Fleet Replenishment and Maintenance
By Bob Adam of Zim Sailing
As the summer wraps up, programs quickly transition their thoughts towards their needs for next summer. These discussions typically revolve around what to do with the fleet. Do we patch our boats to “squeak” one more year out of them? Do we clean them up to sell? When is the right time to “turn” our fleet? What boats are right for us? Waiting until next season can create more work and at a greater expense!
Repair the fleet: Our yard is already filled with 420s and Optis. After a hard summer, boats are peppered with the typical dings. Many of the issues are very minor gel coat chips, and every now and again, the major collision occurs. Generally speaking, $300 per C420 can go a long way towards keeping your fleet looking great. For $200 per boat or less, you can keep your Opti fleet in top shape. In addition, a thorough cleaning of each boat will make them look great. How many white hulls are now covered in scum or stained? It is relatively painless to wash the hull down with Oxiclean or On/Off to bring back the white.
How are your lines, parts and standing rigging? Since much of your maintenance budget has been absorbed through the summer you may not be in a position to replace parts now. However, you should be taking a thorough inventory of what needs to be done. Simply go through each boat and keep a detailed list. If the lines are worn it is relatively painless to replace them. Look over the shrouds and forestays and replace them before the mast falls down. How did your ring dings fair? Are you using the proper clevis pins? Proper care to the fleet will give the students greater pride and respect for the fleet. If the students understand how much care the instructors and Board of Directors have for the fleet, they will in turn be held to a higher standard and help keep the fleet looking good next summer.
Sell the fleet? Your fleet, no matter how old it is, is worth something and very valuable to somebody. Used fleets are available but there is absolutely a shortage of boats given the number of people looking for them. Depending on your budget and usage, turning your fleet every 4 to 6 years will yield you the highest return. There are a few different ways to go about this. You can either replace the entire fleet at once or a few boats each year. The best places to advertise are www.sail1design.com, www.club420.org and www.usoda.org. The 420s and Optis have a very high resale value and you might be surprised on how much money is available to offset the purchase of your new fleet.
Buying a used fleet? Clubs will start looking for used boats early in the fall. If you are looking for a used fleet, it is best to have money approved to be able to pull the trigger right away. If you need to get approval to buy a used fleet, it is very likely that the fleet will be long gone. Depending on their condition, 420s can be found for $2,500 - $4,500 and Optis can range from $1,000 - $1,600. The lower range will need repair work to hulls and rigging. See the websites above for used boat listings.
Buying a new fleet? We offer specials throughout the end of the year on new fleets. This is your best way to save thousands of dollars. We can be very creative to help assist in your new purchase. To secure your new fleet we would need a commitment by year end but the earlier the better. This will give us the best chance to sell your existing fleet.
Why should our program sail Optis?
• Optimists are designed for kids. They can handle them without danger or fear.
• The Opti is basic enough that a 6 year old can sail it with confidence.
• Over 150,000 kids in over 110 countries. Making it the most popular training boat in the world.
• The kids have a blast meeting new friends from this country and if they choose, abroad.
• The skills developed transfer to any boat the kid moves into after Opti’s.
• Former Optimist sailors were over 85% of medal winners at the last Olympics.
• The only dinghy recognized by ISAF exclusively for sailors under age 16.
Why should our program sail C420s?
• Club 420s are the most popular doublehanded boat in the country
• 420s are the boat of choice for junior programs looking to teach spinnaker, trapeze and teamwork.
• Competitive racing takes place throughout the year with regattas drawing dozens of boats.
• Club 420’s are the perfect training platform for college sailing.
Why should our program sail FJ’s?
• The CFJ is a fantastic teaching boat for programs looking to teach spinnaker and teamwork.
• The CFJ can also be used with an instructor and 2-3 kids as a learn to sail boat.
• The CFJ class association has a competitive race schedule on the west coast.
• Like the 420, it is a fabulous training boat for college sailing and beyond.
All of these boats are safe, durable and fun!
Best of luck determining your fleet needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com to help you through this process.
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Zim Sailing
Zim Sailing, headquartered in Warren, RI, is the fastest growing manufacturer of one-design sailboats in North America. Currently, Zim manufactures and distributes the Optimist, Club 420, CFJ and the Byte CII. Zim’s customers include high schools, colleges, yacht clubs, community sailing centers and the passionate dinghy sailor. Zim boats have won several local, regional, National and North American Championships since the company’s creation in 2008. Zim is dedicated to the success and growth of dinghy sailing. Zim’s experienced staff and support vehicles can be found at many regattas. For more information, please visit www.zimsailing.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.