Curved/Foiling F18's - A matter of time??

gavparker

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Seeing some new F18 designs that are offering straight boards as well as a foiling/curved board hybrid option. So, two boats in one...but the price of two sets of boards for the privilege.

Given the min weight is 180kg's, the manufacturers have to put the weight somewhere, reinforcing the board area to allow at least curved boards to be fitted seems reasonable for the future development of the class. I don't think full foiling is the right direction for the fleet but better performance through curved boards feels like natural evolution of the class. But I'm only one person.

The reinforcing of the casing shouldn't add to much to the cost. The builders are already over laying the hulls to get the weight up so it's just a matter of re-positioning some of that weight. Cost of boards will bring the price up but the extra long boards are already expensive. Make them shorter and curved and the pricing may get close to balancing out. Winglets on the rudders are probably a good idea too...we're not all olympic sailors.

 

Boink

Super Anarchist
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Take a look at the link below.

New Cirrus F18 Version 2.

Of note is the daggerboard trunking that has been designed to accept non F18 compliant foils - that have not been revealed yet.

Will dual purpose the boat both in F18 class spec and full foiling out of it.

The first version of the cirrus was already a good package.

This has altered rocker lines, stern treatment, bow aesthetics, new high aspect rudder design as well as new daggerboard trunk,

Should speed this offering up.....

Will be interesting to see the foil design when released.

http://www.catsailingnews.com/2017/04/boulogne-conception-marine-cirrus-r2.html#more

 

F18 Sailor

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Convertible trunks were only a matter of time, it seems all boats are getting them from the big players when they re-tool; both the Goodall Viper F16 and Nacra F16 have convertible trunks from the factory).

Exploder are planning this as well on their Scorpion F18, so that makes two players with convertible trunks. The Cirrus R2 non-foiling package looks extremely slick on paper, as a complete package I think this would be very hard to ignore given the level of rigging coming from BCM and the attention to detail paid in the build. Cost wise these boats aren't any more expensive than the quotes I have from Nacra or Goodall for an Infusion or C2, so the bigger question is aftermarket support and tuning partners in your area.

As to the foiling configuration, we don't know much really, more details on catsailingnews' updated article on the Cirrus R2 potential foiler but lots of unknowns, including how the boat will go with the aluminum mast and heavier class-minimum build weight. Structure is a big concern with the all glass build as Nacra found out with the N17 Mk. 1 but there is more weight margin in the F18 and that is for the boat builders to tell us how strong they can build a foiling or semi-foiling version and the expected fatigue life with the inevitable crashes.

I do think this will force the issue and hopefully make some of the class leadership dig their heads out of the sand and realize that we are loosing some participation to other more modern fleets. To add foils or not is a big first question, if the structural integrity of the boats can be maintained I do agree adding C-boards and t-foil rudders may make the boats faster downwind and safer in tough conditions.

 

StumbleNola

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Adding C foils and winglets to the rudders seems to be an absolute no brained, it's a minimal cost increase if any, and the boats are much easier to press hard. Full foiling may be a major stumbling block. Not just weight but as mentioned you really need the stiffness from carbon. Even minor deflections in foil AOA has been shown to be a major problem.

 

vox

Member
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Probably better to leave the F18 where it is. Might be time for a new Formula?

  • Fix the weight of the F18 to something more manageable. Not so light as to compromise durability.
  • Seems today glass over carbon isn't a huge cost savings. Am I wrong?
  • 4-point foiling over 3?
  • Foils cannot extend outside of the beam. L rudders instead of T?
 
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F18 Sailor

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You just described the Nacra 17. There is also the Flying Phantom that would fit into a similar box rule, but I don't see the 17 crowd playing with other fleets and I also don't see manufacturer's one design classes playing much outside of distance racing. The trouble with all this is you have the Phantom Essential, Whisper, F18 and F16 all vying for most of the same sailors at the same price point. The F18 has the healthiest class but the numbers have been on a bit of a decline for various reasons, one is the N17 is drawing the top sailors at the moment. Something should be done to stem the tide, I think boats like the Exploder and R2 are a wake up call to the class and will show what can be done in terms of foiling or semi-foiling while still being fully F18 rules compliant with the straight boards installed. I'm of the opinion that the boats can be built strong enough in glass with c-boards and small winglets while retaining backwards compatibility with the existing fleet in terms of sailing, as for years and years the a cat fleet raced 1:1 in c-board and straight board configurations. I say this because the weight targets in the F18 aren't hard to hit. I know many of the fleet members would like boats that are 25 to 50 lbs or more lighter but we are also concerned about alienating older boats. Heck, I think all top 3 boats at this years U.S F18 Nationals were 4 years old or more-that's a large fleet to eliminate overnight.

