|Specifications Under Current Rules|
The Melges 24 is a one-design class of sailboat commonly used for racing. The boat is notable for its ability to plane over the water downwind in modest winds, and for its combination of a simple design that is highly tunable.
The Melges 24 is the most popular design produced by Melges Performance Sailboats, a United States company founded by Harry Melges, son of former Olympic sailor Buddy Melges. The boat was designed in 1992 by the Reichel/Pugh design team, and went into production in 1993. Of the nearly eight hundred Melges 24s that have been produced, approximately half were sold in North America with the remainder in Europe, and with fleets in Japan as well.. Fleets Are Now Growing in the Asia Pacific With Northshore Yachts taking the role of building boats for the Australasian Countries. They have built 9 so far with a growing fleet of around 10 Melges 24 in Australia. Hope to grow to 30 by 2012
The boat is 24 feet (7 m) long and 8.2 feet (2.5 m) wide at the beam. It carries around 1000 square feet (93 m²) of sail area, main, jib and spinnaker combined. Upwind, it has a mainsail and 100% jib. Downwind, it has a large 670 square foot (62 m²) asymmetrical spinnaker that flies from a retractable bowsprit.
The boat's hull is made from lightweight fiberglass. The mast, rudder, bowsprit, and keel fin are made from carbon fiber for light weight. The hull is generally flat on the bottom, making it plane easily. The 630 pound (286 kg) keel bulb can retract up to the hull bottom to make it easier to put on a trailer.
The boat is generally raced with a crew of four or five. Because the boat sails faster with a heavier crew, class rules for racing limit crew weight to 793 pounds (360 kg) total. Unlike most spinnaker-rigged keelboats, the Melges 24 is designed so that no foredeck work is required to fly the spinnaker; it is launched, trimmed, and doused from the cockpit.
Notes and references
- Melges 24 - Manufacturer's description
- IMCA - International Melges 24 Class Association - Owners racing class
- USMCA - US Melges 24 Class Association - Owners racing class
- UK Melges 24 Class Association - Owners racing class
- Melges Aus - Australian Melges Class Website
- NS - Northshore Yachting Services