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Weta, fastest boat on the water!

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Nipper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 13 at 1:43pm
Originally posted by Peaky

Cruising around the Bay of Islands or Able Tasman national park in NZ is a different league to any sailing I've done here, so i can fully see why people in NZ would want a Weta to explore those areas. I'd love to spend a few days sailing around Windemere or the Broads, but can't convince the family it would be fun
I'm not jealous of NZ at all when we beaches like ours to visit and launch from....
 
Cant think why the wife is not keen....

39 years of dinghy racing and still waiting to peak.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 13 at 1:48pm
Originally posted by Nipper

Originally posted by Peaky

Cruising around the Bay of Islands or Able Tasman national park in NZ is a different league to any sailing I've done here, so i can fully see why people in NZ would want a Weta to explore those areas. I'd love to spend a few days sailing around Windemere or the Broads, but can't convince the family it would be fun
I'm not jealous of NZ at all when we have beaches like ours to visit and launch from....
 
Cant think why the wife is not keen....

39 years of dinghy racing and still waiting to peak.
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yellowwelly View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yellowwelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 13 at 2:17pm
we have a high concentration of people in the UK over a relatively small land mass.  This can give us a false perception that we are diverse, and open minded in all sorts of things- sailing being one of them.

Comparing our beaches and sailing waters here needs to be put into the wider European context if we are going to measure ourselves to the Antipodes or the US travel brochure.  

Across Europe we have some simply fantastic sailing on offer- from Ice Yachting in Denmark, to some of the best wave spots on the world for board riding.  The med offers amazing yacht cruising, coupled with culture- Valencia, Nice and Barcelona being big cities on the coast with amazing sailing, and the legacy of Ancient civilisations needs no introduction in Greece, Sardinia, Corsica, Southern Italy etc.  All of which are popular holiday destinations for water user.   

You couldn't ask for more idyllic conditions than Croatia or the Italian lakes for all manner of sailboats for family fun.  Even here in Blighty we have active traditional fleets of fishing smacks and local one designs racing all across the UK.  West Highland Week is supposed to be the best kept secret in amateur big boat racing... far better than Cork, Cowes or Ramsgate allegedly.    And one of my favourite spots to sail has been Poole Harbour... I can't think I won't go back there.

It's very easy to think it's crap here when the focus of attention for dinghy racing is two big puddles in the Midlands, another one under the Heathrow flight path and a couple of shingle beaches along the M27.   When that's seemingly the alternative to club racing, it's easy to see why the lure of the circuit has a diminishing power when you're paying for it yourself; as opposed to going along for the ride of a childhood hobby.    Even the potency of class racing has limited appeal- especially if you are fortunate to get it locally.  I remember hearing someone moan that the 'Parkstone boys don't travel'.  Why the hell would they?  Would you pack your sh*t up to leave Poole Harbour to go race a few more people on some god awful water company reservoir?

In reality, the European dinghy racing scene is very alive with something for everyone and ample opportunities to all come together once in a while if you choose the right sort of boat- the International Classes are a good place to start.  Obviously that isn't cheap... but who said sailing was cheap?




Edited by yellowwelly - 15 Nov 13 at 2:21pm
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Jack Sparrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jack Sparrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 13 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by Peaky

I'm a big fan of Tenby, Jack. I don't know the western isles, but I don't kbnow how easy it would be to get a Weta there? Where's the middle picture?
But the bay of islands is warm as well as gorgeous - paradise!


The middle pic is The Helford - Cornwall

The UK's warm enough for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 14 at 1:32am
Originally posted by Nipper

Its heavy (100kg by the look of the web site), its relatively complex to rig and sail (3 sails), its not as manoeuvrable as a dinghy on or off the water, it looks pretty tricky to right after a capsize, and its not particularly fast (PY 950 is similar to a Vortex). Given the carbon etc, its probably not that cheap either.
In the UK is a Laser/Musto Skiff/RS 700/RS600/Solo/RS100/D-1/Streaker sailor really going to get one?
 


1. Weight - see spec here
It's not heavy for a boat with 3 hulls!
A Laser is 60 Kg (the same weight as the Weta main hull) a Hobie 16 is 145Kg a Hobie 14 is 109Kg
I launch and retrieve my Weta single handed from a pontoon which has a 30cm (1ft) drop to the water.

2. Rigging
It can be rigged in less than 30 mins


3. Manoeuvrability
It's much more manoeuvrable off the water than most multihulls - since with float arms stowed over the top it's only  1.7M wide - about the same as a Laser. (The pontoon I launch from is reached from a gantry only 2M wide  - try launching any of the boats you mention from there!)


As it has a daggerboard to rotate around, it's much faster to tack than a cat and certainly no slower than a mono-hull in any wind over 5 knots.

4. Capsizing
It's very hard to capsize (because of the added buoyancy of the floats) and, unlike most multihulls, it doesn't require a massive float on top of the mast to prevent it capsizing nor does it need outside assistance to right it.  All you do is undo a port on the end of one of the floats to sink it and it comes up like a monohull.


