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The latest from WASZP designer Andrew McDougall

8fe3e0f34d3083cba6fe73d62a783d7f_XLAn enormous amount of design and testing has gone in since the announcement of the WASZP at Foiling Week.

Things have really progressed fast in the past month. The boat is going a lot better than I ever expected. We’ve now got a top speed of nearly 25 knots and the controllability in waves, which was one of one of our earlier challenges, is now rock solid.


One area we have spent a lot of time working on is the control system. We put on an adjustable wand, fitted adjustable gearing and added an adjustable wand angle system trying to solve some of the control issues and there was a fear that this may need to go into the production boat (which would have added a whole lot of complexity for the sailor) but as it turns out a single setting now works for everything and adding the adjustment just helped us pick the optimum solution.
The settings are quite different to what we initially expected because the foils are quite high lift so the angles and gearing ratios vary greatly from the Mach2 which I did not predict – so spending the time to get it right has been well worthwhile.

Wing Tips
There has been a massive amount of work gone into optimising the foils. We have a new engineer on the team who came on 4 months ago who has done some really, really good work. We’ve done extensive CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis and testing on various wing tips and winglets.


So the wing tips we are going forward with are a lot more conventional and they look a little bit like our high lift Mach 2 foil with tiny winglets and it’s a short taper from the end of the aluminium – about 130mm of wing tip.


We worked a lot on trying to get the tips as small as we could and keep the efficiency without having very long wing tips.

With the rear foil it’s very similar except no winglets.


For the main front horizontal foil the plan has always been to offer a number of lengths. We have standardised on a specific size as the racing foil, but will offer alternatives for learning.
The vertical foils are also slightly longer than the original prototypes which really helps sailing in waves.

Our current rig is a camber induced sail and it works brilliantly, infact the first sail we made worked straight out of the bag which was quite surprising.
We started with a 7.7 as these were based on the KA Moth sails and we thought this was a really good size as we were limited by the unstayed mast as you can really only hang so much cloth on it.
However we have found that we can handle a little more area and we are going to run with 8.0 sq. metres as this gives slightly more power for the bigger sailor to get foiling in the same sort of wind range that the Mach 2 does.

waszpupdate4 - Copia

However there is a huge issue that we have not been able to overcome.
The rig is actually quite hard to lift and step into the boat in its current configuration (with a cam sail you lift both the sail and mast together, made harder on the WASZP by having to align to the mast socket) so we’ve had to completely rethink it.
We battled on for a long time, but feedback from sailors trying the WASZP was: “guys, you just can’t do this”.
So we are going to go with a bolt rope mast and sail (still unstayed).


This however has put us back two months.
I know many people are going to be upset about this delay but we have to solve this and unfortunately there is no way around it.
We knew that we would continue to evolve up to first production and make sure everything was 100% sailor certified, but we thought it would be just small, easy things like foil lengths or control systems. This has hit us hard.

Another thing that has been very difficult has been the trolley. You would think: what is so difficult? We’ve been trying to make the WASZP really easy to launch and with the foils in place it is quite logistically difficult to deal with. The original plan was always to slide the boat on and off the trolley with the foils in (up of course) and we have tried very many different scenarios – with the front of the boat encapsulated, with many different ways of hooking the trolley on but the bottom line is it is very difficult in waves or a reasonable amount of wind or with a smaller person it became quite physically demanding.
So we have changed our design so the trolley is put on when the boat is on its side. You can still put the boat in the water with the foils in which is a huge benefit not having to worry about going back to get them. So you just drag it into the water, tip it on its side, pull the trolley off, tip it back up, sail out, push your foils down and off you go. Or you can push the foils down and walk the boat out but you have the choice.
This has again delayed the project because the moulds and jigs were finished so we’ve had to start again.

Fibreglass Shipping Box
We’ve had a number of requests to do a GRP travel box that can be used for shipping the WASZP to international regattas. This has been designed and will be available as an option.

Production Timing
Given where we are now and the impeding Christmas and Chinese New Year shutdowns there is now no possibility that we can deliver complete boats before March, 2016.
We know that this is not ideal and will disappoint many who have jumped on board early. For this we apologise but can only re-enforce that ultimately the changes we have implemented will deliver a better product.
As we have always said anyone who has reserved a build slot can request a refund at any time. We stand ready to provide a full refund with no questions and no delays for anyone who wishes.
When we do start delivering boats will come out very quickly. Those at the tail end of the build slot queue will not see that much delay because we will be building and stocking masts and hulls which are the only composite parts in the boat (which we can only build so many per day). Most of the other parts are done in lots of 1,000 or more and they’ll all be ready for when we do start shipping. So in the first months we anticipate shipping 20 boats per week and so will catch up quickly to those back orders but for those with an early build slot there will be more impact.

The development of the WASZP has been significantly more challenging and time consuming than I imagined. It is so important to get everything right and there have been so many times where we’ve had to make what we call a ‘catastrophic’ change: one thing that did not work and we’ve had to roll back many components – injection moulded parts, aluminium extrusions, moulds – things that we committed that in the end needed to be changed.
On the other hand, the way the WASZP performs now, I’m really happy – the numbers it is hitting, its controllability and ease of foiling are all exceeding my expectations.

Andrew McDougall

Andrew McDougall talks about the WASZP

By yachtsandyachting.com

Jonny Fullerton interviewed Andrew ‘A-Mac’ McDougall on behalf of YachtsandYachting.com at Lake Garda during The Foiling Week where the WASZP foiling dinghy was launched.

Jonny Fullerton: Give me a bit of background on how you came up with the idea for the WASZP.

Andrew McDougall: I’ve been sailing a Moth for a very long time and foiling Moths for 10 years now. There’s always so much interest on the beach; you get people coming up asking what it is and how does it work. Particularly you get kids coming up and they just want one and there’s always a reason why they can’t have it, why dad or mum won’t buy it for them, and that’s really what prompted the idea. Trying to get rid of all the arguments that people use not to get a Moth. It’s been ticking away in my brain since 2007. It wasn’t about making the Moth one-design, it was about getting rid of all the problems, and that’s what I’ve attempted to do.

JF: What type of sailor is the WASZP aimed at and who are you expecting to be buying and sailing the boat?

A-Mac: It’s aimed at a much broader range of sailor than the Moth. The Moth is always going to have the very high-end technical guys who want to play with things or have the latest cutting-edge design. The Moth is just a beautiful boat, it’s so efficient and lovely to sail, but not everyone, in fact very few people, are prepared to put that level of effort and amount of money into staying at the top. The WASZP is aimed at those who like the idea of having a foiling single-hander but don’t want to deal with all the other stuff that’s involved with a Moth – people who want to go down on a Wednesday night and just go racing. It’s trying to be the Laser or the one-design windsurfer of the foiling world.

JF: The boat you have at The Foiling Week is only in prototype form, but what are the key aspects and features of the WASZP?

photo © Foiling Week™

photo © Foiling Week™

A-Mac: The bow is finer than a Moth at the centre vertically, but slightly fuller at the bottom and a lot fuller at the deck. This came about from the experience of trying to make it low-ride well, with a big range of sailor weights, and it had to be efficient through the breeze as it lifts out. The whole bow design is about having a heavy sailor burying the bow and keeping the transom out, without having huge bow drag, and when a light person gets on it, still having the full waterline length and having a good low-riding shape. It’s very full in the stern as one of the issues with the Moth is that you tend to fall over backwards when learning and you get into irons. The Waszp also has a rudder which you can push down, so you need to be able to lean over the back and do that, so a lot of things have influenced the design of the hull.

JF: The boat has no stays (shrouds) so you’ve got an unsupported rig. Is that an improvement for safety, launching and recovery?

A-Mac: There are so many reasons not to have stays – on my wrists you can probably see about 20 of them. There have been some pretty bad injuries from stays and I personally hate having that stay in front of me while I’m doing a manoeuvre and thinking if something goes wrong I’m going into it… But that’s not the only thing, it makes rigging simpler, you just pop the mast in and it’s done, with just the cunningham, mainsheet and outhaul keeping the mast in, it’s all very simple. There are two more reasons for not having stays; getting into the boat after a capsize or getting into the boat in very light winds is much, much easier over the front of the wing bars. Lastly, in very light winds, you can let the sail out and head downwind efficiently.

JF: And the wishbone boom?

