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Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object


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I’ve mentioned to a few folks about the challenges I face foiling in Savannah to include the tidal currents which can be very strong.  This past weekend I was working a section of the Wilmington River

Clean: not so sure the UFO is slower than. Waszp.  Dave has cuffed more than one or two around, but that could also be pilot differentiation. But to repeat and reiterate, we weren’t trying t

Actually not commenting on the above video but I don't want it to get buried by my Fulcrum update for the holidays, so i'm responding to it to keep it in frame. Martin is conveying what I'd love to co

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23 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

oh, not so sure it's a good idea. It's gusty, shifty and unstable. See below what horrible conditions we must endure...

 

 

Looks real tough Martin ;) With all that sunshine you have to do a a lot of squinting while you sail. Plus there there's sunburns and overheating to worry about. Freezing rain and a drysuit (today's conditions in RI) is definitely the way to go foiling.

 

But East Coast Foiling Midwinters #1 is now officially the biggest UFO regatta ever, so I'm definitely going to have to head to the Keys in a month. Let's keep the ball rolling and see if we can beat our record event attendance attendance from a clinic, too. I think we have one more that I believe is registering.

image.png.9f502aab6b4bafde59a3570c9870298c.png

-Nick

 

 

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Meanwhile, in our mailbag from UFO owner Treef, we have this heartwarming and highly amusing testimonial:

"I’m middle-aged, not particularly lightweight nor fit, but I can fly.


If I have a couple of hours, say after work or early in the morning on a weekend, squeezed in between all of the other obligations that life includes, and if there’s a steady 10+ knot breeze (less if you’re lighter, or more athletic, or a better sailor than I), I go for a UFO ride. I can rig the boat in less than ten minutes, sail out of a very constricted harbor (with foils raised) in about ten or fifteen minutes, drop the foils, and fly. If I get tired, the boat sails nicely on two hulls (which also means it’s safe enough to use without a nanny boat following along). If I crash, or if someone takes the boat for a spin, a UFO is difficult to break (so I don’t stress about fragile, fiddly and pricey parts). After sailing, the boat is durable enough to be put away wet, with no fuss. One simply cannot do all that with any other foiler.

The initial flight-school learning curve was easy and fast, but in no way do I have the boat mastered; I expect to enjoy learning to fly faster and straighter and higher for years to come. And on top of that, the dollar-to-fun meter ratio is off the charts. The UFO is quite possibly the perfect boat for fast fun, lots of grins, not a lot of work, at a reasonable price.

Treef Rosow, Southport CT
UFO #8 (and #10)
Part of the Invasion since June 2017
 
PS It would be the perfect boat if there was somewhere to stash a couple of beers.
 
PPS I wish I had videos and photos, but they're in short supply. Mostly because I just go out sailing. Usually without a crash boat, always with a VHF radio, but never with a GoPro. And, naturally, my most epic rides (and crashes) are when I am alone. So instead I offer this:"
unnamed.png.3f0e19b67a28c95dd2d57d7bc53a0f22.png

I'll be using this FMA (fun meter analysis) from now on in my day to day, as it definitely makes me smile.

DRC
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Hey team, I finally figured out that SA will only take fairly small photos.  If you are running into the -200 error when uploading photos, you'll need to downscale the images. 

On that note, I have a few images from a recent foiling session that my wife took with her nice DSLR camera with good zoom. 

There is also a photo of the racing in Cedar Point, CT at the beginning of October. 

Cheers...

CT_Racing_Cropped.png

SD_Close_Up_Head_On_Resized.jpg

Foiling_Toward_Aircraft_Carrier_Resized.jpg

SD_Foiling_Close_Up_Resized.jpg

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Hello

I just received my UFO, #280, excited to get it out !  I am located in the Puget Sound area and I am looking for other UFO sailors in the NW area for  sailing/ training.

Any  other UFO owners in the NW  on the  Forum ?

 

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15 hours ago, MMBob said:

Hello

I just received my UFO, #280, excited to get it out !  I am located in the Puget Sound area and I am looking for other UFO sailors in the NW area for  sailing/ training.

Any  other UFO owners in the NW  on the  Forum ?

 

@MMbob, welcome to the club.  The boat is a total blast and it has been an amazing journey for me moving from a floating Laser to a flying UFO. 

@burritoughs put together a roster / list of UFO owners by region.  You can message him to opt in to be on the roster.  I hope you can connect with some other UFO pilots!

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Saturday - 20kt gusting 25. Lots of crashes, but had some good stretches. The gusty/shifty conditions make it really challenging to do upwind or downwind. 

Flying relatively low to avoid ventilation, so . this isn't fast. I'm keen to try 20-25 in flatter waters, less shifty conditions.

 

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Great videos Martin!   You are getting LOTS and LOTS of practice in, and it shows.  Doesn't seem quite fair to those of us who woke up to an ice covered harbor this morning.   Looking forward to making up for lost time in the Keys next month!

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14 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Great videos Martin!   You are getting LOTS and LOTS of practice in, and it shows.  Doesn't seem quite fair to those of us who woke up to an ice covered harbor this morning.   Looking forward to making up for lost time in the Keys next month!

