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Melges 24 vs. Viper 640


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#1 Thatcher

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:04 PM

So, things have taken turn for the better and it's time to pull the trigger on a boat. I've decided on either the M24 or the Viper 640.

I've taken all other factors into consideration already and have searched the forums but can't find any info on what is most important to me - the ability to sail one of these solo.

I'll have a crew for racing, but also want to be able to go out for a sail whenever I feel like it, regardless of whether anyone else is available (the club is only 10 minutes from my desk, so want to be able to go for a quick boogie before dinner most nights). Neither boat does me any good if I can't solo it when I have to.

Anyone with first-hand experience single-handing either of these? And, if so, up to what breeze?

Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

#2 win

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:23 PM

So, things have taken turn for the better and it's time to pull the trigger on a boat. I've decided on either the M24 or the Viper 640.

I've taken all other factors into consideration already and have searched the forums but can't find any info on what is most important to me - the ability to sail one of these solo.

I'll have a crew for racing, but also want to be able to go out for a sail whenever I feel like it, regardless of whether anyone else is available (the club is only 10 minutes from my desk, so want to be able to go for a quick boogie before dinner most nights). Neither boat does me any good if I can't solo it when I have to.

Anyone with first-hand experience single-handing either of these? And, if so, up to what breeze?

Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

this will be great.

#3 Thatcher

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:33 PM

Yeah, it may sound like a stupid question - I acknowledge that - but I've also spent the last 6 months reading numerous postings from Viper owners about how they go out there with only 4 year olds as crew; let the kids steer; wimpy, anorexic girlfriend with slow eye and one bad leg has no problems handling it while simultaneously making sandwiches, etc., etc.,

So, either one of these choices is as user friendly and dead simple as people say it is, or it's not...

#4 win

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:39 PM

Yeah, it may sound like a stupid question - I acknowledge that - but I've also spent the last 6 months reading numerous postings from Viper owners about how they go out there with only 4 year olds as crew; let the kids steer; wimpy, anorexic girlfriend with slow eye and one bad leg has no problems handling it while simultaneously making sandwiches, etc., etc.,

So, either one of these choices is as user friendly and dead simple as people say it is, or it's not...

Not a stupid question at all.

#5 win

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:42 PM

Yeah, it may sound like a stupid question - I acknowledge that - but I've also spent the last 6 months reading numerous postings from Viper owners about how they go out there with only 4 year olds as crew; let the kids steer; wimpy, anorexic girlfriend with slow eye and one bad leg has no problems handling it while simultaneously making sandwiches, etc., etc.,

So, either one of these choices is as user friendly and dead simple as people say it is, or it's not...

Not a stupid question at all.

never single handed one so I'll stick too talking shit. Apex and ultraracer however i've seen do it. good luck

#6 Fishingmickey

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:48 PM

Well I haven't sailed on either "Yet" (Apex I see ya lurking :P). But honestly I would have to think the Viper would be much easier to single hand then the Melges 24. Smaller boat=smaller sails=less loads & less of of oh shit factor if or when things go balls up. This is based on nothing but a SWAG (scientific wild assed guess) or my sorry ass opinion.
Adios,
FM

#7 apexchaser

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:49 PM

Ok ok... here goes: I can't speak for the Melges, but I can share my own personal experience w. the Viper. Disclaimer: as many of you know, I own a Viper and am an enthusiastic supporter of the class, so assume my feedback comes from a "biased party". :)

Anyway, I would certainly not say the viper (nor the M24 for that matter) is an ideal singlehander, but I've sailed mine solo a few times. I'm also one of the people that has posted about how I take my viper out with my young daughter, and she steers, flies the kite, etc, IN LIGHT AIR.

I've really enjoyed sailing the viper solo a few times. The boat is pretty powered up to begin with, and if you leave 350 lbs of extra crew on the dock, it doesn't take much breeze at all to get it really moving! I wouldn't hesitate to go out solo on the viper in up to around 10 knots or so...

Getting forward in the cockpit to tack the jib is a little bit of a pain, given the huge cockpit, but I managed to do it fine, with a continuous jib sheet that you carry with you across the cockpit when tacking. Another option (which I have yet to try) would be to set up the jib as a "poor man's self tacker", by threading a single sheet from one jib lead, through one of the two jib blocks on the clew of the jib, and then to the other jib lead on the other side of the boat. You could then leave the jib cleated all the time and it would self tack by just sliding along the sheet. I used to do this on my old Laser2 when singlehanding... sail shape kinda sucks, but it gets the job done.

I have yet to go out solo and fly the kite. Work load would be a bit heavy (you'd be about as busy as a one-armed paper hanger, working the main, jib, AND kite), but I'm determined to give it a shot. Of course I'm also planning on adding a set of trap wires to my boat, to double-hand it in good breeze and see how fast we can go, so I'm biased towards trying crazy shit.

YMMV.

#8 schoonerman

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:53 PM

Yeah, it may sound like a stupid question - I acknowledge that - but I've also spent the last 6 months reading numerous postings from Viper owners about how they go out there with only 4 year olds as crew; let the kids steer; wimpy, anorexic girlfriend with slow eye and one bad leg has no problems handling it while simultaneously making sandwiches, etc., etc.,

So, either one of these choices is as user friendly and dead simple as people say it is, or it's not...



I haven't sailed an M-24 singlehanded, only in crewed mode on the racecourse. I have solo sailed the Ultimate 24, which is a down-tuned 24 sporty with a fracy kite. I have sailed a Viper singlehanded in up to about 15-17. Here's my take.

The Viper will be MUCH easier to sail in a broader range of conditions. You can always sail without the jib like a big laser. It easily planes with the main alone, solo, in about 12-14. The cool thing is the kite is VERY easy to set and douse, given the launcher. I can't imagine dousing the M24 kite in much over 10 solo without an autopilot. The Viper's carbon rig depowers pretty easy but remains very powered in light air. It get's a bit busy sailing the kite solo but the damn thing planes like a bitch in 10 when you're solo.

It's a fun boat solo. I think the average sailor will have their hands full in much over 12-14. Practice and technique will held a lot.

Not sure if you get to leave mast up, but you can easily step a viper mast solo...certainly can't do that on a M24 (or even and M20 for that matter).

One thing I'd consider if I was to singlehand the Viper much would be to buy a new headstay with a Facnor so I could furl it. I might consder buying a Harken if I was willing to put a zipper luff on the jib. It'd be nice to simly roll it up before landing the boat at the dock.

Now about the racing:

-Not sure where you live, but the Viper is a growing a thriving fleet in a lot of places. Fasting growing sportboat class out there.
-It's a 3 man, corinthian class. The front of the fleet works hard to make the back of the fleet competitive.
-You can be very competitive from the start with a Viper. Pretty tough to jump to the front of the fleet on a M24 from day one.
-You can only buy 1 set of sails per year on a Viper. Last year Rondar sold a compelte set of Mylar Hydes for $2600, mid-winter.\
-Viper is VERY easy to tow. All up tow weight is under 1,000 lbs. My buddy rockhead tows his behind his 4 cylinder Saab...thousands of miles...no worries.
-Viper is simply rigged. No traveller, simple GNAV, cunningham, outhaul, sheet controls.
-The build quality is equal to the M24 (better in some areas IMHO)
-The Melges 24 had 22 boats (I think) at their Nationals this year. The Viper had 34 at CRW and will likely have 40+ at the Nationals
-Fleets are building in the SouthEast, West and SouthWest. Biggest fleets are currently in the Northeast, but that won't be for long :lol:

#9 Dixie

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:56 PM

Well I haven't sailed on either "Yet" (Apex I see ya lurking :P). But honestly I would have to think the Viper would be much easier to single hand then the Melges 24. Smaller boat=smaller sails=less loads & less of of oh shit factor if or when things go balls up. This is based on nothing but a SWAG (scientific wild assed guess) or my sorry ass opinion.
Adios,
FM


Sailed on both, and I still completely agree with Fisihing Mickey.

#10 Fishingmickey

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:56 PM

Ok ok... here goes: I can't speak for the Melges, but I can share my own personal experience w. the Viper. Disclaimer: as many of you know, I own a Viper and am an enthusiastic supporter of the class, so assume my feedback comes from a "biased party". :)

Anyway, I would certainly not say the viper (nor the M24 for that matter) is an ideal singlehander, but I've sailed mine solo a few times. I'm also one of the people that has posted about how I take my viper out with my young daughter, and she steers, flies the kite, etc, IN LIGHT AIR.

