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Just wanted to see if anyone has experience on both of these foilers. Moving from a laser, I know they are considered "beginner" though neither are necessarily "easy."

 

A few specific questions I have are:

-My understanding is both foil in a straight line well, but how do they compare staying on the foils while tacking/gybing?

-How to they compare when sailed in "float" mode? About the same as a laser? Can the Skeeta plane? Pointing? Trying to figure out which is the most enjoyable/hate the least when the wind is too light or shifty to foil (inland lakes...)

-What about weight limits? I know both are single handed dinghy's, but how do they compare when taking a passenger (GF/Wife/child) for a casual cruise?

Thanks in advance.

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I'm half the man you're asking for.. I have a UFO and no experience with a Skeeta.  I can tell you that the UFO is a nice enough boat in float mode.  Very comfortable to spend a couple hours in 10 knots waiting for the puffs you can foil in.  But flying is so fun that float mode gets depressing after that long.  Gybes are easy and fun to try on foils.  Its pretty near impossible (for me) stay up all the way around because repositioning in the straps is tough.  I don't tack the boat much because its awful.  Mast is aft of the main foil so it wants to round up quickly.  It can be done, but if you have a narrow creek to work to windward in, get some practice in big water first.  I ultimately moved to another spot out of frustration.  Otherwise, it gybes around having lost maybe two boat lengths so why bother?  Final comment is that the support has been fantastic, I get same day response when I'm foolish enough to break something, but overall its a pretty tough little boat. FWIW I weigh 200 with a beer in my hand and the boat is fine, but not sure I'd be able to take anyone but a small child along.  Good luck!

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  Due to the pricing difference between UFO at $ 8,000 and Skeeta,  I wonder if a better comparison is Skeeta  $ 13,000 and Wazsp $ 15,000 ? These are delivered prices.    I do look forward to reply's though.

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The other issue is availability. The Skeeta has been promised for a while but the UFO can be found used at half the price and new at around 60% of the price. 

I have a UFO and since you're in Montana, I'll share with you some mountain specific knowledge. If your lake is anything like ours and can go up and down, get the UFO. The ability to sit on two hulls and even pull the main foil up and out to get home in light wind, is a big plus. I've sailed my Moth on the same lake and can easily get stuck out on the lake for long periods of time.

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This is not really my speciality, and I have sailed neither, Wasp, UFO or Skeeta. I have seen many Wasps, one UFO and no Skeeters.  But I know the people who created them and know they will all be well put together. My opinion might be coloured by over 20 years of moth sailing but I have looked at the discussions on these boats closely considering what I might sail when I get too old for moth foiling.

My observations on each:

UFO is the simplest and cheapest because its the best in terms of industrial design. Minimum component count means less things to go wrong and less cost in manufacture. Its also the smallest if that is important for storage. Steve and Dave have targeted the US market, with pontoon launching and a need for static stability. Its ability to keep sailing in shallow water is a big bonus in some venues. But its a pretty weird look for the market other countries. The rig has great flexibility in terms of power control due to the clever diamonds/wishbone set up and the carbon  main foil is hydraulically superior to the aluminium on the other two. It has a growing class following at least in the US.

Skeeta is the longest, and it has the static stability of the scow. I think it was aimed at the scow moth nostalgia market in Australia but has not taken off. I do not think many have been sold. The aluminium foils are from the GlideFree design. They can retract but you can not sail with the centreboard up as it fouls the boom. The rig is quite efficient with stayed mast and effective traveller vang. Lots of good details but that has all added to the price. I am sure buyers like the boat and it looks like fun, but do not expect a fleet. It certainly should sail a lot better than a GlideFree foiling Laser due to the superior rig.

Wasp has sold well and is almost at International Class level with fleets in many countries. Its aiming at being an international youth class for budding foil sailors. But there has not been many youths move on to moths as as far as I know. While the foils do retract it is impossible to sail with them up and impossible to lower them with the boat floating upright. So launching is just like moth only a 30% heavier lift. It sails like a heavy, slow moth from 15 years ago, with an inefficient rig and foils, but at a fraction of the cost of a new moth. If you want to race in a one design Wasp fleet buy one. If you have no local fleet and you want a better foiler for the same price buy a used Bladerider or old Mach2. The Wasp has most of the complication of the moth but all the parts are available from stock, so if you break something, rather than the epoxy you need the credit card and a wait for the delivery. My opinion is the Wasp could have been made more simply/cheaply with less components and more static stability. I helped a friend assemble one from the crate a few years back and I think I counted 18 separate manufactured components in the wings alone. If you plan to sail in salt water, wash the aluminium bits very well, I m not sure that aluminium has a place in boats this century.

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As we would expect, a very good and I believe accurate assessment of the boats by Phil. I would add one major point.

You are in the USA. Compared with the Skeeta, the UFO has great local support (in country) and there is a reasonable chance you will find others not too far away. I cannot see how you can go wrong with a UFO.

In terms of ease of sailing, I can't really comment but from what everybody has told me, I doubt any of the others will be easier to sail than the UFO. Again, I suspect that you will be able to get sailing advice/help easier with the UFO than the Skeeta.

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I have not seen a Skeeta in Sydney yet. I think there are a few at Pittwater, a venue I do not frequent, but they have not taken off. Here we have a surplus of older moth foilers available for people to try foiling, more cheaply than new Skeeta, faster too,  and able to join in at moth races, where people can get help with techniques and maintenance. 

