What does the term "one-design class" mean?
Simply that all boats are the same in dimensions, weight, and key components (i.e. mast height, materials, sail sizes, etc) with only the cosmetic appearance of individual boats being different. A common design is necessary for racing classes, which the Windmill is, so that competition is based on skill on the water, not on the design differences undertaken by individual builders and owners. However, most of the running rigging details and how a boat is finished is left to individual choice of the owner.
How much cash would I need to either buy or build a Windmill?
Question, and “Depends” is the answer. What time of year, the region of the
country, and stumbling upon a good deal all factor into the costs.
A good used race-ready, fiberglass Windmill can be had for roughly $1000-$2500.
"Restoration Projects", usually wood, can be found for much less, but will often need an investment of time and money to bring it back to safe sailing condition.
Check the For Sale section of this website.
A brand new fiberglass Windmill runs around $8,000.
Depending on your resourcefulness, a wooden Windmill can be constructed for $3500-$5000.
I get plans to build my own Windmill?
A plan package sells for $60 but includes a lot more than just the plans. See the Article on Building A Wooden Windmill.
To order a Windmill Plan Package, Contact the Class Secretary/Treasurer.
Prefabricated "Kits" are also available. See the Advertisers section of the Windmill Class Website.
Must I have rippling stomach muscles to competitively race a Windmill?
No, but physical fitness helps. Races are decided primarily on tactics, not athletics. However, you may have to occasionally hike hard to keep the boat flat and driving, and Windmill sailors are generally fit sailors.
Is the Windmill a good boat for leisurely, romantic sailing on lazy warm afternoons?
It depends. With the right couple, any boat can be a good boat for romantic sailing. What’s not romantic about being on the water? With some good food, your portable iPod blaring some tunes, and nice bottle of water or wine, you’ll no doubt find yourselves enjoying the simple pleasures of the day and each other. I’ve spent many an afternoon on the water with my loved one, and I think the Windmill is a perfect boat. However, if you’re thinking restrooms, large bench seating, and covered shade awnings, this may not be the boat for you and your romantic adventures. It depends upon the needs of the person.
Is the Windmill a good boat for first-time sailors?
Yes and No.
Yes, if you are a quick learner and are not afraid of challenges, and can access a good friendly mentor to help you through the learning curves. There is so much that the Windmill offers in terms of simplicity and pure joy on the water, first time sailors can be drawn to her.
No, if you are timid around water or impatient with the time it takes to master some of the needed skills in a very challenging boat.
I know a lot about the technical aspects of rigging and sailing, would I be too smart to own a Windmill?
It turns out that most people are less smarter than they think. Ask our President. Generally, the Windmill offers the technical rigging folk plenty of ground to cultivate. Compared to today’s highly tweaked dinghies with control lines running wild, the Windmill may look too basic. It is important to note that the differences between most of our fleet champions and the rest of the competitors is their abilities to utilize the required rigging when necessary, while staying focused upon the multiple dimensions of sailing today’s lightweight dinghies.
For whom is the Windmill an ideal boat?
The Windmill is an ideal boat for families who are interested in beginning sailing, club racing or the technical aspects of sailboat performance. The most common crew configurations are husband-wife, parent-child, or two young adults. The current cadre of Windmill Class Association racers come from many professions but most have an innate interest in the technical aspects of sailing, maintain their boats in very functional conditions and enjoy the social aspects of club/association membership.
Who should not consider the Windmill?
There are some basic considerations one needs to examine before purchasing a Windmill:
The draft with the daggerboard down is over 3.5 feet. If your sailing area is extremely shallow, the Windmill may not be for you. Well, maybe consider moving.
In addition to the need for crew for ballast, the boat is designed to be sailed and raced by a crew of two. Some try to avoid the need for a crew by day-sailing without a jib. This seems to work well if the boat is set up with a tight forestay, and Dave Ellis does this often.