Weta Wiki – Everything you need to know
This Wiki is designed to provide all the known information about the Weta gleaned from the forums and includes tips from Weta owners worldwide.
We also recommend reading the recommendations in the Weta Manual and other documents available from the Owners section of the Weta Marine website.
In May 2017 Weta Marine announced the availability of a new larger 9.3 SqM bi-radial square top mainsail (SQ) – compared with 8.3 SqM of the original standard sail which was also changed to a bi-radial cut.
They also announced the availability of a foam core boat which is 12Kg (26Lbs) lighter and also stiffer but is right on the class minimum weight limit of 120kg (265lb).
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The Weta is a 4.4 meter fibreglass/foam composite trimaran with a boomless main, jib and roller furling gennaker. It can be sailed single handed or with up to three adults. When rigged it has a beam of 3.5m, but when put away on its beach trolley the beam is just 1.7m.
|Length (Main hull only)||14 ft 5 in / 4.4m|
|Length (Including bowsprit and rudder)||18 ft 10 in / 5.75 m|
|Beam||11 ft 6i n / 3.5m|
|Beam folded away||5 ft 7 in / 1.7m|
|Hull material||Fibreglass/foam: The Standard Weta has 3mm resin filled honeycomb cormat.
The new Performance foam core hulls have 8mm Divinycell foam with a layer of fibreglass on each side.
All components including the frames are vacuum bagged to get an excellent laminate bond and to eliminate any excess resin. This ensures a fine tolerance on the weight of all boats. Vinylester resin is used for added strength and rigidity. Epoxy glue is used in all hull/frame/beam joins
|Hull Resin||Vinylester (bonded with Plexus epoxy)|
|Weight – Main Hull||132lbs / 60kg**|
|Weight – Float with Beam Frame||40lbs / 18kg**|
|Weight (Standard Hull) – Fully Rigged||290lbs / 132kg**|
|Weight (Performance Hull) – Fully Rigged||265lbs / 120kg|
|Sail Area – Standard Main||89 ft2/ 8.3m2|
|Sail Area – Square Top Main||1032 /9.3 m2|
|Sail area – Jib||34 ft2 / 3.2m2|
|Sail area – Screecher||86 ft2/ 8.0m2|
|Mast||Carbon 2 piece|
|Weight of Mast (complete)||19lbs /9 Kg|
|Height of mast above water||24ft / 7.3m|
|Centreboard depth under hull||3.0ft/0.92m|
|Mast Track||C-Tech NZ|
|Furler||Ronstan 60 Series RS006400R (Previously Harken 163, KZ RF200)¹|
|Sails||North (Gaastra pre-2015)|
|Maximum Crew Weight||440lbs / 200Kg|
|Maximum Recorded Speed||20+ Knots|
|Maximum wind recorded sailed (mainsail only)||56 Knots|
|Minimum planing speed (depending on waves)||~8 knots|
|Handicap Rating||UK PY 960, USA D-PN 78.5|
|Tacking Angle (approx)||95 degrees upwind, 90 degrees downwind|
|Design||TC design & Weta design team|
|Manufacturer||Xtreme Sailing Products, Singapore (2015 on)|
|Width of Trolley (At rear “Moose Heads”)||5.75′ /1.75m 2015 version (6 ft 10 in / 2.1m old black version)|
|Wheelbase of trolley (standard wheels)||3ft 7 in / 1.13m|
|Trolley Axle Diameter||1″ (25mm)|
|Trolley Axle Sleeve Diameter||1.06″ (27mm)|
|Total length of trolley (at ground)||10.75′ (3.275m)|
|Length from front of trolley (at ground) to axle||8.18′ (2.495m)|
For details of changes in the 2015 Weta click here
Initially the boat was manufactured in New Zealand but production difficulties and high costs forced Weta Marine to move production to Land & Ocean Composite Product Co Ltd. in China.
In August 2014 production was switched again to Xtreme Sailing Products head-quartered in Singapore (although the factory is at Batan, Indonesia nearby) where the 2015 Weta was produced using a new mould with improvements in the manufacturing process and some modifications to the main hull, amas, fittings and a new sail supplier, North Sails.
