Buying a used Weta

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Wetas are fairly bullet-proof and the original prototypes and some early boats are still regularly raced.

There’s not much to worry about with a used Weta. These boats don’t break easily. Here are some things to look for when buying one:

Bow

The main hull may have some impacts at the bow from beaching. Gelcoat scratches can be repaired fairly easily but any impacts that have gone through to the fibreglass may need professional help.

Bowsprit

Does the bowsprit (prod) seat firmly in the hole? Press it firmly in and try to sense any sogginess or crunching. A head-on crash into an immovable object, such as a pier/piling or dock, can damage the bulkhead at the aft end of the bowsprit tube causing it to leak.

It’s worth pouring some water down the tube to check for leaks as this is a good indicator of damage. Slight leaks can indicate wear from sand etc at the base of the tube. Check also inside the boat (using the inspection hatch if fitted) for any pieces of hardened resin which may have cracked off in an impact.

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Bowsprit tube showing damage

If the damage is slight and the bowsprit is still firmly fixed, this can be repaired by lining the tube with a rolled polythene sheet and using a paintbrush attached to a pole, place a patch of carbon cloth infused with thickened epoxy resin at the base of the hole.

If the damage is more serious and the bowsprit moves when wiggled, the repair may require cutting a hole in the deck which can be expensive to fix. So if you sense damage you’ll want to negotiate hard to bring down the price.

Check that the gennaker pole has a plug on its inboard end.

Forestay

If the bow triangle for the forestay uses stainless steel eye bolts, look for rust underneath. Consider replacing with dyneema as the newer boats have done. The existing bolt holes may require counter-sinking to remove any sharp edges.

The lower ends of the forestay and side stays have pressed bronze fittings that can corrode and fail, so inspect them for signs the stainless cable is in trouble. Also check the stays for wire that has started to fray. Replacements are available from Weta or you can get them made up at boat riggers.

Stern

While the bow is strong, the lip on the stern is fairly fragile and impacts may cause the lip to de-laminate. This can easily be rectified with epoxy resin and clamping the sections together while it cures.

Rudder

A small few rudder housings had a poor connection with the carbon tube that makes the tiller. Make sure there’s overlap of tubing material with the two sides that hold the rudder.

Check the rudder stock for damage where the rudder hits it in the up position.

Check the rudder blade for damage where the adjustment rod attaches. Superficial cracks may be OK, but cracks right through the carbon may indicate a new blade is required.

If the beam supporting the top rudder gudgeon has been stepped on, or has been used to lift the boat, you may find cracks there.

Float Arms

Check the in-board ends of all four tubes for cracks. Most boats now ship with end caps, some of the early boats didn’t have them. Cracked tubes can be mended if the cracks don’t extend too far outboard.

The 10mm thick gelcoat around the 90-degree elbow/knee of the beams tends to crack. If you see cracks there, forcefully wiggle that joint with all your strength. if there is no movement, then the carbon/epoxy underneath are fine and you have no worries. Check the elbow joints for any movement by putting the float upside down on the trolley and pushing apart the joint – even  a small opening can allow water down the tubes into the float. Also check for hairline cracks in the upright tubes.

Vertical crack

Vertical crack

Note: If you hear a loud cracking sound while sailing the boat, a crack in the ama arms or damaged elbow is the most likely cause.

Cracks can be repaired using a carbon “bandage” but if the elbow reinforcement is damaged it will have to be ground off and re-done. Repair costs could be negotiating points for you here, too.

Note: A handful of boats were accidentally built with the orientation of  the carbon fiber in the beams layed out incorrectly. Cracks formed despite the plastic end plugs because only 30% of the fibers ran longitudinally instead of 70%. simple to fix with a kit from Weta Marine that involves epoxying an internal reinforcement tube.

Floats

Check for damage on the bow of the float – small chips can be repaired with gelcoat filler. Larger repairs can be fixed easily by a competent fibreglass repairer (surf ski or surfboard repairers may be cheaper than boat repairers).

Check for cracks and a softening of the fibreglass just aft of the shroud attachment  (where someone might sit on the float). Enthusiastic hiking from the floats can cause the fibreglass to soften, particularly on early boats below around #400 as the floats were reinforced with more fibreglass on later boats. Flexing can be cured by applying a patch of carbon fibre cloth laid over the fibreglass to create a “saddle”.

