Hybrid Blade, second sail

Today we had the Hybrid Blade on the water for the second time off Changi Sailing Club, Singapore.  The breeze was a little light but we could squeeze one on the wire for the majority of the time. We sailed in the company of Marcel and his Nacra F18 and a brand new – just fresh out of the box Viper, for a little while.

On the first Hybrid test sail, I complained that the nose really liked to dive so this time we dropped the mast rake back two holes on the forestay and guess what… she now accelerates rather than just disappearing into the water.

The Nacra F18 has been undergoing changes over the last few weeks as well, poor Marcel was sold an ‘export model’ by Nacra Australia and so nothing is the same as the standard Nacra F18. But in any case, it served as a good benchmark for both crews i.e. the F16 should be quicker in the conditions and, F18’s are powerful boats that’s for sure.

Marcel’s comment after the session, “F16’s are so much lighter they can really accelerate” – true and in our off-season light conditions of now, that’s to the 16’s advantage. A comment from the Hybrid Blade, ” the added weight and waterline of the F18 keeps them moving rather nicely once they’re up to speed. The Blade appeared to accelerate and decelerate more.”

Compared with the Hybrid’s first outing the second was much more palatable. Pointing ability has increased a bit, recovery after wave piercing was notiecably better and, accelerating is forward rather than downward – always a good thing. We had the Viper in tow for a short beat to windward but it’s not an accurate gauge considering that it was only their second time on the Viper platform. But as such, when we got the puffs, the Viper appeared to be pointing higher with boat speeds being roughly the same.

We spent much of the time sailing downwind with the F18. Boat speeds were again similar although the Nacra 18 suffered from having the spinnaker pole height to high and consequently, the spinnaker luff was rather soggy. Even so, it shows good potential all round.

Tomorrow, hopefully we’ll have a few more Vipers and Taipans on the water for a better reference. I’ve got only one more change to try tomorrow and that will be getting the rudders adjusted with a little more toe-in – I think we’re running a bit toe-out now as it feels a bit woody on the helm still.

Interesting times coming up when our season opens in December…

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6 comments on “Hybrid Blade, second sail”

  1. Hi Scott,

    Nice blog and pictures!
    I’m looking for pictures to make a banner for the F16 website, but I’m short in Viper pictures. Could you send me any nice ones? (300 dpi).


  2. Thanks Gill
    Will send you some photos… do you want sailing photos or stationary ones?


  3. I wonder if the blade would point as high as the Viper if it had the nice long centreboards? Maybe a custom set of foils might be a nice experiment.

    Would love to try a blade someday.

  4. Dude
    You can try it when ever you want to. as we said, we need to face it off against the Viper soon anyway. In a decent breeze it might do okay in all points of sail. But when the breeze drops tp non-trapezing strength I think we’ll be slower and lower due to the flat front sections.

    On the Viper we can lift the flat rear planing sections out by shifting the weight forward but on the Blade the flat sections are forward and am not so sure if sitting on the back is going to help in those situations.

    I noticed when we were sailing against the F18 we accelerated and decelerated a lot more. On the light stuff we were about the same speed as Marcel’s F18.

    We’ve had another sail on the Hybrid, raking the mast back really helped. Now she accelerates rather than submarining! All P’ve got left to do is adjust the rudder toe in a bit more and we’re ready for the face-off…Groovybaby meets Yeahbaby = when “Harry met Sally”!

  5. oh and love the graphics on the boat btw 🙂

  6. Thanks Kuang. As you can tell, I got tired of all-white boats! I think Blue Lizard is now the best looking boat – wait till it gets the new sails!!

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