I've really enjoyed sailing the viper solo a few times. The boat is pretty powered up to begin with, and if you leave 350 lbs of extra crew on the dock, it doesn't take much breeze at all to get it really moving! I wouldn't hesitate to go out solo on the viper in up to around 10 knots or so...

Getting forward in the cockpit to tack the jib is a little bit of a pain, given the huge cockpit, but I managed to do it fine, with a continuous jib sheet that you carry with you across the cockpit when tacking. Another option (which I have yet to try) would be to set up the jib as a "poor man's self tacker", by threading a single sheet from one jib lead, through one of the two jib blocks on the clew of the jib, and then to the other jib lead on the other side of the boat. You could then leave the jib cleated all the time and it would self tack by just sliding along the sheet. I used to do this on my old Laser2 when singlehanding... sail shape kinda sucks, but it gets the job done.

I have yet to go out solo and fly the kite. Work load would be a bit heavy (you'd be about as busy as a one-armed paper hanger, working the main, jib, AND kite), but I'm determined to give it a shot. Of course I'm also planning on adding a set of trap wires to my boat, to double-hand it in good breeze and see how fast we can go, so I'm biased towards trying crazy shit.

YMMV.




Now Apex, you should know better to bait and tease the 215# Gorilla that loves crazy shit...
FM

#11 SailRacer

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:58 PM

Get a J80?




Sail safe!

#12 apexchaser

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:10 PM

I'm also planning on adding a set of trap wires to my boat, to double-hand it in good breeze and see how fast we can go, so I'm biased towards trying crazy shit.




Now Apex, you should know better to bait and tease the 215# Gorilla that loves crazy shit...
FM


LOL! Mickey, sounds to me like you're volunteering to hang on the wire. Win, I imagine you'd be in as well?

But we're drifting off topic. Back to the solo discussion: How long do you figure your twin tiller extensions would have to be so you could singlehand a Viper FROM THE WIRE? Now that's crazy talk...

Oh, and I'll second everything Schoonerman said. Notice that his max wind range for solo sailing is a bit higher than mine. Comes from your home waters being S.F. bay, I figure... he's got to be used to a LOT more breeze than I am! :) Great idea to add a roller-furling jib for solo work, Schoonerman. That'd also be great for sailing with my young one. It'd be very convenient to be able to roll up the jib whenever you wanted to. And you could very quickly swap back to the stock forestay & jib for class racing. Probably a 5-10 minute swap.

#13 jkdubs808

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:12 PM

Never sailed on a Viper before, and I am a M24 owner so like some of the above my answer may be biased.

The Melges is a handful to sail solo. For one, the cockpit is big, but with a continuous jib sheet it might be doable. In my mind the kite solo on a M24 is out of the question unless you are good at tying off the tiller or have an autopilot for douses and sets. Also, leaving the dock solo in a 24 might be a pain. the boat NEEDS the jib to leave the dock with no disaster. The boat stalls out on the main alone (trust me, I know...plenty of incidents) due to the small blades and you could risk hitting other boats. The stall out with main alone could be an issue while sailing. I sail under main alone between races a lot but at much more broader angles, boat doesn't like going to weather on main alone too much, but it can be done.

I'd say it sounds like the Viper is winning at the moment.

#14 jacobsen1

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:14 PM

I've never sailed on a 24 and I've only sailed vipers 3 up, but here's my 2 cents (bear in mind, I bought an open 5.70 because I can singlehand it and I've single handed a vector before):

The viper would be easier in every regard IMHO. Both boats need crew to sail upwind in any kind of a breeze. The viper in ~10 needs 3 crew "up" when racing, and you're hiking in ~12. The melges isn't much different from what I've seen and you'd be missing a higher % of your railmeat there.... Also, the chute sock and belly button cord on the viper would be a HUGE advantage on the viper. The melges chute isn't small, so collecting it alone would be a handful and then some (I do this on the open and it's the only hard part on that boat, but it's chute is not even 1/4 the M24's?)...

Basically, where will you be doing this? What's the average windspeed? Could you add a trap to the boat? IMHO neither is a great boat for solo only because of the demands upwind. Once you turn the corner the chute on the viper wins because of the belly button cord. You might have to move the spin halyard cleats around to help yourself out, but it could work with a longer extension.

#15 tweisleder

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:43 PM

I've never sailed on a 24 and I've only sailed vipers 3 up, but here's my 2 cents (bear in mind, I bought an open 5.70 because I can singlehand it and I've single handed a vector before):

The viper would be easier in every regard IMHO. Both boats need crew to sail upwind in any kind of a breeze. The viper in ~10 needs 3 crew "up" when racing, and you're hiking in ~12. The melges isn't much different from what I've seen and you'd be missing a higher % of your railmeat there.... Also, the chute sock and belly button cord on the viper would be a HUGE advantage on the viper. The melges chute isn't small, so collecting it alone would be a handful and then some (I do this on the open and it's the only hard part on that boat, but it's chute is not even 1/4 the M24's?)...

Basically, where will you be doing this? What's the average windspeed? Could you add a trap to the boat? IMHO neither is a great boat for solo only because of the demands upwind. Once you turn the corner the chute on the viper wins because of the belly button cord. You might have to move the spin halyard cleats around to help yourself out, but it could work with a longer extension.


Thatcher,

I am not sure how you can really compare the two boats, they are not the same, maybe an apple vs a banana? Yes they may be both called Sport Boats, but the 24 is in a whole different league, and I think most people here would agree with that. On the racing front, its hard to beat the 24, but its true fun and beauty will really depend on where you live. If you live on the east cost or MW part of the world you will see 20+ boats at almost every event. If you are in TX it will be more like 10 -15 and the same may be said for both the CA and PNW areas. Everyone is loving to point out the 22 boat National fleet in San Fran this year, yes it was light but it was calculated, we had a great turn out at St Pete, Chalreston and a good one in Newport this past weekend, not to mention solid MW events. If its primary is racing the 24 is great, but IMO different than the viper. I think the viper is a cool boat and I look forward to sailing it one day, but you have a keel boat vs a more dinghy / keel boat here.

If its all coming down to single handed sailing...well I cant speak for the Viper, but I would not do it in the 24 unless I really had to (everyone fell overboard) or it was very light. In less than 10 kts on the 24 you have people on the rail in close to a full hike and sailing without the jib will not really work in tight spaces. If you want any more detail on the 24 or any info about which boats are for sale, local fleets, people etc, drop me a line.

Travis Weisleder
US M24 Class Pres (for a few more weeks at least)

#16 Speng

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:49 PM

You might think about a reef point in either.

#17 HydroSpear

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:04 PM

Rigging a bungee on the tiller (gunwale-to-gunwale with quick release) helps a lot when soloing. You can still steer and when you let the helm go -- say while you are hauling on the kite's retrieval line during a douse -- the boat drives reasonable straight (if the sails are reasonably trimmed).

Actually it would be interesting to see what percentage of crew would prefer a bungee cord over the knob-on-the-end-of-the-stick they usually sail with. :rolleyes:

H

#18 Bulbhunter

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:05 PM

You might think about a reef point in either.


Not a bad idea (adding reef points) if you sail in a location thats known for fast weather - viper would be my top guess for easiest solo effort given its set up vs M24 set up. Just from a controls stand point the Viper would be easier to manage. Schoonerman has alot of time on his now and his comments mirror my thoughts from what I've seen on both boats.

I also use my solo experience on the U20 as a reference point regarding how far the controls are from the helm and the ability to depower etc. Viper kite set up is no doubt more solo friendly than the M24.

M24 is a great boat but I have seen one solo sailed in SF back a few years ago when I did some Solo stuff on the U20. He said it wasn't easy but with some thought put into sail selection and practice he did OK on the M24. Though he really disliked my post race cozy cabin compared to his cubby hole - but thats a whole other comparison point.

Sailing solo is something I really enjoy so its a great question not all boats are easy to solo.

#19 ultraracer613um

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:20 PM

I've never sailed on a 24 and I've only sailed vipers 3 up, but here's my 2 cents (bear in mind, I bought an open 5.70 because I can singlehand it and I've single handed a vector before):

The viper would be easier in every regard IMHO. Both boats need crew to sail upwind in any kind of a breeze. The viper in ~10 needs 3 crew "up" when racing, and you're hiking in ~12. The melges isn't much different from what I've seen and you'd be missing a higher % of your railmeat there.... Also, the chute sock and belly button cord on the viper would be a HUGE advantage on the viper. The melges chute isn't small, so collecting it alone would be a handful and then some (I do this on the open and it's the only hard part on that boat, but it's chute is not even 1/4 the M24's?)...

