Flying Fifteen Covers – what to think about….

So you’ve bought your first ‘new’ Flying Fifteen and brought it back to the Club…!! Everything looks in great condition, but the previous owner had been shy about replacing the cover before sale.  That’s pretty common ….. So in buying a new one, what do you have to consider??

Well, the first obvious thing is the choice of “flat” or “boom up”.

In our fleet, about 1/3 buy boom-up, and 2/3 buy flat covers. On boats I owned previous to Fifteens, I always had a boom-up covers. Now I am a convert to “flat”.

The cover shown here is a typical, and well made P&B product. Looks very fit for purpose – so why did I choose flat? Well, unlike most boats, the Flying Fifteen sits very high on its trailer. We do without any kind of step ladder to get up on the boat, and so it is critical to us to be able to reach over the cover to do it all up after sailing. That gooseneck where the cover has to be secured is a heck of a height above the ground….

The second consideration is “do you want to tow?”. I must admit I have a very strong preference to cover up when I tow. I stow all the sails in the boat and from a security and cleanliness viewpoint, I want the boat covered. That predictates a flat cover, unless you want to own two. The FF has no rudder pintles, so you need to think about how you fix your lightboard. If you don’t cover up, you need a light board on a piece of GRP moulded to fit over the transom. It must be me, but the VC and I have had two of these boards bounce off on long motorway journeys – disaster!

If you have a flat cover, then you get another and I think better, choice. The big cover manufacturers put a pair of loops on the back of the flat covers to securely attach a standard light board. This works very well – and I’ve never had one bounce off….

2 thoughts on “Flying Fifteen Covers – what to think about….

  1. If you have GRP decks there is no need for a boom up cover – boom up only serves to keep frost and damp from the beautiful varnish and wood decks. With boom down covers there is still a need to support the cover down the centre line of the cockpit in order to prevent water ‘pooling’ and cover stretch.
    Most folk use the boom for this, but it is a bit cumbersome and the ‘hard’ ends can damage the cover unless care is taken to pad the boom ends to prevent this. I have used a cut down ex sail board fibre mast as a cover support for the last 16 years, light easy to use and most effective.

  2. I use yet another of those plastic downpipes from B&Q to create a ridge – it fits over the tiller and sits on the back of the mastgate behind the mast

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