Ditto on the videos, Martin. Very encouraging for this newbie to see low foiling in high winds. My Cape Cod bay has an initial freeze. If this winter brings a hard freeze, as it sometimes does, I was fantasizing about the existence of main and rudder foil ice skate attachments. And, if my UFO fell through the ice, no danger of drowning. :) 

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I practice, and have a good time, but will have to see whether I got any better. The first midwinters is coming so we'll find out soon.

After a few failures (halyard, downhaul tweaker, outhaul strop, hounds strop), I came to the conclusion I had to replace all the cordage on the boat. To be fair, 3 years is plenty good life for it in the sun and high loads we use on the UFO.

I replaced everything, including outhaul tweak line and downhaul tweaker, with single braid dyneema. Amsteel 3mm and 4mm. 

Much to my surprise, they work well in the cleats. A bit slippery but not so bad with the gloves I use.

Mainsheet is the only exception.

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On 12/20/2019 at 6:39 AM, Dave Clark said:

Meanwhile, in our mailbag from UFO owner Treef, we have this heartwarming and highly amusing testimonial:

"I’m middle-aged, not particularly lightweight nor fit, but I can fly.


If I have a couple of hours, say after work or early in the morning on a weekend, squeezed in between all of the other obligations that life includes, and if there’s a steady 10+ knot breeze (less if you’re lighter, or more athletic, or a better sailor than I), I go for a UFO ride. I can rig the boat in less than ten minutes, sail out of a very constricted harbor (with foils raised) in about ten or fifteen minutes, drop the foils, and fly. If I get tired, the boat sails nicely on two hulls (which also means it’s safe enough to use without a nanny boat following along). If I crash, or if someone takes the boat for a spin, a UFO is difficult to break (so I don’t stress about fragile, fiddly and pricey parts). After sailing, the boat is durable enough to be put away wet, with no fuss. One simply cannot do all that with any other foiler.

The initial flight-school learning curve was easy and fast, but in no way do I have the boat mastered; I expect to enjoy learning to fly faster and straighter and higher for years to come. And on top of that, the dollar-to-fun meter ratio is off the charts. The UFO is quite possibly the perfect boat for fast fun, lots of grins, not a lot of work, at a reasonable price.

Treef Rosow, Southport CT
UFO #8 (and #10)
Part of the Invasion since June 2017
 
PS It would be the perfect boat if there was somewhere to stash a couple of beers.
 
PPS I wish I had videos and photos, but they're in short supply. Mostly because I just go out sailing. Usually without a crash boat, always with a VHF radio, but never with a GoPro. And, naturally, my most epic rides (and crashes) are when I am alone. So instead I offer this:"
unnamed.png.3f0e19b67a28c95dd2d57d7bc53a0f22.png

I'll be using this FMA (fun meter analysis) from now on in my day to day, as it definitely makes me smile.

DRC

Absolutely unscientific.

And brilliant. 

Great to see the UFO getting traction as a one design class.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fun fact. If you completely lose your rudder in the middle of the bay, you can get back home, even upwind, by jumping in the water and steering with your body from the stern of the boat, Superman style. It's damn tiring - my arms and hands are a mess, but it's pretty effective.

The rig was fully depowered, we had 10-20kts. I held on to the rudder pintle rod and the mainsheet bridle. Plus the mainsheet. About 3kt más speed, more was hell on my hands and arms.

I did spend 15 stupid minutes flailing, drifting towards a scary bridge and lamenting my fate until I figured this out. This being Miami, several powerboats motored past ignoring my calls for help. Ah well, I should be happy they didn't crash into me.

Anyway, back on shore in one piece. No more practice before KL I guess. Hopefully the fulcrum team has packed a spare rudder.

We should do un-regatta challenges -- as the open bic folks do -- and rudderless sailing would be a fun one...

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1 hour ago, martin.langhoff said:

Fun fact. If you completely lose your rudder in the middle of the bay, you can get back home, even upwind, by jumping in the water and steering with your body from the stern of the boat, Superman style. It's damn tiring - my arms and hands are a mess, but it's pretty effective.

The rig was fully depowered, we had 10-20kts. I held on to the rudder pintle rod and the mainsheet bridle. Plus the mainsheet. About 3kt más speed, more was hell on my hands and arms.

I did spend 15 stupid minutes flailing, drifting towards a scary bridge and lamenting my fate until I figured this out. This being Miami, several powerboats motored past ignoring my calls for help. Ah well, I should be happy they didn't crash into me.

Anyway, back on shore in one piece. No more practice before KL I guess. Hopefully the fulcrum team has packed a spare rudder.

We should do un-regatta challenges -- as the open bic folks do -- and rudderless sailing would be a fun one...

Sounds like one of our old training routines in the Laser and 420s. No need to jump in the water though. Just use the heel and sail trim to steer. But maybe different in a UFO.

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6 minutes ago, Old Yeller said:

Sounds like one of our old training routines in the Laser and 420s. No need to jump in the water though. Just use the heel and sail trim to steer. But maybe different in a UFO.

The UFO has the mast aft of the main foil. This defeats all the steering techniques I knew of. This was part of my feeling despondent while I drifted. On any other boat I'd know what to do.

Then I recalled an adventure where a friend had steered a small cat with his body. Just in time too. 

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I had a similar (but less scary) situation when my rudder got stuck in the mainsheet bridle.  The rudder was stuck sending the boat straight and I was heading quickly for a large moored catamaran.  My solution was much the same as yours, Martin.  I managed to stick one leg off the side of the boat to create asymmetric drag and get the boat to come to irons.  It was then easy to sort out the tangle.

