FD Fanatic

Flying Dutchman - Is There A Future for This Beautiful Boat?

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Flying Dutchman sailor here. I've got a couple of questions:

1. Are you interested in starting a Flying Dutchman fleet for racing purposes?

2. Do you think it is possible to make the Flying Dutchman the most popular racing dinghy in America?

3. I am considering bringing Planatech design/manufacture to America. If I can supply a world-class American-made FD at a reasonable price, would you buy one?

My dream is to bring back the FD to its former glory here in the US. If you are interested in getting involved with this passion project, let me know. 

All comments are welcome!

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I will say, be careful. Years ago what you wrote sounded like me with the 505 class. I got the Ballenger molds, and I thought that a US built boat at a reduced price from what Waterat charged would sell well. I was wrong. I dumped a lot of my personal money into doing that and never got it back.

I also want to warn you that people will tell you that it's a great idea and that they'll tell you that if you do it, they will buy one, but once you dump your money into it, they will be nowhere to be seen to buy that boat.  I learned to sort the bull from the real voices but it took a while to learn that. 

I hope that I'm not bursting your bubble. The FD class is a wonderful class, it's an amazing boat, and it could use a spark plug like you but maybe it would be better to work on fixing up existing boats, finding ones hidden in garages, getting them back out, organizing great regattas.

If you've got tons of disposable income and want to put a stamp on the sailing industry by building your own boat, I'll cheer you on from the sidelines. I'm not a buyer though.

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Completely agree. The cliche about best way to make a small fortune boatbuilding is to start with a big one is utterly true. 

Loads of people will tell you they support you and will definitely buy one when the time is right, but they won't actually come up with cash when it comes down to it.

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Great boats for their time but design and technology and the sailing market, especially the US adult dinghy market has moved on.  Burn the boat building bridge before you get to it.  

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Sometimes it is not about logic or economics. Sometimes, some people get an idea that just won't let go.

If that is you, then focus on plan B, which will burn a ton of money and time. Build a fleet (6 or more). Subscribe people into your idea. Race them. Enjoy. If they all sell (Plan A), then repeat, and you'll be revered for ever as they guy who did great stuff for the FD class in the US. If they don't then you will have have a great design and years of racing before the boats grow tired and need retiring. Maybe plan C is to refurbish old boats.

It is very very unusual to make a buck from one design small boat racing.

There were 41 entries in the 2019 worlds in Nelson, New Zealand. 74 in Sweden in 2018. The FDs re not dead! (And yes they are beautiful).

http://www.fd-worlds.com/results-worlds-nelson-2019/

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My first reaction would be to put that effort into bolstering an existing class rather than trying to resurrect and old class.  I may be wrong, but from my limited view there still looks to be a lot of 505 activity in the US.  However even with that, WCB's post is definitely food for thought.

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I agree with Gantt, If I were you, I would get the necessary number of owners to start a fleet (6, 10..., whatever, do the math beforehand) and get them to put some money upfront, then build them , and start the racing.

If it doesn't work, at least you'll have wasted a lot less money.

 

Not the same thing but that's how the J70 class started here in Vigo, 10 owners, 10 new boats (at a reduced price) and now a healthy fleet, last year's Europeans, etc. 

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Thanks for all of the feedback. I’ve had some very frank discussions with the Planatech CEO and realize that it’s not a money-making venture. I learned to sail on a FD so there is a special place in my heart for the boat. I just hate to see the continuing decline of the FD fleets here in the US and young people don’t seem to be exposed to sailing as much as they should be. So my idea was to start a grassroots movement of older sailors, like myself, that have the time to develop interest in their geographic area. Become a sailing ambassador of sorts. Get sailing introduced to as many people as possible. Local fleets could be organized through proper local promotion. I organized an M Scow fleet with my dad in the 1960s. It was easy to do back then. I’m not sure about now. Used sailboats could be sourced and offered to interested parties at beginner level pricing to anyone interested in owning their own boat and could become part of a local fleet. Of course new boats are always available too. Our M Scow fleet was all new boats. I think a national association of sailing activists would be a great thing. This could be accomplished by utilizing the FD, 505, 470, 420 (or other small boats) or a combination of all, it really just depends on what is most feasible. I know this idea of a grassroots organization is a little off topic from what I originally posted but it’s a big subject that can be approached from a lot of directions. I’ve been mulling these ideas over in my mind for a while now and am just trying to sort out the best approach that will result in a lot more sailors and increased interest in the sport. Any comments will be appreciated and if you are interested in getting involved in putting together a national organization to develop local fleets please let me know!

