new stuff in the a-class

SCARECROW

Super Anarchist
5,998
686
Melbourne, Aus
Making the assumption that Glenn is going to stay in Auckland for the next 3 months and spend most of that time sailing his A, I think it'll be hard to bet against him.

 

SCARECROW

Super Anarchist
5,998
686
Melbourne, Aus
Scarecrow got there first with the honeycomb answer. Took me so long to write in between work!
I've got an unfair advantage, I've spent the last 2 days nesting the parts for an ali powercat and I'm looking for any excuse not to try and fit another round peg in a square hole.
 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
Making the assumption that Glenn is going to stay in Auckland for the next 3 months and spend most of that time sailing his A, I think it'll be hard to bet against him.
I was told he is already back in Melbourne and will be training there, if he can borrow a boat! But yes, Glenn will be hard to beat, which is why I said I wouldn't bet against Nathan, rather than betting on him. I also think that Stevie Brewin will also be very hard to beat, for a number of reasons. It should be a great worlds at the front of the fleet, maybe one of the best for a long time. For instance, cannot write off Pete Burling as well. Plus there are a whole host of people biting at their heals which means if they are anything below their very best, we will see others in the mix as well.

 

CoolBreeze

New member
49
0
melbourne
OMG, Im 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 As 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. Dont you think there is already an outlet for the must have now folks but also a potential to damage an already cool class? Im 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 God somebody that actually knows what they are talking about. Nice work Moonie.

 

2007Orbit

Member
130
0
Don’t get me wrong, I believe foil development needs to happen at some point but It should be done as its own separate entity. Majority who race A cats do so for the act of racing very cool boats on a relatively even field. Those who wish to tinker and foil have quite different requirements. If I felt at all that the objectives were evenly remotely similar I would be pushing for the change.

On the note of alternative suggestions on how to proceed I believe the DN ice boat class handled a development decision in a very creative way when they adopted carbon masts? I don’t know the full details, maybe someone can chime in? I think it was something along the lines that each country could develop a few masts and use them for a designated period of time. If and when it was proven to be an advantage to the class then the door was opened. I could imagine something slightly similar. Set a development period of say 2 years in which each country was allowed to openly using development foil packages at national events but not Europeans and World championships. This would open up the development to those that feel strongly that foiling is the future. After 2 years I believe we would have much better idea of the cause an affect and what could be done to change the current rule to the advantage of all. The developers would have the support and event infrastructure that would allow very clear performance evaluations and assist fast tract the process through very consistent and reliable competition and the current fleet that feel strongly that the current rule is just fine would not be affected. Who knows this could event support the splinter of a totally new class.

 

Thing1

Member
76
1
Australia
Yes AUS is spot on. I think there does need to be a mechanism for a structured "investigation" of foiling outside the current class rules for those who want to do this - and if a foiling A that can be sailed by the average fleet sailor and will win regattas in expert hands emerges, well and good.

But ad-hoc rule changes with no real understanding of the consequences will just be a disaster for the class. I just withdrew an order for a new boat because of the uncertainty - Its a development class so I'll bear the risk of having my new boat off the pace at some stage, but not the risk of having it out of the game.

 
Don’t get me wrong, I believe foil development needs to happen at some point but It should be done as its own separate entity. Majority who race A cats do so for the act of racing very cool boats on a relatively even field. Those who wish to tinker and foil have quite different requirements. If I felt at all that the objectives were evenly remotely similar I would be pushing for the change.

On the note of alternative suggestions on how to proceed I believe the DN ice boat class handled a development decision in a very creative way when they adopted carbon masts? I don’t know the full details, maybe someone can chime in? I think it was something along the lines that each country could develop a few masts and use them for a designated period of time. If and when it was proven to be an advantage to the class then the door was opened. I could imagine something slightly similar. Set a development period of say 2 years in which each country was allowed to openly using development foil packages at national events but not Europeans and World championships. This would open up the development to those that feel strongly that foiling is the future. After 2 years I believe we would have much better idea of the cause an affect and what could be done to change the current rule to the advantage of all. The developers would have the support and event infrastructure that would allow very clear performance evaluations and assist fast tract the process through very consistent and reliable competition and the current fleet that feel strongly that the current rule is just fine would not be affected. Who knows this could event support the splinter of a totally new class.
Your DN class description is right on. For what its worth, here is the story. The "experimental mast program" allowed composite masts to be tried in official class races. The advantage we were looking for was a more durable spar. The rigs have no diamonds and the middle bends way to leeward in many conditions. While really fast in this mode, a pile of broken masts on the "beach" was often the result. Building skill and shop time became limiting factors to be competitive. Jan Gougeon glued his wood rig back together with tongue depressors and epoxy in his room at the motel; but that's another story. The "official" intention was not to go faster, as we thought that might increase the cost to compete at the top and leave some sailors behind. Those of us officially involved with the decision knew they would be faster. The composite rigs (all glass at this point) that our group put together with Ron Sherry took all the top spots in the NAs that year. It was a quantum leap for the class. The clear speed advantage might have killed the class. What happened is that 90% of active racers had put a composite rig on their boat within 5 years, maybe less. The new masts were more expensive ($500-800 more) but with reasonable care they lasted much longer. So people were standing in line to pay more to save huge amounts of time in the shop. A side benefit was that the boats were much more "glued" to the ice at high speed and gusty conditions. The decreased sheet loads and decreased healing moment kept guys in their 60s and even 70s in the Gold fleet at world championships. It evened the playing field for heavy and light sailors and got a few more women into the class. We may have lost a few racers who just wouldn't or couldn't spend the extra $s. Some are still racing happily down in the Bronze fleet at major championships. On the other hand I think we pulled in more speed freaks who were turned away by the complex and fragile wood spars needed to compete before the change.

I entered the A-class in 2010 with an A-3 I bought from Pete Melvin. I have just now gotten into what I would call the "Gold Fleet" of the A-class and have only straight foils presently. Even though they are faster and apparently make the boat easier to sail; cost and build skill have held back my boat's transition to lifting foils. This makes my situation similar to DN guys with wood spars when the composite ones entered the class, although the transition is loads more expensive and technically challenging. Note: in both classes the new rig required new sails and again twice the $s for the A-cat. Despite this, I enjoy racing my A-cat and have already registered for the 2014 NAs next June. Will a transition to full foiling benefit the A-class? If it makes the boat easier to sail over a broader range of conditions for a reasonable cost then I say yes. I fantasize about "L" foils that curve up at the tips so they stay off the bottom in shallow water, reduce lift as the boat flies higher and just some larger radius wheels to get on and off the beach. These would even fit in my straight trunks and would just stay in the trunks for the whole regatta; that is simple and easy. Meanwhile I can stay in the "silver fleet" if necessary; the beer and mudslides taste just as good. DN-US60 A-cat US-80

 
Idea: Boards must be installed before leaving the beach. Would this encourage more practical designs? The "elite" would end up with a quiver of foils to choose from for a regatta. Maybe that is already the case to some extent. Certainly don't want "L" foils in weedy areas. Again, this is similar to our runner quivers in the DN class. We limit the amount of runners that can be used in a regatta. Some DN racers want to reduce that number of runners. For some it is perceived as an issue, for others it is not. I should ask Bora to help me make some "L" foils for my A-cat just for fun and for experiment. Maybe I tear him away from his Moth after their worlds.

 

2007Orbit

Member
130
0
Hoop,

Thanks for the clarification on the DN evolution. Regarding foiling the A cat. If you think it is going to be easy to sail and as simple as just adding the L foils I think you are in for a bit of a shock. Besides sailing ability required Platform stiffness, thus weight, sail development and not to mention foil control will make the boat entirely different to the current A Cat at the top level. And yes much more expensive not just to develop but to campaign and maintain! I currently have the latest in A cats with a Nikita and current Fiberfoam as well as a latest Mach 2 moth and I can tell you that foiling is a totally different program. The separation in the Moth fleet around the course shows the obvious complexities of foiling and sailing ability required. Don’t forget the Moth class attracts only the best sailors with great sailing ability. The A cat is while performance based a relatively finesse boat and thus appropriate for a broader range of sailors and it shows by the broad level of sailing abilities that are sailing the boat and supporting and turning up at events. Regardless of ability I strongly warn those sailors who watch the AC72 and moth videos and think that looks easy how “hard can it be?” are in for a bit of a shock. Sure an A cat with foils may allow some that would not be able to sail a moth to foil but I guarantee the level needed to race one of these around the track will be increase 10 fold.

