midcoastsailor

best new foiler for beginner?

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21 hours ago, Major Tom said:

The reality is that foiling is for above average skill sailors, full stop. If you don’t understand apparent wind and have above average boat handling skills on a normal dinghy then you should not be trying to foil before you have mastered these basic skills. Once you are on foils a modern up to date state of the art moth is probably the easiest boat to foil in a straight line, simply because it has been so well developed over time that every system is better than those on any ‘beginner’ production boat. 

I am the living proof ....... not true at all.

My first ever dinghy was the Skeeta, never sailed using a tiller (my biggest issue btw...... do not touch the damn thing). This is my 4th year sailing and I am 56 years old (after 3 years sailing a hobie adventure). Foiling is way easier then everybody thinks. Apparent wind in a foiler is easy ....... you feel it moving (like on a bike). This year I bought a laser EPS (just for fun) and way more difficult to feel the apparent wind. I struggle more in the EPS than the Skeeta.

You need some feel for the wind in your sails and have a good feeling for balance. I tried a Waszp as well, could not even sail it, Skeeta took me an hour and up on the foils (just short 10 seconds runs). Now I just foil straight lines, bring it down and turn (still slow, but who cares..... just a matter of time and I will get it). Will I ever be competitive..... nope, but not my goal.

Most sailors need to get rid of leeward sailing and hicking habits, I do not and was up on the foils way faster then my sailing buddy's (all lifetime laser sailors). The big difference is marginal conditions...... they foil and I "search" for wind. But enough wind, you always have enough pressure in your sail to foil (not rocket sience).

Am I the exception, maybe..... but several inexpierenced sailors tried my Skeeta, most just do it pretty fast. Kids will probaly pick this up very fast.

If you can sail a bit, just try the Skeeta you will be amazed how easy it is.

 

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26 minutes ago, prettig said:

Am I the exception, maybe..... but several inexpierenced sailors tried my Skeeta, most just do it pretty fast. Kids will probaly pick this up very fast.

You are right on the money. It is challenging, but people can learn it real fast with good instruction.

If you learned your sailing on slow boats, you might have a lot to unlearn. 

If you are going to learn it on your own, without instruction, then it can be a long road. Still rewarding :-)

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On 6/24/2020 at 6:47 PM, Major Tom said:

I had the only foiler in Africa and learnt to gybe by watching you tube videos, it took me 4 sessions to nail my first gybe and after that it was easy, tacking was more of a lucky thing, but I was sailing a Bladerider with standard foils and wand which in hindsight made things a bit harder. 

That is a pretty amazing feat.

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:17 PM, prettig said:

I am the living proof ....... not true at all.

My first ever dinghy was the Skeeta, never sailed using a tiller (my biggest issue btw...... do not touch the damn thing). This is my 4th year sailing and I am 56 years old (after 3 years sailing a hobie adventure). Foiling is way easier then everybody thinks. Apparent wind in a foiler is easy ....... you feel it moving (like on a bike). This year I bought a laser EPS (just for fun) and way more difficult to feel the apparent wind. I struggle more in the EPS than the Skeeta.

You need some feel for the wind in your sails and have a good feeling for balance. I tried a Waszp as well, could not even sail it, Skeeta took me an hour and up on the foils (just short 10 seconds runs). Now I just foil straight lines, bring it down and turn (still slow, but who cares..... just a matter of time and I will get it). Will I ever be competitive..... nope, but not my goal.

Most sailors need to get rid of leeward sailing and hicking habits, I do not and was up on the foils way faster then my sailing buddy's (all lifetime laser sailors). The big difference is marginal conditions...... they foil and I "search" for wind. But enough wind, you always have enough pressure in your sail to foil (not rocket sience).

Am I the exception, maybe..... but several inexpierenced sailors tried my Skeeta, most just do it pretty fast. Kids will probaly pick this up very fast.

If you can sail a bit, just try the Skeeta you will be amazed how easy it is.

I had a Laser EPS in the past too, and I confirm it is a very fun and great boat which gives you good sensations !

Your feedback on skeeta is very interesting, and I think it's  a boat very similar to UFO, with an easy handling

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:45 PM, martin 'hoff said:

You are right on the money. It is challenging, but people can learn it real fast with good instruction.

If you learned your sailing on slow boats, you might have a lot to unlearn. 

If you are going to learn it on your own, without instruction, then it can be a long road. Still rewarding :-)

I took some Skeeta lessons (4 x 1 hour), most important points I learned:

 

- first windward is your friend (forget leeward, just stop and get it flat or windward )

- get up on the foils (beginners): beam reach, flat boat, get some speed, bear off a bit, go up, heel windward and sheet in

    - it's more like a roll-off-roll-on movement............ roll off the wind and roll on to the wind

    - The roll on is like rolling into the apperent wind (it's pretty instant, so sheet in fast). 

