Sailing World - - From The Experts -


The This­tle is a high-per­for­mance one-de­sign rac­ing boat that can also be used for day­sail­ing. De­signed in 1945, the This­tle has been care­fully mod­ern­ized to re­flect new tech­nolo­gies while keep­ing all boats com­pet­i­tive. It car­ries a lot of sail for its size, plan­ing eas­ily in 10-12 knots of wind. The sail plan con­sists of a main, jib, and spin­naker. This fam­ily-friendly boat fea­tures a plumb bow, straight sheer, thin rails and no deck­ing. The rounded bot­tom pro­vides sta­bil­ity, mak­ing it ideal for be­gin­ners. It’s usu­ally raced with a three-per­son crew. For more on the This­tle: www.thistle­


To con­trol the big main, skip­pers use two 40 mm Carbo sin­gles on the boom and one on the trav­eler car. Some skip­pers like to cleat the main­sheet and bolt a swivel base with a 57 mm ratchet block to the end of the cen­ter­board cap. To help with get­ting the boom across quicker, a jib­ing line is at­tached to the boom at the same lo­ca­tion as the for­ward block. When it comes time to jibe, the skip­per pulls the jib­ing line across in­stead of pulling in yards of main­sheet.


All This­tles must have a trav­eler track across the top of the tran­som. Use a low-beam Small Boat track with a car and a 40 mm Carbo block shack­led to the car. Some boats opt to not use a trav­eler on that track and in­stead bolt a 40 mm Carbo sin­gle stand-up block in the mid­dle. The con­trol lines are led out­board and turn for­ward to 29 mm Carbo cheek blocks and mi­cro cams with fair­lead cov­ers. The ad­van­tage of us­ing a trav­eler is the abil­ity to bring the car above cen­ter­line while sail­ing up­wind and eas­ing the main to cen­ter­line to in­duce ver­ti­cal twist that is fast in choppy con­di­tions.


Each crew gets their own hik­ing strap. Be­ing able to ad­just the strap length helps the crew keep the boat flat and keep them­selves from drag­ging in the wa­ter. The crew uses looser straps while sail­ing up wind to hike hard and stay out of the helms­man’s sight lines, while the boat is heel­ing over. They use tighter straps when reach­ing to make mov­ing in and out eas­ier.

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