The future of the WETA?

RedTuna

Super Anarchist
4,837
1,243
Texas
The white screecher is the 12.9m sq - see all the info here - http://www.wetamarine.com/images/stories/weta_owners/12.9gennakertips.pdf

It's the only white sail so you can know at a glance if someone is using the big sail and not the normal 8m genny.

But we are doing hot pink as a new standard colour!

531970_10151680136406169_1255879734_n.jpg
Bleah. What an awful color/colour choice, no matter how one spells it. But then again, maybe it will draw some women to buy the boat.

When the 12.9 pics were first posted, it was readily apparent that it was not the standard screecher. Even the furl looked odd. I can't imagine someone trying to race OD with it.

Jeez, that's awful. Where's my eye bleach?

 

rhitch

New member
The Sarasota / Tampa fleet is getting off the ground at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (don't call also yacht club close). Several events, including social and racing, are scheduled throughout this year with the first occurring on the 18th of this month. The first Weta class racing of the year in Florida will be in Port Charlotte at the Charlotte Harbor regatta on the first weekend of February. On March 4 the famous Miranda will be putting on a racing clinic at the Sarasota sailing squadron before she heads up to wetafest to kick all of our butts.

hull #941

 

unShirley

Super Anarchist
1,702
282
Ventura
This is spammy stuff, but it's relevant to the thread:

We officially announced today that we're distributing Wetas on the West Coast.

Got some awesome dealers who have been in the Weta game for a while working with us.

Anyway, sorry for the plug, but we're very excited to be on board.
Hello and Welcome to West Coast Sailing to the left coast Weta sailing community.

THANK YOU to Dave Bernsten for the past 4+ years of tireless, generous, hospitable support and promotion of the West Coast Weta fleet. We'll miss you Davo but wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

West Coast Sailing has some big shoes to fill but I look forward to you carrying on Davo's tradition of friendly, helpful support of veteran and newby Weta sailors alike.

 
This is spammy stuff, but it's relevant to the thread:

We officially announced today that we're distributing Wetas on the West Coast.

Got some awesome dealers who have been in the Weta game for a while working with us.

Anyway, sorry for the plug, but we're very excited to be on board.
Hello and Welcome to West Coast Sailing to the left coast Weta sailing community.

THANK YOU to Dave Bernsten for the past 4+ years of tireless, generous, hospitable support and promotion of the West Coast Weta fleet. We'll miss you Davo but wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

West Coast Sailing has some big shoes to fill but I look forward to you carrying on Davo's tradition of friendly, helpful support of veteran and newby Weta sailors alike.
Totally agree - News story on Weta Marine website http://www.wetamarine.com/about/news/600-weta-welcomes-new-distributor

 

Crump's Brother

Anarchist
817
111
C.TEX.USA
The Sarasota / Tampa fleet is getting off the ground at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (don't call also yacht club close). Several events, including social and racing, are scheduled throughout this year with the first occurring on the 18th of this month. The first Weta class racing of the year in Florida will be in Port Charlotte at the Charlotte Harbor regatta on the first weekend of February. On March 4 the famous Miranda will be putting on a racing clinic at the Sarasota sailing squadron before she heads up to wetafest to kick all of our butts.

hull #941
Yo Florida

I got a roll of cash that would choke a horse to bring you for some sails (12.9, main & jib).

(Now would be a good time to let everyone know if you still have some there for sale!)

KB

 

RedTuna

Super Anarchist
4,837
1,243
Texas
Any videos of the furled 12.9 being hoisted/dropped out on the water?

Looks like the pink screecher is going to be quite popular, considering the WetaFest spot prize responses from all the guys.

 

AClass USA 230

Anarchist
961
52
Louisiana
Hi Weta Sailors!

Wish I could join you at Weta Fest in 7 weeks with a charter but I'll be at the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten. Hope there is not a conflict in 2015, I'd love to join you.

I love your class and if I did not sail an A-Class, I'd probably have one for myself. But my 95 lb wife has a Sunfish that she is kind of frustrated with. First, it's a Sunfish and after sailing on our Corsair tri and sometimes taking a spin on the A, the Sunfish seems kind of lame. Second, we had hoped even though the boat is not as much fun to sail, that would be offset by an active class and racing schedule but unfortunately that is not the case on the Gulf coast. Third, in breeze over 10-12 knots, it's just no fun for her to sail with a lot of hiking and going slow.

But (and this is a big BUT), I don't believe my wife would be able to race a Weta by herself, it would be too physical. I think she would be fine singlehanding the boat in up to 12-13 knots and she can take her friends sailing when the breeze gets stronger (or she might let me come alomg!). I talked to Randy last week about his experience racing the boat doublehanded and he told me it only worked when the breeze got above the 12-15 knot range. We really want a doublehanded boat we can race together but the options are very limited. We are too small for most of the doublehanded beach cats. Another option we have looked at is the VX One sportboat but we'd need a 3rd person and that boat is a $30K investment.

So with the growth your class is seeing, I have an idea for you. Why you don't try to start and promote a "heavyweight" class in your class racing where the sailing crew weight has to be a minimum of say 275 lbs. This could open the door for those of us trying to convince our spouses that this could be a great way to race doublehanded and come have fun with you guys. I think you'd also see more girls and kids participating with spouses, parents, or best buds. Besides, at most of your events, it's pretty much all guys and I'm sure you'd like to see more gals. I used to race sailboards with two of your class members (Jim Leonard and Mike Mead) and there were weight classes in sailboard racing and it worked great.

I don't see Weta Marine developing a boat in the near future marketed for a doublehanded team. I really think there is an opportunity here and I hope you guys will give it serious consideration. It would certainly make it easier for me to market the boat to my wife and convince her it would be a good replacement for the Sunfish.

We leave tomorrow AM for Islamorada for the 1st regatta of the A-Class winter circuit so we have 14 hours in the car together. I plan to spend at least two hours talking about making the change. It would be great to see you guys start a serious discussion about my idea as I think it can work for you.

I also believe if I get a Weta for my wife and I, we will get other sailors at our club interested in sailing locally and hopefully regionally.

Cheers,

Bob Hodges

A-Class USA 230

Corsair Sprint 750 9

 

cfarrah

Anarchist
703
0
FL
Bob,

You're going to miss WetaFest for the Heineken on a Gunboat? What the hell are you thinking? ;-) Tell Wiggie hi, and that the good wine is on the French side of the island...

So, a few reactions...

1) There is already a provision in the class rules and behavior to allow single and double handed sailing classes. At WetaFest last year, we had I believe 2 teams sail 2-up, and I'm hoping we get more this year. At WetaFest, any time there are at least 3 boats with 2 people aboard, then they get their own scoring/trophy. Hopefully that will happen this year.

2) 275 is more than heavyweight...it's 2 up racing, which is a much easier distinction to make.

3) If you guys were to get a boat and start racing double-handed, I'm sure other's would follow (me included... in fact, I'll commit to dragging one of my kids along for 3 regattas a year against you guys...if we can get Jim and Mike to do the same...would be fun)... Think WetaFest, Juana's and something your way...Gulfport maybe? The boat is great fun to sail, and I think it would fit you guys perfectly...

4) Weta has a strong commitment to preserving the OD nature of the boat...rightly so. Therefore, I believe at major events there will (and should) be very little leeway on the rules. We don't want to go the way other promising trimaran classes have gone with the bastardization of the rules.

5) However, in the near term (as we are trying to get more boats on the line) and at smaller local events, there's always the option for double handers to be allowed to use the larger sail that Weta has developed as a screecher to allow 2-up boats to have a better chance in lighter air. Much like the Sprint heavy air chute, the smaller sail will probably be the sail of choice in a blow, (two ups are competitive in heavy air Randy/Toni at the Nationals last year)... but in light air, the weight is a killer, and the larger sail would potentially even things up.

The tricky part in 4 is that we just don't know if the larger chute would give an unfair advantage vs. single handers, and since this is OD racing, it sort of defeats the intent of the class.

This is a great boat, and something you guys will NEVER regret buying.

Safe travels...

