Apr 16, 2019

A-Class: Flyer Retrofit & Custom Rudder Rake System by Sam Carter

Sailing pic NOOD Helly Hansen Regatta 2019 video still, Video source at NOOD Regatta Fb page. rest of images by Sam Carter, Click pics for larger size and Slideshow. --

We've been putting much emphasis past years on the need to crossover sailing between F18s & A-Cats, and many sailors have pursued this goal which brings plenty of rewards to those willing and lucky enough to sail both great platforms. Sam Carter is one of them. Long time F18 sailor, he decided to give a try to the A-Cats too.

And for those thinking "well I need to spend another 20k to start out" Sam showed us that it is not the case. He went for an older Flyer version and work hard on a retrofit. You can go sailing the Flyer without much or any mod no problem in floating/Classic mode, it will be a joy too. But Sam is an Aeronautical Engineer so it was clear he was going for the foiling upgrade! (see also Stefano Tacchi's Flyer upgrade)

He worked hard moving the dagger cases and fitting Z boards, plus he designed and installed an excellent custom rake rudder system which can be adjustable while sailing.
I've seen many custom attempts, even TNZ Team ones and this is one of the simplest , functional and structural efficient out there.
Majority of custom systes have the upper gudgeon free or without any support, an issue wisely implemented and resolved by Sam.

With the foils upgrade Sam already participated at NOOD Regatta 2019 and the Admiral's Cup. He is quite pleased on how the platforms sails, but the remarkable aspect is he assigns missing a better performance mainly on the lack of hours on board the A.

That's the attitude I like, no excuses and keep putting hours. We always exchange hundreds of technical mails with him,  he has helped me out with Foil section devels on his extensive aeronautical knowhow and is pretty active on the web forums too. But Sam is no armchair sailor! As he later applies that active drive on the water too. He had an excellent F18 Worlds at Sarasota sailing with Luke Ramsey scoring four top 5 including bullet and now he is putting acquired knowledge and constant research to practice on the Flyer A-Cat upgrade work plus actual sailing / Racing.

A Hardcore Multihull Fanatic as they come and a great guy. below Sam's comments on the 2007 Australian Flyer Mk. 1 Retrofit:
Flyer A-Cat Upgrade by Sam Carter

Work done:
1) Z10 daggerboards from eXploder, lower fixed bearings from eXploder, upper top sliders from eXploder. Top sliders are spring driven, not belt driven. I used Grant Pellews' rigging here but with Ronstan parts instead of Harken: harkenracing.blogspot.com/

2) Trunks were moved approximately 200mm forward, such that the leading edge of the daggerboard is 400mm aft of the center of the main beam when the boards are vertical. This means the slider has approximately 20mm of forward travel to allow for zero and maybe some negative board angle of attack.

3) Trunks were built with 6mm Klegicell with 1 layer of 200gsm carbon on either side. At the tops of the trunks foam was removed and a G10 insert placed to mount the slider plate. I probably need to reinforce the slider plate holes for the fasteners (I didn't glue the slider in place, I might at some point but that limits trunk access), as the carbon is rather thin and even with lots of fasteners and a tight fit in the trunk opening it might be moving around a bit,

4) For rudders I used the first generation long rudders in swing down cassettes that eXploder shipped with the 2017 AD3's. These were then swapped to the latest generation swing down rudders from early 2018, which are the same stock but have the large asymmetric in planform winglets instead of the small winglets. These are very similar in total area to the symmetric winglets currently being used on the latest boats. The one downside to swing down rudders is some amount of weather helm is required to eliminate the wobbles downwind. In my case it is very slight as I have packed the cassettes.

5) Recently I fitted my own design adjustable rudder kit, which makes use of the stock eXploder gudgeons shipped from 2014-2017. Only the lower gudgeon is modified for a 5/16" shoulder bolt (or M8 if you prefer). Currently these are rigged per the attached diagrams, with a spring back system and a pull forward. The control line is rigged slightly differently than the diagram, currently each line controls the leeward rudder. They are independent at the moment. My plan is to move to the system TNZ used at the recent World Championships for rudder control, though there is another system in works in the U.S that moves both rudders together and then has a weather rudder override for upwind foiling.

On the structural aspect, I'm not saying it can't break, it certainly can if the loads are higher (50lbs or so pulling aft on the rudder, vertical flight loads supported by the lower gudgeon/M6 bolt but they have been for years) and might be better off using carbon for the vertical tube instead of aluminum for the stiffness, but I took a good deal into consideration to design a system that is easy to build and install, especially for those of us with the older style gudgeons".

Below pics of the Flyer & Custom rake system.  Click images for larger size and Slideshow.