At the last Europeans out of 100 boats there was probably only 25 that think (only 15 in reality) that could even affectively sail on trapeze down wind. Bring in the lifting foils and I think this will be reduced even further. If??? And I mean IF?? someone can come up with a stable foiling package then that would be great but I think we are along way and many nights in the shop from achieving this and the in between needs to be managed with care

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
MY concern with foiling A's and even the idea of allowing some to trial the concept is that the impact of foilers would be very different from the impact of the composite masts on the DN's.

mast development is one thing. If you want a new mast, you throw the old one out (or sell it to somebody at the back) and buy a mast. Everything else stays the same. The other thing is that over time, mast development ends up in roughly the same area - the bend characteristics of the top A Class masts are now pretty similar. Bottom line is, you can upgrade your mast for, say, $4500 compared with the cost of a new boat at $35,000.

Now let's talk about foiling boats. If it is proven to be "better", it will not be a case of simply plugging in new foils to existing boats. There might be some of that, which is what we saw with some of the early foiling Moths - people converted Hungry Tigers and got foiling. However, it wasn't long before they were outclassed by boats designed as foilers from the start. So everybody went and bought Fastcraft boats, until the Bladerider came along, at which point everybody had to get a Bladerider, until the Mach 2 came along and everybody changed yet again. Each time, the boats got easier to sail, so the fun increased. By way of example, I think when sailing a Fastcraft (never owned one), I only ever pulled off a couple of foiling gybes and it was the hardest thing I had ever tried to do in sailing. On the Bladerider, it took me a few weeks to get right while the Mach 2's are a dream to gybe and, I believe, tack! Fortunately, with the development of the boats, there were enough people wanting to buy the older boats as a cheap way into foiling. The important thing to note is that you couldn't upgrade your Bladerider to compete with the Mach 2's Rohan and Nathan tried, but failed.

Now looking at A's, if foiling were to come in, we would all need new boats. It really is that simple. You might get away with some foils for a short time, but don't think that within a couple of years, it will be accepted that the new boats are so much better. The problem I have is that I don't see the demand that we saw with the Moth class, both from within the class and also from the general sailing population. However, the biggest problem is that I believe that development in the early days will be fast. We will all buy the best boat out there and within a year, they will be outclassed and there will be no way to upgrade - expecting the fleet as a whole to move c/b cases and/or even fit completely different sorts of case and/or control systems and/or foils is unrealistic. My prediction would be that we are talking about being able to finish on the same lap or not.

So, in the case of the DN masts, we are talking a small percentage of the costs of the boast to upgrade to being competitive, while in the A's with foiling, you are looking at total boat replacement with a high probability of being outclassed very quickly. That sounds to me like a formula to kill a very successful class.

I would love to sail a foiling cat, but not at the expense of the class. The A's give us probably the best apparent wind racing of any class out there - close and even where the best person wins combined with pretty high speeds and a really nice boat to sail. Foils are more likely to reduce the closeness of the racing, not make it better, and the speed gains aren't going to be as great as when the Moths went from lowriders to foilers.

Anybody who thinks A's need to foil or die needs to get out of A's and sail Moths. If you aren't doing that, my question is why. You want to foil but don't? It makes no sense.

 
MY concern with foiling A's and even the idea of allowing some to trial the concept is that the impact of foilers would be very different from the impact of the composite masts on the DN's.

mast development is one thing. If you want a new mast, you throw the old one out (or sell it to somebody at the back) and buy a mast. Everything else stays the same. The other thing is that over time, mast development ends up in roughly the same area - the bend characteristics of the top A Class masts are now pretty similar. Bottom line is, you can upgrade your mast for, say, $4500 compared with the cost of a new boat at $35,000.

