Wind Wizard Land Sailing

The Novice Sailors Somewhat Definitive  Guide to Landyachts

Blokart - A 55 lb collapsible single-place yacht best  suited for the apartment  dweller.   Can run on large courses,  but has a distinct advantage on  small, tight courses on  parking lots or parks.   Blokart is head  quartered in Bay of  Plenty, New Zealand, but is well disseminated in  Europe and  the United States.   Blokarts are a recent arrival, at  least  in the American market.
Chubasco - An old "iron"  ship from the sixties or  seventies.   Practically indestructible,  although quite heavy  by today's standards.   The name Chubasco is one of  the many  variant names for hot, dry foehn   winds, like Santa  Ana,  Scirroco, and Chinook.   These boats were produced around the  mid  1960s.

Dart - Another "oldie" also noted for high  weight  numbers.   Darts can keep sailing when all of the little  boats  have gone home.   In his article on "Landsailing in  America" Nord  Embroden cites such high wind conditions as  "Dart Weather."

Duster - A Nord Design boat with a plywood deck and  aluminum frame.   Low  production numbers, but the same great    durability found in all of the  Nord Design boats.   The boat  has at least two sail sizes; a standard and a storm.

Fed Five - A European favorite.   Named for its  5  square meter sail size. It is light in weight and the pilot  is very  low to the ground.   The open cockpit has the pilot  lying back in a near  prone position.   Fed fives are very  fast and sail well in light winds.  No Longer racing in the US.

Freedom - A Nord Desisgn similar to the Spirit, only  with a lighter, welded aluminum frame.

Friendship - A Nord Design from the mid 1970s.   The  largest of the Nord Design  production line weighing in at  close to 500 pounds.   The striking  features of this boat  include an enclosed cockpit, and aerodynamic  wingmast, and  automobile tires.   They are a little hard to sail in  very  light air, but can still be seen screaming across the playa  in even the heaviest of sailable conditions.   Friendships  aren't noted  competing with the latest carbon-fiber boats  when winds are light, but  can kick some serious tail when  the aerometer climbs above 25 mph.   The  former land speed  record was set in a Friendship at 88 mph.    Unofficial  reports are even higher .

International 5.6 Minis -

Manta Single
- By  far the most popular name in U.S.  landsailing.   The single sports a  plastic patio chair (sans  legs) for a "cockpit" and is a rugged boat by  all standards.    Along with its stable mate, the Twinjammer, the  Manta  single dominates the landsailing scene purely by virtue of  its  large numbers. As ubiquitous as the Volkswagen Beetle in  1960s America,  the Manta line sports sufficient numbers to  be called the most  successful one-design boat in American  landsailing.

Manta Twinjammer - The hammock-style seat on the Twin  helps distinguish it from the  Single.   Although the sail is larger, it is not so noticeable unless the two are  side-by-side.   The Twin was an answer to both  sailing  instruction and romance.   The ability to put two  persons  side-by-side in a landsailer is something that few designs  could accommodate.   When sailing solo the larger sail area  also helps take  advantage of lower wind velocities that  leave the Manta single behind.    Both the Single and the Twin  are in constant demand.   Used boats don't  stay on the market  for long. Twins are great for introducing new people to the sport, as well sailing a nicely overpowered land yacht solo!

Mini Skeeters -

Pacific Magic - Australia's  answer to the Fed Five.    Many are home built from plans made available  from one of  the Ozzie Yacht clubs.   The fiberglass bodies are  available  in a ready-made condition that helps expedite  construction.    In addition to the horizontal orientation of the pilot,  the  high aspect ratio wheels are canted in about 10 degrees.

Pterodactyl  - A monster of a boat, few of which are  still sailed.   Although they were sailed competitively at  one time, they are nearly extinct on the racing circuit now.    Rumors do exist that they are capable of tremendous  top  speed, so don't be surprised if one of them makes it way  back into  the limelight in the speed circuit.

