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Fireblade - revisiting the hybrid project

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13707
Printed Date: 25 Jul 21 at 9:42am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Fireblade - revisiting the hybrid project
Posted By: iGRF
Subject: Fireblade - revisiting the hybrid project
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 12:14pm
So, I've done a deal with Mike and now own what he called his hybrid, not a name that particularly inspires so I've decided to continue the development with the possible goal of lauching this into the market as a commercial proposition probably 2022 now when this covid nonesense is over.

The name is a combination of the Fire rig which I may end up with and the sharp nose which i think is more apt, my plan is for that trapeze single hander that also works in land as a hiker ( maybe the trap can be arranged more as a hiking aid, more about that later.)

I'll opt for a carbon rig eventually and go for on the fly raking adjustment with the dual option of raking a bit to trapeze and loosening the halyards for by the lee action down wind, rear footstraps and maybe a rear thwart/spoiler to help with the knees downwind, we'll see, got to sail it first and see how it feels. Mikes already done a good job amd I don't want to screw anything up just for the sake of it he has lots of other work that needs his attention, but if we go ahead and launch it I'll make certain he's in the loop and rewarded for his design input.

Can't say how excited I am to have something else to work on, maybe I'll really get the one boat does it all I've wanted at last and be able to offer it to others packaged in whatever spec they require. Small sail hiker, mid sail hiker/trap possibly even a big rig option but that's way down the path. Couple to price breaks, low cost alloy rig to high end carbon.

I'm considering making it a multi owner business with boat owners being issued shares in the production company and profit being divie'd up amongst them each year which would broaden the appeal to some enthusiasts to actually own part of the company as well as the 'class' which I'd soonerrefer to as Owner group since the word class carries such negative connotations in my view.

Anyway, watch this space it could all turn to nothing, but right now I've got some reason to be excited with yet another round of lockdown approaching and if you have any suggestions please fire away. Here's a pic off the hybrid thread again...



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Replies:
Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 12:23pm
righting lines



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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 1:51pm
Honda sponsorship?

Looks like a fun project, as it was for Mike. Good luck!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 2:26pm
Bet that development surprised a few of you !  

'Hybrid' (otherwise now known as 'Fireblade' as I've just found out) was quickly moved to deepenst Kent just in front of the approaching storm on Saturday morning following the Boris 'leak' on Friday,,,. and in time before 'Lockdown 2.0' inhibits us all for a while.

I'll watch with interest and we can be certain GRF will keep us all informed here in due course.    With a wire in time and packing a few less pork pies he should be swift ... Wink


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 3:09pm
Glad youíve found something to keep you interested and positive in these difficult times. I look forward to your regular updates . 


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 3:25pm
Respect and impressed. 
The Farr is a cute boat but always seemed a little too short to my mind.
Hybrid  FireBlade, looks more right. 


Posted By: Late starter
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 4:59pm
Cracking looking boat, nice one. Interesting thought about the multi owner/owners cooperative sort of concept. No idea how that will work out but good luck with it. Nice to see something other than that horrible Laser/ILCA/TLC thread, which like a car crash I can't stop looking at.


Posted By: Noah
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 4:59pm
Now thereís a man not afraid to back up the rhetoric with cold hard cash. Well done GRF and I wish you every success with it. You have a track record in marketing so you know the risks and holes to avoid. The ownership model is definitely a novel idea.
Two observations: how do you make a small fortune in the boat business. Start with a large one!
Dual mode boats always seem to favour one side of the divide over the other. Was it the 800 where the option of wide racks and one trap or narrow racks and two was allowed? Iíve never seen one in single wire mode.


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Nick
https://www.fireballsailing.org.uk/index.asp?selection=boat-register&subsel=14821" rel="nofollow - GBR 14821 Sijambo



Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 5:13pm
Well I often wondered why there couldn't be just a short harness kind of hiking aid where you sit out but are assisted like windsurfers are with their more chest/waist style harness. I sometimes tried the idea with my EPS but that was such a cack handed affair with the curved wide decks.

It shouldn't be too difficult setting up a multi shareholder private company that you get shares in if you buy a boat. Could be a nice little PONZI scheme ;-) only with a boat chucked in, in return for the investment.

In truth though, I have studiously avoided getting commercially involved in this ahem 'industry' and I use the term very loosely, I've had too many hobbys trashed by commerce, but if it's as nice as I think it's going to be, it would be a shame to deny others access to it.

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 5:13pm
I think the 'Express' dinghy was something similar, owner/builder borrowed the molds and laid up their own boat.

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Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 5:19pm
Suspect the Express was a little more Hands On than would be appreciated today!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 5:34pm
Arr Express dinghy. 
Donít think I have seen one  since the early 90s. 



Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 6:07pm
Just an example, probably work taking the finished boat around the clubs, allow people to try, if they like it, get a batch of a dozen buyers, sell them boat in kit form.

