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New Etchells afloat at Mooloolaba

14 July 2011 Phil Smidmore

The new recesses are clearly visible

"The new recesses are clearly visible"

Those of you who attended the Musto Etchells Australasian Championships in Mooloolaba, would have seen the first Etchells from our new mould on display. It is currently being fitted out, with delivery to happen soon to her very patient owner, Ian Crisp, of Melbourne. Ian ordered a new boat prior to the decision to build new moulds and I would like to thank him very much for his patience whilst we built all the new tooling. All along, he has shown great enthusiasm for our new product and never questioned what he was getting. Ian was also very generous in allowing his boat to be displayed in Mooloolaba, while he was sailing in the Worlds at San Diego. Ian has still not actually seen his new boat first-hand.

For everyone else who may have not seen it, the boat will be at my place until mid July then at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, on the shores of Melbourne's Port Phillip.

The response from those who have seen it has been very positive. The new deck tread looks and feels good. The major upside of this is that it requires a lot less gelcoat and resin to fill the pattern during construction, so less weight. The style of hull to deck join deployed on the boats results in a very strong and stiff pairing of the two components. We are working on options to improve it even further and are offering an invisible join, as an optional extra. The floor, with its outboard lip and two under floor bins has been very well received. The new consoles are now maximum width and Ian opted for a long console, but we have built two console moulds. There is also a short one on offer and we may build a third one, if demand warrants it. Of course, we can make a custom consoles to any length you may require.

Ian's fit-out is close to our current standard, however a close inspection reveals a number of small variations from older boats. The obvious ones include recesses for both the main and jib tracks, along with a recess on the top aft corner of the cuddy for the jib sheet fine tune, as well as the jib's tack control. The jib tack fitting has changed and some other new fittings have been introduced throughout the boat. Items such as Brolga turnbuckles, tapered main, jib and spinnaker sheets, Tack Tick compass, all Spectra control lines and only top quality proven fittings are all part of our standard fit-out. This naturally fits with our aim to provide a vessel ready to win races, 'straight out of the box'. Various customisations, including more recesses can be added if ordered.

Rope technology has progressed very quickly in recent years and these improvements mean wire for control lines has now been virtually eliminated. The original Spectra has been replaced by a new generation of materials with different weaves. This rope evolution means that the core of our tapered sheets is now different from the core used several years ago, but to the eye, the rope remains unchanged.

With summer and the Sydney Worlds rapidly approaching, I am looking forward to receiving orders and building more great new Etchells.

For a full boat specification and price or to see more photos of the new boat, please contact me on (02) 9999 1250 or

Good sailing.

The new deck and hull join is also very evident

"The new deck and hull join is also very evident"


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