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

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I have another things that attracted me to the Weta is its usable in a higher wind range than most cats  - you don't have to worry about trapezing and being too heavy to get back in the boat since there isn't one  - you just sit on the floats and use the safety harness to support your torso :-).

 

And it's still easy to sail in winds up to 30 knots on the standard rig single-handed (upwind you just feather up and downwind you sit on the stern ). Over 30 knots is easier with main alone and it has been tested over 40 knots in practice for the 300 mile ($20Km) Everglades Challenge race.

 

Regards

 

Paul

 

PS The Windrushyachts website is now completely down (DNS error)

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Well , Telstra have spent the day in the pit sorting the local lines and at least we now have phone again , and even a eftpos line !! so I can actually process some of the orders.

Paul has spent the day trying  got sort the site , seems we were suspended /taken down as someone was trying to hack the webmail to spam, something to do with bank of America.

Our web site is as good as I have time for and I will continue to do what I can for the Windrush's around Australia. I like Quinn's Ideas about the rudder assy video, the number of times I tell the steel ruler in the spring, watch your fingers,  lots of tension etc etc it would make sense to try to arrange that.

 

As well as being great fun the W 14 is the best training boat, ask guys like Gav Colby 2 times H16 world champ , he cut his teeth on a W14 and even Steve Fields , head of Hobie Cat Australasia loved the Windrush 14 and raced it over here in the west when he resided here for several years, like the H16 ,back then it was a super competitive fleet but time moves on and so do the sailors. Its great to see some of the emerging fleets down in Inverloch in Vic etc where we get enthusiastic phone calls ( when the phone is working- thanks Telstra) and even orders for new sails etc occasionally.

 

I hope to be able to download emails soon, today it didn't seem to work still and with only 6 emails since last Friday on an account that usually sees about 40-50 a day it seems a bit odd . I am a boat builder and the tech side is a bit lost on me but if I had the time I would probably spend the time to make more info on the F18 and T pages before I spent too much time on the W 14 pages, I just don't have time for it right now and the time may come that I do and soon I hope and I would love to go spend time sailing the W14 and making great videos showing how much fun they are to sail by the way if you are taking 30 minutes to rig up, you are taking about 20 minutes too long, that's 20 minutes wasted not enjoying the boat on the water.

 

Great racing too in Albany recently for the WA Windrush state titles , 20 + boats ,( and some videos on YouTube too) where the boat all raced with a mixture of sails and proved what I said originally that the new square tops were a face lift and not a performance upgrade, we didn't want to make all the old sails redundant just hot up the look a bit which from most account people agree with.  I can not agree with the crazy VYC yardsticks published last year when they took 2 points off a W14 for having a square top sail with the same sail area before even a boat had raced with them!!!   that's results based---not.

 

Cheers everyone for taking the time to talk about the class and it shows that there is still life in the old girl yet. 40 years already.

 

PS: don't let Richard or Jay know that they are Poms !!  , they grew up in a Village in the UK named Windrush where there was Windrush Motors, Windrush Bakers etc and when they moved to Australia as young guys and needed a name for their boat building company naturally it became Windrush Yachts. Just a bonus that it used the words Wind ( for propulsion ) and Rush ( for excitement)  They are long serving Aussies who designed some of the best boats of their times, W12 as a simple starter that introduced so many to sailing ,W 14 as a great race and recreational boat of the 70's , 80's , 90's and then into the new millennium , deliberately designed with complex casting etc so that it would not be copied as they were so pissed off that everyone copied the W12. The Windrush Wildfire - decades ahead of its time, the W600 a great little day sailor / weekender along with a dozen or so production sailboards in the 80's..

In 1986 we took over as the owners of Windrush Yachts, having raced the boats for a decade and loved the boat and been deeply involved in the association we took it on to keep it alive in a failing times and extreme interest rates. I am proud that we have survived and can still supply all of you that have and love their boats but it cant go on forever and I am doing the best with what weve got. Enjoy what we have and sail .

Cheers for reading.

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Web site was working this afternoon Paul W , so may have been suspended again but seems to be fine just now.

It was intermittent for the last week and occasionally all was fine then completely suspended on other checks or different browsers soon after.

 

Hope its back so everyone can tell me how old and Shite it is again anyway..

 

Brett

Windrush

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I've read this thread as its grown and watched its progression with interest, it seems that all of the 'older classes' of cats are all suffering from what I call dis-interest....

 

With manafacturers focusing on their new stable of boats and the promotion of these new rockets something has to "move over" for time and expertise to be placed on the main income for the guys that rely on sales of new cats

 

It isn't just the windrush that's suffering from the current environment, you can easily add makes of boats we've all sailed against at some stage.... Tiapan, Arrow, Paper Tiger,  & the Mosquito instantly spring to mind as part of the non-supported older designs that are largely being disregarded by modern boat builders, and yet small but strong pockets of these boats are still sailed competitively every weekend across Australia and in some cases internationally too..... dedicated sailors are sticking with what they have, can afford, or want to have fun on competing against others on the exact same boat, upgrading to a newer boat is expensive and who really wants to be that far infront of the fleet all by themselves anyway, far more fun and excitement if its a few seconds between boats than half an hour later in comes the old slugs.... 

