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Melges 24 for old guy


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So this might be a goofy idea so flame me if you need to. I just turned 65 but still fit and able. I currently own and sail a Hot Foot 20. I down sized from a B25 to reduce the need for crew . Finding the Hot Foot a little small but still want exciting sailing. If I find the Hot Foot small then that rules out all of the newer 20 footish sporties .

What if I purchased a Melges 24 and bot a shorter rig to reduce the upwind sail area to about 300 square foot. I of course would swap the original rig back on if I were to compete in any Melges events or any serious PHRF regatta. The idea being I would have basically 2 boats. Main one powered down for short handed day sailing and Wed Nite PHRF Beer Can racing. The second one being a regular Melges 24 for the serious fully crewed action should I choose to want to do that. (still very fit and able)

The problem with purchasing any other sports boat like a nice Rocket 22, Ultimate 24, Flying Tiger 7.5, GP 26 etc is the lack of a  class if I ever want to do a one design event. The exception being the J 70. I suppose I could do the opposite with a J70. Buy a second taller rig to power it up for non one design J 70 racing. I think there would be less potential problems powering down than up so the Melges 24 would be my preference.

I know this is an expensive idea unless I found a used mast that I could shorten and cut down some sails.  I know I would have problems with our PHRF gurus coming up with an appropriate rating. Any other problems I am overlooking?

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, JimB said:

So this might be a goofy idea so flame me if you need to. I just turned 65 but still fit and able. I currently own and sail a Hot Foot 20. I down sized from a B25 to reduce the need for crew . Finding the Hot Foot a little small but still want exciting sailing. If I find the Hot Foot small then that rules out all of the newer 20 footish sporties .

What if I purchased a Melges 24 and bot a shorter rig to reduce the upwind sail area to about 300 square foot. I of course would swap the original rig back on if I were to compete in any Melges events or any serious PHRF regatta. The idea being I would have basically 2 boats. Main one powered down for short handed day sailing and Wed Nite PHRF Beer Can racing. The second one being a regular Melges 24 for the serious fully crewed action should I choose to want to do that. (still very fit and able)

The problem with purchasing any other sports boat like a nice Rocket 22, Ultimate 24, Flying Tiger 7.5, GP 26 etc is the lack of a  class if I ever want to do a one design event. The exception being the J 70. I suppose I could do the opposite with a J70. Buy a second taller rig to power it up for non one design J 70 racing. I think there would be less potential problems powering down than up so the Melges 24 would be my preference.

I know this is an expensive idea unless I found a used mast that I could shorten and cut down some sails.  I know I would have problems with our PHRF gurus coming up with an appropriate rating. Any other problems I am overlooking?

 

 

 

 

Hmm, might be spendy, as a new mast/sails likely set you back more than the boat, existing mast & sails.

Ultimate 24 hard to find

the GP26 is damn sexy

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Keep it simple. If you want the performance of a Melges 24. Buy one and cut down the main and use a smaller jib when you want to single hand or daysail. That’s what I have done.

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Yes thinking about simply using smaller sails for short handed day sailing / wed nite beer can racing  as well. Would just have to get used to  sailing around looking like I have a reef in all the time. With a decent sized backstay flicker one could probably fit in a smaller square top. Anyway probably better idea than buying a orphan sportie that never achieves any significant numbers.

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20 hours ago, K9u20 said:

Keep it simple. If you want the performance of a Melges 24. Buy one and cut down the main and use a smaller jib when you want to single hand or daysail. That’s what I have done.

What would you think your cut down sail area is and how does the boat handle and perform?

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I'm not understanding the bit about why you would not just get a J70.

It is exactly as you described, a somewhat powered down Melges 24. You certainly wouldnt want to power it up for short handed sailing and wed night beer can racing. Your handiicap would be straightforward.  Good luck going through all the machinations of trying to get a short sailed Melges 24 an adjustment for PHRF!

Then when you go one design racing , you will have all the competition you need.

Having said that I have owned and sailed a J70.....Im now dividing my time between something smaller/ faster and something much more staid. We are going to take a peek at the RS 21 this summer but I have reservations.

We really enjoyed our time in the J70 but the competition evolved into something that didnt fit with us. Its a great boat.

 

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5 hours ago, JimB said:

What would you think your cut down sail area is and how does the boat handle and perform?

I bought a used J 70 main which is 2’ shorter on the luff and  2.5’ feet on the foot.  A lot of time that reduces the sail area enough to  control in up to 15 knots when I sail short handed.  If it is blowing more I will put up a Melges 20 jib which I also have.  Boat balances out great.  I found both sails on eBay 

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16 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

I'm not understanding the bit about why you would not just get a J70.

It is exactly as you described, a somewhat powered down Melges 24. You certainly wouldnt want to power it up for short handed sailing and wed night beer can racing. Your handiicap would be straightforward.  Good luck going through all the machinations of trying to get a short sailed Melges 24 an adjustment for PHRF!

Then when you go one design racing , you will have all the competition you need.

Having said that I have owned and sailed a J70.....Im now dividing my time between something smaller/ faster and something much more staid. We are going to take a peek at the RS 21 this summer but I have reservations.

We really enjoyed our time in the J70 but the competition evolved into something that didnt fit with us. Its a great boat.

 

Yes I need to take a J70 for a sail to experience it first hand. I cant see it being fast upwind. My Hot Foot has the same upwind sail area and is 600 lbs lighter

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  • 1 year later...

I wouldn't change anything on the M24. It's the perfect boat for what it offers.

For a much safer planning "sportboat" I would recommend a Shark24. 7/8 rig with great performance

You will enjoy it more, very safe , with great overnight ability.

In Canada they have a very active class. Cheap boat, very rewarding. They also have a retrofit bowsprit for a masthead gennaker

I have raced in World Championships both in Melges24 and Shark24 classes.

In my 60's I definitely will continue to race with the Shark24.

Cheers

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On 3/14/2019 at 3:08 PM, JimB said:

Yes I need to take a J70 for a sail to experience it first hand. I cant see it being fast upwind. My Hot Foot has the same upwind sail area and is 600 lbs lighter

Well a M24 is only fast up wind with a bunch of big lads hiking until they cough up blood, so short handed it ain't going to be, unless there's very little breeze.

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On 11/8/2020 at 5:05 PM, jokerx9 said:

I would not try to modify a melges 24. I think you should serious look at a Viper 640 for what you are talking about. 

I second the Viper 640 suggestion. Comfortable singlehanded to 15 TWS or so. To handle 15+, fit a furling jib with a continuous furling line within easy reach of the helm. 

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59 minutes ago, JimB said:

Please reread my initial post.  I have a Hot Foot 20 now.  Not looking to go smaller. 

There's a guy, Andy, on the Melges 24 marketplace that's selling all of the parts from his boat.  Though now that I think about it the mast may be the only thing sold so far.  I was thinking that you could buy that and shorten it down to make your stubby mast though wouldn't it just be easier to get a main built with less roach and less sail area in general, maybe a different halyard that allows for a shorter height too and just deal with the mast poking up above the main some?

As JimBowie said, we have a new Melges 24 fleet possibly growing at Bear Lake in Utah.  I'm bringing #330 there and #80 is on the Great Salt Lake and is going to meet us there.  We're thinking that there maybe one or two more that will join in as a result.

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