    - First time I felt the sail "hanging" on the wind was the "aha" moment, just hang.....nothing happens, windward you can just drag through the water and still get up, just keep it windward.

    - Exercise: do not try to foil (wand almost down) and try to sail windward and keep going (even if you are half submerged), you will feel how much control you have windward.

 

- on foils: sit still (on edge off tramps), sheet first, than body and last rudder (micro movements)

- Light winds: sit back (more angle and less pressure on front foil), once going up......move forward fast to level the boat (or you will dive !).

 

This training did help me a lot and still learning......

 

 

 

 

 

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So does anyone know if Melges has received their first shipment of Skeeta's?   If so, has anyone on the forum bought one or had a chance to sail one?   Curious to hear from someone with direct experience here!

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Spoke with Ed Cox at Melges, they are due in next week, with delivery due out from Wisconsin the 8th of September.  

Are there any foilers here in the Los Angeles area ? I was going to keep it up near the Gorge, but since the Pandemic, I am thinking about sailing in Southern California instead.

I have spoken with CYC in Marina del Ray, wonder if there are other places I should consider sailing out of ABYC/ Long Beach ?

 

 

 

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On 8/20/2020 at 4:42 AM, mstuart said:

Spoke with Ed Cox at Melges, they are due in next week, with delivery due out from Wisconsin the 8th of September.  

So has anyone sailed a Skeeta in the US yet?  I'm eager to hear what the sailors think, particularly those that have experience rigging and sailing the Waszp, UFO, and/or Moth.  

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On 8/20/2020 at 1:42 AM, mstuart said:

Spoke with Ed Cox at Melges, they are due in next week, with delivery due out from Wisconsin the 8th of September.  

Are there any foilers here in the Los Angeles area ? I was going to keep it up near the Gorge, but since the Pandemic, I am thinking about sailing in Southern California instead.

I have spoken with CYC in Marina del Ray, wonder if there are other places I should consider sailing out of ABYC/ Long Beach ?

 

 

 

There are Moths & A Cats (& a few others) in Southern California. You might consider joining the West Coast Moth FB group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/694829203913174/

 

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On 7/1/2020 at 12:17 PM, prettig said:

I am the living proof ....... not true at all.

My first ever dinghy was the Skeeta, never sailed using a tiller (my biggest issue btw...... do not touch the damn thing). This is my 4th year sailing and I am 56 years old (after 3 years sailing a hobie adventure). Foiling is way easier then everybody thinks. Apparent wind in a foiler is easy ....... you feel it moving (like on a bike). This year I bought a laser EPS (just for fun) and way more difficult to feel the apparent wind. I struggle more in the EPS than the Skeeta.

You need some feel for the wind in your sails and have a good feeling for balance. I tried a Waszp as well, could not even sail it, Skeeta took me an hour and up on the foils (just short 10 seconds runs). Now I just foil straight lines, bring it down and turn (still slow, but who cares..... just a matter of time and I will get it). Will I ever be competitive..... nope, but not my goal.

Most sailors need to get rid of leeward sailing and hicking habits, I do not and was up on the foils way faster then my sailing buddy's (all lifetime laser sailors). The big difference is marginal conditions...... they foil and I "search" for wind. But enough wind, you always have enough pressure in your sail to foil (not rocket sience).

Am I the exception, maybe..... but several inexpierenced sailors tried my Skeeta, most just do it pretty fast. Kids will probaly pick this up very fast.

If you can sail a bit, just try the Skeeta you will be amazed how easy it is.

 

Your comment and Toms thay you repkied to are straifht out of windsurfing. Same arguments. Same result too just 40 years ago.

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You guys are really fooling yourselves, a good dinghy sailor will be able to adapt to any new things far quicker than a completer novice. 

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What baffles even some good dinghy sailors with a foiler is the accelleration on take off. The apparent wind quickly goes well forward and unless the sail is sheeted in rapidly, the sail flutters and the boat heals excessively to windward and falls over. A tight leach and flat sail helps. 10 to 12 kts wind and flat water is ideal.

I have seen moderately good sailors master it immedialey and others take some time. I have also seen some competant sailors buy moths and spend a year just getting started. Sailboard experience is good for balancing weight against the rig.

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After the first year I believe we can compare it nicely (to some extent). I can foil (very inexperienced sailor). Sailing buddy's (life time dinghy/cat sailors), do it better. We all do straight lines for now (gybes ........attempts).

I have/had huge problems with the rudder movements and I need stronger winds. If I crash, 90% sure wrong rudder movement (good dinghy sailors just do not have this, natural to them). Also my buddy's just instantly get up with less wind, I (still) struggle. Sailing expierence clearly helps.

Speed/accelaration, I am a slalom waterskier (short line), I never had the feeling that the skeeta was fast at all (even crashes are easy). All relative.......

Balancing, natural to me. Just feels like I am on a giant ski high on the water (i use to air chair years ago). It was a real aha moment for me, first longer flights and you feel something you already know, really funny.

