new stuff in the a-class

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
, so please do not offend "it's my job not yours. "
I am not offended by the fact you are wrong. I first built boats from pre-preg in 1982, and my business was involved in building sail boats, row shells and canoes. Pre-preg boats my business built competed in 2 different sports at the Olympics, winning medals. Outside of water sports, we also produced components for Mclaren before they had their own pre-preg facilities. Now, I know I am getting old, but I haven't yet turned senile and I can just about remember what was involved. The problems haven't changed. In fact, having been talking at length about a new project I want to get underway (if I can find the time and money) new TPT laminates make it even more interesting and offer even more potential, although I have a few concerns about costs which I hope we can address.

The thing I don't understand is that I know you make stuff from pre-preg and you have an autoclave, yet your position on this differs so much from others. In fact, your A Class boat price doesn't exactly shout about a huge saving. It makes your statements hard to understand, unless you are saying that it is not possible to make good A's from pre-preg and nomex.

 

Catnewbie

Member
388
0
München
Dear Michele,

You know how Aussies are fast sailing A-Cat, dominating the A-Cat world and it's has been a "No Brainer" for the last 20 years.

You know that many young Aussies cannot afford a 25000€ A-Cat.

Your A-Cat presented on your website @ 14990€ before 20% VAT, but is actually sold @ 12000€ net price for the buyer

(I can give you name if you want).

That is why I do not understand why Aussie buy so expensive DNA or Scheurer A-Cat and do not pay attention to your cat.

So I would like to know wether all Aussies catsailors are stupid, or if there is the reason for them not to rush on your boat??

All A-Cat anarchists would be be pleased to understand this oxymore, unless it is a syllogism?

BTW I am very satisfied you support my suggestion to add 5 extra kg of stuff, the difference is I ll prefered pre-preg & honeycomb.

Cheers

W

 

ita 16

Anarchist
I knew your real job was another type . however , I would prefer to speak only of class A and no other boats, so the discussion is more consistent with reality.
we have done thousands of tests in the past, and many have been done on the materials and structures of the hulls , the result is simple : an exaggerated rigidity is not always helpful , the total cost to construct the hulls in pre -preg + Honeycomb was too high in relation to the performance of the boat , and 8000-10000 euro difference are a lot purchaser for a class A, we preferred to adopt the most advanced technology and best materials where it was just right, crosses , mast, rudders, boards . also longevity has increased over the last 10 years, for example in France they got some top placings XJ 2004, also in Italy , etc. .
in conclusion, we believe it is an exaggeration to use this technology in the hulls , and also because of the problems of excessive spending in case of repairing broken , all of this is demonstrated by the fact that those who have changed the boat has had the exact same placings in the race.
 

Catnewbie

Member
388
0
München
ITA16,

You are blind, you are in the best position to start a cheap A-Cat alternative. The market demand is here, and as long as the catsailors have the opportunity to race with similar "guns" It will make it.

A 100% polyester/foam sandwich/alloy spars affordable will trigger the creation of some little local fleets quickly, just what the youngers are looking for, but not only the youngers...

Instead you try to drag down the A-Cat industry to your level, why, you're sure to beat them with experience?

Now if you actually want to remain with the first league players, just show your CFD & FEA research which support your allegations

and it will be fine..

Did you notice some top A-Cat sailors are buying the new EXPLODER?? a bit cheaper than the other brands..and still good performing boat, isnt it ?

