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					                :: Official Newsletter of the Vanguard 15 Class ::

                                     In the Winner’s Circle:
                  An Interview with BBR Champ Craig Thompson
               Bowdown: Craig, you won BBR. Why don’t           familiar with the boat. I have been sailing
               you tell us about yourself and your crew,        predominately college regattas over the past
               Jamie Shepherd? (where you go to school,         two years along with some 505 regattas
               how you hooked up for BBR, etc.)                 while Jamie has been sailing in most of the
               Craig Thompson: Well, I am currently a           top Junior regattas. I find the V15 is basically
               Junior Mechanical Engineering student at         a very simplified version of a 505. Unlike
               the University of Rhode Island where I           in college sailing, in the 505 and V15 there
               sail on the team. Jamie and I both grew up       are many different modes and boat speed is
               sailing at Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago.       very important. Also, all major 505 regattas
               Jamie, a senior at Lincoln Park High School      use the gate starting system which I think
               in Chicago, is a top Club 420 crew and a         helped us tremendously at this event.
               really athletic kid, the perfect crew for a
               V15.                                             Bowdown: Was that your first V15 win?
                                                                How did it feel to Win BBR?
               Bowdown: What did you guys do to prepare         CT: This is my first V15 win. We were so
               for the event?                                   excited to win this event. On the way out
               CT: Jamie and I sailed BBR in 2005 together      to the course the first day we talked about
               and that was the last time I sailed a V15        our goals for the regatta and decided if we
               until this year’s event. Jamie sails in the      finished higher than 8th then we would be
               weekly V15 circuit in Chicago so he is very
                                                                                   continued on page 6

                        Vanguard Sailboats: Factory Tour
                   By Vanguard Rep., Joel Hanneman              to provide
                   Along with nine other Vanguard               stiffness.
               production models, the V15 is manufactured       First a layer
               in Portsmouth, RI. It follows a similar          of fiberglass
               model to most production race sailboats in       is hand-
               materials and process.                           wetted onto
                                                                the gelcoat.
                 MOLDING                                        Next, foam is
               Conceptually, the V15 is built from-the-         laid on top of
               outside-in. Both parts, hull and deck, start     the first layer
               with a mold which has the inverse features       of glass and
               you see on the boat. The first step is           is followed by
               prepping the mold, making sure it is free of     another layer
               debris, scratches and is well waxed. This        of glass, hence
               is important because the condition of the        the glass-
               mold surface is directly transmitted to the      foam-glass
               surface quality of the boat. After mold prep,    sandwich.
               the mold is moved into the ventilated spray      Other features,
               booth, where the gelcoat is sprayed evenly       such as backing plates and other structural
               across the surface. The gelcoat is allowed       elements, are sealed with resin and put
               to air cure for 1/2 hour before it is moved to   in position. Afterwards, a thin layer of
               the molding station. When the gelcoat is no      polyethylene sheeting is laid over the entire
  Fall 2006    longer tacky to the touch, the part is ready     mold and sealed along the perimeter. A   to accept the fiberglass.                         strong vacuum is applied, squeezing the
                    The deck features a sandwich laminate       laminate layers and resin together, all onto
                                                                                   continued on page 7
                                                                                                                                            I N S I D E
                                   The Scoop                                                        Upcoming Events

                                                                                                   Midwinters 2006
                                Peter Beardsley
                                        helps perspective
                                                                                                Fleet Racing Dec. 30-31
                                        buyers navigate the
                                                                                                   Team Racing Jan. 1-3
                                         Used Boat Market.
                                          Check out his article on page 5.              US Sailing Center, Martin County

                                         Note from the Acting President
                                              By Matt Allen                   University in 2003. I began sailing in the class in 1999
                                     I would have to say that I am            and currently race boat #1599
                                  extremely excited to become the                 Items ard proposals have been filling up my computer
                                  acting class president and feel this is     quickly and I encourage them from all of you. I can
                                  a great opportunity to become
                                  much more involved in the
                                  class both on and off the water.
                                  My acceptance of this position
            has been very recent so I am just getting established
            and familiar with the workings, and my term will
            last through the Midwinter championships where
            I hope to be voted in as class president for the next
            two years. It is exciting to see where the class is
            going and feel privileged help to steer the class
            in the best direction. This is a big task that I look
            forward to handling and perpetually improving.
            There are some promising ideas being bounced
            around! As far as on the water goes, I really would
            like to get out and do more regattas within the class,
            both fleet and team racing this year, and encourage               Matt Allen and Mora O’Malley racing at the 2006 New England
            all of you to do the same.                                        Championship in Larchmont, NY, where they took 1st place.
                 For those of you who may not know me I am
            currently the Head Sailing Coach for the U.S. Merchant            most easily be reached through my email address at
            Marine Academy-Kings Point, where I have coached for     ::
            the past three years, and a graduate of Old Dominion