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 6:44pm
Totally agree about taking the boat to sailing to as many clubs as you can. In this crowded and very conservative sailing market we have in this country the only way your can get market penetration is to to do the hard miles and do test events . 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 6:45pm
You could probably do that with a boat like the Farr, which is a self build more often than not, but this is a bit more sophisticated hull construction. Maybe buy the hulls but decide on various rig and fit out kits and self assemble them could be a possibility.

It could also give small sail lofts an option to buy, kit out, sell and campaign the boat. Sort of a restricted class built around one hull but open rig options.

Buy the boat semi complete windsurf style and rig it to sail size guide lines

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 01 Nov 20 at 7:18pm
Hull one design, rigging, pick and mix parts bin, all parts of boat must be already in production.

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Robert


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 02 Nov 20 at 10:50am
Originally posted by iGRF

It could also give small sail lofts an option to buy, kit out, sell and campaign the boat. Sort of a restricted class built around one hull but open rig options.

IMHO - this would be critical to domestic success.  Just think if the D-One has opened up to say, P&B and HD Sails?

Best of luck, I like the concept of the boat- and yes, a sit on in light winds which is adept to stand out when windy is a great concept.

The ownership model is interesting and facilitates a pre-income tax model for some early adopters, maybe linked to geographic pyramid distribution too? 

Anyway, I admire your enthusiasm and hope this Covid bullsh*t doesn't stop you in your tracks.


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 02 Nov 20 at 12:03pm
I like the ownership idea - perhaps do it so that if you buy a boat at full price and then convince others to buy you get some of your purchase price back. Local champions that convince others can be a good model.

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H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 04 Nov 20 at 5:41pm
Well, had my first 'go' in it today although in typical fashion the moment the hull kissed the water surface the wind buggered off and we were left with 0 - 3 mph which initially had me circling a couple of chums in lasers and racing away, then we had a little race in which every time I started to come from behind I discovered just how deep the plate was and found myself hooked up on the island we race round. My point of proving the best PY for it would be the same as the Laser was proven but not entirely accepted as the occasional puff would see it gather momentum quite quickly, but in all seriousness it was just a sunny jolly, marginally better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, a feel around. It's definitely a boat that's going to work best bolt upright and it's going to be tricky to keep it that way, very very sensitive to position, I didn't really even get to sit on the side, I don't think those winglets are far enough forward, but again too early to say, I also think he's over cooked the raking of the rig, in a quick sum up, great boat, not great rig and God knows where the sail came from but it's got to go.



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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 04 Nov 20 at 8:30pm
All that from a no wind sail? I'd expect a more upright rig in a drift, and surely you need more wind to see what the sail is capable of?

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 6:26pm
Well It came good yesterday in a bit more wind, 5-8 mph at a guess, it pulled away from our little recreational gathering after a rabbit start, Lasers & Solution it was one and a half minutes quicker in a 45 minute session and 2 min fifty in the second but that time the next chasing boat got itself stuck in a hole. Triangle sausage. A lot quicker up wind, came out of one start in which it had been buried after a lifting gust took the next boat out of the gate over and on top covering us, but as the wind built a bit it came out from under and pulled away.
Offwind it lost ground particularly on the dead run, I put that down to the overly raked rig and inability to sheet right out square, but all in all it felt great to restore natural order.. If all else fails, nothing like buying yourself back to the front of the fleet..

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Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 6:54pm
Glad you are enjoying it but wait, what? Rabbit racing, recreational gathering? Is Hythe not bound by lockdown regs?!


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 7:16pm
Originally posted by A2Z

Glad you are enjoying it but wait, what? Rabbit racing, recreational gathering? Is Hythe not bound by lockdown regs?!


Hythe Elf & Safety Sailing Club couldn't wait to lock down, so they could launder their big girls blouses, this is down the lake, it's still open and they're all out in force(the fish botherers). Officially the club house is closed, but it's a fly blown dump anyway so no big loss, so we change in the car the boats go in the water we have a bit of recreational sailing, just happens we all went the same way, after one of us rabbit started... Wednesday afternoon rules..


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Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 7:39pm
GRF ...offwind 'light' stuff - ease the kicker and be prepared to dog-leg.   You simply don't have to go dead down-wind in grotty light wind stuff and you will be no faster than a laser sailing at approx wind speed if you do.  Hybrid (or 'Fireblade' if you must ...) is of course potentially faster (VMG wise) but not unless you dog-leg.  So throw in a few gybes, sail away a few degrees higher than 'dead' downwind or so and then gybe .. repeat as necessary and your offwind VMG will be very much improved. (you cannot do this really in a Laser or Solution - they tend to be too slow to benefit).  Do this and you also escape the wind shadow of any 'slow' ones behind as well.  All they can do is 'follow' dead down wind as they cannot improve their VMG  if they try dog-legging and gybing. 