Cheers Blindy

W

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
I knew your real job was another type . however , I would prefer to speak only of class A and no other boats, so the discussion is more consistent with reality.
we have done thousands of tests in the past, and many have been done on the materials and structures of the hulls , the result is simple : an exaggerated rigidity is not always helpful , the total cost to construct the hulls in pre -preg + Honeycomb was too high in relation to the performance of the boat , and 8000-10000 euro difference are a lot purchaser for a class A, we preferred to adopt the most advanced technology and best materials where it was just right, crosses , mast, rudders, boards . also longevity has increased over the last 10 years, for example in France they got some top placings XJ 2004, also in Italy , etc. .
in conclusion, we believe it is an exaggeration to use this technology in the hulls , and also because of the problems of excessive spending in case of repairing broken , all of this is demonstrated by the fact that those who have changed the boat has had the exact same placings in the race.
I believe that you mix up cost of prepreg, nomex construction with what people want to charge for a boat. While pricing and cost do have some correlation, they don't tell the whole story. We see some big price differences in the class between people using the same types of materials and construction techniques. Why? Because everybody has the right to charge what they want to and the customer decides whether to pay or not. That is how Nils manages to charge such a high amount for his boats, which have the longest waiting list of any class builder (if you can get him to build you a boat at all!!). Nils charges what he does because that is what he needs to charge to make the amount of money he feels he needs to make.

Your pricing strategy is what you believe it should be, but it is not reflective of the difference in manufacturing costs between the boats you build and prepreg nomex boats. That's fine, because it is what you want to charge, but don't start using your pricing policy as evidence of cost. I know the price of materials (I happened to have checked them very recently) . Do you want to tell us what you think the difference in price is? And are you really telling me that it takes you longer to build a wet lay up boat than a prepreg or, if not, that the costs of running the oven are greater than the reduced labour costs? After all, you post cure anyway, so we are talking about the difference in temperature.

So if you want to make an argument about banning materials, let's have the correct figures. Tell us the difference in material costs and the difference in the number of hours to build and anything else we need in order to separate out profit and cost.

And to Catnewbie, your comments aren't exactly helpful. The big problem in a development class is that there are differences in design. I might choose to buy one boat rather than another based on design, not on how it is built. So bringing up that Michele isn't selling boats to Australia doesn't actually help the argument about materials. It is always difficult to compare boats because of the design issues. For instance, I have certain beliefs about design which means that I wouldn't buy Michele's boat at any price, but the same is true about the DNA and Vision. All 3 boats fail to meet my design expectations, so price point isn't the issue - well, it is because I cannot afford a new boat anyway, even at Michele's prices. I know that Stevie Brewin and Landy have their own views on design. Stevie would rather buy his own boat at full price than sail a boat that he believes isn't as good, irrespective of price and whether he is offered a boat for free.

What needs to happen is for the emotion to be taken out of the debate and to discuss the correct things. Design and retail price need to be uncoupled from the cost debate. If you do that, I believe you will find that changing the rules on materials will not have a significant impact on the price we pay for our boats, because the biggest factor in that is how much money people want to make in profit.

 

SC65

Member
60
3
Unfortunately there is little interest to develop a safe foiling A-cat if the rules say you can build it but not race it, since it wouldn't be class legal.

The current rules are the compromise on what the class members have voted for as being the umbrella for a safe future of the class. I personally have a different opinion, but that seems not to be shared with the majority of the class and I do respect that, the reason I got into the foiling moth class. The C class is now considering foiling because of Groupama and Hydros. Without them, the non foiling boats would probably won the event and the Fill your Hands team would have concluded [again] that foiling doesn't work so well on C cats. :)

The reason Groupama and Hydros built foilers in first place was an open rule allowing for it, which is not the case in the A- class and that's why the Mayfly didn't fly so well and DNA's class legal studies don't foil that well either.

I do believe there is a solution for the A-class so, which doesn't endanger it's future or risk to loose the more conservative party by going wild.

I believe in the Mini class (the 6.5m singlehanded monohulls designed to cross the Atlantic) there are at least two divisions: series boats with a certain number of identical boats to be produced required and than you have what I would call the wild class, which are the one off development boats. Both groups race the same course but have their own ranking (A-class restricted versus A-class unrestricted).

And that's what I believe the A-class should consider: to allow something like a development division within for example the very original A-class box rule, in which designers and builders can test more extreme ideas. Those boats and sailors would still race the same course, and you would create the hassle to run three divisions and rankings (full class rule compliant boats, base box rule compliant boats, fastest overall) but you would send out invitation cards to people (designer, builders, sailors) who either stepped away from the A (like some moth sailors did) or are considering it or do not even consider the A due to it's rather stagnated development. To allow a new division could bring back wing sails as well as foiling and the conservative class could closely monitor all those try and errors and every year make an educated decision which of those developments are considered worth to implement in the restricted A-class rule. When the first rule changes restricting foiling were first introduced, it was an opinionated discussion but not an educated one and getting boats on to the racecourse which actually try to proof certain theories rather than just being something forums like these love to debate about for ages, would be a step to allow this educational process within an umbrella of the A class.

