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  • Sailboat Guide

Snipe is a 15 ′ 5 ″ / 4.7 m monohull sailboat designed by William F. Crosby and built by Grampian Marine, Schock W.D., Nickels Boat Works, Inc., Lillia (Cantiere Nautico Lillia), Helms - Jack A. Helms Co., Aubin, AX Boats, Jibetech, Loftland Sail-craft Inc., and Eichenlaub Boat Co. starting in 1931.

Drawing of Snipe

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

Origins in the US, built, sailed and raced around the world, to this day, and one of the most popular sailing dinghies ever. (In its heyday, the largest sailboat racing class.) See international web site for the many fleets and associations around the world.

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The Endurance of the Snipe

  • By Dave Powlison
  • August 22, 2023

Kathryn Bornarth and crewmate Ryan Wood racing on a snipe class

It’s early April on Miami’s Biscayne Bay, with an 18-knot easterly, gnarly chop and ribbons of sargassum seaweed—tough fare for racing any boat. We’re at the 2023 Don Q Snipe Regatta , heading uphill and racing against competitors with decades of experience in the class, as well as a slew of young hotshots and some first-­timers—40 teams in all. It’s baptism by fire, my first real experience racing a Snipe. And like many who jump into the boat for the first time, I’m being served heaps of humble pie. About the only time my crew, Danielle Wiletsky, and I see the top of the fleet is when we cross paths on opposite legs of the course.

The upside is that we have a ringside seat to their techniques. At one point, we watch as the eventual regatta-winning team of Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke round the weather mark. He hands her the tiller extension and mainsheet, slides back to clear weeds off the rudder, then takes over again. Blink and we’ll miss it.

“It’s something we’ve practiced,” Rodriguez tells me afterward.

Then it’s back to the business of riding waves, Tocke at times with her face almost at the headstay when going down waves, then rapidly sliding aft as the ride nears its end. It’s the product of years of muscle memory, and Tocke and Rodriguez are clearly in sync. Tocke, who first sailed the Snipe in 2008, says they don’t talk much on their boat. “Occasionally, he’ll tell me to hike harder,” she adds, “not because I’m not, but more as encouragement.”

Soon they’re a speck on the horizon as we plod our way upwind to the mark.

We’re not alone at the humble-pie buffet. Here at the Don Q, scores of top-notch sailors, ex-collegiate and otherwise, come with high expectations only to leave with egos battered and bruised by class veterans, many old enough to be their parents. Rodriguez has been at this for more than two decades. Plus, he regularly trains with the likes of Hall of Famer Augie Diaz, who has been in the class for 56 years and won more Snipe championships than space allows here, and Peter Commette, 36 years in the class, a former Olympian, a Laser world champion, and keeper of his share of big-time Snipe titles as well. “They taught me a lot,” Rodriguez says. “I’m still part of that group, and we always go back and forth with information, sharing a lot about tuning and ways to best sail the boat.”

The Don Q was started by class icon Gonzalo Diaz in 1966 and named after its rum sponsor. It’s been held every year since, even during the pandemic. As boats set up at the host Coconut Grove Sailing Club, with the overflow at the US Sailing Center to the north, it’s impossible not to notice the number of 30-somethings—not only as crew, but also skippers.

At a gathering at a recent Snipe event, Augie Diaz asked, “How many here are under 30?” Over half raised their hands.

Carter Cameron and crew David Perez

So, how is it that a 1931 design is still going strong? With its 380-pound hull, unstylishly high boom, and an off-wind setup requiring a whisker pole, it’s a quirky boat that doesn’t align with modern metrics for success. Cue the Snipe class promotional video and enter Gonzalo Diaz, affectionately known as “Old Man.” Born in 1930, his Snipe career began in Havana at age 15. He left Cuba in 1965, settled in Miami, joined the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and began working his magic in the local Snipe fleet.

“He was the kind of fleet-builder who spent a lot of his private time helping people get into Snipes,” says his son, Augie. About 30 years ago, he started a rent-to-own program. “He’d get a boat and pretty much let a prospective owner say how much they wanted to rent the boat for. The rental fee went toward the boat’s purchase. If it took them five years to pay the boat off, that was fine with him. If it took 10 years, that was fine too.” Augie admits that it’s tough to tell just how many boats his father ran through this program, but he ­estimates it’s well over 30.

“It’s a great way to promote the boat,” says Alex Pline, of Annapolis, “because those renting boats have skin in the game. The longer they rent the boat, the more they have invested in it and the less likely they are to give that all up.”

There are rumors about a Miami-area warehouse full of an ­unsubstantiated number of Snipes—usually in the double digits—and it’s clear who the supplier is.

Pline’s fleet adopted a version of the Old Man’s program in 2021. His wife, Lisa, says: “I love stealing good ideas. We’re on our third boat and our fourth person, who just got busy with other stuff. But we were able to turn that boat over pretty quickly.”

Rodriguez, also from Cuba, was a Laser sailor who met Old Man shortly after arriving in the States. “He gave me a boat to use for free and helped me out in a bunch of ways, including getting me in ­regattas when I couldn’t afford it.”

Greg Saldana, another Old Man recruit, had never sailed a Snipe but showed enough interest to catch Diaz’s attention. “We met at the US Sailing Center when there were just trailers and a bunch of boats. Here comes this little guy in a van. He gets out, and he’s carrying a briefcase, pen and a piece of paper, ready for me to sign. I said, ‘Wait a minute. Before I sign, can we first go sailing?’ He really didn’t want to because it was really hot out, but we went. We didn’t even get out of the channel when he said, ‘You’re going to do fine. Let’s go back.’ And I signed.”