Carbon isn't much more than glass these days, but requires more skilled labor. You can get a handle on this when comparing Infusion to Nacra 17 prices as the boats are virtually identical save the mast, foils and hull construction materials. You're probably talking about an extra $10k for the 17 Mk. 2 over a new Infusion, ~half that cost is the carbon mast delta, the rest is in the hulls and foils. Already $20k is a big ask for a lot of sailors and when the number goes to $30k its even more challenging, but builders are showing a glass/aluminum rigged z-board boat can foil and cost within $2-$3k of a non foiling F18.

 
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The F18 class in the US (West Coast in particular) is gaining a ton of traction right now. Changing the boat to foiling status would not be in the best interest of the class IMHO.

20 boats at a regular weekend regatta is a beautiful thing. That is what is appealing to me right now - Why screw that up?

I agree - a new Foiling Formula would be more appropriate OR we settle on one of the new foiling classes at the moment. It will happen soon - first in Europe and hopefully others follow.

Three point has proven to be faster but I like the idea of 4-point foiling for the masses. The Nacra 15 ticks the boxes for this except for the fact that it's a smaller kids boat. The 17 should be one to watch once they sort it out. The N20 is a beast which makes storage and transport an issue. The Phantoms are a very nice choice in both the Essential and FP. These are beautiful boats built to a higher standard. The Cirrus R2 and OP are an interesting approach targeting the F18 sailors that want to foil for fun yet still race to current F18 rules in the same boat. Smart designs for US sailors at the moment.

It's an interesting time right now and a ton of development is brewing. Once the dust settles, I think US sailors will start to bite on these designs.

 

MR.CLEAN

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The olympians said z-foils are the way to go because of ease of use. Obviously it's the way to go for the non olympians!

 

Rawhide

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Adding C foils and winglets to the rudders seems to be an absolute no brained, it's a minimal cost increase if any, and the boats are much easier to press hard. Full foiling may be a major stumbling block. Not just weight but as mentioned you really need the stiffness from carbon. Even minor deflections in foil AOA has been shown to be a major problem.
I don't think the advantages of going semi foiling with c boards and rudders would justify making the exiting fleet obsolete. yes you can retrofit, but the current bow and rocker profiles would not be optimal for lifted hulls. I've not raced against nacra 17's much, but their advantage down wind when 2 on wire once we have to drop back to 1 appears minimal, faster ye,s but at a higher angle so VMG though better is not significant.

I see no reason to change the existing formula.. Now carbon mast I could go for, not so much for on the water but off.

 

F18 Sailor

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Carbon mast adds little speed, a ton of cost and some durability concerns. I don't think that is a good idea-I would go for a 50lb lighter platform in all carbon first, you get a bigger weight reduction, stiffer boat and materials wise minor cost increase. The builders I know of in the class could switch to carbon with the push of a button for the cost of the materials and maybe a little labor increase, maybe. These are experienced boat builders using carbon extensively elsewhere in their facility. You also get a platform lifespan increase because the boat remains stiffer far longer; competitive dinghy builders have known this for a long time, decades old 505's have finished on the podium at major events because of there high end carbon/nomex hull construction. Glass is good for the builders and helps a little on cost, but may not be the best long-term.

I do agree there may be some hull shape changes if foils were added that would have to be weighed carefully. Its really a tough thing, because as Irrational 14 states, the existing fleet sizes are large and doing anything to reduce that is a bad move IMO.

At least in the U.S the only full foiling doublehander I see making it big are the Nacra 17's, there may be a fleet of F20c's with Z-boards on the East Coast but numbers below 20 still. Maybe the Viper F16 with Z foils. Phantom doesn't have the U.S market presence that Nacra or Goodall have.

Clean, not much time was spent on the Nacra 17 with C-boards and rudder winglets. The vote split was really close between just adding winglets vs. full foiling. I think the class went for the latter because it also meant full carbon hulls and tighter build quality, not because the Z boards are better than C boards if rudder winglets are used in both cases. There were, and remain, plenty of concerns over fleet racing with full foiling N17's. Have you seen the carnage at some Flying Phantom events?

 
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