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Help Charting a path: Landlubber to Mach 2 Moth


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#1 Water Golem

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:30 PM

As a person who has lived his life primarily as a land lubber, I've become intensely fixated on working towards one day owning and sailing my very own Mach 2 Hydrofoil Moth.

Currently I am RYA level 2 licensed and have about 32 hours of sailing experience between lasers and catamaran's under my belt. Anyone here want to toss in advise as how to best work my way up to handling a hydrofoil moth? I've been told a good intermediate step would be to get off lasers within the coming months, and get a couple of years worth of experience on a high performance single sail monohull like an RS600.

All together my physique, the location I live in and its wind speed and wave height are all near optimal for the Mach 2... perhaps a few months of exercising would come in handy working on stamina and core.

Any advise would be much appreciated; such as what would be the best method for working my way up to being able to handle a boat on that caliber of speed, and that necessitates refined technique and balance with increasingly small margin's of error.

Thanks!



#2 BalticBandit

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

As a person who has lived his life primarily as a land lubber, I've become intensely fixated on working towards one day owning and sailing my very own Mach 2 Hydrofoil Moth.

Currently I am RYA level 2 licensed and have about 32 hours of sailing experience between lasers and catamaran's under my belt. Anyone here want to toss in advise as how to best work my way up to handling a hydrofoil moth? I've been told a good intermediate step would be to get off lasers within the coming months, and get a couple of years worth of experience on a high performance single sail monohull like an RS600.

All together my physique, the location I live in and its wind speed and wave height are all near optimal for the Mach 2... perhaps a few months of exercising would come in handy working on stamina and core.

Any advise would be much appreciated; such as what would be the best method for working my way up to being able to handle a boat on that caliber of speed, and that necessitates refined technique and balance with increasingly small margin's of error.

Thanks!


Go windsurfing... seriously the Moth has about as much to do with the Laser or catamarans as tying your shoe has to do with Olympic Balance Beam.

Lasers and Catamarans are "reactive" and "True Wind" boats (some cats are Apparent wind boats but it doesn't sound like that's where you are at). Windsurfers are simultaneously "apparent wind" boats and also essentially are "held up" by the sail itself. That's more like a hydrofoil moth than anything else. That said, they still are pretty different.

You might want to consider simply going for the Moth and spending some $$ getting some coaching.

#3 Major Tom

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:27 PM

If you can get a laser around the course in 25 knots without swimming then you should have no troubles with a Moth. It always helps if you have someone with you on the water to tell you how the boat is going to react and what you need to do to counter that. I have got a few friends up and foiling in 5 minutes in a straight line, thay are all however either national or world champions so their basic sailing skills are very high. I would recommend that you get an old Bladerider and have a few lessons, then after a season get yourself that mach 2, you won't regret it!

#4 GybeSetŪ

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:38 PM

TOM HAS IT

theres people crossing over here that pay the good mothies to coach them, works with other sports !

aerobic work would help, as would a good formula board with breeze if you don't go straight to an entry level foiler




#5 Phil S

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:45 PM

Sail the laser when its windy, it will teach you plenty and be applicable to all small boats. Basic handling skills never go astray even on big boats. Sailboard skills are usefull too but I know a lot of mothies who can not sail a board at all, so its not manditory.

Unless you can afford to lose lots of money do not buy a Mach2 as your first moth. Buy something functional but cheaper. It will be slower but you will spend a lot of time at first crashing and climbing onto the capsized hull and you are sure to do lots of damage, dinting the hull and trashing the sail. It would be a shame to trash your Mach2 before you learn to sail it.

You also need some mentors. People who know how to set up all the little controls systems so that when the boats starts to fly it will fly well, not jump out of the water or crash into waves. Unlike a laser which has just 4 ropes to play with a moth can have up to 5 extra adjustments just for the foil (may stick bungee tension, wand height adjustmet, wand stopper adjustment, pushrod winder, and response rate adjuster) Not all boats have adjustment on the lot but all these things need to be set up correct for the conditions on the day, so some advise and experience is very helpful.

So find you local moth fleet, buy a boat from someone who is upgrading and who can show you how to make it function correctly then just go and practice.

#6 Water Golem

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

Thanks, very varied responses between Tom and Baltic Bandit!

Seeing as I'm not very attracted to Windsurfing, I think I may just go the route of focusing on building up my core skills unless I hear some more opinions, which would be appreciated, as I'm still learning. I am however willing to consider going through a windsurfing course and committing to developing skills around it for half a year if the advantages in terms of developing an understanding of apparent wind are significant.