Rogelio Padron and Vladimir Sola racing a snipe class sailboat

The list goes on, and although Old Man passed away in early March 2023, Augie carries on his father’s legacy. “He had a love for the class that was infectious. I don’t know how many people I’ve brought into the class,” he says, “but I’ll always be behind the number my father brought in. I keep trying to catch up to him. I don’t keep count. I’m just going to keep doing what’s good for the class.”

There are rumors about a Miami-area warehouse full of an ­unsubstantiated number of Snipes—usually in the double digits—and it’s clear who the supplier is. As my crew observed, “It seems almost every boat here was either owned by Augie or is being ­borrowed from him for this event.”

That includes us. We quickly get a taste of another component of the Snipe’s continued success as Pline comes over while we are setting up the boat. He helps us get the rig base settings correct, and Andrew Pimental, the US Snipe builder who is right next to us in the parking area, jumps in as well.

“Everyone’s always helping each other,” says Charlie Bess, who crewed with Enrique Quintero to take second in the Don Q. “It doesn’t matter if it’s someone’s first time in the class or someone who’s been around for decades. You can ask them anything.”

The assistance doesn’t end in the boat park. Just after the start of the first race, our hiking stick universal breaks, and as we are approaching the club dock, two people rush to see what had happened. It’s Saldana and his crew, Grace Fang. “We got out to the end of the channel and decided we didn’t want to deal with those conditions,” Fang tells us. They quickly offer up the tiller and hiking stick from their boat, and we make it out for the second race. With a no-throw-out series, it was a tough way to start a regatta, but the hospitality put it all into perspective.

Later that evening, I was about to deal with our universal repair when I find our original tiller and hiking stick back in our boat, repaired and ready for the next day, no doubt the work of Saldana and Fang. We discover later that Saldana was Old Man’s regular crew and close friend for many years. Saldana and Fang are not here just for the racing either.

“We couldn’t attend the memorial for Old Man,” Fang says, “but we thought just being here for this event would be a good way to honor him. I think there are others here for the same reason.”

On the water, top Snipe sailor Jato Ocariz serves as the fleet coach, coming alongside boats between races to offer advice. On the second day, with the wind now around 15 but still a strong chop, he has us sail upwind so he can check our setup. “Put two more turns on your shrouds and move your jib leads back,” he says. And just like that, we are able to point better and log our best finish, just about midfleet.

One of the class’s most successful endeavors is recruiting younger sailors. Bess is a self-confessed poster child for the effort. “When I was 15, Augie sent me an email, along with around 10 other juniors in our program. He got us a boat, provided coaching and helped us out. That’s how I got into the class,” Bess says. Now she’s the Miami Snipe fleet captain and on the class’s “next gen” committee, which focuses on attracting 30-somethings. “The idea behind it is that a lot of people do junior sailing, then college sailing, graduate and discover they have no place to go. We try to make the point that we are that next step.”

Snipe class race in Miami

What is it about the Snipe that appeals to that demographic? For starters, there’s a practical component. Commette says: “Over the last 20 years, people have won Snipe world championships in boats that were 10 to 15 years old. I just sold a 1998 boat I wasn’t racing anymore. It’s one of the best boats I’ve ever sailed, and it could win a world championship easy. That’s the great thing about the Snipe. You can get an old boat and be competitive. You can get a used Jibe Tech or Persson for $5K, put some time into it, a couple of hundred dollars to update lines and things, and win a Worlds with it. That’s what makes it so fantastic for young kids.”

The boat is also a technical step up from junior and college sailing boats, but not so much that it’s intimidating. The spreaders can be adjusted to accommodate a range of crew weights, the mast can be moved fore and aft at deck level with a lever or block-and-tackle system, and there are the usual jib and main controls. Class veterans Carol Cronin and crew Kim Couranz are at the lighter end of the weight spectrum, which, according to Diaz, is optimally around 315 to 320 pounds, making it well within reach for mixed-gender teams and smaller teams. “There are enough controls that you can customize the boat to how heavy you are and how tall you are,” Cronin says. “Like the Star, the bendy mast keeps the boat exciting to sail. It takes a little more technique, but it also means you can tune the mast to fit a wider variety of weights.” Despite a breezy first two days, Cronin and Couranz finish ninth overall.

Then there’s the class motto: “Serious sailing, serious fun.” That appeals to the younger crowd. “I’ve always thought it sounds a little cheesy,” Bess says, but it’s entirely accurate. Taylor Schuermann, who crews for Diaz, says: “There’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, now more than ever, from that group. We have a WhatsApp group, and on Monday and Tuesday people are already asking, ‘Who’s going out this weekend?’ People are chomping at the bit to practice, sail together, and really put in that effort. Then when you show up to a regatta, no matter how long you’ve been in the class, it feels like a family reunion.”

And like a reunion, there are always those moments when you remember who is absent. Fittingly, the regatta’s Saturday night Cuban dinner includes a celebration of Old Man’s life, with photos, videos and a lot of storytelling.

“It’s all about peer groups,” Lisa Pline says, “and keeping it fun and competitive.”

Carter Cameron got into the lease-to-own program in Annapolis, says Evan Hoffman, the current Snipe class secretary. “All of a sudden, he started inviting all of his friends and became sort of a lightning rod for the fleet. Now he’s in San Diego, working for Quantum, and he’s doing the same kind of thing there.”

There is a downside, however, to the youth recruiting scheme, Pline says. “Every time we bring a new kid into the class, I think, ‘Oh, great, another kid who’s going to kick my ass.’”

