Fulcrum Speedworks Rocket

I am a big fan of car topping when your vehicle has provisions for securely mounted racks.   It seems to be getting harder and harder to get decent roof racks these days since cars are getting more and more aerodynamic.   But if you have good racks, the biggest advantage (to me) is that I believe it is much kinder to the boat.   Light dinghys get the crap beat out of them on trailers.   Even with soft springs, a trailer hitting a pothole at 70 mph launches the boat and trailer into the air (watch the next laser/sunfish you see on a trailer on a rough section of highway).   If you are just moving the boat down the street to the ramp, no problem, trailer away.  But for long trips, particularly if you will have bad pavement (I-95 corridor, most any stretch of interstate in Pennsylvania), the car's suspention will be a far smoother ride for your new boat than any trailer will be.   Plus, you aren't kicking gravel up at your new hull.   

 

WillyT123

Member
124
53
I was a rigger of heavy stuff for many years - and have moved many a mattress and boat without incident.

To me there are a few issues - 1st, having a 14 foot boat just held at 4 feet (rack spacing) could leave too much overhang and make the boat flex? I don't know these things.

Second, which you seem to answer, is the lifting force - of the hull right side up at 100mpg (75 or 80 mph plus wind which could be blowing). Is that negligible (the air between the roof and the boat)??

Third is NEW BOAT. That means extra special to not mark the hull. That differs from old and used boats. 

So, yes, might be over-thinking but 1100 miles is longer than I've done myself. I did send my car on a single car trailer to Florida with a wind rider 10 and floats strapped to the racks - no problem at all. 

Noise is important too - b/c the wifey will yap (and for good reason) if the frequency is not pleasing. I can usually fix that easily enough - as long as flat straps are not anywhere they can flutter. 

I assume your take is no much lift force and the hull being stiff enough that having 5 or 6 feet of it sticking out w/no support (in front) is no biggie?
I would typically advise cartopping upside down unless you've got some fancy fiberglass padded bunks, which are unnecessary imo. Boat should be plenty stiff but it can't hurt to take a line from the bow eye down to your front tow hooks. Re noise, put some twists in the straps as sailwrite said and leave the top cover off. If the ratchets are laying against the hull, its a good idea to pad them with something. Pool noodle, rag, old t shirt etc...

 

craigiri

Super Anarchist
8,434
144
Sarasota - W. MA.
I am a big fan of car topping when your vehicle has provisions for securely mounted racks.   It seems to be getting harder and harder to get decent roof racks these days since cars are getting more and more aerodynamic.   But if you have good racks, the biggest advantage (to me) is that I believe it is much kinder to the boat.   Light dinghys get the crap beat out of them on trailers.   Even with soft springs, a trailer hitting a pothole at 70 mph launches the boat and trailer into the air (watch the next laser/sunfish you see on a trailer on a rough section of highway).   If you are just moving the boat down the street to the ramp, no problem, trailer away.  But for long trips, particularly if you will have bad pavement (I-95 corridor, most any stretch of interstate in Pennsylvania), the car's suspention will be a far smoother ride for your new boat than any trailer will be.   Plus, you aren't kicking gravel up at your new hull.   
Yes, I agree - I have a VW Sportwagen and bought aftermarkets which are pretty good. Rated about 200 pounds and tied into the factory side rails. It's a handy little car - lower profile etc

I am going to do upside down on roof racks for long trip. After that, I hope to store it at SSS so 60 seconds into the water or out. 

I have hauled 20 foot long lumber on that car - and my Dink rowboat and the Snark - and one of those plastic luggage boxes! I put in a hitch (car not officially designed for tow, but no problem w <1,000) - I use it for bike racks and my other rowboat,

 

Bill5

Right now
2,900
2,441
Western Canada
Yes, I agree - I have a VW Sportwagen and bought aftermarkets which are pretty good. Rated about 200 pounds and tied into the factory side rails. It's a handy little car - lower profile etc

I am going to do upside down on roof racks for long trip. After that, I hope to store it at SSS so 60 seconds into the water or out. 

I have hauled 20 foot long lumber on that car - and my Dink rowboat and the Snark - and one of those plastic luggage boxes! I put in a hitch (car not officially designed for tow, but no problem w <1,000) - I use it for bike racks and my other rowboat,
Pretty sure Fulcrum will give you some advise. Go with that. No doubt there is a warranty of some kind. They will want to make sure you carry it right. 

 

Firefly-DC

Member
259
30
Beverly MA
Yes, I agree - I have a VW Sportwagen and bought aftermarkets which are pretty good. Rated about 200 pounds and tied into the factory side rails. It's a handy little car - lower profile etc

I am going to do upside down on roof racks for long trip. After that, I hope to store it at SSS so 60 seconds into the water or out. 