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Too many strings to pull for American sailors. 

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I aspire to be a US FD sailor. I have a thing called a Vanguard Volant. It is like the first 18' of an FD with a smaller jib. It is only a pale shadow of an FD, but people are intrigued. 

I live in scow country (Mpls). There is really not a great 2-up scow for American-sized people. There are some M-scow fleets but they seem to be fading

The E-scow game is very healthy, and I aspire to be an E-scow sailor too, but that is a lot more logistics to deal with.

420s are strong and even growing around here. 

So maybe there is a possibility for an adult-scale 2-up dinghy to re-grow here in the middle.

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11 minutes ago, FD Fanatic said:

Any comments will be appreciated and if you are interested in getting involved in putting together a national organization to develop local fleets please let me know!

Wow.... that sounds like the search for a unicorn!  I can't think of a class that has pulled that off.      The usual life cycle seems to be local club fleet forms...  barely gets a local  critical mass..  starts to fall apart and sometimes  the  remaining hard core members are committed enough to join  a few others in forming a national circuit that rents a regatta venue  in Florida for sailors to fly to.

in the last organization of US Sailing they had a one design council...   IME at both the local and national level.... there really isn't a shared interest or synergy  that requires a lot of coordination or even communication.  I don't have any great insight on this either... so good luck.      IME,  racing is now event centered...  A class opts into the event when they get what they want or need.   (Eg.... not worth our time to have more then three starts on the course...) so.... the YC/OA is the focus of communication.

I admire your goal of getting similar high performance classes together.  I  suggest you search the SA archives for the HPDO regatta at American Yacht Club....a fantastic event. .  HP stood for High performance and they even tried to help bootstrap OD classes by offering an appropriate handicap start when you couldn't quite get a fleet..    I am sure Corinna would share some wisdom about their efforts.

I would also suggest you check in with the 20 something racers.  Time is your enemy and what you find is that your core senior leaders age out of competing and so you must have the 20 somethings engaged in the class as owner.    check out how the Wazp is going in the US.   It seems to be getting critical mass.  Perhaps you can learn something in their experience.

Last thought...  I think you have different issues to address between single handers  double handers, and three man boats....and of course.... if you are dealing with an olympic class.... you have an entirely different set of issues. 

 

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One other point I should have made, Rigging.  You can actually make money building hulls for people (especially as was pointed out if you take deposits before you get started) but you'll lose your shirt rigging them.  The problem is what you really need is for veterans to buy a new bare hull from you, rig it themselves, and sell their old boat to build the fleets.  That's a hard sell but once you start placing cleats, blocks, and splicing lines, unless you're doing four boats at the same time, you'll eat up your profit.

Also, if you're a new builder, the first two or three hulls will likely have mistakes in them and they'll be hard to sell and the veterans will ask to buy your third or fourth hull and on, not the first two.  Then you have to figure out how to pay for those first two that may not sell for a while.

Again, not trying to be debbie downer, just helping you to avoid the mistakes I made.  The first 505 I built, I have not seen in over fifteen years.  The second hull, is a rockstar and I crewed on it for years and should be back on it this Summer.

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1 hour ago, spankoka said:

Too many strings to pull for American sailors. 

And no lead means most American sailors view it with fear even though a FD is remarkably difficult to crash.  

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1 hour ago, spankoka said:

Too many strings to pull for American sailors. 

Oversimplified, but accurate. The 505 fleet is strong in the US (relative to current conditions) and its also a technical dinghy with too many strings to pull. Many people get into the 505 and get out after difficulties with rigging and settings etc. Not the boat for everyone. 

Now the FD is bigger heavier harder to recover, harder to trailer and launch, but still has the same design spec as the 505. So unless you poach the heavier guys from the 505 fleets its a hard sell. How many technical planing dinghies can the US support right now?

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Actually I think the FD is a great boat. A couple of years ago I was amazed when an FD that seemed at least intact and complete went for all of 150 bucks at my club's annual auction. Because many neglected FDs are out there basically free to a good home, I don't see how building new ones in North America can be a viable business. People who are afraid of dinghies because they might have to swim should try a Wayfarer/CL 16. 

