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Dinghy speeds

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andyk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote andyk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Dinghy speeds
    Posted: 05 Jan 22 at 8:41pm
I just wonder, without exaggerating, what sort of speeds can the average dinghy achieve?
I am not interested in the special ‘built for speed record holder’ but the normal club sailboat.
What sort of speed  can a Lark or GP14 regularly achieve, an Enterprise, an Osprey, an RS200?
An RS Feva compared to another junior trainer, a Mirror,  could be quite enlightening. (incidentally, I hate the way the RYA hijack a perfectly good boat and designate it ‘junior’ and thus effectively ruining its appeal to the majority of sailors. The Cadet, for instance, was designed as a junior boat, the Mirror was not)
The speed difference between the more traditional dinghies, compared to the designs of the last 20 or so years could tell a story or two.
I have never seen a list of this sort, and I think it could be quite interesting.

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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 22 at 9:04pm
The Hartley 15 we had on trial at my club easily outpaced all the Comets, Enterprise, GP14, Larks, only Lasers could match it. Hartley was sailed by our best sailor, rest of boats were sailed by good through to beginners.
Hartley 15 is a rotomould for those that don't know.
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Chris Bowen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris Bowen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 22 at 10:20pm
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 22 at 10:31pm
Most more traditional style boats top out pretty close to the so called "hull speed" which is 1.34 * square root of length in feet giving a figure in knots. For many years the fastest well rcorded dinghy speed was a bit under 15 knots by a Flying Dutchman. The true skiff types will go a lot faster though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 22 at 10:32pm
4-5kts upwind, 65-100% of wind speed on a broad reach for an “average” dinghy.  
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 22 at 10:52pm
Do you mean average speed around a course, speed relative to wind speed or max speed ever recorded, instantaneously or over set time or distance? Portsmouth numbers are probably a fair representation of how fast a class is around a course and GPS speed challenges will give an idea of momentary maximums. FWIW I believe my Spice once achieved 19 knots in the hands of it's previous owner, the best I can recall logging in the Blaze is around 15 knots but GPS is not the most reliable in moving water.
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Paramedic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 22 at 7:57am
I think the OP is after a speed in mph/kph/Knots

 The answer is "not as much as you think while you're sailing it"!

I pretty much agree with the figures posted.


Edited by Paramedic - 06 Jan 22 at 7:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 22 at 9:44am
My fastest ever recorded top speed using a Garmin on a dinghy was 18.2 knots on a Musto Skiff.

It took ages to push over the 16 knot barrier for me personally, but 20+ is achievable if you really know what you are doing.

The fasted I felt I ever went on a dinghy was a little over 14 knots on an RS300!

Speed is relative - given most sailing (in the UK at least) is sub-planning, I'd say glide and momentum brings a greater sense of satisfaction than all out speed.


Edited by turnturtle - 06 Jan 22 at 9:44am
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Peter Barton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peter Barton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 22 at 10:41am
A good source of real recent data of max speeds over a very wide selection of classes is available from just six weeks ago from the GPSs at the Draycote Dash in November here;

The bottom of the page has them PY adjusted which is interesting for comparing max speed capability relative to their average performance based on Great Lakes PYs.

The speeds would have been set in the Sunday's pursuit race which was probably an average windspeed of about 14kn but gusty with gusts up to about 18kn to produce these speeds.
The course had lots of angles with these speeds likely set on a medium or broad reach at the leeward end of the course where the wind was cleaner.
High leverage boats (trapezes) may favour a tighter angle for max speed whereas higher canvased lower leverage boats may favour a broader angle.

Photos do suggest it is true that you speed is 
"not as much as you think while you're sailing it!"! 
 and that large amounts of spray are not necessarily a good indicator of going fast;
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 22 at 10:51am
I’ve recorded 15kts in my laser, on GPS but that was with at least 2kts of tide and during a very big gust on a broad reach. It was just on the very edge of being in control.

Seem to max around 11kts on GPS in a National 12, but I sail on a tidal river so that has an impact too.
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