Prince Planet

Open letter to Windrush:- Windrush 14 / Nacra 430 / Weta Comparo....

57 posts in this topic

I was one of the 10 Wetas sailing at the Jervis Bay regatta in October last year.

 

I was first around the windward mark in the 1st race on Sunday when it was blowing 25+ knots - then I put the kite up but couldn't get it to furl again  - (bloody Harken one-hit furler now replaced with a KZ continuous furler). Nice event and great place to sail.

 

1465717_723009154443581_3201984778465123

 

 

Paul

If you get the opportunity come down to Callala Bay on Jervis Bay next October long weekend. Excellent sailing and all the local weta guys turn up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rohan

Read Paul's post. The bottom line is I sail windies cause that's what me and my mates sail at PKSC. If I was competitive I would be on another class with with regattas states and nats. I think you missed the heyday. Basically if you want a progressive class go sail a progressive class.

As Paul says his weta suits him my windy suit me and the guys at Port.

Missed the heyday? Hardly, I was selling the Windrush 14 at the peak of its popularity. I was working for Tradewind Sailboats and then Sydney Sailboat Centre for close to 10 years on and off.. and I've seen the lack of promotion and the missed opportunities.. it's sad.

Paul's impression that the boat looks 'old' is a fair one - but frankly it comes down to which boat your're looking at. Mine still gets comments about how good it looks. The new fathead sail certainly 'picks the boat up' - and to a new sailor, they really have no bias as to what's new or old - it comes down once again to how the boat is presented. Lasers still sell? Not sure... but my guess is that they do. Sure the Nacra 430 looks contemporary - but is it 'better' in any department? Maybe in load-carrying capacity.

Paul probably isn't aware the boat's designers are from Windrush in the UK. I've met them.

When he says the 'clincher' was the unattractive, old website it's another sad indicator of lack of enthusiasm for a great design. Obviously, Windrush don't really expect to sell new boats - so there's no incentive to update anything.

The Maricat's manufacturer is likewise guilty - not expecting to sell any new boats means it's absent from their site.

BTW, the Windrush 14 was one of the very few Australian designs to ever make it to the USA - AMF certainly thought it was worth promoting.

So yeh, sure I have a soft spot for the boat - coz I've seen the history - and still see the potential for it - even today.

It was never my intention to bag the Weta - it's a nice design - and a lot of fun for those who need an alternative to a boring monohull - but when it 'steals' sales of a boat like the Windrush 14 - or Maricat - through lack of promotion or visibility - it's once again sad...

Anyway, I was merely reacting to the boat's success - compared to other possible choices a new sailor might make.

Sure, I can see why Paul would choose the Weta - lots of good reasons - but he had never even heard of a Windrush 14, or Maricat - at the time he made his decision... and unless we 'stalwarts' ask why that's happening, it won't get any better...

As far as sailing a more progessive class is concerned, you've missed my point. It's not that I want to sail A-Class - I couldn't afford it anyway - it's that I see how many more Windrush 14's could be on the water with all concerned pulling in the same direction - and the manufacturer seeing that it's worth the effort to get back on board with it...

Like I've hinted at previously, a new Windrush 14 sailor is mostly likely a Windrush Edge sailor in the very near future?

Just saying...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why did I choose the Weta?

 

I live in an apartment in Potts Point overlooking Sydney harbour and have raced on other peoples' boats since moving to Sydney 5 years ago. But there are some days where you really want to go sailing and I wanted something I could take out myself (and friends too), that could be rigged quickly single handed and that would have more exciting performance than a Laser (been there - done that).

 

I also wanted something modern that used modern materials and was developed in the last 10 years - I feel that classic boats are interesting to their owners but a bugger to look after and a bugger to sail. The Finn being the prime example.

 

Originally I was looking at single-handed skiffs because I've a background in asymmetric sports-boats but thought the learning curve involved too much swimming. Then I saw the video of the Weta at the Double Dammed race in 2011 and thought that's exactly what I need - a skiff with training wheels! I come from a monohull background so having a boat that tacks immediately appeals to me too. There are many other boats that can offer the same thrills but some come at the cost of ease of use (e.g. Moth) or they remove the risk and remove the fun - e.g. the Hobie Wave.

 

So then looked at more videos and the manufacturers website, I joined the owners forum, found it was really well supported by the manufacturer, owners and distributors. Got some great feedback in what to look for in a second hand boat and then bought one in Melbourne and had it shipped up to Sydney.

