Spitfire

The Spitfire is a one design, two person catamaran which offers the performance level, excitement and spectacular sailing previously only found in larger 18ft – 20ft hi- tech racing catamarans. The Gold Medal w10256575_640284772771727_834120479078625973_oinning partnership of Reg White and Yves Loday has created a thoroughbred which offers excitement, tactical asymmetric racing for top sailors, whilst retaining an ease of handling which makes the Spitfire the ultimate choice for the transition from monohull to cat. The Spitfire offers performance at your fingertips with handling normally only found in a modern monohull. With a low all-up weight and responsive rig the Spitfire responds to finesse rather than physcal strength, so enabling, youngsters and couples to also share in the delight. The slender lines and light hulls provide instant acceleration and high speeds with the voluminous bow sections ensuring a fast and forgiving ride downwind. The British Spitfire Class Association’s new website can be found here: http://www.spitfiresailing.org.uk/. The site provides information about the boat, other spitfire events and you can also create a login to the website to discuss the boat.
 
The Spitfire is a one-design 16ft (4.98m) high performance double-handed catamaran suitable for a wide range of sailors in both ability and age. It features a twin trapeze and a large asymmetric Gennaker.
 
 
 
 
 
  • Main Sail Area – 15.5m
  • Jib Area – 4.5m
  • Gennaker Area – 19m
  • Hull Length – 4.98m
  • Beam – 2.52m
  • Hull Weight – 139Kg
  • Maximum Load – 205Kg
  • Mast Length – 8.55m

The Spitfire has now been the RYA Recognised Youth catamaran class in the UK for 3 years and has been a resounding success. It is a strong, fast, controllable and very exciting boat, available at a reasonable cost with an active second hand market reducing initial outlay. It has proved an excellent training ground for the National Youth teams, as a Gold and Bronze medal in recent ISAF World Championships has demonstrated. 

Who builds and sells the Spitfire?

The boat was originally designed and manufactured as a joint venture between Yves Loday (1992 Barcelona Multihull Gold for France) and Reg White (1976 Montreal Multihull Gold for UK). Today the design is owned by the French firm Sirena and the boat is built in Brightlingsea, UK by White Formula (headed by Rob White, 1982 and 1988 UK Olympian in Tornado class), who are also the UK distributor. The class association has strong ties to both organisations, and the White Formula director of youth multihulls (Thom White) sits on the class association committee. Please note, the Spitfire is a one-design and therefore a strict protocol is maintained to ensure the boats comply with the class rules.

How much is it to buy a new Spitfire?

All new Spitfires are built by White Formula (Brightlingsea, Essex) to order with lead times typically or around 6 weeks (or less). A brand new Spitfire will cost around £12,500 on the water in race trim at list price. With coordination, the Class Association can negotiate on behalf of new purchases to reduce this price down, so if you are considering a new purchase then please indicate this on the attached form.

How much will a second hand Spitfire cost and where can I find these?

There is a healthy supply of second hand Spitfires available in the country. These are often to be found on the normal boating websites such as apolloduck.co.uk, but also a good route is to contact us and through the class association we can help to find you a boat to suit your budget and specification more easily – please indicate on the form provided if you would like assistance to locate a second hand boat and we will be in contact shortly. We provide a buying guide on our class association website spitfiresailing.org.uk  and can help with the process, but as a rough guide you will expect to pay the following for a race ready Spitfire:

• Sail Numbers <100 (hull manufacture before 2002) = £3-4500

• Sail Numbers 100-200 (hull manufacture between 2002-2008) = £4-6000

• Sail Numbers 200-235 (hull manufacture from 2008) = £6-800

The fastest boats on the water are currently split across all sail number ranges, it is therefore perfectly possible to obtain a race winning Spitfire for around £3-4000

How does the price of spares compare with say the 29er?

In most instances the price of spares are comparable to that of a 29er. Obviously the Spitfire is a much bigger boat, with a larger mast and sail area than a 29er, so some components will be more expensive (e.g. the mast), but on average the Spitfire will be comparable with a 29er to sail – the class association can provide a comparison price list on request. Class members currently attract a 10% discount on all purchases via White Formula (inc sails).

How much are sails and how long do they last?

As per the class rules, sails have to be provided by Hyde via White Formula (UK Distributor). Spitfire asymmetric sail area is considerably larger than the other double hander youth pathway boats but cost is sqm-by-sqm much cheaper and last longer

• Mainsail (14.52 sqm) = £841

• Jib (4.25 sqm) = £361

• Spinnaker (19 sqm) = £603

A mainsail and jib will, on average, last around 2 seasons before being demoted to a training sail, a spinnaker could last this long but many of the youth teams opt to change these every season. It is extremely unusual for a team to buy multiple new sails within a season, unless due to breakage – in fact we have never seen this. Hyde manufactures the sails in Indonesia, as such White Formula hold stock of sails in the UK to reduce risk of delay in delivery. Also the Class Association has purchased a complete suit of new sails that can be cycled by class members in the event of failure at an event (i.e. they can be cycled by class members who need a replacement urgently, but use will not be allowed if a class member has just forgotten a sail, or has not planned ahead accordingly).

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