Costs not a lot to try it for yourself - you will 'get it' before too long ....  Wink    Good luck.    


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 7:51pm
Yeah I did that a couple of times and when the shifts were right it worked but when they caught me out.... There he was.. This I might add another shift aware ex windsurfer who we shall call skeletor since he must weigh about 59 kilos and flies in light weather with one of those super sized M&B 'training sails'.. And it took me a bit to work out just how far forward you have to sit to stop the stern noise. I need a saddle just in front of the Centre board.. ;-)

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Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 9:06pm
Originally posted by A2Z

Glad you are enjoying it but wait, what? Rabbit racing, recreational gathering? Is Hythe not bound by lockdown regs?!

Itís fine, itís Kent LOL


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 10:09pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat


Originally posted by A2Z

Glad you are enjoying it but wait, what? Rabbit racing, recreational gathering? Is Hythe not bound by lockdown regs?!

Itís fine, itís Kent†LOL


Kent is now like that area between where you drive off the ferry and where you show your passport. No man's land, so England's rules don't count. It'll all be tarmac and dumped containers soon.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 09 Nov 20 at 11:26pm
Passport? Most of the arrivals thse days come across the Channel in rubber boats on no passport day trips - one way, we even have special escort vessels to help them, labelled Border Force, two today.

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 10 Nov 20 at 7:13am
You can't sink them or nudge them all the way back to France.
Have you thought about extra sails?

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Robert


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 10 Nov 20 at 10:14am
Originally posted by 423zero

You can't sink them or nudge them all the way back to France.
Have you thought about extra sails?


If I do this, I'll go for mast choice, sail choice, centreboard choice (Because all good windsurfers know if you change the sail you should also change the fin/plate). At the moment I'm trying to source carbon masts at a respectable figure (way south of £1000) Sails for less than £600. A sliding mast track that can be adjusted on the fly (to rake and raise the rig properly)and if I manage it all, then it will be a super little racing boat which will be fun and yes a little technical to sail.

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Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 10 Nov 20 at 12:03pm
Sounds interesting. Just one  question , if you going the open mast / sail / centreboard route, which I think is a good idea. Are you going to put some limits on the mast / sail sizes . Or are you going to allow the idea of having multiple mast / sail combinations to match the weather conditions? 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 10 Nov 20 at 2:43pm
Well it's what we do in windsurf racing and seems to be catching on a bit in dinghy world of late what with the Aero 5, 7, 9 but generally one size tends to claim the numbers..

My thinking was more toward weight, size and application, if maximum mast height and boom length define the 'types' the smaller sizes aimed at hiking application and the larger aimed at trapeze use, assuming of course the boat works OK with a trapeze and I suspect it's going to be a little tricky, it's a boat that is quick to heel and I'm wondering how that's going to effect getting back in off the wire in a lull.

Then there's the centreboard, at the moment it's probably too big for a) me, b)our water, so logic suggests if you were speccing say an 8 mtr ish hiker for smaller inland water you wouldn't need this big plate, but on the sea with a bigger sail it would work fine with a 9.5 upwards.(providing it's got some form of half decent mast that lets it twist off properly.)

Anyway it's a way off yet, I need to get some sensibly priced carbon masts & booms from somewhere.



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Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 06 Jun 21 at 9:14pm
Bit of an update, fitted what we windsurfers call an RDM (reduced diameter mast), got it off one of our Contender hotshots who having bought it recently had a couple of windy races and thought it too soft, much to my good luck it's the same height and rough dimensions as the tin pole that came with the boat, went to try it today, but forgot I was on race duty so didn't get to try it, the wind was crap anyway the useless race officer set two crap courses. It's made by Superspars, probably for Hartley, still stupid money even 2nd hand, but as a concept if it works could be purchased much cheaper as extruded carbon and a track added.

The sail sets well on it, it bends off in all the right places, has trap fittings ready to rock so I might finally get to trapeze off it.

So far I've had good results with the boat as it was in the light stuff, but once the buggers in their Contenders get even one foot into their traps and they can foot off, they're gone. Now I don't expect to beat them but it's a bit embarrassing just how quick they leave the party upwind. So if you can't beat them, nick their rig..

Will update a bit more when I finally get to get out on a wire, as a straight sit out boat, this is a jewel, can't fault it. Maybe on a production boat I'd makes those wings longer, further forward, and made of carbon, oh and somewhere to sit on a run maybe.

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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 07 Jun 21 at 10:06am
Sounds fun! Got any photos?

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 07 Jun 21 at 3:24pm
I'll try and get some pics next time I'm out. I've had that many issues with stuff I've tried and scewed up (bottle screws for starters) in my efforts to get a rig that rakes with not too much trouble, I'm back to chain plates and Sta-masters on the lowers. The lowers are now a bit more important as the masts bends a bit more easily.