 

My next problem was finding somewhere to sail and store it - I quickly discovered all the boatparks at clubs in the area are full (with many boats that never move) and my solution was to moor it on the road as I discovered there's a public boat pontoon in nearby Rushcutters Bay which is accessed by a gantry 2m wide - and the Weta is 1.98m wide on the trolley. Result!

 

Things that might put me off the Windrush

I'm a Pom who moved here in 2007 and I'd never seen or heard of a Windrush until I entered the Peter Loft Marathon around Lion Island from Bayview last year. Admittedly I'd mostly been sailing in bigger boats until then. I haven't seen one close up but here are my impressions:

Old design - it does look its age a bit.

Boom - headache

Rig - a bit complicated so 1/2 hr for the experienced might be doubled for the average user

Materials - Mylar sails are a plus but it still has aluminium mast and boom. No Dyneema, No Carbon - has it kept up with new developments?

Trapeze - I suffer from lower back problems and anything that requires continuous compression of the spine kills me for days after sailing.

Cats - Having to raft at the tacks isn't my idea of fun

Car Topping - Yea but no. I don't own a car 'cos it's a pain to own one in Potts Point. We use GoGet for short journeys and rental companies for longer ones (no tow bars). I rent a Ute to tow the boat to Pittwater and use DriveMyCarRentals for longer road trips (they have tow bar cars).

 

The clincher is the Windrush website is down (http://www.windrushyachts.com.au) it's based on Joomla, the site favicon hasn't been updated and any publicity I've found looks it was designed in the 1970s. The manufacturer also seems to be selling a load of other boats - so not much focus there. It doesn't seem to have any regional distributors and there's only a class association in WA. There's no Facebook Pages or Groups, YouTube channel, Forums or Wikipedia entry (rocket science?).

 

Hope that helps

 

Paul

Hey Paul,

all good - just a couple of things - monohull sailors seem to think that cats can't be tacked effectively... well - it's an acquired skill. Like anything it requires experience, timing and skill. Cats have NO momentum, just heaps of speed - which is exactly opposite to monohulls - hence the different skills needed to make your way upwind...

Trapezing? Not required. I still don't use my trapeze... due to the incident I mentioned earlier..

Complicated rig? Compared to what? Maybe compared to a sailboard...

Boom? Even modern designs still utilise booms - but yes I agree - the intro of the mylar sail could have seen an entirely new rig designed. A wasted oportunity there...

Carbon components? I'm sure it's all about cost - and not destroying the one-design nature - if you could call it that.. however the potential new sailor might consider an 'ultimate' Windrush 14 model...

Look forward to seeing you out on da water... and all your comments are welcomed here...

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's wrong with the weta. I've raced against them at Wollagoot and Jervis Bay. Went really well and the people who sail them are really pleasant. I wouldn't hesitate to associate with then at any event.

I race on trailable yachts, sharpies and even played off shore. All classes have their strong points and weak points nature of the beast

To increase the class start at club level, support other local clubs sailing windows who are not so experienced and you might get more at regattas etc.

Never said anything was 'wrong' with the Weta - nice boat - in fact a user-friendly, small modern trimaran design has been on the cards for a while now... just a pity it couldn't have been designed here... :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rohan

Just further to your point about visibility of different classes, the 1st couple of times we sailed at PBSC on the Maris we had a few guys from their club come and ask what kind of cat were these, and that's with Maricats numbering well into the mid thousands produced over the years. 

After seeing us sail and seeing the ease of all associated with a new/ "modern" light 14 cat and then the numbers and the level of racing we had with our states there, I feel there were a few people who may have had a 2nd think over a 14' cat.

I often get people see my cat going to regattas when I'm getting fuel at a servo, who say, "hey an Old Mari, I used to own one of these" to which I say, "no actually a fairly new Mari, (5 years old)" then they say, "Oh I did'nt know you could still buy a new one", I feel your pain Rohan.

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That just shows how in-bred things can get - and how perception -  no matter how off-the-mark, defeats reality.

And why we do need to travel as a group occasionally to new venues.

Even if it's just 3 or 4 boats - it makes a good impression.
I know it's hard to organise, and it's a pain in the arse - but for the sake of the class - it needs to be done...

