Sunday is traditionally a day of rest - one way of resting is to lean into the day doing something that you really like to do. I am all for that, so I went sailing. Don and I raced the Fifteen. My brother Tony who was the official photographer thought he was going to be shooting from the end of a jetty but ended up getting a helpful passage on a local boat and was out among the action.
Every race is a learning experience and we are certainly learning a great deal. I am finding being the crew rather than the skipper a rewarding experience. Skippering for me usually means racing solo in my own boat, so I am enjoying being part of a team.
Looks like a lot of fun,
I can't help thinking that the FF might be more popular if it had a lifting keel to make launch and recovery easier, I seem to recall there was a version, but with a modern update pretty sure it would be improved.
or maybe the asymmetric boats are where the mainstream is these days? There seems to be several new retractable keel boats on the market
So true. Sailing with others improves the experience. As does leaving the "pleasures" of boat ownership to others. Boats seem to figure out how to own their owners :-)
It's been a while since I've seen a Flying Fifteen in action. What a fun keeled daysailer.
Max, we race with a fleet of trailer sailors some who have lifting keels and some centre boards. We don't have any trouble launching or retrieving, something which surprised me as I thought it was going to be difficult. Having said that, the conditions are pretty ideal - a solid concrete ramp with very good depth of water at all tides and sheltered from most winds.
At some of the other venues where we race, FFifteens have difficulty being retrieved when the tide goes out because of an expanse of mud and sand between the water and the ramp, but this seems also to be a problem for the lifting keels and trailer sailers with centre boards.
But I agree with you about an design update. A lifting keel would certainly make the FF easier to work on as they would be lower on the trailer when hauled out and make them easier and safer to tow behind a car. I also think the rudder needs re designing. I was disappointed in the amount of weather helm when sailing hard on the wind in the Fifteen, which isn't surprising when you look at the large unbalanced barn door rudder which looks high tech in shape but in fact is a pain in the arse.
The future for me lies in high tech, practicality and light weight (especially the light weight at my age). The RS Aero 9 at about 30kgs is very appealing - its longer than my Zephyr but HALF the weight; which makes it very easy for old buggers like me to haul up the ramp.
Dan, your comments about the leaving the pleasures of boat ownership to others is very interesting. Cost and expense can be barriers to sailing for some and crewing is a good option.
I also think there is something to be said for syndicate ownership - a group of good mates purchasing, racing and sharing the costs of a boat if this suits the context of the people involved. So long as you choose the people wisely you get fun sailing, camaraderie and lower costs, a good formula.
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