 

Guess foilng is a mix of techniques, wish I had started sailing earlier.......great fun.......

 

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Prettig:

Tiller too sensitive at speed:  Add a strong shock cord to centre the rudder. You will need to push harder when turning but it will be more stable in straight lines. 

Take off: Heal the boat to windward slightly. Its also faster when you  get going, especially upwind. This feels un natural to everyone except sailboard sailors.

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1 hour ago, Phil S said:

 

Take off: Heal the boat to windward slightly.

A great light wind take off technique is to roll the boat "on top of you" as if you were roll tacking. Get it heeled then trim to lift your butt off the water. Works on the ufo, seems to work on all of them.

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Thx guys..... I can do it (roll on top off you) and works fine, I just need more wind than my buddy's (they have a better feel for the wind than I do...... just more expierenced sailors). If I roll, they do not need the roll......... if they roll, I probally have to pump.....

The shock cord........ I try that, we just kept the standard one (not that strong) and maybe I should just add an extra shock cord. This year was the frist time in my life I actually used a tiller .....:) 

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In regards to having to be an experienced dinghy sailor in order to foil, it's not necessarily true.

You can take someone who has never been in a boat before and they can foil pretty easily (in a well set up boat with good instruction). In fact, I have heard anecdotally that someone who has never sailed before is probably going to initially learn to foil faster (and with better technique) than an average/experienced sailor. The reasoning is that you do have to unlearn or adapt a fair bit of conventional sailing in order to foil, so initially its easier if you didn't have prior knowledge at all. Once you get to things more advanced than foiling in a straight line, then the prior dinghy knowledge definitely pays off and their learning will accelerate.

Skiff experience certainly helps in the more advanced manoeuvres, understanding the theory as well as quick thinking.

 

In terms of a beginner foiling boat, it completely depends what you want from it. If you want to race, then you probably need a boat that can foil tack. The Waszp fleet is doing well at the moment, but I haven't seen much for the Skeeta, UFO etc.. I think the main issue is that once you start trying to make it more accessible (cost or ability wise), you end up with sacrifices elsewhere. At the moment, I think if you want a singlehanded foiling monohull aimed at beginners that can also foil tack, the Waszp is your best option.

The other option is to get a secondhand Moth. I have found the Moth easiest to foil and the easiest to learn the advanced techniques on. I think most of it boils down to the fact there aren't many (if at all) sacrifices. The only real downside is that without spending a fair bit of money, and a huge amount of time, you won't be near the front of the fleet. 

 

I'd be keen to see whether there are any updates in the classes mentioned before, or if anyone has recently got new boats.

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I'm also very pleased that nobody has yet suggested adaptive kits. See this photo of an RS Aero's rudder mounts...

IMG_0154.JPG

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In 2 weeks, a band of UFOs will flock in Miami.

Mix of experienced sailors and newbies. If you turn up, you can try my boat. PM me for details. Feb 26-28.

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On 2/14/2021 at 4:06 PM, JoeW said:

In regards to having to be an experienced dinghy sailor in order to foil, it's not necessarily true.

You can take someone who has never been in a boat before and they can foil pretty easily (in a well set up boat with good instruction). In fact, I have heard anecdotally that someone who has never sailed before is probably going to initially learn to foil faster (and with better technique) than an average/experienced sailor. The reasoning is that you do have to unlearn or adapt a fair bit of conventional sailing in order to foil, so initially its easier if you didn't have prior knowledge at all. Once you get to things more advanced than foiling in a straight line, then the prior dinghy knowledge definitely pays off and their learning will accelerate.

Skiff experience certainly helps in the more advanced manoeuvres, understanding the theory as well as quick thinking.

 

In terms of a beginner foiling boat, it completely depends what you want from it. If you want to race, then you probably need a boat that can foil tack. The Waszp fleet is doing well at the moment, but I haven't seen much for the Skeeta, UFO etc.. I think the main issue is that once you start trying to make it more accessible (cost or ability wise), you end up with sacrifices elsewhere. At the moment, I think if you want a singlehanded foiling monohull aimed at beginners that can also foil tack, the Waszp is your best option.

The other option is to get a secondhand Moth. I have found the Moth easiest to foil and the easiest to learn the advanced techniques on. I think most of it boils down to the fact there aren't many (if at all) sacrifices. The only real downside is that without spending a fair bit of money, and a huge amount of time, you won't be near the front of the fleet. 

 

I'd be keen to see whether there are any updates in the classes mentioned before, or if anyone has recently got new boats.