I mean I can do a nicer web page, I can make promotional material, I may even place a magazine advertisement - at my own expense - but when I ask for some assistance at a club that has juniors - a catamaran club at that - and I've asked a number of times - I get zero assistance...
No, I'm not singling out anyone in particular - it's a club-centric problem... and it needs to change if any real, substantial progress is on the horizon...
:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rohan

Just further to your point about visibility of different classes, the 1st couple of times we sailed at PBSC on the Maris we had a few guys from their club come and ask what kind of cat were these, and that's with Maricats numbering well into the mid thousands produced over the years. 

After seeing us sail and seeing the ease of all associated with a new/ "modern" light 14 cat and then the numbers and the level of racing we had with our states there, I feel there were a few people who may have had a 2nd think over a 14' cat.

I often get people see my cat going to regattas when I'm getting fuel at a servo, who say, "hey an Old Mari, I used to own one of these" to which I say, "no actually a fairly new Mari, (5 years old)" then they say, "Oh I did'nt know you could still buy a new one", I feel your pain Rohan.

 

Phil

 

Hey Phil, as the 'unofficial' Windrush agent in NSW - and someone who's been there since the birth of the boat, it's clear to me what the issues are - so its not pain so much as frustration.

I remember Rob Mundle - who at the time was in small boat retail, taking us out for a spin on a Hawk Cat - off The Middle Harbour Yacht Club - it felt like the fastest little thing out.

Then we had a guy who already sailed cats tell us to buy a Windrush 14 - he was a Tornado sailor - (Greg Mutton, I think) and obviously knew what he was on about. My dad took his advice... and we've never regretted it...

I realise the heyday of small cat sailing will never return - too many other 'easier' pursuits out there - but to be defeatist about it, or to be too 'local' in your efforts misses the bigger picture... and every time I bring it up I seem to get criticised for it... :(

If the America's Cup is now being sailed on cats - then why aren't we hooking into that...? It's pretty exciting to watch the AC45's doing their thing on Sydney Harbour - so isn't that something that junior cat sailors can aspire to?

Maybe if that 'showcase' event was held on Lake Illawarra, or Lake Macquarie the attitude would be different? I wonder...

:p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Rohan. I hear your pain. I do most regattas in NSW and only stopped doing PK Clasic because of the canceled days two years running. I promote the class and we have a manufacturer whom suports us. The guys selling very cheap s/h boats have their place but it stops me spending money on promoting new boats because the price gap is to far. As you know, we don't do it for the money. We do it because we have a passion for the class. I put forward several years ago about a 14' class which could share the insurance, Nats & States. We could look at promotion of the 14' class. Budgie this weekend and the Maricat Nats at Oberon Next weekend. If we aproched the other classes with the number 1 thing being promotion for the 14' class, just maybe they would put some money toward it. Mick NSW Maricat dealer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Rohan. I hear your pain. I do most regattas in NSW and only stopped doing PK Clasic because of the canceled days two years running. I promote the class and we have a manufacturer whom suports us. The guys selling very cheap s/h boats have their place but it stops me spending money on promoting new boats because the price gap is to far. As you know, we don't do it for the money. We do it because we have a passion for the class. I put forward several years ago about a 14' class which could share the insurance, Nats & States. We could look at promotion of the 14' class. Budgie this weekend and the Maricat Nats at Oberon Next weekend. If we aproched the other classes with the number 1 thing being promotion for the 14' class, just maybe they would put some money toward it. Mick NSW Maricat dealer.

You know Mick, I was thinking along the same lines. BUT, we need a decent sponsor too. Effective promotion does need some bucks behnd it...

I think we need to find an appropriate sponsor/s to really get the 14ft cat scene healthy again. Time for some lateral thinking...

Healthy lifestyle / non-destructive to the environment / double the fun / exciting / fast / stepping stone to the Olympic classes / excellent boat for father and young kid/s or 2 teenagers etc etc - there are so many positives about the 14's that are being overlooked right now...

My other thought was to amalgamate the 2 remaining Windrush Associations - with the Maricat Association - possibly Nacra 430 too? And yeh I know there's only a handful of sailors left - to try to get something 'national' in character happening - not sure yet what the angle would be... any thoughts?

BTW, it's hard for me to attend 2-day events - as I'm self-employed and must open our showroom on Saturdays. Thatz Y I attended the Australia Day Regatta - it's a 1-day event... and realistically the only club races I could attend up north of Sydney are at Toukley - as they're sailing on Sundays...