My 2 cents.

yes, Doug is partially right, the boom of the foiling begins in a short time, but it is too early to take this step, you are likely to throw the future of Class A into a bottomless abyss, has not yet been shown that a cat with single crew can fly well in many conditions of wind and wave, safe, and in my opinion the risk is too great.
I also believe that Class A Flying of the future will be totally different from the present, in this way we risk disgusted thousands of owners of ACAT, destroying a class solid and compact. I am in favor of foiling but it is not the right time, it is too early, before jumping so important I would like to see what'll land, it is better not to risk too much, we have enough time to decide and to evaluate.
in the past we have talked a lot about the high cost, I had proposed to increase the weight to 80 kg and eliminate technologies and materials too expensive "in proportion to the increase in performance," this would reduce costs and would give a large margin of work for designers and builders to adopt new ideas and solutions to improve the Acat "for example by adopting the foil."
the proposal to change Rule 8.2 has been made to reduce costs and to allow the Acat to fly, this will not happen, the costs are bound to increase and the flight of the boats will not be satisfactory, only increasing the restrictive rules we will see costs decrease . I think the best solution is to increase the restrictive rules "just for now" and in the very near future to allow Acat to fly without too much restrictive rules, this only if it is demonstrated that the ACAT can fly well and safely.

regards , Michele
 
A

Amati

Guest
Nice idea. But you have seen how much traction the NC has within the IC class....

 

Rawhide

Super Anarchist
1,900
101
Pittwater
I fully agree with your suggestion, I have thought for a while that the best solution would be for a unrestricted demonstration division to be allowed in regattas where builders can show off their projects and the fleet gets to evaluate the performance/cost/ease of use issues out in the open and then make informed decisions on what to adopt.

Unfortunately there is little interest to develop a safe foiling A-cat if the rules say you can build it but not race it, since it wouldn't be class legal.

The current rules are the compromise on what the class members have voted for as being the umbrella for a safe future of the class. I personally have a different opinion, but that seems not to be shared with the majority of the class and I do respect that, the reason I got into the foiling moth class. The C class is now considering foiling because of Groupama and Hydros. Without them, the non foiling boats would probably won the event and the Fill your Hands team would have concluded [again] that foiling doesn't work so well on C cats. :)

The reason Groupama and Hydros built foilers in first place was an open rule allowing for it, which is not the case in the A- class and that's why the Mayfly didn't fly so well and DNA's class legal studies don't foil that well either.

I do believe there is a solution for the A-class so, which doesn't endanger it's future or risk to loose the more conservative party by going wild.

I believe in the Mini class (the 6.5m singlehanded monohulls designed to cross the Atlantic) there are at least two divisions: series boats with a certain number of identical boats to be produced required and than you have what I would call the wild class, which are the one off development boats. Both groups race the same course but have their own ranking (A-class restricted versus A-class unrestricted).

And that's what I believe the A-class should consider: to allow something like a development division within for example the very original A-class box rule, in which designers and builders can test more extreme ideas. Those boats and sailors would still race the same course, and you would create the hassle to run three divisions and rankings (full class rule compliant boats, base box rule compliant boats, fastest overall) but you would send out invitation cards to people (designer, builders, sailors) who either stepped away from the A (like some moth sailors did) or are considering it or do not even consider the A due to it's rather stagnated development. To allow a new division could bring back wing sails as well as foiling and the conservative class could closely monitor all those try and errors and every year make an educated decision which of those developments are considered worth to implement in the restricted A-class rule. When the first rule changes restricting foiling were first introduced, it was an opinionated discussion but not an educated one and getting boats on to the racecourse which actually try to proof certain theories rather than just being something forums like these love to debate about for ages, would be a step to allow this educational process within an umbrella of the A class.

