Dart 15 becomes Sprint 15

Sprint 15 - the story so far

20.04.2006

When Collins Fibreglass were asked to put something on the South African stand at the JEC Composites Show in Paris they thought what better than their latest project the Sprint 15? So they packaged up a brand new Sprint 15 in a specially made fibreglass crate and flew the boat to the Paris Expo. Read the full story...

22.03.2006

Production towing hull covers for Sprint 15 move step nearer!

No need to turn up after a long tow to or from an event with hulls that are covered in road dirt, grim, diesel grease, plus the odd road chip.The new Windsport towing covers have been a while in the development stage but have just had their final fit before production can begin. The covers can be fitted with boat beamed up or separated, there are wear patches for the trailer support points, drainage along the keel line and reinforcing in the key stress areas. Keeping those hulls clean and polished is one thing but the covers are also good for winter protection in the dinghy park or storage area. Road tests!! start next week but orders can be taken now with first deliveries anticipated by end of March. The price is on the Catparts website www.catparts.windsport.co.uk we could tell you but them you would not have the opportunity to see what else we are working on! For more info contact Brian at Windsport.

04.03.2006

Windsport are making good progress on the supply of new boats and spares. They have now ordered the first container of 9 new boats, got their web site running for spares ordering, developed a superior boat cover, they are supplying the boat for our stand at the Dingy Show at Alexandra Palace on 4/5 March and much more besides. Click here to read all about it....

08.01.2006

Out of Africa Sprint 15s - get your orders in!! Windsport have started taking orders for the first container load of 9 boats at the special package price of £5795 to members of the Sprint 15 Association. The boats will are scheduled to be delivered to the UK in mid May. Click here for full details of the special offer.

18.11.2005

Hot News - There is a full 4 page review of the first South African built Sprint 15 by Jeremy Evans in the 18 November issue of Yachts and Yachting. Make sure that you get your copy and see what Y&Y have to say about the UKs top single handed catamaran. The special deal price on the first batch of new boats is announced as £5795 all up (which includes Boat with Out of Africa graphics, Blue trimmed sails, trolley, full cover, skeg protectors, etc).

10.10.2005

New Boat Status Report from Brian Phipps:

Windsport update for Sprint 15 sailors Six months into the Sprint 15 project, with the summer season madness starting to quieten down the Sprint 15 pre-production boat arrived for debugging and testing PERFECT!

Having spent a hectic day with Bob Carter going all over the boat and two days before carefully assembling it from the packing crate the debugging and feedback report has gone back to Collins in South Africa for final checking. In all the quality of the hull was excellent and the few niggles can easily be put right. Detailing a boat that you have never used from phone calls and email is always tricky so Collins did a great job on their first attempt but now with the debugging done we are in a position to move forward. Bob carter has the the pre- production boat in his care for a few months, contact him for a update or a viewing. It will be racing at all the key events and I know Bob would be happy if you want a quick sail between races. In the next few weeks we expect to have the final UK price confirmed, and then we have to fill a container to make it cost effective for all. Anyone looking for a early Christmas present to themselves or someone else! should get on the list of potential buyers for shipment around Christmas in time for the new season.

Sprint 15 replacement parts. Windsport has set about stocking not only the high consumer parts for the Sprint 15 but a full service of parts, many of which are not so common but when you need them they will be available so you have full boat back up. We are not infallible and we are still waiting for a few bits that are made in SA but we are 95% of the way and will do our very best to keep you on the water. As the preferred supplier of Sprint 15 parts we welcome your custom and support so we can continue to offer this complete spares service and whilst we need to stay competitive on price please remember we are stocking all the parts some of which we may need to hold in stock for some time.

Sails The full range of Hyde produced Sprint 15 sails are now in stock, white mains and jibs + sets with blue trim. Bob Carter is sailing with the final cut on the SA boat and he is not going that slow!! It takes 6 -8 weeks from order to delivery in the UK so whilst we carry stock a big rush before an event could catch us out so order early please.

