Sailing in the Bay is rough on equipment, including our club's fleet of dinghies. These boats are kept operational through volunteer work spearheaded by our co-first vice commodores, Dan Rolinek and Seamus Vanecko. They were kind enough to take a break between the never-ceasing boat repairs to fill us in on the state of our fleet.
What is the current state of our dinghy fleet? How much life do our dinghies have left in them?
The Ventures and 500s are new and holding up well. The Bahias are starting to show their age. The biggest issue is that they develop cracks in the cockpit floor. We’ve developed a fix for this (you may have notices a few with big platic pieces glued and screwed to the floor), but we don’t know how long that will hold up. Not much will stick to polyethylene, you need a special epoxy. It’s a somewhat complicated process that involves flame treating the plastic so that the epoxy will adhere. We just found a new product that may be simpler, but we haven’t had a chance to test it yet. The JYs are showing their age too, but they seem to keep going.
We've just got a number of new exciting RS boats, but what about our older workhorses? Is it possible to purchase replacement JY15s and Bahias?
Unfortunately the Bahia manufacturer is not doing well, and it’s not possible to buy new Bahias currently. It’s also difficult to get things like spars and foils. We probably won’t purchase more JYs as they are fairly expensive for an older design that doesn’t have a kite. They don’t get sailed a whole lot except for racing. Seniors want to fly the kite, and juniors for the most part are more comfortable on the boats they first learned on. That’s too bad though. I think the JY is a better boat if you’re a junior and can’t fly the kite.