ISOs etc

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ISOs etc

Post by windwatcher » Mon May 01, 2017 5:14 pm

Dear all

I want to get another trapeze boat, we have had a few years of trapeze-less dinghies. This will mainly be for my wife and I, but occasionally to take friends out in. My wife doesn't want to do trapezing, so what I do is crew and take the mainsheet, then she can sort out the helming.

Due to its light-wind ability, I have always liked the 505, and so was going for one of those, had no problem with the previous ones. But I have noticed that some of the newer classes seem to sell for apparently very reasonable prices, e.g. ISOs, Laser 4000s. I remember that I chap I used to know who had an ISO said that it was better in light winds than the Laser 4000. The boat is mainly for use in Chichester harbour, but ideally with the odd trip to the IOW. We will only sail up to a max of force 4 to 5. So we want something that will ghost along in the very light stuff, and go well up to that maximum of force 4 to 5.

The Fireball is a lovely boat, but rather under-canvased for the light stuff (e.g. a drift to say a force 3). I have never sailed an asymetric dinghy, so they are uncharted waters for me. My wife liked the lightness of the 505 helm.

We are probably on the lighter end of the weight scale.

If anyone would like to offer any experience / advice / insight into the merits of these classes etc, or suggest any others worthy of consideration, it would be gratefully received.

One of the problems with older performance boats (to my mind, anyway), is the nature of any core in the lay-up, i.e. balsa, foam etc, and in particular, has it taken up water ? I remember a friend had a 505, and he said that when he took the self-bailers out he could see the naked balsa where the hole was cut through the hull ! Eek ! I suppose the ideal is closed-cell foam ? Or, plywood ( ! ) - simple is best perhaps, but then that rules out a lot of boats, but would be a vote in favour of the Fireball.

Another consideration is the weight of the boat and getting it in and out of the water, so the 505 is the max weight for me, and therefore Kestrels / Jollyboats / all that sort of thing are no good for us.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by JimC » Mon May 01, 2017 8:51 pm

windwatcher wrote:some of the newer classes seem to sell for apparently very reasonable prices, e.g. ISOs, Laser 4000s.
The main reason for that, I fear, is that the boats weren't very good, the classes have died, and the owners can only get shot of them at throwaway prices. The two single string modern classes that are reasonable are the 29er, which is a superb boat, but very full on and mostly sailed by teenagers, and the RS500, which is a little more backed off.

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by Rupert » Tue May 02, 2017 8:02 am

An old ISO will give you a cheap blasting boat, but suspect it is heavier than a 505.

If the ISO is better in the light than the 4000, it may be a bit like discussing who the lightest Phantom sailor is. Neither will excel in those conditions.

How about a Hornet?

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by Ed » Tue May 02, 2017 10:12 am

Oh, get a five-0, you know you want to....

Ed Bremner

Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
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Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Michael Brigg
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Re: ISOs etc

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue May 02, 2017 11:01 am

In Harry Potter speak, I would venture that "the wand chooses the wizard."

The same applies to some extent to your boat. Perhaps you have still got (or acquired) the boat you sailed (or aspired to) as a boy. Perhaps you have inherited an old family favourite.

If none of these, then your choice of boat should be governed by the 3 'C's. Club, Crew and Class. To that we can then add options such as Construction, Canvas, Creek, and most important of all, Colour!


Club: If Chichester is your locale, you have the fortunate choice of 13 clubs dotted around the shore, and the luxury that membership of one club, gives you a broad option of Visitors rights to all the other clubs in the federation. But you can choose for example, between the cosmopolitan welcome of Hayling Island, the Genteel opulence of Birdham, the Tourist Goldfish bowl and Chocolate box charm of Bosham, the mud of Mengeham and Dell Quay or sand of West Wittering, the international Olympic aspirations of Itchenor, the traditional "family" appeal of Emsworth, or Chichester, the remoteness of Thorney Island and Langstone, the economy of Emsworth Slipper, or the leisure of the Chichester Cruising Club, the world is literally your oyster. More usually of course there is less choice, and what I am trying to say is that in most cases there is little choice. The class of boat you sail is likely to be determined by what the other members sail. Is the club a One design club, or a Handicap fleet. Keel boats, cruisers or skiffs, The unique situation in Chichester harbour illustrates how each club has settled for a niche, but as a rule there is rather less choice.

Crew: This I presume is going to be your better half, and is probably more important than the Club as she will be your chancellor! For many sailors however it may just be your mate. You need similar aspiration and a solid agreement on your aspirations or this partnership will fall apart. If you buy a boat where the crew has no role other than ballast, there is trouble ahead.

Class: Having determined the boats sailed in the club, which suits your skills and pocket best. Will you enjoy the faffage more than the sailing.

Construction: What are your skills. Do you want wood or plastic. (In my experience, both have similar need for time and effort in maintenance if you want your boat to stay sail-able beyond a few years.) Balsa sandwich has its problems, but so does any other construction if it is not looked after.

Canvas: How much (Sq metres) how many (1,2 or 3 ) Trad or asymmetric, material- Trd or exotic, Wooden/Ali/Carbon rig.

Creek: Another word for Location but also the Launch facility. In Chichester you have a range of options from a Gravel beach, lethal muddy slip, wooden staging or even moorings. In most clubs at Start sequence and finish time there is plenty of help, but if you are cruising off on your own, or worse arriving back when the club is locked up, the tidal accessibility and steepness of the slipway is going to be critical. Not of course such problem for land lubbers.

And finally... and most importantly, Colour.

And for many, the biggest C word... Children. :? :( :lol:

The Boat chooses the helm.
Michael Brigg

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by whacko! » Tue May 02, 2017 1:44 pm

One of the largest and most active Fireball fleets in the UK is on your doorstep at Hayling Island SC. Why not pop over and have a chat?

You'll find a broad mix of people: those who cruise and those who race (from beginners to serious international sailors). We also have a wide range of boats from vintage (FB2 is the earliest) to modern Winders; all-wood, composite and FRP.

Feel free to get in touch!

Chris Turner
UKFA Chairman and HISC Fireball Fleet Captain
FBs 6 & 15111

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by suffolkmerlin » Tue May 02, 2017 3:05 pm

Chris, would love to see some of your early FB's at Aldeburgh 10/11th June

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by Michael4 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:24 am

Just an addition to Michel Brigg's excellent summary of Chichester's charms.

Apparently West Wittering SC only accepts members who live locally.

As to the right kind of boat...good in light winds in the harbour and also happy thrashing across the Solent in F4-5? Bit of a challenge...
Tideway 206
Sold the 'Something bigger and plastic', it never got used.

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Re: ISOs etc

Post by Chalky » Thu May 04, 2017 7:56 pm

How about a lovely old i14? As luck would have it, you can have K871 for a few hundred pounds! If you pop up to Aldeburgh for our classics weekend you could have a great weekend racing on a beautiful estuary and take a piece of history home.

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