Rudder A frame units. Now available as a complete unit if you have a badly worn rudder assembly this might be the best way to go. All you will need to do is add your tiller arm. rudder blade and rudder bolt assembly to be back up and running.

Rudder washers and rudder sleeve. Finally we have tested and sourced a plastic that is hard enough to supply for these parts. The objective was to prevent the corrosion that happens in this area and make it easier for you to take your rudder system apart when needed, the parts are in stock and ready to supply.

Boat covers and trailing covers. We have been working on a dinghy park cover that fits well, good quality, allows air around the boat and does not trap water. The cover comes on line very soon, price wise it will not be the cheapest of the cheap but then quality is always worth paying for! On the trailing hull covers front the design is such that you can trail as a platform or broken down. When you have nice clean boat, why get it covered in dirt and road oil when on the road?, good for winter storage as well!

Technical advise on Sprint 15 One of our strengths is the technical advise and history we have with the boat over the years, we are still learning but if you have a question just call and ask for Brian. Did you know that the best direction to tension the trampoline is from RIGHT to left!!?

Coaching and improving skills. Away from the catparts side Windsport continues to offers individual, small group, club and class coaching in catamarans via myself Brian. Much of my high profile coaching has been at the forefront of the young sailors in cats program but I have coached for many years and recognised for the ability to deliver the level of coaching appropriate to the sailors in a style that encourages the sailors to develop your own techniques. Nothing comes free but if reputation is anything to go by it could be a worth while investment via the class, club or on an individual bases.

18.06.2005

New Boat Status Report from Brian Phipps:

New Sprint 15's Behind the scenes the production program and boat detailing has been going on at pace. We now have our first pre production boat ready to ship from South Africa and when it arrives we will make sure it gets around the open events via the class association. Pre production boats are just that, so whilst we will be delighted if it is perfect we are also prepared for any minor changes that might need to be made on the following production boats.

In essence, South Africa will be ready to press the button once we give them the go ahead.

The sail front On the sails front, the jib testing involving the class association has been completed successfully and following minor alterations to the reinforcing panels will be ready to go. The mainsail is already available and in stock, in white, with more on order including mainsails with blue trim.

Replacement Parts Keeping up with replacement part orders, chatting with sailors and advising on parts or solutions is part of our business and I enjoy it! In the process we get to know more of you and share the latest news on developments . Things like trampolines, battens, rudder 'A' frame units, tiller arms, top rudder casting assemblies and rudder service kits etc are available off the shelf with more on order, when the pre-production boat arrives it will include a lot of additional spares as well our first step to sourcing from South Africa.

Going Sprint 15 sailing I am planning to attend the Sport 15 nationals at Gurnard, to put faces to names, talk Sprint 15 and enjoy some sailing, so hope to see many of you there. While I am sailing with the Sprint 15 fleet Tom (my son) and team partner Jon will be going on to Eastbourne for a H16 TT, so I have drawn the short straw and the plan is I will be sailing my Sprint 15 across to Gurnard some time on the Friday, might miss the first race but will be there or the evening entertainment and the rest of the event.

Other things Dinghy park and foil covers are in stock and we are working on hull towing covers when the boat is broken down or made up. For the sails we will be stocking a robust sail quiver bag so your race sails can be protected from everything else in your trailer box, and a range of trapeze harness fitted with a quick release spreader bar hook.

On-line As yet the online replacement parts site is not available, although it is being tested. As a non computer techy person it has been a interesting project but you can be assured we are working on it, the down side will be I do not get the chance to talk with you as much once it is up and running.

19.04.2005

New Boat Status Report from Brian Phipps:

Grant Elliot from Collins was in the UK last week, they have produced 4 x test hulls under 32kg each and have the die for the mast section now as well as sourcing other things. We went right through the (Laser Centre supplied) Sprint 15 we have here looking at all aspects using a video camera to record details and look at key points. We covered everything. The plan is as soon as they have all the bits Ian and I or one of us will go out to SA to see and sail the boat then get a production one to the UK pronto, then ask Bob Carter to sail and get it around the circuit to generate orders. Grant is very up beat about what we are doing and what is happening fitting the first batch of 10 orders into his boat production will be a test but it will get done.