But that experience and the fact I sail in a big bay that is typically much more of a keelboat / big boat venue led me to the question "What contingency plan do I have for various serious failures out on the water?"  The 'what if I lose the rudder' scenario is one of the more troubling ones.  Way to think quickly on you feet and thank you for sharing.  I hope I never need to use the info, but if so, at least I know what worked for you!

BTW, what caused the rudder to come free of the boat?  Was there any inspection / preventative maintenance the rest of us should consider to avoid your fate? 

 

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20 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

Fun fact. If you completely lose your rudder in the middle of the bay, you can get back home, even upwind, by jumping in the water and steering with your body from the stern of the boat, Superman style. It's damn tiring - my arms and hands are a mess, but it's pretty effective.

The rig was fully depowered, we had 10-20kts. I held on to the rudder pintle rod and the mainsheet bridle. Plus the mainsheet. About 3kt más speed, more was hell on my hands and arms.

I did spend 15 stupid minutes flailing, drifting towards a scary bridge and lamenting my fate until I figured this out. This being Miami, several powerboats motored past ignoring my calls for help. Ah well, I should be happy they didn't crash into me.

Anyway, back on shore in one piece. No more practice before KL I guess. Hopefully the fulcrum team has packed a spare rudder.

We should do un-regatta challenges -- as the open bic folks do -- and rudderless sailing would be a fun one...

Martin: How did you lose rudder? For steering, what about raising the main foil, releasing the shrouds, standing, holding the boom and sailing it mostly on the windward pontoon like a sailboard?

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17 hours ago, koolkat505 said:

Martin-what happened to your rudder?  See you next week in KL- Barry

Bottom plate of the rudderhead cracked open. I think the failure started at one of the square/rectangular cuts where the vertical plate inserts/interlocks. From there, the forces ended up tearing the whole rudderhead apart. Some damage to the rudder gantry, hopefully I can repair it before KL.

Rudder itself is in the bottom of the bay, though it's in a shallow spot, next to a marker. I'll try dive it tomorrow.

Similar things have happened to me on my Whisper catamaran -- I'm on my 3rd set of rudderheads there. I am either really rough on boats, or foilers put a ton of pressure on the rudderheads. Essentially, a rudderhead (or a pair in case of the cat) for every year of good use. 

I didn't try windsurfing it @Andyufo -- might try next time. Hopefully there isn't a next time for this particular breakage.

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35 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

Bottom plate of the rudderhead cracked open. I think the failure started at one of the square/rectangular cuts where the vertical plate inserts/interlocks. From there, the forces ended up tearing the whole rudderhead apart. Some damage to the rudder gantry, hopefully I can repair it before KL.

Rudder itself is in the bottom of the bay, though it's in a shallow spot, next to a marker. I'll try dive it tomorrow.

Similar things have happened to me on my Whisper catamaran -- I'm on my 3rd set of rudderheads there. I am either really rough on boats, or foilers put a ton of pressure on the rudderheads. Essentially, a rudderhead (or a pair in case of the cat) for every year of good use. 

I didn't try windsurfing it @Andyufo -- might try next time. Hopefully there isn't a next time for this particular breakage.

Martin: Would be helpful if you could show pics of the damage that is left and what you recover, if your dive is successful. I'm down for the season on my Cape Cod bay, so if Fulcrum doesn't have the parts available, I would be pleased to send mine for you to use at KL. I think the User Manual needs a section on "What to do if ______ happens." Hopefully, there's an option for survival of all contingencies. 

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1 hour ago, Andyufo said:

Martin: Would be helpful if you could show pics of the damage that is left and what you recover, if your dive is successful. I'm down for the season on my Cape Cod bay, so if Fulcrum doesn't have the parts available, I would be pleased to send mine for you to use at KL. I think the User Manual needs a section on "What to do if ______ happens." Hopefully, there's an option for survival of all contingencies. 

That's incredibly generous offer. Thank you. I heard this morning from David and Nick, they'll have the parts in their van in Key Largo; I'm somewhat worried about the G10 plate that extends at the top of the gantry, looks ok but might need repair.

As a small aside, they have a van full of kit in the regattas they participate in, and they'll repair any damage you have with quick turnaround. You might have to be part of the repair team. And they have hard to find spare parts in hand. Last year I walked away with plenty spares and a few repairs/upgrades.

And a few less dollars in my wallet, but all is fair in foiling and war.

I had initially managed to keep the rudder, but I didn't tie it quite right, and a wave+gust swept it. This is rudder vertical and horizontal. If I find them, they were ok, no damage - that I could spot in the middle of the adventure.

Here are some pics - UFO being rigged at sunrise, and then broken parts - https://photos.app.goo.gl/EtYYGVDPQuZrzgLq8 . Most of the damage is collateral. The initial breakage was bottom plate of the rudderhead. 

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3 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

That's incredibly generous offer. Thank you. I heard this morning from David and Nick, they'll have the parts in their van in Key Largo; I'm somewhat worried about the G10 plate that extends at the top of the gantry, looks ok but might need repair.