C

 

Pete Pollard

Super Anarchist
12,184
0
One of you true believers should buy two or three boats, maybe more and travel the circuit offering them for charter. I'd sign up for two or three charters a year, but I don't see me buying any more boats, ever.

Maybe you could offer some sort of lease back as an inducement for buyers.

 
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AClass USA 230

Anarchist
961
52
Louisiana
Cliff,

It's great you already have that provision for scoring the doublehanded teams so that effectively addresses my idea for a heavyweight class. Either or would seem to work fine to get more participation and give me a carrot to dangle for Elise. I don't think anything I proposed is threatening the OD nature of the class so not sure about your comments above.

Regarding comments directed towards the Corsair tri classes, I suggest you re-consider. The main changes we did to our Sprint class rules insured reliable foils, allowed the square top mainsail, and allowed two chutes on the boat. We did not change any sail areas. We saw in San Francisco last year Sprint 750's (Mk 1's and 2's) and Dash 750's all racing pretty competitively in their own OD class in a range of 0-28 knots of wind. I expect to see the same this year on Lake Erie and I think Corsair is committed to keeping the boats working as a OD class. We'd love to have you back at some point, it was too much fun racing with you.

Wish me luck on my sales job this weekend. Hopefully we can get the For Sale sign on the Sunfish when we get back.

Cheers,

Bob

 

cfarrah

Anarchist
703
0
FL
Um, I never said Corsair or Sprint...

They are great boats, great dealer network, and I truly enjoyed our racing together as well.

Good luck on the trip... It occurred to me that you could stack the A Cat on the Weta and hit the Port Charlotte regatta on the way back North...

 
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Nor'Banks

New member
16
0
Duck, NC
Bob,

Good luck on the sales pitch. Weta has always envisioned this boat being a single handed and double handed racing boat. The provisions in the class rules have been their since day one. Having the option gives owners the choice to go alone or bring the family and still have some fun racing. I hope we see a good number of double handed boats at Weta Fest.

Look at this video from Weta Fest 2013 and you see several double handed boats and it being botha racing and family event.



We do usually have some charter boats available at major events if anyone is ever interested in trying one out.

Jon Britt

 

cfarrah

Anarchist
703
0
FL
Bob,

I had to dig this post out from 9/22/08 - written on catsailor by some guy named Bob Hodges...

"Thought I would share an experience I had while evacuated from LA for Hurricane Gustav. I stayed in Gulf Breeze, FL and while there had the opportunity to sail a friend's new Weta trimaran (www.wetamarine.com) at FWYC.

The Weta trimaran is a 14' FG/foam/epoxy platform with a carbon mast, carbon bowsprit, carbon beam tubes, carbon rudder and daggerboard, full battened boomless mylar mainsail, mylar jib, and a roller furling spinnaker/screacher. The main and jib are combined around 100 ft2 and the screacher is 60 ft2. The overall weight of the boat is 200 lbs.

I was pessimistic in my expectations of this boat so the actual sailing experience was a big surprise. The best sailing experience is when it is fun and easy. This boat does both extremely well and feels quite "sophisticated". I sailed with my girlfriend on the boat in 6-14 knots of wind on two afternoons. Our combined crew weight was around 265 lbs. In over 8 knots of wind, the center hull (which is very skiff like) started to plane upwind. The boat appears to have a tacking angle around 95 degrees. We had a Velocitek GPS on board and in 10-12 knots, we were doing 8-9 knots upwind. Downwind with the screacher, we were seeing 9-11 knots, our top speed for the two days was 15 knots. The builder advertises a maximum crew carrying capacity of 400 lbs. I would think it could be raced competitively in the range of 240-300 lbs which potentially makes it a great teenager, guy/girl, parent/kid, or spouses boat.

You can sail seated on the trampoline with your feet in the center hull cockpit or if you want to avoid the spray, move out to the weather ama. You don't have to hike. The epoxy construction makes the boat very stiff (I saw no appreciable flexing). The finish quality was excellent. Some of the running rigging was a bit lame but it could be easily and cheaply upgraded by the owner. The total cost of the package with a launching dolly and yard cover is right at $10K.