At Windsport the Sprint mainsails and the trampolines are in stock ready to sell at prices that match the old Dart 15 alternative spare parts prices and this is for original equipment from Hyde! We also have stock of red and yellow battens at prices that are lower than the Laser Centre. These are also original (class legal) equipment. To place orders for spares before the website is operational call 01326 376191 email:

12.02.2005

We have concluded that since the Dart 15 has now become the Sprint 15 we will rename the old Sprint format as the Sport format. So the old Dart 15 Sprint Nationals become the Sprint 15 Sport Nationals and the old Sprinters become the new Sportsters. We are in the process of finalising our sail logo design and also the trademark/hull graphic. We anticipate having a boat and sail with the new graphics at the Alexandra Palace Dinghy Show on 5/6 March so why not come and admire it?

21.01.2005

Update info via Windsport and Brian Phipps

Hi Dart 15 sailors and owners, this is the last time I will use the name Dart 15 but in some ways that is good as it highlights the start of a new chapter for a 15ft catamaran that is as successful now in the UK as it was when first launched thanks to some dedicated sailors and the support of the class fleet. No one can take away from the class what you have achieved over the last few years and with the changes that have now taken place there is an opportunity to move forward and build on that success and draw on a increasing level of knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm.

Some of you may not know much about myself and Windsport other than I have been involved more recently in getting young sailors into cats and Windsport is the home of the Cat Clinic. Those facts are true but back in cat history, early seventies, I was also involved, alongside Ian Fraser, in the manufacture of dart products, laminating hulls, assembling parts at a time when everything was done on site. Things have changed but some of those aspects were well tested and it is our intention to bring some of those aspects back.

Right now the Sprint 15 moulds are on there way to SA, Collins will work them up and produce pre production hulls to estimated build times and material costs. At the same time the specific aluminium extrusions and castings for the Sprint 15 will be sourced and costed. By the dinghy show we expect to have a accurate retail cost of the boat in the UK and soon after a production boat for you and others to view, before the first batch of orders can be taken.

Here in the UK there is substantial work going on in establishing the important bit, as far as you are concerned, the customer sales service and spares support. For the project to be economic the sale of boats and the supply of spares have to go hand in hand, one cannot survive without the other for any period of time, we understand the the importance of that relationship and we hope you the boat owners do as well.

I am sure it will not be all plain sailing, sourcing suppliers, balancing stock against demand, setting up the ordering process will need tweaking during the initial period but it is not insurmountable. For us, communication with you is part of the key so please talk to us when you feel you need to good or not so good we can then try and make things even better.

Right now we are increasing the stock of parts we hold for the Sprint 15 you can order by email, telephone or fax via the Windsport office, using the original boat part numbers, Laser part numbers or by good old fashioned explanation, although that it is always open to interpretation! If we are unable to supply immediately we will let you know by return the situation so you know where you are.

In the near future there will be a website where you can order on line if you wish or identify parts you may need, but we are still very happy to talk with you.

We will be talking with the class association about ways we can support the fleet at events with basic spares and working with the class to attract more sailors to the fleet.

There is much to do so please do not expect everything to be in place from day one, but we are working on it and with your help the long term future of the class is assured.

Contact details for Windsport and the Sprint 15 sales and spares service:

Windsport (Cat Clinic) Tel: 01326 376191, Fax: 01326 376192

email: website: www.windsport.co.uk

Contact names: Brian Phipps / Cookie Phipps

Look forward to talking to, and meeting you all.
Brian.

19.12.2004

Dart 15 Association Press Release: Cat with three lives

From Spark to Dart 15 and now Sprint 15, this 25 year old veteran catamaran has been given a new name to signal its rebirth as a South African export.

In a ground-breaking move, the name was chosen by a ballot of existing owners, on the basis that satisfied customers would provide the best indication of what should appeal to prospective customers. Members of the class association were asked to pick their favourite from a short list of six names by electronic polling, with a postal option for those not on the internet. Half of the 300 members responded.