As a small aside, they have a van full of kit in the regattas they participate in, and they'll repair any damage you have with quick turnaround. You might have to be part of the repair team. And they have hard to find spare parts in hand. Last year I walked away with plenty spares and a few repairs/upgrades.

And a few less dollars in my wallet, but all is fair in foiling and war.

I had initially managed to keep the rudder, but I didn't tie it quite right, and a wave+gust swept it. This is rudder vertical and horizontal. If I find them, they were ok, no damage - that I could spot in the middle of the adventure.

Here are some pics - UFO being rigged at sunrise, and then broken parts - https://photos.app.goo.gl/EtYYGVDPQuZrzgLq8 . Most of the damage is collateral. The initial breakage was bottom plate of the rudderhead. 

The Fulcrum lads should be paying you as the boat's crash test dummy! *

 

* humour fully intended. Your ongoing sharing is awesome.

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12 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

Thanks for the encouragement. Fished out a slightly dinged up rudder today. Yay! 

And we've got a new Mk2 rudderhead with the beefy cage coming your way. It took us years of use on these things to isolate a clear-cut longevity issue on the bottom plate (how very predictable) but, simply put, we found one. Casey and I did a second engineering study based on a worn rudderhead distorted under load and respecified accordingly. Bottom plate is now 1/2 inch thick. On a related note I am SUPER EXCITED to come sailing in Florida. Looks like we've got a stacked field this year. We are AMPED!

DRC

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Dave, for us europeans, is there a possiblity of retrofit for the rudder head? This, to avoid losing the rudder as happened to Martin? 

I don't know if there is a risk this happen to us, but is it not better to prevent it ?

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2 hours ago, Gilles29 said:

Dave, for us europeans, is there a possiblity of retrofit for the rudder head? This, to avoid losing the rudder as happened to Martin? 

I don't know if there is a risk this happen to us, but is it not better to prevent it ?

Having just done it to seven charter fleet rudders now I can confidently say, "yes". The progressive wear issue to keep an eye open for is peeling of the plexus weld at the front bottom end of the cheek plates and tiny crack lines at the front of the first rectangular connection. On most rudderheads it takes a very long time for this sort of deterioration to happen.

DRC

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Hey guys, I was just out foiling recently and, while rigging, I noticed the screws that attach the cunningham and mainsheet blocks were starting to backout and things were loose.  It was pretty straightforward to apply some Lock-Tite / Super Glue / G-Flex and retighten the screws with a phillips head.  But a cunningham failure or mainsheet failure on the water could be a pretty big bummer. 

Just something to add to your Preflight Checklist...

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On 1/9/2020 at 5:45 PM, DerekF said:

Hey guys, I was just out foiling recently and, while rigging, I noticed the screws that attach the cunningham and mainsheet blocks were starting to backout and things were loose.  It was pretty straightforward to apply some Lock-Tite / Super Glue / G-Flex and retighten the screws with a phillips head.  But a cunningham failure or mainsheet failure on the water could be a pretty big bummer. 

Just something to add to your Preflight Checklist...

+1. There's a good fix for any screws loosening up. Mask the area. Mix thickened gflex (comes in tubes) with CF or fiberglass shavings, make it peanut butter thick, and shove it down the hole. As much as you can. I use chopsticks. 

Wait 12hs, drill a pilot hole for each screw, then screw the fittings back in. It's rock solid.

I keep a Ziploc baggie with CF clippings, in a larger ziplock with gflex tubes and chopsticks pilfered from the local sushi shop...

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The first easily actionable move to increase the lifespan of the rudderhead is to fully include the pintle in the load bearing task. Add stainless steel fender washers at the top and bottom of the pintle pin until it is very tight vertically. The bottom plates are progressively worn out over serious service periods by the downward bending on the bottom plate from the weight of the boat. Allowing the punter pin to bear more of this and keep the whole system in it’s designed configuration will help. As with all things, when in doubt, spread the load out.

DRC

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2 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

fully include the pintle in the load bearing task

The pintle I had was T shaped with a ring at the bottom end. The ring was a weak piece. Earlier pintles were simple rods with 2 rings, one at each end.

Is this idea based on a different/newer pintle?

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8 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

The pintle I had was T shaped with a ring at the bottom end. The ring was a weak piece. Earlier pintles were simple rods with 2 rings, one at each end.

Is this idea based on a different/newer pintle?

No the T-pintle is the standard and has been for a couple hundred boats now.

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15 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

The first easily actionable move to increase the lifespan of the rudderhead is to fully include the pintle in the load bearing task. Add stainless steel fender washers at the top and bottom of the pintle pin until it is very tight vertically. The bottom plates are progressively worn out over serious service periods by the downward bending on the bottom plate from the weight of the boat. Allowing the punter pin to bear more of this and keep the whole system in it’s designed configuration will help. As with all things, when in doubt, spread the load out.

DRC

Dave,

some pics of the pintle with washers could help

thanks

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22 hours ago, Gilles29 said:

Dave,

some pics of the pintle with washers could help

thanks

Dave, I'd actually request a drawing with a cross section of the pintle pin with the rudder plate and mounting gantry.  I ask for this as their are also several PTFE bushings that are pressed into the rudder head  and/or gantry gudgeon holes.  So it would be great to see the preferred assembly order for the bushings and the new fender washers when you are sliding the pin down through the rudder and gudeons.   I know that my bushings have come loose a couple of times when installing or removing my rudder, and I'm not certain that I have a bushing everywhere I should, or that I might have one somewhere I shouldn't.  If  I recall correctly, I have three in there in total.  So a diagram of where to put bushings, in the correct orientation, along with the new fender washers would be really helpful to keep the assembly tight and loads spread out.

