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 Post subject: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Yesterday, fellow KSC club member Wilby, took me for a ride on his F16 Blade. Sunny, warm but not hot, light NW winds, 5 - 8 knots with an occasional stronger puff, no chop.

I was very pleasantly surprised how this fast & light cat blew the socks off of anything that sailed near us, including a F24 Corsair. It was nothing to touch 8 knots in 6 knots of wind, going upwind, with two on board.

Downwind, the spin was awesome.....easy up and easy down, and easy to fly.

I doubt that there is any significant difference between the Blade and the FX One, they are both F16's, and they both fly. Now I understand why folks like Karl B in Minnesota loved their FX One....solo or two up, this boat is pure fun. Sure, it's a lot more technical, but nothing an experienced sailor could not handle.

Wilby warned me that very few F16's are sold each year in North America....he thought around 30 to 40 of his model, and we all know how few FX One's crossed the Atlantic...

Are there a NA Championships in this Class? Anyone out there sail FX One on a competitive basis? Portsmouth rating?

When I win the lottery, an FX One is one of the boats I'll buy....maybe two: one for myself and one for our son...at least we can race each other.

Thanks again Wilby.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
Just FYI, the FX-One is not an F16. It's too long (17 feet) for starters.

The F16 has not reached critical mass yet in North America.


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:39 am 
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Live and learn.....so for 'International' racing, is one limited to F16 and F18, plus Hobie Class regatta's?

If the numbers are that low for F16, and with F18's being costly, my own guess is that most folks will choose the Wave, also a blast to sail....and a class that is growing by leaps and Bounds....ha ha

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:55 am 
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Location: Northfield Minnesota
MBounds wrote:
The F16 has not reached critical mass yet in North America.


I don't know about that.


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:38 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
By "critical mass", I mean drawing at least 5 boats to a regatta in more than a couple of regions.

The F16 class is still smaller than most of the Hobie classes.


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:20 pm 
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John Lunn C A wrote:
I doubt that there is any significant difference between the Blade and the FX One, they are both F16's, and they both fly. Now I understand why folks like Karl B in Minnesota loved their FX One....solo or two up, this boat is pure fun. Sure, it's a lot more technical, but nothing an experienced sailor could not handle.


There are huge differences, most of it in weight. The other is the controllability, the FXone mast is a tree trunk tear drop shape, the Blade actually uses a AHPC wing mast, which is essentially a thicker walled aluminum A-cat section. In short its a wet noodle, mast rotation and downhaul have a huge effect on sail shape and your ability to de-power the rig, it also requires you being careful as you can break the mast pretty easily if you stuff it and lose the main sheet. I loved the way the FXone went through the water though, LOVED. With that said my Viper outperforms it any day of the week, the Viper is faster, it can be pushed so much harder, the rig is more refined, and the controls are laid out brilliantly, (in the off chance I ever owned another FXone I'd be copying many of the Viper controls). I'm constantly impressed with it. I loved how the FXone would just knife through the water though, it loves being bow down, and the bottoms were super flat. It was a blast to sail in waves.


John Lunn C A wrote:
Wilby warned me that very few F16's are sold each year in North America....he thought around 30 to 40 of his model, and we all know how few FX One's crossed the Atlantic...


Thats probably fairly accurate as far as numbers go for F16's built or coming into North America, or at least it sounds about right. I don't know about one model though. The FXone never took hold for whatever reason, my guess was there is/was about 30 or 40 of the Hobie in the US, but that's pretty much a shot in the dark. I think what has made the F16 class so viable and popular is one up and two up racing, and the lighter weight. Although you could dump probably 15lbs out of the FXone just by swapping to a lighter mast, it'd still be comparatively heavy, but it'd be much easier to right.


John Lunn C A wrote:
Are there a NA Championships in this Class? Anyone out there sail FX One on a competitive basis? Portsmouth rating?


I raced the FXone for three seasons. One year at Hobie events where it was really lonely, and the other two years in CRAW racing on handicap. There's never been an FXone North Americans. A few of us tried to jump start the class a few years ago, but failed miserably. NACRA's 17 is slowly dying the only place they are raced on a regular basis is Canada, Michigan and a few in Wisconsin. I think the NACRA 17 is doomed in Michigan because of the die hard NACRA fans will bail for the new model. (emphasis on I think) :lol:


John Lunn C A wrote:
When I win the lottery, an FX One is one of the boats I'll buy....maybe two: one for myself and one for our son...at least we can race each other.


Go for an F16, NACRA is supposed to be delivering one this year yet and I wouldn't be all that surprised if Hobie-Cat Europe jumped on it in a few years, especially if the Viper is selected as the next Olympic Multihull. I think there will be massive growth in the F16 class if that happens. The really good sailors with no Olympic ambitions will want to play with the best, (but may be on a Falcon, Viper, Stealth, Bimare, AquaRaptor, or a homebuild), and the good sailors will want to sail with the really good....etcetera.... The IOC is fickle though, and who knows what they will select at the last minute. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere the Viper has been selected as the IOC's youth training boat in anticipation of the Viper being selected as the mixed team multihull.

When I win the lottery I'm hiring a design firm and having a boat from scratch. I don't know what it takes dollar wise to bring a boat to the water, but I can't imagine the first one would cost much more than $100k :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:20 am 
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Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response, Karl. I am certain that the F16 wannabees will devour every word. While the FX-One is a low volume item in the Hobie world, your 'vision' of 16' high performance sailing is very refreshing. They are such fun boats to sail, either one up or two up, and I agree that this is likely the future of (fibreglass) cat sailing. Get cracking, HobieCat Europe!

Have you come across the book, High Performance Sailing II, by Frank Bethwaite? He is the father of the guy that brought 18 skiffs to the fore. You may also know him as the designer of the 49'er and the 29'er. As an aeronautical engineer, he has the best description of the use/application of 'apparent wind' I have ever come across. Try this..... http://www.amazon.com/High-Performance-Sailing-Frank-Bethwaite/dp/0070057990

For anyone else winning the lottery, they would pay $250K to design a new cat.... you would likely only pay $100K as you are so experienced.....and know what you like and don't like.

Tomorrow, I'll tell Wilby to look at your post, and to be careful of his mast! We are schedule to have a Club cat race next weekend....on handicap, and I have no doubt his Blade will smoke my SX18. That will probably be my last sail of the season, we've had frost up here earlier this week. Keep buying lottery tickets.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: F16 Blade and FX One
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:45 pm
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Location: Northfield Minnesota
John Lunn C A wrote:
For anyone else winning the lottery, they would pay $250K to design a new cat.... you would likely only pay $100K as you are so experienced.....and know what you like and don't like.


I don't really know anything about design, or building boats, so I'm just taking a shot in the dark from what I've gathered talking to those who do build, and those who do design. It could be significantly more, but really, who cares? You've won the lottery. :lol:


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