The New Jib….

FF new job 2

There was interesting background chatter at the Datchet Club on Sunday about the Rules Ballot.  Relative to when we first discussed weight reduction about five years ago, there was quiet acceptance that this seems the right thing to do.  There were plenty of questions of the practicalkl issues – what would the regular club owner actually do to take weight out?  Does it need a measurer on site to reweigh everyone?  Is our fleet measurer empowered to do this?  Can I just take my lead out and saw 5Kg off it?  How do you cut lead? “Where is my lead?”, was a recurring favourite on the older boats.

Then we came to the jib.  I would say there was quiet acceptance that it would be good to have another additional option for lighter crews.  However, I would say the general belief was that the proposed design was the one we all tested five years ago….  But Justin was very quick to point out that the new proposal is NOT at all that design we all saw.  Comments I gathered on the jib in our last two race sessions were:

  • that doesn’t look as modern as the one we tested (do they mean it doesn’t look “skiffy”?)
  •  the clew looks too high
  •  “will it change the genoa car and track requirements in my boat?”
  • it makes the boat look less distinctive than it is now
  • our class is famous for its good looks, this takes some of the distinctiveness away and makes it look ordinary.  The genoa on a flying dutchman (btw, our commodore has one in addition to two FFs!), and on a Dragon for that matter, defines what they are.  Is it the same in the Flying Fifteen?
  • why haven’t FFI communicated more?

What do you think?

The Ballot !!!!!! Photos of New Jib. Get VOTING !!!!

As you maybe know, we have a FF Ballot happening on New Class Rules?? Have you caught up with it yet?

Apparently there have been a tiny number of responses so far.  SO GET VOTING!!  You can return the voting form electronically – modify the word document and email a copy of it to

If you haven’t looked at it yet, there are a whole number of rule changes but the central two are

  • 5kg weight reduction
  •  new jib/genoa design.

Now last time I even mentioned weight reduction in our Club bar I was almost lynched – so you cannot be without opinion!!

On the new jib design, I attach a few photos of it below.  I used it in trials a few years ago and quite liked it…. and have voted for it….  but now I’ve seen the photos of it I’m slightly less sure I confess.  Arrrggghhhh!!    Some bar conversations would help, but the closing date of the ballot is not far away.  So HURRY!!

Here is what our Hon Sec has to say about the ballot:-

“Votes are starting to come in on the ballot items as proposed by FFI but the response has been slow so far. This is what membership of the association is all about, there is no point in protesting by not voting and this is definitely not the time to think that this doesn’t affect you because it does. The two key proposals are regarding head sails and weight in the boat so please take time to vote; the only way to affect change or indeed prevent it if it is your wish to do so is to vote. A letter from your president will follow; Please go here for pictures information on the changes and ballot forms



ff new jib 1

FF new jib 3

ff new jib 4

FF new jib 5

FF new job 2

Weight Loss Program – Malcolm Hall….!!

Weight loss program update

Still seeking ways to improve speed and reduce weight in FF2864 I have taken out a further 1 KG. 

Where did it come from;

Well the first is ‘HOW HEAVY IS YOUR PADDLE?’  My paddle was split on the blade and the ends worn off from scratching on the bottom etc, also the varnish was gone.  I lent it to my kids to play in an oppi with and when it came back it weighed a ton!  The wood had soaked up water by the bucket load.  Weighing it was over 1kg.  I dried it on the radiator to ensure it was tinder dry, fixed the split and re varnished it.  New weight = 600g so 400g saving

Steal with pride – I have been stuggling with the sheet loads on the main and I felt that the pully system in the boom just wasn’t helping.  When I was at the dinghy show I took a good look at the booms on the two boats there and decided that it was the way to go so I bought a new boom.  Thing is that it’s a bit shorter than the old one and also it’s a lighter gauge metal – Result 750g weight saving. 

So 1kg out of the boat.  Where next?? I still think there is some in the rudder and mast.  If anyone has a winder epoxy sandwich rudder and they could weigh it the next time its off I would be very interested to hear what it comes in at.


Malcolm Hall

The AGM Debate on FF Minimum Weight Reduction – Dave McKee’s View……!!

