Trial Sail?

Mark and Tony at Speed in one of the Loan Boats

Mike Firth

Mike Firth has been sailing Fifteens at Datchet for longer than anyone in the fleet. Strong in his belief that you have to try a ‘Fifteen’ to get hooked, he has  put together a great  Trial Sail Program based on three boats that you can try. Mike describes below just how you ‘get with the program’….

The Club FFs

To encourage people, both helms and crews, to join our club and class we offer free trial sails.   We help you rig, launch and recover the boat and we can provide a helm or crew or, subject to your experience, you can sail with your own crew.    At weekends there will be other ff members for you to drink and talk ffs with.

If the trials go well and you want to join the fleet at Datchet, we strongly advise crewing for some of our regular sailors.   The ff class is  subject to tight design rules but the detail of the controls varies alot.   Also some have a spinnaker chute while others use bags and there are several options for handling spinnakers.   You really do need to know what you want before you buy your own.   You can also learn about ffs by renting  a club boat and racing it;   stay for lunch and discuss with the sailors you have just raced against ……..   You can rent for £20 per weekend – either as required (but give plenty of notice if you want ff3316) or rent for a month or a quarter.

The club owns and insures three ffs.     Insurance rules require users to be members of the club;    so if you aren’t a club member you must buy a day fee to become a member for the day – £20 pd at present.    Also, the boats are to be sailed only at Datchet.

Datchet has three club ffs of varying ages.    They are available to you to try out an ff before joining the class.  The three are:

3316  The Gerry Sheard – a fully equipped modern design, competitive (it won a club internal open event two years ago)  Chute.  Double ended pole

3024   Fluoride  –  also set up for racing with chute and double ended pole

2165  no spinnaker  –  a wooden classic hull – trial sails only – not competitive.

For a trial sail, contact Mike Firth via the Club Office on 01753 683872 (The Club is open office hours, Tuesday – Sunday),  or via

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