Category Archives: Fizz engine

Waypoint Sails New York 32

NY32 WYC Jan13

Commodore Taku Raymaker used Waypoint’s racing timeslot on Sunday  to showcase the new 2.0 upgrade for Maiko Taurog’s ‘Galiko’ New York 32. The Galiko is modeled after Olin Stephens’ 1935 design for the  New York Yacht Club, where the boat was the successor to Herreshoff’s legendary New York 30; Stephens gave the NY32 a fresh approach by adding a modern sloop rig, a new sail plan, and greater ocean racing capability.

NY32v20 by MaikoMaiko Taurog’s version of the NY32 is powered by a Fizz 3.3 engine, and it has a highly detailed, sculpted hull with room for a skipper and multiple crew. The original version was featured at the 2010 Tradewinds Boat Show. The latest 2.0 release has a host of new features, and you can check it out over at Waypoint Yacht Club.

I can’t tell you much more than that since I got my own copy of NY32 just a few days ago, but I promise to give you a full rundown once I get a chance to put the boat through the usual battery of tests. 🙂

WYC-NY32

Anyway, when I logged in on Sunday morning, Taku announced a fleet race for NY32’s from the start line in Blake Sea – Arabian. It was a great chance to get a glimpse of how this boat performs under competition conditions.

Mizzen

Race #1

When I teleported in, seven NY32’s were rezzed near the start line and raring to go. Since this was a relatively new boat for the fleet, Commodore Raymaker intelligently chose a short and classic race format. He used an upwind/downwind course to the blue buoy in Mizzen, just five sims distant. It was actually a great course to test boat performance and skipper handling skill.

The image below shows the Start of Race #1. When the gun went off, it was pretty remarkable how cleanly the WYC fleet crossed the line. Remember, these are rather big boats and there were seven of them all vying to occupy the same takeoff point next to the committee boat. That’s often a recipe for a fiberglass-crunching, bumper-car pileup… but not this Sunday morning. Waypoint sailors know what they’re doing, and the entire fleet executed a truly beautiful and orderly start; it was like watching a ballet troupe in action. 🙂

In image A below, you can see how nearly all the skippers tacked over to the far windward edge during the pre-start; they then turned in single file fashion to begin the race on a starboard tack.

You can also see that Kaz Destiny wasn’t buying this “crowd” approach; he took off for open water by splitting the line in the middle on a more leeward tack position. 🙂

NYC32 race 1 A

The next image below shows the situation a bit later, as the fleet started to fan out on the initial leg of the upwind beat to the Mizzen buoy. Maiko Taurog (MT) was the first skipper across the start line, and she smartly held onto the lead by staying windward of the rest of the fleet. Michiya Yoshikawa (MY) came up from clear astern to overlap between Maiko and Kaz, and the image below makes it look like the race is nearly tied at this point.

Of course, that’s not really true; MT had the height on this tack and was in control with a lot of options. Anyone trying to pass her leeward would get trapped in shadow, and if they tried to cut windward, it would take them an extra tack and would almost certainly fail.

NYC32 B

As the lead windward boat, MT had another big advantage. The entire fleet was on a zigzag beat upwind, and they all needed to flip to a port tack in order to stay on course. However, in a tight race with large boats the windward leader often rules.

In other words, in the above picture MY, KD, and KY are all looking at MT, waiting for her to tack. If MY tries to tack before MT, there’s a fair chance MT will be in the way. MY will  need to fall astern of her, losing both momentum and tactical position on the next leg.

All the racers knew this, and you could literally count the heartbeats of the skippers as they watched and waited for Maiko to make her move. Image A below shows that moment, with MT suddenly breaking to port tack while the rest of the fleet holds course, wondering whether to follow. 🙂

Well, a lot more happened in that heat, but I’m going to interrupt it here and fast forward, since Maiko Taurog eventually crashed out after sailing a really great race. The win went to Michiya Yoshikawa, who also had a great ride and kept on MT’s tail the whole way. When MT crashed out, MY saw the opening and took it, crossing the line thirty seconds ahead ahead of the remaining fleet for a well-deserved win.

