Melges 15

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
The M15 looks like a great boat, but it's pretty low-tech. At 230 lbs with aluminum spars and white dacron sails, it's not exactly cutting edge. I don't see this as a youth boat so much as a fantastic 2 person boat for couples, or parent/offspring (remember when that was "what you did"?). I do not believe having M15's replace 420's will do anything for post-school sailing. When I got out of school, I was in no position to buy a boat of this calibre - a used Laser was the best I could do. Plus, for most the focus is on careers and relationships. I think most clubs have strong youth programs, then a gap, then parents returning to sailing with their kids in the the youth program.
If they were the replacement for the C420, once boats start aging out of sailing programs and the wealthier sailors age out there would be a swamp of low priced boats of every condition. From cut up and throw away to yard princesses that sat with the cover rotting off them.

I think many people lack the wonderful experience of sailing a C420. You really should rig one up and go for a spin in light air and medium air. You'll never forget it.
 

Bill5

Right now
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If they were the replacement for the C420, once boats start aging out of sailing programs and the wealthier sailors age out there would be a swamp of low priced boats of every condition. From cut up and throw away to yard princesses that sat with the cover rotting off them.

I think many people lack the wonderful experience of sailing a C420. You really should rig one up and go for a spin in light air and medium air. You'll never forget it.
The local municipal sailing school churns through plenty of 420s. They have 40 of them and seem to replace 5 a year. (Same with 40 Optis and 20 Lasers.)
However, they have a very significant evening school for adults. The M15 would be a perfect boat for that. Might even rekindle the sadly long-dead doublehandled activity around here.
 

RobbieB

Super Anarchist
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56 registered for the NA's here in Charleston at the end of September. Lots of good names in the fleet too with some cross overs from the VX'ers.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
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What I see is young sailors racing the 420 and FJ through college and then never getting in a dinghy again. Maybe a more interesting boat would make them want to stick with it instead of immediately going the keelboat route. Hard to say.

That said, the 420/FJ seems to work well for team racing by younger, smaller sailors; more sail area might not be desirable and I don't see the kite being of much use in the current format.

IMHO the biggest reason why young people drop our of sailing is that they are never taught to ENJOY sailing. They are schooled in "sail around these buoys, now do it faster, NO NO NOT LIKE THAT GODDAMMIT!!! FASTER! ROLL, roll, I said ROLL GODDAMMIT!! over and over all thru their sailing years. They have fun with team mates and drinking but they don't see the boats/skills as anything other than the means gain entry and status.
 

Ventucky Red

Super Anarchist
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IMHO the biggest reason why young people drop our of sailing is that they are never taught to ENJOY sailing.

Kid and I were watching the Race of The Century on Netflix and close to the end, he looked at me and said "I get in why you like this so much, it is competitive and fun.."

Getting back to the kids, how many of them are doing this because their parents are making them?
 

Steam Flyer

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Kid and I were watching the Race of The Century on Netflix and close to the end, he looked at me and said "I get in why you like this so much, it is competitive and fun.."

Getting back to the kids, how many of them are doing this because their parents are making them?

By college, not too many I think. But as we have seen, there are enough perks of being on a college sailing team that many will stick to it when they don't find sailing to be the most fun they've ever had with their clothes on.

My feeling about the Melges 15 as a collegiate boat: great but it's going to shrink the sport by about 30% since that's how much more they cost. College sailing needs a boat that is CHEAPER, MORE DURABLE, and COMPETITIVE FOR A WIDER RANGE OF WEIGHT than 420s. Any notable improvement in any two of those would be very much worth pursuing.
 
By college, not too many I think. But as we have seen, there are enough perks of being on a college sailing team that many will stick to it when they don't find sailing to be the most fun they've ever had with their clothes on.

My feeling about the Melges 15 as a collegiate boat: great but it's going to shrink the sport by about 30% since that's how much more they cost. College sailing needs a boat that is CHEAPER, MORE DURABLE, and COMPETITIVE FOR A WIDER RANGE OF WEIGHT than 420s. Any notable improvement in any two of those would be very much worth pursuing.
College sailing needs boats that are fun and exciting to sail, not more boring dumbed down heavy boats. Yeah yeah FJs and 420s are cheap and durable, but god they are boring to sail. M15s might change that, hell, leave the bow sprit and kite in the boats for college racing, kids are smart and will be fine, and actually enjoy sailing again!

