Archive for April, 2009


Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Like Lochlin has predicted the weather hear is really awful. The wind was blowing like crazy and the tide got so high that parts of the Marina were underwater. So I planned to sail in New Zealand and Australia, packed all my sailing cloth and still haven’t sailed once. Very disappointing…

I took the time and took a very close look at the Mach2 prototype Lochlin has bought. My first impression: awesome boat with a lot of emphasis on quality. I have made a lot of pictures and upload them tomorrow as the internet connection I currently have sucks.

no Assassin sailing today :-(

Friday, April 24th, 2009

On Wednesday there was no sailing due to too little wind, today is no sailing due to too much wind. It is a shame, as I have flown 36hours to see the Assassin (okay, I also did some business). Well, I have seen it, but I haven’t test sailed it…

I hope the conditions will be a bit better when I am in Melbourne tomorrow to take a look at the Mach2… Can’t wait.

meeting the Assassin and its inventors

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

This post is dedicated to Jon, who just cannot wait to see this post up ;-)

Today I drove down to Tauranga to meet Darren and Holly. Actually driving down was the worst part about it. The scenery in NZ is just awesome, but unfortunately they drive on the wrong side of the road. This means that you have to sit on the right side. This causes many problems, one of the easier being that I always looked for the seatbelt behind my left shoulder. Also they have switched around the turning lights and the wipers which caused me to turn on the wipers everytime I tried to turn. To make matters even worse their highways are just one-lane roads that don’t allow you to overtake anyone. Additionally they have a speed limit of 100kmh which is ridiculous. Being a German can be very tough ;-) Anyhow I only ended up on the worng side of the road twice facing other cars coming directly towards me. However I survived and saw the Assassin.

I have to say one thing first, the Assassin is amazing. I love everything about it. You realize immediately that this boat has been build by a sailor who has had experience with moths before. Darren has been building boats for more than 20years and has sold Bladeriders for 2 years, so he knows where the week spots are and how to solve them. Darren himself says that it is a great benefit when you can change something right away when you come off the water without the need to call up someone in China and explain it to him over the phone.

Currently only one prototype is done. On this one many modifications have been done and Darren showed me a lot of things he changed and a lot of new moulds. However he has already moulded two new decks and hulls and wants to finish the first production boat next week. His goal is to build one boat every week after that. As far as the foils are concerned Darren has got two designs at the moment and will choose the better one after more testing. Then all boats will get these foils.
Currently he is a bit behind schedule, as he has got problems getting all the small parts that go onto a moth within due course. Some of his suppliers are just not as fast as he would like them to be ;-)

But now some more details about the Assassin. It has got a very slick hull and looks really dynamic. The wingframe is flattened everywhere (even on the sides) and appears really stiff and strong. The whole mast pole rotates which causes the load on the vang to remain steady no matter where the sail is. The upper wing bars (that is what Darren calls his compression struts) are joined together causing a direct connection between the two shrouts. This appears very strong and stiff. These upper wingbars are connected to a compression strut which currently touches the deck at the front of the bow. Newer models will have the compression strut a little bit further aft making more room for the wand mechanism. The wand mechanism itself is very simple which makes it even more awesome. The wand is attached directly to the pivot point, which connects directly to the pushrod which is running on the middle of the deck.

Unlike the Bladerider, which has only got one bulkhead, the Assassin has got 4 making it very stiff. The hull is divided into three tanks, the first one separated at the center board case, the second one between center board case and rear wing frames. To save weight the rear wing bar was moved 20cm further forward than the BRs. This makes room for a third tank which is very small…

This tank is very usefull, as it finally gives you the ability to take stuff with you on the boat like your car keys. Like I said, VERY USEFULL!

Unfortunately the wind was not there today, so I didn’t get to test sail it today, but we are going to do that on Saturday here in Auckland. I am looking forward to it. On one of my last posts Jon asked me to make a few pictures of his clear carbon hull. Here they are, even though it is very difficult to make a photo of a flat shiny surface…

@ Jon – just believe me, it looks good.

Before I left Holly showed me how they treat the crab boat, their old useless Bladerider:

Oh, by the way, the Assassin also comes with a nice cover, which looks way better than the Bladerider’s:

a day in Auckland harbour

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

This morning I talked to Darren and we have changed our plans a bit. Tomorrow I will take a rental car and drive down to Tauranga and take a look at the Assassin and its production. When the wind is right I will also go sailing, if not I get a second chance on Saturday as Darren will testsail the boat in Auckland. So hopefully I get two days out on the water before flying to Melbourne.

This new plan gave me the whole day today to do what ever I liked. To get ideas I went down to the harbour and looked at the maritime museum. They are currently expanding it to show the history of the America’s Cup in New Zealand. The new extension will be devoted to Sir Peter Blake, a true sailing hero that was killed by pirates on his last trip.