Both ayahoshi Resident and KazumaHs Destiny grabbed the runner-up and third-place spots!

NY32 WYC D

Race #1 Results: 
 1: michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — 00:18:23
 2: ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — 00:18:53
 3: KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — 00:19:06
 4: Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — 00:19:45
 5: notohama Resident   ID983NR — 00:21:32
 6: Maiko Taurog   ID968MT — not Finished
 7: jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — not Finished

Lap Times: 
 michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — Start: 00:00:13  —  Last lap: 00:18:10
 ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — Start: 00:00:27  —  Last lap: 00:18:26
 KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — Start: 00:00:19  —  Last lap: 00:18:47
 Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — Start: 00:00:27  —  Last lap: 00:19:18
 notohama Resident   ID983NR — Start: 00:01:08  —  Last lap: 00:20:24
 Maiko Taurog   ID968MT — Start: 00:00:04  —  Last lap: not finished
 jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — Start: 00:00:49  —  Last lap: not finished

end of 1

Race #2

OK; after what I wrote above, you might think that Michiya Yoshikawa was just lucky and perhaps didn’t deserve to win Race #1… Well, sports fans, that’s why they have a Race #2. 🙂 By the start of Race #2 all the skippers were ‘cached up‘ and familiar with the sim conditions. It was a pretty exciting heat.

Take a look at the Start below; once again it was dead-on, with seven large boats cutting the line at the windward edge, and not a single foul. That’s nice sailing, Waypoint!

nyc32 wyc 2 1

The next image below shows the fleet a bit later; Michiya Yoshikawa won the start and stayed out front through the initial upwind leg.

KD, KY and MT were all on a more windward tack but they were at least three boat lengths astern of MY, far out of striking distance.

nyc32 wyc 2 2

Maiko Taurog and ayahoshi Resident both had late starts. Given the tightly packed fleet in front of them, both opted to cut away from the crowd and move to clean air by tacking to port early. In the first image below you can see MT in the distance moving away from the fleet as Michiya Yoshikawa is just starting to make his turn up front.

The second picture below shows the result after all boats have tacked. MT is making good progress, but she’s on a considerably lower course than MY. The trio of KY, KD, and NR took the turn together, and all three boats ended up in tight parallel overlap, breathing dirty air on each other as they tried to break free.

NY32 WYC Jan13 Port tack

On the other hand, MY was in open water and clean air, and his port tack brought him to the southern border of Fastnet rock (Image A below).

In the meantime, MT and AR had already switched back to starboard to catch up with the fleet. You can see them steaming in to converge with MY just as they all reach the lighthouse.

Image B below shows the setup. Both AR and MT had the momentum to pass by MY at this point, but MY plans his tack well. The small yellow arrows below show the wake behind MY’s boat, as he zips around MT to grab the windward position for the starboard tack sprint to the mark.

MY’s gambit turned out to be pretty impressive. Take a look where the mark is, and then look at the headings for the three boats. Although AR and MT had plenty of speed at this point, they were both too low to reach the buoy in Mizzen. AR and MT were forced to make two additional short tacks to fetch the mark.

NY32 WYC Jan13 Fastnet turn

MY planned his tack better by moving windward of the other two boats; that placement dropped him right on top of the Mizzen buoy, and he took the turn several boat lengths ahead of MT.

From there it was a downwind spinnaker ride home, but look at the second picture below. It’s a view from high above the fleet, showing that all the boats sailed back single file, using identical broad reach tacks. It will be interesting to see what this boat’s polar looks like. 🙂

Mizzen mark

On the final ride in, MT was able to stay within shadow range of MY. That kept the boats relatively glued together, but MT was never able to get close enough to be a threat. Michiya Yoshikawa blew across the finish line in 16:36, just 10 seconds ahead of Maiko Taurog (16:46), and more than a minute ahead of the rest of the fleet.

