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Weta, fastest boat on the water!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Weta, fastest boat on the water!
    Posted: 29 Mar 19 at 2:26pm
‎An increase in beam leads to a cubed increase in stability and this means the Weta can carry a much larger sail area.
                              Beam       Length              Total Sail Area
Weta Trimaran        3.5 m        4.4m*              19.5 m2
Hobie                      2.34 m      4.27 m             10.46 m²
Finn                        1.47 m       4.5 m              10.6 m2
* = 5.5m inc bowsprit

In the Weta in winds over around 10 knots you sit on the floats upwind because of the increase in leverage (every 20cm from the centre line increases leverage by 17%) and also it lowers the centre of gravity. The main hull of the Weta is narrow (1050mm) and the wave piercing floats only 200mm which allows it to plane upwind in 10+ knots of wind at around 10-12 knots speed and off the wind it does around 14-20 knots depending on the wind/sea state. It's more like a "Skiff with Stabilisers"  than a typical multihull and it tacks like a monohull on the central daggerboard.


Such is the leverage in the Weta, the stability of the floats and the boomless design make it almost effortless - even in really strong winds  - no "abs of steel" required. My max raced is 36 knots measured on the start boat. I've also capsized in winds over 30 knots and righting it is really easy even in those conditions - all you do is remove the port on one of the floats, sit on the float to sink it and the Weta rights like a monohull but with the flooded float on the windward side so it can't flip over again - then you sail off until the water drains out of the float and do up the port. It takes less than 5 minutes without no assistance required. 

Wetas have successfully completed marathon events such as the 300 mile Everglades Challenge and the Texas 200. The only Finn entered in the Everglades Challenge this year gave up at the first checkpoint after 62 miles, arriving a day later than the Weta.

The Weta may weigh the same as a Finn but the capacity is much greater - it can take 3 adults or a bunch of kids (240Kg Max) so unlike the Finn, you can take out your friends and due to its forgiving nature, use it to teach kids to sail. We race them solo or with two crew (although mainly solo apart from in France) and there are different yardsticks.

I regularly race against Finns in Sydney Harbour although they usually have their own start 6 minutes ahead of ours. If the wind is above 15 knots, I normally catch them by the windward mark. If it's over 10-15 knots, I normally catch them at the first leeward mark. Here's a video of one my races (although the Finns were racing elsewhere that day)

The other difference is the physical requirements of the sailor, according to Zack Riely in this article about Finn sailors : 
1. You have to be big and have the frame to build the strength needed to sail the boat.
2. Power is the number one word I think of when I think of a Finn Sailor we are just big powerful guys.
3. With the new sailing techniques and especially the new 10 knot free pumping rule we have seen the fleet become much fitter while maintaining the strength needed to control the boat.
4. The top Finn Sailors in the World will spend 4 days a week lifting in the gym, 3 days a week doing cardio training sessions, eating the right nutrition and will do all of this while sailing 5 days each week because the boat requires that type of dedication.
5. Finn Sailing requires you to hike against a boat that has non-stop power while sailing upwind. The burn and pain that runs through your body while hiking I have never felt in another boat in my career it is simply a test of power and endurance. Then imagine doing that for 20 minutes and then going straight into a downwind or reach where your heart rate is at 180 bpm or higher do this over and over again until you reach our target race time of 75 min. Then do that at least two times a day and then do that for 6 days straight. 

OK so not all club Finn sailors will do this kind of workout but it does illustrate the difference between "Fun. Fast. Easy" and "Difficult. Slow. Hard". Plus the low boom means many Finn sailors have to wear a helmet - whereas the boomless Weta means there's nothing to take your head off. There's much less effort involved in Weta sailing and in the 50-strong Weta fleet at the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland, we had competitors in their 80s.

This is my friend Ian leading the fleet



Edited by Pewit - 30 Mar 19 at 5:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote snowleopard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 19 at 1:25pm
Entering this discussion a bit late in the day but I'm wondering about the relative merits of cats and tris. I've owned both, but 12m offshore versions. The tri was streets ahead on performance, mainly because it was so much lighter, i.e. 3.5 tonnes v 5.5 tonnes for the cat - Same designer, similar fit-out. 

In the day-sailing scene however, that advantage for tris doesn't seem to hold. The Weta is as heavy as my battleship of a Finn and a bit more than a Hobie 14.

What's the benefit?
One hull good, two hulls better.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 18 at 11:39am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 18 at 11:17am
There's a different handicap rating for solo vs 2-up - if the fleet is large enough, there's a separate division otherwise there's usually a separate prize. The French fleet all sail two-up because they're generally lighter than the Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, and Yanks. At the World Masters Games in 2017,  20 of the 50 entries were sailed 2-up.

Usually it's quicker to sail solo but in winds over around 23 knots, it helps to have a second pair of hands and to have weight both out and back for the offwind leg. At the 2014 US-nationals which were sailed in winds strong winds, Olympic silver medalist, multihull guru and sailing hall of fame member, Randy Smyth was paired as last minute crew with a lightweight Weta sailor and still cleaned up - he's won it 4 times now!

