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I bought this at auction a few days ago, almost by accident! As I was leaving a chap told me it is a 6M by Tony Abel, from the 1980s. It's name is Basil. The auction catalogue said the 1970s.

Can anyone confirm the above or have any more info,




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I'm afraid not. Nothing on the sails either. It doesn't give the impression of being that old really. The hull is in very good condition with hardly a mark on it except paint scratches from the stand.

Forward of the mast , on the bottom of the hull,inside, is a metal clip; presumably for a third servo.

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So now you have it, and from the picture you seen very happy, what are you going to do with it.

Most production hulls of that era were moulded in chopped mat and ester resin, a rather smelly process. Wood planked boat were lovingly build by enthusiast.

The wooden planked boats are to a limited degree sought after by some if they are well built but the fibreglass boats are not really interesting to a veteran boat collector.

I note the deck is a plywood and was not inlayed with a plank pattern.

I still race a boat from that era quite successfully, in fact it is a development from that hull with the rudder moved aft and the fin narrowed.

The third servo was likely a headsail trimmer. I took all that guff out, changed the deck arrangement, fitted a movable mast step and voila it works like a 12 kg dream.

The Andrews Whirlwind winch dates from 1986 to 1992 or so. It is near identical to the Graupner Regatta which was actually made by Hitec, long story. That dates the boat if it was originally fitted.

So what are you going to do with it ?

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I'm going to race it in our club's handicap races. There are no 6M clubs near Reading and I would have to go through the nause of having it measured and probably get new sails as the existing ones are not panelled. Can I be sure it is a 6M? The hull with no rig, ready to sail, weighs 8.2 kg.

I'm guessing that it's not very manoeuverable with the rudder on the end of the keel?

Thanks for all the gen., all this info is very interesting.

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Is it a 6 Metre ?

Mmmm .. Most anything will measure / rate as 6 Metre class.

Download the Class Rules and have a read for yourself. You will immediately notice that there are no Control Dimensions apart from:-

a) Mainsail Head height above the deck

b) Headsail attachment point above the deck

c) Boom / Gooseneck height above the deck


d) some restrictions on Beam

The Rating Formula determines the sail area. It is a very simple Rating Formula , but some will tell you otherwise

The rudder fixed on the trailing edge of the long fin / keel does present some challenges but is workable and adds to the challenge of sailing it. It is not impossible to move the rudder back and to re-shape the fin if the boat is horrid to sail.

I halved the area of the rudder and moved it back and it transformed the boat

Barry has kindly posed a picture of the boat that I sail, the Dolphin, which is a descendent of your hull.

That is why I asked you what you were going to do with it. I got a bit carried away with my boat and got it going competitively within a very narrow wind strength window.

But the basic hull design is NOT hydro dynamically efficient and the pressure recovery amidships is very poor and limits its speed

i.e. the water disappears under the boat and it is sailing uphill. But I still have fun with it.

I make my own sails so it not a big cost to get that sorted

The cost comes with winches and a mast

I really cannot sail with a Whirlwind, it is just too slow for me.

Reading.. mmm Milton Keynes has a monthly Saturday Sailing event. I guess that too far for you

Measurement.. that is no big deal Birmingham Bourneville has the equipment and the knowhow but perhaps there is something closer for you

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She is a pretty yacht, maybe she is a six metre, but are you wanting to race six metres, if so this is not a practical consideration, the more modern sixes sail well in all wind conditions and you will find it difficult to compete without major surgery.

The whirlwind winch is satisfactory for a six if you want to sail it in competition, which we have already said is not practical, but there are at least half a dozen sixes out there still running whirlwind in competition.

Sail it enjoy it, maybe make some sails, if you want to keep her in proportion make some guesstimate based on the Six Metre rule as to the sail sizes.

Mike Ewart

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Had my maiden sail with her on Tuesday. Pleasantly surprised. Quite manoeuverable and pleasant to sail. The wind was mostly light and I can see it might be a handful in a blow. When I was setting the sails i realised there was no jib uphaul. That will add a knot or two when I fit it!😁.

The jib sheet caught on the deck switch and turned off the radio! It went round and round in little circles and I had to row after it.

I had a look at the 6M rules and they are rather daunting. They loved that sort of stuff in those days.

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