The class also hosts under-30 regattas. “We found that if you can get a younger person interested in a Snipe, they’ll get other people their own age interested as well,” Pline says. “The U30 events really help with that. The idea is that it’s a regatta for younger people—it’s the older generation, if you will, reaching out to younger sailors, loaning boats for the event, doing whatever we can to make it successful.”

Over the years, the Snipe has withstood a lot of competition from startup classes that have the mentality of keeping it simple and easy.

Over the years, the Snipe has withstood a lot of competition from startup classes that have the mentality of keeping it simple, easy, and all the things that would make it a Laser-like doublehanded boat. “But the problem is,” Commette says, “that’s a dumbed-down type of sailing. While the Laser has excelled for what it is, it doesn’t teach you how to do so many other things necessary to become a really good all-around sailor. With the Snipe, you learn so much more, which is why so many America’s Cup champions, so many Olympians, so many other world champions have had significant Snipe experience.”

“One of the things that’s always appealed to me,” Cronin says, “is that, if you look at Old Man and Augie, you realize, ‘I can keep doing this for a long time, if I stay fit and stay interested.’”

I can relate. As a late adopter to the Snipe myself—let’s just say a few years past my retirement—I now know firsthand from the Don Q that I’ve got a long way to go to get to the front of the Snipe fleet. Thankfully, I’m guided by Old Man’s legacy and the efforts of many others in the class. Keep at it, ask the right questions, and someday I might be within shouting distance of Rodriguez. I’m sure many of the new kids in the class hope for the same.

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Published on August 4th, 2021 | by Editor

Getting started in the Snipe Class

Published on August 4th, 2021 by Editor -->

Getting started in a new one-design class can be intimidating. You may not know the boat, the people, the set-up of the rig, or the fastest sail trim. But joining a new class is not as scary or as challenging as you might think.

Quantum Sails’ Carter Cameron began sailing Snipes a year ago and in this report reflects on the positive experience and lessons learned to give others a leg up when starting your one-design journey.

Sailing the 2021 Snipe US Nationals marked my first anniversary in the boat, and I couldn’t have had more fun. Here are my takeaways after the first year learning the boat.

Chines Growing up sailing Lightnings in Charleston, I was familiar with how a chined boat sails. However, most new Snipe sailors are collegiate or recently graduated sailors who are used to sailing round-hulled boats like Lasers, 420s, and FJs.

snipe sailboat data

With these boats, the goal is to sail as flat as possible so you get the most efficient flow over your underwater foils. Anytime you heel to leeward, you’ll start sliding because the foils don’t have an optimal angle of attack. The Snipe is different from collegiate dinghies because the chine helps create lift as well, and its daggerboard is not as efficient either.

The Snipe board is made from a piece of sheet metal, so it’s only faired around the edges and flat in the middle, whereas with fiberglass boards you can create shape across the whole foil. Sailing the Snipe with a little bit of leeward heel−no more than 5 degrees−puts the chine in the water and creates lift to help overcome its less efficient daggerboard. Tunable Rig The Snipe has many controls to help manipulate sail shape, which is great for the collegiate sailors who are used to having vang, cunningham, outhaul, and jib halyard to tension the rig. In addition, the Snipe has adjustable spreaders in sweep and length, a mast ram, jib cunningham, and STA-Masters to adjust rake. While this may seem like a lot, the magic of the Snipe is that you can simplify all these controls and still be fast.

Quantum’s tuning guide is spot on, so just follow that to match rake, tension, and spreader sweep and length, and you’re off to the races. I learned fairly quickly what the mast ram is capable of, but new sailors don’t need to worry about moving it in their first year in the boat. Just lock it at neutral and you’re good to go.

For the curious, however, mast forward upwind will bend your rig more and sag jib halyard and vice-versa for when you pull it back. Once you’ve got some Snipe experience, you can pull your mast aft all the way on the downwind, which helps get your boom farther out and pushes more depth into your main, creating a more powerful shape.

Whisker Poles Are Your Friend Gone are the days of the skipper holding out the windward jib sheet for wing-on-wing downwind. Now the whisker pole has come to the rescue. Snipe whisker poles are rigged on a clever self-retracting bungee system rigged inside the boom.

All that needs to be rigged to go sailing each day is to tie the end of the pole launcher line coming out of the pole to the clew of the jib and feed the other end of the launcher line through the blocks on the mast and deck to the crew. Whisker poles are great for maximizing projected area on the downwind and they really help the boat take off on the reaches. Snipes love to plane because of this set-up.

Serious Sailing, Serious Fun The Snipe Class trademarked this motto for good reason. It is truly one of the most competitive one-design classes in the world, and it’s hard to meet a better group of sailors off the water.

It’s not every day you get sail against World Champions like Augie Diaz, Raul Rios, George Szabo, Pan-American gold medalist Ernesto Rodriguez, and too many National and North American champions to count. It’s humbling to be rolled by one of these guys on an upwind, and they’re more than happy to help you sail your boat faster as well.

My favorite part of the motto is Serious Fun. I’ve made friends I’ll have for the rest of my life and had mentors I’ll never be able to pay back no matter what I do. Part of the serious fun is getting the “U30s” in the boat, post-collegiate sailors 30 years old and younger. There are lease-to-own programs, loaner boats, and numerous regatta charter deals that are geared to get this group sailing Snipes.

There’s nobody that does this better than Alex and Lisa Pline of Annapolis Fleet 532. They’ve been instrumental in getting me involved in the class and making sure I’m having a good time. Because of folks like the Plines, we’ve got a good group of U30s who travel to all the regattas. You’ll feel like you’re back in college with these folks when you’re off the water.