I'd like to point out that a really significant factor in what will be the 'best' foiler for a beginner is what other foiling boats you have in your local sailing community.   I learned to foil on a Moth.   I agree with this post that once flying, the moth is relatively simple to sail and fly, in a moderate, steady breeze.   However, getting the boat sorted and rigged, launched, and just getting into it and getting it moving is a challenge for the uninitiated.  If you have not sailed a moth, and there is no one around you with one or with any experience, I would suggest that the learning curve will be VERY steep.   It can be done, but you better be persistent!   I had the advantage of a local friend who is a professional sailor who set the boat up and spend a lot of time figuring out the rigging and tweaking the setup.   He has a network of top Moth sailors to call on to answer our 'beginner' questions, and he generously offered to let me 'learn' the boat with him (I supplied the chase boat).  We don't have a fleet here, just had the one.   I've sailed in places (Key Largo, Newport) that have quite a few moths, and the  sailors there have been extremely helpful and welcoming to newbies.    So if you live somewhere with a robust moth fleet, by all means a used Moth may be just the ticket, particularly if you have an experienced moth sailor willing to help you find a well sorted one.

However, if you want to foil and you are the early adopter in your area, a more production oriented, one-design boat will likely get you on the water, and above the water much faster.   I think the UFO has the quickest learning curve.  It is very easy to rig and tune.   The Waszp is likely the next easiest.  The UFO is super forgiving when you are NOT foiling, it generally wants to be upright, while the Waszp and Moth like to be upside down when not powered up.   Foiling tacks and gybes, however are quite challenging on the UFO compared to the Moth and Waszp.   I have not seen anyone in the US weigh in on the Skeeta, I'm very curious to see how it compares with the UFO and Waszp.   Reports from down under and Europe are encouraging.   Melges began selling them here in September, but no one has chimed in yet with a report, so we likely will need to wait until spring for that.

So the right answer depends on the support network you have around you, what your goals are, and how much you want to spend.   

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1 hour ago, Champlain Sailor said:

I'd like to point out that a really significant factor in what will be the 'best' foiler for a beginner is what other foiling boats you have in your local sailing community.   I learned to foil on a Moth.   I agree with this post that once flying, the moth is relatively simple to sail and fly, in a moderate, steady breeze.   However, getting the boat sorted and rigged, launched, and just getting into it and getting it moving is a challenge for the uninitiated.  If you have not sailed a moth, and there is no one around you with one or with any experience, I would suggest that the learning curve will be VERY steep.   It can be done, but you better be persistent!   I had the advantage of a local friend who is a professional sailor who set the boat up and spend a lot of time figuring out the rigging and tweaking the setup.   He has a network of top Moth sailors to call on to answer our 'beginner' questions, and he generously offered to let me 'learn' the boat with him (I supplied the chase boat).  We don't have a fleet here, just had the one.   I've sailed in places (Key Largo, Newport) that have quite a few moths, and the  sailors there have been extremely helpful and welcoming to newbies.    So if you live somewhere with a robust moth fleet, by all means a used Moth may be just the ticket, particularly if you have an experienced moth sailor willing to help you find a well sorted one.

However, if you want to foil and you are the early adopter in your area, a more production oriented, one-design boat will likely get you on the water, and above the water much faster.   I think the UFO has the quickest learning curve.  It is very easy to rig and tune.   The Waszp is likely the next easiest.  The UFO is super forgiving when you are NOT foiling, it generally wants to be upright, while the Waszp and Moth like to be upside down when not powered up.   Foiling tacks and gybes, however are quite challenging on the UFO compared to the Moth and Waszp.   I have not seen anyone in the US weigh in on the Skeeta, I'm very curious to see how it compares with the UFO and Waszp.   Reports from down under and Europe are encouraging.   Melges began selling them here in September, but no one has chimed in yet with a report, so we likely will need to wait until spring for that.

So the right answer depends on the support network you have around you, what your goals are, and how much you want to spend.   

I completely agree here. However, I think this is an addition to what you want from the boat in terms of performance, cost, weight, ease of transport etc.. If I want to race and foil tack, I would go and buy a Moth - even if there wasn't a fleet where I sail. It's exactly what I did!

One thing thats certain, is that with an OD production boat, you are more likely to be able to get the boat set up properly. The Moth is more complex in its systems, which for the beginner is hard to get correct, but allows the boat to be a lot more versatile with an experienced foiler. I think if you can get it set up correctly, it's a massively easier boat to sail.

I learnt initially on a friends Waszp, and from new we learnt together how to sail the boat. Within a couple of months (maybe 8-10 sails), he was foil gybing with me coaching him. If you watch the videos and read the tips then you can work it out. So it kind of depends on how motivated you are to learn more before you try and sail.

There are a huge number of foilers out there now, each with different key design points, so I think it might have even become a bit harder to choose a boat!

 

@Champlain Sailor Have you stuck with the Moth? Have you got your own? 

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37 minutes ago, JoeW said:

If I want to race and foil tack, I would go and buy a Moth - even if there wasn't a fleet where I sail. It's exactly what I did!

That works if you know what you are doing. Or if you have an appetite for frustration.

If you're a true newbie, without a support network and not a super-star sailor... get a UFO, figure it out, get the first hundred crashes out of your system, once you can drive it steady on all points of sail, sell the UFO to the next newbie and get a sorted-out 2nd hand Moth.