This boat below is right in the front of the museum:

This boat is called the big boat and was the contestant for the 1988 America’s cup. The Americans didn’t want to accept the challenge and refused to race against it. The a court ruled the Americans to defeat the Auld mug. As the Americans didn’t have the time to build a monohull as fast they used a loophole and build the Stars and Stripes, a catamaran. Needless to say the won all races against the Big Boat. Here is the whole story.
Looking at this boat and reading the history of it I realized that 2008/9 is just a repetition of 1988. Again the race is fought in Court and the one loosing it all is the sport, the sailors, the fans and the sponsors. On the other hand there is hope, if 1988 didn’t kill the Cup Larry Ellison (now owner of Sun Microsystems as well) and Ernesto Bertarelli cannot do it either.

After looking at all this nice boats I wanted to give it a shot myself. In Aukland sailNZ is letting you sail the victory boat of the 1994 Cup. Of course it was a tourist attraction but as I got along very well with the crew (we talked about the Cup and Moth sailing) I was allowed to do the Gennaker jibes on the foredeck, steer the boat a bit and do a lot of grinding. Here are some impressions ;-)

flying to Auckland

Monday, April 20th, 2009

I finally touched down in Auckland after a very long flight (Düsseldorf, London, Singapore, Auckland). Fortunately the flight was not bad at all and I especially enjoyed flying an A 380, the masterpiece of european engineering and lots of subvention made possible with our taxes…

Sometimes flirting with the checkin clerk is very helpfull, take a look at my seat:

When we flew over Singapore I was just amazed by the amount of ships anchored in the roadstead. No wonder Singapore has got such a strong economy with so many boats waiting to get into the harbour (I wonder how it looked before this so called crisis?)

Anyhow now I am in Auckland waiting for the conference to start. Of course I try to do something useful except business as well by visiting Darren tomorrow and look at the Assassin. Can’t wait to see it.

By the way, the weather in Auckland is lousy:

importing a moth to Europe a.k.a. fucking customs (updated)

Friday, April 17th, 2009

I just went through a horrible nightmare, shipping a moth from Melbourne to Germany. Allmost everything went wrong, the boat was delayed, delivered to the wrong address and didn’t get clearance from German customs.

The problem was that a sports boat needs to be CE certified by the European Union. Unfortunately a moth, wether it is a Bladerider, a Mach2 or an Assassin, is never CE certified. What is this certification for? It says that the boat can carry x people plus y kg additional weight. As this stupid certificate wasn’t among the papers that customs checked they stopped the boat at Berlin airport for three days.
During these three days I was calling numerous people in Australia and Germany till I found out that all boats with wings do not fall under these rule as their buoyancy is not determined by their hull but by the hydrofoils.
For all of you who have to go through this process here is the official document that Bladerider moths do not need a CE certificate.

After I have sent this doc the Landesamt für Arbeitsschutz, Gesundheitsschutz und technische Sicherheit Berlin (LAGetSi) finally cleared my boat.

Update: Doug just send me some additional information from Marco. He has given me a link to a website that shows exclusions to the CE norm. See here

follow me on twitter

Friday, April 10th, 2009

3 years ago everyone had to have a blog, 2 years ago everyone needed his own youtube channel and nowadays everyone has got a twitter account. So if you have one you can follow me here. If you don’t have a twitter account get one!

Jenz kills the 25 knots / I am back

Friday, April 10th, 2009

As you may have noticed I have taken some absence from mothing and blogging. To tell you the truth Kiel was my last regatta last year. Why? Because my company frankly just rolled right over me. We are all working really hard and it is a lot of fun. The only problem is that mothing was killed along the way. But this will change now, as I decided that there will be 2 pillars in my life for the next two years: mothing and (maybe there will be a third pillar if a cute girlfriend crosses my way).

So I am back and I want to start this blog again with looking back: Last year in Kiel Jenz Zurmühl got out on the water to set up his moth. That day was pretty windy and shifty. Jenz got out on his fastacraft moth and scored an unbelievable 25.8 knots on his Garmin!!!

Unfortunately this record had its price. Jenz killed his center board foil. For some reason the wand mechanism got stuck which caused the flap to stay in the same position while Jenz accelerated. What happened was that the foil got ripped right off the centerboard. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures but the whole centerboard looked horrible. Each layer of carbon was just separated from each other. Thus it was quite difficult to pull the centerboard out of the centerboard case.

So Jenz got his personal record but unfortunately wasn’t able to participate in a single moth race. Fortunately a Hobie sailor still needed a crew so Jens wasn’t stuck on shore.

On the very last day one sailor came over to our moth camp and handed Jenz the lost foil. Someone had found it on the water and knew that it had to belong to a moth. Finding the sailor was an easy task, as the German fleet is still a lot smaller than it should be. Jens had planned to rebuild the foil, a very difficult task if you ask me. I got no idea if he has been successfull with repairing it. I will find out during the first regattas this year.