The WASZP in the boat park at Black Rock - photo © McDougall Creations

The WASZP in the boat park at Black Rock – photo © McDougall Creations

A-Mac: This really comes from having the main foil retractable; with the main foil sticking up in the boat, a boom would be very difficult to deal with. With the wishbone you’ve got a soft bottom to the sail and you can just let the outhaul off to allow the sail to flop over to the other side when the main foil is up. That was the major part of it, but having sailed with it now, not having the boom is a massive advantage and you can close the gap more (sail closer to the hull) as you’re not worried about hitting your head on the soft sail. The final reason is that you don’t have a vang, which takes the load off everything.

JF: On sails there is a choice of three – presumably this gives you a wider range of sailor and ability?

A-Mac: Yes, but it also means we can make a fairly full-on, high-performance rig for the biggest one without getting too caught up with how easy it is to put up. With the smaller one we’re definitely going to have it so that you can put it up and down from the deck. I’m thinking there will be two versions of the middle sail; one with the bolt-rope for the bigger kids and another for the smaller high-performance people who want to go fast.

JF: You’ve gone for aluminium foils rather than carbon, mainly for cost I believe?

A-Mac: No, there was a bigger reason than cost. Cost is a massive reason but the biggest reason is that if the boat is going to be one-design, carbon is very difficult to deal with. You can never make a carbon foil where you say ‘You can never do anything with this foil’. There will be blemishes from the factory so people will sand them, will finish them and will paint them. The aluminium foil is hard anodised so you can’t do anything with it, so everybody’s got the same thing. Also if you do damage it then it won’t be that expensive to replace it. So from the one-design aspect and cost it was massively different.

JF: Weight-wise how does it compare with the Moth?

A-Mac: The hull is 16kg, which is slightly better than I’d hoped. It’s about 5.5kg heavier than a Mach2, which is not too bad for a hull which is probably around five times more durable.

JF: You have this folding wing concept for transportation. Could you tell us a little about that?

WASZP wing modes - photo © McDougall Creations

WASZP wing modes – photo © McDougall Creations

A-Mac: It’s more for storage in yacht clubs. At my club we have nowhere to put a Moth as slots are designed around boats that aren’t as wide as a Moth, so being able to fold the wings up means you can top-to-tail several of them in quite a small space.

JF: I know you’re only at the prototype www, but everyone’s asking what the cost will be.

A-Mac: Half the cost of the current base-model Mach2 is 100% our aim and I have no reason to doubt that we’ll make that. It’ll probably come out at around 12,000 Euros.

JF: A lot of people will look at this and wonder whether it’ll be a competitor or a feeder class to the Moth. What’s your view on that?

A-Mac: It almost has nothing to do with the Moth. The fact that they’re the same length as the Moth is for the reason that the Moth happens to be the exact length at which air freight is still reasonably cheap. It’s not going to be anywhere near competitive with the Moth – it’ll go pretty well against a Moth upwind but it’ll get caned downwind. In the end it’ll probably enhance the Moth as there will simply be more people who catch the bug of this type of sailing.

JF: And in the long-term do you think there’s a possibility of the WASZP becoming an Olympic class?

A-Mac: My focus is to get this boat right. We’ve done the website and we think we’ve done a good job of that. We’re not thinking about the Olympics at this point but I am thinking about how we run the class, I’m thinking about what type of rules we’d like within the class and what type of restrictions, but I really don’t want to make any decisions that are driven by the thought that we want to be an Olympic class. If that happens then we’ll talk about it nearer the time.

JF: A-Mac, thank you very much for your time and we wish you all the best with the WASZP.

A-Mac: Thank you very much.


The WASZP unveiled

Last year at the Foiling Week Andrew McDougall presented the development process that started back in 2010 to a keen audience and decided the TFW Forum would be the perfect place to let the WASZP hatch: “Foiling week just rocks, because it brings sailors and designers together to exchange ideas and of course race at a beautiful spot.”

Today, Andrew McDougall launched his latest creation, the WASZP, at the foiling week.
Compared to his Mach2 foiling Moth, this single-handed, one design foiler is accessible to a wider range of sailors in terms of cost, weight and skill. The choice of three rigs provides options for 40 to 100 kilo sailors and the adjustable wings that fold up for storage also translate into a stable platform for beginner foilers to advanced racers. The retractable alloy foils make launching and retrieving as quick and easy as any other dinghy. Sailors will find that even in non foiling conditions, this new boat is fast and fun to sail and race. The aim is to quickly establish the WASZP as an ISAF international manufacturer controlled class and make it a fun racing class with new disciplines.

More information on the WASZP http://www.waszp.com