Nice moves, Michiya!
and
Pretty great sailing, Waypoint!

MY and MT win

Race Results:
1: michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — 00:16:36
2: Maiko Taurog   ID909MT — 00:16:46
3: KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — 00:17:44
4: ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — 00:18:06
5: notohama Resident   ID983NR — 00:18:23
6: Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — 00:19:04
7: jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — not Finished

Lap Times:
michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — Start: 00:00:11  —  Last lap: 00:16:25
Maiko Taurog   ID909MT — Start: 00:00:41  —  Last lap: 00:16:05
KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — Start: 00:00:12  —  Last lap: 00:17:32
ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — Start: 00:00:41  —  Last lap: 00:17:25
notohama Resident   ID983NR — Start: 00:00:25  —  Last lap: 00:17:58
Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — Start: 00:00:23  —  Last lap: 00:18:41
jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — Start: 00:00:32  —  Last lap: not finished

MY amd MT

You can see the rest of the pictures from this race on Flickr.

“Lee Helm” follow-up

I wanted to post a brief update on the Lee Helm issue in SL boats;  I wrote about it last year, but Orca Flotta’s recently posted about it, and one of the boats I first discussed just got a major upgrade (the Nemo II).

This seems a good time to chime-in once more on the issue.

Deviant Helms

Many sailboats in Real Life have unbalanced rigs that make it difficult to sail on a fixed, upwind heading. Some boats will pull into the wind (called a weather helm), and others are rigged to fall away (called a lee helm). These effects are common and not necessarily bad; often a weather helm can be an advantage.

Anyway, eighteen months ago I wrote a short note about this, arguing that certain SL boats behaved as though they had a ‘lee helm’ bias. Go read that post to get the details. 🙂

Mothgirl Dibou kindly commented on the issue. She suggested the SL lee helm effect was a function of the sailing engine’s heel algorithm. As the boat tilted, the bow swung away downwind. I may not have explained that correctly, so go read her comment yourself! 🙂

I’m bringing the issue up here because I initially only found a lee helm in two boats, the TAKO and NEMO. Since then I looked at many more scenarios and it turns out a large percentage of popular SL boats have a lee helm, including Fizz-engine boats, Tako clones, and several Trudeau releases.

Here’s an example sailing Trudeau Twelve. If you set a fixed, upwind course and let go of the helm, over a couple minutes the boat gradually swings leeward. The graphic below shows apparent wind angles, but the real wind angle changes are even greater; the boat physically rotates leeward by several degrees each minute.

This is a small issue, since few skippers will walk away from the helm for several minutes, hoping the boat will sail itself. 🙂

Having said that, let me also comment that several boats in SL don’t show a helm bias. Those “helm neutral” boats include the Wildwind fleet, the boats based on the BBK engine, the Quest fleet line-up, and the recent Trudeau HepCat catamaran.

Although Nemo I had a strong lee helm, the new Nemo II is now on the hem-neutral short-list. 🙂 In my hands, Nemo II sails pretty straight against the wind, and the graphic below makes that point.

If you sail Nemo II close hauled starting from the Hepurn raceline and aim at the NE corner of Mare Sailing Center, you can let go of the tiller. 🙂 The boat will hold a straight line course the whole way. (Note that the boat speed and wind angle are unchanged in the two views below, even though the boat sailed two minutes uncontrolled, and passed over a sim border en route.)

Click (or double click) to enlarge

Anyway, I’ve probably said enough about Lee Helm. It’s a small point for most SL sailors, and I’m pretty sure there is no good-bad to this issue. It’s just a feature of boat design, and as I said earlier, many RL boats also have a helm bias.

There are now many yacht yards and boat builders in SL, and each new vessel that comes down the launch ramp has its own style, character, and ‘goal.’ It’s great that sailors now have so many options to choose from. In that context, lee helm is just a trait that’s built into many boats, and I think it’s far from the most important challenge sailors face on SL’s high seas. 🙂