Now let's talk about foiling boats. If it is proven to be "better", it will not be a case of simply plugging in new foils to existing boats. There might be some of that, which is what we saw with some of the early foiling Moths - people converted Hungry Tigers and got foiling. However, it wasn't long before they were outclassed by boats designed as foilers from the start. So everybody went and bought Fastcraft boats, until the Bladerider came along, at which point everybody had to get a Bladerider, until the Mach 2 came along and everybody changed yet again. Each time, the boats got easier to sail, so the fun increased. By way of example, I think when sailing a Fastcraft (never owned one), I only ever pulled off a couple of foiling gybes and it was the hardest thing I had ever tried to do in sailing. On the Bladerider, it took me a few weeks to get right while the Mach 2's are a dream to gybe and, I believe, tack! Fortunately, with the development of the boats, there were enough people wanting to buy the older boats as a cheap way into foiling. The important thing to note is that you couldn't upgrade your Bladerider to compete with the Mach 2's Rohan and Nathan tried, but failed.

Now looking at A's, if foiling were to come in, we would all need new boats. It really is that simple. You might get away with some foils for a short time, but don't think that within a couple of years, it will be accepted that the new boats are so much better. The problem I have is that I don't see the demand that we saw with the Moth class, both from within the class and also from the general sailing population. However, the biggest problem is that I believe that development in the early days will be fast. We will all buy the best boat out there and within a year, they will be outclassed and there will be no way to upgrade - expecting the fleet as a whole to move c/b cases and/or even fit completely different sorts of case and/or control systems and/or foils is unrealistic. My prediction would be that we are talking about being able to finish on the same lap or not.

So, in the case of the DN masts, we are talking a small percentage of the costs of the boast to upgrade to being competitive, while in the A's with foiling, you are looking at total boat replacement with a high probability of being outclassed very quickly. That sounds to me like a formula to kill a very successful class.

I would love to sail a foiling cat, but not at the expense of the class. The A's give us probably the best apparent wind racing of any class out there - close and even where the best person wins combined with pretty high speeds and a really nice boat to sail. Foils are more likely to reduce the closeness of the racing, not make it better, and the speed gains aren't going to be as great as when the Moths went from lowriders to foilers.

Anybody who thinks A's need to foil or die needs to get out of A's and sail Moths. If you aren't doing that, my question is why. You want to foil but don't? It makes no sense.
MY concern with foiling A's and even the idea of allowing some to trial the concept is that the impact of foilers would be very different from the impact of the composite masts on the DN's.

mast development is one thing. If you want a new mast, you throw the old one out (or sell it to somebody at the back) and buy a mast. Everything else stays the same. The other thing is that over time, mast development ends up in roughly the same area - the bend characteristics of the top A Class masts are now pretty similar. Bottom line is, you can upgrade your mast for, say, $4500 compared with the cost of a new boat at $35,000.

Now let's talk about foiling boats. If it is proven to be "better", it will not be a case of simply plugging in new foils to existing boats. There might be some of that, which is what we saw with some of the early foiling Moths - people converted Hungry Tigers and got foiling. However, it wasn't long before they were outclassed by boats designed as foilers from the start. So everybody went and bought Fastcraft boats, until the Bladerider came along, at which point everybody had to get a Bladerider, until the Mach 2 came along and everybody changed yet again. Each time, the boats got easier to sail, so the fun increased. By way of example, I think when sailing a Fastcraft (never owned one), I only ever pulled off a couple of foiling gybes and it was the hardest thing I had ever tried to do in sailing. On the Bladerider, it took me a few weeks to get right while the Mach 2's are a dream to gybe and, I believe, tack! Fortunately, with the development of the boats, there were enough people wanting to buy the older boats as a cheap way into foiling. The important thing to note is that you couldn't upgrade your Bladerider to compete with the Mach 2's Rohan and Nathan tried, but failed.

Now looking at A's, if foiling were to come in, we would all need new boats. It really is that simple. You might get away with some foils for a short time, but don't think that within a couple of years, it will be accepted that the new boats are so much better. The problem I have is that I don't see the demand that we saw with the Moth class, both from within the class and also from the general sailing population. However, the biggest problem is that I believe that development in the early days will be fast. We will all buy the best boat out there and within a year, they will be outclassed and there will be no way to upgrade - expecting the fleet as a whole to move c/b cases and/or even fit completely different sorts of case and/or control systems and/or foils is unrealistic. My prediction would be that we are talking about being able to finish on the same lap or not.

