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Weta, fastest boat on the water!

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Pewit View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 Jan 14
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Posts: 66
Post Options Post Options   Quote Pewit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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 mē
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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