Basically, where will you be doing this? What's the average windspeed? Could you add a trap to the boat? IMHO neither is a great boat for solo only because of the demands upwind. Once you turn the corner the chute on the viper wins because of the belly button cord. You might have to move the spin halyard cleats around to help yourself out, but it could work with a longer extension.


Thatcher,

I am not sure how you can really compare the two boats, they are not the same, maybe an apple vs a banana? Yes they may be both called Sport Boats, but the 24 is in a whole different league, and I think most people here would agree with that. On the racing front, its hard to beat the 24, but its true fun and beauty will really depend on where you live. If you live on the east cost or MW part of the world you will see 20+ boats at almost every event. If you are in TX it will be more like 10 -15 and the same may be said for both the CA and PNW areas. Everyone is loving to point out the 22 boat National fleet in San Fran this year, yes it was light but it was calculated, we had a great turn out at St Pete, Chalreston and a good one in Newport this past weekend, not to mention solid MW events. If its primary is racing the 24 is great, but IMO different than the viper. I think the viper is a cool boat and I look forward to sailing it one day, but you have a keel boat vs a more dinghy / keel boat here.

If its all coming down to single handed sailing...well I cant speak for the Viper, but I would not do it in the 24 unless I really had to (everyone fell overboard) or it was very light. In less than 10 kts on the 24 you have people on the rail in close to a full hike and sailing without the jib will not really work in tight spaces. If you want any more detail on the 24 or any info about which boats are for sale, local fleets, people etc, drop me a line.

Travis Weisleder
US M24 Class Pres (for a few more weeks at least)


10 - 15 m24's in Texas? I dont think there are that many boats in Texas.. most ive ever seen at a TX regatta is 5 or 6.

If your just going out for a booze cruise - it's a wash. The 24's a big boat.... a bit like comparing a Mumm 30 to a Farr 40... If your looking to have any level of performance single-handed then it's the viper.. hands down. At 200lbs, i'm about 37 percent of optimum weight and 33% of the hands.. on the Melges.. at 200 lbs i'd be what (dont know the class weight), about 25% and 25% of optimum hands-on-deck.

#20 schoonerman

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:25 PM

Ok, I forgot to mention, after reading Jacobsen 1's comments....For sailing in breeze solo on the Viper you might want to think about a chicken chute too. This would make it MUCH more manageable in winds over 18-20. I still have yet to try a Open 5.70 kite on the Viper but hopefully this weekend at Huntington I will. I think it'd be a hoot to be able to sail in the Bay solo, on the wire with a kite. Twin long ass tiller extension and a furler on the jib. Kinda like a mega Contender :lol:

I want to see how Apex rigs his boat for trap. I'm thinking about welding a small eye on the cap shroud swage but I worry about compromising it. Maybe I'll figure something out using a StayLock with an added piece in the buildup.

Finally, we should get the Chuck, the owner of the U20 UAgain to chime in here. That guy has sailed that little boat more alone than with crew. Just finished his second Delta Ditch...solo. Seriously. He's faster sailing solo with the kite than he is crewed...f'n amazing. He's got some solid techniques that would be great to hear about.

10 - 15 m24's in Texas? I dont think there are that many boats in Texas.. most ive ever seen at a TX regatta is 5 or 6.

If your just going out for a booze cruise - it's a wash. The 24's a big boat.... a bit like comparing a Mumm 30 to a Farr 40... If your looking to have any level of performance single-handed then it's the viper.. hands down. At 200lbs, i'm about 37 percent of optimum weight and 33% of the hands.. on the Melges.. at 200 lbs i'd be what (dont know the class weight), about 25% and 25% of optimum hands-on-deck.



Yeah but shit, you're like 9 feet tall. Put you on the trap and you'll have more righting moment than sailing 4 up :P Seriously, keep me posted on how you setup the trap. VERY interested in this...all the Wylie Wabbits in SF Bay put a guy on the wire. Makes them wicked fast upwind.

#21 ultraracer613um

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:25 PM

I'm also planning on adding a set of trap wires to my boat, to double-hand it in good breeze and see how fast we can go, so I'm biased towards trying crazy shit.




Now Apex, you should know better to bait and tease the 215# Gorilla that loves crazy shit...
FM


LOL! Mickey, sounds to me like you're volunteering to hang on the wire. Win, I imagine you'd be in as well?

But we're drifting off topic. Back to the solo discussion: How long do you figure your twin tiller extensions would have to be so you could singlehand a Viper FROM THE WIRE? Now that's crazy talk...

Oh, and I'll second everything Schoonerman said. Notice that his max wind range for solo sailing is a bit higher than mine. Comes from your home waters being S.F. bay, I figure... he's got to be used to a LOT more breeze than I am! :) Great idea to add a roller-furling jib for solo work, Schoonerman. That'd also be great for sailing with my young one. It'd be very convenient to be able to roll up the jib whenever you wanted to. And you could very quickly swap back to the stock forestay & jib for class racing. Probably a 5-10 minute swap.


Schooner is a REAL MAN.. even though he's from CA.. San Fran at that! and Apex.. what's all this talk about not being able to trim the jib.. with those long arms you could probably re-clip your jib hanks while blasting up-hill. Plan on putting those long arms to good use next week ;-)

#22 Bulbhunter

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:43 PM

Ok, I forgot to mention, after reading Jacobsen 1's comments....For sailing in breeze solo on the Viper you might want to think about a chicken chute too. This would make it MUCH more manageable in winds over 18-20. I still have yet to try a Open 5.70 kite on the Viper but hopefully this weekend at Huntington I will. I think it'd be a hoot to be able to sail in the Bay solo, on the wire with a kite. Twin long ass tiller extension and a furler on the jib. Kinda like a mega Contender :lol:

I want to see how Apex rigs his boat for trap. I'm thinking about welding a small eye on the cap shroud swage but I worry about compromising it. Maybe I'll figure something out using a StayLock with an added piece in the buildup.

Finally, we should get the Chuck, the owner of the U20 UAgain to chime in here. That guy has sailed that little boat more alone than with crew. Just finished his second Delta Ditch...solo. Seriously. He's faster sailing solo with the kite than he is crewed...f'n amazing. He's got some solid techniques that would be great to hear about.

10 - 15 m24's in Texas? I dont think there are that many boats in Texas.. most ive ever seen at a TX regatta is 5 or 6.

If your just going out for a booze cruise - it's a wash. The 24's a big boat.... a bit like comparing a Mumm 30 to a Farr 40... If your looking to have any level of performance single-handed then it's the viper.. hands down. At 200lbs, i'm about 37 percent of optimum weight and 33% of the hands.. on the Melges.. at 200 lbs i'd be what (dont know the class weight), about 25% and 25% of optimum hands-on-deck.



Yeah but shit, you're like 9 feet tall. Put you on the trap and you'll have more righting moment than sailing 4 up :P Seriously, keep me posted on how you setup the trap. VERY interested in this...all the Wylie Wabbits in SF Bay put a guy on the wire. Makes them wicked fast upwind.



I'll ping Uagain see if he can drop in with some ideas. He sailed my U20 solo for many years before I bought it from him. They key things I learned from him were keeping it simple - and planning ahead. The "auto Pilot" Uagain uses and I've addopted the same approach is simply a bungie cord pulled over the tiller extension effectivly pinning it down to the role tank thus giving you enough drag on the tiller to hold a course yet free enough for you to make a quick correction while say re rigging the kite - dousing etc. The Reefing line suggested by Speng is a biggie I've used ours on the U20 a few times while solo - furled the jib blew the main pointed the boat head to wind slowed it up then simply went to the gooseneck and dropped in the reef. Made the difference between making virtually no up wind progress to comfortably making 4knots or better up wind again.

A good feeling when solo and needing to get off a lee shore or get back home "up hill" etc.

#23 schoonerman

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:49 PM

Ok, I forgot to mention, after reading Jacobsen 1's comments....For sailing in breeze solo on the Viper you might want to think about a chicken chute too. This would make it MUCH more manageable in winds over 18-20. I still have yet to try a Open 5.70 kite on the Viper but hopefully this weekend at Huntington I will. I think it'd be a hoot to be able to sail in the Bay solo, on the wire with a kite. Twin long ass tiller extension and a furler on the jib. Kinda like a mega Contender :lol:

I want to see how Apex rigs his boat for trap. I'm thinking about welding a small eye on the cap shroud swage but I worry about compromising it. Maybe I'll figure something out using a StayLock with an added piece in the buildup.