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Very good feedback everyone! I appreciate your input. Spankoka, I agree, there are quite a few used FDs every year that sell for very little. I look at that as an opportunity to get first-time racers into the game at a price they can afford. Locus, you make a great point with how many technical dinghies can the US support right now? I think the key words are "right now". If many new sailors were attracted to the sport in every area of the country that has sailing water, then the US could support a huge number of fleets. I think the challenge is recruiting lots of new sailors. Locus, you also point out the difficulties of technical dinghies. This is a real issue! Not everyone is technically minded. I think beginner "incubators" can be developed where older, non-technical boats are used to train new sailors. Once the novice sailors are accustomed to reading the wind and navigating a course effectively then they can decide to move up to a more technical boat or not. Maybe even non-racing incubators could be utilized. "Bring your kids to learn how to sail" type clinics could be held in each area around the country. Get the parents involved in getting their children into sailing. If we did a lot of that, there would be a lot of young recreational sailors, some of which would gravitate toward competing. WCB, thank you for your insights. I've noticed other small builders use that approach and most likely for good reasons. Tcatman, I know, it is very idealistic, but nothing worthwhile ever gets done without somebody making a lot of mistakes getting there. Thank you for pointing me toward some good info, I appreciate it! Goon, if you want to be an FD sailor then let me know what budget you are working with and I'll point you to a great deal as soon as I see one. I think Sailing Anarchy has direct message functionality? Just DM me what you are looking for and the region you are in, I'll help you if I can. WCB, thank you for your advice. My wife thanks you too. I was struggling with how to make manufacturing FDs at least pay for itself and trying to justify the time spent. When I was 4 years old my next door neighbor on Keuka Lake was Lloyd Saxton. He bought a Flying Dutchman. Lloyd and his family sailed that boat every day. I was amazed by that boat! I asked my mom for a bed sheet so I could make a sail (remember, I'm 4 years old here). I tied a wooden mop handle to the end corner post of our dock and tied two corners of the bed sheet to it. I grabbed the other two corners and turned that bed sheet into a sail. Yes, my first sailing experience was dock sailing! I docked sailed every day for about 2 weeks. I think Lloyd felt sorry for me so he offered to teach me how to sail. The first time out he offered to show me how to skipper. I held it steady and with a little coaching from Lloyd, I quickly got the knack of steering. Lloyd and I became sailing buddies. He always let me skipper for part of each sail. When I went to kindergarten in the fall, I bet I was the only Flying Dutchman skipper in the entire school! That little spark, that love of sailing is what I want to offer children and adults all over the country. I want as many people as possible to experience the joy and thrill of sailing. 

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I was lucky enough that when we moved to San Diego from Long Beach and my Dad and I went down to Coronado to check out the US Navy Sailing Club, there were five Flying Dutchmen in the dry sail lot. I was more interested in one of the original Naval Academy wooden Luders 44 yawls that was hauled up on the beach on a big cradle/skid getting restored. The San Diego club had gotten two of the yawls when the Academy got the fiberglass boats and they had been shipped across country by train. The FD fleet captain dragged me away from the yawls and showed me the FD that he maintained and told me if I really wanted to have fun sailing I should join the FD fleet. He took me for a spin in South Sound and I was sold. The moment I went out on the trap and the boat started planing I lost my lust for the yawls. I soon was tasked with re-rigging one of the older FD's but could just go to the desk and fill out a requisition form and pretty soon had all new Harken hardware an new cordage and standing rigging and the Flying Tomato was back on the podium in our club races. Even though they were club boats, if you took responsibility for keeping a particular boat race ready, you could reserve and race it if you checked the schedules and signed up on the club roster. I soon was offered a newer Plastrend which was much stiffer and had a better mast and then started racing throughout Southern Cal in the Olympic Classes Regattas. Pretty heady days for a high school kid. Best part was ahead of a big regatta I could borrow Dad's Mustang and drive down and pick up the boat and bring home for the week before to 'prep the boat'. It looked great sitting in our driveway and somehow I was able to find an excuse to drive to school at least once during the week with the sexy FD on the trailer sitting in the school parking lot. That was cooler even that having a big noisy Honda 250 Motocross bike! 