IMG_0008

Cracks in float from hard hiking

Check the ports on the end of the floats for leaks by pouring 5 litres of water into the float and then standing it on end – if water leaks out of the port under pressure then it will leak in when you are sailing. Check the o-rings in the port for damage (replacements are available).

If you have leaks or damage to the port then replace them with Nairn ports which have been used since 2015 (although any 4″ port will do). They seal better than the originals. Attach the hatch to the float (so you don’t lose it) using a length of 2mm line screwed in with one of the screws around the perimeter and then to the hatch by drilling a hole in the hand grip – don’t drill through the port as this will cause a leak.

Mast

Inspect the entire length of the mainsail bolt rope track up the mast. If there are significant portions that are cracked or broken off, smoothly hoisting the sail may be difficult.

Replacement mast track is available and can be fixed in place in 30 cm (minimum) lengths using specialist flexible adhesive (e.g. Sikaflex 252, Selly’s Armourflex, 3M 5200, Fixtech Fix 2). Don’t use epoxy glues as you may need to replace the track in the future.

Look for cracks or damage to the joining ends that slot together. Make sure the two sections of the mast fit together with a snug fit. Cracks here can be repaired fairly easily but can affect the bend of the mast.

Check that the mast has a plug on the base (replacements available from Weta).

Check the pulley at the top of the mast. The pulley should run easily but there should not be enough room for the halyard to slip off the pulley and onto the spindle. This can be fixed by either building up the sides of the pulley slot or replacing the pulley with a wider sheave (available from Ronstan).

Check that the main sail can slide into the mast track and be hoisted all the way up without difficulties.

Tiller

Stainless steel screws that attach the tiller extension to the tiller tube tend to rust away and then fail without warning. Remove the tiller extension from the tiller (it should slide out if the cover is removed) and check the screws for corrosion. Consider replacing them if you buy the boat, and then repeat that every couple of years.

Check the tiller extension for tears in the rubber of the flexible joint – easy to replace.

Sheets and Halyards

Check all lines for wear – you’ll need to replace any that are worn out. Also check all the short lines that secure the mainsheet to the cockpit deck, the tramp lines, the spinnaker blocks and the forestay line.

Check the spinnaker sheet for wear where it goes through the blocks.

Check the jib and mainsheets where they are usually cleated for wear.

Check that the attachment of the main halyard to the wire strop isn’t worn or coming undone.

Standard replacement rope lengths can be found on the Weta website here.

Trampolines

Check the trampolines for tears and wear on the seams. They last a long time if kept protected from the sun when not being used.

Main Hull

Carefully look inside the boat and along the hull for signs of repair: gelcoat that doesn’t quite match, and so-forth. A good repair can be as good as new, but if the boat has had an accident, you want to be sure it has been properly repaired.

Does it have an access hatch into the main hull between the dagger board and mast step? Older boats did not. it is quite handy to store stuff there. Current boats are supplied with a Nairn 9″ port but the Hobie Kayak port is a larger alternative that also seals well. Armstrong ports seal completely and some people have used a yacht-style hinged hatch, especially for long-distance cruising or marathon events.

Have there been any non-standard holes drilled in the boat? – for an altered main sheet setup for example or flipping the trampoline blocks around backwards.

Check that the hatch in front of the daggerboard (if fitted) seals properly. If it doesn’t replace the seal or hatch.

Safety Harness

Look for corrosion in the safety harness buckles (they often get left inside the damp boat).

Check that the elasticated harness strap and short webbing loop (which attaches the harness to the harness strap) aren’t missing.

Daggerboard & Slot

How does the daggerboard look? Surface scratches can be repaired easily with filler but the tip and trailing edge is prone to damage caused by leaving the daggerboard half down when hitting an object or beach.

daggerboard damage

Typical daggerboard damage

This can be repaired fairly easily using the directions in the video on the maintenance area of the Weta website here.

Turn the boat over and look for cracks around/inside the daggerboard case. Hairline cracks in the gelcoat don’t indicate there is a structural problem, and may be nothing to worry about.

Furler

Does it have the new continuous furling gennaker drum (KZ or Ronstan) or the old non-continuous (Harken) version.

For recreational sailing the Harken furler is adequate and you can add a 2:1 ratio to make furling easier.

IMG_1649

2:1 furling system for Harken furler

For racing you’ll need to upgrade to the continuous furler as in strong winds the Harken furler won’t furl easily.

Make sure the furler, cleats and blocks all turn easily and the teeth aren’t worn.