As of August 2014, 1000 boats have been sold worldwide. Approximately 50% of sales have been made in the USA and just under 33% in Europe. France and the USA have the largest fleets with 22 boats at Weta Fest 2014, Ft Walton Yacht Club FL and 26 at the 2014 French Weta Nationals in Carnac. The Weta World Map has locations of most of the Weta owners (that wanted to be included) here.
Weta Marine founders Roger and Chris Kitchen saw a gap in the market for a safe, stable, easy to rig, easy to stow, high performance, recreational family boat. Twenty years ago a variety of surf cats were available but there had been little or no development since then and many sailors were looking for a boat that could be easily handled, single handed, both on and off the water. There was no centreboard yacht available that could be used both by kids learning to sail and adults looking for high performance and thrills.
In 2001 on a trip to France, Roger and Chris were really impressed with the way the French used multihulls in their Learn to Sail programs with 3 young children learning together on a 3.5 m cat. On returning to New Zealand they commissioned a multihull designer (Tim Clissold of TC Design) to sketch up some hull forms that fitted their brief.
They built the first Weta using foam/glass construction and launched it early 2003. The boat had potential but it needed a huge amount of development. Over the following 3 years the Weta underwent trials with many design changes with input from some of New Zealand’s top sailors. The Weta created a lot of interest both nationally and internationally, especially from people who saw it as being a truly versatile family yacht that looked so good. Weta Marine was formed in February 2004 and the decision was made to manufacture the Weta.
2006 was spent setting up a top quality production line in China and sourcing world class components for the boat. The first production Weta was sold in New Zealand in October 2006. 2007 was a time of expansion into a number of overseas markets where there is now a great team of enthusiastic hard-working distributors in China, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, UK and USA. Weta 1000 was manufactured in July 2014.
There are a number of people/companies/organisations who have made a significant contribution to the success of the Weta Marine design team. These include:
Mike Bullot, David Charlesworth, John Cliffe, Jason Daniels, Gaastra, Harken NZ, Warwick Kitchen, Land & Ocean, Vince Lettice, NZ Trade & Enterprise, Graeme Robbins, TC Design and Markus Winter.
The current colours below are all RAL codes which are available internationally:
“Traffic Red” Red 3020
“Zinc Yellow” 1018
“Yellow Green” 6018
“Signal White” 9003
“Blood Red” to ‘Ferrari Red’ – approx hull #56 onwards
“Lemon Yellow: to Warm Yellow – approx hull #150 onwards.
“Light Grey” (RAL 7035) to White – in 2013 (hull number?)
Definitions: Mods, TIPs and Notes
There are three information categories used in this Wiki
- MOD: Modifications are changes you can make to the boat to make it easier to sail
- TIP: Things you that might help you in caring for your boat or sailing it.
- NOTE: An important issue that owners should be aware of
Please be aware that many of the modifications suggested may be illegal for racing purposes under the International Weta Class Rules which state:
The original rudder was a foil slotted in a cassette
From ??? this was replaced with the Dotan automatically lifting and lowering rudder
From August 2008 this was replaced with the longer and more sophisticated ‘spitfire wing’ spring strut operated rudder with an elliptical bottom edge.
TIP: Always wash off salt water from the rudder fittings after use. Corrosion of the metal components can occur caused by galvanic corrosion between the steel and the carbon fibre.
TIP: The rudder pintle rod used on the Spitfire Wing spring strut rudder can easily fall out if you remove it when the boat is in the water. Better to remove it on land.
NOTE If you need to replace the pintle rod, it can be manufactured from 316 Stainless Steel rod, 210mm x 8mm. The holes for the pin that hold it in place are 5mm from each end and 2.5mm wide. It is recommended to use a stainless steel fabricator as stainless steel is difficult to drill without a drill press and carbon drill bit.
The tiller extension is a Ronstan carbon “Battlestick”. Because of the mainsheet configuration, the tiller extension has to be passed around behind it which presents some issues for newcomers to the class.
MOD: The Australian Weta Team at the World Masters Games in 2017 developed a traveller which requires no holes in the hull and allows you to keep hold of the tiller and face forward during the tack – full details here.
There are three methods of tacking in use by Weta sailors using the standard setup:
1. Dave from Weta West
Push the tiller over and lay it on the tramp, uncleat the jib as you tack and grab the sheet on the new side. Pull on the jib and reach back for the tiller at the same time.