                                                                                                     Have you ever wondered how to make
                                                                                                adjustable hiking straps? What’s the best way

                      rum Madness
                                                                                                to shim your centerboard trunk? How do I

               V15 Fo
                                                                                                nail down those heavy air gybes? If you can’t
                                                                                                answer these questions or have others about
                                                                                                V15 sailing, check out the Forum on the V15
                                                                                                Class website --
                                                                                                     Few people realize that the forum exists
                                                                                                but there are other 300 topics related to sailing
                                                                                                techniques, rigging tricks, trailering, boat
                                                                                                maintenance, finding crew, building fleets,
                                                                                                regattas, boats and gear for sale and much,
                                                                                                much more. Don’t forget that older posts have
                                                                                                been pushed off of Page 1 – scroll to posts from
                                                                                                as far back as 2002 at the bottom of each page.
                                                                                                     There is a wealth of V15 experience in the
                                                                                                class and if each of the 536 registered members
                                                                                                of the forum replied to one post after reading
                                                                                                this, the class would be stronger and faster. ::
Guck, Inc.: The Magical V15 Repair

                 Lars Guck is an exceptional sailor, having won
                 titles at the National, North American, and World
                 level, competing often in the Tornado Olympic
                 Class Catamaran. In the V15 world, Lars is a North
                 American, Mid Winter and BBR Champion and he
                 is highly feared when the breeze picks up and he
                 starts footing upwind. When on the race course,
                 no one’s lanes are safe!!! His words on footing in
                 breeze should be read as sacred. On top of all of
                 this, his shop in Bristol, Rhode Island is know in our
                 community for exceptional repair jobs after hairy
                 crashes with other boats and with rocks.
market watch Vanguard15wat
market watch  Themarket
    market watch Used
                                                             market watch

                                         By Peter Beardsley                club has died and they don’t know what
                                   Brand new Vanguard 15s are              to do with the boat. These can be great
                              remarkable boats. They have that             deals if you’re willing to drive and get
                              “new boat smell” (where you open up          the boat. Rather than spend all day on
                              the inspection port and inhale freshly       eBay, you can create a “Favorite Search”
                              cured polyester resin and fiberglass,        where eBay emails you whenever a
                              instead of jumping back a foot because       listing mentions “Vanguard 15” or
                              of the salt water and mildew caused by       “V15”.
                              a leaky cockpit hose or a three-week old          Most boats are never listed on any of
                              flounder that your friends hid in there for   the above sites and are sold to someone
                              just such a moment).                         who saw it on a Club bulletin board or
                                   Like I said, new V15s are great but     heard through the grapevine that it was
                              cost more than most sailing instructors’     available. Get in touch with a V15 fleet
                              summer take-home pay and more than           captain in your area and ask if he knows
                              three months rent for most recent college    of any boats for sale, though don’t be
                              graduates. Unfortunately (or maybe           surprised when the fleet captain wants
                              fortunately), Wal-Mart doesn’t sell V15s     you to join in an effort to grow the
                              so if you want a good deal, you have to      fleet.
                              do your homework.                                 Once you’ve found a boat at your
                                   There are two steps to hunting for a    price point you need to decide what is the
                              used V15: (1) compiling a big a list of      best deal. This often varies depending
                              used boats in your area, and (2) figuring     on where you live. If you want to join
                              out if you’re getting a good deal.           a growing fleet that previously had no
                                   There are two places to start looking   Vanguard 15 sailing, it is unlikely there
                              for a used V15 – the Vanguard Sailboats      will be many used boats available so
                              website (        you may have to go with whatever you
                              and the V15 class website (http://www.       can find unless you’re willing to drive
                     If you go to the Vanguard site     several hours to get your boat.
                                             and click on “Vanguard             Putting aside all of the go-fast
   “The best thing to do is find as 15”, there is a link that               goodies that could come with a boat, a
     many boats as possible and says “Used Boats” that                     V15, like every new boat, loses value the
    buy the boat that gets you on organizes the boats for                  second it hits the water. Virtually new
     the water as fast as possible sale by year built. Most                V15s sold after the Hinman or Annapolis
                                             owners don’t write where      Boat Show can sell for 5-10% off their
    for the price you can afford.” the boat is located so you              retail price. These boats are great values
                              have to go one step further and check        but are still at the upper end of the price
                              their area code (if they’ve posted their     range.
                              phone number) or e-mail them for more             Next comes boats built in the 21st
                              information.                                 century. They usually have sail numbers
                                   The V15 class website has a forum       over 1000 and if they’ve been well
          Peter Beardsley
                              with a section where owners post used        maintained are likely priced between
          doing the dirty on  boat listings. You would expect the          $3,500 (a good deal) and $4,500 (ok
          his V15. The author two websites to have a lot of overlap        if the sails are good and it has a lot of
          bought three V15s   between listings but remarkably this         goodies). A five-year old V15 could
          in a twelve-month
                              only happens 30% of the time so you          have only been sailed a dozen times or
          period and is known
          for spending almost have to check both sites.                    it may have been sailed in big chop on
          as much time online      Once a month or so, a V15 appears       Lake Michigan and have more wear and
          as he does on the   on eBay. Often these boats are listed by     tear. If the boat has any spider cracks
          water.              owners who are having trouble selling        around the chainplates, daggerboard
                              their boats because they live far from       trunk or bottom, mark the price down.
                              a V15 fleet or because the fleet at their                continued on next page
     Help the V15 class. Share your Vanquard knowledge. Write an article for Bowdown.