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Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 11 Jun 21 at 12:38pm
Well what a night I had last night, after managing hurriedly to attach trap wires arriving at the start thinking it was the five minute gun when it was the one minute. Lovely warm sunny windyish (wind drops the moment the gun fires as is normal, so a patchy 2 - 4, but enough to get on the wire and see how she goes.

Which was well, having to catch up after completely missing the start due to watch error. and arriving at the first mark about half way back in the pack which contained Contenders, Tasars and Lasers and an Aero 7, then it all went pear shaped on the bear off, which took longer than it should have due to the rudder blade raked and in need of pulling vertical, all attempted to be done from the wire, which ended up with the inevitable front rounding and capsize on the bear off.

The boat wasn't that easy to right, slippery plate, high sides, it needs righting lines as I think someone pointed out way back. So by the time we were back under way the fleet was at the first gybe, then having rounded up, back on the wire and engaged once more on the catch up into the normal short chop with the boat bucking and crashing, after a few hundred yards and a particularly steep wave, crash down we came and with it the mast and me back in the soup, snapped forestay, I haven't bothered to find out exactly which bit failed will do it a bit later this must be the third de masting of a trapeze boat with me out there, doesn't inspire confidence or enthusiasm for much more of it...

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 11 Jun 21 at 2:30pm
Get a K1, have a comfortable sail round.

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Robert


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 11 Jun 21 at 6:30pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Get a K1, have a comfortable sail round.


Not quite ready for the sailing equivalent of a mobility scooter just yet, maybe when I'm 80...

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Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 11 Jun 21 at 8:05pm
Hansa 303 maybe . Rupert can give you some race training too . LOL



Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 11 Jun 21 at 8:11pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Hansa 303 maybe . Rupert can give you some race training too .†LOL


Don't knock them! Mind in a short chop, they do ship a lot of water!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 11 Jun 21 at 8:13pm
In relation to grf's post, I think PPPPPP sums it up. Think that's the right number of Ps!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: PeterG
Date Posted: 12 Jun 21 at 1:11pm
The boat wasn't that easy to right, slippery plate

The joys of a slippery plate. I remember some years ago a friend helping me with a slightly sticky new C/B gasket on my Contender. I was spraying silicone carefully on the gasket and he "helpfully" took the can and sprayed much more liberally around the board.

Next time on the water I capsized (as was common) and tried to get back on the board. Horrendous - I couldn't get a grip on it all all, it was like ice skating. I only just managed to get back on board without needing rescue. My curses could be heard some way off, and were not printable.


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Peter
Ex Cont 707
Ex Laser 189635
DY 59


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 1:43pm
Well, last night I think I've finally managed to make it go as slow as it could be possible even with a chimp sailing it. My new mast doesn't cut it in light and sloppy and I've reverted from rear to centre sheeting so totally f**ked it up. Got overtaken to weather by a Laser in conditions I would normally fly in and totally humiliated on a wavey sloppy reach by an Aero 7, he's just sat there, I'm pumping my balls off and going backwards. So, back once more to the drawing board.

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Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 3:16pm
I do take my hat off to you - forever taking a boat, modifying it, realising that the mods aren't right and apparently being forever frustrated

I'd have packed it in by now

Do you think there is ever a chance that you will resign yourself to the reality that there are some great boats around that perform well, don't fall apart, encourage you to just practise, sail them better and better to win

Perhaps its the tinkering that drives you ?

We are all different

I'm not old but value the hours I get on the water too much to be worrying about constant change and stuff just not working ?





Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 6:35pm
Originally posted by rich96

I do take my hat off to you - forever taking a boat, modifying it, realising that the mods aren't right and apparently being forever frustrated

I'd have packed it in by now

Do you think there is ever a chance that you will resign yourself to the reality that there are some great boats around that perform well, don't fall apart, encourage you to just practise, sail them better and better to win

Perhaps its the tinkering that drives you ?

We are all different

I'm not old but value the hours I get on the water too much to be worrying about constant change and stuff just not working ?




Spot on , couldnít agree more . 
I could never imagine going what grf is doing . Tbh I am fed up with the class I am in at the moment because of the fact it allows different mast, sails, foils etc. Itís not the class thatís the problem , it me. I just donít want to spend that amount of time thinking about these things now, I used to really like it but times change .
Plans are in place to more to a class with a lot less choice Smile


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 6:56pm
I do it because the perfect racing sailing dinghy just doesn't exist, not one, they all have issues, they're either too heavy, are light enough but have crap rigs, have great rigs, but nose dive and have stupid little sticky out bits on the bottom, are to old fashioned, have stupid sails, it's just a world of total imperfection.

This boat wasn't bad, but I felt I could make it better, so far, not. But I should have done it, my rdm mast should be better, but the sail the boat came with, which tbh is a bit of a b**tardisation with a dodgy kink in the leech at batten no 3. Anyway for the moment I'm going back to tin and going to try for a sail cut to match the mast bend curve, if I can persuade local sail making person to wake up before 12noon and get out of bed and make me a f**king sail for this mast.

