KVTL

Is an older melges 24 competitive?

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Hi all

The missus and me have both been doing a lot of dinghy and small keel boat racing in our youth, during our study years we've been limited to do some long distance racing in our 30 ft cruiser. We are now considering to buy a dedicated one design racer either j/70 or melges 24 to race with old friends, so here comes the question:

How competitive is the older (90'ties and early 2000) melges 24's compared to the newer ones, only considering hull and maybe spars?

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3 hours ago, KVTL said:

, only considering hull and maybe spars?

You'll definitely want to consider getting some sails too if you want to be competitive.

 

 

 

 

hat, coat, <leaves>

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https://yachtscoring.com/media_print_1.cfm

USA65 placed 16th in the 2016 Nationals. 77 placed 24th, 175 28th, 106 35th, 34 36th.

So the guys who placed 17th and 18th (CAN011, 533) , 25th and 26th (775 and 312), 29th and 30th (441 and CAN262) and 37th and 38th (379 and 818) would probably say "yes." 

The M24 is a beautifully designed and built boat. But the earliest boats are close to 25 years old. Storage and maintenance starts to be important. 

And, owning an older boat myself, I can say they aren't necessarily a bargain. By mid season I'll have replaced lots of lines, shrouds, sails, etc etc. A better sail inventory (something most prospective buyers seem to completely ignore) and other equipment on a newer boat may well be worth a price premium. In the US, Main is about $4,000, Jib roughly $2,100, and spinnakers over $3,000 each. 

I made a perfunctory effort to sell my boat, and three people looked at it. Not one of them so much as opened a spinnaker bag or unrolled the main. The sails on this boat are literally worth more than the boat. If you are on a budget, check them out!

 

 

 

 

 

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Recently acquired M24 hull 317. Where can I find the istory of the boat? It was one if two brought into South Africa from France 2007. Hull and rig as solid as the day it was build. 

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Not sure where you can find the story but the older UK built boats where very variable in quality, a few different builders

 

The boat is highly dependent upon how you sail it, in my limited experience that's far more important than hull number. I had a US built boat and it was beautifully made, we jus made it go slow :(

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Here are the two arguments I've heard on why an old 24 is not as competitive as a new one (at least not all the time):

Hull is not as stiff causing flexing in waves:

The idea is that just like a Laser, an old hull get flexy and in waves (esp. planing downwind in chop) it is flexing, absorbing the waves instead of bashing through them, thus robbing power and slowing you down - or something like that.  I'm not personally sure I buy this but I've heard people who went from say, a 100-series hull to a 600-series boat say that the difference was marked; like you could feel the difference in how the boat took the chop in your ass (think: 16+ kts downwind - the older boat had a softer ride and the newer boat was stiff and shook you a bit more).  I can say that I once sailed both a 100-series and a 600-series in the same day in big wind and I thought I could tell that the newer boat felt "quieter"...but who knows.

Boat flexes when dialing up the rig, limiting how much tension you can ultimately get in the rig:  

This one I agree with.  When you dial up the rig to the extremes recommended by the tuning guides, a newer, stiffer hull puts that load on the rig and the sails.  An older boat flexes more, resulting in less shroud tension for the same turns.  This seems very plausible to me.  I've considered doing some tests like tieing a tensioned line from bow to stern just above the deck on both an old and a new boat, dialing up the rig and seeing how the line "dips".  I supposed you could also just dial up the rig and put your loos on and see how much shroud tension differs for the same turns.  Never got around to it but would be interesting to see.

 

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Yes.

Granted, you might need to check the interior hull lining for cracks and fix them.  But I don't see to many big issues in speed.   When I do, its more of us doing stupid stuff, than the boat.

Sails.  Be ready to get Lots of sails....  That's the arms race and speed difference. 

USA #9  Still rocking it......

 

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Is an older Melges 24 SKIPPER competitive?

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On 5/28/2017 at 9:46 AM, xonk1 said:

Is an older Melges 24 SKIPPER competitive?

As time passes, skipper gets less competitive, skipper's wallet gets more competitive.....

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We have a boat built in 2001 which has been raced hard ever since, and it is competitive (Last regatta we finished 9th of 39 boats). However we have new sails, lines and equipment, newer mast and our crew is good. 

Initially the boat was not stiff enough, the deck was compressed under the mast, the bulkheads where the shrouds attach had partly detached from the hull and the bulkhead below the companionway had detached from the deck. After fixing these the boat is as stiff as some newer ones. If you are not into glassfibre repairs, then it may cost you a lot.

I think we are still very far from being limited by the potential of the hull. The Melges 24 is tricky to trim and drive well and the "penalty" for getting it wrong is larger than most other boats I have sailed.

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We have a 1994 Melges 24 #62  I bought it 8 years ago and did some minor work to stiffen the boat up under the stanchions and around the rear bulk head.   It took me at least 2 years of consistent club racing to get a good handle for the way the boat is supposed to be sailed and crewed.  We have always had good sails and rigging.  We have sailed a couple national level events and the boat never felt slow lining up next to an 800 series hull.  

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On 5/22/2017 at 8:31 AM, tanzer1645 said:

 

Boat flexes when dialing up the rig, limiting how much tension you can ultimately get in the rig:  

This one I agree with.  When you dial up the rig to the extremes recommended by the tuning guides, a newer, stiffer hull puts that load on the rig and the sails.  An older boat flexes more, resulting in less shroud tension for the same turns.  This seems very plausible to me.  I've considered doing some tests like tieing a tensioned line from bow to stern just above the deck on both an old and a new boat, dialing up the rig and seeing how the line "dips".  I supposed you could also just dial up the rig and put your loos on and see how much shroud tension differs for the same turns.  Never got around to it but would be interesting to see.