I'm quite prepared to be a 'sailing-slut' occasionally - and spread myself around - but just occasionally, it would be refreshing if someone - anyone - would attend a KCC event to help me out...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rohan,

 

The factory have never really supported the class in the East (for the years I sailed the class). Really too, for them to spend money on the class it needs to actually make sense economically, it's not like they have an endless pool of cash hanging around.

 

The issue the class faces is that of a MUCH wider problem too. 3yrs ago the NS14's had 70 boats at a nationals in Cronulla, this year they had 36, 2hrs up the road at Teralba. Sound familiar?

 

Also saying you've not had any support is bollocks. I personally was in your warehouse helping you to setup your boat and I helped with a bit of setup/tuning once it was on the water. I even attended a KCC Australia Day regatta a few years ago on your other boat, to "boost" the numbers.

 

On the other side of the coin, that I don't believe you put your hand up to help out with a Nationals in NSW when it was on the cards for 2012, nor did I see you trekking across the Nullarbor in 2010 for the last Nationals? Dad had offered a fly-in fly-out option for any NSW boats too, given our trailer could take 4 boats.

 

"We" as an association back then were also concerned for our personal interests as the association had no insurance and therefore running stand alone events to promote the class was out of the question due to the liability risks. Hence the talk of forming a NSW 14ft Association to spread costs across the wider membership base became a popular topic of debate.

 

Both Dad and I have moved on to other classes because after 15+years in the class, it was time. He'd also been sailing the class year-on-year since 1984.

Personally I don't travel to anything other than States or Nationals in my new class because quite simply life gets in the way, I have other priorities and I'll bet that's a common theme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rohan

I feel your frustration but you can’t blame Brett.  Yes the web page could be much better, maybe with video of all Windrush products sailing at their best. But he’s only one guy and he is promoting the Windrush brand very well in his own way by kicking ass in the F18 Nationals and Tornado worlds with Windrush plastered in huge lettering on the hulls of the boats he’s built.

A video of how to dissemble and reassemble the rudders safely.  Also a few videos on the rigging and different aspects of the new sail plan, including the kite and all the good features of the Windrush 14. It would be a great youth boat with or without the kite, a great way for youth and school kids to get into sailing cats.

 Maybe someone should make a Windrush facebook page with all this on it, and then maybe that could work for a bit of promotion.  People could then upload there gopro videos, & post sailing events & ask questions. Anyone can start a FB page, it would be better if it was controlled by someone who knows the boats, not me I’m already got my hands full with running the local club.

It’s amazing how many people have sailed Windrush hire cats on the swan river in Perth but never knew a more updated version were raced with bigger Mylar sails, lighter foam sandwich hulls, trap ect ect.

But like I said Brett is only one guy and he is very busy building & racing his boats. I think if you ask him he may try and help you. I once asked him if he would consider a kite & better Mylar sail material and he came up with a nice modern design square top main a better jib and a awesome kite. He was nice enough to lend me the kite to try out and all I can say is its truly awesome.  It’s the most fun I’ve had on a boat, the dynamic lift the kite creates has a great effect on a displacement hull that normally wants to nose dive when driven hard off the wind. If you keep the kite full and sheeted on it lifts the bow up reducing drag dramatically. It would be a perfect sloop option. It’s a lot to manage on your own.

He has got new masts for the W14 with a bigger bolt rope hole and narrower gap so the difficulty of getting the old Mylar sail up the mast is no more. He has also recently introduced a new back beam with a much better traveller & also a new boom.

So I think Brett is doing a lot for the boat, I think the problem is there is few young people sailing W14, most of the guys sailing are not young & don’t have kids to bring through from crew to skippering their own boat. For kids it’s very hard to make the transition from school boat sailing to cat sailing. The people that are sailing generally don’t mind taking someone out for a sail if they show interest, but people have so many cheap options for things to do, and kids get instant gratification when they win a new level on playstation. It’s tough but if we work on it it’s possible to get something going.

Not having a small cheap feeder class cat makes it tougher for cats; you have to sometimes convert mono sailors into cat sailors. Like the mayhem you saw when the AC45 was first raced, any half decent cat sailor could have beaten all the so called professionals. It was a laugh watching them it was like a smash up derby & capsized boats the norm. 

