Hello, newbie here - please be gentle!
I am a pom currently spending a year in California and just got my first taste of land yachting on El Mirage dry lake. It was a quick spin two-up in a Manta Twin but I have to say it blew my mind with how 'alive' it felt at speed. Fortunately it had a similar (and quite unexpected) effect on my other half who announced on her return that we must buy one immediately.
I have read through a fair bit of the forum and searched for threads about the various minis but cannot seem to find much comment on their relative merits. We need something easy to store and capable of going into the boot of the car which will also be useable once we return to the UK. I suppose a Blokart is the obvious choice and I do rather like them but would appreciate any opinions on others such as the Seagull Ludic / Silence and Airtrack Scoot family.
Perhaps I should point out that I am a somewhat chunky 100Kg and we need easy adjustability for leg length.
Anyway, I have really enjoyed scanning this great forum which knocks all others into a cocked hat.
Welcome to the forum. I you are not interested in home building a yacht your main choices are blokart/ X-Sail, Ludic and Potty. All four seem to be widely available in the UK.
I think the ultimate in portability would have to be the blokart and X-Sail.
Rather than buying a twin yacht like the Manta I would tend towards buying two single yachts that can be connected in tandem.
This is possible with the blokart by using the "Deuce Bar". Sailing in tandem is a ton of fun and a great alternative to sailing singly in company.
I think it is also possible to sail the Potty in tandem. Do your research before buying though and try to have a ride in all of them before making a decision.
Word of Warning. There are some cheap Chinese imitations around and you would be wise to steer clear of them. The Zooter is one brand with which it seems nobody has had a good experience.
In the meantime welcome to the WWONTSOL. (Wide World Of Nutters That Sail On Land)
Right! Now both you sods have offended me! CC before go calling yourself Chunky/Fat there are others of us out there that are the same weight.. Watch yer mouth Buddy!
Cisco! Just watch who yer callin' a Nutter. Capich??
CC as Cisco said Drop ZOOTER like they HOT Crap!! Talk to Sabydent (Brian) if you want further info" Joining the 100Kmh Club in a Single could be great fun Who's a nutter, then??
See Chris!!! I told you we were all nutters.
Normally we would all say build yourselves a Lefroy Mini (or two..) not too difficult to build and a lot cheaper than buying a Blokart, a Lefroy Mini can be packed up into the boot of most cars or hatchbacks- but as you want easy portability on aircraft I would tend to steer you towards a Blowie as they pack up into a decent carry bag as supplied by the factory- and I understand they are "air portable" although it would be worthwhile checking with the Blokart clubs to set you right with the details.
Parts and accessories are readily available worldwide for blowies too.
Seems like there are plenty of Blokart clubs around too.
Seagulls, Silence Airtrack I cant comment on as I am not familiar with them.
I would be extremely wary of the chinese cheapies unless you have a chance to have a good look- and test- of one first, all we ever seem to hear about them is low price, closely followed by low quality and failures.
All the best,
How about this for thinking ..... build 2 Lefroy Mini's, sail and race the Mrs in the USA and get your friends involved as well, when you leave sell the yachts off and when you get home build 2 more, the next 2 you will build better as you would have learnt lots of new stuff. [after about a year or so most people want to build another one or 2 anyway]
Could depend where you are buying. The Blokart and x-sail parts are mostly interchangeable (unless you want to compete in Blokart events where they don't allow anything other than their parts). We have both sailing at Elvington, nr York and there is no real difference other than the x-sail is a lot cheaper to buy in the UK (couple of hundred £).
i would be inclined to have a look at where you plan to sail when you get home and see what is popular there, it is a real buzz to race with similar yachts. you will certainly fit in all the yachts mentioned, and yes , google the particular brand as people will happily talk about some of the dodgy stuff out there
if you want to get a yacht when you're back in the UK the Potty! is really a good choice. It's cheap - £ 850 - and very light, very enjoyable on sand or hard surfaces.
The basic Ludic is pretty expensive - almost twice - but it's more sturdy, has a bigger sail - 4.5 sqm against 3.6 - and if you want to sail on grass the fiberglass flexible axle is really a bonus. Easy to sell at a good price if you want to take a bigger yacht.
Someone I know use to pack the Potty in a surfboard bag then fold it, the Ludic has its trolley, but the sail has its own bag, so you can't hide everything in the boot.
Blokart is quite fast on the hard, but sailing mainly on grass I prefer the Ludic. It's not so cheap - at least not here in Italy - but for sure is a masterpiece of engineering if you want to get a plane. Don't forget a bigger community is often a bigger fun.
Maybe before you're back you could keep on enjoying the Manta Twin, it's really made for the dry lakes
Ciao - Enrico
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far, great stuff. While I would love to build my own I am stuck 6000 miles from my beloved shed and have no space or tools here.
I suspect that for me it comes down to a Blokart or a Seagull Silence. It seems that the clubs that will be close to me when I return to the UK are adopting the FISLY Mini class so I am not too focussed on getting a one design.
To be honest I really like the Blokart and am sure I would be totally happy with it but several features of the Silence are really grabbing me - maybe someone could tell me if I am being reasonable or that these things are non issues?