    Yeah, the best way to build the class is get the kids involved!

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I can recall that when I was a toddler,  I was in a FD in a life jacket that was bigger than me, and I my dad told me my role would be to sit in the stern and supervise the bailers! That may be the first time I actually sailed. I think people need to know that they don't need to know how to use every single sail control well to actually sail the boat. 

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Also may want to ask this guy...

 

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24 minutes ago, Ned said:

Also may want to ask this guy...

 

There you go...out of business. Correct?  What did they make, two or three boats?  Wish it wasn't so but the truth on the US market is on display here.

There's a nice FD for sail on Sailing Texas.  http://sailingtexas.com/201601/sflyingdutchman114.html 

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The hollowing out of the middle class will also be a problem. The rich executive class want yachts and status. The old dinghy demographic is time poor and cash poor struggling to maintain day to day standard of living, never mind what are particularly expensive boats to buy and even more so maintain.

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3 hours ago, JimC said:

The hollowing out of the middle class will also be a problem. The rich executive class want yachts and status. The old dinghy demographic is time poor and cash poor struggling to maintain day to day standard of living, never mind what are particularly expensive boats to buy and even more so maintain.

^ This ^

A problem for the sport of sailing, not just the Dutchman. Not only do people have less time and money, but culture has changed. People are so impatient, so accustomed to nearly-instant gratification, and have such short attention spans that they can't even watch TV any more. It's all 1 minute clips on the smart(ha!)phone.

The Dutchman is a beautiful, powerful, boat. Why don't more people sail them? I suspect that availability is part of the problem, but -only-  part. Would I buy one? Probably not.... beautiful as they are, they're complex and relatively fragile. I don't grow orchids either; I just enjoy them vicariously and offer praise and encouragement to people who devote their time to such.

FB- Doug

 

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4 hours ago, JimC said:

The hollowing out of the middle class will also be a problem. The rich executive class want yachts and status. The old dinghy demographic is time poor and cash poor struggling to maintain day to day standard of living, never mind what are particularly expensive boats to buy and even more so maintain.

Exactly! It’s hard enough to get people to sail lasers. Between having 1-2 jobs, families, housing costs, student loan debt etc, sailing anything can be a hard sell for people under 40. Even less easy when you throw in coordinating crew, and a more complex and expensive race boat to own and maintain. Honestly if I were to get any boat right now it’s probably be a lightning or a thistle, because they are good race boats but also great as a daysailer. You don’t get as much versatility with an FD or, for example, a Fireball (which I could make a very similar post about).

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I'm all for new FDs but would rather see people spend $FD divided by $ of whatever single hander has traction locally. If I bought 4 of the Olympic candidate dinghies and had 3 extras available for whoever wanted to sail them we wouldn't do anything for the FD but local sailing scene would be stronger.

I also tell anyone considering a Prius to buy a pair of the cheapest Toyota instead and let the neighbors use the extra one.

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

^ This ^

A problem for the sport of sailing, not just the Dutchman. Not only do people have less time and money, but culture has changed. People are so impatient, so accustomed to nearly-instant gratification, and have such short attention spans that they can't even watch TV any more. It's all 1 minute clips on the smart(ha!)phone.

Some folks are strapped for money, but they're even more strapped for attention and interest.

As Gouvernail points out, we say is just money, but we ignore the explosion of small powerboats/PWC all around us. Jetskis here in Miami are a pest. Their cost is right in the range for an expensive dinghy. Their time investment is zero - drop in water, turn key, go. Don't bother to learn a thing, tie a knot, hoist a sail. 

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14 hours ago, Ned said:

Also may want to ask this guy...

 

   I got all excited when the news about this FD came out. I was actually talking with Greg Cole about his exceptionable CF/Epoxy sailplane the Sparrowhawk and trying to get a job coming out to the mountains and help build those. I mentioned my sailing background and how I cut my racing teeth in the Flying Dutchman and Greg told me all about Duane's efforts with the FD.  Those guys are as good as they get for building light and strong in CF/Epoxy. They did build many of the Sparrowhawks before they tried to bring a two place glider the Duckhawk to the market. Both were exceptional craft in all aspects. They might have made it if they had held off on the second design and let the Sparrowhawk get a bit better established before straining limited financial resources on the second effort. They did start building a altitude record pressurized sailplane for Steve Fossett (RTW record sail) that eventually became the Perlan Project. Steve's deep pockets kept the company alive until his crash and death in the Sierra mountains in a Citabria I think it was.