 

Meh.  You aren't cranking on the backstay and flexing the whole hull like an old timey IOR boat-backstay is (should be) off going upwind-the shrouds are pretty loaded up to keep headstay tension but that's where all the structure in the boat is.  What happens is that the deck between the mast base and the compression post gets crushed after a while, but that's an easy fix.

Old boat is fine-get new sails and rigging, maybe new/stiff mast (and make sure the spreader bar is right so the spreaders aren't too far back-a lot of people miss this).  Make sure the keel is in the right place (another easy adjustment) and then go around and around the racetrack until you can do it without flipping or throwing the spinnaker under the boat.  That and a front row start are waaaay more important than a new hull that might be 3 seconds faster around the track.

 

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i think getting a "right" older M 24 is better than a newer one that you don't know much about...

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We've been going through 114 with a fine-toothed comb and every time I start crawling around inside I'm impressed with how they are built. 

2yo thread, same topic.

And

 

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it is the old loose nut on the tiller that makes the old boat fast.  you can buy or make what ever you need to make a old boat fast.  we have done it.  as long is it is not full of water in the core and you get the keel in the right place

I actually like the old masts better than the new ones.  they allow you to get more shape out of the sails.  You have to make sure you have the sails cut for them.  there is a couple of different cuts on the mains.  Plus you need to make sure you update the rigging.  Old rigging is slow.  

 

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With an older boat or a newer boat, the message is the same. IF YOU ARE NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH, SPEND MORE MONEY !  Happy Sailing !

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 9:17 PM, notherday said:

An older boat that has had to be 'repaired' after an 'accident' has been shown to be more than competitive. Just saying.

Hahaha.   In some cases, that might be true. But I cant figure out who you would be talking about.

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How about the older skipper or crew?  Are there very many active skippers 50+?  60+?  Any 70+?  The boat seems to be more of a young persons boat but can an older, physically fit sailor do well, especially if the crew aren't spring chickens either?  As a 56 year-old looking to get into a sport boat, that seems to me to be a bigger consideration versus say a J70?

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Just about to finish my first summer on hull 004. Im still learning and wish I had another couple months but I'm very happy with the decision to buy. I'm 48. The rest of my crew are all older than me. Two in their mid fifties. The boat has been no problem for us. we've all commented that it is less intimidating than some of the bigger boats I've owned. Havent been out in a real blow mind you, but enough to get up on plane a couple races. Sail are all smaller than we are used to. No winches to grind on. Hoists and douses have been easy for the most part. I was a bit worried about yanking on a main sheet all race long since I have one bum shoulder and one bad elbow. But again has not been an issue. So Id say if you are in decent shape go for it. Its a fun boat. 

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On 9/15/2017 at 11:16 AM, highlander709 said:

How about the older skipper or crew?  Are there very many active skippers 50+?  60+?  Any 70+?  The boat seems to be more of a young persons boat but can an older, physically fit sailor do well, especially if the crew aren't spring chickens either?  As a 56 year-old looking to get into a sport boat, that seems to me to be a bigger consideration versus say a J70?

I’m 64 and had bilateral knee replacement. We just sold ours but not because the boat was physically challenging to sail. It is a beautifully engineered and built boat.

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On 9/15/2017 at 11:16 AM, highlander709 said:

How about the older skipper or crew?  Are there very many active skippers 50+?  60+?  Any 70+?  The boat seems to be more of a young persons boat but can an older, physically fit sailor do well, especially if the crew aren't spring chickens either?  As a 56 year-old looking to get into a sport boat, that seems to me to be a bigger consideration versus say a J70?

I'm 59 and it's a good excuse to stay in shape. Go sail; #74 in the Ville, APEX.

 

USA419

 

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Interesting read.  There are older boats, like Zane's, that can still be "competitive" for sure.  I guess my question would be what does that really mean?  On par with the top of the fleet (bigger budget teams) or on par with middle of the fleet (and budgets)?  If your comparing to the top half, they certainly could be, but by the time you spend all the time and money your gonna have wanted a new boat.

If mixing it up with the bulk of the boats and occasionally the front; you need to find a boat that either has had done or look at fixing the compression posts and shroud areas in my opinion.  You want to make sure the boat isnt going to break.

With the rest of the rigging, sails and parts; that stuff is easy to come by and many of the bigger budget teams sell off all their gear every event or two.  We sell our sails when ever someone wants to buy them (always a good discount) and lots of times giveaway our running rigging when we swap it out.  On our team one of the crew members is a rigger, so I buy half spools and he makes the stuff.

In purchasing sails and being on a tighter budget I would recommend Jib first, boat sails off it, Main and then spinnaker.  The spin should last the longest, then main and then jib.  One / two event old sails can be purchased at around 25-40% off retail depending on how badly the owner wants to move them.  (our 2017 North Worlds set is for sale; good deal to be had and ZANE, no I am not giving them to you).

There are all sorts of ages in the fleet from the Mudratz youth program to folks well into their 60's or even older.  The M24 is a timeless design that is one of the most fun boats to sail.  Happy to answer any questions folks may have.  

SALES PITCH:   there is a Melges 24 Racing / Training Regatta in Jan in Miami.  It will include both on and off the water coaching, with the on water coaching being done while we are racing.  The various coaches (we are anticipating 3) will be running around helping all of the boats with tuning right there on the course.  Off water debriefs are good and we are going to do those; but when someone says "How much backstay did I have on?" and I say "as much as I could" its hard to truly understand what that means for that person to do on their boat the next day.  The objective is to help the middle of the fleet people learn more on how to tune and sail the boat and get excited!  We have 15 registered right now and have another 6-10 figuring out logistics.  

Regards

Travis Weisleder

USA 848 

Lucky Dog and incoming US M24 Class President.

 

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