A) I suspect that I will probably want to get a class 5 at some point so starting out with foot steering seems like a good idea - or maybe I am wrong and the switch from hand to foot steering is a no-brainer?
B) I am attracted to the fact that the Silence offers three seating positions (upright, semi-reclined and practically lying down). You can also squeeze two people into it.
C) Having a reef in the sail seems like a good idea to me given the weight difference between me and the other half. It seems that it would also reduce the need to have a quiver of sails available.
D) The Silence is available with wheelbarrow type wheels but you can also fit 17" rears or 'bigfoot' type monsters for soft sand and bumpy stuff - is this as big an advantage as it seems?
E) From scanning various fora I get the impression that Seagull yachts are regarded as being of 'superior' quality and use materials well suited to the corrosive environment of beach sailing.
So I must admit I am leaning towards the Silence at the moment, as long as there are no major obstacles getting one into the USA.
Enrico, I would love to hear more about your Ludic, and also if you know of any sailing areas in northern Italy - my wife is from Rovigo and we often head back there.
Chris- that would be me who packs the POTTY into half a surf board bag
( cut it in two ind put zips in so now my Potti have a cosy home ).HI Enrico .
If you intend sailing another class at some stage, yes they are all foot steered. I sail minis (potty), race Standart and previously raced Class 5 .
Silence is a beauty and will suit your weight with the bigger sails, adjusti seat is great too, superb kit from Seagull as usual..
Seagull has just got clearance for the Standart XL as part of the class Standart - its designed for taller ,wider Standart pilots or those with bigger feet who dont fit the existing body .
In Ireland we sail mainly adjusti POTTY (adjustable length for adults & kids) from Wales (mainly because of low cost, durability and reliability) also some Ludic , and Windbobs.
X-sail and Blokart are good but dont like wet bumpy beaches like other miniyachts seem to relish- in my opinion, but again nice kit but with hand steering.
Lots of choice in Minis- Hope this helps !
I have had a look at a few of of those sites. I would suggest you look at purchasing a machine with larger wheels 4.80/800 x 8" is a good standard to look at. I wouldn't go for a machine with smaller wheels. The larger the diameter the better and depending on the surface you are most likely to use profile comes next.
sounds like youve sold yourself a silence.
I would say though that the blokart quality control and attention to detail has always been very good, .
the changes over the last few years have always been to improve the design so the must have great feedback from customers.
their stainless models would solve your corrosion concerns.
( no i dont sell blowie)
Yes, I am doing a pretty good job of talking myself into a Silence aren't I? I hope to be trying out a Blokart in a week or so which will certainly help me understand some of the choices better.
I am sure that Blokart quality control is excellent, you don't gain that kind of success without having a good handle on these things and I didn't mean to suggest that they were badly made. It is more that I have come across several comments that Seagull rigs are particularly well executed and that features such as their fibreglass axles are rather tasty.
Some Blokart information suggests that the stainless steel version is not quite so suited to heavier chaps as the cro-moly one - is this a valid concern?
I've not talked about the Silence because so far I didn't have the chance to sail it. Now I've my venerable Seagull MC2 for sale just to get a Silence I believe also this is the right choice for a very competitive yacht in the Mini FISLY rules.
Many depends on where are you planning to sail. From my experience, up to 20 kn even on very flat grass airfields blokart/X-sail with small wheels are pretty still. On the other hand bk are very fast on hard surfaces and the flexibility of the mast is a real good friend when gusty. I've never seen blokarts or potties with real big foot wheels, my friend instead had a lot of fun with the big foot light wheels that come together with the Ludic (here her sail was a 5.3, not a standard 4.5).
If you look for LANDSAILING IN ROME on the Tube I've got a lot of videos of me and friends sailing Ludics.
In northern Italy not far from Rovigo you can sail on the beach of Chioggia. Never been there, but I guess is pretty large because there's a guy sailing a Seagull Glider (with big foot). Following the coast southward another great beach is Cervia, with wind from NE you can sail for about ten km. Here you can find landyachts and blokarts. Going further we sail on a grass airfield close to Bologna (Ozzano Emilia) and on Monte Petrano, pretty hard to get there but really worth a visit (an highland at 1100 meters on the level sea, free horses, lot of wind).
Ciao - Enrico
Enrico, missed you at the euros this year.
I hope there will be an Italian Miniyacht Team in France for WC 2012- maybe even a Promo team too !
Miniyachts only for first 3 days - then other 8 classes over the next 5 days- New Promos available to rent- get your order in Enrico.
Alan, I missed you too! I'm working to bring more Italian pilots to the next Worlds
@ Chris - Sorry, I checked, the huge beach is in Caorle (near Venice), not in Chioggia
Ciao - Enrico
Thanks Enrico, Caorle is pretty easy to get to now that the tangenziale around Venice is in better shape. All I have to do now is get the landyacht to enjoy it! I am wrestling with the problem of customs and import duty at the moment which is not easy since I don't really know for how long I will be in the USA. I have no objection to paying duty but it would annoy me if I had to pay it in two countries!
I think my mind is pretty much made up on the Seagull Silence, though I did entertain the possibility of the 'Plume Kart' at one point. Thanks to everyone for pitching in with advice, much appreciated.