Carbon Comes to Consoles…..

dw carbon console©David Williamson

When Phil Evans did my boat  last year, for the first time we tried the flat top console idea.  It’s turned out to be very good in practice.

At the time that Phil was doing it we were hoping to get a sheet of carbon in place of the tufnol panel.  It’s just a cosmetic thing – we’re right at the Centre of Gravity here and the weight is not going to matter a pop.  I think in a modern boat this is going to look great !

In David Williamson’s photo I notice that the slots have been lined wit a metal sleeve, which we don’t need on tufnol…..I still think it looks terrific!



Too Many Lines for your Console…??!!

1303_2013_dinghy_show_010In your boat, do you find you have too many control lines to fit the console top?  Putting controls on the front of the cockpit (eg pole up haul, furler) is not always attractive either.

Have you considered this P&B idea??  They use both front and back faces of the console, but use clever swivelling fairleads so that either control line can be pulled from sitting out, either side.

I think in this application the front control is the furler, and on the rear they have the cunningham.

The Flat FF Console – Michael Thompson Experience…..

For interest, I have sailed one of Phil Evans boats with a “flat” console for 5 years and have found it very easy to use. Adjustments are easy to make, even in a blow. It is possible to sit on the console but that doesn’t usually happen. If you happen to land on it by mistake it isn’t so uncomfortable as a bunch of cleats. We have not found it necessary to make any changes.

The Flat FF Console…..

Whenever Geoff Bayliss brings a new Fifteen to Datchet to race, it’s brim full of interesting ideas…. This year was no exception –  he brought his new carbon Ovington, and that’s what is in the photo here….

We had the chance to get reacquainted with a very alternative design for the centre console that Phil Evans can do.  In fact, I had Phil show me this three years ago as an option on a boat in RWYC and I was very intrigued – well, tempted I suppose.

What you get is Phil Evans normal 5 console controls hidden below a flat surface. Hiding things away can be good and bad, I guess, but lets face it, this looks great at least. Plus, as Geoff says, you get an extra seat! The controls are rig tension (thicker black flecked line) and cunningham at the front, furler in the middle, prebend and boom outhaul at the back I think. For the back two slots, the cleats are at the back of the slots, and for the other three the cleats are at the front.

Phil Evans Console Layout….

The Stand at the Dinghy Show was graced by the new carbon boat that Phil Evans has put together for Chris Waples.

Phil is still fitting his superby engineered console which gives you 360 degree coverage of key controls from around the cockpit. We’ve had it on our last two fifteens and it works superbly.

You will see in the photo (click to enlarge) that Phil now has an extra line coming up the front of the console. It uses the same self cleating principle. It’s the cunningham control. Previously sited on the forward port cleat, this location is now taken by a single line which controls both jib cars. (Yellow line) Very neat….

The Composite Craft Console….

No surprise here – the Console in the Composite Craft Flying Fifteen looks a lot like a Dingwall.

That’s by no means a bad thing and this one is finished in fabulous looking carbon.

You’ll note too plenty of room to move your helmsman’s feet forward of the console and also the location of lead correctors right down in the double floor.  The self bailers are also set away from the centreline to bail best at a slight heel.

Flying Fifteen – Phil Evans Console…..

Down south, the predominant “brand” or source of Flying Fifteens has got to be P&B.

We had an item on the blog last week showing what the P&B and Brett Dingwall consoles looked like.  Well – here is the other main P&B alternative – the Phil Evans Console.

(double click the photo to enlarge it)

Phil has a special flat topped console made for his boats by Ovington – it’s a little wider I would guess than the console in a P&B boat. For a size 11 foot like mine, there is a consideration associated with that. This is basically the same console design dating back to Steve and Phil’s original World Champion winner. You can pull these control lines from anywhere in the boat and from just about any angle – and they self cleat. Very neat and very clever. The pink and white line that is flopped over the back in this photo is the strop for the mainsheet floating block. Then the other control lines are – blue (furler), red (outhaul), white (cunningham), yellow (rig tension), black (pre-bend).

Both P&B and Evans’ are good. I must admit, having tried both this design is pretty much to my preference…..

Brett’s Flying Fifteen Console….

Brett is very experienced in Flying Fifteens and what he does with his boats always seems very thoughtful to me.

His cockpits are wider than the Ovington and as Charles would point out, you can hang out further….. Argghhhh!!!

The way the console fits into all that is that you get more room for your feet and better fore/aft mobility for the helm. Brett does not have a central “table console” like the Ovi, but he fits this very elegant inverted V console.

This one is in Brett’s own boat and you can easily get a sense of what I mean. We have five controls on our centre console in the Ovi and Brett has to distribute roughly the same amount here. Looks great though and the console top is very Dragon like to my mind.

Nothing like a bit of varnished wood, is there….