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Frankenboat - what's yours?

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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: 26 Feb 17 at 3:44pm
A certain 400 sailor has been less than complementary about the Spice too (though I believe he has, at least, sailed one). Topper (and RS/Laser) have a history of ditching classes that fail to take off, fair enough, I guess it makes sound business sense. Boss, Buzz, Iso, the Sport series and the Blaze amongst others. In some of these cases a new rights holder and/or the CA takes up the slack but with an SMOD you can't just go to your local dinghy builder and get one built to order like you can with pretty much any of the traditional classes.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 26 Feb 17 at 3:44pm
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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 4:10pm
Actually you can't do that with a great number of boats.
The designs are copyright.
If the designer won't license you to build it, you can't.
Many of course will sell you a set of plans or charge a fairly small fee.

The SMOD model is more like one-make motor(cycle) racing.
There have been series for all sorts of things, some of which die out when the vehicle goes out of production , or shortly after, some of which last longer.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 4:53pm
You are right, there are exceptions but the analogy with motorcycle racing is a good one. However one make bike race series are based on a machine that exists outside of the race series. Dinghy racers don't have a pool of existing dinghies to modify so many a modern racing sailboat is designed to be a race boat first (with some exceptions, L@ser being the obvious one) and a recreational sailboat second. (not sure that explains what I mean very well mind you)

It's in he lap of the Gods (or the manufacturer's promo budget) which boats go on to be a success. A boat generally acknowledged as a 'good' boat has a head start of course but anything coming from one of the big manufacturers has a better chance of achieving critical mass.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 26 Feb 17 at 4:55pm
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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 5:42pm
Do you know who owns the design rights to the Spice, just out of interest?

In the bad old days, lots of boats were built for 'recreational sailing' as opposed to racing.About 10,000 mirrors as a wild guess?
Still happens in yachts, people buy cruisers whcih they could race but don't.
Quite a lot of dinghies are bought by training establishments, you could sell a lot of boats but never have  a class.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dougaldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 5:46pm
Sam, I have to be careful as (a) as a writer I don't want to be seen as being overtly for or against any boat or builder. It's safer to stay objective and leave the opinion casting to others who are far more interested in promoting their own view (like saying that the L 5000 was 'decades adrift': for the millionth time, stop exaggerating!) and then there is (b) - I have found myself in trouble in the past for expressing a less than enamoured view of a boat in the old TI range. I really did get my collar felt for that!

What is so easily forgotten is on how the launch of a boat - any boat - has to be seen in the context of the wider state of the sport 'at the time of the launch'. So, the idea of the twin wire Buzz had been a 'non-secret' for a number of months. I'm pretty certain that  the plan was to change the hull form from the Buzz, not hugely, but yes, there were to be changes. The rig needed beefing up and is NOT an ISO rig, the main was a much better shape than the original boat.

The Spice, certainly from the experiences with the demo boats, wasn't a bad package at all and if looked at from the viewpoint of a crew having a lot of fun, it did a pretty good job when there wasn't really that much of an alternative bar the 14s and bigger beasts.

So what happened. If I wanted to write about how NOT to launch a new dinghy, with a few names changed to protect the innocent, I'd write about the launch of the Spice. Bearing in mind, again, that stricture about everything being in its time, that bilious yellow colour was a turn off but that was nothing to the 'sales message' that was coming out of Maidsone/Ashford - 'at the time'.

Seen like this, you've got the opportunity to have more bullet proof fun ( they're pretty hard to break - I tried) at a bargain basement price - what's not to like!

D



Dougal H
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 6:25pm
Sam, just buy the Boss that's on ebay! 400 no bids.....

Actually the rig would be Frankenboat material......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 17 at 7:03pm
Thats how I look at it. I like mine... even the colour (and yes it is a yellow one). It's not exactly an ISO rig (it's slightly bigger) but ISO is a good source of used sails for the Spice (It stops being bargain basement if you have to buy new) though the kite is a bit tiddley.
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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: 26 Feb 17 at 7:04pm
Originally posted by RS400atC

Sam, just buy the Boss that's on ebay! 400 no bids.....

Actually the rig would be Frankenboat material......

Bargain  Thumbs Up

Yes it would wouldn't it.......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rb_stretch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 17 at 6:15pm
Originally posted by Dougaldog

Sam, I have to be careful as (a) as a writer I don't want to be seen as being overtly for or against any boat or builder. It's safer to stay objective and leave the opinion casting to others who are far more interested in promoting their own view (like saying that the L 5000 was 'decades adrift': for the millionth time, stop exaggerating!) and then there is (b) - I have found myself in trouble in the past for expressing a less than enamoured view of a boat in the old TI range. I really did get my collar felt for that!

What is so easily forgotten is on how the launch of a boat - any boat - has to be seen in the context of the wider state of the sport 'at the time of the launch'. So, the idea of the twin wire Buzz had been a 'non-secret' for a number of months. I'm pretty certain that  the plan was to change the hull form from the Buzz, not hugely, but yes, there were to be changes. The rig needed beefing up and is NOT an ISO rig, the main was a much better shape than the original boat.

The Spice, certainly from the experiences with the demo boats, wasn't a bad package at all and if looked at from the viewpoint of a crew having a lot of fun, it did a pretty good job when there wasn't really that much of an alternative bar the 14s and bigger beasts.

So what happened. If I wanted to write about how NOT to launch a new dinghy, with a few names changed to protect the innocent, I'd write about the launch of the Spice. Bearing in mind, again, that stricture about everything being in its time, that bilious yellow colour was a turn off but that was nothing to the 'sales message' that was coming out of Maidsone/Ashford - 'at the time'.

Seen like this, you've got the opportunity to have more bullet proof fun ( they're pretty hard to break - I tried) at a bargain basement price - what's not to like!

D


I bought a Spice myself as it is how I transferred from windsurfing to dinghy sailing.

My wife was getting bored with windsurfing as our standards were too different and invariably she would be waiting in the car while I was enjoying the waves/wind. She thought dinghies would be boring, so we looked at a Spice. The logic being I would teach her how to sail (she had never been in a dinghy before) and I would learn to helm and trapeze while teaching. That way we will be learning together.

The Spice turned out to be perfect for the job. It was one of the most fun dinghies I have ever sailed, especially in big breeze (25knots plus). The beach boat equivalent of an I14, simple, easy to sail and a lot of laughs for your pound. It was only when we started to race it more on PY that it's shortcomings as a racing boat came across. It was still fun and we did win the odd club race, but it's width, lack of length, lack of chines along with a rig that was possibly too powerful for the hull and not powerful enough for us meant the PY racing was generally unrewarding.

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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: 27 Feb 17 at 6:24pm
Yup, I bang on about the PN of the Spice to the despair of some on here ;) Spice is the same length as an I14 (I believe the hull form is a pretty much a copy of an '80s I14 though I suspect more rocker) with a smaller rig and more weight (both of which make it somewhat less frisky). Like you I bought mine as my first dinghy when returning from 30 years of windsurfing. Not so much for the racing in my case and to sail on the sea so it has been perfect. What did you replace your Spice with?
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