New Sails…..!

19-Worlds-Hong-Kong-2013 yellowThere is some enthusiasm around to change the rules on new sails and permit more than one suit a year.  The rules are this though:-

  1. Not more than two mainsails, two headsails and two spinnakers shall be registered in the first twelve months. Thereafter not more than one mainsail, one headsail and one spinnaker shall be registered in each twelve month period commencing on the anniversary of the date on which the original measurement of the boat was completed, except that in the event of the change of ownership of the boat, one additional mainsail, one additional headsail and one additional spinnaker may be registered by the new owner in the corresponding twelve month period. 

If adherence to this starts getting a little grey at the edges, we can expect to see kit inspections!!

Big Boys Go Faster – with Hydes Perhaps ….!!!!

Did you see the recent Y&Y press release published by Hydes??  (see FF Blog, Jan 15th)

Richard Lovering sent us a sail buying guide which particularly caught my eye.  I started to sail FFs about 20 years ago and with my then partner we were about 31-32 stone.  At that time, 27 stone was thought to be the optimum.  When I teamed up with someone the ‘right’ weight, we went a lot faster!!

When I was up in P&B a couple of years ago, Alan told me he thought the optimum weight was going up steadily.  If you sail with someone chunky then you are going to like this weight criterion from Hydes….  They do mainsails for above and below 30 stones weight !!

Click here to read the Hydes Sail Guide.


Which Sails for a Silver ……??

Hi all,  I am in the process of ordering new sails for 3385 (Phil Tinsley’s old boat) ffoo ffighter In the past I have used Goacher sails on my fifteens and before that Pinnel and Bax on my fireballs.
But after a bit of research I can’t help but notice that Batt sails are considerably cheaper, and judging Barry Parkin and Tim Halls performance they seem to have plenty of speed in the right hands. My question is , was this a good representation of these sails and can anybody tell me if they have tried them and how they compare with the more common choices as mentioned above.
We are sailing in Shetland, predominantly Lerwick which although it is in the sea is actually landlocked by a small Island (about 7 miles long) so is actually quite flat water. It is however very Tidal at times as there is a North and Southern harbour mouth. The Northernmost of which is much smaller than the southern end so the tide can reach 5 knots in places but can also flow north and south at the same time in different places at the same time, which as you can imagine can be quite challenging when combined with the lifts and headers caused by the land on both sides. Interestingly we have a very small Tidal level, our average Tidal range is only about 2 metre’s.


As I have also just purchased a Shetland Racer (Maid) and Batt is the only choice of sails for this unusual class It would be good to work with one sailmaker for obvious reasons. As a point of interest as far as the new fifteen rig goes the Maid class in shetland evolved its sail plan over a decade ago to a high aspect rig with a flexible tip section and this certainly made them more sailable over a wider range of windspeeds and importantly more fun to sail.

I look forward to any observations anyone could offer especially Barry if you read this Blog.
Regards Ritchie Fraser.

The P&B Winter Offer….

Did you get the P&B Winter mailshot offering sail discounts?  It’s very keenly priced … “up to 20%” but the deal is you must put a 30% deposit down, and place the order by 21st December – still jolly good though. Plus there may be special pricing for group orders from a fleet…!!

  • Main £691 down from £813
  • Genoa £322 down from £379
  • Spinnaker £497 down from £584

FF Sails – Who Buys Them All?….

It’s quite hard getting to the bottom of “how big is the UK FF Fleet” – as we have a large legacy of older boats, especially from the boom building years of the 1970s and early 80s….many of which are unsailed or idle.

We were having supper with Charles in the autumn, and he came up with the mildly surprising news that Steve Goacher had said that 80% of the FF sails he makes are for Open Fleet Boats.

I suppose I was a bit surprised.  I guess that P&B would say the same of course. Sail wear and replacement  must tell us something about how much Flying Fifteen sailing is going on – and in what boats?? …I’m wondering what this tells us about FF sailing in UK??

– I think it’s a bit unlikely that 80% of the sailing hours completed are in the Open Fleet, and 20% in Silver and Classics.  Quite likely a Silver/Classic owner is going to get maybe twice the life out of his sails as an Open Fleet owner?? A sweeping generalisation, but it might balance off against the notion that they don’t race quite as often (true in our Club, anyway)

– so in which case instead of the ratio being 80/20, the ratio of boats sailing might be 80/40. Now that seems a bit more like it to me.

– we have around 300 Open Fleet boats racing regularly in UK, so perhaps the 80/40 ratio suggests that we have around 150 Silver/Classic boats racing regularly.  Maybe stretch that number up to 200 as they might not sail quite as regularly? Hmmm – might be a reasonable guess….

In the census we found 670 boats in the UK boat parks in August. So that might suggest that we have around 170 boats just lying idle and slowly going derelict…  In our Fleet we have a few and I suspect we are just average. There could just be something like 170 unsailed boats out there. It feels a bit high….. Many Club Secretaries reported significant numbers of unsailed, little sailed or derelict boats? What do you think from what you see at your Club?

This would leave us with about 500 boats actually sailable and racing to varying degrees…. How many viable fleets could you get out of 500 boats – 30 maybe, at around 15-20 boats per Fleet……  Hmmm….

Selling your Flying Fifteen??

Are you selling your Flying Fifteen?? Can we have the surplus sails??  You often see boats advertised with 2,3 or more suits of sails. It doesn’t add value, and the new owner like you will never use them. They’ll just take up garage space…..

Can you donate them to the Datchet Loan Boat Fleet??  Actually, if they are truly clapped, the VC will sell them on eBay and put the proceeds to the running of the Trial Sail Program….