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Tom Kirkman

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About Tom Kirkman

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    Anarchist

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  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Sailing, flying, fishing, knocking around.

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  1. It didn't offer the same performance as the Weta. Very low volume hulls, smaller sail area, somewhat outdated hull design. Apparently not enough capital to get the product into gear. Three boats, the molds, jigs and building rights were sold to an individual about 3 years ago. No word since then. Besides.... the boat alone doesn't guarantee success. Takes a good product backed by strong manufacturer support and a good dealer network. The Weta comes with a very extensive and well written owner's manual and their company website has an "owner's locker" filled to the brim with tips and trick
  2. This boat didn't make it for a variety of reasons, but many of it's design concepts, particularly in terms of aka attachment and the hiking rail between the akas were quite good. Their video shows the assembly process.
  3. The attachment point to the amas could remain the same, just more angle back to the main hull. I suspect it has something to do with the way the boat is going to go together and come apart. For any quick-rig trimaran, the ama to aka to main hull system is always a bit tricky, at least if you want to keep things simple.
  4. If this is illustrative of the Rocket 48, I wonder why the forward aka is not moved back just a tad so that the mast base can set upon it. Would be neater, but maybe interfere with whatever assembly sequence they intend for the boat. No bowsprit - so maybe enough forward hull length to still carry a headsail that doesn't require any additional distance? Any headsail needs to be as full as possible for the deepest possible sailing but flat enough to allow furling with a bottom-up continuous furler while tight enough to allow it to be left up when not in use. This will facilitate one-up sailing
  5. Selling price is obviously a major factor. The higher the price the smaller the potential market for the boat will be. If the boat offers an additional level of performance and the price runs up towards $25K I don’t think it’s going to change things enough to doom its success. If it runs up to $30K, however, then I think it’ll be a tough slog. Having dealers that are willing to bring in a container of several boats is important. A dealer that can break the shipping cost down among several boats in the same container is an absolute plus. This is where Weta’s dealer network really helps the
  6. The advantage of the new 15'6" length over the planned 14'4" length will be speed and better rough water handling. If the team at Rocket is creative with a nice beach dolly of some sort, I think any loss of single handed launching will be minimal. As far as 3 sail handling when just 1-up, I can already do it on the larger Astus so I don't see any issues with this length, and since it will feature a traveler (which the Weta doesn't) it will have more options to depower than the Weta in very strong winds. I think these guys are just about on the money now.
  7. The VPLP hull design on the Astus is cutting edge. It's the baby brother of the Diam 24 - study the photos of both you will see they are pretty much the same boat but in different lengths. But in other ways, it's not. The cuddy, in my opinion, is of little worth and only adds weight. The straight pull akas are a great way to provide portability at low cost, but they also have a performance downside. And, the Astus is a bit complicated/time consuming to rig. As far as comparing the Astus 16.5 to the Weta - you can't do it fairly. A single Astus 16.5 would tow an entire fleet of Weta's anywhere
  8. All we can do is speculate and you know what that's worth... The Weta is a better and more capable boat than most of its owners will ever know - most never really push it. The Rocket is yet again a step higher in performance. Room for both in the marketplace? We'll see. For the Rocket, the main thing now is going to be the price point. If they bring it in at $20K I congratulate them. If they have to push out to $25K, I'll still buy one (and a couple others locally will too) but will enough others fork over the extra cash to make the project viable? There are other specifics that Rocket ha
  9. Because the Rocket will likely be a better two-up boat, I think you may see buyers who currently aren't buying Wetas. As far as people moving over from the Weta, the Weta has established one-design racing fleets that are growing by the year, which the Rocket won't have for several years, if even then. So if one-design racing is the idea, I don't think those folks will move over. In the meantime, Rocket is building something that does not currently exist. I think they'll do well. We'll see what happens. Just happy to see them moving on this project again.
  10. No single boat is going to be for everyone. But if you look at the boats that have sold in the hundreds, even thousands and tens of thousands, they all have a few things in common… They’re all under 18 feet in length. They’re easy to trailer and tow, even with small vehicles and can be easily rigged and sailed by one person, yet still perform well with two on board. And they all represent great value for the money. Hobie did it really well with several beach cats. Weta is doing pretty good at it right now. Rocket has the right idea - a performance daysailer/racer at a size that is p
  11. I agree, but with the new length and IF the final price can get in at the proposed $20K U.S., they may well hit the sweet spot that so many others haven't and can't get their heads around.
  12. I was informed yesterday that the proposed Rocket 44 has become the Rocket 48. Plugs are being made next week by an 8 axis robot and length has been increased from 4.4 meters (14' 4") feet) to 4.8 meters (15'6"). Hopefully production boats won't be too far off now. This additional length is good news and worth the delay as far as I'm concerned.
  13. Sadly, the world map isn't very up to date. Not Weta's fault as I suspect most Weta owners haven't bothered sending their information in. There's an easy 20+ of these things here in NC, USA, and the world map shows only 3. I'd think the rest of the map is similarly outdated.
  14. Unfortunately, we're back to a 5-legged horse. A trimaran that is light enough to easily haul ashore isn't going to afford you with much in the way of storage or carrying capacity. A boat that does offer those things isn't going to be be easy to haul ashore. Your first thought, the Astus 16.5, might be your best best after all, although I wouldn't like dragging mine onto anything other than sand. The Hobie Tandem Island will do what you want, minus the carrying capacity and storage. The Windrider 17, while not perfect for you, appears to check more boxes than all the rest. There is a guy
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