After one year of sailing the Snipe, I can tell you it is a fantastic boat for anyone looking for competitive, fun racing at a price that won’t break the bank. I wouldn’t change a thing I’ve done sailing this boat for the past year, and I know I’ll be sailing it for the rest of my life. So for all of you on the fence, trust me and go get a Snipe. You won’t regret it.

For more information about Quantum Sails Snipe products and tuning resources, visit the Quantum Sails Snipe one-design page .

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Tags: Carter Cameron , education , Quantum Sails , Snipe

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World’s coolest yachts: The Snipe dinghy

  • Elaine Bunting
  • March 7, 2022

We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Dutch racer Bouwe Bekking nominates The Snipe dinghy.

snipe sailboat data

“I would take a complete crazy thing: a Snipe. I think it’s an excellent boat for kids to start sailing in, and even for grown-ups. I have a Snipe dinghy myself.”

Bekking says the 15ft Snipe dinghy, designed by American William F. Crosby in 1931 for one-design racing, is an ideal family boat, especially for teaching people to sail.

“It’s safe, it’s very seaworthy and relatively fast. You can sail it very hard but still have fun with it,” he says.

“I haven’t sailed mine for three or four years because I haven’t had time and I said to the yacht club you can use it for your youth programme. I bought it when we had a little house on the water, and I wanted to have a dinghy to sail in open water.”

snipe sailboat data

Bekking says he thought the Snipe ideal for the next generation of his own family. “I thought about an Optimist, but the Snipe was way nicer and we could sail with two or three people, and friends.”

Snipe Stats rating:

Top speed: 12 knots LOA: 4.72m Launched: 1931 Berths: n/a Price (second-hand): £2,000 Adrenalin factor: 10%

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Bouwe Bekking

Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking has taken part in eight Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Races . He started in 1985/6 aboard Philips Innovator, then in subsequent races on Winston, Merit Cup, Amer Sports One, movistar, Telefónica Blue and Team Brunel (twice), skippering Telefónica Blue to a third place and Team Brunel to a second and third. Bekking is also regular race skipper for the 43.4m J Class Lionheart.

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Daggerboard

Specifications SNIPE

Home - Sailboat Listings 15.50 ft / 4.72 m - 1931 - William Crosby

Specifications SNIPE

SNIPE Sailboat Data

Hull Type: Daggerboard Rigging Type: Fractional Sloop LOA: 15.50 ft / 4.72 m LWL: 12.67 ft / 3.86 m S.A. (reported): 128.00 ft² / 11.89 m² Beam: 5.00 ft / 1.52 m Displacement: 380.00 lb / 172 kg Max Draft: 3.25 ft / 0.99 m Min Draft: 0.50 ft / 0.15 m Construction: FG or Wood First Built: 1931 # Built: 31000 Designer: William Crosby

Information from  sailboatdata.com .

Hull Speed: 4.77 kn

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Whisker Pole Launching System

The Snipe uses a retractable boom-launched whisker pole. The crew deploys the pole with an automatic cleating system led through two 29 mm Carbo stand-up blocks. Two 29 mm T2 Carbo blocks hold up the whisker pole line.

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Carbo Ratchamatic Mainsheet®

Use this revolutionary load-sensing ratchet as a secondary mainsheet ratchet to give the skipper extra holding power upwind. As the load decreases around the weather mark, the ratchet automatically turns off for a smooth release.

If you would like to link to or reprint this article please contact  [email protected].

Class History

This popular racing dinghy has an active international class association that attracts some of the best sailors in the world. The boat's bendy rig and simple sail plan allows a broad range of crew combinations and weights to make this modern, tactical racer great fun to sail.

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Boat Specifications

LOA: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m) LWL: 13 ft 6 in (4.1 m) Beam: 5 ft (1.5 m) Sail Area: 128 sq ft (11.8 sq m) Weight: 381 lb (173 kg)

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Snipe Rigging 101

By Carol Cronin A recent question from the fleet forming in Costa Rica made me realize: we don't have any stories that explain how to get started rigging a Snipe. So I offered to write one, and because I keep my promises... well, here we are.Most of SnipeToday's stories speak to the folks who already know the basics and want to learn the tweaking secrets of those whose transom they are eyeing around the race course. This article is not for those people. The point is to begin at the beginning, with a bare deck, and try to cover the most important aspects of rigging a Snipe. ...

Snipe Rigging 101 Image

By Carol Cronin

A recent question from the fleet forming in Costa Rica made me realize: we don’t have any stories that explain how to get started rigging a Snipe. So I offered to write one, and because I keep my promises… well, here we are. Most of SnipeToday’s stories speak to the folks who already know the basics and want to learn the tweaking secrets of those whose transom they are eyeing around the race course. This article is not for those people. The point is to begin at the beginning, with a bare deck, and try to cover the most important aspects of rigging a Snipe.

Deck layout

First of all, words and photos will never be as helpful as an already rigged boat. Placement of hardware can make or break a sailor’s enjoyment; there are so many variables that will be completely obvious once you go sailing that are quite easy to miss when drilling holes and mounting hardware. So rule number one is, there’s a reason Snipes are rigged this way; copy an existing boat when possible.

We’ll start at the bow and work aft, leaving the skipper and crew control lines for last.

Bow chainplate

This is the attachment point for (in order, moving aft): forestay, jib luff wire/tack, and jib cloth (otherwise known as the jib cunningham). The jib tack location is specified by class rules.

Attachment point to pull the mast forward at the deck (see “mast controls”)

headstayrigging

Shroud Chainplates (port and starboard); location is specified by class rules.

Though many boats have multiple points of attachment (depending on wind strength), only one is required for beginners. This is also where a lifting bridle would hook up for launching with a crane; for beach launching, that’s not needed.

chainplateexamples

The main halyard should have a loop and “stop” on the starboard side of the mast web; it gets pulled up and locked in place for sailing.

The mast step should provide a solid base for the mast, as well as attachment points for several lead blocks that direct lines up and out to the side decks. The height of the step is specified in the class rules so that masts can be swapped from one boat to another.

The simplest option for the step hardware is aluminum channel; the mast butt sits on top of the channel (over a bolt that locks it in fore and aft), and holes can be drilled to hang shackled control line blocks.

Jibsheets should be easily cleated/uncleated as the jib is quite powerful (and crews are usually smaller than skippers). They are led through a block on the inboard face of the side decks, and then through a turning block (preferably a ratchet) so they can be held/adjusted from the opposite side of the boat. A good starting location for jib leads is 90″ back from the jib tack. The location/angle of the cleat/turning block arrangement is very important, as it will determine whether the crew can cleat/uncleat the sail from a hiking position.

The jib halyard is eased off about 12-14″ to sail downwind and then played almost as much as a spinnaker guy, so most boats have a fine tune mounted on the aft face of the centerboard trunk. The purchase runs forward (ideally, inside the centerboard trunk to reduce clutter on the floor), around a block mounted on the mast step, and up through the mast partners. The easiest set up is to have a wire attached to the purchase that ends in a hook just above the deck; that attaches to a loop in the halyard, which puts everything needed for hoisting/dousing above deck.

Note: the jib halyard attaches to both the jib luff wire (which runs through the luff of the sail) and to the head of the sail itself. This is somewhat counter-intuitive but very important, since the jib luff wire/halyard combination takes over as the headstay while sailing.

The mainsheet block should be mounted on top of the centerboard trunk, aft of the slot. Cleats are optional; usually they are mounted on the side decks. The split mainsheet controls boom placement relative to centerline. Traveler adjustments can grow quite complicated, so for beginners, don’t bother rigging a traveler but do set up the split mainsheet. That will require blocks as far outboard as they can go on the aft deck, lined up with the end of the boom, and an dead end attachment point on centerline.

mainsheetblock

Control lines

Snipes have two groups of cleated control lines, one forward of the skipper and the other forward of the crew. Each control leads to both port and starboard side decks, so they can be adjusted while hiking out on either tack. The more experienced the crew, the more control lines move to the front of the boat. Personal preference also plays into which lines lead where, but regardless of the details getting the cleat locations right is crucial (so that lines can be adjusted while hiking with minumum distraction).

Each control line leads up through a hole from beneath the side deck, passes through a small cam cleat, and then disappears through a hole so it stays out of sight. That last part is optional, but it will make the deck much neater and keep lines from trailing overboard.

Once all the lines are in place and running smoothly they only need to be checked for chafe, but getting them set up correctly will take some time and experimentation.

Here are the controls in approximate order of importance (which reflects some personal preference):

Crucial to control in medium and strong winds. Needs a lot of purchase, so set up a cascade system that runs from a sturdy bail on the boom to the mast web. This is the hardest control to get right and will require some tweaking to achieve the ideal combination of purchase and throw. Location (crew or skipper) varies by personal preference.

vangcascade

Hiking strap adjustments

Mount a cleat on the inboard face of the side deck that make it possible to adjust the height of the crew hiking straps’ forward ends. Since this is a major factor in crew comfort, it is a very important addition—especially if there are a lot of different people sailing each boat. Skippers will appreciate being able to easily adjust their own straps too; the adjustment should be on the aft end of the strap and can be one line (so port and starboard straps are adjusted at the same time).

This ties/shackles into the bottom of the jib. The biggest rigging challenge is passing it through the watertight bow compartment without creating a major leak; it might be easiest to rig this above deck. Location: crew controls

Mast controls

The Snipe mast is adjustable at the deck as a way to depower and tweak sail shape. While this is very important at the top end of the fleet, the only thing that’s important for beginners is to have the mast locked far enough forward so that it will not invert downwind and damage the mast. When learning to sail the Snipe, lock the mast at “Neutral” (described in the tuning guides), or even a little farther forward.

Mast forward (a line that pulls the mast forward at the deck) needs more purchase than you might think and should pull from a point about halfway from mast to bow chainplate. (Farther aft and there’s not enough angle for good purchase; farther forward and it interferes with the jib foot.) Tie the tail around the mast so it can’t drop down, either just above the web or through one of the web’s holes. Lower is better. Location varies with personal preference; Jibetechs have it on the top of the centerboard trunk (aft of the slot, forward of the mainsheet block).

Mast aft (a line that pulls the mast aft at the deck) keeps the mast locked in a fore and aft location. More advanced sailors also use it to pull the mast aft downwind for better sail shape. Dead end the tail aft of the mast step opening, run it through a block attached the mast web (usually below the vang), and pass it back through a block aft of the mast step and then out to the side decks. This is usually a skipper control.

Jib lead fine tune

The jib leads should be adjustable fore and aft (gross tune, on a track) and up and down (fine tune, with a block attached to an adjustable line). The fine tune should lead to the crew’s side deck cleats so it’s adjustable from the weather rail. Location: crew controls.

Main cunningham

Most systems dead end at the gooseneck and hang a block on the cunningham cringle on the sail. 2:1 underneath. IMHO beginners could get away without this control. Location varies with personal preference.

Other hardware:

Make sure mast does not float more than a little side to side in the partners; shim if necessary.

