Tuesday, December 22, 2009


finally something tangible! part 1 of the conversion is the new main foil. i figured it would be simpler to start with that and then build the boat around it. i can also get the centreboard case and the deck going when i get off my ass. i've pretty much bought all the materials.
heres the process:

The foil is longer than the last one, and the strut tapers. the hydrofoil is a higher lift section with a larger flap, as i found by doing this that the lift/drag ratio was generally better in that configuration because of the reduced area needed for takeoff. Top speed may suffer, we'll see. Also maxed out the span as much as i thought i could structurally with standard modulus carbon and wet layup (span is 1050mm). The flap is designed so that the deflection at the tips is limited to 5 or so degrees, and hopefully that should decrease induced drag when the flap is fully deflected up or down without affecting lift too much. I found that even though the tips twist down slightly, it is difficult to keep the lift distribution fairly elliptical when the flap is allowed to operate through its full range at the tip.

anyway, will lay up some bits when i get time. might have to wait till the new year.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Just did some cunning measuring on the whisper boat. Looked to me like the mast was a bit forward and so was the foil. and the wings. I was thinking the same thing so i thought id check the actual numbers, out of interest of course!

I think im going to have the mast at like 850 and the foil at 1500. Keeps about the same proportion, with a bit more bow sticking out, but then ill have a gantry too. Ill have to move the wings forward because they're connected to the bloody sidestays. what an awesome idea to get rid of them! Also the rake adjustment on the fly is a step forward, with the spherical mast bearing. And come to think of it, I like that a ply and glass hull can be 6kg and $700.

Cant wait to see how this boat goes in Perth.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Finished architecture on Monday, just sobered up with no intention of even trying to remember what happened yesterday and the day before. back to the blog! And before you ask, no. my sailing and my boat, sail, and attitude toward training are the main things that are slowing me down at the moment, not the blog. its not like im shaving the last couple of percent off my top speed or anything anyway.

speaking of shaving, i shaved more than 10kg off my boat this morning. this is what I had in mind thew whole time:

So the hull was 19kg. ha your all laughing but i dont have any money. Now the glass shell is just over 8kg, and ill chuck a flat carbon deck on it and a couple of new bulkheads which might take it up to something like 13 or 14. Seriously the foredeck was about 4kg, the mast base was 4kg. and the deck was wrecked. The skin is not in great condition with a bit of osmosis and whatever, but it'll have to do for now. It looks overbuilt anyway, so thats a bit of a plus.

This is definitely the way to build boats though! well so far its been more like destroying one but its pretty much the most fun you can have. especially when you're trying to take your mind off a cracker hangover. There are so many good second hand boats out there that are a bit too big nowdays, getting an old prowler and doing this might even work out cheaper than building from scratch. and you'd get good foils, a rig etc. and you can use your own ideas.

So the Flashheart idea looks to be out the window. Boat 2 (yes im optimistically thinking about a year ahead) might be a big mod of a light, pre-preg well built boat. So much less work. Time on the water mate!

Also, obviously I didnt sell the boat. It is still for sale, though I probably might want to hold off until the mods are done and Ive completed at least 1 race!

Alright, gotta go get drunk again. more later.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


so heres what ive been doing lately.


designed it in rhino, built it from the cheapest bits I could find, and very suprisingly it seems to work! Got a kit with the electronics and everything from http://www.oceancontrols.com.au/ to power it. Its cutting area should (i say should because i havent actually tested this) be around 1210 X 2440 X 300mm. So a whole moth mould will still be in a couple of bits, but it will cut out a whole set of foil moulds from one bit of MDF. cant see why it wont cut solid fibreglass or solid carbon in the future either. We're thinking of using it to do some ply stuf for joinery and that kind of thing as well, and of course the last couple of models i have to do for my architecture degree.

anyway im theoretically set up to be a moth home-builder now. you seem to need one of these things if youre going to even have a chance at building a good boat these days, foils etc, so we'll see what happens. heres an image of my test file in wood. Below it is the toolpath.

As always the rhino file for the machine is available if anyone wants it to inform their own design. im not going to go so far as to recommend it just yet!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

for sale

ive decided its time to sell the moth to get some cash together for the new boat. 
also i probably wont get much time to sail it while building the new one, its about as fast as it will ever be anyway, and tinkering with an old boat distracts you from doing work on a new boat.

so if anyone is interested, it comes with:

  • home built foils that have had 30 or so sails and plenty of crashes, with no structural repairs, still in good condition except maybe the main flap hinge but i think ill fix that before selling the boat 
  • adjustable wand that still needs some tweaking, but fundamentally works well
  • lowriding centreboard and rudder that still fit (rudder needs gudgeons)
  • road trailer, built for the boat, ok condition, painted not galv.
  • ka sail, standard bladerider one, been used about 20 times total. still in good condition
  • burville mast (bladerider) with the top section repaired, but going fine and sail sets exactly as before, used 10 times, so like new.
  • alloy boom, near new ropes and blocks

generally the hull, wings and traps are starting to get a bit tired, the boat leaks a bit etc. and its by no means pretty. at this point i might as well admit that it could use a coat of paint.

