News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : eMailbag: The Club keelboat fleet debate

eMailbag: The Club keelboat fleet debate

'Day 2 2008 Club Marine NZ Keelboat Nationals'    © Richard Gladwell

Ken Burt writes in response to out previous editorial: 'As we have said previously it was a great move to use the Platu 25's, and Royal Akarana's initiative has developed a great resource for NZ keelboat sailing which will sit well alongside the facilities and fleets offered by other keelboat clubs in New Zealand.'

In your latest newsletter gave me pause to once more consider the choice of the Platu 25 by RAYC for a fleet of keelboats. I presume they will be used in a training scheme and as such in Auckland compete against the Farr MRX as a keelboat. The MRX has proved to be a great boat for both racing and training and I wonder what led the RAYC down the road they have gone.

Are we to see the Auckland war of the yacht clubs to reach another height?

While not in possession of the full facts as to the decision I wonder why they did not select the Foundation 36 designed by well known and current NZ resident designer Brett Bakewell-White. These boats are more definitely a keelboat rather than a day sailer and have proved themselves overseas (Warren Jones International Youth Regatta and the Monsoon Cup) where B B-W is recognised.

I am sure that you are aware that our new young guns are having to go to Perth in order to train on the Foundation 36.

Wouldn't it be great if we could do things that placed us on an even footing with overseas - they are after all our competition!!


Ken Burt

The latest Bakewell-White keelboat fleet project has been the Korean 30 used in the recent Womans Match Racing event in Busan -  Bakewell-White Yacht Design?nid=50996  
Leading NZ designer, Brett Bakewell-White of Bakewell-White Yacht Design?nid=50996 has been involved in several club fleet design and build projects in Western Australia and Asia, including the fleet that will be used in the Monsoon Cup.

Dear Richard,

I am not sure what I am getting into here, but it is nice to have a local fan!

Firstly I have to agree with your comment that it is good to see a yacht club take an initiative and get more people racing keelboats. The continued deterioration of our keelboat racing here is demoralising - look at the almost complete lack of keelboat representation at this year's YNZ awards.

There are a number of reasons, some cultural, social, and economic, but also I believe as a direct result of NZ winning the Americas Cup and the resulting drain of good sailors away from NZ leaving us with a pool of club sailors to keep the home fires burning. It is also a sad commentary on our state of affairs when NZ has to import a fleet of boats from overseas when that design was originally born and bred here.

So my first comment is that anything is better than nothing!

Bakewell-White designed the Korean 30 based on experience with the development of several other projects in Australia and Asia -  Bakewell-White Yacht Design?nid=50996  
My second comment is that I remember the Platu as being a cool looking little boat, but I must say they have rather dated. They also strike me as being a rather cranky looking scaled down keel boat rather than a stiff modern design. But at the end of the day none of this matters if they are all the same and they are getting people out sailing

The short answer is that the RAYC and Kiwi Yachting have made it happen and all power to them.

The $55k was I am sure a large incentive.

Our own Foundation 36 design is well past its use-by date in terms of design, but they continue to be very successful and after 13years the Perth fleet continue to be sailed every day of the year except Christmas day. They are also used for the Monsoon Cup (these are the original 13 year old boats from Perth) and as well, there is a healthy fleet of privately owned F36s as well.

If there were a suggestion to use our boats then I would certainly be more inclined towards the new Korean Match 36 fleet, or even our recent Korean 30 fleet for the recent Womens Match Race event in Busan - photos attached.

The latest Bakewell-White design shows a fuller volume hull sections than the Platu 25 -  Bakewell-White Yacht Design?nid=50996  
The ideal would perhaps have been to have a new fleet of purpose designed and built New Zealand boats - modern, powerful, and fun. But it isn't going to happen in our current climate, and I am sure that there would still have been people who criticised the choice of designer or builder or both, so I am just glad that somebody has done something.

What are the critical issues for clubs sorting a new fleet? A clear goal stated early and a sensible achievable financial plan to get there.

It is important to maximize the use of the boats as the fleet could not be justified simply on the basis of hosting one or two events throughout a season. As I have said the Foundation 36s are used every day of the year and are usually earning money doing it.

The use of a privately owned club fleet is a good way of getting former sailors back into sailing -  Bakewell-White Yacht Design?nid=50996  
The Western Australian 8m fleet is being run on a similar basis where the boats are used for, match racing, fleet racing, sail training, adult/teenage learn to sail, corporate racing and cake days, and advanced sail training. The fleet needs a strong maintenance programme and a good administration.