Pro: Works in all winds.
Con: You have to let go of the tiller during the tack and reach back for it after.
2. Miranda from Weta
Tack the boat first and cleat the jib on the new side then flip the tiller around the main and swap the tiller behind your back as you cross.
Pro: Forward facing. Tiller always in your hand.
Con: Probably better in light winds as you’re sitting on the wrong side after the tack with the jib and main cleated.
3. The Waldon Flip – developed by Geoff Waldon
Flip the tiller extension around the mainsheet so you’re sailing with it on the wrong side before you tack. Then tack and release the jib and cleat on the new side. Swap the tiller hand behind your back.
Pro: Forward facing. Tiller always in your hand.
Con: Can be tricky in strong winds as you have to flip the tiller around while in the middle of the boat. Requires a flexible tiller extension to execute in stronger winds.
TIP: To avoid cracks in the tiller stock after beaching the Weta, always clip the rudder in the up position otherwise the waves can cause damage when they hit the rudder.
MOD: The tiller extension is a little short if you are hiking from the Amas. It can be extended by adding a 6-8 inch/15-20cm rod or carbon tube with a slightly smaller outer diameter than inner diameter (22.5mm) of the original extension. Remove the stopper and rubber grip from the end of the tiller extension. Wrap some tape around your new extension piece and insert it into the original tube so that it fits tightly. Wrap more tape around the join between the old and new sections. Replace the rubber grip on the end and wrap some tape around so that it can’t slip off. Add a bung to protect the end.
MOD: Some Weta owners have added a second tiller for twin tillers extensions which are attached to the same pivot point above the tiller and then run through a loop of line attached to the rear beam to stop them dragging in the water.
The original daggerboard was replaced with the 42cm/18″longer version with an elliptical bottom edge from August 2008
The original Weta often required a shim or lining of the slot with carpet/neoprene to prevent water from squirting up the slot and causing the daggerboard to oscillate and hum. The 2015 Weta has a reworked daggerboard slot providing a tighter more accurate fit.
MOD: If you have water squirting up through the daggerboard slot or it’s loose, consider adding a 3cm strip of thin carpet to the top inner edge of the daggerboard slot.
If gluing carpet in the daggerboard slot, either use double-sided tape or contact adhesive as both can be removed for replacement. If using contact adhesive, coat both surfaces and leave to set for a few minutes. Then apply more glue to one surface and slide into place.
You can also add carpet or felt to the bottom of the slot but be aware that this may pick up grit which could affect the surface of the daggerboard.
MOD: To prevent the daggerboard from sliding down the slot when partially raised and from sliding out if you capsize. Add a 30cm length of bungee shock-cord to the front handle hold so that the bungee can be looped around the mast and clipped onto itself.
TIP: The trailing edge of the daggerboard can easily get damaged against the back of the slot if you hit the bottom with it down. Glue some thin carpet or neoprene at the back in the bottom of the slot to help prevent damage but try never to approach a beach with the daggerboard half down.
The original sails were white but were soon replaced by clear Mylar made by Gaastra (world renown for its high quality windsurfing sails) using Dimension Polyant fabric from the USA. The main and jib sails are constructed from X-PLY which is a top of the range Mylar/fiber laminated cloth that is durable and holds its shape well. This transparent cloth gives the skipper high visibility improving safety. The gennaker (screecher) is constructed from S/DLN150 – a high quality, non-stretch, rip-stop spinnaker cloth that comes in a variety of bright colors.
Optionally, a Dacron furling jib and smaller 6.5 m2 mainsail are available. This can be used for sailing schools so that they can still teach comfortably in 20 knots of wind and is also great for lighter sailors so that they too can sail in higher winds whilst using the jib. Dacron sails are used in the “Resort” version of the boat.
MOD: An Australian sailmaker (LR Sails) has produced a 12sq m square top mainsail for use in lighter winds.
In the USA, trimaran expert, Randy Smythe, has produced a low wind package consisting of a square top mainsail, larger jib and deeper cut screecher.
In August 2014 the Weta 2015 was announced with sails supplied by North Sails cut to the same dimensions and tri-radial cut as the Gaastra sails. In May 2017 a larger 9.3SqM Square Top sail was announced with a bi-radial cut and the existing 8.3SqM sail was also re-cut to a similar bi-radial design. In addition the sail tapes and batten pockets on the jib and mainsail were changed to a light blue as was the Weta logo and the sailcloth was changed to a light grey Mylar from the dark grey opaque version. The batten tension adjusters were also changed to a key system instead of the strap system on the previous sails.
The original screecher furler was a single pull Harken 163 but it could be difficult to furl in strong winds (a 2:1 ratio helps) and after a brief switch to the Ronstan furler, this was replaced by the KZ RF200 continuous line furler in April 2011. In 2016 Weta switched back to the the Ronstan RS006400R furler.
August 2016 Update: The KZ furler is no longer supplied with new boats or specified as a standard component for the Weta. The Ronstan continuous line furler is made in Indonesia more or less next door to the Weta works. The Ronstan furler has a certain amount of friction in the sealed bearings which do not spin freely like a ball bearing block (for instance) but Weta has persuaded them to loosen them up a bit. There may be some earlier models on shelves which are a bit stiff.
MOD: The Ronstan has a thinner line which is harder to use in winter gloves (5mm (3/16) diameter x 8m (26ft)). On the other hand you can fit a pre-spliced line to the furler by undoing a small nut. The KZ will accept a pre spliced line if you remove the circlip from the bearing housing and undo four screws from the guide holes.
TIP: The Ronstan furler is designed to throw the line off the reel when releasing the furled sail and therefore should not have any tension in the tail of the furling lines if you want to take advantage of a quick deploy.
NOTE: Wash the furler with fresh water to remove salt/sand and lubricate with dry silicon spray. Never use a greasy lubricant as this will trap sand.
MOD: The Harken furler has a tendency to tangle if the furler line isn’t fed into the centre of the drum. A small pulley attached to the top of the prod with a cable tie in front of the furler solves this.
MOD: The Harken furler can be improved with a 2:1 furler line system using a small pulley which greatly improves the unit. See photos here. (Note that the Harken furler may fail to furl properly in winds over 25 knots).
MOD: The plastic “shackle” used to attach the foot of the screecher to the furler is prone to failure under continuous use. It can be replaced with a lashing made from 4mm line.
MOD: Tapered screecher sheets can be made for the Weta. It is recommended the tapered/core section measures 100 cm from the inside of the loop to the edge of the jacket/outer casing of the line.
TIP: To prevent the clew of the screecher or the knot from catching on the forestay during a gybe, it’s better to attach the screecher sheets by passing the rope through the eye in the screecher from the “wrong” side (ie. starboard screecher sheet goes through from the port side) and then tie a figure 8 knot. Repeat the process with the port screecher so that it also goes through the eye from the opposite side. This means there is no knot or corner of the sail to get caught on the forestay during a gybe.
TIP: Use a white marker or some tape to mark the screecher blocks so that you always thread them the right side.
Screecher Additional Block
MOD: If you find the screecher too much to hold onto, a factory approved modification is to add an additional block at the front of the tramps. This also has the benefit of bringing the screecher to the front of the cockpit which makes it less likely to be stepped on in a tack or gybe. More info here.
MOD: If you reverse the hull tie down cleats at the stern of the cockpit, they can be used to cleat the spinnaker (not recommended for tight reaching in strong winds if you want to avoid a capsize!)
Screecher Sail Care
To lengthen the lifetime of the sail – and help to keep the shape. It’s recommended to remove the sail from the bowsprit after sailing then lay it on a flat surface and flake it from the bottom up, then loose roll it from the end.
MOD: Consider adding telltales to the screecher about 2m up and 30cm in, one above the other using something you can see through the cloth (e.g. magnetic tape for light colours, white yarn for dark colours).
TIP:If the telltales stick to the sail when wet try spraying them (and the sail) with silicon lubricant when dry or use Scotchguard waterproofing spray. Try also creating a crease (or tying a knot) in them to avoid a flat surface that can stick to the sail.
TIP: Use magnetic tape attached to the shrouds as wind indicators which you can see without having to crane your neck to look at the top of the mast.
The mainsail is fully battened and because the boat is never sailed on a deep run does not require a boom. A bolt rope sewn into the luff of the sail is fed into a track which is glued to the 2-section mast. A V-cleat on the front of the mast engages the ferrule of the wire leader of the halyard to provide a halyard lock at the top of the mast.