Attachment points for hiking straps . Because these are usually eyestraps into the floor, they need to be very waterproof and also very secure. Builders add backing plates where the straps will be attached. Location (fore/aft, as well as inboard/outboard) is VERY important to crew hiking comfort, and she who hikes hardest goes the fastest.

Bailer An Elvstrom bailer set into a centerline well just forward of the stern bulkhead will allow water to drain out while sailing. Close it for launching and retrieval (and try to keep it free of sand).

Location is specified in the class rules (to make rudders interchangeable). These need to be through-bolted (and bedded so they don’t leak). Install a rudder lock, or tie the rudder into the top gudgeon.

gudgeonseuro

This is the first thing to wear out (especially when stored under load or in the sun) but does several important jobs: 1. Whisker pole retrieval 2. Holding up hiking straps so they are easy to kick under 3. Tightening headstay (to keep it out of the way while sailing, especially important for jibes) 3. Optional: Tensioning line tails under the side decks

Whisker pole

Of all the Snipe rigging challenges, this is probably the hardest to get right because there are so many variables. And rigging it so it works easily is crucial—for every level of sailor.

poleforwardend

There are several helpful pictures on the APS page: http://www.apsltd.com/one-design-sailboat-parts/snipe/snipe-pole-launcher.html

Poles are rigged on the port side of the boom. This diagram is helpful, though it incorrectly shows the pole on the starboard side of the mast: http://www.apsltd.com/sidewinder-whisker-pole-launch-system.html

There are two important (and interactive) pieces of rigging: the launch line and the shockcord retrieval.

The launch line should be tapered, with the skinny end attached to the jib clew (tie it in above the sheets). It disappears inside the forward end of the pole, ties or splices into the fatter line, and exits through a block at the aft end before leading forward again through a block mounted on the port side of the mast (about 3 inches above the gooseneck). (Hanging this block is what the APS Snipe GRP Mast Fitting for Whiskerpole Block is for, but you could also hang it from an eyestrap. Getting the height and fore/aft location right is an incredbily important variable.)

The launch line then turns aft through a block mounted on the deck (about even with the mast neutral setting) to a cam cleat.

The shockcord retrieval pulls the pole back for jibes and douses. The right amount of pull makes all the difference in reducing boathandling variables. Shockcord should be minimum 3/16″ and maximum 1/2″ in diameter. Thinner shockcord provides better range and less resistance but may need extra purchase inside the boom. Thicker shockcord makes it possible to go 2:1 on purchase but also gives less throw.

The shockcord dead ends at the aft end of the pole (usually with a knot through a plastic end cap), exits through the side of the pole (close to the aft end) and into the port aft end of the boom, runs forward around a block hanging off the inside of the gooseneck, and either dead ends at the aft end of the boom (2:1) or runs through another block and forward again (3:1).

Another key piece is a collar that supports/guides the forward end of the pole. There are as many ways to rig this as there are Snipes, but it’s important to have just the right amount of play in this part of the system. Too much and the pole will not launch/retract parallel to the boom; too little and the collar won’t align well for minimum friction/aggravation.

To test the pole: Once the mast is stepped, place the boom (without sails) on the gooseneck and hang it by attaching the main halyard to the aft end. The boom should be approximately level. MAKE SURE THERE IS A SECURE STOPPER KNOT IN THE FORWARD END OF THE POLE LAUNCHER LINE and then launch the pole. You will need someone to spot the forward end once it’s launched all the way to keep it level, but make sure this person stays out of the way as the pole comes out. The pole should extend as far as possible and retrieve smoothly. (Class rules specify that the aft end of the pole should not be able to go forward of the mast.)

Usual problems:

Pole doesn’t launch all the way

Is launcher line run correctly? Is it hanging up somewhere (tapered line may bottom out inside the pole)? Does shockcord have enough throw?

Tip: A small adjustment in location of the hanging block (on the port side of the mast) can make a HUGE difference to smooth pole operation.

Pole doesn’t retract as it should (smoothly and parallel to the boom)

Is shockcord tight enough?

Is collar staying aligned with pole, but with enough give to adjust as needed?

Last but not least… Is there a knot in the pole line tail?

Pole line lost inside pole

Place pole in the water to help retrieve line

Remove forward end cap

Remember to ALWAYS tie off the forward and aft ends!

Other Resources Sailmaker tuning guides SnipeToday Articles from the Experts apsltd.com

Line lengths: Mainsheet is 23′ of 5/16″ low stretch line and 20′ of 1/8″ vectran for the split section (10 feet each leg). Jib sheet -33′. Use a single line and attach the middle to the clew. The lower the sheet attachment’s profile, the less that sheet will catch on the leeward shroud coming out of a tack. Pole- 20 feet of 1/4″ line and 104″ of 1/8″ Vectran.

IMG_5775

Carol Cronin

snipe sailboat data

Great! Thanks for putting this together. I am working through as a beginner with my 1984 McLaughlin snipe.

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snipe sailboat data

George Hook

Good-day, Thanks for the very helpful article and photos. I have just purchased a Phoenix Snipe, and the photos and discussion have been helpful for rigging. Is there any information about launching a Phoenix Snipe using a crane? The transom on my boat has two large drains, which makes dolly or trailer launching a bit problematic. Thanks

snipe sailboat data

Matthew Johns

Hey, 2 years too late, but my McGlaughlin has transom holes, too. I always trailer launch it and never have a problem. what little water that gets in will go right out the bailer the jib is up. I wouldn't worry about it. If you ever capsize you will be really happy the transom holes are there. Trust me!

oops...*before the jib is up.

snipe sailboat data

Ernest J Michaud

I sail Jet 14's and hope to replace my mainsheet. Does anyone make and sell these premade? used to go to APS ltd but they closed. I know they can be made but that is my last resort option for this spring. Hope I will get answer in my email. Thanks.

snipe sailboat data

Contact Andrew at Jibetech; [email protected]

snipe sailboat data

John DeFazio

I am looking for another 'fore stay', as mine broke. Can you off er a suggestion? Thank you. John D.

snipe sailboat data

Pietro Fantoni

Hello John, where do you live? US, Canada, UK?