 

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Rasputin22, that is quite the visual picture you painted about you towing your FD with a vintage Mustang! That is too cool! Spakoka, I did the same thing to both of my kids (the life jacket bigger than them). That's awesome that your dad had you sailing in an FD at such a young age! And look at you now, a sailor! Funny how that happens. Both of my kids love sailing too. Ned and WBC, yes the market for new FDs looks grim. I wish I could say that I have enough money to ignore that fact, but I don't.  JimC, I think you have hit the nail on the head. In the 1960s my family had our main home, a summer cottage on a lake and a 100-acre farm we used for hunting pheasant and my father was a welder, my mom was a homemaker. A single blue-collar job afforded us a great middle-class living. I guess somewhere along the line, the "powers that be" decided we all had too much money and time on our hands. Steam Flyer, I agree that things have changed in our culture but people haven't. If you put a teenager that is glued to their phone all day into a Flying Dutchman on a 12+-knot day they definitely won't be on their phone during the entire sail (unless it's to take a selfie or two). The Dutchman is as complex as you want it to be. As far a fragility goes, they seem to be fairly hard to kill (lots of 50s and 60s vintage boats are still around). I find the Dutchman to be very forgiving compared to smaller high-performance dinghies. Every FD I have ever sailed wants to jump forward on a gust rather than heel excessively or capsize, as many other boats do. I've capsized backward in a Laser II and a 470. That would be a lot harder to do in a Dutchman. Dgmckim, I'm not sure why you are saying an FD doesn't make a good daysailer.  I daysail all the time. When I have a tenderfoot crew with me we fly a smaller working jib, or just the main, so nobody gets scared. When I daysail with a more experienced crew, we power the boat to whatever degree we want to (trapeze, hell yeah!). There's nothing like passing a 30-foot keelboat like they are sitting still. Dex Sawash, I agree, the more boats being sailed the better. I'm too old to sail the small single handers anymore (slow reaction time = getting very wet, very often) but they are really great for younger folks. Martin.langhoff, I agree, the personal watercraft can be a pain in the butt. At least they are out on the water experiencing life instead of being cooped up inside staring at a screen all day. Some people need to be able to just turn a key and go. Others would rather hear nothing but the sound of their boat and the wind. 

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FD Fanatic, all so correct, and try double trapping with yer wifey for a treat! Or my 24 sq meter assy kite on USA1268, too much fun!

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18 hours ago, FD Fanatic said:

Rasputin22, that is quite the visual picture you painted about you towing your FD with a vintage Mustang! That is too cool! Spakoka, I did the same thing to both of my kids (the life jacket bigger than them). That's awesome that your dad had you sailing in an FD at such a young age! And look at you now, a sailor! Funny how that happens. Both of my kids love sailing too. Ned and WBC, yes the market for new FDs looks grim. I wish I could say that I have enough money to ignore that fact, but I don't.  JimC, I think you have hit the nail on the head. In the 1960s my family had our main home, a summer cottage on a lake and a 100-acre farm we used for hunting pheasant and my father was a welder, my mom was a homemaker. A single blue-collar job afforded us a great middle-class living. I guess somewhere along the line, the "powers that be" decided we all had too much money and time on our hands. Steam Flyer, I agree that things have changed in our culture but people haven't. If you put a teenager that is glued to their phone all day into a Flying Dutchman on a 12+-knot day they definitely won't be on their phone during the entire sail (unless it's to take a selfie or two). The Dutchman is as complex as you want it to be. As far a fragility goes, they seem to be fairly hard to kill (lots of 50s and 60s vintage boats are still around). I find the Dutchman to be very forgiving compared to smaller high-performance dinghies. Every FD I have ever sailed wants to jump forward on a gust rather than heel excessively or capsize, as many other boats do. I've capsized backward in a Laser II and a 470. That would be a lot harder to do in a Dutchman. Dgmckim, I'm not sure why you are saying an FD doesn't make a good daysailer.  I daysail all the time. When I have a tenderfoot crew with me we fly a smaller working jib, or just the main, so nobody gets scared. When I daysail with a more experienced crew, we power the boat to whatever degree we want to (trapeze, hell yeah!). There's nothing like passing a 30-foot keelboat like they are sitting still. Dex Sawash, I agree, the more boats being sailed the better. I'm too old to sail the small single handers anymore (slow reaction time = getting very wet, very often) but they are really great for younger folks. Martin.langhoff, I agree, the personal watercraft can be a pain in the butt. At least they are out on the water experiencing life instead of being cooped up inside staring at a screen all day. Some people need to be able to just turn a key and go. Others would rather hear nothing but the sound of their boat and the wind. 

