On one of my posts about the Big Guy singlehander, "Noodle" intimated in a comment that I was ignoring the Finn dinghy; the Finn dinghy being the most popular of the big guy singlehanders. How can you argue when 283 Finns showed up for the 2011 Worlds Master Championship in Punta Ala Italy!
That being said, how are these oldsters with their creaky knees and aching backs able to get under such a low boom. I owned and raced a Finn (a glass Newport that had a wood deck..... Rob Andre did the conversion) for a short while when I was in my 20's. On my first sail, my elbow got a right smart whack when I left it too high in a jibe. On tacks, you really did have to fold yourself on the floor to get under the boom. After finishing down the fleet at the U.S Nationals in Sayville NY, I realized that I was too small for the boat and, quite frankly, the Laser seemed more lively offwind.
But, there is not a better singlehander in light air than the Finn. The large cockpit makes for pleasant light air lounging compared to the contortions of the poor Laser sailor draped over the daggerboard trunk. The large sail area and finer hull shape means the Finn doesn't need much air to tramp along quite nicely in soft breezes. The Finn would be my top choice if I was just day sailing on a lake in light air (I would have to keep the Finn on the beach for the Finn is not a light dinghy to launch and retrieve). The question is, can you find one?.... demand is such that there are not too many used Finns popping up.
Here's a great video of the Geezer Finn fleet racing out of Encinal YC, California, tucked up into Oakland Inner Harbor and well away from the big breezes of San Francisco Bay. They all seem quite enamored of the Finn and not at all fazed over dealing with such a low boom..........
A Hymn for Pearl Harbor
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