Watch Mike Lennon's interview with YachtsandYachting.com Mark Jardine
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Testing of highly anticipated Moth design “Thinnair” is ongoing. Hull #2 is sailing with all the mods to the wings and deck layout. The project remains along way behind schedule due to tooling delays and other issues which whilst are all solvable just add to the time loss. Hull testing is going well and while its a common view “its all about the foils “ there are some big gains to be made in hull / deck / rig aero interface.
Also the wing angle and area have a huge influence on drag and righting moment - we have pushed this pretty hard and its certainly paying off in pure straight line speed - however the boat handling does get more tricky. All the wing tubes are tapered and shaped to maximise strength and minimise weight and drag. The wing platform has been minimised without loosing any actual working area.
We have made a set of foils and are currently as this news meeting goes out are making another with mods to the layup and bulb intersection. We will publish more news as its comes.
We are still not quite at the stage of opening the order book commercially but are now wishing touching distance.
Thinnair hull #1 was first shown at the RYA dinghy show in early March - since then we have been destruction testing the hull and compiling the list of modifications for the boat we will take to the Moth Worlds later this year.
With will over 200 entries this will be the biggest Moth worlds in the classes 80 year history. Attracting AC skippers and numerous Olympic medalists this may also be the hardest fought championships outside of the Olympics.
Our modification program for Boat #2 includes revised wing shape and profile, with greater emphasis on drag reduction and boat handling. A small increase in the shear-line height aft if the foredeck removing a local 35mm hollow between the wing sockets.
Some small modifications to the hull layup including stiffening of the deck.
Boat #2 will be ready late May and the first foils should follow soon after - the foils are fairly extreme compared to the current production sets available at the moment from the existing manufactures, so these will need carful analysis. We hope to offer production boats after the Worlds which is several months later than anticipated unfortunately.
It was good see a stronger attendance at this years show - it had a much better “vibe” than previous years.
The RYA asked Lennon PP (a Design, Sales and Marketing company) to show our new Moth THINNAIR in the Palm court entrance, in their feature foiling display. It was never really in our prototyping schedule to be there - but we just made it with most bits attached! We have put a link in this news letter to the interview on the boat with Mark Jardine at Y&Y online. We are around two months behind our plan but then our plan was a best guess and you can't help but to be optimistic when planning!
Introducing the Lennon THINNAIR foiling Moth
We are working on the schedule and final pricing as I type and we expect to fall in the same place as the current boats - the weak pound makes imported boats more expensive and UK produced kit cheaper overseas. Here in the UK a full race package boat in VAT is circa £20k and that's where we expect to land. We will price with and without certain elements like spars (not sure about sails though !) The standard fit out will have adjustable shrouds to enable cant and all other now obligatory bits of kit needed to win races.
We currently have a strong list of interested parties and will be contacting those on the list shortly with final pricing and an estimated build schedule. If you want to go on the list please contact Mike Lennon.
Lennon PP is a Design, Sales and Marketing company - We subcontract to manufacturing partners and with the boat its nice to be producing these “locally” at White Formula here in the UK. We have our kit produced all over the world - sails and wetsuits in Asia - spars from Australia and New Zealand plus the UK. Our sail battens and sail cams are made in the UK and we export them to China - that's nice, although they often end up in finished sails half a mile from where they were made... For better or worse that's globalised trade! As a company we source equipment whether its our own design subcontracted or if we simply resell other brands from the best sources possible. We are the only brand specialising in dinghy racing “Racewear” using Yamamoto Neoprene. Its by far the best and non petroleum based - its warmer more flexible and absorbs less water - simply the best out there. Made in Japan and Limestone based makes it not only the best but also and unfortunately, the most expensive neoprene available - thats why no one else uses it ! All our wetsuits products are 100% Yamamoto #39 Neoprene.
Towards the end of 2015 it was apparent there was a hole well and truly established in the new boat supply chain. The boat everyone wanted was not available in a sensible time frame. So after quite a bit of preliminary work and consideration Lpp teamed up with David and White Formula to produce a complete boat package.
Lpp looked at several build options but concluded working with a local builder used to dealing with the cost / quality problems of mass production in small boats, made teaming up with WF very easy.
WF are already involved in foiling with their own Whisper project - over many years they have built everything from Gold medal winning Tornados to beach boats and family cruisers.