Sails

Check for signs of wear in the sails, especially if you’re considering racing competitively. 5 years of regular sailing is probably about the most you’ll get from a set – less if raced frequently. Creases at the luff near the mast are typical of the Gastra main sails but they should mostly pull out with Cunningham tension.

Batten pockets can wear right through on the main where they touch the shrouds and will need professional repair.

Check for holes in all sails and repairs in the screecher that have been repaired with spinnaker tape.

Battens

Look for broken battens in the jib (which are actually a pain to replace as they are sewn into the pockets).

Look for broken battens in the main.

Dolly

Look for cracks in the dolly near the axle and bends in the frame between the axle and rear support.

Trailer

Inspect all welds on the road trailer (if included).

Miscellaneous

You want to see the boat fully assembled and make sure no parts are missing, and that all parts fit together.

Rig the boat with a neutral mast rake and take the boat out for a sail. Does it like to turn left? That is, on starboard tack or gybe does it have lee helm, and port it has weather helm? This may be because the port float is bow down with respect to the starboard one.

Don’t be too concerned about faded gelcoat – if can be buffed back to colour or recoated.

Weta Wiki – Everything you need to know

Weta DrawingThis Wiki is designed to provide all the known information about the Weta gleaned from the forums and includes tips from Weta owners worldwide.

Sub Wikis:
2015 Weta Changes
Used Weta Buyers Guide

We also recommend reading the recommendations in the Weta Manual and other documents available from the Owners section of the Weta Marine website.

**If you want to add or change something – just register/login and click Edit**
Don’t forget to click Save at the foot of the page when finished

The Boat

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.

Specifications

 

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
Hull Resin Vinylester (bonded with Plexus epoxy)
Weight – Main Hull 132lbs / 60kg**
Weight – Float with Beam Frame 40lbs / 18kg**
Weight – Fully Rigged 265lbs / 120kg**
Sail Area – Main 100 ft ft2 / 9.3 m2 (SQ)  or 89 ft2/ 8.3m(PIN)
Sail area – Jib 34 ft2 / 3.2m2
Sail area – Screecher 86 ft2/ 8.0m2
Beam Frame Carbon
Mast Carbon 2 piece
Height of mast above water 24ft / 7.3m
Rudder Stock Carbon
Rudder Foil Carbon
Centreboard Carbon
Centreboard depth under hull 3.0ft/0.92m
Hardware Ronstan/Custom
Mast Track C-Tech NZ
Furler Ronstan 60 Series RS006400RA (Previously Harken 163/1134 , KZ RF200, Ronstan RS006400R)
Sails North (Gaastra pre-2015)
Maximum Crew Weight 530lbs / 240Kg
Maximum Recorded Speed 20+ Knots
Maximum wind recorded sailed (mainsail only) 40 Knots
Minimum planing speed (depending on waves) ~8 knots
Handicap Rating UK PY 950, 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)
Trolley Dimensions
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

Manufacturing

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 nearby Batan, Indonesia) 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.

Distribution

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.

History

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.

Awards

 

Reviews

Yachts & Yachting (UK) 2011

SailWorld (AUS) 2010

MySailing (AUS) 2011

SailWorld (USA) 2010

SailingMagazine (USA) 2010

Sail Magazine (USA) 2009

Multihull Review (UK) 2009

Colours

In addition, colours from the Allnex Range are available with a 25% deposit.

All new boats are supplied with a container of Gelcoat pigment which can be mixed with local clear Gelcoat for repairs.

Colours for boats <#1000 are RAL codes available internationally.
“Traffic Red” Red 3020
“Zinc Yellow” 1018
“Yellow Green” 6018
“Signal White” 9003

Colour Changes
“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:

“A.1.3. Any alteration of the form or construction of the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails or running rigging, as supplied by the builder, unless specifically approved by these rules is prohibited.”
Contact your national Weta Class Association to establish if there are local rules in place that allow the modifications.

Rudder

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.

Tiller

The tiller extension is a Ronstan carbon “Battlestick”. Because of the mainsheet configuration with the standard rigging, the tiller extension has to be passed around behind it which presents some issues for newcomers to the class. However, alternatives are available including a Twin Tiller Extension Kit supplied by Weta or “Laser-style” traveller bridle which allows the tiller to pass underneath, which was developed by the Australian team for the World Masters Games and is now permitted in the rules, provided it cannot be adjusted while racing.

There are three methods of tacking in use by Weta sailors with the standard tiller
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.

