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Posts Tagged ‘dave Clark’

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SA’er ‘Ezra’ gives us another disinterested review of the little foiler we dig so much.  Will it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.  Photo not of the reviewer…

I sailed Dave’s demo boat at the Wickford regatta this Saturday and had a blast. Conditions were SSE 15-18 gusting occasionally to 20 with a pretty good ebb against the wind, so some decent chop. The plan was to do some “match racing” with Dave but unfortunately in launching he dropped his rudder and it sank to the bottom (I guess he had forgotten to rig the rudder downhaul -apparently he had a late night the day before- which would have kept it in), so I headed out to the course solo. My impressions:

The boat is really easy to rig. We had to put the boat I sailed together, which consisted of sliding the 3 piece mast together, pinning the wishbones to the spreaders and sliding the mast into the step. Tip the boat on its side, insert foils from the bottom, attach the wand arm to the main foil, tip the boat back up (foils are held in the retracted position by cool little keepers on the rudder head and mast pod), rig the mainsheet and hoist the sail. Because the rig is so bendy, it is really easy to hoist the main even though it has a lot of luff curve with the stays released. Rig Cunningham and outhaul, slide the dolly under and you are good to go. Town Beach in Wickford is shallow for a good ways out, so I put about a foot of rudder down and sailed out to deep water, where I then dropped the main foil and the rudder and went on my way.

It was about a 2 mile beat out to the course. I did a commination of semi foiling and foiling to get out there. For such a short boat, it handled the chop well, although I had my ride height probably set too low so even when foiling I was punching through some waves. What really go me is how much bigger the boat feels than it actually is-the main foil is always working for you, even when “displacing”. Once I got up to the course area I had some great rips with a bunch of down-speed sailing in between (I am NOT in very good hiking shape right now and my hip flexors were screaming!). The boat is really very manageable when down speed-compared to my time sailing I 14s the boat is very easy in the between races milling around mode, even in good breeze and chop. Down speed tacks were the most challenging-it was easy to miss stays, but pushing the main out to leeward and backing the tiller would get you going quickly. I had 3 “near” crashes, the first 2 were nosedives into waves that happened just as I was building speed to foil-probably because I bore off to a reach too aggressively-in both cases I buried the bows to well past the mast pod (in fact I was sitting pretty far aft and was under water to my chest!), but I just held on and amazingly the boat just popped back up and kept going. The third ended my day-I was going nearly DDW, in the middle of the boat on my knees when a puff hit and the boat came up on the foils and promptly heeled to windward, pitching me off. I didn’t want to get separated, so I held on to the tiller extension, hoping the boat would flip or round up. It did stop, but not before I cracked the tiller. Dave jumped in, jury rigged the tiller and gave us a show of how to sail the boat properly!

The boat I sailed had literally been put together the day before, and the only breakdowns I had (apart from the tiller, which was serious user error, but which Dave says he is going to beef up) was a knot pulling through on one of the shrouds which I fixed on the water and one of the wishbones pulled out of its end fitting due to not enough plexus at the bond surface, which we electrical taped to finish the day.

I think the thing that struck me most about the experience and what I think sets the UFO apart is that the boat is so manageable. Yes it is demanding and physical when you are ripping, but when I got tired, I never felt a concern about being able to get back to the beach.

June 16th, 2017 by admin

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UFO Production - 1

We haven’t seen ‘average’ sailors so charged up about a new singlehander in a decade, and with UFO production hull # 1 currently in the mold, shit’s getting real for the US-designed and built ‘people’s foiler.’  Get to know the genesis of the project and the latest news right here on SA, and head over to the new builder’s website to find out more.

March 22nd, 2017 by admin

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Longtime Anarchist Dave Clark updates all of you foiling freaks on the new UFO.  Ask him specifics in the thread. Check out the latest video of some winter UFO foiling from the air and the water over on Youtube.

