Monday, September 8, 2008

Foilers for big guys

Here is a pix of David Luggs I14 being sailed on two foils but using manual altitude control instead of a wand:

If you go to and look under John Ilett in the gallery you'll find more pix of 14's on foils using Johns wand system for altitude control. There is absolutely no reason why larger monofoilers can't foil and foil very quickly esp. if the foil loading, SA and RM are paid attention to. Numerous people all over the world are experimenting with and actually sailing larger two foil monofoilers.But the one unassailable fact is that the Moth has led the way in developing effective monofoiers and ,in particular, the two foil hydrofoil systems. Before that, for decades, foilers always had three foils.I'm 100% confident that bi-foil technology can be applied to much larger boats including such boats as the "Maxi Skiff's" conceived of by Julian Bethwaite and Sean Langman.

To say that larger boats can't foil upwind is just plain wrong. From an article by David Lugg in the May 2002 issue of Australian Sailng:"The first compromise was to reduce the foil size so that the hull did not leave the water at upwind speeds. Early experiments with larger foils HAD THE BOAT FOILBORNE UPWIND WITH EXCELLENT SPEED but greatly reduced pointing ability." That was 2001!!! And using a manual altitude control system! All this before anybody knew the techniques that would be developed by Rohan to fly fast upwind. Imagine if the class had not banned full flying hydrofoils!

There are some guys that have relatively recently used modern Ilett foils on 14's in Switzerland and I don't know their results yet.

But it is nuts to say that larger, heavier boats can't foil upwind! If you want to talk "boats" instead of just monofoilers I've sailed a Rave multifoiler upwind in 12-15 touching down for a split second while tacking. And I'm heavy! As to monofoilers: since we know it can be done it is only a matter of time before a boat suitable to singlehand heavy(190-220lb./86-100kg.) people or two people becomes a reality. If the numbers are done well keeping SA, RM and foil loading in the right range with an efficient rig these boats will foil early and well-upwind or down-no doubt about it!

But no matter what happens in the future monofoiling as a practical race winning technology started with the Moth Class and is probably one of the most historically significant developments in sailing in the last 100 years.

According to the Johnson 18 statistical reference page the 49er has 2.68 times the sailing weight of a Moth
and 2.65 times the Sail Area of a Moth (upwind). Definitely in the ball park. Crew weights based on 160lb.s(72.7kg's). In designing the Peoples 2 person foiler you wouldn't need the huge asy spin of the 49er or the wide heavy(263lb./ 119.5kg.) hull of the 49er and ought to be able to knock 68 pounds(30.9kg.) off the design for a two person foiler. It's right there staring us all in the face-thats why in an article in Seahorse magazine Ian Ward, another great Moth pioneer, proposed a SERIES of monofoiler classes! This is a revolution in SAILING not just in the Moth class....
Moth with 160lb. crew;all up 220lb.s or 2.58 lbs. per sq.ft.SA.
49er with two 160lb.;all up: 583; crew=2.55lb.s per sq.ft.SA
Peoples foiler(modified 49er) 2 160lb. crew;515 all up; 2.25 lbs/per sq.ft. of Sail Area or dramatically better than a MOTH almost(depending on rig)guaranteeing upwind foiling in light air!
Don't tell me it's not possible.....

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