The Melges 15 double-handed dinghy is due to launch in Europe this summer, with the first European fleet set for Dublin Bay.
The M15 won ‘Sailing’ boat of the year in 2022 and has been Melges’s best-selling design, with over 600 boats already built, and quickly establishing strong fleets in the USA.
Melges rolled out the new double-handed asymmetric dinghy in early 2020 . . . looking to make a fast fun boat for everyone, deliberately keeping it simple to reduce costs but to also make the boat easier to sail.
Melges themselves were caught out by the demand, with their European builder having to ship boats across the Atlantic to reduce deliver times for their US order book.
Hitting close to 20 knots in a double-handed dinghy with big fleets seemed fun!
Melges Performance Sailcraft recently showed the M15 at January’s Boot Dusseldorf exhibition in Germany, and the provisional plan is to provide racing at the Royal Saint George YC at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
In the States, events have been won by combined crews from 125kg to 160kg and ages racing in the class range from 15 to 65. Most boats are mixed crews.
To British sailors it will look very much like an updated RS400 . . . Narrower and with a smaller soft mainsail . . . and will face sailing clubs stuffed with under-used racing dinghies, while foiling boards, kites and wings grab a younger genertion.
The first container of 12 boats is due in May, with eight pre-sold.
Length – 15 ft – 4.572 m
Beam – 5 ft 6 in – 1.675 m
Draft – 2 ft 7 in – 0.8 m
Main – 93.6 sq ft – 8.7 m2
Jib – 39.8 sq ft – 3.7 m2
Asymmetrical Spinnaker – 156 sq ft -14.5 m2