Finally, we should get the Chuck, the owner of the U20 UAgain to chime in here. That guy has sailed that little boat more alone than with crew. Just finished his second Delta Ditch...solo. Seriously. He's faster sailing solo with the kite than he is crewed...f'n amazing. He's got some solid techniques that would be great to hear about.

10 - 15 m24's in Texas? I dont think there are that many boats in Texas.. most ive ever seen at a TX regatta is 5 or 6.

If your just going out for a booze cruise - it's a wash. The 24's a big boat.... a bit like comparing a Mumm 30 to a Farr 40... If your looking to have any level of performance single-handed then it's the viper.. hands down. At 200lbs, i'm about 37 percent of optimum weight and 33% of the hands.. on the Melges.. at 200 lbs i'd be what (dont know the class weight), about 25% and 25% of optimum hands-on-deck.



Yeah but shit, you're like 9 feet tall. Put you on the trap and you'll have more righting moment than sailing 4 up :P Seriously, keep me posted on how you setup the trap. VERY interested in this...all the Wylie Wabbits in SF Bay put a guy on the wire. Makes them wicked fast upwind.



I'll ping Uagain see if he can drop in with some ideas. He sailed my U20 solo for many years before I bought it from him. They key things I learned from him were keeping it simple - and planning ahead. The "auto Pilot" Uagain uses and I've addopted the same approach is simply a bungie cord pulled over the tiller extension effectivly pinning it down to the role tank thus giving you enough drag on the tiller to hold a course yet free enough for you to make a quick correction while say re rigging the kite - dousing etc. The Reefing line suggested by Speng is a biggie I've used ours on the U20 a few times while solo - furled the jib blew the main pointed the boat head to wind slowed it up then simply went to the gooseneck and dropped in the reef. Made the difference between making virtually no up wind progress to comfortably making 4knots or better up wind again.

A good feeling when solo and needing to get off a lee shore or get back home "up hill" etc.


One of the better things about the U20 IMHO...the easy reef in the main. It's pre-set so you just lower the halyard to s different ball stop on the wire. I've used it several times when the wind hits high twenties, low thirties, especially this past mid-winter series when it seemed every damn race was in a winter storm...we'd tuck in the reef when beating back home as we were tired as hell. The U20 sails like a dream reefed.

#24 Thatcher

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:52 PM

Well now. That is a flood of really great advice. Thanks all. I'm going to have to print a lot of that out and save it as crib notes for later.

The Viper it is, then. I've been jonesing for one but was considering the 24 because there's already a decent fleet up here. I'm patient, however and more than happy to travel while I wait for a 640 class to build in the area.

As mentioned, I will have a crew teed up for racing. Just don't want to be sidelined the rest of the week because I can't pull anyone away from the bar...especially seeing that it's a wet boat and water's cold up here. I wouldn't be soloing with the kite up or going out in big breeze (10-15, normally); more likely quick jaunts around the harbour before facing Mrs. Thatcher's meatloaf and peas...

Thanks again all. That was incredibly useful.

Best,
T.

#25 apexchaser

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:07 PM

As mentioned, I will have a crew teed up for racing. Just don't want to be sidelined the rest of the week because I can't pull anyone away from the bar...


Hi Thatcher. One thing we all forgot to mention: Don't underestimate the power of the Viper to pull potential crew away from the bar, out from under sofa cushions and car seats, etc.

Since I bought my boat, I've had a list as long as my arm (and trust me, it's a LONG arm!) of friends jonesin to go for a ride.

So where is home, anyway? Canada somewhere?

Hope to see you at a Viper event soon!

Cheers,
Apex.
Austin, TX

#26 schoonerman

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:09 PM

Tell us where "Up Here" is and we'll focus some boats into your area. We currently have 7 Vipers in the production que, all sold.

#27 Thatcher

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:21 PM

Up here is Lake Ontario. I'm looking at buying used. See a list of them up for sale. Assuming they're not all spoken for...

#28 VENOMISS

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:28 PM

FWIW, Laurent in the Desert Fleet has a trap rigged on his.... I think you can find him over on the Viper 640 regular website if you have questions. ;)

#29 string puller

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:16 AM

FWIW, Laurent in the Desert Fleet has a trap rigged on his.... I think you can find him over on the Viper 640 regular website if you have questions. ;)


Also, Viper USA-21, the second Viper in AZ, came out of Idaho where it was almost exclusively single-handed. The owner ran the cunningham and vang lines back to his position on continuous lines and rigged trap wires.

#30 Christian

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:39 AM

Yeah, it may sound like a stupid question - I acknowledge that - but I've also spent the last 6 months reading numerous postings from Viper owners about how they go out there with only 4 year olds as crew; let the kids steer; wimpy, anorexic girlfriend with slow eye and one bad leg has no problems handling it while simultaneously making sandwiches, etc., etc.,

So, either one of these choices is as user friendly and dead simple as people say it is, or it's not...



I haven't sailed an M-24 singlehanded, only in crewed mode on the racecourse. I have solo sailed the Ultimate 24, which is a down-tuned 24 sporty with a fracy kite. I have sailed a Viper singlehanded in up to about 15-17. Here's my take.

The Viper will be MUCH easier to sail in a broader range of conditions. You can always sail without the jib like a big laser. It easily planes with the main alone, solo, in about 12-14. The cool thing is the kite is VERY easy to set and douse, given the launcher. I can't imagine dousing the M24 kite in much over 10 solo without an autopilot. The Viper's carbon rig depowers pretty easy but remains very powered in light air. It get's a bit busy sailing the kite solo but the damn thing planes like a bitch in 10 when you're solo.

It's a fun boat solo. I think the average sailor will have their hands full in much over 12-14. Practice and technique will held a lot.

Not sure if you get to leave mast up, but you can easily step a viper mast solo...certainly can't do that on a M24 (or even and M20 for that matter).

One thing I'd consider if I was to singlehand the Viper much would be to buy a new headstay with a Facnor so I could furl it. I might consder buying a Harken if I was willing to put a zipper luff on the jib. It'd be nice to simly roll it up before landing the boat at the dock.

Now about the racing:

-Not sure where you live, but the Viper is a growing a thriving fleet in a lot of places. Fasting growing sportboat class out there.
-It's a 3 man, corinthian class. The front of the fleet works hard to make the back of the fleet competitive.
-You can be very competitive from the start with a Viper. Pretty tough to jump to the front of the fleet on a M24 from day one.
-You can only buy 1 set of sails per year on a Viper. Last year Rondar sold a compelte set of Mylar Hydes for $2600, mid-winter.\
-Viper is VERY easy to tow. All up tow weight is under 1,000 lbs. My buddy rockhead tows his behind his 4 cylinder Saab...thousands of miles...no worries.
-Viper is simply rigged. No traveller, simple GNAV, cunningham, outhaul, sheet controls.
-The build quality is equal to the M24 (better in some areas IMHO)
-The Melges 24 had 22 boats (I think) at their Nationals this year. The Viper had 34 at CRW and will likely have 40+ at the Nationals
-Fleets are building in the SouthEast, West and SouthWest. Biggest fleets are currently in the Northeast, but that won't be for long :lol:


And the singlehanding is much more fun with a trap - you gotta try it out some day..............serious fun. Have done it in about 15 and the boat is much easier upwind (compared to just hiking) and the kite runs are a real kick in the pants as you can load it a lot more.

A local guy has had a 640 for about ten years and most of his sailing of the boat has been double and single handed. He has a cut down main which helps a lot - and always carry the outboard to get him out of trouble if the weather kicks his ass. The stubborn SOB is 65 years old........................

#31 tweisleder

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:56 AM

Up here is Lake Ontario. I'm looking at buying used. See a list of them up for sale. Assuming they're not all spoken for...



Depending on what side of the lake you are on, the 2010 M24 North Americans are going to be at Rochester YC, which should be a good event. I would also urge you to really think about how much you truly will go out single handed on either boat. I always have "visions" of what I "would" do with the boats etc, and they almost never happen except for the travel racing.

Travis

#32 jacobsen1

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:00 PM

One thing I'd consider if I was to singlehand the Viper much would be to buy a new headstay with a Facnor so I could furl it. I might consder buying a Harken if I was willing to put a zipper luff on the jib. It'd be nice to simly roll it up before landing the boat at the dock.


yeah, this was our thought on a viper as well... We were going to have a slightly smaller jib made for a furler, and most likely toss a track on it for a self tacker. Basically set it up exactly like a 29er/49er/vector only with a furler, also adding a trap. In the end my dad test sailed the open and the rest is history.