5. Speed
With 3 sails, It's faster and more stable than most monohulls of similar size. All of those boats you mention are fine in light winds - but ask the owners to go out in 25 knots or take the kids with them for a sail and you'd get a different reaction.
Also, unlike a monohull, it's not hard work to sail upwind in a breeze - mainly because you can sit on the floats and the harness included* helps to hold you up. Much easier for ex Laser sailors (like me) who's knees are starting to give out.
* The reason for the harness is that the boat is so stable it could sail on without you if you fell out!
You can also sail and race it two-up in high winds - try 42 miles in 25-37 knot winds in ANY of the boats you mention or have sailed in without capsizing or breaking something.


6. Price
The UK price at launch was 6,950 (may have changed since) which is very competitive for what you get.
The price includes alloy launch trolley, 3 hi‐tech Gaastra sails, carbon mast, float arms and bowsprit, boat cover, carbon foils and rigging bag.
The hulls, spars and foils are made in China to keep the price down.
Sails are from Gaastra in the USA
Hardware from Ronstan


Edited by Pewit - 26 Jan 14 at 9:58pm
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 14 at 11:47am
The trouble with your post is it illustrates the problem. Its not (heavy/unmanouverable/expensive/whatever) for what it is, but what it is isn't what most folk are looking for. For most people its a bit of a solution looking for a problem, and it doesn't matter how well implemented it is if it doesn't fulfil a perceived need in prospective owners.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 14 at 9:55pm
Can you explain how my post illustrates the problem?

What I was looking for was a boat with a high performance, that I can rig and launch myself, that doesn't cost the earth, that doesn't take up too much space, that doesn't have a huge learning curve to sail, that I can go racing with or go for a blast.  Are my requirements so different from yours or anyone else?

There are 1000 Wetas sold around the world and I don't think the UK is that unique that a small Trimaran doesn't fit the needs of some users - it's the same people who buy single-handed skiffs or "seniors" single handers because their knees are gone from Laser sailing  - or buy a Wayfarer or Hobie to take the family out on. You can use a Weta for either market - that's its USP.

Marketing is the thing that drives the need, however, and it does need better marketing in the UK - it also needs more dealers to fill the demand.

I think you should sail one and then make up your mind.


Edited by Pewit - 26 Jan 14 at 10:02pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 14 at 9:20am
Originally posted by Pewit


1. Weight It's not heavy for a boat with 3 hulls
3. Manoeuvrability It's much more manoeuvrable off the water than most multihulls
As it has a daggerboard to rotate around, it's much faster to tack than a cat and certainly no slower than a mono-hull in any wind over 5 knots.
4. Capsizing All you do is undo a port on the end of one of the floats to sink it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 14 at 9:25am
But it's not high performance is it?
A dart 15 is faster, simpler and actually has boats to race against.

I can see the Weta being fun, but as soon as people start to take it seriously, it will be raced hiking hard off the float upwind and the fun will go out of it. It seems to be unclear whether it's intended to be hiked or sailed like a challenger?

I'd like to see one at speed in choppy water, looks to me that the leeward float would dig in?
Tri's are great, but I want one of those Dragonfly 28's.....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 14 at 3:22pm
"The Sprint 15 (formerly Dart 15) was designed in 1979 " ('nuff said!)
I's heavy for a 2-hull boat - 104 kg
Probably because it's got a heavy aluminium mast (very fashionable in the 1970s!)

The Weta is already raced "hard off the float upwind"  - there are already 17 Wetas entered for Wetafest in Florida in March already (20 entries in 2013). And a similar number did the French nationals last year.

But unlike (say) a Laser it's still a lot of fun just to take it out for a sail - as I did today. 7-10 knots of breeze. Landed on a beach - had a swim - then raced home with the kite up as the sea-breeze had picked up.  As usual on Sydney Harbour, it was very choppy because of the amount of traffic, especially the ferries, and at no time did the leeward hull "bury itself" Did you view the video of the Weta in the Double Dammed Race? - Choppy enough for you? You should also read the 2010 Boat of the Year review which was sailed in choppy seas, apparently.

As a rule, when beating and reaching,  if the water line on the leeward hull reaches the centre line of the float it's the signal to get your arse over the side or ease the main. As you will have read in the reviews, if the leeward hull does get buried fully, the boat just stops and off you go again (unless you're very stupid and don't ease the sails or bear away).

Sailing downwind, the central hull provides additional buoyancy and so even if you do plough into the back of a wave or two (as I did crossing behind a ferry in 25 knots 2 weeks ago), it pops up with no drama and carries on.

I think there are two schools of thought on the hiking from the tramp Vs sitting on the float method. The young and fit prefer to hike  - the slightly more mature prefer to sit on the float as it's much more comfortable with the harness holding you up - provided you've put foam padding under the edge of the tramp.

Can we compare apples with apples please.
The Challenger Trimaran was designed in the 1970s for disabled sailors using a seat mounted in the central hull. All the pictures I can find on Google and on their website show it being sailed in this manner and not from the floats - unlike the Weta. The Challenger is heavier (140Kg) and wider (3.5M) than the Weta probably due to the age of the design (aluminium spars, foils and fibreglass hulls) and target market.  Sailaibilty UK have a couple of Wetas in their fleet in Spain using a drop in seat for the helm (aka Weta GT).

Dragonfly 28 looks very nice and solves storage/berthing issues like the Weta.

Want to try a Weta in the UK?  - contact the Class Association
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