I have hauled 20 foot long lumber on that car - and my Dink rowboat and the Snark - and one of those plastic luggage boxes! I put in a hitch (car not officially designed for tow, but no problem w <1,000) - I use it for bike racks and my other rowboat,
Which racks did you get?  I have the same car and looking at racks (for the roof).

 
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GRW

New member
I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

 

tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,635
2,789
Rhode Island
I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 
I am 73 years old and the RS Aero has just the right balance of excitement and sheer terror for me.

But everybody is different. Enjoy your Rocket.

And remember, you are only as old as the woman you feel.

 

GRW

New member
What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

I really struggled with my decision but the rowing option on the Rocket closed the deal as I do most of my sailing from my dock but have to navigate a narrow canal to get to the lake. There is always the projected Interceptor package  

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 

 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
1,104
630
England
I am 73 years old and the RS Aero has just the right balance of excitement and sheer terror for me.

But everybody is different. Enjoy your Rocket.

And remember, you are only as old as the woman you feel.
Or the scotch you drink  :D

 

srossfbt

New member
What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

I really struggled with my decision but the rowing option on the Rocket closed the deal as I do most of my sailing from my dock but have to navigate a narrow canal to get to the lake. There is always the projected Interceptor package  

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 
GRW, What will be your strategy for dealing with the lower boom while you are rowing? Also, when you are sailing, where do you stow the oars?

 
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tillerman

Super Anarchist
5,635
2,789
Rhode Island
What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?
I have a 7 rig and a 9 rig. Sail the 9 when it's lighter winds - up to 10-12 mph - and the 7 rig when it's stronger than that.

I hear the 5 rig is popular with some of the RS Aero sailors of my age in Florida when it's really blowing, but I haven't tried it myself yet. 



 

 
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Rbrower

New member
What rig do you sail on your Aero, 5 7 or 9?

I really struggled with my decision but the rowing option on the Rocket closed the deal as I do most of my sailing from my dock but have to navigate a narrow canal to get to the lake. There is always the projected Interceptor package  

I ordered a Fulcrum Rocket today.  So now  Fulcrum has two on order for South Florida. 

As mentioned in my very first post last week, I am 70 years old and own a Hobie Adventure Island that I have docked behind my house. The Hobie is not a great light wind boat. It is a blast at 15 to 25 mph winds. 

I am hoping the rocket will fill the times when the wind is not strong enough for the Hobie. The Rocket should prove to be an exciting addition. I hope to sail it in challenging conditions as well  

I did look at the RS Aero and Melges 14 but determined they would be too exciting for a 70 year old. 
I ordered a Rocket a bit ago...rowing option was not available.  Were you able to order the rowing option?

 

GRW

New member
Delivery is not anticipated until January. I have been assured the rowing package will be available by then.  Oars will be composite and mounted in the cockpit. I am awaiting engineer drawings of configurations.

I was advised that the boom can be down but shifted to one side to row.  I only need to row 200 yards to clear a narrow stone jetty  

I believe the rowing option can be retrofitted  on prior deliveries.  Check with Kirk Nash at Fulcrum.  He responds immediately.

Tillerman, I am humbled.  A 9 rig on an Aero at 73 is impressive.

I guess I chose the rocket over the Aero for the same reason that 3 years ago I  gave up going over the head walls on double black diamond ski slopes. My terror started to loom larger than the excitement.  

 

Dave Clark

Anarchist
912
867
Rhode Island
I ordered a Rocket a bit ago...rowing option was not available.  Were you able to order the rowing option?
For context, we pulled the first oar blade mold off our CNC machine yesterday. Finally! Machine scheduling has got far tighter as the additional one we ordered in March for delivery before early June is still delayed at the backed-up machine builder. What a saga. The shaft, handles, collar and sleeve are a done deal. All in house. Those are done with a combo of thermoforming, milling, bladder molding and direct printing. The blades are compression-molded like our hydrofoils. The shafts are built in the same process that builds UFO boom tubes up in the mezzanine. So we're frightfully close to done at last. 