NOTE: The main halyard should not be cleated under tension at the foot of the mast as this risks bowing the mast and the top section can break in strong winds (especially sailing 2-up) – use the halyard lock at the top of the mast which allows the mast to bend under stress.
MOD: The wire leader is prone to catching improperly in the V-Cleat and then allowing the main to fall down once you start tacking. You can dispense with the wire altogether if you replace the halyard with Dyneema core rope and then tie a stop knot to catch in the V-Cleat. The rope may need shortening to replace the knot on a regular basis.
TIP: Lubricate the mast track with dry silicon spray to ease hoisting/lowering the sail.
In light winds (< 7 knots) you should ease the batten tension to reduce the curve in the sail to ease the airflow and prevent the batten from inverting in a tack.
In medium winds (8-25 knots) you should tension the battens for maximum power.
In strong winds (25+ knots) you should ease the batten tension to reduce the power in the mainsail.
NOTE: Always leave the mainsail with the battens loose as this avoids permanently stretching the sail.
Tip: When sailing upwind in strong winds (over 25 knots), you should have the mainsheet on tight to help flatten the main but cleating it can make it harder to undo in a gust. The solution is to brace the sheet over the edge of the tramp which means you can easily release it.
The mast is in two sections which are joined by sliding them together.
TIP: If the two sections are tight where they join, try dipping one end in some water or spray with dry silicon spray to provide lubricant.
TIP Raise the mast when facing downwind or with the bow down on a downward slope as this makes it easier to get it vertical.
TIP: A hinged mast step is available from Weta to make raising the mast easier for those who may have difficulty lifting it alone. This can be used with a cradle to allow the mast to be raised without effort.
NOTE: The sail-track on the mast is made by C-Tech in New Zealand (details here) who can supply replacement sections (1m minimum). To glue the track to the mast, Weta use 3M 5200 adhesive. Others have recommended West Systems G/flex 655 epoxy available or Plexus MA420 Blue.
TIP: If you are unable to source the sail-track from marine vendors, look for Flex-a-rail from sun shade and caravan awning suppliers.
The jib is fully battened with the battens sown into pockets in the sail. They can be removed/replaced by undoing the stitching at the leach. Replacement battens must be the same as the originals.
NOTE: The jib is attached to the forestay using plastic clips, it may not be possible to attach the bottom clip because of the forestay lashing. The webbing straps which the clips are attached to is 50mm long on the port side and 30mm long on the starboard side.
TIP: If you cannot clip on the bottom clip you can replace it with a velcro cable tie.
TIP: Replacement clips are available from North Sails.
TIP: Jib Sail Care – Fold the top over at the first batten and then roll from the top down. This helps to prevent the bottom curling up.
MOD: Crossover Jib Sheets
The Weta manual suggests attaching either end of the sheet to the clew of the jib and through the cleats so it loops across the cockpit, but this makes it difficult to adjust the jib once you are on the tramps. Also tying the sheets to the clew with a bowline is risky as bowlines can shake undone in strong winds. In addition, because the attachment point is different each time, it’s hard to have a reference marker on the sheets to gauge how much tension has been applied when trimming.
A solution is to tie a loop in the centre of the jib sheet using a Butterfly Knot and attach this loop to the jib using Soft Shackles (DIY with 1m x 4mm Dyneema) threaded through the clew holes. Then feed the sheet ends through the cleat and across the boat to tie off on the opposite tramp handle next to the shroud.
Soft shackles are light and you can have one in each jib clew hole if you wish. The benefit of having a fixed attachment is that you can then mark the jib sheet with a texter either side where they go through the cleats – giving you an instant setting indicator after you tack and for reaching/beating.
The original forestay bridle was tied to two stainless steel rings threaded through holes in the gunwale and bolted underneath. This has been replaced with a length of Dyneema line passed through the same holes with stop knots beneath the gunwale.
MOD: If you have a boat with steel rings they can be removed and the hole edges smoothed out before replacing with Dyneema.
TIP: The forestay should be tensioned so that the is no slack in the stays attached to the Amas when the boat is on the trolley – and even more in winds above 15 knots.
TIP: It’s worth checking the tension on the forestay again when the boat is in the water before you launch
TIP: Check the Dyneema for wear regularly – there have been a few incidents of failure.