The thing is, when your a complete racing sailing and tactical genius already, there's not much else to do to keep you amused but f**k about with kit. ;-)

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Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 7:47pm
Carry on griff Thumbs Up nothing gets done or altered unless someone goes the extra mile, Barnes Wallis is a perfect example of your attitude, he was ridiculed for his bouncing bomb.

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Robert


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 8:11pm
Absolutely. Tinkering is embedded in the history of dinghy evolution.




Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 02 Jul 21 at 9:29pm
But giving the tinkering a chance is also important. Learning how to get the best out of a complex piece of equipment takes more than one sail.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 03 Jul 21 at 9:36am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

 
Spot on , couldnít agree more . 
I could never imagine going what grf is doing . Tbh I am fed up with the class I am in at the moment because of the fact it allows different mast, sails, foils etc. Itís not the class thatís the problem , it me. I just donít want to spend that amount of time thinking about these things now, I used to really like it but times change .
Plans are in place to more to a class with a lot less choice Smile

Some try to innovate and are early adopters, this can be very expensive, and in my experience presents the opportunity to live in the racing wilderness.

Others keep their eyes open to trends, and get the right gear once it has been established to be fast.  This tends to be less risky and in the long run less expensive.

An observation is that, if we look beyond fitness, weight and skill set, tinkering with the fit out tends not to offer huge benefits, it is the fundamentals like foils, hull shape and sail shapes that make the big difference, and unless you are prepared to immerse yourself in the process, it is probably best left to the experts with deep pockets and serious sail making and boat building skills.

Chapeau to GRF


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 03 Jul 21 at 1:21pm
Unfortunately b**tardising dinghies that have been developed for specific rigs, crew sizes, ability etc rarely works

Adding a trapeze, wings etc to a boat that is was not designed for it is doomed usually

How many times do we see people trying these conversions and it not working - always ?

There are so many good boats around for all shapes, sizes, ages. abilities etc

However, if one thinks this is not the case then I guess one needs to start from   scratch with a very competent designer & builder and be prepared to spend an awful lot of cash for something bespoke

Even this will have inevitable teething issues and may be no better than what is available ?

Sometimes you have to look at your size, weight, physical condition, ability etc, chose something that suits and get really good at sailing it







Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 03 Jul 21 at 8:31pm
Originally posted by rich96



There are so many good boats around for all shapes, sizes, ages. abilities etc



This basically is where we differ, I really believe, the whole shebang is a crock of sh1t, they're all flawed in one way or another, not one, maybe the Aero 7, but it's not 100% and it's not a trapeze boat.

Give me the name of a decent trapeze boat that doesn't need a crane to lift it, or is incapable of being used above force four on the sea.

Anyway it's academic, I spent this avo putting mine back pretty much where I started with a little less rig rake and will go race it tomorrow, could see the difference the mast made to the sail the moment I rigged it, so now I have a lovely RDM Contender mast, that needs a new sail made for it,

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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 03 Jul 21 at 9:05pm
Glad you are back to square one, in a sense, as it will give you time to learn about the whole boat. Looking forward to what you do to create a sail for that new mast.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 03 Jul 21 at 11:21pm
Originally posted by rich96

Unfortunately b**tardising dinghies that have been developed for specific rigs, crew sizes, ability etc rarely works

Adding a trapeze, wings etc to a boat that is was not designed for it is doomed usually

How many times do we see people trying these conversions and it not working - always ?

There are so many good boats around for all shapes, sizes, ages. abilities etc

However, if one thinks this is not the case then I guess one needs to start from   scratch with a very competent designer & builder and be prepared to spend an awful lot of cash for something bespoke

Even this will have inevitable teething issues and may be no better than what is available ?

Sometimes you have to look at your size, weight, physical condition, ability etc, chose something that suits and get really good at sailing it






Totally agree . The one thing thatís for certain in sailing is that there is a 1000 times  as many s@@t sailors are there s@@t boats . 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 04 Jul 21 at 5:19pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat



The one thing thatís for certain in sailing is that there is a 1000 times †as many s@@t sailors are there s@@t boats .†


Which is why they get away with it. Not enough discerning customers.

Back to a third today and managed to beat my Aero 7 Nemesis and all the Lasers, couldn't hold a Blaze, but wasn't too far behind and boody Tasars gave me a hard time, nowhere near the Contenders given there was enough wind for them to wire.

I stuffed it to weather mostly, it doesn't seem to respond to being footed off, I got on the wire one time in an attempt to beat the Aero up wind, he's sailing just a tad freeer and faster and kept pipping me on the upwind legs, but losing on the offwind legs, although that was probably more to do with not using the waves to best advantage. Anyway the one wiring moment, was just typical of wiring when there aint quite enough, you end up footing off just to stay out there and I lost out big time.