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On 1/12/2020 at 11:41 AM, Gilles29 said:

Dave,

some pics of the pintle with washers could help

thanks

 

19 hours ago, Andyufo said:

Ditto on requesting the pintle pics.

Yea one more request for a pic of what you are describing and the fix @Dave Clark.  My boat does not appear to show any signs of significant wear here but given the cost of failure a bit of prevention seems prudent!  I am struggling to understand the failure mode and your fix so pics would be appreciated!!  Thanks.

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Fantastic regatta. I'm dead tired but quick notes. Great social time with UFO pilots and across classes, talking deep sailing as well as nonsense.

Barry held his ground as the strategic conservative sailor, showing foiling doesn't always win. His dial ups at the start line were epic. 

David was testing an alternative foil and sail setup, pays off in stability and top speed. This needs to be written up. 

There's gorgeous drone footage. I could hear Kirk's drone trying to give me a haircut as I foiled upwind... Expect some cool videos out of the event...

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I echo Martin's thoughts on the Foiling Midwinters in Key Largo this past weekend.  What a perfect venue for foiling dinghys.  Easy launching on a sandy beach, a bay that is protected to minimize chop, but with land low enough that you get good breeze, and just about the most hospitality I've ever seen from a hosting club.   Hot food every day when we came off the water, and really good food at that (whole pig roast, wow!).   The UFO  fleet is still working out the best format to race these craft.  Barry did an effective job of showing that in marginal conditions (8-12 knots), the boats are basically as fast going upwind and downwind in displacement mode as they are trying to get them foiling.   I'd advocate that unless it is blowing consistently over 12 knots, sailing a triangle is a better course than straight windward/leeward as it will encourage and reward foiling on the reach legs at the least.   

It was a blast sailing with the Waszps and Moths.   The Waszp sailors have really upped their game and are completing foiling tacks and gybes pretty often.  The Moths are incredible, both the sailors and the boats.  It was humbling to share the racecourse with some of the best sailors in the country.   On shore, they were all really fun to hang out with and helpful with tips, a really great group of folks with no egos on display.  While these guys sail at the highest levels for a living, they seem to sail moths for the pure challenge and fun of it.

I was pleased to see that once the breeze was up, several of us were able to very effectively foil upwind.   Blasting upwind off the starting line foiling in formation with 3 other UFOs was the highlight of my weekend!  I also learned a ton about setting the boat up to foil downwind and stay in control.  I still have a ways to go to 'master' it, but I can now see a little light at the end of the tunnel on that challenge.

Finally, it was great to meet and sail with many of the folks that I had only known through this forum until this past weekend.  They were as nice and helpful in person as they are on-line!   If you are thinking of attending the 2nd or 3rd foiling event at UKSC in March or April, I highly recommend it!

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Some additional notes

Rudder pintle

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the rudder pintle assembly. In terms of "where does the washer go in the standard setup?" there's a good picture and/or diagram on the unofficial owners' guide (link in my sig).

To get that assembly tight (which David suggested), I saw someone's boat assembled with 2 nylon washers at the top end of the T pintle (between the T horiz bar and the tiller surface) -- the goal was to make the pintle T rod tight at the bottom, so you could barely insert the ring. Having the top of the T pintle tight is good to avoid mainsheet bridle from catching... but don't know how much it helps or changes anything else.

Tuning variant: Lowered mainsail and minimal foil rake

With wind in the 12+ range, David was testing a new setup. Myself and a few others in the fleet tried it as well on day 2 -- I definitely liked it, and heard others did as well (hopefully they post their notes as well). 

Recipe:

  • Hoist to the top... and then drop it ~3 inches (top of sail will be ~4 inches from halyard eye at top of mast). David has marked his mast. 
  • Before attaching any lines - put ~35Kg on the shrouds
  • Apply downhaul until sail boltrope is ~3 inches from mast collar
  • Apply outhaul until it's the sail is ~1 inch from from maxed out
  • Shrouds should now read ~85Kg

The setup process is similar to the light air configuration, but the sail is lower on the mast, endplated. Because of how the mast section interacts with the sail and battens, you get a very different sail shape: the deep mid-section from the light air configuration is gone, replaced by a fairly constant curve in all battens.

Because the sail sits lower, in this setup you are somewhat limited in how much you can depower from there. If you are expecting big winds at any time in your outing, hoist to the top. When you need it you'll have the full range of the downhaul to depower.

Foils:

  • Mainfoil to forward-most pin (pin 1) or one back (pin 2).
  • Rudder raked forward to match mainfoil.
  • Wand fully down, or close to fully down (ie: if there's chop).

In this configuration, the boat is a bit trickier to get to takeoff (sit at the far back, work it...), then once it's in the air you must scuttle a bit forward. And then you enjoy the results...  the boat is much more stable, easier to sail and fast. We got some epic upwinds out of this.

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:33 AM, martin.langhoff said:

Some additional notes

Rudder pintle

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the rudder pintle assembly. In terms of "where does the washer go in the standard setup?" there's a good picture and/or diagram on the unofficial owners' guide (link in my sig).

