The 110-kilogram lead bomb on the keel is „only“ designed for a crew weight of 150 kilograms. But you only have to pay attention to the weight limit for crews where two people with limited mobility sail the boat alone. „We do it here on the Alster so that often one mobility-impaired person sails with a normal person.“
Sitting upright even when the boat is hauling
Then the disabled person must not weigh more than 150 kilograms – should be manageable … „The person sailing with them can then get out of the seat and help right the boat in an emergency.“ The person only has to sit on the right side of the hull and „help“ the boat to right itself. The trust of the disabled person and the correct assessment of the non-disabled companion, especially in strong winds, is always a prerequisite!
The 110-kilo keel ballast represents a ballast share of over 60 percent. This makes it possible to keep the boat at an optimum heel angle of less than 20 degrees. It is important to limit the heel as much as possible, as the seat can be tilted up to 20 degrees in either direction for the crew. This allows them to sit upright in most sailing conditions.
Even when heeling the sailors sit upright © Bruno Reitmann
This not only increases the crew’s sailing comfort, but also serves as an additional confidence-building measure underway. For me as a „normal person“, as my companion Nadine likes to dub us non-disabled people, this is quite an unusual experience – pushing the position and still sitting upright or creating the leeward/leeward trim via hydraulics.
The boat has a single lifting point to hoist it into or out of the water quickly and without much effort. The total weight of the S\V14 including ballast is rated at 300 kg. This means it can be towed on a single-axle trailer by a normal family car.
No one has earned anything from the boat
The S\V14 is a young design: In 2015, a Thai sailing club commissioned Dutch yacht designer Alex Simonis to design a safe, modern, sporty and, above all, affordable boat for the para-sailing community. Along the way, it should quickly establish itself as a regatta class to enable as many people as possible, whether with or without disabilities, to enjoy this great shared sporting experience.
„This is a non-profit project by Alex Simonis, Far East and us. All those involved do not earn any money with it. Alex does not get a designer’s fee, the shipyard delivers the first 1,000 boats at cost, we use any profits for advertising, sponsoring, free demonstration boats, etc.,“ says Dirk Weißenborn from the importer Bootspunkt. Leads to an attractive price: the complete boat with sails currently costs 9,669 euros plus transport.
The S/V 14 in the making © Werft
The first thousand S\V 14s were even provided at cost price, which was still below the raw material costs for the self-build wooden version, he says. Series production of the S\V 14 then began in the summer of 2018 at the renowned shipyard in Shanghai. There are six different versions, tailor-made for the most diverse requirements. Even people with more severe disabilities can ride in the class thanks to the electrically operated tilting seats.
Different sail combinations are possible to adapt to the level of competence, crew and performance. Like all Far East Boats models, the S\V 14 is produced with a vacuum infused sandwich hull. The rudder and lifting keel fin are made of carbon, while the cast-iron T-keel is covered in fibreglass. The design team also developed a kit that allows even the crafty layman to easily build this do-it-yourself boat without the need for expensive tools.
Technical data Far East S\V 14
Rumpflänge (ohne Ruder und Bugspriet): 4,39 m
Length: 5.35 m
Width: 1.59 m
Draught: 1.20 m
Weight: 345 kg
Main: 6.7 qm
Jib: 2.1 qm
Gen: 9.5 qm
CE catetory C (coastal waters)
Optimised for do-it-yourself construction
However, only a few boats have been built like this so far. Conclusion: The S\V 14 is a very special boat. It was developed first and foremost for people with disabilities to enable them to sail again, or depending on the fate they have suffered, but it also offers people who, due to their age, are no longer as sure-footed and stable the opportunity to sail.
The SV 14 © Werft
Even an inexpensive boat can only take off if there are enough helpers at the start: In order to further boost inclusion sailing and other projects with S\V14, any help is gratefully accepted. Donations are requested or sponsors who are willing to get involved.
In addition, new members are needed in the class association and in the clubs – and volunteers who, for example, do regatta service and the like at the weekend. Interested parties can contact the importer Bootspunkt in this regard or also Clemens Kraus from the 1. WSVLS e.V. Weißenborn: „At the national league regatta, I activated a former employee, but that’s just all connected with a lot of effort and very expensive.“