Cost is prohibitive and the lack of good second hand boats. I started a club and have 10 Windrush sailing, & one way I did it was to buy old boats cheap. Buy old W14s fix them up a bit & make a vintage class so they can sail together with old hulls & sails. I think I’ve fixed up around 8 or could be more Windrush now.  If they sail with the newer boats give them a generous YS. Most of them have got new or newer gear now as they could afford it. Also the guys with new sails but old heavy non foam hulls I give 2 minutes on YS. This puts them up there on YS; they don’t always get a win over the line but pick up enough places & wins on YS to keep them keen and sailing, these boats. Sometimes when the wind picks up the heavier hulled boats are just as quick as any new boat, if sailed well.

Regards

Quin     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rohan,

 

The factory have never really supported the class in the East (for the years I sailed the class). Really too, for them to spend money on the class it needs to actually make sense economically, it's not like they have an endless pool of cash hanging around.

 

The issue the class faces is that of a MUCH wider problem too. 3yrs ago the NS14's had 70 boats at a nationals in Cronulla, this year they had 36, 2hrs up the road at Teralba. Sound familiar?

 

Also saying you've not had any support is bollocks. I personally was in your warehouse helping you to setup your boat and I helped with a bit of setup/tuning once it was on the water. I even attended a KCC Australia Day regatta a few years ago on your other boat, to "boost" the numbers.

 

On the other side of the coin, that I don't believe you put your hand up to help out with a Nationals in NSW when it was on the cards for 2012, nor did I see you trekking across the Nullarbor in 2010 for the last Nationals? Dad had offered a fly-in fly-out option for any NSW boats too, given our trailer could take 4 boats.

 

"We" as an association back then were also concerned for our personal interests as the association had no insurance and therefore running stand alone events to promote the class was out of the question due to the liability risks. Hence the talk of forming a NSW 14ft Association to spread costs across the wider membership base became a popular topic of debate.

 

Both Dad and I have moved on to other classes because after 15+years in the class, it was time. He'd also been sailing the class year-on-year since 1984.

Personally I don't travel to anything other than States or Nationals in my new class because quite simply life gets in the way, I have other priorities and I'll bet that's a common theme.

Hey Michael,

nice to hear from you...

:)

OK, I do appreciate that Brett has more pressing priorities - I already acknowledged it in a previous post. This whole post however wasn't harking back to the past - only to what happened - and what I saw and heard - at the last Australia Day Regatta at KCC...

I wasn't active in the class in 2010 - really only got back into it when I bought my new boat - I think it was late 2012. Certainly wasnt any earlier than 2011.

If I'd been asked to assist at a pending Nationals, I certainly would have - but I wasn't aware of it.. or had only just got back into the class - as I said...

I really do thank you for helping me set-up my boat and attending the Australia Day Regatta a few years ago... but really this post is a consequence of what I see happening now - not then... and the Weta wasn't around then to challenge small cats for market share...

Yes, I know Brett has done some upgrades - and they're welcome - but my comments are targetted at making the boat EASIER to set-up - not faster. I'm more concerned about new sailors - and how they may perceive the boat - and the difficulties they may experience in rigging it, storing it and how it's been marketed...

Paul made the comment that the page on the Windrush website was hopelessly out of date too - so it's not just me who notices this...

Going through his reasons why he wouln't consider a Windrush 14 was enlightening - but in the end it was clearly lack of visibility - and an up-to-date web presence. OK, it was never going to work for him anyway - based on his specific storage requirements - and maybe the only other insurmountable 'problem' was the boom on a Windy -  but everything else being equal, I don't believe that would've been a deal-breaker...

But back to my observations... after coming back to the class after more than 10 years away from it - it does become clear what the issues are - so I suppose that being too close to the class may tend to 'blind' some?

The racing/performance features isn't how newbies get into the class - it's not after all an A-Class/Nacra 17 style boat - it's more about the 'fun' aspect - and ease of use. I know I sail my boat for fun more than I race it... hence my ordinary performances at most events...

All - or most of - my suggestions have been about how to more effectively market the boat - and to make it easier to set-up and use... in comparison to something like a Weta. In fact the more high-performance a boat looks - the more intimidating it is to potential buyers. These days it's gotta be simple and easy to get into - and FUN. The racing comes later... after they've spent a season or 2 sailing aimlessly back and forth...

And that was the main thrust of this comparo...

The other issue about boats simply competing in their home waters - and not wanting to travel occasionally - is IMHO a secondary issue... but certainly doesn't help the cause...

I've heard more than once that Sydney 'stinks' as a venue for sailing - and that "We're happy where we are thanks very much..."