Now about the racing:
-Viper is VERY easy to tow. All up tow weight is under 1,000 lbs. My buddy rockhead tows his behind his 4 cylinder Saab...thousands of miles...no worries.


does it really only weight 1k on the trailer? Because the open is at 1440lb on it's trailer. I know the viper is ~200 lighter, but the trailers seem pretty similar?

I ask, because I know with my subaru the manual says I "need" trailer brakes with over 1k, but I can go to 2k with them. So that 1k mark is a magic number really... Honestly though we tow w/o trailer brakes at 1440 w/o any drama with the scoob. You just have to know what you're doing (spacing).

Ok, I forgot to mention, after reading Jacobsen 1's comments....For sailing in breeze solo on the Viper you might want to think about a chicken chute too. This would make it MUCH more manageable in winds over 18-20. I still have yet to try a Open 5.70 kite on the Viper but hopefully this weekend at Huntington I will.


yeah, but we don't have a belly button cord. ;) And yeah, we should trade chutes some day... Although I have something else in the back of my car right now... :ph34r:

I wouldn't be soloing with the kite up or going out in big breeze (10-15, normally); more likely quick jaunts around the harbour before facing Mrs. Thatcher's meatloaf and peas...


what's the point in that? :lol:

some food for thought:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=VGy3ow-fQYc

NOT pushing my boat choice, just that you need to fly the kite alone... It's easier to take down on a viper anyway, just plan for a mexican every time...

#33 dannyv1986

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:42 PM

(coming from a melges 24 owner)

first off, i don't travel with my boat. as it turns out, the crew seen in the pictures of your boat before you buy it don't necessarily come with you. they come with time, and your ablity to recruit new sailors. we're getting our act together, and we'll get there eventually.

i didn't notice if you mentioned you owned a boat previously or not. you'll find that either one, you'll be doing stuff outside of just sailing. i used to own a laser2, where i sailed it solo almost daily because I had nothing to work on. With the m24, I find myself today after a weekend of racing moving sails around, switching out some lines, and going through the boat. It's easy to keep a laser2 organized, but if your using a m24 or even a viper, stuff will accumulate. This is time that I would be out sailing. I've even considered buying a snark to keep with my m24, just to keep sailing.

now, I also have to send out emails to two different people that are new to the boat, trying to figure out if this is something they want to do. That'll push my day back. I'm sailing on a mumm30 for the great lakes champs in two weeks, which will effectively sidetrack my boat. I have to clean the bottom after leaving it in the water 7 days (to which I sailed 7 days straight).


solo sailing on a melges 24--- i've done it actually. in about 6-8 knots of wind. and I had both the jib and main out. and you know what, i prob wont do it again. i solo it when i take it on "deliveries" (there is another yc thats approx 5 miles from mine). Theres the talk of needing the jib out, why not use the engine? I'm amazed how many people don't like them, like the thing is a big dinghy or something. throw the damn engine on. esp if your going solo. sometimes i sail my 24 and i just kick up the engine.


20 boats at the nationals? seriously? don't tell travis but that may have been one of the biggest melges jokes there were. worlds are on the east coast. disregard that whole event(nationals).

i can launch my 24 with 2. maybe it can be done w one but i dont have the courage

#34 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:02 PM

I've launched M24s numerous times alone. The only thing you need a hand with is the rig for three minutes. I've singlehanded in 2-15 knots. It's a hoot and not tough at all up to about 10. You are wildly overpowered upwind in 15, and have to sail the boat like you're in 30, easing jib and sailing on the leech. Downwind VMG sailing is on a plane in under 10. It's an awesome feeling. Bungee on the tiller is an absolute necessity for kite flight, but if you have the halyard, and tack line close to you, getting the kite down is pretty easy. You have to leave the tiller to stuff the kite, but it only takes about 3 seconds.

Never singlehanded the Viper, but being smaller, slower, with everything closer, it should of course be easier. The only prob with singlehanding the M24 is a bit of distance and no reef.

#35 GnD

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:49 PM

I like sailing my melges 24 single handed. it is a handful, but fun. I have to admit I usually do not use the chute. I do double handed.

I rig the tiller through the spin blocks and steer while hiking out. it is good thing for dislexic people. You adjust the rig 10+ of actual wind. I always use the jib and motor away from the dock. the main is a hand full to pull up single handed. with the jaws below.

we ramp launch the boat. so I found it easier just to motor away from the dock, after I get the boat in the water and the car and trailer put away. the fisherman usually get a touch pissy about a sailboat hanging out on the ramp for to long. So go rig the boat on another dock or hang off a bouy for a few minutes.

if you are going on a longer distance, you might want to put up reef in the sail. we have a safety line on the boom just in case you break and outhaul. we have an old main with a groment put in it. we have NEVER put a reef in. I have rolled up the jib single handed.

you can sail the boat in 17 knots with just the main. is it ok fast. the big boats will eat you up if you roll the jib up.
below 12 knots the boat is a KILLER. we have raced it at 155 PHRF non flying sails.

other tricks on the boat single handed. PNW requires a teather. we have a single poing rigged in the center of the cockpit. we just hook up to that. we use it when the kids come out and play with us. they hook up to the life jackest and can hike out on either side, when we run full crew.

the hardest part of single handing is the trailer. easier with two. I found it nice to help one person and they help you.


if you can keep you melges on a lift, it woudl be a perfect single hander. the jib is on a roller. we raced the Ultimate 20 boat for boat, M24 nf. U20 flying everything.


if it a light wind location, they are great. if it a high wind location. buy something with a ton of lead, a head, auto piliot and a fridge. we never have a issue finding somebody to go for a sail with. 2x make it twice as fun

#36 jh26

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:56 PM

-Viper is VERY easy to tow. All up tow weight is under 1,000 lbs. My buddy rockhead tows his behind his 4 cylinder Saab...thousands of miles...no worries.


does it really only weight 1k on the trailer? Because the open is at 1440lb on it's trailer. I know the viper is ~200 lighter, but the trailers seem pretty similar?


If it's over 1k lbs on the trailer, it's only a few pounds - at least on the old Triad trailer.

#37 TheCadMan

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:36 PM

Up here is Lake Ontario. I'm looking at buying used. See a list of them up for sale. Assuming they're not all spoken for...


If you are not already aware, there is a Viper (Grendel) in Bronte (Oakville). Good bunch that seem to be very happy about showing off their boat and answering questions. Might be worth looking them up if you are in or around the GTA.

If memory serves correct, PM 'Snakeonaplane'

#38 schoonerman

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:46 PM

You should contact Harvey Barnes. He knows the whereabouts of all the Canadian Vipers. I believe he has one or more boats for sale too.

Harvey Barnes<barnes_harvey@hotmail.com>,

#39 Bulbhunter

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:32 PM

One thing I'd consider if I was to singlehand the Viper much would be to buy a new headstay with a Facnor so I could furl it. I might consder buying a Harken if I was willing to put a zipper luff on the jib. It'd be nice to simly roll it up before landing the boat at the dock.


yeah, this was our thought on a viper as well... We were going to have a slightly smaller jib made for a furler, and most likely toss a track on it for a self tacker. Basically set it up exactly like a 29er/49er/vector only with a furler, also adding a trap. In the end my dad test sailed the open and the rest is history.

Now about the racing:
-Viper is VERY easy to tow. All up tow weight is under 1,000 lbs. My buddy rockhead tows his behind his 4 cylinder Saab...thousands of miles...no worries.


does it really only weight 1k on the trailer? Because the open is at 1440lb on it's trailer. I know the viper is ~200 lighter, but the trailers seem pretty similar?

I ask, because I know with my subaru the manual says I "need" trailer brakes with over 1k, but I can go to 2k with them. So that 1k mark is a magic number really... Honestly though we tow w/o trailer brakes at 1440 w/o any drama with the scoob. You just have to know what you're doing (spacing).

Ok, I forgot to mention, after reading Jacobsen 1's comments....For sailing in breeze solo on the Viper you might want to think about a chicken chute too. This would make it MUCH more manageable in winds over 18-20. I still have yet to try a Open 5.70 kite on the Viper but hopefully this weekend at Huntington I will.


yeah, but we don't have a belly button cord. ;) And yeah, we should trade chutes some day... Although I have something else in the back of my car right now... :ph34r:

I wouldn't be soloing with the kite up or going out in big breeze (10-15, normally); more likely quick jaunts around the harbour before facing Mrs. Thatcher's meatloaf and peas...


what's the point in that? :lol:

some food for thought:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=VGy3ow-fQYc

NOT pushing my boat choice, just that you need to fly the kite alone... It's easier to take down on a viper anyway, just plan for a mexican every time...