So I'm going to try and get my man to build a sail the way we do it for windsurfers, pre bend the mast with a line from head to foot so setting it like a bow, drawing the bend curve, then plotting the luff curve pretty much positive to the shrouds, then going negative a couple of mil to the head, so the more downhaul, the more twist.I will probably just stick to broad seaming it. I've been then thinking about building it low aspect with a batten clew and not too fat a head, but not sure just yet. I never cease to be amazed at how much better low aspect sails seem to work on dinghys, like the laser, the Contender rig, even the Aero sails, they look so crap to my windsurf eye but then I tend to forget we only have 15 kgs to push around, I'm not sure exactly how big the Aero 7 or the Laser main are, but they do seem to jolly along compared to much bigger but higher aspect rigs, like my Solution or this b**tardised Icon or Blaze sail (not too sure how it came to pass).

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Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 05 Jul 21 at 5:02am
Beer. iGRF. 


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 05 Jul 21 at 2:49pm
I used to enjoy tinkering with old Land Rovers to make them better off road and with various track focused cars like the Lotus Exige. After 20 years of messing around I came to the conclusion that the men of Solihull and Hethel knew more about engineering than I ever would and that the cars they produced were better than the modifications that I lavished money upon in the aim of "improving" the cars which always made them worse upon reflection. I do actually remember this being a pretty big factor in deciding which boat to buy when I got back into racing and picked a class where the hull, rig and foils were all single supplier so that I simply could not go off and try and "improve" on them!! If you are having fun then thats all that really matters I guess :-)

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H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 05 Jul 21 at 5:10pm
Originally posted by H2

I used to enjoy tinkering with old Land Rovers to make them better off road and with various track focused cars like the Lotus Exige. After 20 years of messing around I came to the conclusion that the men of Solihull and Hethel knew more about engineering than I ever would and that the cars they produced were better than the modifications that I lavished money upon in the aim of "improving" the cars which always made them worse upon reflection. I do actually remember this being a pretty big factor in deciding which boat to buy when I got back into racing and picked a class where the hull, rig and foils were all single supplier so that I simply could not go off and try and "improve" on them!! If you are having fun then thats all that really matters I guess :-)


And the worse thing about your current ride? That awful Fathead sail.

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Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 06 Jul 21 at 8:00am
GRF

Is your aim to produce/develop a boat that lets you win your local handicap races or something that might appeal to the masses ?


Suggesting for instance that an Aero 7 is close to the best you can get demonstrates that a total compromise can be ok. Its too short (so RS can fits lots in a container) has a lovely beach style high boom, is reportedly fragile, not particularly quick etc etc

Picking a trapeze boat also means that in light weather (which is predominant in the UK sailing seasons) you'll win very little on handicap (a trapeze boat will always do better when its breezy)

The whole thing must be frustrating for you but no doubt interesting and challenging



Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 06 Jul 21 at 9:03am
Originally posted by rich96

GRF

Is your aim to produce/develop a boat that lets you win your local handicap races or something that might appeal to the masses ?



It's gotten to the point I'm beginning to question what I'm doing myself. I guess it's to try and find something I can sail easily that will compensate for my own inadequacies, that started out trying to build something as fast as a Musto Skiff but easier to sail, then in discovering how to sail single handed and how much different and more difficult it was without a crew, what to use in our mixed fleets, that isn't a Laser, yet could perform well enough to mix it with them. Then I fancied a Contender but became disillusioned with it's weight and tight class rules that didn't permit it's performance being optimised, then this happened along just as I reverted back to my old Blaze, another great boat but too heavy by far. Turns out this isn't the lightest thing around either and as much as I enjoy sailing it, up and down the beach it is a major drag, and unfortunately one of those inadequacies is reducing strength through the onset of years.
I had thought about maybe getting it built properly (lighter) and still fancy a bash at it commercially, but this market is way worse than the one I operate in, the customers are tighter than even windsurfers and they're pretty bad, I'm rushed off my feet already with my foil business that's gone gang busters due to Wing Foiling so the thought of another commercial project right now is pretty daunting and I don't like selling stuff that isn't the absolute best on the market, so if I ever get this boat into a reasonable state, it's still only maybe unless I can get someone else interested which I'm slowly working on but being held up by Covid until recently.

I fully agree on the description of the Aero, another lost opportunity for a great boat compromised, but I do so envy him just walking up the beach trailing the boat and trailer in one hand.

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Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 06 Jul 21 at 11:26am
   Hi Grf


Two things make a big difference to how the boat is on its trolley, balance and tyres. I bought the solid wheel versions like the Aero which are fine but not on soft sand,  pneumatic are better as I found at Broadstairs.
Try joggling the boat on its trolley to get the balance right and then get an alloy trolley made to fit properly. some trolley bases are heavier than the boat! 


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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 8:40am
GRF

Have you thought about a Europe ?