Honestly, I'm NOT singling out Tony - I really like him as a genuinely giving person - we get on nicely - but gave his response as symptomatic of the problem. I've requested that he comes up - and hopefully drags up 1 or 2 more Windys to help me at the KCC Try Sailing Day, or at the Australia Day Regatta on a few occasions - and yes - I have gone to PKSC when I was invited. Happy to go again. Just ask me...

I guess that now that PKSC (and/or its group of W14 sailors) is the 'custodian' of the NSW Windrush Association - I think it's a shame that he wouldn't sail - or persuade any others to accompany him - after my direct appeal - at a bona fide Catamaran Club only 1.5hrs away - where there are juniors (and fathers) who can be influenced - but would rather sall at a competing regatta hosted by a Yacht Club...

KCC is dominated by Nacra / Taipan and a smattering of others - so of course anyone considering a new 14 will go for a Nacra 430 - unless we show some strength there occasionally - that's all I'm trying to do on the rare occasion...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rohan

I feel your frustration but you can’t blame Brett.  Yes the web page could be much better, maybe with video of all Windrush products sailing at their best. But he’s only one guy and he is promoting the Windrush brand very well in his own way by kicking ass in the F18 Nationals and Tornado worlds with Windrush plastered in huge lettering on the hulls of the boats he’s built.

A video of how to dissemble and reassemble the rudders safely.  Also a few videos on the rigging and different aspects of the new sail plan, including the kite and all the good features of the Windrush 14. It would be a great youth boat with or without the kite, a great way for youth and school kids to get into sailing cats.

 Maybe someone should make a Windrush facebook page with all this on it, and then maybe that could work for a bit of promotion.  People could then upload there gopro videos, & post sailing events & ask questions. Anyone can start a FB page, it would be better if it was controlled by someone who knows the boats, not me I’m already got my hands full with running the local club.

It’s amazing how many people have sailed Windrush hire cats on the swan river in Perth but never knew a more updated version were raced with bigger Mylar sails, lighter foam sandwich hulls, trap ect ect.

But like I said Brett is only one guy and he is very busy building & racing his boats. I think if you ask him he may try and help you. I once asked him if he would consider a kite & better Mylar sail material and he came up with a nice modern design square top main a better jib and a awesome kite. He was nice enough to lend me the kite to try out and all I can say is its truly awesome.  It’s the most fun I’ve had on a boat, the dynamic lift the kite creates has a great effect on a displacement hull that normally wants to nose dive when driven hard off the wind. If you keep the kite full and sheeted on it lifts the bow up reducing drag dramatically. It would be a perfect sloop option. It’s a lot to manage on your own.

He has got new masts for the W14 with a bigger bolt rope hole and narrower gap so the difficulty of getting the old Mylar sail up the mast is no more. He has also recently introduced a new back beam with a much better traveller & also a new boom.

So I think Brett is doing a lot for the boat, I think the problem is there is few young people sailing W14, most of the guys sailing are not young & don’t have kids to bring through from crew to skippering their own boat. For kids it’s very hard to make the transition from school boat sailing to cat sailing. The people that are sailing generally don’t mind taking someone out for a sail if they show interest, but people have so many cheap options for things to do, and kids get instant gratification when they win a new level on playstation. It’s tough but if we work on it it’s possible to get something going.

Not having a small cheap feeder class cat makes it tougher for cats; you have to sometimes convert mono sailors into cat sailors. Like the mayhem you saw when the AC45 was first raced, any half decent cat sailor could have beaten all the so called professionals. It was a laugh watching them it was like a smash up derby & capsized boats the norm. 

Cost is prohibitive and the lack of good second hand boats. I started a club and have 10 Windrush sailing, & one way I did it was to buy old boats cheap. Buy old W14s fix them up a bit & make a vintage class so they can sail together with old hulls & sails. I think I’ve fixed up around 8 or could be more Windrush now.  If they sail with the newer boats give them a generous YS. Most of them have got new or newer gear now as they could afford it. Also the guys with new sails but old heavy non foam hulls I give 2 minutes on YS. This puts them up there on YS; they don’t always get a win over the line but pick up enough places & wins on YS to keep them keen and sailing, these boats. Sometimes when the wind picks up the heavier hulled boats are just as quick as any new boat, if sailed well.

Regards

Quin     

Hi Quin,

these are all NICE developments. But nobody except Windrush 14 sailors in WA would know much about them. All I'm saying is that to not update the W14 page in how many years? I'm guessing 10 or 15 - is hard to justify - especially when the home page features Hobie cats...

