Dinghy classes doing well

fastyacht

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Well that was useless for Americans

Doing well:

505, thistle, snipe, mc, and a bunch of others. Not doing well: gp14. Comet, sadly.BUT diwn but not out! Core group of comets continue   

 

Steam Flyer

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Eastern NC
Well that was useless for Americans

Doing well:

505, thistle, snipe, mc, and a bunch of others. Not doing well: gp14. Comet, sadly.BUT diwn but not out! Core group of comets continue   
the Comet is a cool boat. One of the old-school hot rods that I remember from days of yore.... enough around that they occasionally pop up. One of my junior sailors got a nearly-free Comet from a neighbor and spent some fun time sailing it.

When is the USA going to have one of these new classes actually catch on? The Aero seems to be doing the best

FB- Doug

 

Fretz

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We've built a fleet from 5 to 15 Melges 15's over one year in New Jersey.  

A reasonably priced "new" boat has proven very appealing compared to the time and skill required to refit an older existing option.

 

fastyacht

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Is the meges 15 the new little dinghy? Mc seem to be replacing e also there?

 
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Fretz

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the E fleet is doing well but certainly not growing as it had in the past.  Were hopeful that a 2 person boat with an asail will help the E long term and attract some younger owners to the E fleet in the future.  

 

fastyacht

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the E fleet is doing well but certainly not growing as it had in the past.  Were hopeful that a 2 person boat with an asail will help the E long term and attract some younger owners to the E fleet in the future.  
That sounds like a plan!

E is on list of wants to sail.

 

jlrubin83

New member
You are absolutely correct, high speed and high tech don't equate to strong classes. Price, accessibility and the class atmosphere have a lot more to do with strong classes. I've begun sailing an MC Scow this year and those reasons are why the class is so strong in the US. It is so strong that it's nearly impossible to find a used boat.

 
There are 125 Thistles registered for Nationals this year in Cleveland. Keys to success: fun boat, low cost entry boats, boats last a long time, lots of great sailors in the class, top sailors help newbies. Nonetheless, the Thistle Class is aging, with too many competitors over 60 and not enough under 40. 

 

timber

Super Anarchist
the venerable OK Dinghy is regaining strength in a number of places. New plastic boats are available and new plywood boats are just as good. I built three in the late 70's and felt they were a much better boat than the gawd awful Laser. Even in Covid times the OK's turn out a good group For an event on Lake Como.

 

Admiral Hornblower

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NE Ohio
There are 125 Thistles registered for Nationals this year in Cleveland. Keys to success: fun boat, low cost entry boats, boats last a long time, lots of great sailors in the class, top sailors help newbies. Nonetheless, the Thistle Class is aging, with too many competitors over 60 and not enough under 40. 
I was at that club for a regatta last month with 110 lasers and 420s and things were pretty chaotic, there just isn't enough space! I can't imagine what it would be like with 125 boats the size of a Thistle! The launching area is especially bad, you have to launch into a 15 ft wide channel  through the marina. Even in the relatively maneuverable Lasers and 420s we had horrific pileups in the launching area.

 

Alan Crawford

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Bozeman, Montana
I was at that club for a regatta last month with 110 lasers and 420s and things were pretty chaotic, there just isn't enough space! I can't imagine what it would be like with 125 boats the size of a Thistle! The launching area is especially bad, you have to launch into a 15 ft wide channel  through the marina. Even in the relatively maneuverable Lasers and 420s we had horrific pileups in the launching area.
Wait till you take your Laser to CORK in Kingston, Ontario! (highly recommended but I suspect not this year....)

 

fastyacht

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Thistle is very fun to race! And the people were great fun back when I raced them in Ohio.

 
I was at that club for a regatta last month with 110 lasers and 420s and things were pretty chaotic, there just isn't enough space! I can't imagine what it would be like with 125 boats the size of a Thistle! The launching area is especially bad, you have to launch into a 15 ft wide channel  through the marina. Even in the relatively maneuverable Lasers and 420s we had horrific pileups in the launching area.
I've wondered about that, too. Except for one exhibition race at the beginning, we won't all race together but in three fleets, two at a time so everyone races against everyone else. But that will still involve 80 boats which will mean a starting line of 1920 feet. Maybe the launching will be phased like airplane boarding.

 
An alternative to a new boat for those with limited budgets is to improve a used boat, especially the Sunfish.  A good used Sunfish can be found for a few hundred dollars. For another $1000 one can replace the lines, sail, rudder and daggerboard and with a bit of practice mix it up with the best. A complete restoration of the hull  is not all that difficult - I did it last spring to my late 60s Sunfish in about two weeks, following directions in Kent Lewis' book, "The Sunfish Owner's Manual".  Find an image gallery of what I did at aerosouth.net    Before and after images below.  Once a new sailor has somewhat mastered the Sunfish, he will likely start looking at higher-performance boats, probably first the Laser and eventually something like a FINN, RS Aero or even one of the new foiling boats.  The new Fulcrum Rocket is a neat improvement over the Sunfish but retains its simplicity and ease of transport, key aspects to lowering the hurdles for getting and keeping people on the water.  Board boats make life pretty simple, see the popularity of SUPs.  Add a sail and you are wind surfing.  Add a wing beneath the board and you are foiling.  KISS remains a good goal to help people enter the sport.

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Wavedancer II

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Wait till you take your Laser to CORK in Kingston, Ontario! (highly recommended but I suspect not this year....)
The organizers need to have a traffic control person (maybe in a boat) to make landing easier for returning sailors.

 
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