Friday, September 5, 2008

foiler weight

So many experienced foilers have been deluded into thinking that to have an effective singlehanded foiler it had to be all carbon and cost a fortune because they believed that WEIGHT was the single most important factor in foiling. IT IS NOT!! The most important single factor to determine "foilability" is not weight but the "Sail Loading"(weight divided by sail area).

RS600FF all up ready to sail weighs AT LEAST 167 lbs. That is 2.53 times MORE than a MOTH! Repeat, the RS600FF weighs ,ready to sail(minus crew), 2.5 times what a Moth weighs, ready to sail(minus crew).

There are other factors that will contribute to a foilers speed around a course,of course. But no single factor is as important as this power to weight ratio:
1) weight/SA on the RS 600 with a 160 lb. crew= 2.49 lb. per sq.ft.SA
2) weight/SA on the Moth with a 154lb. crew(Rohan)=2.558 lb. per sq. ft.SA

This means that even though the RS600FF is 2.5 times,repeat 2.5 times, as heavy as a Moth in racing trim with a crew it has a BETTER power to weight ratio.

Again, this is very significant for the eventual introduction of a reasonably priced peoples foiler. And it flys in the face of the constant drumbeat from some Australian (and other) foilers and foiler wanabes that weight is the single most critical factor-it is not.

This is big ,guys -in many ways starting with the fact that you DON"T NEED AN ALL CARBON HULL. Think how that could reduce costs. If a boat was built with a hull having a length to beam ratio like a Moth with a bigger rig like an RS but better aerodynamically like a Moth rig it could be lighter than an RS and be built from less expensive materials. Not speculation or theory: PROVEN FACT!

A Peoples Foiler could easily be configured for very light wind takeoff, or very high top end speed -probably with the same foil set with removable tips. As to pushing the limits I believe I am one of the first people that have ever suggested that jumping a foiler intentionally with a boat designed for it might be A LOT OF FUN.

There is a lot of room for a carefully designed easy to sail, beachsailable foiler. The design constraints are much less stringent than people like Phil, SimonN and others have been saying. And the RS proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt: weight is NOT the major determinant of a foilers success-the power to weight ratio is(among other factors).

Now isn't that sexier than a girl in good shape in a quality bit of lingerie under her little black dress?

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