 

I work with a couple of youth sailing groups, and you're right that a teens who are big enough to physically handle the boat, and have the knowledge/skills, would love-love-LOVE it.

We were donated a couple of old 5O5s a few years ago; I took on the task of rebuilding them & simplifying them into "club" 5-Ohs! for everyday use. At the time, we had a group of experienced teen sailors who were quite jaded and bored with FJs (remember, the FJ was originally the "Flying Dutchman Junior" intended as a trainer), and when they got into the hot seat of the 5O5s they suddenly found out why Coach Doug was always on their case about paying attention and doing things (like gybing) a certain way. Capsize, swamping, death roll, pitchpole..... it was actually kinda funny. But it made them better sailors and they loved the speed & power once they realized they could handle it.

The problem was that the 5O5s were not and could not be made uniform, and the depowering controls could not (with what I had available) be made intuitive and easy. They were troublesome to keep sailing, always requiring a bit of patch-up here and some new rigging there. And we had a few seasons of not being able to get kids into them with enough experience, and then had none that -could- sail them. They ended up being sold off (still in the neighborhood though).

I did get some advice and assistance from the 5O5 class but they were mostly appalled at the idea of simplifying their gloriously complex boats, and considered me a pariah and a doofus for not being able to teach FJ/420 kids at a high enough level.

The FD could be a better boat for this, for all the reasons you mention, but just because of it's size, it would be an expensive boat to keep in a program. And it would need to be built tough & simple enough that it would not be competitive against class-racer FDs. However if I could get my hands on, say 3, "Club" FDs I would jump at it.

FB- Doug

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All,

I guess there's a For Sale group here, but I found this thread first, hope it's okay to post here since it's FD-specific.  I'm in San Diego and I have a 1957 FD that's available for parts.  It was a project that was started by someone else, and I bought it but it's more than I can handle.  The sails and trailer alone should easily be worth the price and the drive if you're anywhere near San Diego.  Thanks!

If the price is a concern I'd be happy to have the parts be used for free, if I can keep the trailer.  I don't enjoy mailing things, but if it comes to that I'll do that too.

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/boa/d/vista-sailboat-flying-dutchman/6886647688.html

IMG_3179-2.jpg

IMG_3176-2.jpg

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Justfred, thanks for posting your boat here. If I didn't live 2, 750 miles away, I'd be handing over $200 pronto. This will make a great starter boat for somebody that has a little time to do the work. It looks rough right now, but from what I can see it's not that bad. Even if the blades need to be rebuilt, it's a steal for that price. Somebody, please buy this boat so it doesn't end up in the landfill. I'll gladly give step-by-step how-to advice to anyone that wants to take this project on. Glad to help!

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

An FD won a prize for a beautiful restoration at St. Michael's  Maryland a few years ago:
https://www.woodenboat.com/boat-launchings/surcease

If you put in the effort, old boats can come back to life.
Thistle #1 returned to glory some decades back. I can't remember if she won Nationals but I know she was up there.

That is a beautiful boat. A real museum quality piece of sailing history.

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

200 seems to be the going rate for old dinghies lately:
46912705005_04eb767827_b.jpg

How can you go wrong at that price?! 

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1 hour ago, SloopJohnB said:

There must be a big market for old race boats there!

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Hello FD Fanatic;  I too have an FD, and I'm practically the  only one in the Seattle/ PNW.  Where are you located? ?

 

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Hello FD Fanatic, I just found this post.   I am the FD Class President.   I sent you a PM.   It would be nice to touch base.   Cheers, Doug.

