Latest and Greatest Etchells*

Updated: May 8, 2019

Etchells number 1472 rolled out of David Heritage’s Cowes facility in late April.


I continue to be impressed by the dedication to accuracy in H’s new boats. I was involved with

1472 from inception, working closely with owner Mark Johnson (Sydney fleet) and crew-mates Jud Smith and Andrew “Spot” Smith. Every new boat project sees the sailors get involved and add their areas of priority and focus. Mark, Jud and Spot brought an enormous amount of experience to the project.


Latest innovations include -

  • An auto-release for the mast lever system when the backstay is released - very nice feature that will no doubt lessen the risk of mast damage in high wind-speeds. This feature will also simplify re-tuning at a leeward mark. The mast lever will return to the position it was in at the completion of the last upwind leg

  • A direct “mast-bender” system, where a dyneema line can over-ride the lever-forward shock-cord system

  • Dyneema backstay pennant, in accordance with updated Etchells class rules

  • Not a single system block in the aft buoyancy tank

  • Low-windage and light-weight windex attachment to the mast

  • Re-worked electric pump system with Lithium-Ion battery, improved system and very high level of wiring. Lighter weight and higher level of reliability


The boat was sea-trialled in Cowes by yours truly, David and Will Heritage on a very gusty April afternoon, where we saw puffs of 25 knots on the Costa del Solent. Was a lot of fun. The job list was incredibly small for a new boat in those conditions.


1472 was then containerised for it’s trip to make her racing debut in Texas for the Corpus

Christi Worlds.


Globally, Etchells are being built to a high standard. The class is currently very well served by it’s three licensed builders. Apart from Heritage in Cowes, Ontario Yachts in Canada and Pacesetter / Richie Alanson in Australia are pushing hard to innovate and to raise the bar for Etchells clients. Great to see.


*With sincere apologies to Mike Goldfarb (whose Etchells I described earlier this year as the latest and greatest in the world…). 1469 is a superb boat!!


Check out 1472 for Mark Johnson, 1469 for Mike Goldfarb and more on our Project Management page.


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