A Classic Beauty……

2433 hens tooffDo you find your heart leaps when you see a beautifully finished wood deck flying fifteen??  Then you’d better sit down…..

The late Tim Tomlinson’s utterly beautiful FF 2433 is for sale….  I last saw this boat down at La Rochelle and it’s just stunning.  There is an advert for it over on the excellent BIFFA “For Sale” Section.

The boat is a fabulous mix of beautiful wood and magnificent carbon – and won time after time after time on the classic circuit.  Tim told me a couple of stories about finding the sandwich of the original hull being soggy, and simply grinding it all out and starting again. The fittings themselves are a work of art.

If I were not confined to crutches, I’d be over there with an offer straight away!!

Under Deck Furlers…..

You may recall that at the 2011 Dinghy Show, we saw an under deck genoa furler on a Fifteen there. “About time too”, did I hear you all say? After all, the FD’s that I raced in the seventies all had these.

Didn’t catch on though, did it? We don’t have one at our Club yet – but having said that I think that 3948, of which the new lucky owner is Chris McLaughlin, is about to arrive with one fitted.

I asked Phil Evans about it at Alexandra Palace. Usually an innovator, he’s not keen in this case.  First off, it complicates life below deck if you ever want to have a chuted spinnaker. Second, he says it is a devil to fit and maintain. Thirdly, a very good point actually, you can’t take advantage by attaching the tack at deck level as the rules don’t allow it. Our genoa tack has to be 100mm above deck.

So – we’ll wait and see what history does for this idea…..  I’d just like a foolproof way that the spinnaker sheets don’t get wrapped or jammed around the furler kit. We have simple bits of weeny elastic to act as preventers – it works pretty well actually.

WikiFF …. New Ovington FF 2012 Deck Mould….!!

Facebook followers will probably have seen an entry in the Ovington Facebook page a few days back where they leaked a few teaser photos of the “2012 FF”….

Isn’t it great that development continues aggressively, even in hard times of recession??!! Big cheer for Ovi’s I reckon – continuing to invest in the success of our Class even in hard economic times – Hurrah !!   Here are the photos (double click to enlarge)

Now it is very interesting for us people outside the industry to see how this all comes together. This I think is the “plug” from which the new moulds will be made. I don’t know what the material is….

OK – so now the quiz!!  What’s the difference with the 2011 Mk X deck???  First answer, is  to look carefully at the smoothness of the deck. Yes – the non slip panels have gone!!!  Ovi tell the Blog that it is to improve the look (very true!) but I would say also that the deck will retain less water (weight) while racing. For those of us old enough (!) to have copies of John Oakley’s “Winning” (c. 1968?), you will remember the chapter where they take the new FD K133 “Shadow” and hose the deck, then weight the boat to see how much water the deck varnish had retained. Then they burnished the deck and repeated the procedure. Difference in wet boat weight?  I’d swear it was 7lbs (3-4kgs?) – I’ll go and dig the book out and check later. It sits on my favourite shelf right next to Paul Elvstrom’s “Dinghy Racing”…..  I wonder if our Fleet Measurer has scales – we could try this out!

Ovington also tell us that there will be an ownership option to have non-slip in key areas where the crew may totter out on deck – notably the foredeck for any Datchet racers…. I would guess that we shall opt for that.  That is probably on the centre foredeck panel, I would guess….

No word though of creating channels in the floor to take the correctors and keep their weight as low in the boat as they can possibly go.  Interesting – Charles says he can notice the difference in his boat – but there again, he’s a God and we’re Humans…..

At the Dinghy Show, there should be a new Phil Evans boat on display – and I believe this is the first time we’ll get the chance to see this deck unit in public.  Fingers crossed !!!

Anyway – great stuff, Ovington – we hope you have a terrific year… Exports should be great !!

The next time Howard slips off the front of our next new Fifteen straight into the icy depths, I guess we shall have to thank Brett and Charles for this bit of progress !!!

More on The Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Boat….

Last Sunday I mentioned that we saw 3341 being launched at Datchet for the first time in ages….

A little more information has come to hand – it was the boat the Robbie Storrar (as in Storrar and Bax) won the Nationals with Tim Harper in 1991.  The decking is by Arnott and Dobson – which after much digging on Google turned out to be, or be connected with, the Aln Boatyard – as we said last week. The records show the hull was built by Ovington.

As Adrian Simpson pointed out, a wooden boat looks fantastic when sailing – take a look at this.

Drop Dead Gorgeous…..

I suppose when I saw Tim Tomlinson’s Classic in La Rochelle at the Europeans, I realised that FFs must have been really stunning in the days of wood decks. Then this morning, this happened….

What a stunner!!  The number is 3341 (“Charlie Bucket”). It’s one of a pair of of Ian Howlett designed fifteens – he of Americas Cup Designer fame. Phil Tinsley thinks it was once a great boat (must check…) and was completed by Ovington. There’s a full length double floor, and looks very, very sexy even now. It has a pretty unusual hull shape and whizzes downwind… but this morning anyway had more trouble going uphill.  Still, that could be worked on.  David Hume thinks it was decked at the Aln boatyard – coincidentally the builder of the Osprey of my teenage years….

David also thinks it has a very special profile keel underneath it – plus lots of carbon inside – Howard says you can see the carbon down the spinnaker chute. It’s been lying unsailed at Datchet for a while, but even so the decks still look stunning. It would be a great silver boat for the STS circuit.