You'll have developed a feel for mainfoil and rudder rake, for power (cunningham, outhaul), for handling chop, for ride height vs stability, for weight placement, etc. On a sturdy boat that costs 1/4th to repair in the rare occasion that you do break it.

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1 hour ago, JoeW said:

I completely agree here. However, I think this is an addition to what you want from the boat in terms of performance, cost, weight, ease of transport etc.. If I want to race and foil tack, I would go and buy a Moth - even if there wasn't a fleet where I sail. It's exactly what I did!

One thing thats certain, is that with an OD production boat, you are more likely to be able to get the boat set up properly. The Moth is more complex in its systems, which for the beginner is hard to get correct, but allows the boat to be a lot more versatile with an experienced foiler. I think if you can get it set up correctly, it's a massively easier boat to sail.

I learnt initially on a friends Waszp, and from new we learnt together how to sail the boat. Within a couple of months (maybe 8-10 sails), he was foil gybing with me coaching him. If you watch the videos and read the tips then you can work it out. So it kind of depends on how motivated you are to learn more before you try and sail.

There are a huge number of foilers out there now, each with different key design points, so I think it might have even become a bit harder to choose a boat!

 

@Champlain Sailor Have you stuck with the Moth? Have you got your own? 

JoeW:   I continue to sail the moth when an opportunity presents itself.  My buddy ended up moving South, but he returns each summer for a few weeks and brings his Moth.   He upgraded from a Mach 2 to an Exocet, so I had the chance to sail it last summer.  Wow, what a machine!   

I have not bought one of my own, the time to set it up and go sailing, and the effort to launch it from our rocky beach was simply too high for me to justify it.  I bought a UFO in early 2018 and sail it often.   It offers a lot of fun for the investment of money and time.   In 10-14 knots of wind, it will sail all day long at 14-15 knots pretty effortlessly.   I have only kept it on the foils when jybing a few times, and I have never gotten a foiling tack in.   It doesn't 'coast' on the foils nearly as well as the moth does, so you have way less time to get through your maneuver.   For a boat that requires no more TLC than a Laser, cost the same as a Laser, and is rigged as quickly as a Laser, it is an impressive package.   

If we had a few moths up here to sail with, I'd likely buy one despite the cost in dollars and convenience.   They are massively fun.

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3 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

That works if you know what you are doing. Or if you have an appetite for frustration.

If you're a true newbie, without a support network and not a super-star sailor... get a UFO, figure it out, get the first hundred crashes out of your system, once you can drive it steady on all points of sail, sell the UFO to the next newbie and get a sorted-out 2nd hand Moth.

You'll have developed a feel for mainfoil and rudder rake, for power (cunningham, outhaul), for handling chop, for ride height vs stability, for weight placement, etc. On a sturdy boat that costs 1/4th to repair in the rare occasion that you do break it.

Frustration is what foiling is all about! Too little wind, too much wind, too wavy, too much tide, bad boat set up, more repairs, new development....

That's certainly the way to do it, get a cheap boat and work your way up.

My only concern is whether the UFO teaches the correct techniques, and having not sailed one, I can't pass judgement.

Does the UFO have the rudder adjustment? 

The alternative to all of that is to go and learn at a foiling centre, where you don't have to buy or maintain a boat!

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3 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

JoeW:   I continue to sail the moth when an opportunity presents itself.  My buddy ended up moving South, but he returns each summer for a few weeks and brings his Moth.   He upgraded from a Mach 2 to an Exocet, so I had the chance to sail it last summer.  Wow, what a machine!   

I have not bought one of my own, the time to set it up and go sailing, and the effort to launch it from our rocky beach was simply too high for me to justify it.  I bought a UFO in early 2018 and sail it often.   It offers a lot of fun for the investment of money and time.   In 10-14 knots of wind, it will sail all day long at 14-15 knots pretty effortlessly.   I have only kept it on the foils when jybing a few times, and I have never gotten a foiling tack in.   It doesn't 'coast' on the foils nearly as well as the moth does, so you have way less time to get through your maneuver.   For a boat that requires no more TLC than a Laser, cost the same as a Laser, and is rigged as quickly as a Laser, it is an impressive package.   

If we had a few moths up here to sail with, I'd likely buy one despite the cost in dollars and convenience.   They are massively fun.

The Exocets are a very well put together boat. I do like the way the Mach 2's can be upgraded from the original 2.0 to the 2.6 though. You can get some older M2's maybe the .3 or .4 variants for cheaper now, so its a more accessible route into the class with a clear development path. The support from the manufacturers is excellent as well.

I think that is one of the sacrifices of these boats is in the foils. Certainly the older Moths (Bladerider age) don't coast as well as a modern set of foils, and the compromises to keep the foils less expensive, easier to repair, and a balance between early takeoff and top speed is tricky to manage. 