My 2 cents.

yes, Doug is partially right, the boom of the foiling begins in a short time, but it is too early to take this step, you are likely to throw the future of Class A into a bottomless abyss, has not yet been shown that a cat with single crew can fly well in many conditions of wind and wave, safe, and in my opinion the risk is too great.
I also believe that Class A Flying of the future will be totally different from the present, in this way we risk disgusted thousands of owners of ACAT, destroying a class solid and compact. I am in favor of foiling but it is not the right time, it is too early, before jumping so important I would like to see what'll land, it is better not to risk too much, we have enough time to decide and to evaluate.
in the past we have talked a lot about the high cost, I had proposed to increase the weight to 80 kg and eliminate technologies and materials too expensive "in proportion to the increase in performance," this would reduce costs and would give a large margin of work for designers and builders to adopt new ideas and solutions to improve the Acat "for example by adopting the foil."
the proposal to change Rule 8.2 has been made to reduce costs and to allow the Acat to fly, this will not happen, the costs are bound to increase and the flight of the boats will not be satisfactory, only increasing the restrictive rules we will see costs decrease . I think the best solution is to increase the restrictive rules "just for now" and in the very near future to allow Acat to fly without too much restrictive rules, this only if it is demonstrated that the ACAT can fly well and safely.

regards , Michele
 

ita 16

Anarchist
these are really useful and constructive ideas, I fully agree with SC65, also I have supported this idea in the past and it seems to me the most logical and correct. Moth class has also had the same problem and have it resolved as SC65 says.

 

Catnewbie

Member
388
0
München
SC65,

Very Smart pproposition, you are able to reconciliate all divergent opinions with just one post, hope your suggestion will be considered seriously by the rule-box comittee.

One point remains : which rules for the "restricted A"

ITA16:

Yesterday, I almost had the opportunity to phone you for a beer, I was in Milano, Via San Protaso,

I was a bit short with the plane, so next time may be.

Cheers

W

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
An pre-preg A has something like AU$ 8000 worth of materials (last price checked 18 months ago)
Do you have a breakdown of the materials (areas/weights) and their costs?

Thanks.

rob
Rob

Sorry for the late reply. For a number of reasons, I don't actually want to go into detail, because I know that every builder has a different laminate and it can lead to some fairly interesting debates, plus the way I would have built is probably rather different from many and I don't want to share it, because as with anybody, I would hope that if we do end up building, we will get some advantage out of how we build and with what. I can say that I based the laminate on 10mm honeycomb. I use the term "nomex' because everybody knows it, but I probably wouldn't use it as there are now better alternatives to make the honeycomb from. Weight for 10mm honeycomb varies, but I would be choosing something between 400 and 480 gsm, against foam which is usually about 800 gsm give or take 5 gsm. What you see on a far number of A's is that the builders use thinner foam, say 6mm, so as the get the weight back down. however, one thing you cannot avoid is the weight of bonding the laminate together and simply put, foam takes over double the amount of "glue" to bond the laminate to the foam. If using prepreg, you can use significantly less.

For an idea of what laminate you might use, have a look at a number of building blogs that are around from people who have built there own A's. This really does get into interesting territory, where choice of laminate can have dramatic effect on strength, weight and cost. Besides choosing the right weight of material, there are decisions about what modulus carbon is in the material, whether you use unidirectionals, 0/90 biased cloth or 45/45. Add to that differences in weave as well and there is much to debate. On top of that, there is local reinforcement, plus understanding how loads will transfer from structure you put into the boat. So the answer to what materials isn't straight forward.

Sorry to be a bit unhelpful, but I hope that is of some interest. And I didn't even get started on my new favourite technology - TPT - which allows you to make thinner but stronger laminates (at a price).

 

Foghorn77

Super Anarchist
1,133
21
An pre-preg A has something like AU$ 8000 worth of materials (last price checked 18 months ago)
Do you have a breakdown of the materials (areas/weights) and their costs?