Sadly there is absolutely no Moth or hydrofoil community where I live, so I can't leverage off anyone else's experience unless I take a week or so off work and fly out to a school that teaches newbies on Moths and Bladeriders. I am tempted to do this in a few months time, perhaps in Spain, after working on my core skills for a while. Virtually all of the sailing I've done thus far has been in winds ranging between 17-30 knots, but Its virtually all been in bays that limit wave height. I can happily handle winds in these conditions, but in more open bays where the waves pick up I'm likely to end up taking a dunk if I'm not being patient.


Also, to make matters more complicated, there isn't anyone around skilled in carbon fiber repairs that I know of except across the border.

I am however highly committed to improving my skillset regardless of how many times I end up in the water, sailing has quickly turned into a passion for me, and I am really longing for something speedy and maneuverable that is single handed and best in a Force 2-3 (which is closer to the norm around these parts.

*Update* Thank you Phil that is great advice. I'll get in touch with the nearest Moth fleet, across the border, and see if they can offer suggestions for something or someone closer to home.This will likely prove most beneficial at my level.




#7 Ned

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:20 PM

Once you're into it both your sailing skills and carbon skills will improve dramatically. Sail as much as you can and be in shape. That will help to decrease the carbon skills required.

#8 Presuming Ed

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:26 PM

Flight school: http://www.pro-vela....t/moth-sailing/

Entrance requirements:

[The] reality is that if you are relatively fit, less than 90kg and can sail a planing dinghy with confidence then Moth sailing is attainable for you.



#9 Water Golem

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:40 PM

Thanks Ed, thats the school I was looking at myself! Would you recommend a good planing dingy? I mentioned I am considering something along the lines of an R600, which I assume may be a decent choice coming off lasers.

#10 BalticBandit

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

Thanks, very varied responses between Tom and Baltic Bandit!

Seeing as I'm not very attracted to Windsurfing, I think I may just go the route of focusing on building up my core skills unless I hear some more opinions, which would be appreciated, as I'm still learning. I am however willing to consider going through a windsurfing course and committing to developing skills around it for half a year if the advantages in terms of developing an understanding of apparent wind are significant.


Core skills for moths and for sailing are not exactly the same. Go read some of the Apparent Wind Angle sailing threads around this forum and you will see the difference.

Lasers for example you sail flat or slightly heeling to leeward.... Moths - the opposite (as you do with windsurfers)

Lasers in windy condistions you seek to make go faster and faster, Moths at some point you have to back off to keep in control

Lasers in bearing off you dump the sheet out... not so in Moths.

Lasers if you get overpowered you luff up... the opposite with moths...



So you aren't really building the right skill set. The reason the top folks can get in and sail pretty quickly in a straight line has more to do with their experience in skiffs like the I-14 and 49er, less the laser.


Frankly you are probably fit enough to sail a foiler now. And you are better off buying a sorted out beater - ie one in which the light to medium air settins are dialed, but which may be a bit heavy for competitiveness and maybe has foils that have too much drag.

Sail that, punch some holes in it, patch with more carbon... and then trade up. Your skills will get there faster.

#11 gui

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:03 AM

Just buy a moth and go sailing! It's not that crazy.

#12 sailingkid

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:15 AM

Yeah it wasn't that hard when I sailed one, just reach back and forth on an old one till you get the hang of it

#13 punter

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:02 AM

Just buy a moth and go sailing! It's not that crazy.

+1. It is what I did and haven't looked back. And if people see you with the boat, you will find others willing to jump in as well.

#14 mustang__1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:53 AM

for starters, i would not use terms like "charting a course" or "landlubber". you owe everyone posting in this thread beer for that. And good beer.


anyways, i would continue to race lasers for a while. not because it will make you a better sailor (which it will), but because it will make you a better racer. assuming that it is your intention to race. knowing what to do at a leeward mark, when there are other boats around, is not something you want to have to be thinking about - in any boat. Especially if its windy and/or you are moving fast. One more thing, here at college i get 32-40hrs of practice a month, and that doesnt include time at regattas - which can be every weekend a month. I've only sailed a month once, but it will be my next boat after the next time 29er worlds are in north america in 2014.

#15 aus2479

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:28 AM

Provided you understand the basics of sailing just get a moth and have a crack. If your new to it a coach will help a lot, not necessarily a moth sailor.