continued from previous                       Vanguards built using Plexus bonding          the 2003 Nationals. The point is not
However, these boats also usually only        (around #650) have leaks at the hull-         that these boats are faster but that a
have one set of sails that have a fair        deck joint. Because the boats here are        well-maintained boat sailed by a good
amount of use on them. If you will be         generally similar, the best thing is to see   team will be just as fast as a new one.
racing your boat regularly, remember          how much wear the hull has and how            Sometimes these boats will need fairing
that a new set of V15 sails will cost you     many goodies it has that you might want.      of the hull and blades and minor glass
almost $850.                                  If you want to buy new hull covers, a         work, but unless the hull is really soft
     Most used V15s are priced between        dolly, a trailer and a blade bag you can      almost any boat could still be a good deal
$2,500 and $3,500. While the prices           easily spend $1,500, not counting new         for the right price. The best thing to do
here tend to be closely related to the sail   sails.                                        is find as many boats in your range as
number, the hulls all feel the same after          Boats less than $2,500 can be the        possible and buy the boat that gets you
Vanguard made cockpit grab rails and          best bargains going. Unless someone           on the water as fast as possible for the
stringers standard. Some diehards even        has planed his V15 into a rock, older         price you can afford. ::
swear that the older hulls are stiffer and    boats still have a lot of life. Hull 275
some owners have found that the first          won the 2005 Nationals and #198 won

The Winner’s Circle                                                 sheeting angle. Our jib was just staring to get a bit old and
continued from page 1                                               we found that by raising the jib cloth up on the luff wire
happy because that is what we placed in 2005. We thought            essentially “moved our jib cars forward” giving a bit more
we were capable of top 5, but winning the regatta was               leech tension which helped us minimize the jib flapping. The
never on our mind. I was really excited about the level of          biggest factor in the regatta was that we had only one bad start
competition out there. Even if you were having a bad race           and fortunately it was in the last race of the series.
you were surrounded by good sailors. It felt really good to
finally beat a lot of those guys who sail circles around me at       Bowdown: Well it looks like you guys locked up the regatta in
college events.                                                     Race 7 and didn’t even have to sail Race 8. Any chance you
                                                                    could run us through that race?
Bowdown: What was the venue like, breeze, current, shifts,          CT: We had no idea going into the last race that we had already
course length?                                                      won, although we were pretty sure we were locked in the
CT: The event was sailed out of Beverly Yacht Club in Marion,       top 3. We had a bad start and never recovered from it, but
MA. In a venue that is normally dominated by a thermal sea          fortunately it was trivial. Other than that the only race that
breeze, we only saw a thermal when the breeze finally filled in       sticks out in my mind is a race where Matt Kastan and Kristen
on Sunday afternoon after a long wait. We saw many different        Johnson rounded right behind us in second. This event was a
directions over the 3 days with wind ranging from 5-15 kts.         great showing for URI, taking 2 of the top 5 spots. Matt and
Saturday was the best day of sailing for the event. The courses     I were constantly talking out on the race course about what
were relatively long Olympics and Windward- Leewards with           was working and what wasn’t. I really think this was a key
a gate and an upwind finish.                                         factor in our success.

