By Charles Quest:
The landscape of one design sailboats is rich with variety. The C15 stands out with its unique balance of virtues.
Affordable. Because of the low cost to buy and operate, the class is open to wide participation. More is better!
Available. With almost four thousand boats built over the last three decades, pre-owned boats are easy to find, or you can buy a new one.
One design. With the boats standardized, the focus of the fleet is on sharing sailing techniques and developing sailing skill rather than “deep pockets” and technowizardry.
Flexible. C15s are confidence building, stable, forgiving trainers, exciting one-design racers and comfortable responsive day sailers. They can be sailed solo, double handed (racing crew) or day sailed with three or more. With the centerboard, kick up rudder and lightweight, they can be sailed off the beach and trailer launched by hand. Utility is good!
Simple. With a simple but efficient rig, the sailor can focus on developing their boat handling and tactical racing skills without the distractions of rigging complexity (i.e.. spinnakers. exotic spar controls, etc.) Less spaghetti and more time on the water is good!
Durable. Thirty years old C15s remain sound and competitive.
Accommodating. As a racing boat, a wide range of crew weights are competitive
Easy to right when capsized.
Great handling characteristics in all conditions
Comfortable. A clean and simple cockpit is knee and body friendly.
A high, noggin friendly boom allows easier tacking.
Dry. With a high freeboard and spray-deflecting bow the C15 is relatively dry.
With the confidence of a safe and comfortable design, you can focus more on sailing fun.
Exciting. With a Portsmith (speed potential handicap) rating within one percent of the high performance, spinnaker rigged International 470 (an Olympic two man racing dinghy), the C15s simplicity and safety do not sacrifice speed and sailing excitement. Fast is fun!
Practical. Unlike many classes, the C15 is no “orphan” or “boutique” class. Parts are readily available from the manufacturer. It’s easy to store, trail, rig (even single-handedly), launch and sail. Its sturdy low maintenance design keeps you on the water.
Balanced designed. Race optimized boats are often complex, costly, quirky and not functional for training or day sailing. Trainers and day sailors usually lack the thrill of high performance sailing . Single-handed boats limit your opportunity to share the fun. With cut down sails the C15 is an outstanding platform for teaching youth or beginning adult sailing.
Like all great designs the C-15’s genius is in its balanced blend of virtues. Yes, you can have it all! Furthermore, in the C15 these virtues are packaged in the classic lines of a sailing vessel which is as appealing to the eye as it is a joy to sail.
The C15’s greatest appeal, however, is not rooted in its functional design, availability or its physical attractiveness. Its greatest appeal is the marvelous group of people who have fun sailing them…….. Come on and join us!