Production orangeHey Folks,

Time to get excited! Things are coming together over here in Rhode Island. The UFO is finally through the stage of production preparation that I’ve come to refer to as “Industrial foreplay” and it’s go time. The hull and deck molds move back onto the Zim Sailing factory floor this week, where they’ll commence to build the first 40 boats. The first 100 sets of foil struts are being finished up at the extruder in New Hampshire. The next 50 sets of spars are on their way from the manufacturer overseas. North Sails is hard at work making the first 20 suits of sails and Schaffer Marine in New Bedford is going full-tilt machining parts. The objective is to build 100 to 150 UFOs in 2017 with the capacity to step up production further as the class grows. This is the start of the period where you folks with deposits will be getting the heads up of the materials nearing the mold and thus the option to opt in or out.

The Tweaks: What’s changed since The Foiling Week?

Controls: Every little percentage gain in foil control allows for a truer flight path. While these things aren’t noticeable in the beginner or intermediate use ranges, they pay off in spades at the high end, enabling you to fly higher and more aggressively in all conditions.

We added a stiffer all-carbon wand with a carbon paddle, taking all available buffering out of the wand. Buffering does a few beneficial things but also comes with some flaws, especially in extremely gusty conditions. All told the stiffer wand realizes the full benefit of our ‘mountain goat’ style gearing.

We lengthened the wand sprit. There’s been a revolution in the moth class around getting the wand as far forward as possible, as it increases the gain on the sensor and thus responds to pitch changes more immediately. This enables the boat to be flown more confidently in big waves.

Both of these things benefit performance racers and recreational sailors. From a performance racers perspective, the combined effects enable you to race harder. From a recreational perspective, it makes the boat hardier and smoother in challenging conditions.

Sail: We found it necessary to add a full-length batten just above the clew to get rid of a set of creases that propagated upwards from the tack. Further we added a cutout for the clew to add an extra bit of leech tensioning capacity, as a tight leech is critical to going really really fast on foils. We also added a fillet bulb to the bottom of the endplate which assures a solid deck seal. This bumps up the efficiency of the sail by another increment. The front end of the fillet bulb additionally functions as a pouch to stow the halyard and other items, closing with Velcro.

Dolly: While the single-axle beachcat dolly is the best option for a catamaran, keeping the bunks upright and lining them up on both bows is more annoying than it should be. Further, while a retaining strap across the deck does hold the dolly, it’s more trouble than it could be to tie on and untie. We found that the easiest usable configuration is a beachcat dolly with cylindrical pads and short tethers on either side, which clip to the gunwales. This makes the dolly easier to put on and take off the bottom. Further we concluded that a wider wheelbase made it easier to pull the boat towards a ramp on a reach, so we moved the wheels outboard of the hull. A tertiary benefit is that the new dolly from Dynamic Dollies packs exceptionally well.

Hiking straps: Outstandingly short sailors and outstandingly tall ones pointed out that the straps were either too far away or too close for them. Making their position adjustable solves this problem easily.  People also wanted the straps to stand up more, so that sliding a foot into one would be easier. To do this, we rigged them with rigid tubing, which causes the straps to stand up.

Cosmetics: While I personally often scoff at considerations like this, it’s nonetheless an important feature to a good percentage of people and the UFO has gotten noticeably more spruced-up. While our original hull tooling was incapable of imparting a high gloss finish, the production tooling imparts a polished gleam to the gel-coat. Further, all the aluminum parts are anodized black, there’s a little bit more exposed carbon in the package and a few more decals and bright colors.  In line with the UFOs alien aesthetic, the production sails are clear with neon green trim, which together with the white hull and black hardware, foils and spars yields a tri-tone neon green, white and black color scheme. The available deck pad color options are neon green, black and white and the gelcoat options are black or white.

The fully enumerated list of tiny updates, improvements, cleanups is too long to go into. This is merely the shortlist. Beyond that, it’s the same old basic fun-machine we know and love.  And with that, I need to get back to the fight.

Cheers,

Dave Clark
President
Fulcrum Speedworks llc.

 

February 7th, 2017 by admin

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