Thanks.

rob
What you see on a far number of A's is that the builders use thinner foam, say 6mm, so as the get the weight back down. however, one thing you cannot avoid is the weight of bonding the laminate together and simply put, foam takes over double the amount of "glue" to bond the laminate to the foam. If using prepreg, you can use significantly less.
Simon,

Honest question, Isn't the glue in there (weight wise) rather it is bonded to the edge of the honeycomb or over the void? If not how would you regulate that, paint the glue on each edge of the "honeycomb" cell by hand? Or does the foam just take more glue because it absorbs it?

 
Last edited by a moderator:

2007Orbit

Member
130
0
OMG, I’m not sure I can read some of this BS any longer. Anyone that thinks the A guys are doing the wrong thing being cautious on the speed and direction of the current development has no appreciation for the quality of sailing and performance of the boats we currently have! People that keep referring back to the fact that the A is suppose to be a box rule and we are stifling development needs to understand that the class has become a lot more one design than ever before and the quality of the racing domestically as well as Internationally has improved. We have increased participation in nearly every continent and we have become one of the go to one design class for high performance singlehanded racing for a reason.

I can guarantee that the strong statements such as Foil or Die are coming from people with and without A’s that have never been to a 100 boat worlds or Europeans in any class. If your only desire is to foil around your home club then there is clear choices already. The discussion and caution to foil or not to foil the A goes a lot deeper and has much more consequence than what the general AC72 watching keyboard tapping genius would know and I am completely dismayed by some of the strong opinions in this thread… Sailingkid you seem like you are heavily involved in the Aust A cat fleet?? NO? Where the heck are you coming from?? You have Landy, Stevie, Gleno all at your disposal and you make the statement of foil or die. WTF? Fireball… Missed the boat?? What other classes??

Clean as for your support that the class needs to make changes astonishes me. You of all people have been privileged to witness all the cool stuff from the now reliable Moth to your recent experience of what is really is involved to fly a catamaran consistently in a variety of conditions. Don’t you think there is already an outlet for the must have now folks but also a potential to damage an already cool class? I’m not against this direction of development but we need to be very careful how we handle it. I agree that a foiling cat class would be great and I would buy one tomorrow but not at the experience of the current A cat class.

 

SCARECROW

Super Anarchist
5,998
686
Melbourne, Aus
Simon,

Honest question, Isn't the glue in there (weight wise) rather it is bonded to the edge of the honeycomb or over the void? If not how would you regulate that, paint the glue on each edge of the "honeycomb" cell by hand? Or does the foam just take more glue because it absorbs it?
Gluing to honeycomb properly is an art. Without years of experience and things like a wetpreg "machine" you'll often end up filling the cells with resin. For most people Honeycomb should be restricted to pre-preg use only.
OMG, I’m not sure I can read some of this BS any longer. Anyone that thinks the A guys are doing the wrong thing being cautious on the speed and direction of the current development has no appreciation for the quality of sailing and performance of the boats we currently have! People that keep referring back to the fact that the A is suppose to be a box rule and we are stifling development needs to understand that the class has become a lot more one design than ever before and the quality of the racing domestically as well as Internationally has improved. We have increased participation in nearly every continent and we have become one of the go to one design class for high performance singlehanded racing for a reason.

I can guarantee that the strong statements such as Foil or Die are coming from people with and without A’s that have never been to a 100 boat worlds or Europeans in any class. If your only desire is to foil around your home club then there is clear choices already. The discussion and caution to foil or not to foil the A goes a lot deeper and has much more consequence than what the general AC72 watching keyboard tapping genius would know and I am completely dismayed by some of the strong opinions in this thread… Sailingkid you seem like you are heavily involved in the Aust A cat fleet?? NO? Where the heck are you coming from?? You have Landy, Stevie, Gleno all at your disposal and you make the statement of foil or die. WTF? Fireball… Missed the boat?? What other classes??