What subaru do you have? The reason I ask is I've towed my U20 quite a bit with our 01 legacy and another U20 owner has towed SF to San Diego - lived in Tahoe - towed with a 99 Impreza 2.2L did fine just had to be easy on the clutch. Another friend towed his U20 all over CA with this Toyota Matrix 5spd. U20 is heavier with trailer and creates a slightly larger wind target than the Viper or open. All up on the trailer I'm easily pushing 2000+ with the U20.
2003 and later subarus - they fixed the heat / build up issue with the exhaust set up which is the main cause of my heat issue on the 01 legacy non turbo 2.5L. The 2.2 in the earlier impreza is probably one of the best 4cyclinder engines built outside of the old Toyota 4banger.

The Legacy towed fine stopped it pretty decent too only issue was cooling when the CA valley hit 90+ - oil cooler is a good idea.
I wouldn't have a 2nd thought of towing the viper or open with legacy or impreza.

#40 M24_Brinksmanship

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:37 PM

Well now. That is a flood of really great advice. Thanks all. I'm going to have to print a lot of that out and save it as crib notes for later.

The Viper it is, then. I've been jonesing for one but was considering the 24 because there's already a decent fleet up here. I'm patient, however and more than happy to travel while I wait for a 640 class to build in the area.

As mentioned, I will have a crew teed up for racing. Just don't want to be sidelined the rest of the week because I can't pull anyone away from the bar...especially seeing that it's a wet boat and water's cold up here. I wouldn't be soloing with the kite up or going out in big breeze (10-15, normally); more likely quick jaunts around the harbour before facing Mrs. Thatcher's meatloaf and peas...

Thanks again all. That was incredibly useful.

Best,
T.


DUDE ... if you own a Melges 24 you will NOT have a problem getting crew! The fact that you have been thinking about single handing suggests you need to spend some race time in a Melges 24.
My inital reaction to you post made think you had been out ... now I am not so sure. Get on a boat & go for some rides in 20 knots! That will get you hooked! Crew is easy to find but take time to get a good one together. Once you are on you will have no problems!

#41 Bulbhunter

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:44 PM

Well now. That is a flood of really great advice. Thanks all. I'm going to have to print a lot of that out and save it as crib notes for later.

The Viper it is, then. I've been jonesing for one but was considering the 24 because there's already a decent fleet up here. I'm patient, however and more than happy to travel while I wait for a 640 class to build in the area.

As mentioned, I will have a crew teed up for racing. Just don't want to be sidelined the rest of the week because I can't pull anyone away from the bar...especially seeing that it's a wet boat and water's cold up here. I wouldn't be soloing with the kite up or going out in big breeze (10-15, normally); more likely quick jaunts around the harbour before facing Mrs. Thatcher's meatloaf and peas...

Thanks again all. That was incredibly useful.

Best,
T.


DUDE ... if you own a Melges 24 you will NOT have a problem getting crew! The fact that you have been thinking about single handing suggests you need to spend some race time in a Melges 24.
My inital reaction to you post made think you had been out ... now I am not so sure. Get on a boat & go for some rides in 20 knots! That will get you hooked! Crew is easy to find but take time to get a good one together. Once you are on you will have no problems!



Not so sure about that - Schoonerman - got roped into crewing on a M24 a few weeks back I saw him at the Wed Beer can and his comment was - never again - sticking to the viper so my body can still function after a nice sail. Kinda thinking a viper would have a bigger auto crew list than the m24. Then again I wouldn't expect anyone who races an M24 and has never raced any of the newer / slightly smaller sporties to think other wise HA!

#42 jacobsen1

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:50 PM

What subaru do you have?

2004 WRX sedan. I'm not saying I can't tow 2k, I'm saying I'm supposed to have trailer brakes to do it... ;)
Posted Image

and you should see the looks I get at the hoist some nights.... Especially if a shields (BARF) is launching....

but yeah, BY THE NUMBERS, my wife's MINI can tow the viper or open... If the hitch wasn't custom made and ~$400 I would have bought one just for the pics... :lol:

#43 Bulbhunter

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:01 PM

What subaru do you have?

2004 WRX sedan. I'm not saying I can't tow 2k, I'm saying I'm supposed to have trailer brakes to do it... ;)
Posted Image

and you should see the looks I get at the hoist some nights.... Especially if a shields (BARF) is launching....

but yeah, BY THE NUMBERS, my wife's MINI can tow the viper or open... If the hitch wasn't custom made and ~$400 I would have bought one just for the pics... :lol:


I've found that the trailer brake thing is really not enforceable not to mention if you do any trailer launches in salt water trailer breaks are not advisable err they tend to freeze up and be a major issue with any salt use.

Ski boats are hauled every weekend all year around that weigh 4000+Lbs with no trailer breaks 2000lbs behind a car pushing 4000K doesn't need trailer breaks unless your driving a 1970's VW which case the car needs trailer breaks with out a trailer.

Don't worry about it drive smart US nanny state would actually remove all towing ability from anything that isn't stamped with SUV or Pickup lable anyway. How else are they going to sell all those domestic POS? HA HA

#44 Bulbhunter

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:07 PM

towing the U20 with the legacy - I've had plenty of SUV / Truck guys at the gas station tell me I shouldn't do that.
I ask them do what? Tow such a big boat with that little car. Most are towing a trailer of some type. IE experts.

My response is always the same. I ask them how heavy their trailer is 80% of the time they can't answer that question to start with. Then I ask them what they think my trailer weighs 4000+ is usually the answer I get.
The look on their face when I tell them the boat with all gear tips in at 1300lbs and the trailer adds about 500 which puts me well in the towing range of said car.

Had one guy with a GMC 2500 towing a 18ft alum fishing boat with a 8hp honda lecture me once. I told him he paid way too much for his tow rig that a honda civic can tow 800lbs of tin can. He shut up and got back in his truck. HA!

#45 jacobsen1

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:31 PM

yeah, the last smart comment I got was from a shields sailor's wife at the hoist. They had a ford exploder hooked up to their boat and were questioning me! :lol: Too bad I have more HP and torque AND better brakes in the scoob, never mind the fact their boat weights how much?

but yeah, that's why I'd LOVE to have the MINI get a hitch. the looks I get in that anyway (6'4"), then add a boat on the back?

#46 schoonerman

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:54 PM

LMAO.... I towed my SC 27 to Tahoe and back TWICE behind a VW van....got some interesting looks with that at the hoist :huh:

Got pulled over by CHP coming down the hill. He said 'you're a little crazy aren't you?' I feigned ignorance. Was REALLY fast downhill...quite a few 2nd gear grades going up though.

#47 Mambo Kings

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:48 PM

Back on topic. I have sailed my Viper 640 single handed just a few times.
I have a very long tiller extension so that I sit up close to the jib cleats and can adjust main and jib quite easily.
I have never used the chute single handed. I see no reason. It is remarkable how easily the boat moves downwind under jib and main with only the weight of one person on board.

Changes I would make if I was single handing frequently.
(1) Put small wedge under jib cleat, to make it easier to cleat/uncleat (I have this anyway)
(2) Either reverse the mainsheet swivel or get one that goes 360 degrees, so that you can cross the boat in front of the mainsheet and stay close to the jib sheets. Its set up for the helm to cross the boat behind the mainsheet.
(3) I echo the idea of someone earlier about getting a roller reefing jib. It would be easy to take on and take off for serious racing. The trouble with roller reefing is that it shags good racing sails and can snag the chute in gybes. I find the Vipe okay to sail under main alone, but it is just that bit crisper on the helm with the jib up and roller reefing would be easy way to control the power.
(4) A trapeze sounds like fun and would make it a better power to weight ratio, but I think the boat handling would need some practise at tacks etc. Hmmmm. If its just to go for a spin around the lake, I think a roller reefing jib might be the easier (albeit it less exciting) customization. I want to install a trap some day for one of these "unlimited regattas", but that would be to go two up.

Marc Gauthier races his Vipe single handed with standard set up. He flies the chute and last year nearly won a Weds night Phrf race in 18 knots before they abandoned cos a lead belly broached into the cttee boat. I would never fly a chute single handed in that, but Marc is from Maine Maritime and they put something in the water up there.