Similar size/vintage sailors sail them. Lots to ply with in terms of mast/sails

Big interest in the UK now and new boats being built by Idol

They are light, quick, classy and interesting



Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 8:53am
Originally posted by rich96

GRF

Have you thought about a Europe ?

Similar size/vintage sailors sail them. Lots to ply with in terms of mast/sails

Big interest in the UK now and new boats being built by Idol

They are light, quick, classy and interesting



Are they Light? How Light? I have thought about them quite a lot, I had a major breakthrough watching a very good girl, well woman really, she was once one of the 'either/or' Olympic choice, but the 'or' got selected, she came to sail at the lake and I followed her out of the start as she destroyed us all up the first beat clocking every shift on the button and with such style. The style was reminscent of the way I sailed windsurfers and it completely changed the way I sailed dinghys from that moment on and I haven't looked back since, basically it's pretty much the same except you're a bit locked from the waist down, but you can twist, anyway I digress, so yes I did have a long hard look at the boat, but nothing came of it because I never really came across them for sale back then. (Must have been 5 or 6 years ago, maybe more, time does have a habit of flying by). I recall the boom was very low and a low aspect sail hence it's upwind speed, there was a lot of technical stuff going on, (lots of rope)and I can't recall wether it was a centreboard or dagger, but it was fairly short so I didn't imagine it would necessarily cut it on the sea in a handicap fleet against Lasers, but again, I could be wrong because I've never seen one in action on the sea. (Not saying it wouldn't be a good sea boat, but probably not a 'surfer' like the Laser.) Anyway that's what went through my head looking at it.

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Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 8:56am
45kg and apparently durable (lots of older boats still racing)

Get a mast and sail that suits and off you go

50+ boats and the Uk Nationals recently


Posted By: Bootscooter
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 10:06am
I've kinda kept quiet on this up till now as I've seen the number of classes that Grumph has trashed his way through over the yearsWinkLOL, but yes, I suspect the Europe would suit him pretty well perfectly (with some reservations that I'll come to).

45Kg so plenty light enough, daggerboard (tick), lifting rudder (tick) (though hinged, not cassette), find a carbon mast and matched sail for your build and weight and you'll have equalised racing through the fleet.
Doesn't have lots of controls despite how it looks - Outhaul, Cunningham, Kicker, Inhaul and traveller is it.  Very robust and long-lived, despite the light weight - my 33 year old boat is perfectly competitive in the UK fleet.  Boom height genuinely isn't a problem if you're appropriately sized and have a sensible, normal, healthy level of flexibility.... I'm 5'9", 83Kg and 52 years old, and I'm fine.  Smaller and lighter will find it simple.
Oh... and it's bloody fantastic to sail on the sea.

There's still boats out there in the back of dinghy parks than can be picked up for a few hundred pounds..... brand new everything will have a boat imported from Winner via Rooster for somewhere in the region of £10.5k ish.
Synergy are putting the final touches to their brand new design in the UK, so I suspect that production will start very soon.  Idol Composites produced a boat from the Borressen moulds for the Nationals, that looked incredible... rumour is that there could be a production run in the offing.  Other stories abound of a new-shape build that could be happening in the UK as well...

Grumph will have frustrations with it though.....
1.  Current rules don't allow electronic compasses (though there is a vote on this coming up at the Worlds)
2.  Current rules don't allow carbon booms
3.  It's not (generally) going to beat a Contender on the water...  think more Radial type speeds.  As with every boat, it has its conditions to shine on handicap - good in very light, not bad in marginal planing (so long as you're not a big lump like me), and it's bloody brilliant when it's howling, due to the superbly controllable rig.

I came to the Europe after losing 20kgs when I came out of the Finn, and I don't regret it one bit.... It has the manners of the Finn, with increased responses....  The Finn used to scare me, just through the sheer size of the beast, but this is such a lovely responsive, small, light, controllable boat, as the wind and waves get bigger, so does my grin.  There's seriously tight racing, right the way through the fleet, with Olympic sailors (and Steve C) to aim for, and a competitive cadre of 'classic' boats that cost approx £500 each battling it out further back with their alloy masts.  I'm almost certain to order a brand new hull this year (still not sure which one yet...) and I know there's others about to do the same, so very good 2nd hand boats will be coming available this winter, and the Class is certain to continue to grow.  I'm pretty confident we'll see 75 boats at the Nationals next year.  Oh, and I'm thoroughly looking forward to the European Masters (Germany), World Champs (Douanernez, FRA) and the Easter Regatta at Garda next year, when hopefully travel will be easier....



Posted By: Bootscooter
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 10:21am
Originally posted by iGRF

Originally posted by rich96

GRF

Have you thought about a Europe ?