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unfix8r... I'm in Portland and recently acquired an FD. Can not wait to get her in the water. I need some rigging help or some decent pictures from mast attachments to deck layout if you, or anyone has them. 

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What make and year is your boat?

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I own 1997 and 2004 Maders.   I loan out my 2004 Mader to good sailors.   In fact, Larry Schmitz and his crew Jack just got 2nd at the Nationals in my 2004, and Michael Manning and I got third in my 1997 Mader.    We had 9 FDs on Lake Cazenovia for the Nationals, which is a small lake in upstate New York.  As class president, I want to support FD sailing in the Northeast and help build small fleets there.  At the Nationals, the class voted to fund a class boat.  Based on the support of the class, I am refurbishing a 1987 Lindsay, which had been donated, as a class boat for use by junior sailors.   The 1987 Lindsay will be used on the west coast as a class boat.  I want another Lindsay for the east coast.  The Lindsay is great class boat because it is fast and virtually indestructible.    If a good builder made a US built Planatech, I would buy one and sell one of my FDs to someone in San Diego to help build FD sailing here.   Cheers, Doug.

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The 2019 Flying Dutchman National Championships of the United States were hosted by Willow Bank Yacht Club on Lake Cazenovia.    Two boats went from California, two boats came from Ohio, one boat came from Maine, and four boats were local, including a 1955? woody.   The two boats from California arrived from California in a semitrailer loaded with two FDs and two Lightnings. (The Lightnings are being sailed at the Buffalo Canoe, which is hosting a Lightning Championship.)   We had one team from Canada, Derrick and Cynthia Hiltz.  The team from Maine, Kate Coupland and Chris Liberte, was a husband and wife team.       There were 14 races altogether over the course of three days from July 19-21.  The first seven races were held in light conditions, and the last seven races were mostly trapeze conditions.   The winds were mostly from the west across Lake Cazenovia.   The winds were shifty with gusts.   The teams of Jeff and Chris Wrenn in a Lindsay and Larry Schmitz and Jack Claire in a Mader were particularly fast in the light and shifty conditions.   Jeff and Chris Wrenn, who are brothers, came in first overall, Larry Schmitz and Jack Claire, who were sailing in their first FD regatta, came in second, and Doug Dommermuth and Michael Manning came in third place.    Five trophies with very rich histories were awarded.   Jeff and Chris Wrenn were awarded the US National Trophy and the Cuspidor Trophy, which have been in circulation since the 1960s.   Carl Boller and Jeff Barbero were awarded the Hibbert Tankard Trophy for the highest placing FD whose skipper was 65 years old or older.   Willem Light Olson and John Light Olson were awarded the junior trophy for the highest placing FD whose skipper was 21 years old or younger.   Paul and Jeniffer Brown, who are father and daughter, were awarded the Carling Trophy for the highest placing FD without a V-bulkhead.   The Willow Bank Yacht Club did a fabulous job.    We had a great dinner on Saturday night during which we witnessed a vicious squall come across the lake.   It was my first Nationals as class president.   I thought that it was great fun and a great adventure.  Our next Nationals is being hosted at San Diego Yacht Club in conjunction with the Olympic Classes Regatta in September, 2020.   (Why don't you come?) Our 2019 Flying Dutchman North Americans is being hosted by the Richmond Yacht Club in conjunction with the Totally Dinghy Regatta in September, 2019.   Our 2020 Flying Dutchman North Americans is being held at the St. Petersberg Yacht Club in the Spring.  Cheers, Doug, US FD Class President.

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FD's seem to have quite a bit of overlap with Five Oh's in terms of the type of sailing (one hiker/one trap, symmetric kite, similar crew weights) and costs, cool boats but seems like the 5o5 is really the dominant class and you'd have to get a lot of people into cheap boats fast to try and dethrone that.

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1 hour ago, Rasputin22 said:

What ever happened to the carbon FD that was being built by the sailplane builder out West?

Duane Ehleringer builds all-carbon Pacific Flying Dutchman in the Portland, Oregon area.  Duane uses infusion and vacuum bagging to build his FDs.  Duane's FDs are extraordinarily stiff. He has made about 5 boats so far.   If anyone would like to contact Duane, send me a private message.

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sdcycling I wanted to attend the FD nationals at Cazenovia this year but needed to help my daughter move to Chicago. It was a scheduling thing. 

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