swim lots, but so does everybody when they first get into a Moth unless they are a sailing god of some sort. Don't buy a boat that "needs sorting" unless you know enough about Moth set up to do it yourself. It is false economy and will set back your learning a long way. A good boat will shorten the learning curve significantly.

The only problem I have with what Phil says is the following......

Don't get me wrong, the Moths are great, but I will stick with my A and make the same claims about sailing it as he does about the Moth:D. The reality is they both rank as the 2 most rewarding boats to sail, and each has their different appeals. I like trapezing, so the A is good. I also like the fact the A is probably harder to sail fast in a straight line but far easier through the corners due to not foiling. I know I swim a lot less on the A than I would on a Moth.  Pure straight line speed is interesting. Even an old idiot like me is able to do 22-23 knots upwind at about the same angle as a Moth in about 15 knots of breeze, but when it comes to VMG, the Moth foiling though tacks would gain so much back. Downwind I think there isn't a lot in it with the A a little slower (say 27-28 knots in 12-14 knots of breeze) but deeper, but again, the Moth making it up on the gybes.

What i am really trying to say is that at the top end of foiling, you have a great choice of boats each of which has their own special points. I would choose which one to sail based on local conditions, the local fleet and your budget. I love both classes. In my case, i can train on the A with a 3 time world champion and a 2 times Olympic medallist who are probably the fastest A Class sailors in the world (or equal fastest) for about half the cost of joining the Moth fleet of the same level, even if i were capable of training with those guys in Moths. However, if I lived south of the harbour, I would probably be sailing a Moth against Phil, and getting pissed off at being beaten by him!

There is an old bastardised version of a Chinese proverb or curse - May you live in interesting times. With foiling, we certainly do and it is great that there is a choice of boats at every level.

Just dive in and start taking your Moth lumps!

Some of the most rewarding sailing I've done in 50 years was learning how to get a modern I-14 competitively around a course! Super humbling...

took a season or 2, or 3...

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3 hours ago, barney said:

Trapezing feels pretty intimidating to me on a foiling boat. Makes very spectacular content on youtube when it all goes wong though. :)

Being on the trapeze of any boat going at serious speed leads to spectacular issues when it goes wrong. Try watching some of the 18' skiff videos or 14's or even high speed cats from the past. Then look at the injuries from foiling boats you sit on. There is a very good reason why boats such as the Waszp and UFO have unstayed rigs. You should see the injuries that happen on Moths from helms hitting shrouds at speed.

Foiling is inherently less safe that non foiling and I do not believe that trapeze or sit in makes any real difference to that. I could make the argument that either one was safer or more dangerous than the other. For me, because of the sailing I have done over a long period, I feel safer on a trapeze than sitting out and yes, I have sailed both a Moth and an A. I admit to having hurt myself on both boats, although my worst sailing injuries have been on non foiling boats. I think I got more beaten up on 49ers in the very early days than anything else I have sailed, followed by 18' skiffs.

1 hour ago, Liquid said:

Some of the most rewarding sailing I've done in 50 years was learning how to get a modern I-14 competitively around a course! Super humbling...

took a season or 2, or 3...

I agree. I loved sailing 14's (and 49ers) when it was about learning a whole new set of skills. And that is what foiling is all about as well. The reality is that foiling on any boat is like learning to sail all over again. In many cases, you need to do exactly the opposite in a foiler compared with a non foiling boat - easing the sheet when you think you should be pulling in and the other way around, moving forward when you would normally move back etc. It takes practice to make these changes and for them to become second nature. Yes, it's very humbling. But whatever foiler you choose, it is probably the most rewarding sailing you can do, even if at times it scares the s#&t out of you!

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35 minutes ago, SimonN said:

Foiling is inherently less safe that non foiling and I do not believe that trapeze or sit in makes any real difference to that.

Foils protuding out of the hull width, near where sailors might fall seem to be a big factor.

Nacra 17 sailors have been getting hurt - sometimes badly - with rudders. Hence the change to L rudders (which some Flying Phantom Essentiel cats trialled first). The L rudders are iffy on some fronts, but are likely safer.

I'm not sure about a-cats; in theory they should have a similar risk, but I suspect that a-cat sailors don't run over and hook in a fast-paced maneuver like nacra crews do. 

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7 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Nacra 17 sailors have been getting hurt - sometimes badly - with rudders.

Not surprised...

I'm old, I've never foiled a sailboat, looks scary to me!

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