Registered: January 2000
Review Date: Wed August 19, 1998
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: None indicated
| Rating: 0
Hull Displ: 145 lbs.
Sail Area: 91 s.f., 62 s.f. with Jr rig.
Draft: 3" board up, 3'2" board down.
Builder: Weeks Yachts, 10 Riverview Court,, PAtchogue, NY 11772, 516-475-1675.
Class Association URL is http://paw.com/sail/force5/
Cost new: $3550 (1997)
A fast, sleek, high performance one-design dinghy. Designed in 1972 by Fred Scott and Jack Evans of AMF Alcort fame to be one step up from Alcort's simpler boats. Over 12,000 were built between 1972-1989 when Alcort changed hands. Building resumed in 1993 by Weeks Yachts.
Pretty to look at, with a hard chine aft for stability, sharp bow to cut the chop, full sail contols (Harken mid-cockpit traveller, 8:1 vang, first class hardware elsewhere -- at least as of 1993). Large comfortable cockpit (better than a Laser) with all sail controls easily reached. Three piece tappered mast.
Carries 91 feet of sail -- a great boat if you weigh 150 pounds to 200 pounds. If you're small like me (5'5", 110 pounds) better try the Jr sail at 62 sq. ft. Weeks Yachts can provide you a shorter mast to accomodate the smaller sail (proper mast flex to make the sail manageable and faster.) Or optionally, you can cut down the bottom and middle sections of the mast - call Weeks Yachts for their advice on this). With the small sail, I have taken my 1976 out on San Francisco Bay in 14-28 mph winds with 2-4 foot chop. (Always with a PFD, whistle and flare and several buddies!)
Sells for much less used than a comparable Laser and is much easier to control with its sophisticated sail controls. ( And there's no aft traveller line like the Laser's to catch on the transom during a jibe) You can buy a solid hull with a trailer for $400-1000 with an old but servicable sail. If you buy a 1972-1976 model, it will cost you about $175 to upgrade the vang, mainsheet block and cleats to 1993 standards. If you get one built between 1976 and 1989, you can probably do just fine with the existing setup. If you must have a brand new sail, they're about $375-400 (the newer designs since 1993 perform better)
The last three digits of the hull number include the year of manufacture and one letter.
While these boats were built sturdily (my '76 is solid), there are some things to look out for when buying a used hull: soft foredeck in front of the mast (from having a second boat trailered or stored on top of the hull), soft rear deck (from the same thing), booms with more than a slight bend in them (from having a gorilla sail the boat with the vang tightened all the way on a broad reach!), obvious large ctacks around the mast-step (most have hairline cracks around the maststep, these aren't serious. try putting a mast section in and pulling on it. It should feel solid). Check for a soft transom -- it shouldn't flex more than 1/2 inch. If the boat was stored in a metal shed in a hot climate, be sure to inspect the hull for delamination and bubbles (like all boats).
A worthy one man dinghy! Much more boat than a Laser (I own one of those too)