So, in the case of the DN masts, we are talking a small percentage of the costs of the boast to upgrade to being competitive, while in the A's with foiling, you are looking at total boat replacement with a high probability of being outclassed very quickly. That sounds to me like a formula to kill a very successful class.

I would love to sail a foiling cat, but not at the expense of the class. The A's give us probably the best apparent wind racing of any class out there - close and even where the best person wins combined with pretty high speeds and a really nice boat to sail. Foils are more likely to reduce the closeness of the racing, not make it better, and the speed gains aren't going to be as great as when the Moths went from lowriders to foilers.

Anybody who thinks A's need to foil or die needs to get out of A's and sail Moths. If you aren't doing that, my question is why. You want to foil but don't? It makes no sense.
Thanks Aus and Simon. Your replies to my post pretty well sums things up. My guess is that the officers in charge of the A-class perceive all these issues as you described. The members of the class are probably on the same page as well. So much for full foiling spoiling the class; it doesn't seem likely in the foreseeable future. .

Ok, just to stir things up, how about using constrictors to cant the rig like Groupama did in the "C" class? A few extra seconds for each tack or gybe but when would it be worth it? Carry on guys, at least its summer down under. At home in Detroit here its time to dust off the DN bits and get ready for first ice in December.

 
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hump101

Anarchist
It's interesting seeing the different views on the "to foil, or not to foil" issue. I've not had an A class for 30 years, so I've no direct interest in this, but I am keen on development and have a couple of observations.

Firstly, SimonN has mentioned that the development of a foiling A would obsolete the existing fleet, which is true to the extent that everyone would need to buy or build the optimised foiler to be competitive when foiling, but since regattas will be held in light winds too, everyone will also need to keep an optimised non-foiler as well, and take both along, measuring in whichever looks like being the most competitive for the event. I am optimistic that foiling in lighter winds will be possible, but not competitive for some time yet.

My second observation is that the A class is too big a boat for a single handed foiling catamaran, it doesn't need to be 18', or even 14', if you run the numbers, as weight is king for foiling and pitch stability does not depend on the hull length, so the effort/cost expended in making an existing A foil is more than is required to make a foiling single handed cat.

Having said that, the A class is full of inventive people, which makes it a great starting point for development. Exciting times for the class, that's for sure.

 
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There's nothing to stop anyone turning up with a smaller boat, as long as it fits within the box rule and, and here is the problem, it still weighs 75 kilos and only has 14sqm of sail area ( which in my opinion is just too small to reliably power up enough to get 75 kgs + skipper onto foils )

I disagree that foils will damage the class, there's to many problems with foiling that almost certainly unless the conditions are just right, we will have pretty conventional boats with semi foiling capabilities, winning for some time yet. Why would anybody turn up with a trick foil boat if they knew conditions would be at all variable. Just make sure you pick variable wind world championship sites, set in the nor that you can sail only one boat, 1 set of foils and you would have no problem with trick boats turning up.

The cost of development of foils is a non issue, I think in the recent interview with Morelli that he was quoting only nz$ 8000 per board on the sl33's, modern 3d cnc cutters can create almost anything you want let alone the new line of 3d printers that could pop out a new foil tip overnight.

The biggest worry for the A Class must be that someone starts producing tunnel hulls with foils at about 14 ft weighing 50 or so kilos, that can beat an A around the course.

 

ita 16

Anarchist
My second observation is that the A class is too big a boat for a single handed foiling catamaran, it doesn't need to be 18', or even 14', if you run the numbers, as weight is king for foiling and pitch stability does not depend on the hull length, so the effort/cost expended in making an existing A foil is more than is required to make a foiling single handed cat.

Having said that, the A class is full of inventive people, which makes it a great starting point for development. Exciting times for the class, that's for sure.
I agree, this is correct, I can already fly with my new 14-foot, Stunt S.9, and with a small change to the foil I can already compete in Class A.
but maybe in this way we will not have class A, but a new class.