The club need to either have a strong financial base of sponsors, or an owner programme similar to the RNZYS/RAYC model to make it stack up. The key to forming any strong class or fleet is to hit the water with numbers - not one or two boats at a time, but an instant fleet of 8-10 boats so that there is close strong exciting racing immediately, and so the relative merits of the design become less important so long as they are all the same. Simplicity and robustness of build and fit out are also of great merit from a maintenance/operational perspective.

I hope that this helps.


Brett Bakewell-White B.Arch., ARINA, SNAME Principal Designer. Bakewell-White Yacht Design?nid=50996

Top 470 sailor, Geoff Woolley lies in fourth place overall after Day 2 of the 2008 Club Marine NZ Keelboat Nationals -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=50996  

Richard Macalister of Royal Akarana YC and Kiwi Yachts responds:

The choice of the Platu was done after much deliberation however first and foremost we wanted a vibrant International One Design Class that was affordable. As a consequence we had talks with a number of parties and looked seriously at yachts such as the MUMM 30, Melges 24 and Melges 30, along with several others, however they all disqualified themselves because of cost and to some degree they were too performance orientated in terms of what we trying to do with the programme. With the Platu the racing is close and any reasonable yachtsman has the ability to beat Dean Barker or any of the big guns on a given day. The National Keelboats provided proof of that.

In terms of a local designer/builder we also looked to support the local industry but to our knowledge there were no yachts that fitted the vibrant International One Design requirement and in the I include the Elliott 6m. I am not sure how the Foundation 36 gets mentioned as it is certainly not an vibrant International One Design and as a consequence was never considered as being 36 ft it would also disqualify itself on affordability. We spoke to Kim McDell about rekindling manufacture in New Zealand, however he didn't have the capacity, as the only local licensed builder, however we supported the local industry with rigs and sails.

Sarah Toothill (BBYC) is one of two women skippers in the 20 strong 2008 Club Marine NZ Keelboat Nationals -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=50996   Click Here to view large photo
The point about the Clubs at war is as far off the mark as you could possibly be. We have had meetings with RNZYS Flag Officers before announcing the programme telling them what we were doing and making it very clear that it was RAYC's policy not to compete with the Squadron Youth programme and in fact offering them use of the fleet if they ever saw the need. We felt it was very difficult for Clubs such as RAYC to run events with the MRX Fleet and as such chose to look after our own destiny. In fact if RAYC's offer to both RNZYS and Buckland Beach is taken as it was offered you will in fact see a strengthening of the relationship between the Clubs, however all RAYC is make the offer to work together which has been done.

The MRX's have been a great feature of the Auckland landscape, however it was our view that it was time for a change. They are old and need work. We had conversations with one of the parties t

by Various correspondents


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

10:43 AM Wed 19 Nov 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Related News Stories:

19 Aug 2014  NZL Sailing Team in the Media Spotlight
17 Aug 2014  NZL Yachting Trust Optimists: A World’s First at French Bay
16 Aug 2014  Lawson's Dry Hills sponsor Premier Top of the South Keel Boat Regatta
14 Aug 2014  Calling all Yacht Clubs for the Young Challenger's Cup
14 Aug 2014  Kiwi Skud Sailing: NZL 5th in North Americans and still fundraising
13 Aug 2014  Red Bull 49erFX: Postponements, podiums and perilous peaks
13 Aug 2014  New Plymouth Yacht Club celebrates 75 years
13 Aug 2014  2014 Murrays Bay Sailing Club: Icebreaker Regatta. Sep 6th Lake Pupuke
11 Aug 2014  SSANZ Safety at Sea NZ Spars and Rigging 60 is big boat benefit
09 Aug 2014  NZL Sailing Team: Kiwi World Champs win Gold and Silver in Rio

News - USA and the World

2014 J/111 World Championship - Bigger breeze arrives on day 2! by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island

America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature
America’s Cup - British Challenge accepted by Golden Gate Yacht Club
Volvo Ocean Race - It’s been emotional, but it’s time to move on
Cork OCR - Sail Canada Senior Nationals wrap up
J/111 World Championships - British Teams take early lead on day 1
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Jellyfish stings British Soldier
International Cadet World Championship – Day 4 at Weymouth, England
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Light wind plagues Lake Jinniu
2014 Formula Kite World Championships - Bridges strike back on day 2
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos
SAP 505 World Championship - Holt and Woelfel on top
2014 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship - Day 2
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; MC38s Lindeman Island Race VIDEO
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Ready to rock
IFDS Worlds - Wind delays, but racing continues in Halifax
IFDS World Championships - Day 2 images by Jude Robertson
MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video   
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes   
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia   
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'   
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record   
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014   
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing   
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team   
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3   
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature   
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3   
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.   
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT