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Heavy singlehander

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Choosing a boat
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URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12870
Printed Date: 14 Nov 19 at 10:17am
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Topic: Heavy singlehander
Posted By: snowleopard
Subject: Heavy singlehander
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 10:10am
After 20 years sailing offshore I'm now looking to get back into dinghies and want a singlehander. 
  • I'm 6'4" and 18 stone so need a powerful boat
  • I'm nearly 70 so no longer flexible. I've had several Lasers in the past but don't think I'm up to ducking under a low boom any more, nor do my knees take to dish-shaped hulls, I need a footwell.
  • I am fairly fit so I don't mind hiking a big rig. 
  • I need to plane.
  • I tried an Int Canoe for a couple of years but I could barely handle it in my 30s. Likewise trapezing is out!
  • Despite my signature, a cat is probably not a good idea on a small lake.
  • I'll be sailing mostly on a smallish lake with occasional forays onto salt water.
  • I love unstayed rotating rigs (which I also have on my 40-footer) but stays are not a deal-breaker.
  • I want to pay in the hundreds, not thousands.
  • I mostly sail for fun with the occasional race so cutting-edge performance isn't necessary.
  • I don't have the time to maintain a wooden boat.
The most likely candidate for now looks like the Phantom but I've only read about them and never seen one in the flesh. A Finn looks good but I don't fancy lugging 300kg* up a ramp and there's the low boom problem again.

* see correction below


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One hull good, two hulls better.



Replies:
Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 10:41am
Phantom - no brainer.  Hook up with the guys on the Phantom Class website forum or Phantom Class page on Facebook... someone will give you a test ride for sure.  They are really nice blokes.


Posted By: PeterV
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 12:24pm
If you want a powerful boat you will be quite capable of pulling a Finn up a slip, unless you are far too unfit to sail the boat! Much bigger people than you manage to get under the boom quite happily, when you ease the sheet to tack the boom comes up 18" and there's more room under than many other boats. Finns are very long lasting and classic Finns are welcomed at all events and are well within your budget.

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PeterV
Finn K197, Finn GBR564
Warsash


Posted By: bicrider
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 1:43pm
Having just bought a classic Finn myself I agree with Peter. I find my Finn vey well balanced on its trolley and as long as the tyres are pumped up I don't have a problem moving it around but have not tried a steep slipway yet. I was looking for about a year or so before I bought one, But I did not see many older fibreglass Finns come up for sale if any for under a £1000. Wooden ones do come up under a grand. The one I bought need a bit of the varnish touched up and she is ready to sail. I have been told wooden Finns and not a labour intensive as other wooden boats as they were build so well. But only buying it last month I cant be sure if that is true or not.

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Dart 18 5054 "Willy Flipit"
Finn K333
Yellow (faded) Pico "Willy Tipit"


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 2:35pm
Thanks for that. Somehow my research on Google yesterday had given me a weight of 300kg. I now see the correct figure is 107, a much more manageable load. That of course raises a rather more difficult question - where do I find a cheap one!!

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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by PeterV

when you ease the sheet to tack the boom comes up 18"

How does that work? Is there a kicker to release? ISTR that the OK used a wedge through the mast that held the boom down, what do they do on the Finn?

OK, strike that. Done some searches and found info on kicker systems - presumably you need to let the kicker go on a beat so the mast bend pulls the boom up when tacking.


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: bicrider
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 3:13pm
The Finn has a very powerful kicker and a very flexible mast They do recommend letting the kicker off before you gybe to raise the boom and letting the main off before a tack will raise the boom. But as stated I am still waiting to sail my new (to me) Finn and It was a good 25 years since I last set foot in a Finn I am hoping its a bit like riding a bike it all comes back to me. I used to look on Apollo duck the CVRDA website forum and of course Ebay. The British Finn association has a for sale part but it normally more modern boats on there but worth keeping a eye on.

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Dart 18 5054 "Willy Flipit"
Finn K333
Yellow (faded) Pico "Willy Tipit"


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 4:00pm
Nooooo don't do it, Finns are the worse heavy old tub with a big chunk of redundant metal stuck in the middle with no foil shape to it whatsoever (Which does kind of prove the negative Bernouilli thing)

Check a Phantom out, light roomy, super easy to sail, big old rig, that Finn sail is probably two thirds the size.

Finns, they should be under the ocean not littering it..

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Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 4:18pm
Don't listen to the little people - go for the Finn. It's a beautiful boat to sail but a bit heavier than your revised weight at around 133kg but that weight does work like a flywheel to help you punch through waves etc. Don't worry about space under the boom - you sail upwind with no kicker on and all the leech tension is done via the mainsheet. Once you pop that to go through a tack you have more room than most boats (same for the OK and Europe too tbh).
You'll have a lot of fun in one

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OK 2139 & 2148


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 4:45pm
Originally posted by iGRF

big old rig, that Finn sail is probably two thirds the size. 

A bit unfair...

Finn 10.6 sq m
Phantom 9.75 sq m

Next question, which is more likely to give me a swim? In my laser days I only ever capsized through losing my grip on the sheet and being dumped to windward.


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 5:16pm
Finn will be way more suitable

Much more comfortable, easier on the knees, a joy to sail in all winds, rigs to suit your ability/physique, easier to tack (boom just rises up and lots of cockpit depth) etc etc etc

I've had both and enjoyed them both but would strongly suggest the Finn for you

They rarely capsize


Posted By: Tynesider
Date Posted: 04 Oct 17 at 9:49pm
Hi ever considered a Hartley 12 they are classed as 3 persons but two is much better, if you get the main with vertical battens you can reef it by rotating the mast if needed, also comes with head sail, faster than you may think and very safe.

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      Archivist for the
Colvic Watson Owners Group    


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 8:53am
If your budget wont stretch to Finn money what about a Laser with a Rooster 8.1 rig ?

They are not great but are cheap and fun. Same handicap as a Finn

Shame that Rooster didn't push it as a class or organise anything but the occasional mickey mouse river event





Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 9:57am
Love the laser and in most winds the standard rig is fine. As I said in the OP, my problem is getting under the boom as my knees get older.



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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 10:50am
Got to be the Finn then

Classic Finn with modern rig on Apollo Duck for just over 2K OR more recent one for 3.5 ?

OR buy a newer boat which will hold its value.

Whilst the initial outlay is a lot they hold their value really well

Always lots of 2nd hand bits around if you want to upgrade

Take the plunge - you will get addicted.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 12:04pm


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Posted By: Tynesider
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 4:11pm
Originally posted by snowleopard

Love the laser and in most winds the standard rig is fine. As I said in the OP, my problem is getting under the boom as my knees get older.

I know the problem of the old knees only too well and the bloody boom, I used to sail a Topper Topaz Uno but changed to a Hartley 12 (custom rigged) which has a slightly higher boom and is slightly wider than the Topaz hence giving more room to spread the old legs out, suggest try one if you can you might be in for a pleasant surprise


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      Archivist for the
Colvic Watson Owners Group    


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 05 Oct 17 at 4:48pm
Interesting point there. Most modern dinghies have a wide scoop and narrow side decks so that in a light wind with a heavy crew one is forced to perch somewhere in the middle which is very hard on old knees. I was once forced to spend a day sailing a Pico and it was torture. I was far too heavy to sit on the edge so had to kneel in the middle and lean. 

The Laser 1 is good in that regard, as is the classic Finn hull


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: rb_stretch
Date Posted: 06 Oct 17 at 10:47am
Originally posted by snowleopard


Originally posted by iGRF

big old rig, that Finn sail is probably two thirds the size. 

A bit unfair...
Finn 10.6 sq m
Phantom 9.75 sq m
Next question, which is more likely to give me a swim? In my laser days I only ever capsized through losing my grip on the sheet and being dumped to windward.


Hi Snowleopard,

I recognise you from th YBW forums. Finn and Phantom are the boats to consider. Phantom sail is closer to 11m in reality. I sail one myself at 15.5 stones. Old Phantoms don’t have double skinned floors so have a deep cockpit, but come with lots of other compromises due to non-epoxy construction. You can get a modern deep cockpit from JJ boats, but few around so much harder to find. Much faster than a Finn, but by all accounts Finns are also lovely to sail. Best to try both out and see what suits best.

If you don’t want to race that much then a megabyte is another option.


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 06 Oct 17 at 11:42am
Megabyte looks a good option but they seem to be rare this side of the Atlantic.

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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Tynesider
Date Posted: 06 Oct 17 at 3:42pm
Funny I also remember you from the PBO site (I was Caer Urfa). I also sailed offshore single handed for over 50 years and reluctantly sold my motor Sailor during the year. I am 72 and 15.5 stone and wanted still to mainly sail 'single handed', 'I thought' moving from offshore sailing to dinghy sailing would be no problem,         BIG MISTAKE, I started by trying the boats 'I liked the look of' when I eventually went for a boat I was more physically comfortable in and enjoyed sailing, I also tried them all before buying my Hartley 12 , Lasers,Solo, miracles, GP14, Toppers you name it, what you have to remember is your old knees and admit you may not be able to move as quick as you think you can, I could plan to do a tack for 3 minutes offshore, now I might get three seconds, my advice is buy a boat you can now physically handle not what might look good Smile

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      Archivist for the
Colvic Watson Owners Group    


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 18 Oct 17 at 8:37pm
Thanks for all the input. My short list came down to Megabyte, Phantom and Finn. In the end it was a question of what was available so I am now the proud owner of a Finn.

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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 18 Oct 17 at 8:44pm
Nice one, not the lightest and most trendy but a classy boat none the less.


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 01 Apr 18 at 12:25pm
Well after a long winter, I got out for the first time today. The Finn is a powerful beast and goes pretty quickly. With a F2-3 I was able to get it up on the plane a bit and sit on the side rather than squatting in the middle. Hauling 300 lbs up a ramp on your own is not so funny but maybe it will get me fitter. I wouldn't want to try a steep tidal ramp though.

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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Bootscooter
Date Posted: 19 Apr 18 at 12:01pm
Good to see you went with the Finn - I joined the Class 2 years ago at the age of 47 and have absolutely loved it! Off to the World Masters next month too!!!

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Finn GBR88 Gruffalo, Europe 185, Europe 252 Fizzer
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cameron-Tweedle-Sailing/816713278339694" rel="nofollow - Cameron Tweedle Sailing (Facebook)


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 24 Jul 18 at 4:53pm
Well having struggled up the ramp for a while I have reluctantly concluded that the Finn will have to go. Also, despite adjusting the mast rake fully forward, It's still a struggle with my 6'4" 70 year old frame to get under the boom when tacking or worse - gybing.

There are lots of boats that would suit, including the Mirror clone I'm putting a lugsail on but I do still have the hankering for speed.


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 24 Jul 18 at 5:36pm
Looks like you need to revisit the Phantom then.....

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 24 Jul 18 at 5:43pm
Indeed it does.

Then I googled it and found this comment on another forum...

"The phantom's I've sailed with have to slack off the kicker to get under the boom every tack"


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 24 Jul 18 at 5:53pm
You need a deep cockpit version, either an old-un or a one of the new deep cockpit designs. My mate is well over 6' and a big lad to boot (though a lot younger than you and I) and has no difficulty tacking his old GRP Phant. Try to get a go in one but looking at it it seems a roomy boat.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 24 Jul 18 at 6:17pm
Snowleopard

If you have struggled tacking the Finn something must have been not quite right ?

If the kicker is fully off upwind the boom will jump up quite high when you let off the mainsheet to tack. With its deep cockpit there's loads of room. If you tack with the main cleated or don't let it off you will haver problems.

Regardless of the type of Phantom it will be much harder to get under the boom than the Finn. When its breezy it gets worse as you rake the rig and have loads of kicker on.

In addition you with wreck your knees when you have to sit 'in' it when the breeze is light.

If you are most interested in comfort perhaps neither of these racers are suitable ?


The Phantom is a fantastic boat but the Finn is so much more comfortable



When gybing you just need to remember to let off the kicker


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 24 Jul 18 at 9:33pm
How many times do you need to be told the Phantom is the answer? I swear to God my chums phantom is lighter than my Solution, it really is a doddle to haul up shingle beaches, I wish I was heavy enough for one.

So as to the matter of the next point on the agenda which goes something along the lines.. "Sorry GRF you were right, the Finn is a heavy old tub not fit for anything other than a museum."

Apology accepted.. enjoy your Phantom

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Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 25 Jul 18 at 6:11pm
Originally posted by rich96

If you have struggled tacking the Finn something must have been not quite right ?

You may be right. As currently rigged, the kicker is still tight when the lever arm is fully released. I'll look into making it longer.  You can probably advise on what cord to use; at the moment the stuff is pale grey and looks like the core of a braided rope. I'd expect it to be Dyneema but not sure it looks right.


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 25 Jul 18 at 6:14pm
Originally posted by iGRF

the Phantom is the answer 

One question - where do you sit in light winds?


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 25 Jul 18 at 6:25pm
There are 2 ways to adjust the kicker - with the length of the rope strop that goes around the mast - these should be Dynema similar - and also the control rope itself

It should be adjusted so that the kicker lever is at vertical at almost max tension (when its most efficient)

From memory if you release the control rope and have the boom end resting on the rear deck you should just be able to touch the deck with the strop ropes if you push down on them together ? (sail not up)ISH ?

The boom end should raise up perhaps 2-3ft from the rear deck when the kicker is totally released

Re the Phantom - when its light its ok upwind - sit forward on the side deck. When its light and downwind however you have to kneel - kneepads essential





Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 25 Jul 18 at 7:19pm
Originally posted by snowleopard


Originally posted by iGRF

the Phantom is the answer 

One question - where do you sit in light winds?


Forward, listen to the stern noise if its' noisy move forward until it stops being noisy.

Edit as to where do you sit and or kneel, I noticed one Phantom builder, think it was Boon, fitted a thwart they must be available after market. I told my chum to get one, i think I even saw one with a traveller in it.

Maybe the Phantom class can help every time I go near them they just look at me as a pie filling, if you can catch one of them between bites maybe they can tell you..

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Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 25 Jul 18 at 8:25pm
Originally posted by rich96

you have to kneel

My knees are 140 years old


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 8:26am
Hi 
The Phantom is a joy to sail but once it gets very light not the kindest on your knees.
The thwart which Boon boats made is no longer available as Boon stopped trading. Although I am sure JJ or Solent boat works could make you one. The answer for you would be the JJ with the well in it and also you can perch on the edge downwind, unfortunately the only one for sale at present is £8k a lovely veneer finished job hardly used. Alternatively Solent Boat Works will chop a section of the double bottom out of an existing boat which would be cheaper.

For now stick with the Finn and sort your kicker as it sounds like you have it wrong. 
Grf why would any sensible Phantom sailor spoil a pie by filling it with Kent mad bull.


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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 9:03am
Originally posted by snowleopard


Originally posted by rich96

you have to kneel

My knees are 140 years old


So, a Solo after all, what about the H2 or is that over budget?

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Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 1:52pm
I went up to the boat this morning and measured the distance from sole to boom with kicker loose and no kicker - both the same, 81cm/32" so it's not an over-tight kicker, just a decrepit and inflexible sailor!

I'd value input from Finn sailors on whether that is a normal dimension.


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 2:18pm
It's probably useful to have the measurement between the boom and cockpit floor on a number of boats that may be sailed by less flexible sailors. I doubt it is possible on most singlehanders to cross the boat without going down on one knee. I know it's difficult/impossible in the Blaze, as it was in the 'nova but, by kneeling, I found a Europe tolerable. The Spice is a trapeze boat and has more room under the boom. If I think on I'll measure the clearance on both, and my mates' boats too (Phantom, GP, L3k) when I get the chance.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Fatboi
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 2:54pm
Originally posted by snowleopard

I went up to the boat this morning and measured the distance from sole to boom with kicker loose and no kicker - both the same, 81cm/32" so it's not an over-tight kicker, just a decrepit and inflexible sailor!

I'd value input from Finn sailors on whether that is a normal dimension.

The classic benchmark test is to stand at the back of the boat and lift the boom as high as you can with the kicker fully off. You should just be able to get the boom onto your shoulder. Then put the boom on the boat and pull the kicker on as hard as you can and it should be held onto the deck.

This rough setting will have enough play in to be spot on.

When it is windy, leave kicker off and snug it up before you go around the windward mark, so that the vang leaver is pointing vertically and that should be good for your bear away and as a rough setting.

Hope this helps!


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 3:11pm
Originally posted by Fatboi

stand at the back of the boat and lift the boom as high as you can with the kicker fully off. You should just be able to get the boom onto your shoulder.

Right. I can still step over it in those conditions so way too tight. OTOH, once the mast is straight, what's to lift the boom further so it doesn't clout me on the way past?


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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 3:19pm
it will just be the wind in the sail to lift it. so very light airs might be a problem.

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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 7:20pm
The dimensions you mention confirm that the kicker is too tight

It should rise up that sort of distance from the rear deck - not the cockpit sole

If the boat is set up correctly its simple to get under the boom - as long as you are uncleating the mainsheet and letting plenty off ?

The mast straightens and lifts the sail as soon as you free the sheet





Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 26 Jul 18 at 9:43pm
When I took the measurements, the luff groove was straight so there was no more scope for the boom to rise. All but one of the mast wedges are on the aft side so something is a bit odd. I guess I need to look at how the mast foot is set up - it's a hefty track with adjustment screws. I can't imagine there is anything odd about the length of leech as it's a modern sail.

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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: Fatboi
Date Posted: 27 Jul 18 at 8:04am
It sounds as if your 'course tune' (The dyneema which goes from the mast to the vang lever) is too short, or that your mast foot is too far forward meaning that the mast is raked back a long way.

Have a look at this from Norths it will help and put you in the right ballpark.
https://northsails.com/sailing/en/resources/finn-tuning-guide 



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