 

hump101

Anarchist
I agree, this is correct, I can already fly with my new 14-foot, Stunt S.9, and with a small change to the foil I can already compete in Class A.
but maybe in this way we will not have class A, but a new class.
Agreed, but then we'd need to start a new thread!

What changes would you need to make to insert the foils from above the hull on your Stunt S.9?

 

ita 16

Anarchist
I agree, this is correct, I can already fly with my new 14-foot, Stunt S.9, and with a small change to the foil I can already compete in Class A.

but maybe in this way we will not have class A, but a new class.
Agreed, but then we'd need to start a new thread!
What changes would you need to make to insert the foils from above the hull on your Stunt S.9?
2 simple bracket-support applied on the side of the hull, without using the casing

 

Phil S

Super Anarchist
2,603
230
Sydney
The A has long been an exquisite single handed cat. If nothing changes it will continue to be so. It will still attract a lot of people because its such a great boat.

If people create another foiling cat which might be faster in some conditions it will take people away from the class, that is a threat. More classes thin out the fleets and make our sport poorer as a result. But it's unlikely to be development boat and in the field of foiling even moths have only just scratched the surface of what might be possible.

If the A becomes a full foiling boat it will lose people who do not want to foil or who do not want to upgrade, it happened to moths nearly 10 years ago but the number of new people far exceed those who left. But I doubt few will sell moths to buy a more expensive and less convenient foiling A.

Its hard to see a foiling A getting as fast as a foiling moth very soon, weight has proven critical to performance so minimisation is critical. 75 kg is a big handicap in that race. Maybe there is another more cashed up group who want to foil and are scared of the moth? At least as a development class it will keep up as technology improves.

It's a dilemma which only the members of the A class can decide. None of us other pundits get a say anyway.

So do they want the best cat or do they want to compete with best foiled? Their choice.

 

Zennor

Member
58
4
hoop, on 19 Oct 2013 - 12:41, said:

SimonN, on 19 Oct 2013 - 10:51, said:

MY concern with foiling A's and even the idea of allowing some to trial the concept is that the impact of foilers would be very different from the impact of the composite masts on the DN's.

mast development is one thing. If you want a new mast, you throw the old one out (or sell it to somebody at the back) and buy a mast. Everything else stays the same. The other thing is that over time, mast development ends up in roughly the same area - the bend characteristics of the top A Class masts are now pretty similar. Bottom line is, you can upgrade your mast for, say, $4500 compared with the cost of a new boat at $35,000.

Now let's talk about foiling boats. If it is proven to be "better", it will not be a case of simply plugging in new foils to existing boats. There might be some of that, which is what we saw with some of the early foiling Moths - people converted Hungry Tigers and got foiling. However, it wasn't long before they were outclassed by boats designed as foilers from the start. So everybody went and bought Fastcraft boats, until the Bladerider came along, at which point everybody had to get a Bladerider, until the Mach 2 came along and everybody changed yet again. Each time, the boats got easier to sail, so the fun increased. By way of example, I think when sailing a Fastcraft (never owned one), I only ever pulled off a couple of foiling gybes and it was the hardest thing I had ever tried to do in sailing. On the Bladerider, it took me a few weeks to get right while the Mach 2's are a dream to gybe and, I believe, tack! Fortunately, with the development of the boats, there were enough people wanting to buy the older boats as a cheap way into foiling. The important thing to note is that you couldn't upgrade your Bladerider to compete with the Mach 2's Rohan and Nathan tried, but failed.

Now looking at A's, if foiling were to come in, we would all need new boats. It really is that simple. You might get away with some foils for a short time, but don't think that within a couple of years, it will be accepted that the new boats are so much better. The problem I have is that I don't see the demand that we saw with the Moth class, both from within the class and also from the general sailing population. However, the biggest problem is that I believe that development in the early days will be fast. We will all buy the best boat out there and within a year, they will be outclassed and there will be no way to upgrade - expecting the fleet as a whole to move c/b cases and/or even fit completely different sorts of case and/or control systems and/or foils is unrealistic. My prediction would be that we are talking about being able to finish on the same lap or not.