At the BIFFA AGM at Largs there was a discussion about the perceived benefits of reducing the minimum weight of the FF. One of these is apparently that a reduction in weight would reduce sheet loads and therefore make the boat easier to sail for lighter/less strong crews, perhaps encouraging family teams. I am not an expert but I know someone who is and he had an interesting view on this subject. There is a formula for sheet loads. The simplest sail to look at is the Jib where sheet load in Newton’s = wind speed2 x Area of the sail. For our sail this gives a sheet load of 740 N (75 kg) at a wind force of 14 mph (7 metres/sec). The calculation for the mainsail is a little more complicated because it varies for mainsheet tackle ratio and also position of takeoff from the boom.

So what is the point of this? The formula does not include a factor for boat mass and therefore a change in mass doesn’t directly affect sheet load.

In any event a reduction of 5kg or even 10kg against the full sailing weight (including crew) is so nominal that there could be no measurable difference even if weight was a factor.

This seems to suggest therefore that the reduction of sheet load argument is not one that should influence our consideration of the merits or otherwise of gradually introducing weight reductions.

A point was also made that the sail area of our current boats has reduced perhaps supporting an argument that a reduction in keel weight could benefit all as less righting was required. A little historic investigation by my technical adviser suggests that the combined main and Jib sail area in 1947 was 151 sqft and at present is 150 sqft. So the answer is that we do now have a smaller sail area but only by 1 sqft. This is hardly significant and in its self wouldn’t justify a reduction in keel weight

FF Weight Loss Program….

You may have been following our thread on reducing weight in older boats…

Did you know that boats with spinnaker bags weigh in more than boats with chutes?  So if you are looking to reduce the weight aboard your silver or classic, this is another area you might look.

It also occurs to me that if you have ordered your new boat with plain white decks, no waterlines and sailcloth chute cover, you might want to measure it in with bags, then revert to a chute later….

Hmmmm.  A bit much….

Cutting Weight from 3539……

Following our recent item on John Hanson’s weight reduction, the original owner, Nick Jerwood, sent this in….

Great to see 3539 getting regular use and TLC. It was launched November 1995- fitted out on my driveway! In those days the correctors were placed at the shearline , between the hull deck joint, inside the tank- if the boat is a little heavy now, have you checked to see if they are still there? Nick

Aiming to Reduce Your (FF) Weight?? The Lightweight Tunnel Cover …!!

You may have seen the recent blog about the weight reduction program in John Hanson’s superb Flying Fifteen, 3539.  John had lots of good ideas, but the one that catches the eye is replacing the tunnel cover in the floor with one in carbon.  I thought you might like to see a photo of the end result.

If you are interested in having a carbon tunnel cover made for your boat, just drop us a line on .  We’ll put you in touch with the manufacturer – who is in the rowing world, by the way.  They use lots of hi-tech engineering to support our National Rowing Program.

John Hanson’s Weight Loss Program (FF)….

We may have written few days ago that John Hanson, Fleet Captain at Datchet, has had his boat in the shed for a couple of weeks generally drying/fettling, but specifically try to shed the 3kgs that he is above minimum weight.

The boat is an exceptionally tidy Mk IX with a glorious Championship record – once upon a time the Jerwood boat, I think. Anyway, things get heavier over time – and the boat does too !…  So shedding 3kgs is not that easy when you stop and think about it. The same applies to the boat!!

John has done some thoughtful refitting, gone carbon at the tiller and so on. The idea that got my attention was the tunnel cover in the floor. He had the same thing that many or most of us have – a wooden or GRP panel covering the trough, with a handle running along its length – like an inverted “T” in cross section.

Weighs a bit don’t you think?? Fixed to the boat so inside the minimum weight too. And on our Mk X, actually there is a right way round and a wrong way round. Plus we have probably all had our Bowman kick it out of position – easily done, in fact…

Well – John decided to get one moulded in  carbon. Smart move and a great contribution to the weight loss program.  Not only that though, why have the T-bar handle??  If there is no T-bar handle, the Bowman cannot kick it out of position, right? – plus it is easier to fabricate obviously. So how does John get it in and out easily?? He has a 1″ hole at each end to act as a finger pull – a hole weighs nothing obviously !  To see the crew area with a dead flat floor looks very useful to me – a good upgrade.

It would make quite a great aftermarket accessory from our favourite chandlers, don’t you think?  – or a good Vac Student task at Ovington maybe. I wonder how many shapes there are – just two for Ovington??  There would be several dozen owners out there who might want one.

I must try and get a photo of John’s work next time I see it.