It sounds like the UFO is designed more for the experience of foiling, rather than learning to foil? I'd certainly have a go!

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On 2/16/2021 at 5:11 PM, JoeW said:

Frustration is what foiling is all about! Too little wind, too much wind, too wavy, too much tide, bad boat set up, more repairs, new development....

That's certainly the way to do it, get a cheap boat and work your way up.

My only concern is whether the UFO teaches the correct techniques, and having not sailed one, I can't pass judgement.

Does the UFO have the rudder adjustment? 

The alternative to all of that is to go and learn at a foiling centre, where you don't have to buy or maintain a boat!

JoeW:   First, the easy question.   Yes, the UFO has a rudder rake adjustment.   There is a handwheel under the tiller that is used to change the position of the top gudgeon which adjusts the angle of attack of the rudder.   It is not designed to be used while you are foiling, however, unlike modern moths.   But is is very simple to adjust it one the water, without tools, in a second or two.   I usually don't even stop sailing, as long as you are off the foils and the rod is unloaded, it is easy to adjust.

This is a major difference for all of the 2ndary controls on the UFO compared with a moth.   The outhaul, cunningham, shroud tension, ride height, and foil AoAs are all adjustable on the water, without tools, but not designed to be done so while hiking on the boat while it is foiling.   Some owners are modifying their UFOs to be able to adjust the cunningham and outhaul from the hiking position.   Most moths, as you likely know, have lots and lots (LOTS) of tiny lines, blocks, cleats, and takeup systems to allow any number of sail, rig, and foil adjustments to be made while foiling along.   Very convenient,, and in many cases almost works of art.   But, you need to have the ability to sail well enough to have a free hand available to make the adjustment, and have to know what you want adjusted and remember which of the little colored lines adjust what.   In time, this gets easier.  But initially, its a much more intimidating cockpit.   

I would argue that the UFO teaches the basics very well.   Sail the boat FLAT to get it up on the foils.   Pump, ooch, do what you have to do to get it up, once there it will accelerate and stay up (usually).   Its an apparent windspeed boat, so you want to keep your speed up, even downwind and on the reaches, to keep your apparent wind forward.  These are all skills that the moth needs too.   Where does it fall short?    In my opinion on maneuvers, as it doesn't coast as well as the moth so its much harder to execute a decent gybe.   I really haven't even tried to pull off a foiling tack.  I also find it more difficult to generate twist in the UFO mainsail, which makes it more of a handful to sail a deeper angle in a breeze.   The independent vang, mainsheet, and cunningham controls on the moth really help with this.    Going upwind, the UFO really likes to be healed to windward.   My recollection is that the Mach 2's did as well, but the Exocet seems to like to be sailed pretty much flat.   My friend with the moth has coached the windward heal tendency out of me when I sail his Exocet.  That seems to be the only 'bad' habit that the UFO encouraged.  

On the plus side (and in my opinion these are BIG plusses), the ability to rig and sail in 20 minutes provides most people (ie those with jobs) many more opportunities to get out on the water and learn.   If you have 2 hours after work, you can rig, sail for an hour and 20 minutes, derig, and be home for dinner.  I do this often!   Most moth sailors need 45 minutes to rig or derig, meaning if you only have 2 hours, you will really question if its worth it to get out and sail in a short window.   I am also very comfortable sailing the UFO without a crash boat or other support boat on the water.  It is durable and stable.  If the wind goes light, pull up the main foil and it is a very capable light wind dinghy, you will get home fine.   My experience with the moth is that they are more fragile, and if the wind drops off, it can be VERY difficult to get home without assistance.   

That's my two cents based on significant UFO time and limited Moth time.

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On 2/16/2021 at 5:11 PM, JoeW said:

Frustration is what foiling is all about! Too little wind, too much wind, too wavy, too much tide, bad boat set up, more repairs, new development....

That's certainly the way to do it, get a cheap boat and work your way up.

One other thing (sorry to monopolize this post...but living in New England I'm not going to be able to sail my UFO for another 3-4 months, so thinking about it and writing about it is the next best thing!).   The UFO delivers plenty of frustration.  Don't worry about that.   Even with fairly simple controls, it takes some practice and technique to get the heal angle correct and the fore aft weight balance right.   All of these foiling dinghys are pretty stubby (short in length) so until they are on their foils, they are much more sensitive to fore/aft weight placement than a normal dinghy.   

I wanted to expand on your point on boat repairs and development.   The moth sailors I know and have sailed with spend a lot of time working on their boats.   I think most would tell you that it is part of the experience.   Components are incredibly light, and inevitably some break, most of the sailors have good enough epoxy and glass/carbon skills to repair a bracket or patch a hole.   At the foiling regatta at the Upper Keys YC in January of 2020, each evening the moth sailors would gather and work on their boats and rigging.   The UFO sailors would be sitting around drinking bear, watching the moth sailors, and assisting when they needed an extra hand.   None of them seemed to mind this, on the contrary they all enjoyed it as part of the process.   There was a constant back and forth to see how others had rigged their controls and discussion of what worked.   Several newer sailors in the fleet had older boats that needed updating, and the experience sailors enthusiastically lent their time, experience, and in some cases gear.   So if you enjoy working on your boats, this is great.   If your idea of maintenance is hosing off your Laser (or UFO) and throwing a cover on it, you may find moth ownership frustrating.   To each their own!

