Moths and boat work: do you need your own shore crew?

dohertpk

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Like most dinghy sailors, I've toyed with the idea of a moth. However, I'm absolutely rubbish at boat work. Most of the moth owners I know are either professional sailors or engineers. I don't have a mechanical bone in my body. Do modern moths still demand an inordinate amount of boat work to keep on the water?

 

Daniel Holman

Anarchist
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Buy a well sorted one. Unless you damage it should be low maintenance unless you want to fettle where I expect it can get a bit all encompassing or blank cheque territory. Put aside an amount to have someone else (professional) to deal with wear and tear. Try to look after it, sort things before they get terminal.

 
You don't mention where you sail and how common moths are in your area.   If you plan to have someone work on your moth for you, I'd look around to ensure that there is someone familiar with them nearby.   Or at least a shop that is experienced with lightweight, carbon boats, if not moths.   Ideally, there is a fleet of helpful sailors nearby that will help you improve your boat repair skills.  If that isn't your cup of tea, perhaps there is a skilled moth sailor nearby that likes to earn a few bucks on the side and would be willing to do your shoreside work for you.   

If there isn't a local fleet or a skilled local boatwright nearby, and you are not interested in working on it yourself, I'd recommend you find another craft.   In my experience, moths require some regular work, particularly if you are learning or trying to grow your ability level.

 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
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Heck, just keeping a 505 on the water is a fair amount of work...bump those foils into something and well, yep, you'll be mechanical for sure.

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
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Sydney ex London
I don't think boat work is specifically a Moth thin, but more like a high performance boat requirement. The higher the loads, the more systems there are and the more speed the boat is doing, the more important boat work is. Bolts come loose, ropes stretch, things get knocked. 

I suspect I spent more time doing boat work on my 18' skiff than my Moth, a little less than the Moth on my foiling A Class which is about the same as I used to do on my I14. The challenge for any boat is learning how to do the things that are specific to that class.

As for whether you really are able to do the work yourself, there is always one saying I think applies "If you think you can or you think you cannot, you are probably right". If you think you can't do it, don't try. But if you take a different mindset, recognise you need to learn but that if you take the time and effort to do so, you probably can, a whole new world opens up.

 

maxstaylock

Anarchist
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Almost nobody is given technical ability for free, all have earned it, nobody thinks theirs is good enough, some started earlier.  The more you learn, the more races you will finish.  In high performance classes, even making a start is a win, finishing is the icing on the cake, regardless of result.  99% will fail before the start line.  Be the 1%, and your skills will catch up.

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
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Miami
Like most dinghy sailors, I've toyed with the idea of a moth. However, I'm absolutely rubbish at boat work. Most of the moth owners I know are either professional sailors or engineers. I don't have a mechanical bone in my body. Do modern moths still demand an inordinate amount of boat work to keep on the water?
Yes they do. If you buy a 2nd hand well maintained, well sorted boat you bought yourself a season free of deep boatwork. Next season you'll be in the boatwork zone again.

I'm no mothie myself, but the moths I know have owners who spend the time, or "shore crew". Sometimes it's a mix, the owner spends time, but also has someone to call upon for some stuff. All modern high perf boats need a lot of TLC, moths just a bit more than others.

 

Liquid

Super Anarchist
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If you're worried about boat prep and maintenance of a high performance kit - stick to a Laser!

 

17mika

Anarchist
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Milan, Italy
Like most dinghy sailors, I've toyed with the idea of a moth. However, I'm absolutely rubbish at boat work. Most of the moth owners I know are either professional sailors or engineers. I don't have a mechanical bone in my body. Do modern moths still demand an inordinate amount of boat work to keep on the water?
Modt mothies are neither engineers nor pros. 

Still I agree bosts sre high mintenance, but it depends on the boat. Get a maguire, it is by far 2me the most reliable design 

 

Phil S

Super Anarchist
2,590
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Sydney
The Moth class is a development class and the class rules allow a lot of variation in design and in how things work. Everyone who takes moths seriously test and tries different ideas and design refinements. Sometimes these are failures but sometimes something makes a significant difference to how the boats sails or how fast it goes, and then everyone who knows about it tries the new idea and in no time every one has to have one. Thats why moths are now amaxing foiling boats and not the heavy slow scows and skiffs from 90 years ago. Its also what has attracted tens of thousands of people to moths over its 90 year history.

If you own a moth and want to keep up with the speed of development in the class you need to almost continually upgrade your boat and that might be new sails, new foils or just new control systems which work better than the old ones. Cost can be a lot of your time or a lot of your money or both.

If you just want to sail the most rewarding craft of your sailing carreer, have enormous fun every time you launch the boat but are not worried about winning races then you can skip the bit about costing money and just spend a solid amount of time keeping the structure and systems up to standard, so everything works properly and reliably and the boat does not crash and throw you off without warning. You may even pick up some penultimate generation foils and sails for great prices from those perpared to spend more money on upgrades.

If your a dislexic, 5 thumbed ludite, you are probably best sticking to a Laser.

 

martin 'hoff

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Miami
If your a dislexic, 5 thumbed ludite, you are probably best sticking to a Laser
And if you're somewhere in between, there's a range of fun foiling machines. Just like owning an F1 or must expensive Lambo is not the only option for a fun fast car. 

 
How about the Skeeta?   Looks good from the videos and is now available in the US through Melges at a pretty attractive price.   I've been eager for someone to sail one in the states and share a nice review on SA for a while now.   

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
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Miami
Truth is, we're spoiled for options across the range of tradeoffs. Fast-fragile to slower-reliable. All the boats discussed in this thread are solid in their spot. Go pick one!

And if you do your first 1000 capsizes in a more reliable boat, get to basic competence, and then trade up to a moth, you've probably saved yourself a bunch of expensive/complex repairs on that fancy fragile speed machine. And you've enabled the next sailor on the boat you've sold. 

 
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