Flying Fifteen and Enterprise Similarity …??

At Datchet, we’ve not heard much about the New Rig for ages… have you?

Well,  Phil Tinsley is always keen to discuss rules development and he’s come up with this bit of chit chat on the Solo site….

Not so long ago laminate sails were seen an expensive gimmick. Now they are
not much more expensive than Dacron sails (mine was about £600), laminate
sails outnumber Dacron sails at our club. I guess 3DL sails will eventually
reduce in price too and then they will become popular. 

I used to sail an Enterprise like Martin Bradley and totally agree with his
comments. The experience of the Enterprise fleet may offer a lesson as to
what can happen if class development is stifled. 

While a 1970’s Ent can compete successfully at the Nationals, the class has
lost much of its former popularity. The number of new Ents built fell to an
alarmingly low level a few years ago. Yet traditionalists continued to argue
against epoxy FRP hulls (as opposed to the rather fragile polyester FRP
hulls) on the ground that they might render wood hulls obsolete. Ent sail
design and materials are also much the same as they were in the 1970’s. They
have to be made from a blue Dacron type material. 

Recently Rondar started building epoxy FRP hulls. By then, about 10 Solos
were built for each new Ent. I hope the Ent fleet will regain popularity,
They could do a lot worse than adopt the approach of the Solo class.
Allowing gradual development over time helps maintain the vitality of the

2 thoughts on “Flying Fifteen and Enterprise Similarity …??

  1. While deliberating the shape of the sails, has anyone considered allowing a loose footed main? It would make the sail look three decades newer at a stroke and it’s hard to imagine the existing sails would be disadvantaged. You never know, the cost might even be lower without the bolt rope and all that unnecessary soft stuff – and no bucketfuls of water down the neck when you tack in the rain!

  2. Interesting comments. I personally think the failure to swiftly embrace epoxy construction is the single issue that caused the Ent fleet to fall from its position as the leading dinghy fleet (in terms of numbers) in the UK – Maybe a double floor design would have helped but the Polyester construction was the main drawback. If you look at the success stories amongst the so-called “traditional” boats over the last decade they are all built in epoxy by good quality builders e.g. Solo, Fireball, Merlin. This ensures that owners get the security of a return on their investment via the second-hand market because the boats simply last forever, as is also the case with the modern FF.

    So far as development is concerned, both the Fireball and Solo benefit from a sympathetic approach i.e. sympathetic to existing owners. The GP14 falls into this category too. The boats have developed, but not in a way, or at a pace, that impacts adversely on the ROI of existing owners. It’s perhaps worth noting that these classes allowed laminate sails as the cost of materials reduced to a level near to that of Dacron but they didn’t try to reinvent the wheel by changing the layout of the rig. This meant the out-and-out racers could invest in sails in the new materials but the guys racing at club level were pretty much unaffected… and I recall an old (and sorely missed) friend (who was as quick as anyone who has ever stepped foot in a boat) telling me that he might revert back to Dacron in his Fireball because he could read it better and didn’t believe there was a performance advantage in Kevlar/Mylar… and he was a sail maker too!!!

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