Releasing the results, Chairman Nick Dewhirst said that the most popular choice was F15, in recognition of original promoter, Ian Fraser. However, taking into account possible confusion with other classes, the committee awarded the name to the runner-up, Sprint 15, which retains a link to the catamaran's previous life, where this was the designation for the single-handed two-sailed racing format.

He says "This shows that a true classic can live on and on. Nearly 2000 have been built in the UK, a third of which were exported. Despite its age, and a long list of challengers, it remains the most popular single-handed catamaran in the UK. Indeed its two versions accounted for the two best attended championships of all catamaran classes in the country this year."

Newsletter editor, Paul Smith announced that the class magazine, Darticles would be in future be renamed NewSprint.

04.11.2004

A condition of the Laser Centre to release the licence was that we rename the boat as they continue to own the Dart brand and will continue to market the Dart 18 and the Dart 16. We are therefore holding a ballot to determine a new name and have selected a short list of 6 potential names (XD15, Sprint 15, F15, Spark 15, Panther and XV). Dart 15 Association members are invited to vote on the Dart 15 website (www.sprint15.com). The ballot closes on 14 December. The new edition of the Class Magazine, Darticles, has details of voting by post for those members not on the Internet. This ballot is open to Dart 15 Association Members only. If you are not a member but want to vote - feel free to join up. It only costs £10/year to join the Dart 15 Association - details from our secretary - Mark Aldridge - are also on the web site.

29.10.2004

It's official. After 14 months of uncertainty for the Class it has now been agreed that the Dart 15 will be made in South Africa by Collins Fibreglass. This is the Company who already make the Dart 18 and will, from November, be the official supplier of the Dart 18 to the Laser Centre for the UK Market. It is the intention of Collins to market the boat worldwide and the Dart 15 Association will help them in anyway possible.

We are hugely indebted to Ian Fraser, who has been working on our behalf over the last year to set up this deal. We must rename the boat as the Laser Centre retains the sole right to use the Dart name and symbol. We are running a ballot on the new name (see details on this web site shortly) and both Ian Fraser and Collins Fibreglass have agreed to accept the name of our choosing.

Meanwhile, I hope that you will agree that these developments are very exciting for the Class.

Watch this website for further details - The Dart 15 Association Committee.

20.10.2004

On Monday 18 October 2004, Ian Fraser picked up all the design files and the licence to Manufacture and to Market the Dart 15 worldwide from the Laser Centre. The Laser Centre will continue to sell spare parts until their supply runs out. Apart from this, the Laser Centre are now "out of the picture" as far as the Dart 15 is concerned. We must find a new name as the Dart trade mark remains the property of the Laser Centre. Ian Fraser is intent upon helping us to engage a new builder to ensure the continuance of the Class. Watch this space for further developments - The Dart 15 Association Committee.

05.03.2004

As many of you may know, the current licensed manufacturers of the Dart 15, Performance Sailcraft Europe Ltd (The Laser Centre) are currently assessing how they may continue production and support of the Dart 15. Their chairman Tim Coventry has produced a public statement to let everybody know their current position, which you can read here. Rest assured that your Association committee is working hard to help resolve this situation and to keep the Dart 15 class as one of the most popular catamaran classes in the UK - whatever direction that may take.

Dart 15 Statement

Inspite of the strength of Class activity, demand for new Dart 15?s has reduced to the point where it is no longer economical for Performance Sailcraft to continue to make new boats available. Furthermore, the dilution of spare parts sales has further undermined the financial viability of the product.

We are looking at ways to ensure that new boats and parts can continue to be available to support the Class but this is a complex problem involving design rights, trademarks and the economical solution to unpredictable, small demand.

Masts and other main parts are in stock at the Laser Centre and we will continue to provide service until a solution is determined.

The Laser Centre will continue to work with the Class Committee and all others involved to resolve this as quickly as possible.

3rd March 2004
Tim Coventry
Chairman
Performance Sailcraft Europe Ltd