Mike has been sailing Moths for 8 years and has owned most of the popular designs - Bladerider - MACH2, more recently 3 Maguire Exocets over the past 4 years.
Mike is the current European champion and Lennon sails currently hold the World & European championships, both in the Moth and International 14.
Lennon Racewear has also been used to win World and European championships along with numerous National and regional events and is now established as a firm favourite in the demanding youth winter training scene, where long days and cold weather make the client base very demanding.
Our aim is simply to copy the success of our other products and produce a high quality highly performing Moth the equal of anything else available. The bar has been set high but we will ensure our boat meets all our performance criteria.
David Hollom designed everything below the shear line with Cameron Stewart turning his designs into usable CAD files. Above the Shear line Mike and Cam worked to squeeze in as much of the changes wanted without compromising structure.
David has produced a boat with minimal drag between 1 and 7 knots. The hull is a little finer up front than the Exocet but widens fairly quickly under the mast. Above the shear line we added a domed foredeck to give some reserve buoyancy and to help with the aero into the luff of the sail.
The boat is chined with V shaped hull under the chine as we move aft. The rocker is centered up front and coupled with the V shape should promote easier lift off by reducing the suction of the boat to the water caused by curved surfaces.
The shear line drops in a slightly unfair shape behind the foredeck to lower the deck under the boom. The foredeck is set lower than the Mach2 and Exocet by the time it reaches the mast, as is the main deck which drops rapidly into the vang take off area under the mast. This allows the whole rig to be set lower.
The rudder gantry is fully faired with a lid for best aero drag reduction.
Behind the foredeck we have included a fairing which is split to allow the vang into the floor of the boat. This is removable. The fairing finishes aft of the centreboard case and will cover up virtually all ropes. The split can be closed with flexible gasket with a split overlap to allow the vang system through.
The construction of the boat will be fairly conventional Moth terms using Carbon/epoxy foam sandwich. No compression struts will clean up the airflow around the bottom of the sail and reduce drag.
The front vertical foil is a little longer than the current trend - this is to help in big waves and righting moment.
The bulb is a little smaller than most and the horizontal foils a little thinner in chord thickness. The aspect ratio is similar to Exocet. This foil differs mainly in cross section shape. The flap hing is set a little further aft to maximize the shape in the back part of the section. This shaping allows around 4 degrees of flap movement each side of neutral with almost no drag penalty. The downside will be having to run a more aggressive gearing set up in lumpy conditions.
The rear foil has 10 degrees of anhedral - this allows the rudder to run closer to the surface before break out occurs. Other potential benefits seem less clear.
The section shape is thin on chord thickness but again similar aspect ratio to existing foils. There is no bulb though. The moth is not close to cavitation speeds and we have offset the horizontal so the pressure peak is not coincidental. Not needing the bulb will reduce drag.
The plan view of the wing is designed to minimize the total wing area whilst not reducing usable area - the actual usable outer beam length is similar to existing designs but the total wing area will be one of the smallest available.
Wing angle / dihedral is set higher than the current trend - giving more righting moment but perhaps making the boat a little harder to sail.
The wings are fully moulded ( no round tubes ) and curved to give a flatter platform off the hull.
The boat has been designed primarily to lower the rig on a conventional set up - with a bent boom and vang. We are also looking at the option of an “Ultra low rig”. This will be a “deck sweeper” set up requiring a specially designed sail. We suspect this may work with straight boom although much work is needed before we can offer this sail / set up for sale.
The boat package will come with the latest Lennon sail design as standard and with a choice of mast stiffness to suit individual customers. Mast manufacturer TBC at the time of writing.
Boats will be supplied fully fitted out with all the controls needed to win the worlds ! Only the highest quality fittings and ropes will be used. We will announce our fittings / rope and rig partner in due course.
Pricing and lead times are TBC however we currently have a provisional order list taking us up to July 2017. This will be confirmed once we have fully timed the build schedule and taken firm deposits.
Final pricing is TBC as we are still waiting on final build costs for some of the less standard parts of the boat. But the aim is to try and maintain the current pricing structure available form other builders.
Lennon Performance Products Ltd
Postal Address : Unit 17, Church Farm, Old Park Lane, Bosham, West Sussex. PO188EX
Registered Office : 55 Crown Street, Brentwood, Essex, UK. CM14 4BD
Company Number : 7641784.