FloWinGo started life as a Kurt Hughes 4 Meter. The original design was significantly modified. Three iterations were built with the final goal of placing a wing on the last hull. All three use Hobie 14 rigs, booms, and rudder with a sunfish daggerboard. They are a delight to sail. Hull # 1 (“Blue Moon”) and Hull # 2 (“Wicked Wanda”) were constructed with two alternative mast steps. Hull #3 (“FloWinGo”) has mast step options for 3 different rigs. The Hobie 14 mast step (aluminum casting) is mounted directly above the forward aka (forward main crossbeam). A 2 1/16” Inside Diameter aluminum pipe is located just behind the Hobie mast step. This pipe was built into the hull (from deck to keel) for use if the Kurt Hughes “wing mast” were built. A 2” (O.D.) x 8’ aluminum pipe wing mast spar would fit inside this receiver to support the free standing wing mast and “wish bone” boom. A jib and screecher would prevent this rig from rotating 360 degrees. A cloth sail would be fitted behind this wing mast attached to a wish bone boom. This rig was never completed for any of the boats. Only the soft sail Hobie mast rigs were completed for any of the boats.
FloWinGo (Hull #3) was built to use the standard Hobie 14 rig, the custom Wing Mast/Soft Sail Wish Bone Boom rig or the rigid 360 degree rotating wing. The fore deck of the “Pilot Pod” cockpit has accomodation for a Hobie mast (directly over the forward, main aka/crossbeam), a 2 1/16” I.D. pipe for a wing mast/wishbone boom rig Just aft of the Hobie 14 mast step casting. The cockpit dagger board access opening is between the two forward mast steps and the bearings built in to carry the wing. Two 2” I.D. Harken rudder bearings for a rigid wing sail are mounted behind the dagger board trunk. One bearing at deck level and another below it near the keel, just behind the dagger board trunk. This position approximates the location of the center of effort of the cloth sails to maintain a slight windward helm while sailing. The Harkin big boat rudder bearings are definately overkill as the will take 20,000 pound loads and, at the time purchased, cost over $450.00 each. The 2” O.D. reinforced aluminum pipe “wing spar” has been completed. I hope to have the wing done by summer 2009. In the mean time, I am sailing these boats at the Punta Gorda Sailing Club small boat racing events at the north end of Charlotte Harbor.
The boats all max out at almost 11 knots (actual GPS speed on Charlotte Harbor). The wind pressure needed to allow that speed then tends to overcome the boyancy of the amas. The low boyance amas are actually a safety feature as the boat slowly rolls and submerges an ama and never lifts the main hull. I have tried an experiment to increase the potential speed. The amas of FloWinGo, Blue Moon and Wicked Wanda are fitted with “Surface Foils”. FloWinGo’s foils are fitted to the bows attached to a splashed “Nose Cone”. Blue Moon has foils at the forward cross beam and Wicked Wanda’s foils will also be nose cone foils on the amas and main hull. See the pictures below for the construction and final configuration of Hull #3, FloWinGo.
Original Hull Construction