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World exclusive pics of new Flying Tiger 7.5

'FT 7.5 - first sail'    Alistair Skinner    Click Here to view large photo

By happy coincidence during the China Club Challenge Match Hansheng Yachts launched the Flying Tiger 10’s smaller sister, the FT7.5. Today it went for its first sail and being umpire for the event was lucky to have a RIB at my disposal.

As she went off for her first sail I was able to get some ‘First Look’ shots.

The first thing to notice is the marked chine in the hull that appears to be all the fashion these days. You will notice from the side view that this starts from well in front of the mast and by the time it gets to the stern is quite marked although not as extreme as on some of her kind.

Although the wind was soft she slipped along very nicely and it was apparent that very little pressure was being applied on the helm to keep her on track

I watched the team from the builders hoist the mast which was aided by the mast step having a pin at the aft end and although it took 4 or 5 people it should be remembered this is boat number one and mast raising number 1.

FT 7.5 - uncluttered cockpit -  Alistair Skinner   Click Here to view large photo

The boat has a lifting keel with a supplied keel raising gantry which slots into clever slots moulded into the cockpit floor. Also in the huge cockpit is a locker midships for the outboard.

Deckgear is, as you would expect, Harken, spars are Carbon and the sails Neil Pryde Aramids with a bigtop main.

Rather quaintly (I thought) the curved tiller was a nicely curved piece of wood. I would have though a nice carbon moulding would have been more in keeping, but that’s just my thoughts and this is a prototype.

Offwind, she sports a huge genniker of 80sq metres. Apologies for the long shot of this but by then I was back on duty just though any picture was better than no picture.

Price point for this 24 ½ footer is, I understand around US$ 40,000 ( £22,610 or €28,914 ) which when you compare to the Melges 24 or Beneteau 25 looks to be very good value indeed.

FT 7.5 - fine entry and narrow sheeting angle -  Alistair Skinner   Click Here to view large photo

by Alistair Skinner


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8:41 AM Sun 5 Oct 2008 GMT

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