In all honesty I much prefer sailing my Vipe as a two person boat (and yes, put me in the category who goes for a recreational sail with my 9 year old ). If I get the jones to go sailing single handed, I pull out a beater Laser or my elderly Sea Sprite which sits on a mooring with a reefed main and roller furling jib and quick release mooring pennant.

One difference from a crew perspective between M24 and Viper is that the M24 needs another person to race when fully crewed. They are both great classes. They are different boats - but there must be some similarities because there is a lot of overlap in the people. I think both classes have fun, attend similar regattas, and have got to know each other pretty well. I think we are honored to be compared to the M24, which is one of the premiere racing ODs. You certainly would not be disappointed with the M24 racing circuit, which is top drawer, and very well established. We have some fun on the Vipes as well. Truly both great boats with great crowd of fun people in each.

#48 SnakeOnAPlane

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:40 AM

Up here is Lake Ontario. I'm looking at buying used. See a list of them up for sale. Assuming they're not all spoken for...


If you are not already aware, there is a Viper (Grendel) in Bronte (Oakville). Good bunch that seem to be very happy about showing off their boat and answering questions. Might be worth looking them up if you are in or around the GTA.

If memory serves correct, PM 'Snakeonaplane'


Thanks for the shout out. Thatch, if you are in the GTA or Hamilton, PM me and we'd be glad to take you for a sail. Can't really speak to the singlehanding issue--never tried it, except by accident when the crew missed the hiking straps. But it's got to be easier than the M24. We have trailed our boat up and down the east coast behind my Civic with no problem.

My .02 (=.016 USD), buy a Viper and then use the money you save on your first set of sails compared to the Melges and get a beater laser for singlehanding after work.

#49 jacobsen1

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:57 PM

just for reference sake, last nights beercan race was in what the comittee labeled 12kt of wind. MAX puff was maybe 15. The viper was 2up and the M24 was three up (so both one short). The M24 had to flog their main upwind in just that, the viper was fine, and neither of the guys on the viper were big guys either....

#50 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 05:15 PM

just for reference sake, which Melges 24 and which Viper? That's something people really need to consider in this never ending debate. The ease/speed arguments depend so much on WHO you're talking about in a fleet. Some people make tough work look easy, some make easy work look tough, and in a strict one-design fleet, fast teams can easily be 1 minute or more a mile faster than the slowest. Think of what THAT says about handicaps.

#51 jacobsen1

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 05:55 PM

yeah, for sure clean, but the viper was the green one that's new to the fleet and they were looking good.

from the score sheet:

Viper 640 #85 Viper 640 85 William Freeborn
Baby Bella Melges 24 US 17 Mark Nannini


the M24 did go on to wrap their kite over the top of the can we rounded as a leeward mark though (and we were close enough in the open to enjoy the show).

#52 arr4ws

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 01:27 PM

I will try to add my 2 cents here. I didnt read the whole thread so bare with me.

I own a melges 24 , and i sailed it alone a couple of time so i maybe can help you on this.

The boat is pretty easy to steer alone , but the big problem is the length of the cockpit and the geometry of the jib lines. You wont find it easy to put them into the cleat after tacking especially in strong winds. This is a major problem that can be ''fixed'' by tacking very slowly , the go do your thing in front of the main traveler , and then come back to your steering seats.

I think with the right modification , especially for the jib lines , the melges could be a very good solo boat.

here what i would do , the red is the jib and the yellow the spinnaker , the pink circles are the jam cleat. I would bring back the jib a lot and put a cleat there. I would also put another cleat for the spinnaker without moving the block. If you seat with your leg between the traveler, it would be way more easy that way.


Posted Image

#53 GybeSetŪ

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:08 PM

but the big problem is


well ... it is that other big problem actually

Except for very few exceptions they are critically designed with a large 'live ballast' component replacing 'extra bulb', that is "providing the RM"

It is simply these weight ratios that seperate a SB from a regular small lead-belly

you could not get a worse type of boat to singlehand, other than the other types that rely heavily on crew ballast, large dinghies and scows

the Rocket 22 and 'regular' js9000 are among the best known exceptions, using other means as a fair component of RM

i think we've been here before ..... every time this ol' one surfaces yet again 'i want to singlehand a boat specically designed and virtually dependant on a large crew' derr

#54 arr4ws

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:57 PM

but the big problem is


well ... it is that other big problem actually

Except for very few exceptions they are critically designed with a large 'live ballast' component replacing 'extra bulb', that is "providing the RM"

It is simply these weight ratios that seperate a SB from a regular small lead-belly

you could not get a worse type of boat to singlehand, other than the other types that rely heavily on crew ballast, large dinghies and scows

the Rocket 22 and 'regular' js9000 are among the best known exceptions, using other means as a fair component of RM

i think we've been here before ..... every time this ol' one surfaces yet again 'i want to singlehand a boat specically designed and virtually dependant on a large crew' derr


While i agree with you, you can still sail the melges solo even if youre alone. I was just pointing out what you need to modify to be efficient.

Ive sailed myself in not more than 15 knots true wind.

#55 fullsail

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:56 PM

This is what I think.

Viper and m24 are wonderful boats to sail.
But for me it is a complete nonsense not to be able to take the boat out alone, or simply put, going out sailing when the wind is there.
What can be done is configure a different sailing mode for short crew.
This means adapting the ergonomics so every controls are near the driver. And the most important, adapting the sailplan meaning reducing it.
Think that the boat do not need the power to carry the full crew, but the boat still need to stay on his foot up to say: 25 knots of wind.
For that I see a smaller flatter jib ideally on a self tacking and a flatter main shorter on the foot but still carrying roach for self depowering.
Having older sails recutted by a sailmaker should to the trick without being to expensive.
We are not talking about an highly competitive mode here. Just having the most efficient mode for sailing short handed.

I built myself a 2 crews 26 footer that I sail alone most of the time.
The boat weigths 2000 pounds, has 1000# ballast in a bulb keel, has a narrow 6 foot beam and carry 300 sq/f sail area. Plus an 370 sq/f asso.
Surely the boat is a dog compare to the real sportboats, but is still a fast and fun lead assist sailing machine. Mainly because I can use it anytime.
See how I have arranged the ergonomics on my boat:

Christian.

Attached Files



#56 schoonerman

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:38 PM

I sailed the Viper again solo for about 25 minutes this weekend. We raced two up and my crew was off training another Viper on fast kite takedowns.

Had a ball in about 12 knots..planing nicely. Very easily done. Plenty of room to handle main and jib. Didn't get the kite up as we had to get ready for the first gun. Need a bungie aboard for that any ways.

#57 Thatcher

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:07 PM

Thanks again to all who have contributed, offered rides and PM'd for follow-up. I'm amazed at all the useful advice and the effort some have poured into providing really detailed direction. I'm still listening - just don't have much else to add at the moment.

Thanks much!

#58 Sail IC

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 06:57 AM

I have a RSK6 which I'm sailing mostly single handed. Few mods. Added a trapeze, long tiller extension, mid boom sheeting (alt two tiller ext.), and moved the genny halyard and pole cleat back behind the keelbox.

I sail it faster than a standard two men hiking RSK6 given the same (or better) RM but 200lb lighter. Speed of manouvers are not a problem with following smallish exeptions. Slower accelerating out of the tacks as i don't ease the jib in the tacks. Windward rounding as I first have to ease the jib then the main. Sheeting in the genny in the gibes. Cleaning up the genny sheets after the leeward mark (biggest time sink). I only raced it once yet single handed. In mixed fleet I gave myself a 3% faster rating then a standard RSK6 and ended up 4 sec behind the winner on measured time in a 15 knots breeze.

Back to your original question, M24 or Viper. Size (mostly sail area) and RM is a problem going single handed so i'm sure the Viper has a head start. The Viper also has a spinn launcher which is a MUST HAVE for effective singel handed sailing. The not self tacking jib on the Viper should be OK. I done a lot of racing on International Canoes which does not have a self tacking jib (small though). RM will be you biggest challange even with a trapeze. If you ca add some small hank on removable hiking boards to step out on at your windward trapezing position it would help a bit further. No big deal given the small size and load.

If you're not used to trapezing, doing it on a keelboat is fun, much more comfortable than hiking. Biggest challange is downwind with the genny up but if you get out of balance, just focus on the steering and the keel will save you out of any trouble which would be a capzise on a genny dinghy.