I live in Georgia. I have already ordered, received, and installed the new jib stay.

Ok, now my mind is blown ? So I just turned 40 and bought a snipe for my mid-life crisis. I haven't sailed in 20 years and my last memory of Sniping we capsized it, somehow buried the mast straight down into the muck, literally flipped the boat 180 degrees, and the boat looked like a "t" Then I somehow managed to knock the centerboard off and then it looked like a "T". When we finally got it right-side-up we celebrated too early because the wind caught the sail and it rained muck on us. LETS DO IT AGAIN!!! Woo-hoo! Might have made more sense to buy a Sunfish. ⛵️ But I can proudly say I have never been knocked out by the boom!

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Naval Academy Athletics

Eli Heidenreich

Meet the Mid Presented by Allstate: Junior Snipe Eli Heidenreich

7/16/2024 11:53:00 AM

Name:   Eli Heidenreich

Nickname:   B Rab

Year:  Junior

Position:   Snipe

Height:   6'0"

Weight:   205

Hometown:   Pittsburgh, Pa.

High School:   Mt. Lebanon

Major:   Cyber Operations

What do you want to do after graduation and why?  Ideally I would like to service select Marines. I think their culture and values best suits me. 

Why did you choose Navy?   There is no other school in the world that develops individuals quite like the United States Naval Academy

What would you tell somebody that is considering coming to Navy to play football?   Not many other schools in the country can offer the pairing of elite academics and big time football like we do

If you could play another position, what position would you play and why?   Safety, because I played it in high school. Also, Coach Lewis and I are very close friends

If you could choose any opponent for Navy to play that is currently not on the schedule, who would you choose and why?   Penn State, because I have a bunch of buddies on the team

Favorite class at the Naval Academy and why?     Data structures and discrete math because it was heavily coding based

Hardest class at the Naval Academy and why?   Physics II - it's fast paced with difficult topics

Favorite teacher at the Naval Academy and why?   Cmdr. Angichiodo - he is hilarious while also doing a great job of teaching us the material

Favorite form of social media and why?   Instagram, because my dad sends me funny reals

Favorite person to follow on social media and why?   Route God - I learn a lot from his videos

If you could have dinner with any 4 people that are currently at the Naval Academy who would you choose and why?   Alex Tecza , Liam Barbee , Peter Roll and Shane Reynolds because they are funny guys

Favorite sport to follow at the Naval Academy outside of football and why?   Rugby - Roanin Krieger is my roommate and he's dirty (in a good way)

If you didn't play football at Navy, what sport would you play and why?   Baseball - played in high school

What song is playing on your headphones in the locker room right before taking the field?   Shook Ones Part II - Mobb Deep

What is your dream vacation?   Skiing in the Swiss Alps 

What is the best thing about being in the American Athletic Conference?   The competition

What do you think about Army being in the American Athletic Conference?   I don't mind it

Favorite Coach Newberry Quote:   "This program is all about trust"

How would you describe Coach Cronic's Offense:  Dangerous

How would you describe Coach Volker's Defense:   Relentless

One word to describe a Navy Football player:  Gritty 

Who will be the surprise player on offense in 2024?   Joshua Guerin n

Who will be the surprise player on defense in 2024?   Job Grant  

Who is the toughest player on the Navy football team?   Kyle Jacob

What player epitomizes Navy Football?   Landon Robinson  

Who will be the Most Valuable Player on offense in 2024?   Alex Tecza

Who will be the Most Valuable Player on defense in 2024?   Colin Ramos

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?   Getting the CIC back 

Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know?   I was a competitive ski racer growing up. I raced both slalom and giant slalom from about 1st to 9th grade 

Tell us one thing about you that would make a good feature story?   Alex Tecza and I have been playing football together since the 1st grade

If there was a Movie about your Life what would it be called and who would play you?   Football starring Tom Hardy

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IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. SNIPE

    Notes. One of the most popular sailing dinghies ever. (In its heyday, the largest sailboat racing class). Origins in the US. Built, sailed and raced around the world to this day. See international web site for the many fleets and associations around the world.

  2. Snipe (dinghy)

    The Snipe is an American sailing dinghy that was designed by William F. Crosby as a one design racer and first built in 1931.. The boat is a World Sailing recognized international class.. Sailboatdata.com summarizes the design as "one of the most popular sailing dinghies ever. (In its heyday, the largest sailboat racing class).

  3. Preparing and Sailing a Snipe

    Boat Design. When speed sailing in a straight line, all Jibe Tech Snipes built after summer 2006 (30571 or higher number) and all Persson or Persson-like Snipes, regardless of year, are basically created equal. Because of this, a used Snipe is an excellent way to get into the class. Before purchasing any used boat there are a couple of things ...

  4. The Snipe

    SCIRA (Snipe Class International Racing Association) is celebrating its 90th year of competition with fleets in more than 30 countries and over 31,000 boats built. The Snipe is a two person dinghy that brings the well-balanced class motto "serious sailing, serious fun" to life at every regatta. With a range of ages and abilities, the racing ...