So, in the case of the DN masts, we are talking a small percentage of the costs of the boast to upgrade to being competitive, while in the A's with foiling, you are looking at total boat replacement with a high probability of being outclassed very quickly. That sounds to me like a formula to kill a very successful class.

I would love to sail a foiling cat, but not at the expense of the class. The A's give us probably the best apparent wind racing of any class out there - close and even where the best person wins combined with pretty high speeds and a really nice boat to sail. Foils are more likely to reduce the closeness of the racing, not make it better, and the speed gains aren't going to be as great as when the Moths went from lowriders to foilers.

Anybody who thinks A's need to foil or die needs to get out of A's and sail Moths. If you aren't doing that, my question is why. You want to foil but don't? It makes no sense.
SimonN, on 19 Oct 2013 - 10:51, said:

MY concern with foiling A's and even the idea of allowing some to trial the concept is that the impact of foilers would be very different from the impact of the composite masts on the DN's.

mast development is one thing. If you want a new mast, you throw the old one out (or sell it to somebody at the back) and buy a mast. Everything else stays the same. The other thing is that over time, mast development ends up in roughly the same area - the bend characteristics of the top A Class masts are now pretty similar. Bottom line is, you can upgrade your mast for, say, $4500 compared with the cost of a new boat at $35,000.

Now let's talk about foiling boats. If it is proven to be "better", it will not be a case of simply plugging in new foils to existing boats. There might be some of that, which is what we saw with some of the early foiling Moths - people converted Hungry Tigers and got foiling. However, it wasn't long before they were outclassed by boats designed as foilers from the start. So everybody went and bought Fastcraft boats, until the Bladerider came along, at which point everybody had to get a Bladerider, until the Mach 2 came along and everybody changed yet again. Each time, the boats got easier to sail, so the fun increased. By way of example, I think when sailing a Fastcraft (never owned one), I only ever pulled off a couple of foiling gybes and it was the hardest thing I had ever tried to do in sailing. On the Bladerider, it took me a few weeks to get right while the Mach 2's are a dream to gybe and, I believe, tack! Fortunately, with the development of the boats, there were enough people wanting to buy the older boats as a cheap way into foiling. The important thing to note is that you couldn't upgrade your Bladerider to compete with the Mach 2's Rohan and Nathan tried, but failed.

Now looking at A's, if foiling were to come in, we would all need new boats. It really is that simple. You might get away with some foils for a short time, but don't think that within a couple of years, it will be accepted that the new boats are so much better. The problem I have is that I don't see the demand that we saw with the Moth class, both from within the class and also from the general sailing population. However, the biggest problem is that I believe that development in the early days will be fast. We will all buy the best boat out there and within a year, they will be outclassed and there will be no way to upgrade - expecting the fleet as a whole to move c/b cases and/or even fit completely different sorts of case and/or control systems and/or foils is unrealistic. My prediction would be that we are talking about being able to finish on the same lap or not.

So, in the case of the DN masts, we are talking a small percentage of the costs of the boast to upgrade to being competitive, while in the A's with foiling, you are looking at total boat replacement with a high probability of being outclassed very quickly. That sounds to me like a formula to kill a very successful class.

I would love to sail a foiling cat, but not at the expense of the class. The A's give us probably the best apparent wind racing of any class out there - close and even where the best person wins combined with pretty high speeds and a really nice boat to sail. Foils are more likely to reduce the closeness of the racing, not make it better, and the speed gains aren't going to be as great as when the Moths went from lowriders to foilers.

Anybody who thinks A's need to foil or die needs to get out of A's and sail Moths. If you aren't doing that, my question is why. You want to foil but don't? It makes no sense.
Thanks Aus and Simon. Your replies to my post pretty well sums things up. My guess is that the officers in charge of the A-class perceive all these issues as you described. The members of the class are probably on the same page as well. So much for full foiling spoiling the class; it doesn't seem likely in the foreseeable future. . Ok, just to stir things up, how about using constrictors to cant the rig like Groupama did in the "C" class? A few extra seconds for each tack or gybe but when would it be worth it? Carry on guys, at least its summer down under. At home in Detroit here its time to dust off the DN bits and get ready for first ice in December.
So how do the constrictors work?
 




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