I've asked Brett to put a simple link to the page on the Hero Hoists website - where there's at least a Flash photo gallery. I've asked more than once. Silence.

I dunno - it just seems like the greatest medium for communicaton the world has ever seen is just being ignored...

BTW, my field of expertise is in sales and marketing/design - I'm never gonna be good at fixing up older boats.

So my contribution can only be through what I know best... when I see glaring issues and problems with that aspect, I feel an uncontrollable urge to stir things a little - and maybe, just maybe things will change? Or not... :p

 

I think I'll get a Spinnaker Kit for my boat - it sounds awesome - and at least then I'll be able to keep pace with the Nacra 430's occasionally... :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually it's not just that the website is out of date - the website is down and has been for at least a week - probably longer.

 

http://www.windrushyachts.com.au

 

All you get is a Joomla error screen (below). If you do see any content it must be loading from the cache.

post-198108-0-49122900-1423019281_thumb.

 

Whois response for windrushyachts.com.au:

Domain Name                  windrushyachts.com.au

Last Modified                   15-Mar-2014 23:45:21 UTC

Status                                ok

Registrar Name                Connect West

Registrant                         PROVINCE HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Registrant ID                    OTHER 009 175 544

Eligibility Type                Other

Eligibility Name              WINDRUSH YACHTS

Eligibility ID                    WA BN 0175178G (WA)

Registrant Contact ID      C0775954-AR

Registrant Contact Name THE MANAGER

Registrant Contact Email hboats@iinet.net.au

Tech Contact ID               C0775956-AR

Tech Contact Name          iiNet Hostmaster

Tech Contact Email         hostmaster@iinet.net.au

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

seems OK to me - I cleared the cache - and reloaded the website - it's fine...
I've never had a problem viewing it... anyone else having problems loading it?
PP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried with Firefox, IE and Chrome

 

I also tried to check with other site previewers

Anybrowser gave a blank page

http://www.anybrowser.com/siteviewer.html
 

Screenfly Shows the same Joomla error page (it allows you to check a site on multiple screen resolutions/devices)

http://quirktools.com/screenfly

 

See this report for errors:

http://nibbler.silktide.com/en_US/reports/www.windrushyachts.com.au

 

Although interestingly it does show a preview of the site where other site checkers/viewers don't even show that:

Google PageSpeed also has recommendations

 

There's a thread in the Joomla Forums which might help

http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?t=271244

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After speaking to Brett today, apparently it's an issue in that area of WA - the servers aren't stable - and emails are not getting through either...
I did mention that the W14 page is hopelessly out of date - but I've said this to him before - so he's aware of it obviously.

Running my own small business I understand how certain things can 'slide' sometimes - and that we need to focus on the real 'money-makers'...

Brett keeps the Windrush 14 alive for love of the design - not coz he makes any moolah out of it...at least out of new boats - still, it's a shame.
Anyway, I suggested he migrates it to a self-administered Wordpress site - which I'm in the process of doing with the Hero Hoists website - and that he provides a link to the 'fresher' page on my site in the meantime...

Can only hope he gets round to it sooner rather than later...

PP

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but that's bull****

 

The error messages are from Joomla which you can suppress using the recommendations on the Joomla Forum thread I linked to above. It has nothing to do with network or server issues and the hosting service isn't based in Perth or even in WA!

 

The site is hosted by Ausweb.com.au who are based in Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW (just up the road from me)

 

The severs are in Alexandria: "Our Infrastructure is hosted in the state of the art Equinix Data Center, located in Alexandria, Sydney."

 

Good suggestion for him to move the site to Wordpress which is much easier to manage - although it can be prone to hacking if you don't secure it properly. I also recommend using the (free) WordFence Plugin.

 

You can automate the migration from Joomla to WordPress using either of these Wordpress Plugins:

FG Joomla to WordPress

CMS2CMS: Automated Joomla to WordPress Migration

 

The emails probably aren't getting through because no-one can find the address. You're not going to sell any boats if there's no way of finding out about them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they are having issues in that area of WA as I was at windrush on Tuesday buying some bits and Neither the Computer to printer connection would work for the invoice , or the Eftpos machine , no signal .  It wasn't just Windrush as I went up the road to get something at Doyle sails (1/2 a block away ) and they had the same problems. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that has nothing to do with the website - it's hosted in Sydney.