To get that assembly tight (which David suggested), I saw someone's boat assembled with 2 nylon washers at the top end of the T pintle (between the T horiz bar and the tiller surface) -- the goal was to make the pintle T rod tight at the bottom, so you could barely insert the ring. Having the top of the T pintle tight is good to avoid mainsheet bridle from catching... but don't know how much it helps or changes anything else.

Tuning variant: Lowered mainsail and minimal foil rake

With wind in the 12+ range, David was testing a new setup. Myself and a few others in the fleet tried it as well on day 2 -- I definitely liked it, and heard others did as well (hopefully they post their notes as well). 

Recipe:

  • Hoist to the top... and then drop it ~3 inches (top of sail will be ~4 inches from halyard eye at top of mast). David has marked his mast. 
  • Before attaching any lines - put ~35Kg on the shrouds
  • Apply downhaul until sail boltrope is ~3 inches from mast collar
  • Apply outhaul until it's the sail is ~1 inch from from maxed out
  • Shrouds should now read ~85Kg

The setup process is similar to the light air configuration, but the sail is lower on the mast, endplated. Because of how the mast section interacts with the sail and battens, you get a very different sail shape: the deep mid-section from the light air configuration is gone, replaced by a fairly constant curve in all battens.

Because the sail sits lower, in this setup you are somewhat limited in how much you can depower from there. If you are expecting big winds at any time in your outing, hoist to the top. When you need it you'll have the full range of the downhaul to depower.

Foils:

  • Mainfoil to forward-most pin (pin 1) or one back (pin 2).
  • Rudder raked forward to match mainfoil.
  • Wand fully down, or close to fully down (ie: if there's chop).

In this configuration, the boat is a bit trickier to get to takeoff (sit at the far back, work it...), then once it's in the air you must scuttle a bit forward. And then you enjoy the results...  the boat is much more stable, easier to sail and fast. We got some epic upwinds out of this.

Here's that mode in action.

Big deliverables are:

-the outright endplating of the sail through full contact with the deck.

-Constant modest camber.

-A decently tight leech.

-LOW drag setup on the foils. I was using hole #1 and the rudder in the front 3rd

This is sort of a "know thyself" configuration for the boat. It has less beam than a moth or waszp but far cleaner foils than a lot of other economy foilers and the only properly endplating rig. Let the boat own its strengths and fully maximize around low drag mode. It climbs up the speed range very happily and holds it nicely. What's missing in this video is Reed Baldridge directly to leeward of me appearing to get further to leeward. Of course he then foil tacked and I didn't, so he gets the win. This setup seems to also be very happy cracking into a high apparent wind downwind mode. Just be careful to let a deep heading only be a function of speed, rather than assuming the opposite. Also try to not hike in this mode downwind. Keep the boat only lightly loaded in roll and try to simply get blown downwind.

 

Totally sweet event down in KL. I had a blast spending time with everybody who continue proving to be a fascinating group of free thinking adventurous, intelligent and fun folks. Cannot wait to do it again in March and April. I love this fleet!

DRC 
 

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On 1/23/2020 at 2:35 PM, Dave Clark said:

Here's that mode in action.

 

-Constant modest camber.


DRC 
 

So, should we back off the tuning on the upper battens that we were originally told to have?

Also, when using the pinhead sail in higher winds, any theory on changing its configuration.

Thanks,

A

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3 minutes ago, Andyufo said:

So, should we back off the tuning on the upper battens that we were originally told to have?

Also, when using the pinhead sail in higher winds, any theory on changing its configuration.

Thanks,

A

No way. My sail has craploads of tension up top. Bend irons out a lot of the camber while batten tension keeps the leech tension high.

DRC

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45 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

I’ve been watching them and I don’t think I can do a moth or Wazp with my new bad hip

The UFO is MILES different than a Moth or even the Wasp.  It is a far more civilized platform for learning to foil on.  Don't get me wrong; you at least need the dinghy sailing skills to get a Laser (or similar single-handed dinghy) around a race course (up and down wind) in 15 knots of breeze but if you can do that you can learn to foil on a UFO.  Or at least this fat old f*ck did post multiple rotator cuff surgeries and knee and hip issues being dealt with in PT so far.  :P

If you are ever down my way feel free to come take mine for a ride.  Hey BTW, did you ever get that tri.. or was it a lost cause and too far gone?

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Wife and life problems have gotten in the way of the tri for now anyway. Working on houses for capital until I can reopen my boat shop in th spring or summer. The UFO has had my eye for a while and they’ve taken on a big challenge pretty well. 
 

I have to unload a few boats this year to get into anything else and I’m looking at my future options. Going to go with smaller, lighter, faster and stable. 

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6 hours ago, Charlie P Mayer said:

Martin,

Great video - maybe the best place to sail foilers in the US!  Good to see all those UFOs out there!

But - 

Were those wet suits really necessary?

 

Dave - love your attitude and the way you are growing the Fleet - good job!

 

Charlie

As Charlie did, I noticed the outerwear, too. Why, and what?

Also, it seemed in the KL videos so far that all the UFO's were more "balanced" with David's new sail tuning. Is it my imagination? (I already picked up some red tape to mark my 3 inches down)

Andy

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On 1/31/2020 at 3:35 PM, Andyufo said:

As Charlie did, I noticed the outerwear, too. Why, and what?