If the Melges 15 reminds people sailing is supposed to be fun, then I hope it takes off. Too many college sailing team mates gave up sailing after college because it wasn’t fun any more.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
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Eastern NC
College sailing needs boats that are fun and exciting to sail, not more boring dumbed down heavy boats. Yeah yeah FJs and 420s are cheap and durable, but god they are boring to sail. M15s might change that, hell, leave the bow sprit and kite in the boats for college racing, kids are smart and will be fine, and actually enjoy sailing again!

If the Melges 15 reminds people sailing is supposed to be fun, then I hope it takes off. Too many college sailing team mates gave up sailing after college because it wasn’t fun any more.

Ah, the scorn of jaded youth. If you had any experience with the boats that came before FJs and 420s, you would not think they were heavy and boring. And no boat that sails well (which they do) is "boring" unless you don't really like sailing all that much. {edit to add} This conversation about "college sailing needs new exciting boats" comes around about twice a year. Welcome!

The Melges 15 seems like an awesome boat. I hope the class really takes off and rekindles interest in sailing and racing.
 
Ah, the scorn of jaded youth. If you had any experience with the boats that came before FJs and 420s, you would not think they were heavy and boring. And no boat that sails well (which they do) is "boring" unless you don't really like sailing all that much. {edit to add} This conversation about "college sailing needs new exciting boats" comes around about twice a year. Welcome!

The Melges 15 seems like an awesome boat. I hope the class really takes off and rekindles interest in sailing and racing.
No you are wrong. Just like Tech dingys and nutshells, 420s and FJs suck. Just because the old people who buy the boats for the college kids thing other wise, doesn’t change that they suck.

Also, if your argument is that FJ/420s don’t suck, then why do we lose so many sailors after college sailing? If the boats are fun and exciting, and these kids spend 500+ days (sat/sun plus 3 practice days during the week, for 16 weeks of a semester in the fall and 16 in the spring) in them over 4 years of college, aren’t retired college sailors jumping at the opportunity to keep racing them? Oh wait, they aren’t because FJs and 420s are boring.

If only people listened to the younger generation who actually has to sail the boats we might keep kids interested. At my local club, a few of the older kids, now early college, are burnt out of 420/FJs, and we had a discussion about what boat they think would be fun. The Melges 15 definitely came up repeatedly, but the lack of used boats was an issue, and the cost of new boats was too high for a bunch of college kids. Two of the kids went and found 49ers and now it looks like we will have between 4 and 6 next summer. So what if they are crazy high performance, and we will be swimming, none of us are doing olympic campaigns, we just want to have fun.
 

Steam Flyer

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Eastern NC
No you are wrong. Just like Tech dingys and nutshells, 420s and FJs suck. Just because the old people who buy the boats for the college kids thing other wise, doesn’t change that they suck.

Also, if your argument is that FJ/420s don’t suck, then why do we lose so many sailors after college sailing? If the boats are fun and exciting, and these kids spend 500+ days (sat/sun plus 3 practice days during the week, for 16 weeks of a semester in the fall and 16 in the spring) in them over 4 years of college, aren’t retired college sailors jumping at the opportunity to keep racing them? Oh wait, they aren’t because FJs and 420s are boring.

If only people listened to the younger generation who actually has to sail the boats we might keep kids interested. At my local club, a few of the older kids, now early college, are burnt out of 420/FJs, and we had a discussion about what boat they think would be fun. The Melges 15 definitely came up repeatedly, but the lack of used boats was an issue, and the cost of new boats was too high for a bunch of college kids. Two of the kids went and found 49ers and now it looks like we will have between 4 and 6 next summer. So what if they are crazy high performance, and we will be swimming, none of us are doing olympic campaigns, we just want to have fun.
Have you found that telling people "You're wrong" works for you, when you know little or nothing about their reasoning and the facts?

There are plenty of non-FJ/420 boats available to recent college grads. Do they ALL suck?

You might as well make the same argument in reverse, that FJs/420s are too advanced for college kids to appreciate. It makes as much sense.

