Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

FLY - the foiler for the foiling generation

by Dan Leech 30 Mar 2020 01:09 PDT
The FLY sitting in the pool © Dan Leech

The idea behind the FLY was to create a simple kids foiler that can be used as the very starting point for a pathway down the foiling track. A lot of kids these days just simply want to go fast!

I have two boys, Will - 11 years old and weighs 29kg, and Jonty 9 years and weighs 25 kg. They both desperately wanted to start foiling, and to be doing what their idols are doing in the Americas Cup and Sail GP. So that’s when Will and I started designing the FLY.

Will, who is right into his Optimist sailing also wants to learn the skills of foiling and go down that path in his sailing career. The skills he will learn from the FLY, I am sure will help his optimist sailing with fast decision making and boat handling etc.

Jonty, just simply has the need for speed and loves to send it, whether it is on his motor cross bike or mountain bike. So, the FLY is going to be ideal for him. Kids these days do so much sailing and their skill level is very high at a young age, so my thoughts are they should have no problem mastering a boat like this.

We decided to build the prototype out of 4mm Gaboon plywood for speed of build and low cost. We built it using the same method as my OK Dinghy designs, using a CNC cut female jig and then the plywood hull panels get pushed into this. Then the bulkheads and centre case got fitted and the deck and foredeck went on. The foils have an aluminium vertical with composite horizontals. The wings are aluminium. The mast is a carbon two-piece, free standing mast from C-Tech. The boom is aluminium with a conventional vang system. Doyle’s have designed and are making the sail. C-Tech and Doyle’s worked closely together designing the rig. All boats will be fitted Ronstan deck hardware.

The idea is to keep everything as simple as possible for kids. There will be no rudder rake control, we will come up with the setting on the prototype and then that will be it. The ride height will be relatively low and can be pre-set on shore. The only controls that the sailors need to play with on the water is vang, downhaul and outhaul.

The tramps will have generous buoyancy bags so kids can sit on the wing and they won’t immerse. The plan is to test the prototype and make any required changes and then come up with a final production boat design and then build female moulds. The production boats will be built using e glass with a foam core to keep the costs as low as possible.

The boat is small, with a length overall of 2.4m, which is about 100mm longer than a P Class and optimist. Sail area is 4.2 m2. Target crew weight is 25 – 55 kg. It is early stages yet, but we are in discussions with the RNZYS about the possibility of a FLY regatta around the time of the America's Cup if we can get enough FLY’s on the water. This will be to promote kids foiling and the FLY. We are still working on the price, but we realise for it to be a success, we need to keep the price as low as possible.

The prototype is almost complete and we will be launching soon after the NZ lockdown is finished. We would like to get a gauge on interest. If interested email See Leechboats' Facebook page for updates

Related Articles

Happy yachties enjoy a fast Auckland-Tauranga race
Cracking sailing conditions down the east coast of Coromandel made for a quick race south. The Farmer Autovillage Auckland to Tauranga Centennial Yacht Race/Rally was held recently on the weekend of the 26 th , 27 th & 28 th of March. Posted on 21 Apr
Big fleet of 70 boats for 65th Zephyr Nationals
70 boats for 2021 Zephyr dinghy sailing class yacht coveted national championship The 2021 Zephyr dinghy sailing class yacht coveted national championship is being held at the Manly Sailing Club, Whangaparaoa, Auckland 9th to 12th April. Posted on 9 Apr
The incredible record of a Tauranga bred sailor
Brian Petersen has sailed plenty of ocean miles, and his next target is a race home to Tauranga. The incredible record of a Tauranga bred sailor, current owner of “V5”, a TP52 entered in the Farmer Autovillage Auckland to Tauranga Centennial Yacht Race starting at 0900 on Saturday 27th of March 2021. Posted on 9 Mar
Join the Tiwal inflatable dinghy adventure circuit
The Tiwal owners community can look forward to a series of rally style adventures this summer. New Years Eve, 2021 and it is near perfect weather: My partner and I left it till 5pm to decide to sail our TIWAL dinghies to Rangitoto Island and climb to the top for the midnight fireworks show. Posted on 19 Feb
High Performance Yacht Design Conference: sign up
Part of the events schedule of the America's Cup is the 7th High Performance Yacht Design Conference In the middle of the busy schedule of events surrounding the America's Cup, Auckland will once again play host to the High Performance Yacht Design conference. Posted on 19 Feb
America's Cup: Test your knowledge against the TAB
Fans now have the opportunity to test their America's Cup knowledge against the TAB's bookmakers Fans now have the opportunity to test their America's Cup knowledge against the bookmakers at the TAB and maybe make a return of a few lazy dollars. The TAB explains how they set the prices, and how these have changed since the America's Cup World Series. Posted on 12 Feb
Immaculate Elliott 1600 Tourer offered for sale
This Elliott 1600 is brilliantly set up for short-handed sailing and is ready for new owners. Greg Elliott's Tourer series are some of the most sought-after boats in New Zealand and the world. For cruising – be it coastal or trans-oceanic – they are as good as yachts get. Posted on 27 Jan
Round-the-world solo sailor steers clear of fears
A change in plans means solo sailor Elana Connor is helping Kiwi kids in foster care to go sailing. A change of plans for round-the-world single-handed sailor Elana Connor means she's helping Kiwi kids in foster care to go sailing - as she also seeks to 'demystify' the sport for women. Posted on 26 Jan
Entries open in French Bay Regatta
French Bay in Titirangi is is a hidden gem that those that know and love the bay already appreciate. Entries are now open in the French Bay Regatta on Saturday 13 February. Posted on 25 Jan
John Spencer's design contribution celebrated
One of NZ's great designers and boat builders, John Spencer was the focus of the annual exhibition One of New Zealand's great designers and boat builders, John Spencer was the focus of the annual exhibition by the Rino Tawa Trust. The display featured a range of design memorabilia along with many examples of his dinghy designs. Posted on 8 Nov 2020
Gul 2020 FOOTERReverso Air 2021 FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER