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Demise of double handed sailing in general.

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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Demise of double handed sailing in general.
    Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 8:53am
It was the to me joy of racing in company that hooked me into dinghy sailing in the first place, the compared notes before a race, the joint effort in launch and recovery, the chatter and banter around the course. In my case crews passed away or fell ill, but that can't be the same for everyone, I can't quite comprehend why it is the double handed scene is so flat.

It's not for the lack of new boats, not that any of them gained traction in part I'm sure it's to do with unnecessary handicap penaltys, but even that protection hasn't assured the standard classes of a future. They all seem to be on the wane other than the Olympic meat grinders..

So what is it that's killing the best bit of dingy racing I wonder. Is it a societal change? expense? Or is it just an advance warning that the sport in general has just run its course?   

It's not just the Laser 4000 that's gone away.. 505s, 470s, Iso, and even though I tried to make the case for the Alto in the other thread, it doesn't have any serious traction, the Icon, that X1/X0, the L2&3k, if all we're left with is RS2&400s and cliquey anachronisms like the Merlin, it's going to be a pretty sad state of affairs.

Even if there were the perfect new boat to appear, would there be anyone left to buy and sail them, not something I'd bet the house on, that's for sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 9:11am
Yes, for me too, sailing/racing in company is far preferable IMHO to sailing alone, though dinghy sailing, in general, has moved mainly to single-handers - and in youth instruction, that is what I mainly teach kids in. It is difficult enough for anyone these days to find enough time to go single-handed sailing - let alone finding a crew willing to commit the time, availability and share a mutual calendar of racing in a double-hander. There will always be double-handers, just not so many numbers sailing/racing them.

Which is why I dont see much of a profitable and volume market for any further new double-handers to arrive on the scene. 

I just accept it and go with it. You arent going to push back the tide and will only stress yourself out by trying to do so ;-)


Edited by Chris_H - 10 Jul 20 at 9:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 10:26am
Double handed is much more fun. Numbers aren't what they once were but I'd suggest the Merlin fleet is pretty popular and the RS200s to some extent.

They're also perfect for spending time with a family, the N12 class a good example, with loads of Parent/Kids sailing together, until the kids get their own N12s and their parents go in the front, or end up get beaten by their kids on the race course, which is all a good laugh. There are some 3rd generation helms/crews in the class - that is cool family history.

Current situation probably helps classes like the N12 where same households can sail together - I'd expect some parent/crew sailing in an N12 but perhaps not a RS Feva / 420 etc.

But, if you don't have the family crews even in normal time, I expect it is difficult to share a mutual calendar and justify the time away etc. 

Family club racing in double handers, sign me up.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 10:43am
It is all about the crews.  I would much rather sail a double hander, but it is harder to find REGULAR crews.  In the search of competiveness and as we know more then we start considering, crew weight, ability and do we get on both on and off the water ... age is also an issue.  After you have failed to sail a few times because of an inability to find a crew, the appeal of a singlehanded boat increases.

A perfect scenario is to have a double hander and have a single hander as a back up for such occasions.

In our blame culture, we should look to blame something ... and I would blame the way we have pushed our boats into being lighter, more tricky and complex ... which makes “picking a crew up off the shore” a more difficult proposition.

I also suspect that crewing for an old bloke, which I often did when I was a teenager would not be seen in the same way today.

Maybe the places we sail are not conducive to crews either, when a lot of our sailing was done on rivers and gravel pits, it was much more visible ... I had a Wednesday evening crew who literally were walking along the public footpath past the club when I was short of a crew, had never sailed before, and went on to crew for the rest of the season in my Merlin.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 10:56am
I sailed a Prindle cat with my dad when I was a teenager, a 420 as part of the RYA squads, a L4000 with my wife and a RS400 with my kids but I never really tried to find a crew from outside my family after the RYA squads and based on the number of weekends I walk past the guys looking for crews on my way to go sailing I have never really considered it an option. I like sailing singlehanders, prefer it actually. No one else to blame (or in my case, I was the crew, so nice not to be blamed!!)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 1:26pm
I enjoy crewing, can't tolerate helming with a crew.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrisI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 5:06pm
Me too.
As mentioned already it is certainly linked to the crew availability/co-ordination issue (and especially in boats where the crew has a bigger job than the helm) but I think in addition it is also now related to the enormous disparity in disposable income these days between generations, with no-one under the age of around 45, taking into account other commitments, really able to afford such huge outlays.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 6:12pm
Have to say I've been damned lucky with the person I sail with. We've sailed together for just about 20 years. Whilst I own the boat, we share helming both at the club and opens. We are pretty close in ability so no issues there. But he puts an awful lot into the boat - much handier than I at small repairs and maintenance, and occasionally buys a new kite or jib. And, goddamit, he's always up for it when I'm not! We have our "tense" moments in the boat, but we never take it ashore. Its been a pretty successful combination over the years and looking forward to getting back in the boat with him when the time comes.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 6:23pm
Wake up on a wet and cold horrid day. Single hander? The option to pull up the duvet and stay dry. With a double hander you are committed. And often those miserable days are the best for sailing.

The move to single handers reduces overall numbers by several routes

Whatever happened to the good old fashioned route of crewing for some of the experienced sailors. Lost in the Squad setup?

Edited by ian.r.mcdonald - 10 Jul 20 at 6:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dohertpk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 20 at 7:44pm
Treasure that friendship (and it sounds like you do)! It's incredibly rare to find someone you can get on with in tense situations, and for over 20 years. I envy you both and wish you many more happy years sailing together. I'm still trying to find that special someone!
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