Similar size/vintage sailors sail them. Lots to ply with in terms of mast/sails

Big interest in the UK now and new boats being built by Idol

They are light, quick, classy and interesting



Are they Light? How Light? I have thought about them quite a lot, I had a major breakthrough watching a very good girl, well woman really, she was once one of the 'either/or' Olympic choice, but the 'or' got selected, she came to sail at the lake and I followed her out of the start as she destroyed us all up the first beat clocking every shift on the button and with such style. The style was reminscent of the way I sailed windsurfers and it completely changed the way I sailed dinghys from that moment on and I haven't looked back since, basically it's pretty much the same except you're a bit locked from the waist down, but you can twist, anyway I digress, so yes I did have a long hard look at the boat, but nothing came of it because I never really came across them for sale back then. (Must have been 5 or 6 years ago, maybe more, time does have a habit of flying by). I recall the boom was very low and a low aspect sail hence it's upwind speed, there was a lot of technical stuff going on, (lots of rope)and I can't recall wether it was a centreboard or dagger, but it was fairly short so I didn't imagine it would necessarily cut it on the sea in a handicap fleet against Lasers, but again, I could be wrong because I've never seen one in action on the sea. (Not saying it wouldn't be a good sea boat, but probably not a 'surfer' like the Laser.) Anyway that's what went through my head looking at it.

45Kg - lovely and light
Ninjas in the class tack facing backwards (with a centre mainsheet) - keeps the weight further forward... I'v still not perfected this yet.
It responds tremendously to kinetics
Boom and controls addressed in previous reply
Surfs better than a Laser, but outright speed around the course closer to Radial.  

It's not what it does, it's how it does it.....  lovely upwind and just hilarious fun downwind and reaching in wind and waves...


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 10:54am
OK, I shall give one a go, think I might know someone that still has one about.

But... I race against Contenders, Lasers, Tasers and a young quite fit fellow in an Aero 7 plus the odd Blaze and just occasionally I like to win actually over the water, usually when they all go the wrong way or miss my dear old tidal lee bow opportunity which now and again presents itself when the planets align and I can't see a tactical opportunity that would afford that possibility at the speed of a Laser Radial it would get overhauled once they've clocked whats going on which they tend to once it's been demonstrated.

Maybe down the lake as an alternative to the Solution which I've currently got working quite well and is on the market (just because I fancy a change).

This current boat (the Fireblade/Hybrid whatever) I have on occasion had a couple of over the water bullets at the hands of tidal intelligence advantage, I just can't make it happen yet from the wire mainly because I'm still pretty useless at getting in and out tacking, mainly down to me, but the boat could do with some kick blocks to assist.

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Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 11:18am
To beat 'Contenders, Lasers, Tasers, Blazes etc' on the water at your size you'd need to be sailing a moth, a 300 or maybe an Aero 9 when it was very light

Its just basic physics and leverage


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 1:32pm
Originally posted by rich96

To beat 'Contenders, Lasers, Tasers, Blazes etc' on the water at your size you'd need to be sailing a moth, a 300 or maybe an Aero 9 when it was very light

Its just basic physics and leverage


On inland water yes, but on the sea on water I've been racing on for most of my racing life, it's more often tactical than physical and usually lighter wind and tide or predictable shifts. I've done it in the Eps, even managed once in the Farr, but that was most unfortunate for them going absolutely the wrong way about a situation and lucky for me a little wind filled from a direction I actually wasn't fully expecting, could it have worked in a Europe?
Maybe, I couldn't see the Farr beating a Europe in a none trapeze situation it's all it can do to stay ahead of a Streaker in none trapping conditions.

Whatever, there's a lot of fun to be had finding out all this stuff and I love every minute of it, even the bad ones.

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Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 07 Jul 21 at 2:31pm
Give it a go

I'm sure it would be a pleasure to sail

Im sure that, like the Finn, it could become addictive


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 10 Jul 21 at 11:06am
Well I managed to finish a 'windy' race on Thursday night, and nearly did myself a mischief getting out on the wire for a couple of beats, not to mention coming close to going down the mine on a couple of steep waves, but also managed not to stack it, so am a little bit pleased with my progress.

It's not easy wiring with off the boom sheeting and nothing to cleat off to, so I think maybe a turret is needed, it's also a total ballache trying to kick out without some sort of kick bar on the deck before getting your foot up onto the side leg bent almost double under then trying to kick up - nightmare.

But once up there it's a joy and the speed increase is noticeable if a little more free than I like and cause to totally relearn your tacking angles.

Got a picture as I left the beach, I did tune the rig a bit better than that before the actual race.

I was however totally knackered, there was talk of reaching for the defrib as I lay on the beach recovering once ashore.

Anyway progress is still being made.


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Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 10 Jul 21 at 7:38pm
Beer


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 11 Jul 21 at 10:28am
Respect for managing off boom. 
Doubtless some will say I'm doing it wrong but I'm glad of the third hand on the Contender centre turret. Snicking it in and out becomes a reflex; the trick is to fiddle and get the height of the cleat exactly right to flick out easily. 



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