Flying Dutchman...( a two handed Finn?)

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Flying Dutchman...( a two handed Finn?)

Post by davidh » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:20 am

Brooksey..... (but I bet Big Al will comment along with others)

Arrived at the club to go Contendering yesterday to find a couple of FDs rigging up! They had planned to be holding an open at Oxford but so few boats turned up that the event was pulled. Instead they keener boats came down to Netley for some sailing on proper water (the salty tasting stuff).

I was interested to look at the gear, in particular the latest in high modulus carbon masts, that has to be a £2,000+ the rigging!

Anyway, your old boat, the wonderful K350 Superdocios was there and needing a driver. Well, it is one of those things that just has to be done! All the more so in a very pleasant sea breeze, a steady 12kts - so fully powered up, crew flat out (hell... I had to hike!) and on the bottom clew position. We beat down Soton Water and into the start of the Solent proper - although it was warm and the breeze wonderful the vis was rotten so we ended up doing more windward leeward in Southampton Water.

Impressions.....that has to be one of the great sailing experiences, planing upwind in a well rigged FD, main cleated and just keeping the boat on it's toes by playing the traveller. It's fully 25 years and more since I last sailed FDs and it is everything that I remember - superbly graceful, comfortable (ie, it's not a twitchy ride) and long legged - we were tramping upwind very nicely. But, come the downwind legs, even with the better spinnaker setting and carbon poles, the boat showed up why the 505 is still the better boat.

And then when you came to move it around on shore.... now I know why the comment was made that weight is only of real value in a steamroller! I thought I was moving a Finn around - with the Finn sailor (who lets face it are not know for their sylph like forms) still aboard!

One question Brooksey - K350.... is that the one where Bob Hoare made the bow sections fuller? Compared to the newer Mader that we were working up against I found the boat seemed to be 'bow high'!

Now I suppose that I have go and sail in a Finn.....

David H

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Re: Flying Dutchman...( a two handed Finn?)

Post by Brookesy » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:23 pm

Glad you enjoyed it David, I must say I miss it, the upwind performance of a well sorted FD is something that stays with you forever and the ease in which it does it has to be experienced to be believed.
I believe that 350 was a complete one off, penned by Ian Howlett to Rodney Pattison's spec and built by Peter Taylor of Finn fame whilst he was at Hamble Composites, as their role was aerospace fabrication the build materials were quite advanced for 1984 and featured carbon and kevlar sandwich construction with both nomex and alloy used as honeycomb in the construction which made it incredibly stiff in the areas it was required. The bill for the hull alone was £24,000 carbon etc was a pretty exotic material at the time. Peter Taylor knew his stuff and later went on to head up the composites side of the Sauber F1 team.
I think 350 is not as full in the forward sections as the current Mader's as when she was crewed by Jamie Wilkinson a well known front running crew, he commented that she was a bit scarey downwind and he needed to get his weight a lot further aft than normal to keep her from diving. As a porker I never felt that, even with Alan on the wire, but then I havn't tried a Mader. Incidently 365 is even more radical in hull shape being quite 'skinny' and in a blow with big waves was apparently untouchable if the crew was brave enough to push her.
Regarding the weight of a Finn compared to the FD there is very little in it, but at least you have the crew to assist with the FD.
GBR74 ex custodian of
GBR384 Mickey Finnale (Taylor,wood)
GBR455 Rubber Duck (Taylor, grp)
FD GBR350 Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious

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