The future of the WETA?

unShirley

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I suppose my post was misleading in that it implied one could sail a Weta to the Channel Islands. As you pointed out, that is pretty ambitious. However, I do hope to do it someday with a chase boat. There is also a race in June, The Frenchies Rum Run, that will allow Wetas to participate and race to Anacapa and back (w/o circumnavigating it). I was all set to race in that this year, but the predictions were for a drifter and turned out to be quite accurate. So, I bailed. The farthest I have sailed out into the channel on my own is about 8 miles, or about 1/2 way to Anacapa.

What I meant to say is that the afternoon westerlies and sea state are really fun on the Weta. I have often beam reached back to the harbor in 14 - 18 kt winds and 3' seas. Sailing doesn't get much more fun than that. If you look at my avatar over there to the left, one gets to do a lot of that :D

 
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I'd say that the boat has a very bright future. It is a nice balance between performance, simplicity, and cost, in a very forgiving package. In my case, I was looking for a boat that I could sail at the drop of a hat, without finding a crew. As a long time multihull sailor, I strongly considered an A-cat. While that would have more than satisfied my performance sailing needs, I wasn't looking forward to living in a trapeze harness, and I wasn't sure that my aging knees could stand up to the workout. In addition, I wanted a boat that my less skilled wife and kids could play with, without feeling intimidated or unsafe. And, coming from bigger boats, I wanted a place for a cooler....and the dog on occasion. While the Weta doesn't have the performance of a small cat, it feels very skiff-like; in a lot more forgiving package.

I wouldn't be surprised if the market for Wetas is a mixture of aging performance sailors (me), and less experienced sailors who want the performance experience, without the violent crashes. I think small cats will still capture the athletic high performance sailors; but the Weta will continue to capture the market in-between dinghies and small cats, and the market for older performance sailors looking for fun and simplicity. In many cases like mine, the Weta will be a second, more personal boat, along side one (or more) bigger, more complex boats. As such, keeping the price low enough to be in the "What the hell, I'm gonna get one..." category will help bigger boat owners justify getting one to remind themselves of the joy of a simple, fast boat - a sailors version of "...a little on the side...".

 

unShirley

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I wouldn't be surprised if the market for Wetas is a mixture of aging performance sailors (me), and less experienced sailors who want the performance experience, without the violent crashes.
This is accurate for the west coast. I grew up racing dinghies and matured into multihulls. I went from the Naples Sabot to an FJ to a Hobie 16 to racing on other peoples' VAL 31, F27, F28 when I wasn't crewing on a J35 and SC50. Others in the fleet have raced in their youth the International 14, Laser, and Snipe that I know of. Then we also have owners that have only been sailing a few years and the Weta is their first boat. All of the guys I am thinking of are in their 50s except for one that is in his 30s. We do have one young lady Weta skipper that crews on big boats, too.

So the above assessment of the Weta market is spot on as far as I can tell.

 

foubarre

New member
I used to sail an HC14 a long time ago. I've sailed a Hobie wave for the first time recently and found it surprisingly enjoyable and well designed (brilliantly simple).

As attractive as the Weta is, I can't help thinking that a wave modded with a screecher and main traveler would still be almost twice cheaper than a Weta, with comparable sail area and weight but much better weight capacity and indestructible hulls.

So what would the Weta premium buy me, one design? easier to setup when not kept with mast up? more coolness? More fun to sail? (I've never sailed one so can't compare)

 
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eric e

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rick white has been hotting waves for years

in heavy air

we once caught a standard wave 2 up (heavy air so no gennaker)

while we were 3 up in a weta

they aren't really comparable at all

rotomolded plastic + alloy

vs frp + carbon fibre

did i mention the wave goes upwind horribly due to it's skegs?

 
I agree - I had a Wave. It was a rubber ducky toy by comparison. the Weta feels like a real boat on all points of sail...

If you're at the Buzzelli, I'll let you sail mine - you'll see what I mean.

 
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unShirley

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Recently at the Wine and Roses regatta at Santa Barbara the Weta fleet had 3 Waves sharing our starts. We finished so much sooner than them that the RC started having them go only one lap on every race regardless of how many laps we were doing (2 or 3).

 

eric e

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Ummm, Rick White and his crowd might finish a tad closer. Jus' sayin'...
a highly tweaked wave

in the hands of a very experienced tweaked wave sailor

on a course and a wind specially chosen for the boat

maybe

but then a bicycle

can beat a ferrari given those choices too

the short rig on the wave generally can't develop enough power to lift those heavy hulls out of the water

even with the optional jib

maybe with s screacher or when it's nuking

but how much of your sailing is with a screacher or 20knots+


 
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Pete Pollard

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Still, the Wave is a very popular boat and for good reason. Weta can't compete on durability and price.

Fwiw, the reason I decided against a Wave is I thought it was a pita to move around on the beach. I was okay with the performance and would have added a screecher from the git go.

 
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foubarre

New member
Fwiw, the reason I decided against a Wave is I thought it was a pita to move around on the beach. I was okay with the performance and would have added a screecher from the git go.
Why is the Weta easier to move around, on paper it is not that much lighter?

Indeed if performance was the main motivation I wouldn't even consider Wetas to begin with.

I'd totally expect a Weta to be more rigid and feel more like a responsive/sensitive raceboat, but was disappointed that the wave was so much better than my (low) expectations ;-)

 

eric e

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the weta's easier to move on the beach

because it comes with a beautifully balanced beach cart

true - most of the cats you can trap from make better race boats than a weta

 

Pete Pollard

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Fwiw, the reason I decided against a Wave is I thought it was a pita to move around on the beach. I was okay with the performance and would have added a screecher from the git go.
Why is the Weta easier to move around, on paper it is not that much lighter?

Indeed if performance was the main motivation I wouldn't even consider Wetas to begin with.

I'd totally expect a Weta to be more rigid and feel more like a responsive/sensitive raceboat, but was disappointed that the wave was so much better than my (low) expectations ;-)
Take a closer look at the Wave and you can see that, effectively, it has almost a straight keel running the full length of the boat. Thus, there is no rocker to help get it on and off a its beach wheels.

Again, Rick and that wiley bunch of sharks don't seem to have any problem with it but they also have no problem racing it DDW, something I would not care to do.

 
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Pete Pollard

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(in case anyone is wondering, this is where I'm drinking my morning pot of coffee).

Was reading some of the earlier posts about a heavy weight class. I've no objection but it may not be necessary. Sure, lighter crew will have an advantage in lighter air but when the wind comes up an extra set of hands and eyes makes a huge difference! In the F16 class that point may be as low as 10 knots.

Again, in the F16 class, an Alter Cup Championship was won with a combined crew weight of 340 lbs. I'm not saying a Weta can handle that much weight and race effectively but I'll bet it comes close!

 
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