Bowdown: What do you think put you guys in the front of the         Bowdown: Do you own a boat. If so, how old is it and where
fleet? (settings, tactics, how you guys sailed the boat, what        did you get it? Any cool systems on it?
you ate for breakfast etc.)                                         CT: Although I enjoy sailing the boats, I do not own a V15.
CT: I thought the areas in which we excelled were: starting,        After doing so much college sailing, I really prefer higher
hanging in lanes, and straight line boat speed. The conditions      performance boats with a spinnaker and trapeze. I would like
were constantly changing out on the racecourse and the teams        to thank John Loe for lending out his boat for the event and
that adjusted the best were going the fastest. I can’t remember     Mike Curtin for lending us a nice set of sails. I currently
a race which we didn’t adjust our rig setup after finishing. The     own a 505 and am in the process of saving for a new one. I
Sta-Master rig adjusters are great because you can change           would suggest to all sailors who enjoy V15 racing to try out
them faster allowing you to test more settings in less time.        the 505, it is definitely a sick ride.
We had our vang set up with max purchase, a nice swivel
and a tail long enough so that Jamie could hold on to it for        Bowdown: Do you have a boat name?
easy adjustment while hiking. We found the vang to be a very        CT: My 505 is called “The Carter Administration” because
crucial adjustment while sailing upwind especially once we          the boat was built in 1978, which is exactly why I am saving
started to fully vang-sheet. We did some experimenting trying       up for a new one. ::
to find just the right height of the jib tack to get the correct
Factory Tour                                                     stringer and the stringer is located into the hull. Then Plexus
                                                                 is applied to the deck where it will bond to the stringer and
continued from page 1                                            hull. The deck is flipped onto the hull and the bonding jig
the gelcoated mold. This process is commonly known as            is lowered onto the three adjacent parts applying contact
vacuum bagging. Upon curing, the resin is chemically bonded      pressure between the Plexus and the parts. Plexus is a methyl-
throughout the gelcoat, glass, and foam into a rigid structure.  methacrylate adhesive that creates a very aggressive chemical
Once fully cured, the deck is released off the waxed mold and    bond to polyester and other plastics.
ready for bonding with the
     The hull also features a
sandwich laminate to provide
stiffness and durability. This
sandwich is different in                                        The hull mold
its core material; instead
of foam, the hull laminate
uses SORIC, an infusion
medium. SORIC, when not
filled with cured resin, is a
soft and pliable material that
is ideal for conforming to
the compound curves of the
                                                                                                                     The stringers are
hull geometry. SORIC has                                                                                                 simply several
little channels that allow a              INSET: This photo shows                                                 layers of fiberglass
resin “front” to pass through              the SORIC channels and                                                      molded onto an
it. Unlike the wet lay-up of                   how the resin “front”                                               up-side-down “W”
the deck, the fiberglass and                        progresses. >>>                                                        shaped mold.
SORIC are placed into the hull
mold and then covered with a
silicone bag. Strong vacuum
is applied to the perimeter of
the mold while resin is sucked
in from the middle. The resin
is pulled by the pressure
gradient through the SORIC
channels. The adjacent dry
layers of fiberglass act as a
sponge and suck resin from
the SORIC. Resin flows into
the hull laminate until the
desired quantity is achieved.
The vacuum remains applied
until the resin has cured,
locking the laminate together. Several hours later the hull is    FINISHING AND QUALITY CONTROL
ready to accept the de-molded deck and stringer.                During this stage the rough surfaces of the boat are touched
     The stringer pattern, which run most of the length of the up and the hardware is applied. Most hardware is located via
hull, uses a less sophisticated molding technique called hand “mold-marks,” little indentions in the gelcoat (transmitted
lay-up. The stringers are simply several layers of fiberglass from the mold), and some hardware is placed via jigs. All
molded onto an up-side-down “W” shaped mold. Again, thru-deck screws are fitted into backing plates and are sealed
these are de-molded and prepped for bonding to the hull and with polyurethane. The boat is then checked for leaks by
deck.                                                           applying and holding air pressure via the drain plug. If the
                                                                pressure monitor drops the fittings and joints are sprayed to
   BONDING                                                      detect the leak and it is repaired. Finally, the boat is weighed
At this point, the cured hull is in the hull mold awaiting the and documented and the quality control inspector approves
loose, de-molded stringer and deck. Plexus is applied to the the boat to be released to the warehouse. ::
                 Vanguard 15 Class
               Membership Application
                To skipper in any Vanguard 15 Grand Prix or Championship event, vote, receive
                   newsletters and any other information, you must be a member of the class.



CITY:                                                 STATE:                 ZIP:

PHONE: (HOME)                                         (WORK)

E-MAIL ADDRESS:                                                              SAIL #:

[ ] Please do not release my name for anything except Notices of Race.

                                         Membership: $15
                                 Please send completed form and check to:
                        Vanguard 15 Class Association, c/o Lisa & Luther Carpenter,
                               10822 Spruce Dr. South, Laporte, TX 77571

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