So do you want :-
A stong single handed Trapeze dinghy?
A fast and exhilarating sail?
A dinghy that is easy to start trapezing with - yet offers challenges once the basics are mastered.
An inherently stable dinghy? To spend more time on the boat sailing than in the water swimming?
A virtually bullet proof boat that is very economical to run.?
A class that is one design and so will not be out of date next year? (There has been some redesign in the latest boats regarding the mast, Boom and foils; which are now carbon composite build.) but you can easily add these to the original hull. The old boats are still very competitive and the carbon composite additions were allowed because new alloy components were becoming more expensive than the carbon constructed rig.
A dinghy that doesn’t require hours in the gym to sail well?
An active class association and an excellent race circuit?
The option to add an exciting 15m asymmetric?
Those of us that have been sailing the Vortex for the last few years know all of these points to be true. So what do you get for your money? The Vortex is one of the fastest and yet stable dinghy’s currently available on the market today. The tunnel hull design means that all the stability is at the edges of the hull plan, making it difficult to roll a Vortex into a capsize. When things go wrong in a Vortex more often than not you get away without a swim.
Upwind, with ;the windward side ;barely touching the water almost the entire weight of the boat and pilot are acting as righting moment giving significant leverage, power and hence speed. The sleek hull with a trapeze turns those stomach churning long beats to windward from an exhausting slog to a positive pleasure; you are simply wired off the side of the boat concentrating on steering, tactics and setting the efficient mainsail. You can spend your time sailing instead of needing hours in the gym to be competitive. More importantly for those who have never trapezed before, the Vortex stability comes to the fore; it simply feels even more ‘right’ once you are out on the wire. Tacking is quick and easy - there is a technique to be mastered but once that's done, you won't look back..
How about gybing? Again the stability (getting the message yet?) means that a Vortex gybes effortlessly and without drama. Simply grab a handful of main sheet when you are dead down wind, steer and flick the boom over, then set off on your new course.
Even after five years of good use many of the original owners are still using their first sails, most have only had to replace bits of string and rarely carry out routine gel coat repairs on minor damage. The daggerboards are virtually bomb proof and everything on the boat works well. There are some tweaks to make - details in the tuning guide available to association members via the;members section of the website.
The wetted surface area is minimal so it flies through the water quickly and quietly. In fact, other boats often only spot you as you shoot past! In a breeze the offwind legs are a blast. A fine spray flies up from up from the bow giving a fantastic impression of warp speed! As a consequence of the very low wetted area and sleek shape there is little water noise – especially offwind. Partly because of this and in common with most single sail dinghies, in very light winds the Vortex’s performance on runs could sometimes feel comparatively pedestrian - at least compared to asymmetric boats - even though it is actually travelling quite quickly .
So the class decided that more excitement was needed for those lighter wind legs and for those who had mastered the single sail rig in a lot of wind.
It was for this reason the class association put it’s weight behind the development of an asymmetric kite – one design, naturally. The resulting class supplied asymmetric kit is an elegant solution carefully designed using high quality components from Hyde, Superspars, Winder boats and others. The addition of the asymmetric transforms the Vortex into a downwind pocket rocket.
Even in 10mph winds it starts to really travel due to the large amount of apparent wind generated. So now offwind tactics and light wind trapezing fun have added to the appeal of the class. Most boats have already added this exciting option..
Want one? Even only thinking about one?
Contact the class association or Vortex facebook group for details of the nearest owner who will be pleased to give you a demo sail.
New boats are available via Mike Saul Dinghy Spares (MSDS). The hulls are made by White's Formula, And Mike Saul supplies and fits the boats out.