 

I sail a Mozzie, primarily because that's the most "common boat" in the area that I sail in, secondly its what I can afford, sure I'd love a foiling A-Class or even better a FlyingFantom, who wouldn't !!!, but at $40,000 PLUS its not going to happen in the distant future that's for sure

The upkeep of our boats is also not a money maker for the modern boat builder, perhaps the sailmaker can make a quid or two and the local fittings shop can obviously supply us with some sexy new orbit blocks to replace the tired old blocks that came with the boat, our associations can make a few bucks with the supply of the odd mast or perhaps a boom or other odd bits but the boat builder, well he gets nothing from us.

 

 

What to do ???  

 

Forums:

Plus ->  a great starting point for new people, the tech is always available as are people that are willing to help out, broarder range of makes under the one umbrella

downfall-> slow response time, difficult to make instant contact, everyones an expert (keyboard warriors), & perhaps the most noticeable thing of recent times is the slow death of forums as users move to facebook.... many forums are suffering this slow decline in use, from car forums/4x4 forums/aircraft forums/horse forums/dog forums etc etc etc etc .... its a global thing across the broard spectrum of forums, everyone's going to F/B....

 

FaceBook groups:

Plus-> are a huge advanatage in instant messages, instant photo lodging, instant notifications of new things on the groups page 

downfall -> groups are usually restricted to one class therefore general regattas etc suffer due to lack of interclass communication. Tech is non existent or extreamly difficult to find amongst the constant dribble that seems to get posted 

 

Website;

Plus -> Traditionally run by either the manufacturer or the association so info is not 2nd hand or 'specualtive', pure basic facts in the rawest form 

Downfall-> lack of interaction from boat owners due to site constraints, & internet experienced web designers don't work for free which adds additional expenses to the  manufacturer or the association that owns the site..... having a site isn't cheap, constantly updating it costs just as much at times.

 

 

In all reality.... You NEED ALL THREE ;)

& all 3 need to be kept current and up to date with the goings on in the sailing world.

If one of the 3 is failing then there alternatives that you can implement to counter the failing element.

 

In recent times, one of the other forums I'm on has suffered a major split, most left in favour of the new "un recognised" F/B page which now see's a highly active participation, and the forum struggles to get 10 new posts a day where it once had 10 pages of new posts per day, strangely enough when tech advice is needed on the F/B page its linked back almost instantly to the forum. 

The website also suffered due to a lack of manafacturers willingness to keep it up to date, this resulted in the members of the forum creating their own website and the manufacturer was more than happy to link it from his main domain.....

win-win for everyone involved even tho it was fugly at the time

 

So:

press on guys, take hold of the situation and make it what YOU want it to be, just don't step on toes or burn bridges as you go and everyone will be happy with the end result

 

Kingy

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Hey Kingy,
I agree with pretty much everything you've written - however there's an important difference in the styles of boats you include in those that are 'suffering'...

The Windrush 14 should still appeal (as should the Maricat and yes, even the Nacra 430) to an audience that is time poor - isn't technically inclined and wants something requiring minimal maintenance or 'tech-savvy' tuning knowledge.

The others you mention are all quite 'technical' and/or fragile designs - and not particularly good at purely recreational sailing. All have centreboards for example.
Windrush needs to fully comprehend the growing and huge influence that a professional web presence means to its bottom-line.

I've hand-done my website up 'til now - but it became too much to administer myself (done as it is in Sitegrinder/Photoshop) - and it was time to migrate it to Wordpress - and pay the bucks to get it reconfigured as a responsive design. That's happening now... but it's gonna be a somewhat painful learning curve for me - and I aint exactly clueless when it comes to the web...
And sure, It may well be invaluable to get out on the water and sail the designs - but it's just as valuable - (more valuabe?) to show the boats to a wider audience than just 'preaching to the converted' at regatttas. I assume that those guys have already made their choice of boat 90% of the time?
First impressions count - especially when it comes to newbies - and you only get one chance to make that impression. 9 times out of 10 - that impression will now be formed by the internet... and what's on it... or not on it... sad - but truer every year.
I had a quick look at the Windrush Yachts website today - it's looking better already - so maybe this post has prompted some action... it does appear so...
Alas, the W14 page is still 'old' - and no link to the more up-to-date page on my site... or links to Youtube etc...

Of course the paradox here is that we all want to get away from computers as a means of entertainment - and the sedentary lifestyle they seem to promote - yet the net is how most people now get their jollies and their information - so it just can't be neglected...

 

At one point in the not too distant past - when this topic was equally as 'hot', Tony Quoll started a FB page for NSW 14ft cats - but it appears that it hasnt been updated since 2012 - I wonder why? Could it be that Tony was left to do 95% of the work? Probably... and did he get any support from the manufacturers, or the relevant associations? Probably not...
But, maybe it's time for those sailing the Windrush 14 to pool their resources and support the manufacturer too - as it surely is a 2-way street to success...
I hear too many sailors who get things made for their boats - going elsewhere to save a few dollars - but that isn't seeing the big picture either... it's HARD being in business - so manufacturers and retailers NEED the buyers of their boats to support them too...

 

As the NSW 'unofficial' dealer, I get enquiries for running and standing rigging / parts occasionally - but the enquirer RARELY follows through - as they probably either decide to make it themselves, or get it done locally - and that's NOT supporting the guy who will ultimately keep your boat on the water - is it?

These sailors may save a few dollars - but lose the support of the manufactuer as a consequence.

 

I had the mainsail halyard on my 'classic' boat fray last weekend - and sure I can get it made locally - and probably cheaper - but I'm buying from Windrush instead...

PP

 

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