that said its been my faithful steed over the last 3 years, ive learnt stacks sailing this boat and though not that compeditive at any point, its been a great introduction to moths for me. the hull is a bit heavy and thus bulletproof, and thats been a pretty important thing. the boat has finally progressed past the point of breaking something every time you go sailing, so everything is strong enough now by a long process of trial and error. With the current setup, although you cant go upwind at the same angles as well.. sabots.. you can still match the slower skiffs around the course, losing on the upwinds and gaining on the downwinds. also it takes off with my 75 kilos in like 8 knots, not 6 or 5 like good boats with light people. mainly due to the extra weight and the increased drag from the square foils.

so its a bit of a sad day, anyway ive put $4500 on it, thats gotta be about the cheapest foiling moth with flaps and wands and stuf. ever. for that price its a good toy or a relatively cheap first moth to learn foiling on and get on the water. you can work out pretty well from my old posts whats there and its condition, so otherwise make me an offer. remember im a starving, barely employed uni student.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Ok so i have been slack. I still dont even have a mould for the new hull or even a block or foam. absolutely no progress there. the 3d file is router-ready but thats about it. Had a few projects that took over and now that theyre done im back at uni and so progress i fear will be slow. 

anyway ive been still tinkering with the blue boat - broke the gantry and it was off the water for a while and now its fixed back up again, a truly crap repair job later. one of the things i did was redistribute some area between the foils, just for the sake of an experiment. so i cut 100mm off the rudder span and added that to the centreboard, in the form of these wingtips. 

 Everyone i talk to says "wingtips are tricky, you need to do 3d analysis and work out the nature of the vortex at the design speeds etc." Anyway i pretty much ignored the advice of everone who knew what they were talking about and just designed some in rhino that looked good, cut them out, took a mould etc. I think they came up pretty good, the foil sections are pretty accurate at least. and they seem to work too, subject to a bit more testing, two things have happened; the boat launches much better and at lower speeds, and the hum that i used to have is gone. also there is no noticeable loss in stability from a smaller rudder (550 span i think) and it all feels smoother, and the boat want to go straighter. i could be kidding myself about that last bit. foiling manoeuvres were easier. also i have a new wand which i reckon is my best one so far, with a paddle about 200mm from a very flexy tip. If i do anything else i may want to extend the flap onto the wingtip, i dont seem to have quite as much response.

anyway heres a pic of my wingtip, if anyone wants one for their old and shit square foil let me know and ill make you a pair of blanks, im keen for another opinion. chord is like 115mm or so.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


So the aussie flasheart design is done... sort of. feel free to email me if you would like the rhino file. note the bridle attachment point. i think its cool. wand mechnism: grearing is adjustable by a thumb screw. the front bung goes in above the pushrod exit point, under the cover.I thought of a neat way of adjusting the rake of the centreboard too, which is basically a stevo top rudder gudgeon for the centreboard, that the retainer pin goes through. a thumb screw at the front of the centreboard, just above the deck, pushes a rod back and forth inside the top of the foil and the pin goes through that. the rod would be like 50mm long and is held in there pretty well so the hole in the carbon can be elongated. it means your centreboard case needs to taper slightly, but the range of adjustment is no more than 1 or 2 degrees to accommodate all wind conditions.. just a thought. i think ill be doing that if i build another foil.

also had a glamour sail in 12-15 kts and pretty flat water at RQ, took my iphone with recently updated gps software and for the first time i could download my track. the data was pretty noisy, but i used excel to average it out and im pretty sure i hit about 20.5kts, my best average over 100m was 18.1. i was doing about 12.5 - 13 upwind, but not pointing very high at all. I might try again one day with a real gps. it really didnt feel that fast, and i think the boat has gone faster so ill keep pushing it.

^ i entered the seabreeze.com.au competition. i couldnt help myslef, the prize is pretty amazing. i reckon the dude with his hair on fire is a definite winner but.

fixed the mast, sort of. have been sailing without using too much vang or cunningham, and because it has two sleeves in it now its pretty much the stiffest topmast ever. so i dont really get a good leach anymore and hence the no pointing. im getting a new one.. just as soon as i go to work, earn some money and get paid, subtract bills and living expenses. i think i logged 6 hours this week so im not looking good.

finacial situation doesnt look good for a speedy build either, i might have to find a sponsor. though i am in brisbane, going to uni full time, its all a bit hard. anyway at least that gives me time to go over in my head the procedures and simplify it right down.

anyway thats about all, best of luck everyone at the nationals, hope you dont break anything, forget what hole it was in etc, hope your knots all stay tied up, and that the breeze is between 8 and 20kts the whole time and that the chop is less than 2 foot!