FAQs

FAQs

  • At what points of sail does the UFO foil at?
    • All of them.

      Upwind, downwind, reaching. It’s a full course foiler.
      No, of course not in irons. Don’t be silly now.

  • Where can I get a UFO?
    • Anywhere!

      As a function of its small and light hull, the UFO ships cheaply in a crate around the world. UFOs have already been ordered to as far away as Western Australia, which is about as far away from our Rhode Island factory as one can get without leaving the planet.

      While we do have a global dealer network taking shape, demand is demand. UFOs are available for sale factory direct from the Zim Sailing facility in Warren, Rhode Island, and ship in an efficient LTL crate around the world door to door at competitive prices.

  • How did the UFO get here?
    • The UFO is the result of more than a year of work from the Fulcrum design team of:

      Steve Clark (Chief designer)
      Dave Clark (Chief developer, co-designer)
      Ezra Smith (3D modelling)
      Nat Shaver (Chief foil designer)
      Casey Brown (Structural engineer)
      Tof Nicoll-Griffith (Sail designer)

      For the first year of its existence the UFO went through a rigorous non-stop process of “clay stage development”, in which the numerous prototypes were subjected to numerous changes, experimental alterations and a revolving door of foil shapes.

      Clay stage development serves to assure that any errors missed in the design stage are caught and eliminated before production and that any gains which can be made by further development beyond the design phase are made and that use-pattern based tunings and improvements are integrated into the production boat. The production UFO represents both the file phase and the clay phase.

      As a result the UFO comes into production with the advantage of both design development, re-design and re-development, uncompromised.

  • What does it cost?
    • The full sail away package, down to the dolly, costs $7600 USD.

  • How do I get one?
    • Slots in the continuous build queue are reserved upon receipt of a $2000 USD fully refundable deposit check and a signed deposit agreement. Deposits are refundable until the materials go into the mold for your specific boat. Once the build is complete you have the opportunity to complete the purchase and finish your purchase assume possession of your boat and have it shipped it to your location.

  • Can I annihilate my local fleet with a UFO?
    • Yes, when you’ve learned how.

      While the UFO provides a good easy learning platform for your first foray into flight, don’t let that confuse you into thinking that it’s a matter of minutes until you’re getting everything you can get out of the boat.
      The UFO has a remarkably long ramp of rewards to technique which should make it an excellent lifespan boat, in that it’s hard to “top out” and become bored. The high-magnitude rewards to technique, such as learning extremely refined sheeting, and mastering foiling gybes and foiling tacks, keep coming. While the boat provides joyriding immediately, the UFO is a great deal more than simply a cheap thrill.

  • Who can fly the UFO?
    • Within reason, anyone.

      UFO pilots have ranged from 9 years old to 64, from 90 pounds to 235. It’s rare that anyone on the fulcrum team conceives of a boat with a narrow niche in mind. Why bother? It’s a mistake in yacht design to design a boat for a narrow range of users, when for the most part people are diverse and the objective of one-design boats is to garner large fleets. That said, the boat is likely to be most satisfactory in all wind conditions in the hands of teens, small and medium men and all women. At the extreme low end of the weight range, sailors may find themselves overpowered and at the extreme high end, the wind speed required for takeoff is about two knots higher than average. UFOs have been sailed “two up” as well, though the above limits of weight range still apply to the sum of the two sailors weights.

  • What wind and waves can I fly a UFO in?
    • The UFO will sail in practically any wind condition.

      While it can at times with a skilled skipper take off in very low wind speeds, the baseline for reliable flight is around eight knots. The upper wind limit is more a matter of taste and skill. UFOs have been sailed in 30 knots, but it’s no picnic, as one might suspect. In under 8 knots, the UFO reverts to being a pleasant displacement catamaran and goes from being exciting and fast to relaxing and tactical.  Extremely gusty conditions (such as 8 gusting 28), as is true for practically all sailboats, are awful, and should be avoided.

      Most chop and wave conditions present no issue for a UFO set for the days’ conditions. After all, powered hydrofoils were first developed by various leading Navy’s as a means of smoothly flying over challenging sea-states. Choking up the ride height helps the UFO fly smoothly through the bottom of the wave pattern, undeterred. Rolling seas present even less issue, as the UFO will ride along them just like any other. Extremely tight and tall chop can be very annoying, which is not peculiar to the UFO.

  • Will I fly my first time out?
    • Most people do.

      But conditions, setup and technique matter and if you use it incorrectly, you are likely to get some degree of incorrect results. The UFO is designed to be very forgiving in tuning and technique, so it likely affords you a better chance of successful flight than anything out there. However, you as a skipper, still matter.

  • What happens when I crash my UFO into something?
    • You’ll probably do some damage to it.

      The UFO is built with durability as a core objective but it’s worth noting that the gulf between “Feather light under engineered ragged-edge high performance craft” and “literally indestructible” is extremely wide. The UFO represents neither of these extremes. Do not attempt your first flight inside a densely packed mooring field. Obstacles only make you better once you’ve mastered the basics.

  • How easy is it to rig a UFO?
    • Easy.

      The current cartop to launched speed record is roughly 15 minutes. Socket the mast together. Attach the boom and stays in one go. Step the rig. Flip the boat on its side, insert the foils, right the boat, hoist the sail and launch. Complexity is best avoided.

  • How do I launch a UFO?
    • Roll the boat into the water. Pull the dolly out from under the boat and leave it on the beach. Drop 8 to 10 inches of rudder and sail out to deep water. Drop your foils and fly away!

  • Can I easily cartop a UFO?
    • Yes.

      At this hull weight, the boat is very easy to put on top of a car, and its flat bottoms allow it to be strapped down hard with no drama. The other components of the boat collapse down to the point of easily fitting in a standard hatchback.

  • Where can I store my UFO?
    • Anywhere you can carry it to. Anywhere it fits.

      Behind couches, under beds, under porches, in basements, inside larger boats, chained to apartment fire escapes, hanging in garages. Anywhere it can go that’s convenient for your lifestyle is a good place for it to go.

  • Why does X look like Y? Surely it would be better to make it like Z.
    • Just trust us.

      If you’ve thought of it, we’ve weighed the pros and cons and its been included or excluded for good reason. Creating a boat that can be produced at an affordable price, for a wide range of sailors with a maximum quantity of accessible performance is an extremely hard target to hit. The UFO meets all of its objectives and does so by blatantly ignoring a few conventions and norms. You simply don’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.