Clean as for your support that the class needs to make changes astonishes me. You of all people have been privileged to witness all the cool stuff from the now reliable Moth to your recent experience of what is really is involved to fly a catamaran consistently in a variety of conditions. Don’t you think there is already an outlet for the must have now folks but also a potential to damage an already cool class? I’m not against this direction of development but we need to be very careful how we handle it. I agree that a foiling cat class would be great and I would buy one tomorrow but not at the experience of the current A cat class.
Thank Christ.
 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
An pre-preg A has something like AU$ 8000 worth of materials (last price checked 18 months ago)
Do you have a breakdown of the materials (areas/weights) and their costs?

Thanks.

rob
What you see on a far number of A's is that the builders use thinner foam, say 6mm, so as the get the weight back down. however, one thing you cannot avoid is the weight of bonding the laminate together and simply put, foam takes over double the amount of "glue" to bond the laminate to the foam. If using prepreg, you can use significantly less.
Simon,

Honest question, Isn't the glue in there (weight wise) rather it is bonded to the edge of the honeycomb or over the void? If not how would you regulate that, paint the glue on each edge of the "honeycomb" cell by hand? Or does the foam just take more glue because it absorbs it?
Please remember I am talking about prepreg. There are a number of ways you can do it with prepreg, but if you use the right prepreg cloth, It is "self adhesive" which means that there enough resin to form the fillets that bond the cells. In fact, it is also self adhesive with PVC foam as well, which is why prepreg is always better than wet lay up. If you use wet lay up, you add more weight bonding the foam down and, if you are doing wet lay up with honeycomb, the same applies, although you can get away with less bonding material. Good builders are able to keep that added weight down, but you are still talking about at least 250 gsm - the "recommended amount is 500 gsm but as I said, you really can get a good bond with less if you know what you are doing.

I keep hearing from people that the difference between honeycomb and foam isn't that great and all sorts of reasons why. IMO, that is simply wrong. The figures talk for themselves. the material saves you about 400 gsm and the bonding saves you at least another 250 gsm. That difference in weight allows you to add 2 layers of 200 gsm. People will then tell you that you use up a lot of the difference in weight because you have to fill to ensure there are no pin holes in the laminate that allow water through. Yes, that is a problem with thin laminates, but you can design a laminate that achieves the same thing through fibre orientation. This is why you get good and bad prepreg honeycomb boats. People try to build them using the same ideas as wet lay up when you actually need to think differently about how you do things. With prepreg, I believe you need to be far more deliberate in what you are doing. Things people get away with in wet lay up, because you have the excess of resin, don't work in prepreg.

Finally, a very well built wet lay up foam boat will always be as good, if not better that an average prepreg boat. The problem is that if you build that very good wet lay up boat, the labour element is so much higher it should kill the price difference. Don't take my word on it. Google the subject. Every single thing will tell you that prepreg needs less labour. And the fact is, that a well planned and built prepreg boat is always going to be better. Boatbuilders will hate me for this and argue that I am wrong, but price is due to what they feel they can charge for the product, not what their costs are. I personally have no issue with that. Why shouldn't a boatbuilder earn a decent living? The best boatbuilders are likely to charge the higher prices irrespective of what build method (Note - I am not saying that Bimare are not good because they charge less). I have had a number of people talk to me about building an A, but for me to do it, I need to earn at least as much, if not more, than I can earn doing something else. In addition, building a development class is a huge risk. One minute your design is what everybody wants, the next it isn't and you have no way of knowing whether your next design will be a winner again. Despite my arguments with Michele over materials and build method, I have upmost respect for him doing what he does and we all need to be thankful there are guys like him, the DNA crowd and others who are willing to build our boats despite all the business logic that says they shouldn't!!!

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
Scarecrow got there first with the honeycomb answer. Took me so long to write in between work!

@AUS

Well said. One thing to add. The reason why we will continue to see AC sailors in A's even if they don't foil is that the key is apparent wind sailing. Even without foils, there are very few boats that can match speed and agility, that are truly lightweight and have really great racing. in fact, the only 2 classes are really the Moth and the A. That is why many of the AC crowd sail both. Each offers something different. Based on what happened yesterday at the Moths, would anybody bet against the Moths and A's having the same world champion? (don't know for sure if Nathan is doing the A's)

 

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