Here's an extreme example - 42 miles up a Colorado river, against the 3+ knot current, with winds gusting over 37 knots. The Weta came 4th against a fleet of sportsboats and was the only boat to keep the kite up the whole way. It was this video that interested me in the Weta having looked at solo skiffs, Moths etc  - all of which entailed a steep learning curve and too much swimming.
 
Hi-res version available here 

Originally posted by 423zero

Do you make any adjustment for Helm and crew when racing against solo sailed boats ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 18 at 10:40am
Do you make any adjustment for Helm and crew when racing against solo sailed boats ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 18 at 2:34am
The switch to foam core and sail upgrades haven't made any significant difference to the price and the 9.3SQ sail is approx £120 option (the pin-head 8.3 main is still standard) with a new boat. The switch to the new Harken continuous furler did result in a small price increase. I found some pricing from the previous UK dealer which was around £15.7K for the foam core boat including trolley and all sails, but I can't speak for the current UK pricing. 

You still have to work to keep the boat upright (flat is fast) in a Weta but unlike most non-trapeze monohulls, no abs of steel are required and, unlike trapeze boats, it won't leave you crippled from compressed vertebrae. Here's some footage from the World Masters Games where 50 Wetas competed (30 sailed solo) with crew ages from 35-85 - and two Paralympians finished in the top 20. 


There aren't many family-friendly dinghies that will go over 20 knots and can be sailed/raced with or without crew in almost any conditions. It has built-in stability and there's never a death roll to worry about - a (very mature) Weta sailor in Scotland(!) survived a 57 knot gust which capsized  the fleet but (with the optional furling jib) he was the only one who stayed upright. OTOH, a 13yo beat the Weta fleet in a Championship race in Queensland last weekend.

I sail in a mixed fleet on Sydney Harbour and at the pointy end with the Flying Dutchman and 505 and usually beat them in anything over 15 knots usually by a big margin in winds gusting over 25. This is one of my races.


It's a great all-weather boat. Mostly you just sit on the floats upwind in a blow which gives you incredible leverage - and there is an optional chest harness available which supports your torso - great for long-distance races (Wetas have completed the 300 mile Everglades Challenge) or sailing solo when there's no support boat around. In the light stuff the new SQ sail helps to keep you moving and you can also use the flat-cut gennaker as a "code zero"  - you can't point that high but you can still keep moving past the flip-flopping monohulls.

I've raced solo in winds over 35 knots and even though it will often recover from impossible angles, I capsized when I got wiped out by a big gust with the main cleated (doh!). But all you do to right it is to undo a port on the back of a float to flood it and it comes up like a monohull. However,  unlike a monohull, the flooded float prevents it from turtling again. Then you sail upwind until the water pours out of the flooded float, lean back to do up the port and you're back in business - it takes about 5 minutes with no outside assistance required. 

I think "visual elegance" is subjective - think of it as a skiff with stabilisers. Trapeze boats were seen as ugly back in the day and foiling moths aren't exactly beautiful. But I appreciate good design and the use of modern materials because it means I can spend more time on the water and don't have to break my back to do so - the heaviest component you need to lift is the 15 Kg float while inserting the arms into the main hull and the carbon mast only weighs 6Kg. See the rigging video below


As for a foiling Weta, they developed a prototype 8 years ago but decided the market wasn't big enough, the stresses on the design would be much greater - especially when you have the inevitable crash - and the insurance liabilities even greater. And then you need somewhere to store it - the Weta packs down to the space of a Laser and takes 20 minutes to rig.

There are now foiling tri's but I doubt sales of the F101 and Mantis have been huge. Personally I think the UFO is a great foiling trainer but anyone who is serious about solo foiling gets a Moth or A-Class or for a 2-handed foiler gets a Nacra or Phantom - everything else has struggled to get any traction in the market.

But even in Australia, where I now live, and we generally have more water space compared to the UK, the number of foiling boats is small and in the UK it's probably even more so  - apart from the Moth fleet.


Edited by Pewit - 13 Oct 18 at 6:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 18 at 2:47pm
Have these material upgrades increased the price and great deal? Roughly what is the UK price?

I dunno, trying to look at it without the bias it is hard to fault the concept.

I still intend to stay with trapeze balanced monohulls (without racks obviously Thumbs Down ), probably more down to my idea of visual elegance that anything else and also the enjoyment of keeping a boat upright.

However given a choice between the New Weta and any Foiler the Weta would be the certain pick. Is this lightened and stiffened Weta a precursor to a foiling Weta though?  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 18 at 5:40am


New revised Weta introduced for 2018 with larger 9.3 SqM square top mainsail (compared with 8.3SqM pin top original), recut bi-radial sails, lightweight foam-core hull construction and custom colours.


Edited by Pewit - 12 Oct 18 at 5:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 14 at 7:13am
The 2015 Weta has recently been announced. With a shift of manufacture to XSP based in Singapore, Weta Marine has taken the opportunity to improve the Weta Trimaran. The design footprint is unchanged and the ‘one design’ rule will remain in place, but new molds and construction techniques give the 2015 Weta a tighter, better quality build.

More info here. The first shipment of the 2015 Weta arrives in the USA this week.



There's also the Weta Wiki here with more detailed background info about the boat together with tips and modifications.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote catmandoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 14 at 8:32am
Think they meant funniest  Wink
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