Cheers

#59 euler

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:32 PM

It seem sailing single-handed is doable.  What about launching it via a ramp by yourself?



#60 tedrules

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:05 AM

The VX One has a self tacking jib and single line to launch and douse the kite making it easy to single hand.

Here I am below sailing single handed in 20 knots.

/https://www.youtube....h?v=93HNxJd1pgE



#61 schoonerman

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:51 PM

It seem sailing single-handed is doable.  What about launching it via a ramp by yourself?


Ramp launching alone is always tough...even with a laser. You just have to sink the trailer deep enough to so when you let the bowline go, the boat floats off.

Easy to step the mast on a Viper alone....a bit tougher on a M24.

#62 Mambo Kings

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

Sailed my Viper single handed a bunch of times.....But if Im going out for a quick single handed spin, I'd always grab the Laser off the dock. The Laser will always be easier and quicker to launch single handed than any sport boat.

 

Of the smaller sport boats, the easiest to sail single handed will be the K6. Its design mandate remit was a "two person sport boat that can be sailed singlehanded" because the builder/sponsor contemplated the expert helm wanting to take a casual friend out sailing. So the controls are carefully laid out to be within reach of helm as well as crew. It works. Ive sailed it singlehanded and I wouldn't hesitate to fly a chute single handed on the K6.

 

The Viper is my poison of choice and single handed sailing wasn't a big deciding factor for me.  



#63 hoofhearted

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:11 PM

It seem sailing single-handed is doable.  What about launching it via a ramp by yourself?

 

I can ramp launch my Viper 640 alone. Hoist you need two people.

 

Hell, I ramp launch our Hobie 33 alone.



#64 teener

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 03:14 AM

The VX One has a self tacking jib and single line to launch and douse the kite making it easy to single hand.

Here I am below sailing single handed in 20 knots.

/https://www.youtube....h?v=93HNxJd1pgE

In some conditions you could actually be competitive single handed.



#65 schoonerman

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:29 PM

Min crew as per class rules on a Viper is 2.

Bit of a challenge to singlehand as the kite halyard, pole out, is nowhere near the helm. Could easily do it with an UBER tiller extension though. I've singlehanded my Viper in up to 12. Hard going uphill in full depower mode, but doable. Way fun downhill. Pops right onto the step and gybes stupid easy (skiffy gybes)

I hoist launch my Viper solo all the time. Easy.

I've become fond of singlehanding my K6. Everything sits on a control tower right in front of you. Perfect.

We're gaining some traction with the K6 in NorCal. Now have 4 boats here and a few demos lined up after I get my boat back from the America's Cup Village Display.

I'm sure the VX is easy to singlehand too.

#66 teener

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 04:55 AM

Never understood the min crew requirement that many classes have.  MC scows have great success allowing single handling.



#67 bloodshot

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:42 PM

are you sure that's what the gerbils were for?



#68 schoonerman

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:43 PM

bastards....my gerbils sailed off into the sunset. ingrates!!!!

#69 schoonerman

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:44 PM

Hi Snap.

 

Nope...racing is ON for Tues. At least one. Today's racing is likely to be limited to one race as it'll be very windy by 2:15.  I have a K6 there. No Viper. There's a Weta, laser, hobie and 2 18' skiffs.

 

I was planning on taking the K6 home on Weds.



#70 Snapper95

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:37 PM

I came, I saw, they cancelled the race.

K6 a nice looking boat, don't think it is for me though, all things considered. Maybe down the road a bit.

Heading home tonight.

#71 schoonerman

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:29 PM

Tell me why. Constructive criticism is a good thing. We have new boats on the horizon and I always want to learn

#72 Damp Freddie

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

Well I haven't sailed on either "Yet" (Apex I see ya lurking tongue.gif). But honestly I would have to think the Viper would be much easier to single hand then the Melges 24. Smaller boat=smaller sails=less loads & less of of oh shit factor if or when things go balls up. This is based on nothing but a SWAG (scientific wild assed guess) or my sorry ass opinion.
Adios,
FM

 

 

Yeah ditto.

 

No such thing as a dumb question but the m24 has a big roachy (well ok) main and long boom so single handing into a dock is just going to be a 'mare.



#73 Snapper95

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:53 PM

Tell me why. Constructive criticism is a good thing. We have new boats on the horizon and I always want to learn

 

I'm not going to publicly slag on someone's livelihood here.

 

It is a nice platform that will serve many sailors well, and is worth a close look for those looking for a two up sailing experience. Grab a demo and see for yourself.



#74 ultraracer613um

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:05 PM

Your right, get a demo schooner please give us an unbiased report as soon as you can. If you need the west coast reps contact info let me know.




Tell me why. Constructive criticism is a good thing. We have new boats on the horizon and I always want to learn

 
I'm not going to publicly slag on someone's livelihood here.
 
It is a nice platform that will serve many sailors well, and is worth a close look for those looking for a two up sailing experience. Grab a demo and see for yourself.


#75 GybeSetŪ

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:04 PM

you are again talking about that 'barely ballasted dinghy' in a vipe/24 thread

 

schooner you would have to agree the Vipe resurgance is due to 'one eyed' class promotion by people that love the class and have not taken their eye off the ball

 

meanwhile you ????????

 

no fucking wonder the promotion and numbers on the West Coast is a thousand percent behind all the other main sailing centres in NA  

pick up your game

 

-------------------------------

 

reading between the lines a bit seems that s95 just sees himself preferring a platform a little larger than a two-up dink ?



#76 schoonerman

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:54 PM

You're a bit off GS. Viper sales in the West have, for the first time ever, nearly exceeded the East. We've sold out production in the USA through October. We seem to be doing just fine here. Had our first 25 boat event ever in the West at LBRW....doubling last years numbers. Next year we're looking at perhaps 35..maybe even 40.

Yes, we can DEFINITELY do better....working on it.

#77 C Dub

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 04:14 PM

Gybe, I literally can not understand what you are saying. Are you talking about the Viper? Sort of sounds like maybe the K6? Can you clarify?

 

you are again talking about that 'barely ballasted dinghy' in a vipe/24 thread

 

schooner you would have to agree the Vipe resurgance is due to 'one eyed' class promotion by people that love the class and have not taken their eye off the ball

 

meanwhile you ????????

 

no fucking wonder the promotion and numbers on the West Coast is a thousand percent behind all the other main sailing centres in NA  

pick up your game

 

-------------------------------

 

reading between the lines a bit seems that s95 just sees himself preferring a platform a little larger than a two-up dink ?



#78 krash

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:48 PM

I've sailed my M24 singlehanded a bunch, but i'm also the same guy that launches and sails his Reynolds 33 solo.

 

Back to the M24, it's handful in anything over 8 knots.  That being said, we have a long distance solo race on Lake Lanier that I have won twice while sailing the M24.

 

I rigged bungees to hold the tiller in the middle while setting or dousing the spin.  Other than that, cleat the sail and drive.

 

-Mike



#79 GnD

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:39 PM

Agree with Mike on that one

 

The boat fly's with one or two people.  We have done a bunch of double handed stuff.  Amazing how fast it is with two.  

 

Single handed above 8 I ended up not flying the spin when single handed.  Above 12 knots down wind it will plane out with out it.   Amazing little boats.



#80 hereforthebeer

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:33 AM

How about a Laser for singlehanded ?  Back to the question -  I own an M24 and have raced Vipers.  Except for the roller furler on the M24 the Viper makes more sense. 



#81 vxone-d

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:34 PM

So, things have taken turn for the better and it's time to pull the trigger on a boat. I've decided on either the M24 or the Viper 640.

I've taken all other factors into consideration already and have searched the forums but can't find any info on what is most important to me - the ability to sail one of these solo.

I'll have a crew for racing, but also want to be able to go out for a sail whenever I feel like it, regardless of whether anyone else is available (the club is only 10 minutes from my desk, so want to be able to go for a quick boogie before dinner most nights). Neither boat does me any good if I can't solo it when I have to.

Anyone with first-hand experience single-handing either of these? And, if so, up to what breeze?

Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks in a

Have a look at the VX ONE. Melges owners that have sailed say it has the best sailing qualities of the M24, but completely manageable. Self taking Jib and Furler for ease of handling, and the Kite is really easy to get out of the launcher single handed. Light, stiff, fast, and very forgiving also.

 

B



#82 RockHead

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 05:56 AM

https://m.facebook.c..._user=520498447

Dual snackticians and a serious bowman on a Viper in Hampton, VA.




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