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17 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

JoeW:   First, the easy question.   Yes, the UFO has a rudder rake adjustment.   There is a handwheel under the tiller that is used to change the position of the top gudgeon which adjusts the angle of attack of the rudder.   It is not designed to be used while you are foiling, however, unlike modern moths.   But is is very simple to adjust it one the water, without tools, in a second or two.   I usually don't even stop sailing, as long as you are off the foils and the rod is unloaded, it is easy to adjust.

This is a major difference for all of the 2ndary controls on the UFO compared with a moth.   The outhaul, cunningham, shroud tension, ride height, and foil AoAs are all adjustable on the water, without tools, but not designed to be done so while hiking on the boat while it is foiling.   Some owners are modifying their UFOs to be able to adjust the cunningham and outhaul from the hiking position.   Most moths, as you likely know, have lots and lots (LOTS) of tiny lines, blocks, cleats, and takeup systems to allow any number of sail, rig, and foil adjustments to be made while foiling along.   Very convenient,, and in many cases almost works of art.   But, you need to have the ability to sail well enough to have a free hand available to make the adjustment, and have to know what you want adjusted and remember which of the little colored lines adjust what.   In time, this gets easier.  But initially, its a much more intimidating cockpit.   

I would argue that the UFO teaches the basics very well.   Sail the boat FLAT to get it up on the foils.   Pump, ooch, do what you have to do to get it up, once there it will accelerate and stay up (usually).   Its an apparent windspeed boat, so you want to keep your speed up, even downwind and on the reaches, to keep your apparent wind forward.  These are all skills that the moth needs too.   Where does it fall short?    In my opinion on maneuvers, as it doesn't coast as well as the moth so its much harder to execute a decent gybe.   I really haven't even tried to pull off a foiling tack.  I also find it more difficult to generate twist in the UFO mainsail, which makes it more of a handful to sail a deeper angle in a breeze.   The independent vang, mainsheet, and cunningham controls on the moth really help with this.    Going upwind, the UFO really likes to be healed to windward.   My recollection is that the Mach 2's did as well, but the Exocet seems to like to be sailed pretty much flat.   My friend with the moth has coached the windward heal tendency out of me when I sail his Exocet.  That seems to be the only 'bad' habit that the UFO encouraged.  

On the plus side (and in my opinion these are BIG plusses), the ability to rig and sail in 20 minutes provides most people (ie those with jobs) many more opportunities to get out on the water and learn.   If you have 2 hours after work, you can rig, sail for an hour and 20 minutes, derig, and be home for dinner.  I do this often!   Most moth sailors need 45 minutes to rig or derig, meaning if you only have 2 hours, you will really question if its worth it to get out and sail in a short window.   I am also very comfortable sailing the UFO without a crash boat or other support boat on the water.  It is durable and stable.  If the wind goes light, pull up the main foil and it is a very capable light wind dinghy, you will get home fine.   My experience with the moth is that they are more fragile, and if the wind drops off, it can be VERY difficult to get home without assistance.   

That's my two cents based on significant UFO time and limited Moth time.

That's good you have a rudder rake control. It's not ideal to be unable to adjust while foiling but at least you have the adjustment unlike some other foiling boats...

For the main foil AOA adjustment, is that just using different holes at the top of the vertical to change the rake?

I think it depends whose boat you sail as to how many controls you have! The basics are vang, cunningham, wand length, gearing and bias (ride height). Some boats have extra controls such as canting rigs, adjustable forestays etc but they aren't really needed until you're top half of the fleet. When I was learning, I just set the controls roughly where I thought they should be and then sailed. Most people prefer to blame the boat rather than themselves though, so it is easy to start adjusting things. I think the biggest difference between the rig set up of the Moth vs the UFO or Waszp with the wishbooms, is the lack of a vang. I've sailed the Waszp, and I noticed that you have to move a huge amount more sheet, and more frequently, to keep the boat stable. I think it's because there is very little leech tension, so the power out of the sail is not very predictable. 

All inline inverted T foiling boats (that I've heard of) should be sailed heeling to windward, it's how you balance all the forces on the boat. What I meant in terms of learning the correct techniques on the UFO is mostly whether you can achieve the windward heel required and whether it teaches you good practice with sheeting and steering. The videos I've seen, when the boat is heeled to windward, the person sailing regularly hits the water as they are so low. I can't imagine its a very comfortable position to hike from with your feet so far above your hips. I found that with the Waszp, I was "lazy" with the sheet, because you have to move so much of it, that I compensated by steering, which is obviously bad practice. I did a huge amount of practice steering in a straight line, and just concentrating on sheeting in order to learn the correct techniques.

