Bewl Sailing

Whilst our regular correspondent is away in warmer climate we were pleased to hear from our Fleet Captain at Bewl.  It appears that some sailing has returned to the water and an FF open has been proposed.  Not sure what has gone on in the interim, perhaps some one local can fill us in with some factual info as much of what in the press doesn’t appear to be that helpful.ffi-v_fly a fifteen logo

Draycote Sprint

We are fast-approaching the end-of-season Flying Fifteen finale at Draycote. This will be the third year of this unique “Sprint” format which is proving a popular way to bring the FF Season to a climax! As with previous years, the PRO will run as many short (40-45 minute) races as possible during the day with the winner taking home the Gifford Trophy and valuable National Ranking points. The event will again be sponsored by Mercure Hotels.

The club  would be grateful if you could all let them know if you are able to attend??


Next Open Meeting

The next open will also be the start of the Waples Wines Northern Travellers series, this will be at Royal Windermere Yacht Club on the 26th and 27th April.  The club are promising a great two days racing with entertainment (supper and a great local band) laid on for Sat night.  Click Here for a notice of race and Click Here or alternatively visit the club website Here  The event will qualify for points towards the Flying Fifteen National Ranking series for 2014 as well as the WWNT!

FF K797 Restoration…..!!

Iain Christie from Draycote has been hard at work restoring FF 797.

photo 1

Although I enjoy slow relaxed cruising in the Sabre, my dinghy sailing tends to be a bit faster…the 49er or foiling Moth being the weapon of choice these days. At my inland club we also have a lot of Flying Fifteens…(prepare for tongue in cheek sweeping generalisation) usually sailed by gentlemen of a certain age, around the course, and into other boats. Granted they are quite pretty, but they’ve never really been my thing. Until a few years ago, when we saw one blasting out of Cowes in a F6, absolutey fantastic sight.

Sadly, like a puppy on new years day, some boats do get abandoned by their owners. People lose interest, repair bills get out of hand, and boats end up in the car park, where anything useful tends to go walkies, and the either a skip, or the bonfire beckons. I’ve seen some right **** get burnt (some of it so rotten it needs a LOT of petrol), but such a fate seemed just not right for this lovely shape, so I bought her very cheaply from the club, and towed her home….

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A few hours with the pressure washer and I found this rather lovely old wooden girl under all the slime. She was built in 1965 by Souters of Cowes, where ironically she last sailed quite a few years ago now in a regatta where something went “bang” around the mast gate and I understand that the owners at that time could not justify the repair bill and did not have the skills to fix her themselves. After a few years of abandonment down to the bonfire pile she went…

The rather beautiful cold moulded hull is in exceptionally good condition, and just a thing of great beauty…

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The deck ain’t bad, all the wood is good and looks loads better now it’s stripped. The biggest issue is that a lot of the old glue has given up on the joints and there’s a lot of movement around the mast gate area. This will be sorted out with a lot of epoxy fillets. I think the bulkhead has been changed at some point to some low grade marine ply that has blackened and needs a good going over with oxalic acid, and some tidying up with additional “finishing” trim. I’ve almost stripped off all that horrible tread master and she looks lots better for it with a big expanse of wooden deck…although I might need to deal with a difference in colour where it’s been covered for many years.

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As you can see nearly every fitting is still there which is great…just need some sails! You can also see the gunwales…they look to have been replaced fairly recently, with totally unvarnished softwood, held in place with steel nails! The results are predictable, but fortunatly the rot has not spread to the boat herself. These are now off and will be replaced with new hardwood ones, scarfed and epoxied in place.

I’ve never been remotely interested in Flying Fifteens, and prefer my dinghies to do 20 knots plus and have a high carbon content, but I have totally fallen in love with this lovely old wooden classic. I’ll update with pics as I progress, but she is already looking a lot better with stripped decks, and a big consignment of epoxy and materials has arrived ready to start the rebuilding, rather than dismantling, process in the next few weeks.

I’ll get her back on the water inland first to make sure all is OK, and then I plan to take her to my coastal club, and sail her back to over to Cowes where she was built nearly half a century ago.

Dinghy Show – Get in Free !!

….by Volunteering a shift on the FF Stand….!!!

We are again running a stand at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on the 1st and 2nd March.

We would really appreciate some volunteers to help run the stand on both Saturday and Sunday, the Sunday crew would need to help de-rig the stand.

We could also do with a little help for Friday to help us build up for part of the day.

If you can help please email the secretary at or use the contact page from the website.

Volunteers will get a free two day pass for the show which usually allows concessions at certain food outlets, you can also get in early and if you have an exhibitor pass entry to the show party on Sat night.



Where to Buy or Sell a Flying Fifteen….??

Where’s best to buy or sell your Flying Fifteen??

Philip Tinsley just pointed me at Apollo Duck’s website where there were a good half dozen boats, including a fabulous ex-world champion boat from Ireland.  Apparently the deal there is that you get posted on the website free for 90 days, and then you pay £6-£7, I think.  Am not sure if that includes photos or not.  To advertise on our Association website costs a fiver – photos free.

Surely the issue for a seller is not actually how much an advert costs, but rather how many people look at the advert??  Once you realise that, you’d only ever post adverts on the FF Association website.  The website traffic to the for sale pages is simply stunning.  Since we launched the fabulous new website, we have consistently had around 6,000 page views per month to the ‘For Sale’ section of the website (around 20,000 views a month to the whole site).  A whole number of the adverts have been read more than 100 times in 30 days.  So, if you are selling a Flying Fifteen, why on earth would you put it anywhere else??  That includes our friends in Ireland who might want to try their chances here. Plus I think you can pay online by credit card now.

It would be good to get time to see what might make some ads more popular to visit than others.  Photos maybe??  I must say, the most obvious thing is asking price!!

Click here to see the ‘For Sale’ statistics from the BIFFA Website for 30 days to Nov 14th. See for yourself!