This is the Flying Dutchman


aus33wc97-2The Flying Dutchman is one of those designs that will quickly grab your attention.  The lines of the hull are sleek and elegant.  As you look closer key design features stand out: a hull nearly 20 foot in length and 6 foot beam, but weighs as little as 287 pounds (130 kilos).  A fine entry point with a flat back end that easily promotes planing upwind.  Underway, the FD is quite distinctive with its large, overlapping genoa dominating the powerful rig, crew on the trapeze wire and skipper hiked out.  In a breeze the Flying Dutchman does fly, launching off wave crests or slicing through others.  Forgiving to new sailors, stable and easily controlled by knowledgeable sailors, particularly in high winds, when it becomes the fastest of monohull dinghies and the ride becomes magical. This is the thrill of sailing.

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Hull Types

Discussion of the different types of hulls, both from a historical, materials perspective, but also construction, manufacturers, differences.

Foiled Again

The underwater control surfaces on an FD are asked to perform more than one task. Both the rudder and centerboard provide lift upwind, and to much different extents provide directional energy. Both the rudder and centerboard shape, range of adjustment and weight are governed by the class rules.

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FD Rigs

Outline of the different types of rigs that exist - not only aluminum and carbon but also stiffness, tip, standing rigging options, wire vs. line.


Much of the FD's well known power and upwind speed in particular is rightfully attributed to its generous sail area in relation to the boat's weight. Fairly unique in the world of high performance dinghies is the FD's use of an overlapping genoa. This feature provides special challenges for the sail designer in trying to achieve optimal shapes. The effective range of sail designs is of course broadened by the adjustability of the rig, but let's take a look at some special features.

Read more: Sails