  5. Snipe

    Snipe is a 15′ 5″ / 4.7 m monohull sailboat designed by William F. Crosby and built by Lillia (Cantiere Nautico Lillia), Schock W.D., Grampian Marine, Nickels Boat Works, Inc., Helms - Jack A. Helms Co., Jibetech, Aubin, AX Boats, Eichenlaub Boat Co., and Loftland Sail-craft Inc. starting in 1931.

  6. Boats We Love: The Snipe Sailboat

    The San Francisco Snipe fleet takes a lunch break on a light air day in the 1960s at Crissy Field, just west of St. Francis Yacht Club. Photo courtesy SCIRA. Bill Crosby designed the boat to be built of plywood by the owner. Though many classic wooden Snipes are still sailing, the boats racing today are professionally built of fiberglass out of ...

  7. Snipe Class International

    The Snipe Class and the Snipe Sailors - Sailing the Snipe in different countries is a great opportunity and a privilege. You can know and sail with people of different backgrounds, cultures and languages. SnipeToday is a site for all Snipe sailors that includes stories, video, photos, and opinions from sailors around the world. It offers a new exciting way to share information about Snipe ...

  8. Class of the Month: Snipe

    Serious racing, serious fun The Snipe class motto neatly sums up the appeal of this ubiquitous dinghy. Fifteen and a half feet long, light and uncomplicated, easy to trailer and launch, the Snipe is a boat that never gets old. Go to any Snipe regatta and you ll see septuagenarians mixing it up with teenagers, pro sailors battling it out with Sunday-afternoon amateurs.The boat s

  9. The Endurance of the Snipe

    By Dave Powlison. August 22, 2023. Kathryn Bornarth and crewmate Ryan Wood epitomize why the Snipe class continues to fire on all cylinders—a lot of female involvement and a growing contingent ...

  10. World Sailing

    Snipe is a two-person dinghy with a rich history and a worldwide community. World Sailing - Snipe is the official site of the international class, featuring news, events, rules, photos and more.

  11. SnipeToday

    The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.

  12. Getting started in the Snipe Class >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

    Published on August 4th, 2021. Getting started in a new one-design class can be intimidating. You may not know the boat, the people, the set-up of the rig, or the fastest sail trim. But joining a ...

  13. Snipe

    Designed in 1931 and raced around the world, the Snipe celebrated its 80th birthday in 2011. While many boat designs and classes have come and gone, the Snipe and the Snipe Class have thrived. Key to the class success is the camaraderie shared by Snipe sailors both on and off the water. A 15' 6" two-person dinghy, the Snipe is best sailed by ...

  14. Snipe dinghy: still going strong after 80 years

    The Snipe was originally designed in 1931 for a contest in Rudder Magazine. More than 80 years later the class is still going strong, with active fleets around the U.S. In South America, it's the default doublehanded racing dinghy. In Europe, Spain and Italy are the powerhouses, though Scandinavia also boasts several active fleets.

  15. SNIPE TUNING GUIDE

    uds at deck level. The standard length between the shrouds i. 4' 7 1/2''. If the length between your shrouds is different than this, lengthen your spreaders 1/8" (3.1mm) for every 3/4'' (1.9cm) farther apar. your shrouds are. If your shrouds are closer together, shorten the spreader length by 1.

  16. World's coolest yachts: The Snipe dinghy

    I have a Snipe dinghy myself.". Bekking says the 15ft Snipe dinghy, designed by American William F. Crosby in 1931 for one-design racing, is an ideal family boat, especially for teaching people ...

  17. About Us

    Sailing the Snipe in different countries is a great opportunity and a privilege. You can know and sail with people of different backgrounds, cultures and languages SnipeToday is a site for all Snipe sailors that includes stories, video, photos, and opinions from sailors around the world. It offers a new exciting way to share information about ...

  18. Specifications SNIPE

    SNIPE Sailboat Data Hull Type: Daggerboard Rigging Type: Fractional Sloop LOA: 15.50 ft / 4.72 m LWL: 12.67 ft / 3.86 m S.A. (reported): 128.00 ft² / 11.89 m² Beam: 5.00 ft / 1.52 m Displacement: 380.00 lb / 172 kg Max Draft: 3.25 ft / 0.99 m Min Draft:…

  19. Snipe Deck Layout

    Class History This popular racing dinghy has an active international class association that attracts some of the best sailors in the world. The boat's bendy rig and simple sail plan allows a broad range of crew combinations and weights to make this modern, tactical racer great fun to sail. LinksInternational Snipe ClassMcLube™Harken Canvas Boat Specifications LOA: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)LWL: 13 ...

  20. SailboatData.com

    SailboatData.com …is a database that contains information on over 9000 production and semi-production sailboats dating back to the late 1800's. COMPARE BOATS To compare up to three boats at one time, click the (+) Remove a compared boat by clicking (-)

  21. SNIPE

    Blue Water Surf Value Rank (BWSVR) 7980

  22. Snipe Rigging 101

    Mainsheet is 23′ of 5/16″ low stretch line and 20′ of 1/8″ vectran for the split section (10 feet each leg). Jib sheet -33′. Use a single line and attach the middle to the clew. The lower the sheet attachment's profile, the less that sheet will catch on the leeward shroud coming out of a tack.

  23. Snipe Class International Racing Association

    The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.

  24. Meet the Mid Presented by Allstate: Junior Snipe Eli Heidenreich

    Data structures and discrete math because it was heavily coding based. Hardest class at the Naval Academy and why? Physics II - it's fast paced with difficult topics. Favorite teacher at the Naval Academy and why? Cmdr. Angichiodo - he is hilarious while also doing a great job of teaching us the material. Favorite form of social media and why?