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Posts Tagged ‘UFO’

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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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screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-2-16-48-pmOur continued coverage of the Vendee Globe is brought to you by Musto, Torqeedo, Doyle Sails New Zealand, And Ocean Planet Energy.

With Vincent Riou limping off to safety after cracking his keel, Seb Josse losing hours to repair UFO-damaged rudder linkage last night, and Alex Thomson somehow holding on to a 100+ mile lead with just a stub of a starboard foil, it’s clear that the biggest hurdle to winning the 2016 Vendee Globe may very well be floating – or swimming – in the water.  With PRB down it’s also clear that it ain’t just a foil thing, and don’t forget the famous secrecy of some teams; we may only be hearing a portion of the actual damage reports.

With Thomson seeming to easily hold off Banque Populaire at sustained speeds of 20+ knots, we asked his team for a photo of the Hugo Boss damage to address some of the speculation that Alex is playing head games with other teams and that there was no collision.  We were told there were no pics yet because the stump is under water and spray at 20 knots, and said we’d all see pics and video of Thomson’s foilectomy when the weather moderated.  We’ve also just learned exclusively that the non-French ocean racing world’s biggest hope may not be over at all, thanks to a spare starboard foil aboard the Boss!  Alex will attempt to cut away and jettison the remaining stub and insert the spare downward from the deck openings ; it is a very tricky operation but they’ve practiced it at least once, and it’s the reason for their unique deck/foil exit configuration.

The reality of the situation is dramatic enough, but we loved SA’er ‘nedev’s explanation of Thomson’s problem way more.

To be honest, structural failure and hitting stuff in the open ocean both seem quite unlikely to me… After all, the engineers know what they are doing right? And in that vast ocean, what is the chance to hit a teeny tiny floating object?

If you ask me, I think the most likely thing that has happened is that aliens visited AT and try to abduct him and perform scientific experiments on him. In his blind panic, AT ripped off his own foil with his bare hands and used it as a blade to fight off the extraterrestrial intruders. Stunned by this display of will power and strength, the aliens didn’t know what to do and decided that there would probably be easier test subjects to be found elsewhere on this weird planet. What they didn’t know was that during their stay on the big black boat, one of the landing lines of the UFO got wrapped around the rudder. So when they tried to fly away, the rudder got pulled up and the UFO got destabilised mid flight, causing it to crash into the ocean and sink into the depths.

So I think we should all be grateful for Alex’s heroic actions, saving humanity from the alien invasion. Quite possibly, humanity would have been wiped off the planet if AT hadn’t sacrificed his own foil to save us all!

Talk about these discoveries and more in the Vendee Globe thread.

 

November 23rd, 2016 by admin

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The US-built UFO has landed, and Billy Black’s video of this excellent little foiler should tell you all you need to know about the boat that might just become this generation’s Laser or Hobie 14.  It’s got launching procedure (nothing to it), boat creator Dave Clark sailing some basic upwind and downwind, and even a lineup with a Waszp Moth, but don’t miss the hilarity of hi-performance legend Steve Clark trying to retrieve some dinghy wheels while trying to keep his shoes dry (4:20 or so).  Title shout to commemorate the return to television of the best UFO show ever, and be sure to ask the Clarks and any number of Anarchist testers in the thread if you have any questions.

 

 

October 27th, 2016 by admin

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Dave and Steve Clark’s UFO foiler is moving incredibly fast, the unique catamaran already finding a reputable US-based production shop and deposits already starting to flow.  Meanwhile, with the Clark’s opting not to produce a bespoke trailer for the 90-pound boat, the biggest question on anyone’s mind turns out to be ‘how do I transport this thing?”

Project manager Dave Clark took the time to actually answer the question in an extremely comprehensive form that applies to any small dinghy looking for wheels, but papa Steve isn’t known for his patience, and he penned our ‘answer of the week’ in the thread.

It just hovers there. You pull it behind the car with a light piece of string tied to the mast step.
We were considering powerful magnets as the coupling device because it was much cooler than the bit of string, but a passing semi truck ripped the boat out of our magnetic field and the boat floated into an underpass where it attached itself to the steel I beams.
 
Turned into a hell of a mess, we had to stop traffic in both directions while Dave tried to lasso the rudder gantry with a bit of Rooster Braid (which sucks as a lariat).  Traffic ended up backed up for a few miles and the cops weren’t amused. Particularly when we mentioned Alien Technology. They called Homeland Security, and because it was a first reporting of a new kind of threat, we had to go down to the station and answer questions for 48 hours while they played Donny and Marie songs at us.
 
Didn’t think something as simple as move a boat would get so complex.  Maybe if we had just tied it down to something with wheels like thousands have done in the past…
 
SHC

September 26th, 2016 by admin

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Steve and Dave Clark’s father-son UFO project is perhaps the most exciting thing in singlehanded sailing since, well, the first foiling moth.  Here’s the full 45-minute presentation about the affordable, stable, foiling UFO, and it’s got some great gems about their development of the boat, some insightful analysis of boat ownership here in the States, and even a lesson or two about parenting.  Go to the thread to ask questions from the designers themselves.

 

September 12th, 2016 by admin

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