Another new Fliptail from Wooden Widget

>>> Another new Fliptail from Wooden Widget

Another new Fliptail from Wooden Widget

Wooden Widget has added yet another, longer, 9′ version of their Fliptail design. This gives 6′, 7′ and 9′ versions of this design, along with several other nifty folding boat designs.

Benjy’s Origami design was our first "boat build", which is a surprisingly stable and versatile little boat. The Fliptail looks to be a lighter design (important in this type of boat), that is still stable and usable.

Check the video with the boat on plane.

The Fliptail is the latest addition to the Woodenwidget family. Pretty, functional and easy to build. The Fliptail is a simple folding dinghy consisting of a central keel with two drop down floors, four hinged hoops and a reinforced PVC cloth skin. It assembles in moments and rows and sails extremely well. Tough, light and resilient, with a 3.3hp motor it can also plane at speeds of up to 14 knots! Available in both 6 and 7 foot versions.

Sailrocket 2

Now that is one fast sailboat:

Two days after finally smashing the Outright world speed sailing record, the Vestas Sailrocket 2 team decide to tackle the ‘Nautical Mile’ world record which was held by the mighty ‘Hydroptere’. It was always going to be an interesting challenge for the VSR2 team as the speed course that they sail on in Walvis Bay, Namibia is defined by a beach which is exactly 1.04 miles long. This requires them to launch the boat out in more exposed waters and try and get up to as high a speed as they dare in rough water before they hit the start of the mile. At the end of the course they also fire out into rough water and have to bring the boat to a stop. It’s hard on the boat. The beach is not straight but has a slight curve in it . The mile is measured by TRIMBLE GPS equipment in a straight line so pilot Paul Larsen needs to balance between sailing in close to the beach for the flat water… and sailing the straightest and hence shortest distance between A and B. In this run, with winds that averaged just under 25 knots, The team smashed not only the nautical mile record by over 5 knots averaging over 55.3 knots… but also raised their own ‘Outright speed’ record to 59.38 knots over 500 meters hitting a peak speed of 64.78 knots (74.55 mph, 120 kph). For Larsen it was the perfect payback for 10 years chasing ‘the perfect reach’. Speed sailing had paid him back in full and a dream was realised. VSR2 performed exactly as predicted by the Sailrocket design team of Malcolm Barnsley and Chris Hornzee Jones at AEROTROPE. The spec for the boat was to be able to hit 65 knots in 26 knots of wind in order to average around 60 knots.

  • All records subject to WSSRC ratification
  • Directed, filmed and edited by Ben Holder.

Cowes Week Regatta

>>> Cowes Week Regatta

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I had never heard of the Cowes Week festivities in the south of Britain, until I started getting some email with little video clips (first one above). Looks like a lot of fun.

Of note is that their charity this year is Toe in the Water, which is emphasising competitive sailing for injured servicemen. A way to get back involved in physical and mentally challenging sports and activites for some of our heroes that have paid a heavy price.

About Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Cowes Week is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. With 40 daily races, up to 1,000 boats, and 8,500 competitors ranging from Olympic and world class professionals to weekend sailors, it is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world. Having started in 1826, the event is held on the Solent (the area of water between southern England and the Isle of Wight made tricky by strong double tides), and is run by Cowes Week Limited in the small town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

The Asgard

>>> The Asgard

The Asgard, a historic gun-running ship from Ireland’s struggle for independence is now on display at Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland.

The Asgard was built in 1905 for Erskine and Molly Childers, leading Irish nationalists. In 1914, they used the vessel to run guns to the Irish Volunteers in Howth. The smugglers brought in 900 German Mausers and a stock of ammunition, some of which later saw use in the famous standoff at the Dublin General Post Office during the Easter Uprising.

Optimist sailboat build

>>> Optimist sailboat build

Optimist sailboat build

The Optimist has long been being built. It’s designed to be build from 3 sheets of plywood, and to be easy to build. This is a good overview of a group building a boat as part of a summer youth sailing camp. They were able to make sure of a ShopBot CNC machine to cut parts and let the kids do assembly without a lot of the more dangerous cutting equipment.

In 1947 a gentleman named Clark Mills designed a small sail boat for kids to learn to build and sail called the Optimist. This boat was designed to be built from 3 sheets of plywood, with basic woodworking abilities. As time progressed, builders began to modify the boats to gain speed advantages – as happens with all vehicles.

In 1995 the International Optimist Association took the boat back to its roots and a set of dimensions were compiled to retain an exact shape of the boat, so as to remove design advantages from one boat to another. The Optimist is tightly controlled now with over 60 measurements and tolerances of the hull are generally +/- 5 mm. The tolerances do not allow the builder to exploit the possible variations of shape of the hull, but do allow a competent builder to construct a legal racing hull.

Half Moon Bay Yacht Club has a summer youth sailing camp. Through the years we have trained many a young boy or girl to rig and sail the small boats available to us. Normally in an older Laser or Coronado 15. In 2011, the sailing program decided that the Optimist had a place in our sailing fleet to allow the younger kids (7-15) to rig, launch, sail and retrieve the boats themselves while under adult supervision. We set about looking at the building of wood/epoxy Optimist sailing boats. We quickly focused on making racing legal hulls so as to be competitive with other surrounding sailing clubs. This is where the accuracy and repeatability of the ShopBot CNC router at TechShop of Menlo Park became an invaluable tool in our fleet building. I made it at TechShop. Due to the close tolerances allowed, and the desire to have an almost identical fleet of boats, the ShopBot fit the bill to the letter. Once I redrew the plans into CAD drawings and transferred to cut files the different parts of the boats were identical. Each group of people that wanted to build a boat only had small amounts of fitting, beveling and gluing to accomplish, with very little use of dangerous equipment needed and quick progress to show for their efforts, so kids fit right into the task of building boats.