Spirit - Another Nord  Design from the early 1970s.    The Spirit production ran about 19 copies. Available in  either ready-made or kit form, these boats were comprised  of  a heavy fiberglass open-cockpit body laid over a steel  frame  constructed from hollow box tubes.   The body rises behind  the  pilot's head to form a roll bar of sorts, protecting the  pilot in the  event of a mast failure following a roll-over.    The eleven foot wide  axle is comprised of three layers of  vertical grain Douglas Fir  overwrapped in fiberglass.   The  mast is a round pole and the sail simply slips over the mast  like a sock.   It is stayed by wire cables on each  side and  to the front.   Too heavy to compete with modern  carbon-fiber  boats equipped with wingmasts, it is still a high  performer  in strong winds and sufficient numbers of them are  still  around to sport a one-design class.

Standart - A  French design that is big in Europe and  gaining interest in the U.S.    Standart has licensed two  non-European   builders, Nord Design in  California, and  IMACNZ in Palmerston, New Zealand.   They are fast,  light,  and sexy!   The Standart fills a gap between the entry class  boats like the omnipresent Mantas and the bigger,  high-dollar boats.   Their  primary appeal, other than being  eye-catching, is that they have a  readily adjustable  steering bar which can accomodate pilots from 5' to  over 6  1/2'.   They are still a bit tight for those pushing over  200  pounds.   Large feet will need small shoes in order to have  adequate  steering performance.

US MINI 6.7 -

Wind Puff - A Nord Design for kids.    There is no boom  and the sail can be reefed to control just how much  surface  area can be captured by the wind.   A great boat for teaching  the youngest ones the fundamentals of sailing.

EXAMPLES of many of these boats can be seen on the NALSA web  site's photo  gallery. Many other designs exist, some as  one-of-a-kinds and some as limited production runs.   YouTube also has videos for more viewing.


Asymmetrical  boat
-   A specialty boat design to do  only one thing... Go FAST!!!   Because  the boat can be  engineered   along an asymmetrical design, it can  take  advantage of certain characteristics of rolling friction,  lateral  resistance, drag, "lift", etc.   These boats are not  capable of sailing  to all points of the compass, as they  generally sail in only one  direction.   Although the  asymmetrical "Iron  Duck" holds the current land speed record for a  landyacht it won't win any  other races.   Some individuals in  the sport are giving consideration to  applying class labels  to the speed titles.   This would enable a broader  reach for  others interested in improving the capabilities the many  other styles of landyachts.

One Design - Boats that were all  manufactured to the  same specifications.   One-of-a-kind boats don't  qualify  here.   A series of boats all identically produced eliminates  all but the pilots sailing skills from the competitive  equation.   Boats  sailed in this category are not evidence of  how much money the owner can throw at his boat, but rather  how much sailing prowess is possessed by  the person at the  helm.

Racing Classes - In the U.S. Classes are determined  solely by sail size.   
Class 5 (49 sq. ft.)
Class 4 (59 sq. ft.)
Class 3 (79.1 sq. ft.)
Class 2 (121.6 sq. ft.)
Additionally boats manufactured from a single design are  often raced in the "One Design" category such as:
Manta single (45 sq. feet)
Manta Twin (59 sq. ft.)
Fed 5 (5-sq. meter)

In Europe, and perhaps other venues, the Classes are  determined by a combination of sail and boat size.    At combined events, like the World Championships where  both  organizations are present, the trophies are awarded by each  group  according to their respective classes.

Symmetrical  boat - A boat capable of sailing in any  direction.   Most landyachts fall into this category.

Sail Numbers - Assigned by either the manufacturer,  sometimes as a serial number, or  by the sailing  organization.   NALSA sail numbers generally have a US  prefix  and are assigned by the NALSA official accessible through  the NALSA web site.   

Sailing Organizations - NALSA, in the U.S. and FISLY,  in Europe, set and monitor racing in  their respective areas.    The rules for class entry, sail size, etc. vary between the  two organizations.   Their rules apply only to  those  participating in sanctioned events.   Sport sailors are  pretty much left to their own devices.   These organizations  promote racing, design, safety, and general activities  related to landsailing.

Make a free website with Yola