A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

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ACB
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A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by ACB » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:19 am

My friend Martin (who helped me collect Ben's Albacore) asked me a question on the way back - he wants to spend more time on the river and fancies a singlehander. He is about Finn-sized and would ideally like a Fairey Finn but suspects they will be outside his price range post-Olympics.

(Unlike me, he has no objections in principle to fibreglass...)

He does not like OK's.

Any suggestions - or shall I persuade him into a singlehanded Firefly?

F 3163 "Aquarius",
IC K229 nameless for the time being
I14 K377 "Mercury" - long term rebuild project

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Nessa
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nessa » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:46 pm

I have a nice, cheap wooden phantom....
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ACB
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by ACB » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:03 pm

Seems like a solution! - I'll pass it on.

Where? (we are both in Woodbridge, Suffolk).

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nigel » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:10 pm

Hi,

as if by magic.....

a nice looking Firefly -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SWORDFISH-SAILING ... 286.c0.m14

and a cheap looking Finn -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Finn-Dinghy_W0QQi ... 286.c0.m14

If he is after something more modern and can find one, a Megabyte is a brilliant boat for a larger helm.

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nigel » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:12 pm

don't know where i got Firefly from :oops: Nice looking Swordfish though

Nigel

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Rich » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:38 pm

Phantom, Supernova or if you have a good fleet of Solo's at the club then also consider a Solo with a stiff mast. A lot will depend on crew weight, budget and whether you want fleet racing or mixed handicap.

GRP (Yuck!) or Epoxy (Double Yuck!) Phantoms will be from +£2K and +£4k respectively, wooden Phantoms can be had from +£500. Of the singlehanders at our club on the Thames the Phantoms generaly tend to come out on top of the singlehanders (Phantoms, Lasers, Supernovas, Solos) in mixed handicap racing, and on a reaching course in a breeze they seem untouchable.

Supernovas can be had from +£2K and Solos from +£500 but chances are you would have to pay more for a competative one with a stiff mast. We have never had a Finn at our club so not sure how these perform on the river. Laser now offer an 8.6 rig for heavyweights though again I have not seen this in operation.

If your freind does'nt mind the maintenance then my choice would be a wooden Phantom with conventional hull shape (more room under the boom), but they can be fragile, especially in the large unsupported floor area.
Rich

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Nessa
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nessa » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:19 pm

My phantom is of the ye olde type - it is K88. It is in pretty good nick really but the mast and boom let it down.

There are photos here:

http://s255.photobucket.com/albums/hh13 ... 88_photos/

and I am hoping to take more tomorrow.

It is in Bedford.
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by ACB » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:33 pm

Budget comes into it as like me he has a good sized gaff cutter to support... :lol:

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Rupert » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:46 pm

I like the cat, Nessa!
Nigel - that Firefly you saw on ebay is 3 feet too long...
Rupert

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nessa » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:54 pm

That cat, aka Fidget the fiend, is a specialist in walking in fresh paint/varnish/gelcoat and has a particular talent for investigating open hatches and disappearing underneath as you put the boat cover on.

Oh and she loves stray ends of shockcord.
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by PeterV » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:09 pm

A Fairey Finn is quite difficult to value because they're quite rare now. I bought mine for £300 and it's in very good condition, but that's after replacing the centreboard case, part of the hog, part of the floor and the decks. The value of mine now is whatever someone wants to pay for it, which I guess would be somewhere between £250 and £1000.
A Finn is a heavy boat, but that means it lasts, whereas a Phantom was always too light to last until Epoxy foam construction came along, when the design really found it's feet. All the wooden ones apart from newer ones built with epoxy tend to fall apart quite quickly.
I'd obviously support the Finn (there's a good wooden one for sale at the moment on the Finn website), there's enormous pleasure to be had from learning to sail it well and it's the most marvellous boat to sail in strong winds. It also sails well on inland waters as it has a large sail area and a good hull shape. I'd say that the most obvious second best is an OK, which is cheap, plentiful, and has a good rig.
Of the others I'd say get a Solo when you're too old to sail anything else, get a Supernova if you want something very easy to sail with no challenge but if you don't want a Finn or OK why not get a Laser as it's better than almost all the other alternatives (ducks).
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Nessa
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nessa » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:17 pm

On the question of value, I'd have to agree - I can never expect to get back the equivalent worth of the hours of toil that went into the restoration of my phantom. I can only expect to get what people feel they should pay for such an 'old' boat.

As to it's soundness, well, so far as I know it is the oldest one in the country - built in 1974 - and it has lasted really well. But I suspect it was built with more more love and care than many modern dinghies ever get, and so was built to last. I think it may well have been home built from a kit.
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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Nigel » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:27 pm

Hi Rupert,

according to the ad it is four feet too long for a Firefly and one foot too long for a Swordfish.
Another victory for the ebay tape measure.


Nigel

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by Garry R » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:32 pm

Value of an old boat. Whatever someone is prepared to pay and remember to add in the fun you have had from her under your ownership - to me that's the most important thing. What you must NEVER, EVER do is cost your time!!!! The Labour commission will be down on you like a ton of politically correct bricks for paying yourself vastly under the minimum wage!!! An old boat is like HBOS shares - you keep investing in it and hope that some day someone will take it over!! But you won't get all your money back!!

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Re: A request for advice - a Finn - ish singlehander?

Post by JimC » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:49 pm

PeterV wrote:whereas a Phantom was always too light to last until Epoxy foam construction came along,.
No, it would always have been possible if they'd been prepared to look at the right boat building techniques...

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