 

they are having issues in that area of WA as I was at windrush on Tuesday buying some bits and Neither the Computer to printer connection would work for the invoice , or the Eftpos machine , no signal .  It wasn't just Windrush as I went up the road to get something at Doyle sails (1/2 a block away ) and they had the same problems. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that has nothing to do with the website - it's hosted in Sydney.

Hey Paul,

thanks for this valuable input - I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

BTW, used to live right above Macleay Pizza - I miss their stuff! Maybe we should catch-up there and discuss the possibility of a joint Windrush/Weta NSW association?

Just another krazee thought... :p

Rohan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they are having issues in that area of WA as I was at windrush on Tuesday buying some bits and Neither the Computer to printer connection would work for the invoice , or the Eftpos machine , no signal .  It wasn't just Windrush as I went up the road to get something at Doyle sails (1/2 a block away ) and they had the same problems. 

Hi George,

Your videos are COOL and FUNN - and a big 'up-you' and 'respect' (as Ali-G might say) - for spending the time to do 'em!!!

:)

BUT, they lack the 'professionally produced punch' or 'finish' they need to attract the younger crowd...

These days, potential buyers are more visually sophisticated - especially the 25 - 35yr old demographic - which is conceivably where new cat sailors may be lurking - and if they don't see something more exciting/contemporary - they'll perceive the product as 'old'...

I was exploring the possibility of a drone with the 'follow-me' feature - that's also waterproofed - and can fly in winds above 15 knots - but unless you want to spend absolutely krazee money - it doesn't exist yet...

Having said that, it wouldn't be too hard to trail a few Windrush 14s in a tinny - in a decent breeze - and get shots of them at water level - and flying hulls - generally 'showing-off' (an iPhone in a waterproof housing could be used...)

How about a day at the beach with your Windrush 14 - from arriving to leaving. White sand and palm tress in the background would be nice... and a bikini-clad cutie MUST be involved - OK? ;)

Just wish I had the time myself to do it...

Also an 'instructional' video - showing boat set-up and rigging would be immensely helpful. I mean, how do you get the mast up safely - by yourself?

Most newbies have no idea about what's required to simply get into the sport - let alone racing the boat... which may indeed (probably would) come later... but it's not the primary reason someone might buy a Windrush 14 - at least not IMHO...

 

PS

What is the extra footstrap I see on your boat? The one that starts off right up front - and seems to tie-off diagonally under the rear beam at the corner? Does it allow you to hike at a more comfortable angle, or is it used for something else?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ,

        That hiking strap is something I have developed for Old heavy weight sailors (ie myself) . took me ages to get into using the trapeze , used to find that I was too heavy to get out at times when others were trapezing , so to counter this I made up this strap which is attached to the 2 screw bolts on the front & rear beam , I could basically hook on the trapeze and get my bum over the side , so like a half way trapezing position with my feet on the inside strap. It still had the effect of transferring your body wt to the top of the mast, flattening the sail and increasing speed , so it worked well . Now I am better at trapezing properly I use these straps as a way to get out easily . I go on to those straps to start and then its an easy step out to the side of the boat. , Same can be done when you come back in or if you have to come in a bit to adjust the jib sheets or something else .  They are simple and make getting in & out a lot easier . Have fitted them to about 6 boats around where we sail.  The trick was having a small loop of 2-3mm dyneema rope that can fit under where the bolt goes without getting crushed and broken. the dyneema flattens out nicely and fits the gap that the washer under the bolt leaves. 

 

 As for the videos , yes be nice to be able to give the action shots more professional touches , but alas I am very much an amateur (and with a very dodgy computer) . My videos are mainly for the people involved , or those involved in the events , or who know the people involved. Its just a side benefit that they can show some action of sailing a WW 14 to the wider public .   Obviously a good professional  promotional video , or a link to one would be a good thing to have on all Windrush websites , eg factory , your site, associations , and all clubs who sail them .  But that really won't happen due to the "Professional " bit .(ie big costs) 

 

  So in the meantime its just good to get what exposure we can out and about in these modern mediums of Facebook or YouTube & hope some new sailors catch the bug.

 

  rgds .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi George,

could you pleez post some close-up pix of that strap system? Particulary where & how it ties off to the bolts - is it under the beam, or between the bolt and the beam? A few fotos would be nice...
I have the same issue - too heavy to get out when most others are on trapeze - and too reluctant to get out when it's 20 knots + and 'dicey'...

PP

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now