You are also completely incorrect in assuming that I "don't listen to young people." I actually work with a couple of college teams on an informal basis and have gotten many of them into several different/faster boats... not 49ers, I admit.

All this has nothing to do with the Melges 15, so how about we stop this part of the discussion. Go start a new thread, or revive one of the many many many prior threads on "WHAT COLLEGE/HIGH SCHOOL SAILING NEEDS!!"
https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/college-dinghy.87338/
or
https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/t...ege-sailors-in-the-sport-after-college.45243/
or
https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/new-collegiate-420s.152847/
or
https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/club-420s-for-grown-ups.176620/
or
https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/exciting-high-school-sailing-dinghy.203519/
or
https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/youth-evolution-in-sailing.197168/
I could add more but you may be getting the idea by now.

We agree that the Melges 15 is too expensive for programs and too expensive for -most- new grads. Again, it's a really cool boat and I hope it succeeds as a class.
 
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I have commented in many of those threads that 420s and FJs suck. Then again most boats designed in the 60s suck. So I’ll stick to my guns that any argument saying the Melges 15 should not replace 420/FJ is wrong.

I actually have commented in many of those threads saying college sailing needs to be brought into the 2020s after being stuck in the 1970s for 50 years.

The point is the Melges 15 is cool. The price point is perfect for most people, including recent college grads, who want to get their own boat. A new laser is $13k USD delivered. A VX One or Lightning is closer to $40k. I’m not sure what the college version of a Melges 15 costs, but I’ll definitely find out when it’s time for out club to replace their FJs.
 

WCB

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Park City, UT
I have commented in many of those threads that 420s and FJs suck. Then again most boats designed in the 60s suck. So I’ll stick to my guns that any argument saying the Melges 15 should not replace 420/FJ is wrong.

I actually have commented in many of those threads saying college sailing needs to be brought into the 2020s after being stuck in the 1970s for 50 years.

The point is the Melges 15 is cool. The price point is perfect for most people, including recent college grads, who want to get their own boat. A new laser is $13k USD delivered. A VX One or Lightning is closer to $40k. I’m not sure what the college version of a Melges 15 costs, but I’ll definitely find out when it’s time for out club to replace their FJs.
An ILCA is $8k delivered. You can choose to upgrade it but it sails just fine at $8k and it includes a free dolly if you buy this Fall. A Melges 15 sails at $15k with a similar story to the ILCA that you can add a dolly and deck cover and another piece or two as you wish.

Exaggerating to try to make your point just makes you lose credibility.

The 420 and FJ are not at fault here, they're boats, they are not decision makers. If your college program wants to try a different boat, then do it, lead the way. When I was at UVM, we had seven Laser IIs. The problem we had, with as much fun as those boats could be, was that we weren't prepared to race the boats the other teams had so we switched to 420s. So don't bitch about it, design a better boat or fundraise to help your alma mater buy twelve Melges 15s at $180k.
 

Bill5

Right now
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I have commented in many of those threads that 420s and FJs suck. Then again most boats designed in the 60s suck. So I’ll stick to my guns that any argument saying the Melges 15 should not replace 420/FJ is wrong.

I actually have commented in many of those threads saying college sailing needs to be brought into the 2020s after being stuck in the 1970s for 50 years.

The point is the Melges 15 is cool. The price point is perfect for most people, including recent college grads, who want to get their own boat. A new laser is $13k USD delivered. A VX One or Lightning is closer to $40k. I’m not sure what the college version of a Melges 15 costs, but I’ll definitely find out when it’s time for out club to replace their FJs.
So after banging about little courses for 4 years in a beefed-up Melges 15 (250 lbs?), how cool will the graduating college sailor consider the Melges 15? Especially if mom and dad are racing one (the perfect market imho).
Not sure where $13,000 ILCAs are and curious how Lightnings and VX Ones became part of this.
The M15 looks awesome - not sure if you should be their pitchman…
 

sunseeker

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I was told by the dealer in Buffalo, NY that delivered a Laser with a the blue World Sailing sticker was $13k delivered with a trailer. If Im off, my bad.
your dealer sounds like a scumbag. I’ll bet he’s sticking a premium on top of list. Get a new dealer.
 




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