Sailing News / UFO Foiler

UFO Foiling Sailboat Production Update

The following memo provides a list of improvements and production numbers for the UFO from Dave Clark, president of Fulcrum Speedworks LLC.

Time to get excited!

Things are coming together over here in Rhode Island. The UFO is finally through the stage of production preparation that I’ve come to refer to as “Industrial foreplay” and it’s go time. The hull and deck molds move back onto the Zim Sailing factory floor this week, where they’ll commence to build the first 40 boats. The first 100 sets of foil struts are being finished up at the extruder in New Hampshire. The next 50 sets of spars are on their way from the manufacturer overseas. North Sails OEM is hard at work making the first 20 suits of sails and Schaffer Marine in New Bedford is going full-tilt machining parts. The objective is to build 100 to 150 UFOs in 2017 with the capacity to step up production further as the class grows. This is the start of the period where you folks with deposits will be getting the heads up of the materials nearing the mold and thus the option to opt in or out.UFO foiling sailboat

Controls:

Every little percentage gain in foil control allows for a truer flight path. While these things aren’t noticeable in the beginner or intermediate use ranges, they pay off in spades at the high end, enabling you to fly higher and more aggressively in all conditions.
We added a stiffer all-carbon wand with a carbon paddle, taking all available buffering out of the wand. Buffering does a few beneficial things but also comes with some flaws, especially in extremely gusty conditions. All told the stiffer wand realizes the full benefit of our ‘mountain goat’ style gearing.

Lengthening the UFO wand sprit:

There’s been a revolution in the moth class around getting the wand as far forward as possible, as it increases the gain on the sensor and thus responds to pitch changes more immediately. This enables the boat to be flown more confidently in big waves.
Both of these things benefit UFO performance racers and UFO recreational sailors. From a performance racers perspective, the combined effects enable you to race harder. From a recreational perspective, it makes the boat hardier and smoother in challenging conditions.

 UFO foiling sailboat and WASZP
UFO Sail — Full-length Batten

We found it necessary to add a full-length batten just above the clew to get rid of a set of creases that propagated upwards from the tack. Further we added a cutout for the clew to add an extra bit of leech tensioning capacity, as a tight leech is critical to going really really fast on foils. We also added a fillet bulb to the bottom of the endplate which assures a solid deck seal. This bumps up the efficiency of the sail by another increment. The front end of the fillet bulb additionally functions as a pouch to stow the halyard and other items, closing with Velcro.15541033_1793156870933355_3450167228548888664_o

UFO Dolly:

While the single-axel beachcat dolly is the best option for a catamaran, keeping the bunks upright and lining them up on both bows is more annoying than it should be. Further, while a retaining strap across the UFO deck does hold the dolly, it’s more trouble than it could be to tie on and untie. We found that the easiest usable configuration is a beachcat dolly with cylindrical pads and short tethers on either side, which clip to the gunwales. This makes the dolly easier to put on and take off the bottom. Further we concluded that a wider wheelbase made it easier to pull the boat towards a ramp on a reach, so we moved the wheels outboard of the hull. A tertiary benefit is that the new dolly from Dynamic Dollies packs exceptionally well.

UFO Hiking straps:

Outstandingly short sailors and outstandingly tall ones pointed out that the straps were either too far away or too close for them. Making their position adjustable solves this problem easily.  People also wanted the straps to stand up more, so that sliding a foot into one would be easier. To do this, we rigged them with rigid tubing, which causes the straps to stand up.

UFO hull mold

UFO hull mold

Cosmetics:

While I personally often scoff at considerations like this, it’s nonetheless an important feature to a good percentage of people and the UFO has got noticeably more spruced up. While our original hull tooling was incapable of imparting a high gloss finish, the production tooling imparts a polished gleam to the gel-coat. Further, all the aluminum parts are anodized black, there’s a little bit more exposed carbon in the package and a few more decals and bright colors.  In line with the UFOs alien aesthetic, the production sails are clear with neon green trim, which together with the white hull and black hardware, foils and spars yields a tri-tone neon green, white and black color scheme. The available deck pad color options are neon green, black and white and the gelcoat options are black or white.

The fully enumerated list of tiny UFO updates, improvements, cleanups is too long to go into. This is merely the shortlist. Beyond that, it’s the same old basic fun-machine we know and love.  And with that, I need to get back to the fight.

Cheers,

Dave Clark
President
Fulcrum Speedworks llc.
Wow! Shoreline Sailboats will have UFO hull number 25 available for test sails and viewing soon! Contact us to order your own or to see/try our demo boat out.