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On 11/6/2021 at 6:17 PM, Phil S said:

The aluminium foils are from the GlideFree design. They can retract but you can not sail with the centreboard up as it fouls the boom.

Question about this.  I believe the Skeeta's retractable dagger can lock at any height.  It seems like you may be able to sail without boom interference with the main foil ~ 50% retracted.  Any info on this?

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3 hours ago, GrandpaTime said:

In regards to Skeeta sailing with wife or child, it appears to be possible on surface or foil.  

20200902-EMK-SKEETAWEB-3-scaled.jpg

skeeta5.jpg

I’ve wondered about the Skeeta’s ability to carry a crew. They show it in the marketing pictures, but the specs state a max carrying of 100kg? 
 

I do think the retro vibe of a scow Moth is pretty cool though.  

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I've been waiting for an answer to this question for quite some time now.   I don't believe anyone can answer it with first hand knowledge yet, as the geographic distributions of the two boats have not overlapped significantly.   They are built, literally, on opposite sides of the Globe, in Bristol Rhode Island (UFO) and Australia (Skeeta).  Most UFOs have landed in the US, but a few have made it to Europe, Africa, and even Australia.   I'm guessing most Skeetas are in Australia, but I've seen that some have made it to Europe.   I'm not aware of any in the US yet.  Both are still pretty rare boats, and so far, no one has surfaced in Europe or Australia that has sailed both.   

Melges supposedly has a container of them arriving this month.  Hopefully someone can make this comparison first hand soon!   I have sailed the UFO quite a bit, and the advantages listed above are all true.   I also have some time in on Mach 2 and Exocet Moth's.   There are two things I wish were improved on the UFO;  a more comfortable hiking position (the wide wings of the Moth are really comfortable and allow rapid weight shifts without wiping out) and a more direct ability to put twist on the sail for more control going downwind.   I suspect that the Skeeta will address the first issue very well.  Its wings should facilitate easy hiking and in-out movement.  Its conventional vang may provide more control, time will tell on that front.  

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............ Its conventional vang may provide more control, time will tell on that front.  

The Skeeta vang is on a circular track with the final falls going diagonally to the mast step. These diagonals prevent sailing with the foil raised. (See photo above)

I think the reason Jim, David and Ian used the track is to prevent the forward thrust on the boom from a conventional diagonal vang. Many Australian Scow sailors have had mast strength issues when adapting modern carbon moth rigs to old scows because the mast needs to be extended. (no raised foredeck and stump as in modern narrow moth hulls.)

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It looked to me like there would be enough room between the lines and the arc of the traveller to allow for some significant raising (couple of feet?) of the foil.  That would be great for me as we have some wadey, weedy launches :).  

 

Melges let me know that the next Skeeta container is due in the USA next week and we should see boats on the west coast towards month's end.  So stoked to meet my new girl!

1779596640_ScreenShot2021-11-09at2_36_28PM.png

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The price and ‘accessibility’ of a Moth are certainly a barrier but what I really think is interesting with the Skeeta/UFO is potentially how they are great all around ‘modern’ dinghies. I can either fly and work on my tacks, or float when I want to chase the kids on their lasers/grandparent on an MC. Conditions are rarely too windy or not enough wind. And if want to park the boat in the middle of the lake or go for an easy sail with a passenger, I can. 

Moth’s and Waszp are really cool, but they seem too focused and one dimensional without any local racing. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, breaqnaway said:

The price and ‘accessibility’ of a Moth are certainly a barrier but what I really think is interesting with the Skeeta/UFO is potentially how they are great all around ‘modern’ dinghies. I can either fly and work on my tacks, or float when I want to chase the kids on their lasers/grandparent on an MC. Conditions are rarely too windy or not enough wind. And if want to park the boat in the middle of the lake or go for an easy sail with a passenger, I can. 

Moth’s and Waszp are really cool, but they seem too focused and one dimensional without any local racing. 
 

 

By the way, we have three UFOs here in Park City so we're going to offer a start for the UFOs at our Fall Regatta next September.  I may race mine unless I loan it out as I often run the mark boat.  

There should be a Musto Skiff/Swift Solo start plus we run our other fleets off of that line so it would be Elliott 6meters, Ultimate 20s/J22s, Musto/Swift/UFOs, and ILCA/Lasers.

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On 11/7/2021 at 3:17 AM, Phil S said:

If you plan to sail in salt water, wash the aluminium bits very well, I m not sure that aluminium has a place in boats this century.

genuine question,

do you mean carbon for spars and SS for fittings?

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The Wasp wings are anodised aluminium tubes, with internal sleeves, plastic end plugs fixed all with SS rivets,  and are mostly wrapped in trampoline material. Thats a lot of corrosive material which is difficult to properly wash free of salt water, or even pack away dry. Rivets are the obvious prime starting point.

Carbon spars should always have fittings bonded on, never riveted. Rivets just do not work in fibre/matix materials, they do not hold properly and seriously prejudice the spar structure. Carbon spars do not corrode, dint, fatigue or bend. They are just better in all aspects, and in the last 5 years in Australia they are cheaper also. I know of people still using 20 year old carbon masts with bonded fittings. But all the old spars with fittings riveted on, have gone.

AMAC disagrees with me. He told me carbon wings for the wasp would have been too expensive, but that decision was made quite a few years ago. He may make a different decision if starting again now.

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