MOD :Autohelm
Add a loop of bungee to the mainsheet anchor point at the rear of the cockpit so that it will tightly fit around the end of the tiller and hold it centrally. Very useful for when you want to do stuff with both hands or have to paddle.

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: Twin Tiller Extension Kit
In 2020 Weta Marine produced a twin tiller extension kit which consists of an extra tiller (shipped in two sections and joined with epoxy) and attachments for the tiller to allow both old and new tiller extensions to be attached either side of the tiller. Also included was a steel ring and bungee attachment which kept the free tiller extension from dragging in the water but allowed it to pivot forward in use.   Details here

MOD: Another alternative is to fit a (Laser-style) traveller bridle which allows the tiller to pass under it and therefore you can keep hold of the tiller through the tack – details here.

Daggerboard

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.

Sails

In August 2014 the Weta 2015 was announced with sails supplied by North Sails cut to the same dimensions as the original Gaastra sails. In 2018, The Square Top 9.3Sq M (100 Sq ft) mainsail was introduced which improved performance in lighter winds and when sailing with crew but is still useable up to 25 knots. At the same time the cut of both the Square Top (SQ) and original Pin-head (PIN) mainsail was changed to a modern bi-radial shape compared to the tri-radial original. Also the colour of the sail tapes was changed from black to light blue for improved visibility.  Dacron sails are still available.

The original sails were white dacron but were soon replaced by clear Mylar made by Gaastra (best know for 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 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 as the Gaastra sails.

In 2018 the North Sails were recut to a modern bi-radial layout when the Square Top sail was announced.

Screecher

Screecher Furler

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 RS006400 furler, this was replaced by the KZ RF200 continuous line furler in April 2011 but this had problems with corrosion of the bearings (although some late models have ceramic bearings) so in 2016 they switched to the new Harken 1134 continuous furler. Due to increasings costs, Weta switched to the the Ronstan RS006400R furler in 2019 and in 2020, this was revised to the Ronstan RS006400A with stainless-steel bearings which resolves one of the issues with the furler not spinning easily when moisture penetrated the sealed bearing of the original.

Tip: When furling the gennaker (especially in strong winds) always bear away so the gennaker is largely behind the mainsail and, while keeping tension on the sheet, pull on the furling line – this will ensure a tight furl.

Tip: If your furler doesn’t unfurl fully by pulling the gennaker sheet, or won’t unfurl at the top, consider upgrading to the Ronstan RS006400A or Harken 1134.

Harken 1134

Ronstan RS006000

Harken 163

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 drum 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 on early boats is prone to failure under continuous use. It can be replaced with a lashing made from 4mm line.

Screecher Sheets

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.

Screecher Cleats

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.

Telltales

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 silicone 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.

Mainsail

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.

TIP: Lubricate the mast track with dry silicon spray to ease hoisting/lowering the sail.

Battens

Tension
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.

Mast

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) and is available from Weta Dealers in 3m sections (7.4 m are required for a complete mast track replacement). To glue the track to the mast, use a adhesive/sealant such as 3M 5200,  Fixtech Fix 2, Selleys Armourflex or Sikaflex 292.
Don’t use permanent adhesives such as Sikaflex 292 because the mast track is prone to wear and sections may need to be replaced in the future.

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.

Jib

The jib is fully battened with the battens sewn 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.

Jib Sheets

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.

jibsheet+soft+shackles1IMG_1651

Forestay

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.

Side Stays

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).

Mainsheet Block

The block was originally from Harken and was replaced with the Ronstan Orbit Block in ????

Trampolines

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.

Hiking Straps

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).

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.

MOD: NoodleRaiser™
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.

pool noodle 2

Spray Deflectors

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 from $133.85 + Shipping. Or you can DIY – More info here

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Timeline of Changes

Year Hull # When 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 Blocks/cleats replaced Harken Ronstan 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
2015 TBA New moulds
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
Swaged stays
Trolley improvement One piece Bolt-on ama rests Weta
2016 ~1200 Furler KZ Furler Ronstan Furler Ronstan
2017 Square Top Mainsail 9.5Sqm Weta
Furler Ronstan Harken Furler Harken
2019 Furler Harken Ronstan Ronstan
Trolley weld improvements Weta Diagonal welds for improved strength at axle Weta
2020 Self Tacking Jib (optional) Weta Self tacking Weta
Furler update Ronstan Stainless steel bearings Ronstan
Twin Tiller Extension Kit n/a Kit with additional tiller and fittings Optiparts, Killwell