The boat can be sailed/raced double- or singlehanded. In New Zealand where it was introduced, they race both single- and doublehanded fleets separate.

The Portsmouth rating is 81.2 singlehanded and 87.2 doublehanded. That's pretty quick for a 14' overall length boat and faster in comparison to the majority of monohull dinghies raced in my area. Some might think it would feel too small for two adults at that length but it does not seem that way at all and I think that is because the trimaran width makes it feel bigger.

My girlfriend and I are really too light for a doublehanded beach catamaran. She has a desire to race some type of doublehanded dinghy and this boat seems much more fun (and easier to sai) than a Snipe, V-15, or JY-15. The price seems like a great value considering the carbon content and the epoxy construction. We may be very interested in getting one.

The boat currently has only one distributor in the US and they are selling each one they bring in so far."...


The boats now are much better than the one you sailed amigo... high aspect foils, upgraded construction, new rudder system, better sail handling and dolly construction... Looks like you were prophetic.

Now you and E just need to pull the trigger. Sure you can't skip St Maarten?

C
 
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Wess

Super Anarchist
Always thought this would be a great boat and class. Having Jon Britt up to Naps some time ago helped convince me further though sadly an east coast storm put a damper on things. Sailing the boat some time thereafter convinced me further and now knowing some of the people sailing in the class and seeing the growth is just more positive. Wish you folks much continued success and hope I see it catch on in my neck of the woods.

Wess

 

Hot Donutz

New member
13
0
bay area
Really good question, what is the future of the Weta. Even though I'm an enthusiastic owner, I'd rather answer the question and tag ons with as much honesty and fairness as I can muster if someone is looking to get into the class just for racing alone.

For one, take a look at racing in general. Yes, I am of the Master's generation and once sailed in Laser fleets of 500 and more. Do you really need that many boats on the water to feel good when you win? They seem to block the wind. Today, at least in the bay area where I race, the Laser fleet is lucky to get 15 boats at a typical regatta, and maybe ten in a second start with Radials. Wetas here at times struggle to get 7 on the line in the more challenging Al Katraz waters, and 15-20 for the larger regattas on the lakes and calmer areas of the bay like RYC. That number has not grown in the past three years.

Looking at the growth of the boat, it seemed to enjoy a growth spurt about three years ago, when it was pushed hard by Dave Berntsen. He gave me a free charter for regattas for one year, and then started to let me beat him so I would feel guilty and have to buy the boat. I did, and I can't think of a better thing I've bought since. (Of course, now he beats me again). That's the grass roots approach.

Then, due to inflation and labor prices, Weta had to raise the price of the boat. That was a big stick in the spokes for people that are decent racers in other low budget single-handed classes who then closed their wallets. You don't seem many Laser sailors jumping to the A Class either.

A used boat market would help people make this jump, but not many people want to let their boats go, and since they hold up well, the price does not often go down too far, just like the Laser. There is talk of a trade in program that will benefit this market so crucial to the development of the class.

There are other ambassadors for the sport out here that have picked up where Dave left off, (who had the sense to pay more attention to his family than try to hit people over the head with a boat). He has left it to people who are doing this as a real business, like West Coast Sailing. Only time will tell whether this will be good for the class or not, but I don't see any rapid growth due to price, and I don't see any fade either, due to love of the boat. People like Cliff have really pulled hard for the class in Florida and it is gaining more ground there than out here in the West.

Having sailed collegiately and for many years, I've tried just about every boat out on the planet except for an AC, and when people say it's not as high performance as other cats, you are not comparing apples to apples. It's for one, the best feeling boat I've ever sailed upwind once the wind hits 8. The lee ama digs in and the boat takes off. Then you get to pop the kite off the wind and it's a whole nother feeling. Is it an F18? No, but it doesn't require a crew. Yet, unlike something already sunk like a Hobie 14, you can take a crew. I wouldn't recommend it for racing, unless you are light or your name is Randy Smyth (light and fast). Okay, so Randy is up there in years as most of us are in the class, so that's a niche, right? And I welcome all you youngsters out there to come out to the bay area and kick my ass.

Cheers,

Jonathan Weston

goldengate.jpg

 

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