It's not that hard unless of course you want to win races.

In a few years you would be a much much better moth sailor having sailed one the whole time rather than a laser for a year then a moth. Not necessarily a better sailor but if the moth is the goal who cares.

What boat to get depends on your budget.







#16 constantijn

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:50 AM

flight school;

a properly set up moth is surprisingly easy to sail in a straight line. turning corners is the hard part!

book a week at pro vela and you will know if it is for you or not.

#17 MT14er

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:40 PM


Just buy a moth and go sailing! It's not that crazy.

+1. It is what I did and haven't looked back. And if people see you with the boat, you will find others willing to jump in as well.


+2 I always tell people if you can get the boat out of the marina you can foil on it. It's way harder to sail the boat in light wind/low riding than it is once its on the foils. It actually drives like a truck when its foiling, until you need to turn at least. I'd also second the recommendation about not buying a new Mach2 right out of the gate. Much of the learning curve is about figuring out how not to beat the cr@p out of your boat which can only really be learned by beating the cr@p out of your boat and learning what not to do.

#18 barney

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:32 PM

I don't quite understand, why you're rushing into sailing a Moth with virtually no sailing experience. You could get heaps of fun and experience sailing other boats first and then move up to mothing. Of course, it is very cool, but there are quite a lot of thing that a Moth won't teach you.

#19 Phil S

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:15 PM

I don't quite understand, why you're rushing into sailing a Moth with virtually no sailing experience. You could get heaps of fun and experience sailing other boats first and then move up to mothing. Of course, it is very cool, but there are quite a lot of thing that a Moth won't teach you.

Except that once you have raced a moth everything else is slow and boring.

#20 BalticBandit

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:23 AM


I don't quite understand, why you're rushing into sailing a Moth with virtually no sailing experience. You could get heaps of fun and experience sailing other boats first and then move up to mothing. Of course, it is very cool, but there are quite a lot of thing that a Moth won't teach you.

Except that once you have raced a moth everything else is slow and boring.

I dunno. downhill in skiff at 25 knots I think still is exciting even after a Moth :-)

#21 Phil S

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:26 AM



I don't quite understand, why you're rushing into sailing a Moth with virtually no sailing experience. You could get heaps of fun and experience sailing other boats first and then move up to mothing. Of course, it is very cool, but there are quite a lot of thing that a Moth won't teach you.

Except that once you have raced a moth everything else is slow and boring.

I dunno. downhill in skiff at 25 knots I think still is exciting even after a Moth :-)

And compared to the very few other boats which can even make 25kts sometimes, a moth is very cheap, compact to store and invites no crew hassles. So add the words "and/or cumbersome, heavy, expensive and demanding of a crew" to my previous post.

#22 IanA.

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:11 AM

Its amazing how some of the most opinionated posts in this topic are from people who don't sail moths and that most of them are very pessimistic about newer sailors jumping into foiling. There's no form guide for who can and can't sail moths. I sold my old prowler to a 50+ year old watchmaker whose sailing was limited to Tasar's and other similar boats. In the 2 years he's owned the boat he has logged some of the most foiling time then a lot of other mothie in North America. What im saying is anyone can learn to sail a moth if they really want to, its up to that person to decide.

#23 Water Golem

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:50 AM

All good food for thought... And I certainly do owe all of you guys a thanks and a beer now!

I'm considering spending the majority of the next year focusing on sailing lasers/cats and maybe a skiff, then booking 10 days at Pro Vela for a sailing vacation, with some time with a moth coach there.

I think this will make me all the more well rounded. Lets see how it all pans out!

#24 JimC

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:02 AM

The biggest thing, I reckon is not to learn the *wrong* stuff. There are certain reactions you need to get dialed in sort of subconsciously, and the right way for performance boats is not the easy way in slow boats. So if you are going to do courses you need to make damn sure they are focussed on modern high performance techniques, and not on the old fashioned/keelboat type stuff... If you've got the patience, and everything else (like a warm enough climate) there's a lot to be said for just getting wet all the time and just sailing a boat that will not respond to the wrong techniques, which a Laser will...

#25 gerryb

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:53 AM

My only comment is that I would not rule out a new or good condition Mach 2 if you can afford it. Compared to an older model / brand, it will be:

- easier to sail
- more reliable
- faster (if you care)
- more fun

(not saying a late model Ninja would not be a good choice as well, just no experience with one)




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