The side stays are adjusted for length by the placement of the pins in the Stay Adjuster.
TIP: The recommended setting is 3 holes from the bottom for winds around 10-15 knots, 2 holes at 15-25 knots, 1 hole above 25 knots (although if sailing with the mainsail alone, move to 5 holes as this makes it easier to tack without the jib).
The block was originally from Harken and was replaced with the Ronstan Orbit Block in ????
MOD: It’s highly advisable to put closed cell foam padding under the outer frame of the trampoline (a camping sleeping mat is ideal) as this makes hiking much more comfortable.
The original hiking straps were supplied without a twist in them and anchored in the centre of the tramp using two stainless steel grommets as well as being sewn into a webbing patch. Later boats have a twist in the hiking straps to make it easier to get your feet under them and have dispensed with the grommets.
MOD: If you find that your legs are too short allow you to comfortably sit on the float while wearing the harness then add an additional hiking strap outside of the supplied original (this is allowed under the International class rules). One easy way to do this is to measure a webbing strap that goes right around both ama arms through the webbing handles with approximately 15cm gap between the ends. Sew a loop into both ends of the webbing and use a loop of rope to tension the strap underneath the tramp so that it is clear of the tramp surface. Padding can also be sewn onto the webbing for comfort if you don’t wear hiking boots.
MOD: To enable you to safely hike from the stern of the boat downwind, add an additional hiking strap between the centre ring and the rear ring on the cockpit floor. Keep it taught by passing it over an additional piece of elastic cord between the mainsheet tension anchor points at the side of the cockpit. A Laser hiking strap is exactly the right length. This strap is supplied as standard with new boats since 2015.
The hiking straps can be difficult to get your feet under, especially when wearing hiking boots. You can use sections of pool noodle and/or bungee cord to hold the straps clear of the trampoline.
– Cut four pieces of 4-5cm/3-4 inch of hollow pool noddle and cut a slice in each one.
– Thread the pool noodle pieces onto the front and rear hiking strap sections and position them either side of the anchor point in the middle
– Wrap cloth-backed tape or duct tape around them
– Get some thin bungee cord (~4mm) and loop a piece of this around each hiking strap section so that it pulls over the pieces of pool noodle and thus pulls the hiking strap sections off the tramp.
There’s no doubt that the Weta is a very wet boat – especially from around 10 knots speed when the spray from the bow goes across the middle of the tramps. So there are only two places to get less wet – hiking out hard or sitting in the middle of the boat.
MOD: An alternative is to fit spray deflectors between the tramp and the bow on either side – but they have to be able to allow water through and also allow you to get into the boat. One Weta owner in the USA has produced these from tramp mesh fro $133.85 + Shipping. More info here
Timeline of Changes
|Year||Hull # or Date Added||Change||Old Feature||New Feature||Manufacturer|
|200-300||Inspection port in front of centerboard||n/a||Black 6” port||Ronstan|
|600-900||Dolly lightened and strengthened||Black moose heads||White moose heads||Weta|
|2008||250||Dagger board size increase||Small||Large||Weta|
|2008||250||“Spitfire-rod” rudder replaces Dotan||Kick up||Flip up rod||Weta|
|2008?||Dotan Rudder replaces Casette||Casette||Dotan kick up||Dotan|
|2011||Continuous Furler||Single pull drum||Continuous||KZ/Ronstan|
|2012||Float arms joint upgraded||Gelcoat part covers jont||Gelcoat completely covers joint||Weta|
|Mast cleats replaced for jib/screecher||Horn Cleet||Cam Cleet||C-Tech|
|Vertical float joins & stronger construction|
|New carbon tube supplier||Killwell|
|Reinforced rudder pintle|
|Screecher furler moved to side deck|
|New rope supplier||Liros|
|New Sail Supplier||Gaastra||North Sails||North Sails|
|Precision Centre Case Slot||Shim required||Built in shim|
|New float transom and hatches||Recessed hatch||Flat transom||Niam|
|2016||~1200||Furler||KZ Furler||Ronstan Furler||Ronstan|
|2017||1230 (optional)||Lightweight foam sandwich hull||Weta|
|2017||May||Square Top 9.3M2 sail released||North Sails|
|2017||May||Bi-radial cut 8.3M2 sail released||North Sails|