JF: What was the reason for GingerBoats interest in the licence to build the F15?
PH: I have always been a fan of the class, there is a good fleet at my local club. A few F15 owners that I know asked if I’d be interested in building F15’s and that Brett’s moulds might be available. It is a fleet I have always wanted to sail in.
JF: What is GingerBoats view of the International Flying Fifteen class at present and your opinions on the future for the class?
PH: The F15 is an excellent international class that’s well supported by its members. It’s also a very competitive fleet will great racing at all levels. Of course it would be nice to see the class implement a few changes to modernise it, this however needs to be done without removing the core values of the class.
JF: I note that GingerBoats have a lot of experience in wooden boat building, any intentions to build a wooden or composite F15?
PH: For the time being we will stick to building carbon foam sandwich boats. If we are approached to do a wooden decked boat then we may consider it, with everything it all comes down to who is willing to pay for that service. Our hulls will be epoxy carbon foam sandwich, the deck is glass but features carbon in the higher load areas.
JF: What is the approximate timeline for when the first F15 will be completed?
PH: The first three hulls are built with the first boat now on the water for testing ahead of the UK Nationals at the end of June.
JF: How many boats do you anticipate building each year and are GingerBoats intending to export boats overseas?
PH: We’d like to build a couple or more each year but this will be market driven. We can export if we get the orders.
JF: Are there any plans to modernise the class in any way?
PH: We are bound by the strict rules of the class so there’s very little margin to modernise the boat. We’ve made a few tweaks and changes but many of these are to help us build the boat more efficiently.
JF: What would GingerBoats like the class to adopt in changes to the current hull, rig and sails to appeal to a wider audience of sailors?
PH: Personally, I’d like to see the class adopt a more modern sail plan, laminated mains possibly. The hull can easily loose a few kg but I wouldn’t want to create a two-tier fleet. Finding a more cost-effective way to do the keels would help with the spiralling cost of new boats.
JF: Please run through the boat from bow to stern giving an insight into the planned design characteristics or enhancements that GingerBoats intend to adopt?
PH: The hull shape has previously had success in the right hands. We haven’t modified the shape and look forward to see how it gets on against the current mk10. Our boats come without a chute as standard but there is an option to have one fitted and we have created all new tooling for this. The lack of chute reduces the weight in the bow. The cockpit area is very open with plenty of space for both helm and crew. We’ve designed a new console to help create even more room whilst being functional and adding our own flare. The fit out is very functional with the controls split evenly between the helm and crew positions. The sail plan we are running with is from Impact Marine, we have been working hard with Andy Tunnicliffe on the sail plan. Andy has taken delivery of boat number 2 from GingerBoats.
Phil Hodgkins - phil (at) gingerboats.co.uk
Gingerboats Racing Ltd