The 36” Shipmate is a South African created, ONE DESIGN CLASS.
All yachts were built to tight tolerances and exotic materials like Carbon Fibre and Kevlar are banned to reduce the enty level to compeditive sailing.
The class is about 35 odd years old and there are still some examples of boats this old being sailed today
The sails are restricted to 3 rigs of different sizes to match the winds strength.
Very close compeditive sailing can be had in this class
There are many variations that have crept into the class over the years because they were built by different persons -
There are still fleets been sailed especially down the Natal South Coast and Pietermaritzburg, but it is a class whos days are numbered.
Expect to see fewer of these boats been sailed and more of the skippers choosing to move over to the less expensive DF95.
A Brief Summary of the different classes of yachts that are sailed in South Africa.
The INTERNATIONAL ONE METER Class is the largest class of yachts in the world. It is also a compeditive CLOSED RULE CLASS where designers and skippers seek that elusive compeditive edge.
There are allot of local designed hulls sailing in fleets here in South Africa, but be cautious if buying a second hand design. It may be going cheap but is it a hull that performs well? Ask around before committing.
Unlike the Dragon Flite and 36S that has a Single Paneled sail, the sails on the IOM class are all made by specialists and have shaped seams. Its a case of you pay for performance. Most of the Sails, Masts and Sail Winches etc, come from overseas and this does add to the costs of getting started in this class.
The only exotic Carbon Fibre material allowed in this class is on the Fin and Rudder. The Hull and deck can only be fibreglass and the masts made of aluminium of certain sizes and grades.
You are allowed only 3 sizes of rigs ie an 1,2 & 3 suit of sails to use in varying wind conditions.
This class would be the natural progression if you are looking to upgrade to a bigger class of yacht or would like to try your hand at a new design
Click here for more details on the IOM Class
The RADIO CONTROLLED LASER Class is compeditive ONE DESIGN CLASS from the USA, where all boats are essentially the same.
In this class, only equipment supplied by the Manufacturer is allowed
You are also restricted to two rigs here in South Africa
There is a strong fleet in Durban at the Model Yacht Pond at the Blue Lagoon.
Other provinces have had strong fleets in the past, but its best to check around in your area to see if they are active.
The DF95 was introduced into South Africa by DF Yachts in May 2017 with an initial shipment of 16 boats -
It is by far the fastest growing class in South Africa with boats in Durban -
It’s designed by 3 top British Radio Sailors and yacht designers and made by Josway, in China.
The finish is surperb and the performance is fantastic in all conditions.
Inexpensive relative to other classes sailed in SA it is also a boat that will never be out of date as a ONE DESIGN, it will retain it value.