©2016 by Flying Ant Skiff Association

 

Special thanks to Shooting the Breeze Photography for images supplied.

Looking to have your old boat converted?

Here is some information that may help you. Although we try and assist
where we can, it is still up to you to discuss with the boat builders as to
all the requirements you need.

John Illet at Fastacraft has done most of the Ant conversions so far. He has developed a fibreglass/kevlar chute which can be fitted into the foredeck. He has fitted these mostly on all fibreglass hulls, but he has also fitted a couple to boats with a wooden deck. Temporary Insanity in one such boat with wooden deck constraction. The chute was made to resemble the deck and not detract form the look of the boat itself.

Daniel Roberts form Boating Hardware is now offering flying ant asymmetric conversions. They have also developed a chute and offers conversion at a similar price.
 
If you are handy at boat maintenance, you could do the conversion yourself. If you are comfortable working with resins, epoxy, fibreglass it's not too difficult. Just time consuming and requires a bit of know how. Some bits, like finishing everything to a smooth professional looking finish can be tricky, but an option there is to fit the chute and bow sprit yourself, then take the boat to a boat builder to do the fairing and finishing. He can then paint it or you could if you know how you can do it yourself.

You will require an old windsurfer mast to use for the bow sprit and a chute purchased from a boat builder. Speak to them about measurements/templates/advice/photos about how to fit a bow sprit and the chute.

To keep costs down you may choose to use the old bagging system on the boat. This avoids the cost of a chute and you have to then rig the kite so the down haul (umbilical) pulls the kite half way down into the spinnaker bag on the bulkhead, then the crew stuffs the rest of the kite into the bag as they would with a symmetric kite.

Most of the NSW Ants do it this way, although a few of those have now fitted a chute. This system works OK. The Ants that came 1st and 2nd in the 2015 WA State Champs were rigged like this, without foredeck chutes.
 
Gumtree or the windsurfer shops are the best way to find old wind surfer masts. You typically need a bottom half as the outer sheath and a top half for the retractable bow sprit. Typically you looking for top and bottom halves left over from mast breakages. You might be able to mix and match from those. Gumtree often has masts complete for around $100 or less. Get one that is at least 60% carbon, for weight and strength. Avoid all-fibreglass masts.
 
Note, if you using a boat builder, they will tend to source everything fo rthe job.
 
The next step will be to take a look at the other boats at clubs and see how they how their asyemmtrics rigging is setup, in particular the location of the travelling block to pull or release the tack line so that it extends or retracts the bow sprit as the kite is raised/lowered. The principal is the same on most of the boats, but the style and location of the rigging changes. Some in the cockpit, some on the foredeck - both work, it's a personal preference.
 
Some of the current Ant parents to talk to about conversions, rigging and kites are Dale Kerswell (Assoc President / Temporary Insanity FSC), Roger Joyner (Assoc Measurer / Viper, Addiction FSC), Cameron Eisle (MBSC Ant rep / Elusive) and John Clements (TCYC Juniors RC / Predator).  Also, if you see Chris Bucktin around (Rhinochaser FSC or SOPYC) he had the first Flying Ant conversion in WA done on his old boat Voodoo Child back in 2012.


Finally as for asy kites - the main WA sail makers producing good performing kites are Avalon Sails in Mandurah, Extreme Sails in Freo and UK Sails also in Freo.

Asymmetric Conversion

Asy Tack Line Opt1

Asy Tack Line Opt2

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