Also, it seemed in the KL videos so far that all the UFO's were more "balanced" with David's new sail tuning. Is it my imagination? (I already picked up some red tape to mark my 3 inches down)

Andy

A light wetsuit was not required, but definitely a good idea. It's easy to get tired and end up cold. Last year I did the first day of the regatta without one.

And I think that yes, the new sail configuration makes the boat more stable both upwind and downwind.

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Event Alert: UKSC has cut the Monday sailing option from the NOR for the next two events. Wednesday through Sunday is still on but we need to be packed up and out by Monday morning. Not awesome, but it is their venue and most people do have work to go to.

DRC

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Haven't sailed since the regatta :-/ -- Work, boat repairs (mostly on the Weta, minor stuff on the UFO), more work and family. Hopefully tomorrow we'll break the bad streak... 

When I can't sail, I think of tweaks.

I've been mulling an improvement so I can adjust the cunningham while hiking. It's the only control I am really missing -- otherwise I really enjoy the simple/spartan setup. You need a full sail to get airborn, and then you want to flatten it out; first to make it more manageable (flatter sail can then be worked with smaller sheeting motions), and second to make it faster (less drag, less abrupt sheeting, more power...).

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A gusty, choppy mess. Fun fun fun and I'm exhausted. We had 17-22kt, with the gusts bringing a good 30+ degree shift, which made downwinds downright impossible. Upwinds were viable on the side that got headed, because the gusts pinched themselves a bit, and I could foot slightly and stay in control.

On the tack that got lifted in each gust, I initially couldn't handle very well. The additional wind and a 30+ degree shift were too much and I'd get blown over. Once I realized how large was the shift, and thought it through... learned to drive it better, but damn it's tricky.

Downwind I just couldn't drive it. Need to learn that - first on flat water, steady wind. 

Chop was significant, slightly offset from wind, and at times very confused from large motorboat traffic. Folks bringing their spanking beautiful boats to the Miami Boat Show.

Couple of the professional captains driving large sailboats for the show hailed me to ask whether I'd be showing the boat at the event. They knew of it. Unfortunately, I don't think there's been any dinghies in recent Miami Boat Show events, and the sailboat selection is sadly shrinking (and leaning towards condomarans).

 

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Great sailing Martin!  You look like you were flying.   As for gaining control of the boat when headed downwind in breezes in the high teens and low 20s, that is as of yet an unsolved challenge.   On Saturday at the Midwinters when we went out the first time we had gusts in the 18 knot range.  I was trying to figure out the fastest way of getting downwind.  Knowing that upside down is not fast, I decided to try lowering my ride height significantly when sailing downwind to the starting area.  I set it up with about half the wand above the crane, so when foiling the hulls would be about 6" out of the water.  The downwind seemed great.  When a hull touched down, it was fully recoverable at speed.  So I kind of semi foil semi skipped down wind, bouncing off each hull, but mostly low foiling.   

That setup was not fast upwind, as you couldn't get enough height to gain windward heel and avoid having the windward hull and my butt hit the waves and slow down the boat.  This is where an wand height adjustment line would be great.   Adjusting the wand height while in a race is time consuming.  During the midwinters, it didn't matter as they postponed he start and sent us in for an hour.  When we came back out, the breeze was back below 15, and downwinds were controllable again.

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2 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Great sailing Martin!  You look like you were flying.   As for gaining control of the boat when headed downwind in breezes in the high teens and low 20s, that is as of yet an unsolved challenge.   On Saturday at the Midwinters when we went out the first time we had gusts in the 18 knot range.  I was trying to figure out the fastest way of getting downwind.  Knowing that upside down is not fast, I decided to try lowering my ride height significantly when sailing downwind to the starting area.  I set it up with about half the wand above the crane, so when foiling the hulls would be about 6" out of the water.  The downwind seemed great.  When a hull touched down, it was fully recoverable at speed.  So I kind of semi foil semi skipped down wind, bouncing off each hull, but mostly low foiling.   

That setup was not fast upwind, as you couldn't get enough height to gain windward heel and avoid having the windward hull and my butt hit the waves and slow down the boat.  This is where an wand height adjustment line would be great.   Adjusting the wand height while in a race is time consuming.  During the midwinters, it didn't matter as they postponed he start and sent us in for an hour.  When we came back out, the breeze was back below 15, and downwinds were controllable again.

Funny you should mention wanting to adjust ride hight mid-sail without jumping in the water.  I am still plugging away at a digital flight control system for the UFO--no wand or paddle and a wireless remote to adjust PID parameters, and an LCD for feedback.  I have modules, servo, etc. talking to one another and am about to send a PCB out to the fab house to get built.  Integration and debugging are next up, and I'm sure will be time consuming.  

I wasn't planning on making ride height dynamic but it wouldn't be hard to build into the firmware and make controllable from the wireless "key fob" remote.  I'm hoping to get to first flight this spring.  I'll keep you guys posted....