I've been a competitive sculler since I was 15 so I'm hands down 100% the culprit for delays on this front. It is true that we simply could have bought oars, if there were any oars to be readily had in this market, which did not appear to be the case when I checked. However at the core of it, I am not at home with the idea of simply buying oars off the shelf that aren't the right fit for this boat. Too many bad memories of things that "have oars". What we've got is a short-shaft hatchet oar with a fiberglass blade and carbon shaft, partially inspired by the Concept 2 oars that I love for rowing on the slide. When you're constrained to exclusively body and arms and can't slide fore and aft, the overall shaft length wants to step down a good amount to gear it for this shorter stroke. Also that keeps it fitting in the cockpit and generally out of the way when stowed. Fit for task and reverse-compatibility have been the core objectives on the oar project. Vertical integration assures as much design freedom as possible and insulates us as much as possible from surprise delays in the future (and BOY has this year been a rollercoaster of shocking supply chain delays as the general economic overheating keeps breaking links in it). Dad did great work with the principal geometry and Henry our new full-time engineer has done great work bringing that through to a realized end product. It's all pretty breathtakingly elegant. As I've said before, regarding 2021, leaving the setbacks along the way aside for a moment, it's been a period of remarkable growth and innovation across the company. More good stuff to come.

In summary: Oars are nearly done. Expect more soon.

DRC

 

weakhobo

New member
3
10
Mystic CT
I've been been lurking around these forums and been following Dave Clark here. First the UFO and now the Rocket. Can someone please sneak into his office and find out what he's drinking for coffee, I just want a cup of whatever it is.

 

CrazyR

Member
337
82
Meanwhile, I had paddled the Rocket I have 10 miles combined already:)  it is 2.5 miles from my cabin to an open water and wind dies at night in the creek. So I paddle. Firs two outings I used carbon fiber canoe paddle and paddled the boat either standing on one or two knees. 
Then I switched to sup paddle. I like to move the boat SUP style. It works. The paddle fits into cockpit. 

 

Rbrower

New member
For context, we pulled the first oar blade mold off our CNC machine yesterday. Finally! Machine scheduling has got far tighter as the additional one we ordered in March for delivery before early June is still delayed at the backed-up machine builder. What a saga. The shaft, handles, collar and sleeve are a done deal. All in house. Those are done with a combo of thermoforming, milling, bladder molding and direct printing. The blades are compression-molded like our hydrofoils. The shafts are built in the same process that builds UFO boom tubes up in the mezzanine. So we're frightfully close to done at last. 

I've been a competitive sculler since I was 15 so I'm hands down 100% the culprit for delays on this front. It is true that we simply could have bought oars, if there were any oars to be readily had in this market, which did not appear to be the case when I checked. However at the core of it, I am not at home with the idea of simply buying oars off the shelf that aren't the right fit for this boat. Too many bad memories of things that "have oars". What we've got is a short-shaft hatchet oar with a fiberglass blade and carbon shaft, partially inspired by the Concept 2 oars that I love for rowing on the slide. When you're constrained to exclusively body and arms and can't slide fore and aft, the overall shaft length wants to step down a good amount to gear it for this shorter stroke. Also that keeps it fitting in the cockpit and generally out of the way when stowed. Fit for task and reverse-compatibility have been the core objectives on the oar project. Vertical integration assures as much design freedom as possible and insulates us as much as possible from surprise delays in the future (and BOY has this year been a rollercoaster of shocking supply chain delays as the general economic overheating keeps breaking links in it). Dad did great work with the principal geometry and Henry our new full-time engineer has done great work bringing that through to a realized end product. It's all pretty breathtakingly elegant. As I've said before, regarding 2021, leaving the setbacks along the way aside for a moment, it's been a period of remarkable growth and innovation across the company. More good stuff to come.

In summary: Oars are nearly done. Expect more soon.

DRC
Great update...thanks for the info!  Looking forward to picking up my

Rocket in Bristol in a few months.

 
I've been been lurking around these forums and been following Dave Clark here. First the UFO and now the Rocket. Can someone please sneak into his office and find out what he's drinking for coffee, I just want a cup of whatever it is.
If you have met his father, Steve, I think you will conclude it is something other than what Dave is drinking in his office.   Dave's energy and ingenuity are either genetic or come from something in the water on the family farm in Bristol that he grew up (to the extent you can say he grew up  :) ). 

 

robalex117

Super Anarchist
Got the mast up  cover as linked to in one of the above posts.  Fits fine and does the job.  Also shows the rollers I put on the dock that allows my wife who is not a very big women launch and retrieve by herself.  

IMG_1304.jpeg

 
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craigiri

Super Anarchist
8,434
144
Sarasota - W. MA.
Off topic, but since the subject of Oars came up, the sets being offered on eBay by a certain vendor are a great value and well made IMHO. Just something for those in need to file away. They are far and away better than the West Marine Alum, stuff. 

Vendor - USAOceanstuff

What I got for my DInk (8' FG).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/254570105530

Carry on!

 

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