Hmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have a Windermere Class Yacht!
If you are tempted by the idea of owning a Windermere 17-foot racing yacht, then here are a few points that might help with making the step towards a purchase.
What is on offer is plenty of good fun and competitive racing within a single, restricted design of yacht. The fact that it takes place on a large lake bounded by great scenery only helps – the class is the only one to hold racing over the whole length of the Lake.
The website’s description of the Windermere 17 Fleet and the associated pictures gives the idea, see Windermere 17ft Class Yachts – Royal Windermere Yacht Club (royal-windermere.co.uk).
But then there are the realities of ownership: purchase price, which yacht is best, maintenance, crews, as well as getting used to a distinctive form of sailing, and so on, so this is to offer a few words on such considerations.
Purchase Price: this can vary considerably, but the niche market means that the purchase price is typically much less than you might imagine.
Which Yacht is Best: It is an attraction of the fleet that it races as a whole, including the oldest and newest yachts, which covers a span of nearly 90 years. The thing is, it is not unusual for the older yachts to win, though, of course, the new yachts do offer good performance.
There is a choice to be made between classic wooden yachts and those with GRP or composite hulls where there is a trade-off between convenience and tradition.
Maintenance: this is partly influenced by the choice of yacht construction, but it is valuable that sailors on Windermere have access to a strong eco-system of crafts people that are knowledgeable about the Windermere 17 boats for sails, rigging, and hulls.
Storage: during the summer the yachts ride on moorings in the Lake. In the winter they are best kept in storage such as barns. This is a matter of arrangement, but advice is available at the Club.
Crews: As a two-person boat you need a crew. If there is no obvious candidate for you, then the Club is supportive of helping sailors to find crew, and crewing in a 17’ is an attractive option for many.
Putting the concept to the test: getting to experience 17’ sailing can be a little difficult as the boats are privately owned, but there are people at the Club who are pleased to help, so have a word. Depending on your sailing experience, you might also want to consider approaching the matter initially via the Club’s Adult Training Squad activities, so you could make enquiries about that.