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4 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

Great sailing Martin!  You look like you were flying.   As for gaining control of the boat when headed downwind in breezes in the high teens and low 20s, that is as of yet an unsolved challenge.   On Saturday at the Midwinters when we went out the first time we had gusts in the 18 knot range.  I was trying to figure out the fastest way of getting downwind.  Knowing that upside down is not fast, I decided to try lowering my ride height significantly when sailing downwind to the starting area.  I set it up with about half the wand above the crane, so when foiling the hulls would be about 6" out of the water.  The downwind seemed great.  When a hull touched down, it was fully recoverable at speed.  So I kind of semi foil semi skipped down wind, bouncing off each hull, but mostly low foiling.

Thank you. I crashed a bunch. Good point, I could have, should have shortened the wand to half height. 

We need a mechanical engineer friend -- I am sure there's a way to get an adjustable wand length...

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2 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

Thank you. I crashed a bunch. Good point, I could have, should have shortened the wand to half height. 

We need a mechanical engineer friend -- I am sure there's a way to get an adjustable wand length...

I know how, but it will cost us all.

DRC

 

Edit: more accurately, Luka Damic figured it out about 10 or 12 years ago. Digging around for a good picture.

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22 hours ago, Dave Clark said:

I know how, but it will cost us all.

DRC

Edit: more accurately, Luka Damic figured it out about 10 or 12 years ago. Digging around for a good picture.

there's a diagram on SA of a telescoping wand like 

WandSchematic.png

 

Perhaps a simpler "drive roller wheel" can work instead

- make the piece that holds the wand at the end of the sprit a little bit larger, carve out space for a drive roller wheel

 - put a drive roller wheel there -- controlled by a line that goes to the other end of the sprit

- to improve wand control: lubricate or put slippery material on the "back" of the piece against which the wand slides; add grooves/texture to the side of the wand facing the wheel, work on the wheel material and/or texture

- to connect the wand bungee, a stub "wand" should be inserted in the top of the G10 piece

this puts the wand length control at the base of the mast. Better than a swim but not yet at your fingertips. 

The main challenge is to figure out a small driver roller wheel that is to keep the parts at decent size. The ones I see that you could buy play with are huge.

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Unrelated safety video. If you're flying level, don't drop your tiller. If you're heeled to weather, you can actually drop it for a long time foiling along especially upwind and use it as a precision drill. Not sure I have video of that, though.

Happy Wednesday! Only a few more weeks to the next event in Florida!

DRC

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57 minutes ago, Dave Clark said:

Unrelated safety video. If you're flying level, don't drop your tiller. If you're heeled to weather, you can actually drop it for a long time foiling along especially upwind and use it as a precision drill. Not sure I have video of that, though.

Happy Wednesday! Only a few more weeks to the next event in Florida!

DRC

And don't drop your mainsheet either.  That's always been an immediate capsize to windward!  Everytime I see the sheet slither through my hand and I lose it, it seems like slow motion trying to grab it back unsuccessfully while the sail lands on top of me!

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37 minutes ago, DerekF said:

And don't drop your mainsheet either.  That's always been an immediate capsize to windward!  Everytime I see the sheet slither through my hand and I lose it, it seems like slow motion trying to grab it back unsuccessfully while the sail lands on top of me!

If you slow-mo the above video you'll see me reaching for the now long-gone tiller extension and mentally yelling "come back!"

DRC

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On 2/12/2020 at 12:27 PM, Dave Clark said:

Unrelated safety video. If you're flying level, don't drop your tiller.

Yep.  Been there, done that.  Didn't know a boat could turn that fast.

On 2/12/2020 at 1:27 PM, DerekF said:

And don't drop your mainsheet either. 

Yep, done that too.  Time for a swim.

I suspect all UFO pilots who have accumulated more than 10-15 days on them will back Dave and Derek up on this.   Great music choice on the video, Dave!

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2 hours ago, koolkat505 said:

Martin- is that cunningham to the tank and wand depth adjustment???

Yes! Cunningham seems sorted. Should allow us to do better in reach and upwind.

Wand depth is going to take some work. Friction and line length are damn tricky.

This is entirely out of class naturally but I like to tinker, and I expect I'll remove it for racing.

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Quick TGIF outing.

  • Experiments aren't quite working yet, but I think I know what I need to fix in cunningham. 
  • ~12 kt, with gusts of ... 15? which come with a ~30 degree rotation, you can see a header that "plants" me on the water at one point
  • Slowly improving on downwinds
  • My sail is probably on its last legs :-/

 

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1 hour ago, martin.langhoff said:

Quick TGIF outing.

  • Experiments aren't quite working yet, but I think I know what I need to fix in cunningham. 
  • ~12 kt, with gusts of ... 15? which come with a ~30 degree rotation, you can see a header that "plants" me on the water at one point
  • Slowly improving on downwinds
  • My sail is probably on its last legs :-/

 

Is that bridge in te backroung the won that goes to ke Biscayne?

 

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On 2/24/2020 at 9:39 AM, Liquid said:

what's the peak speed seen on the UFO?

My GPS has recorded 18 MPH (~15.5 knots) in 15 knots of wind.  Perhaps someone has done better, but that's what my garmin tells me...

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Both Otto and I have got our boats into the low twenties but I'm actually only really confident looking over the GPS track that I've hit a sustained speed of 21. My guess is that I've gone faster with a small sail in pretty extreme wind, but I rarely bring out a GPS as it just doesn't matter that much to me. Once I got into the 20 knot club, I'd sorta checked that box and moved on to working on my gybes. 

DRC

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