I've watched the gybing video on the website, and I can't say its a great technique they are showing, but it almost looks like its the only way of doing it. With trying to make everything as accessible as possible you always end up with these kind of sacrifices, there's a reason that Moth foils cost so much!

With some practice you can rig and launch a Moth in the same time. The thing that takes time in any foiling boat is getting it set up correctly. I've heard stories of people getting their production boat and crashing every time, to find out it came from the factory with 7 degrees of AOA on the main foil.

The main problem with the Moth, as you highlighted, is that they are very tricky and dull to lowride in so we try and avoid it if possible! I have only gone foiling with a safety boat, especially while you are learning it is pretty essential. I broke my gantry last time I went sailing, and that makes it impossible for me to sail back in as I had no rudder. The other point is that most RIB drivers will not know how to approach a foiling boat to help rescue.

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17 hours ago, Champlain Sailor said:

One other thing (sorry to monopolize this post...but living in New England I'm not going to be able to sail my UFO for another 3-4 months, so thinking about it and writing about it is the next best thing!).   The UFO delivers plenty of frustration.  Don't worry about that.   Even with fairly simple controls, it takes some practice and technique to get the heal angle correct and the fore aft weight balance right.   All of these foiling dinghys are pretty stubby (short in length) so until they are on their foils, they are much more sensitive to fore/aft weight placement than a normal dinghy.   

I wanted to expand on your point on boat repairs and development.   The moth sailors I know and have sailed with spend a lot of time working on their boats.   I think most would tell you that it is part of the experience.   Components are incredibly light, and inevitably some break, most of the sailors have good enough epoxy and glass/carbon skills to repair a bracket or patch a hole.   At the foiling regatta at the Upper Keys YC in January of 2020, each evening the moth sailors would gather and work on their boats and rigging.   The UFO sailors would be sitting around drinking bear, watching the moth sailors, and assisting when they needed an extra hand.   None of them seemed to mind this, on the contrary they all enjoyed it as part of the process.   There was a constant back and forth to see how others had rigged their controls and discussion of what worked.   Several newer sailors in the fleet had older boats that needed updating, and the experience sailors enthusiastically lent their time, experience, and in some cases gear.   So if you enjoy working on your boats, this is great.   If your idea of maintenance is hosing off your Laser (or UFO) and throwing a cover on it, you may find moth ownership frustrating.   To each their own!

I'm currently doing a bit of a project on my Moth, so yes, thinking and writing about it is definitely the next best thing!

I think all high performance classes require a decent amount of time working on your boat. The difference to the Moth is that being a development class, you can spend extra time trying to find a gain. I think that there isn't a substitute for spending the time either. Even with something as trivial as your vang set up, there is a range in the fleet from 32:1 to 64:1. How do you work out how much purchase you need? It's just testing and seeing what works. I think you need to have that mindset, otherwise it won't be much fun. 

I agree, if you enjoy working on your boat, or can afford to pay someone to do it for you, then the Moth is one of the best classes. 

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JoeW:   I agree with you on all points.   The wishbone booms on the Waszp and UFO simplify the rig a lot, but you do loose the ability to independently adjust the leach tension.   The vang forces the moth generates are remarkable, I've seen several broken booms and vang struts when something goes askew.   The UFO skippers do 'touch down' to windward a bit more often than the Waszp and Moth sailors, primarily because the UFO doesn't have the sloped wings.   The good news is that when the windward hull touches, in most cases the buoyancy and planing surface prevents you from capsizing and you skim along until you have enough power to right you back up onto the foil.   You have hit on my biggest pet peeve on the UFO, however, the hiking position is FAR more strenuous than the moth (and I assume the Waszp).   Going upwind, your feet are well above your hips.   So you better be doing your crunches.   

To answer your primary question, the UFO absolutely teaches its skipper the benefits of windward heal, and the tradeoffs made between sheeting and steering to maintain heel and control.  

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Exactly what @Champlain Sailor says. 

Also, the ufo with good sail trim and some practice gets to very small sheet movements once you're established. Not as tight/subtle as a moth but pretty good.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:14 PM, Champlain Sailor said:

So you better be doing your crunches

My one-pack ab handles the UFO just fine.  It looks a lot more physical than it is because of the geometry.  And when you need a break, you just stop.  I’ve never sailed a moth, but it seems to require a lot more squeeze for about the same amount of juice.

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What's the best foiler for a beginner? 

How about the one having a community event this coming weekend in Miami, where the forecast is 75F/24C and 12-15kt in sheltered waters right next to a beach?

I've borrowed marks from an opti coach in case we wanna do some short easy races. Have magic hats in hand for peer to peer coaching. And a bunch of UFO pilots coming for a visit.

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