MAKES AND MODELS...
The Novice Sailors Somewhat Definitive Guide to Landyachts
Blokart - A 55 lb collapsible single-place yacht best suited for the apartment dweller. Can run on large courses, but has a distinct advantage on small, tight courses on parking lots or parks. Blokart is head quartered in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but is well disseminated in Europe and the United States. Blokarts are a recent arrival, at least in the American market.
Chubasco - An old "iron" ship from the sixties or seventies. Practically indestructible, although quite heavy by today's standards. The name Chubasco is one of the many variant names for hot, dry foehn winds, like Santa Ana, Scirroco, and Chinook. These boats were produced around the mid 1960s.
Dart - Another "oldie" also noted for high weight numbers. Darts can keep sailing when all of the little boats have gone home. In his article on "Landsailing in America" Nord Embroden cites such high wind conditions as "Dart Weather."
Duster - A Nord Design boat with a plywood deck and aluminum frame. Low production numbers, but the same great durability found in all of the Nord Design boats. The boat has at least two sail sizes; a standard and a storm.
Fed Five - A European favorite. Named for its 5 square meter sail size. It is light in weight and the pilot is very low to the ground. The open cockpit has the pilot lying back in a near prone position. Fed fives are very fast and sail well in light winds.
Freedom - A Nord Desisgn similar to the Spirit, only with a lighter, welded aluminum frame.
Friendship - A Nord Design from the mid 1970s. The largest of the Nord Design production line weighing in at close to 500 pounds. The striking features of this boat include an enclosed cockpit, and aerodynamic wingmast, and automobile tires. They are a little hard to sail in very light air, but can still be seen screaming across the playa in even the heaviest of sailable conditions. Friendships aren't noted competing with the latest carbon-fiber boats when winds are light, but can kick some serious tail when the aerometer climbs above 25 mph. The former land speed record was set in a Friendship at 88 mph. Unofficial reports are even higher .
Manta Single - By far the most popular name in U.S. landsailing. The single sports a plastic patio chair (sans legs) for a "cockpit" and is a rugged boat by all standards. Along with its stable mate, the Twinjammer, the Manta single dominates the landsailing scene purely by virtue of its large numbers. As ubiquitous as the Volkswagen Beetle in 1960s America, the Manta line sports sufficient numbers to be called the most successful one-design boat in American landsailing.
Manta Twinjammer - The hammock-style seat on the Twin helps distinguish it from the Single. Although the sail is larger, it is not so noticeable unless the two are side-by-side. The Twin was an answer to both sailing instruction and romance. The ability to put two persons side-by-side in a landsailer is something that few designs could accommodate. When sailing solo the larger sail area also helps take advantage of lower wind velocities that leave the Manta single behind. Both the Single and the Twin are in constant demand. Used boats don't stay on the market for long.
Pacific Magic - Australia's answer to the Fed Five. Many are home built from plans made available from one of the Ozzie Yacht clubs. The fiberglass bodies are available in a ready-made condition that helps expedite construction. In addition to the horizontal orientation of the pilot, the high aspect ratio wheels are canted in about 10 degrees.
Pterodactyl - A monster of a boat, few of which are still sailed. Although they were sailed competitively at one time, they are nearly extinct on the racing circuit now. Rumors do exist that they are capable of tremendous top speed, so don't be surprised if one of them makes it way back into the limelight in the speed circuit.
Spirit - Another Nord Design from the early 1970s. The Spirit production ran about 19 copies. Available in either ready-made or kit form, these boats were comprised of a heavy fiberglass open-cockpit body laid over a steel frame constructed from hollow box tubes. The body rises behind the pilot's head to form a roll bar of sorts, protecting the pilot in the event of a mast failure following a roll-over. The eleven foot wide axle is comprised of three layers of vertical grain Douglas Fir overwrapped in fiberglass. The mast is a round pole and the sail simply slips over the mast like a sock. It is stayed by wire cables on each side and to the front. Too heavy to compete with modern carbon-fiber boats equipped with wingmasts, it is still a high performer in strong winds and sufficient numbers of them are still around to sport a one-design class.
Standart - A French design that is big in Europe and gaining interest in the U.S. Standart has licensed two non-European builders, Nord Design in California, and IMACNZ in Palmerston, New Zealand. They are fast, light, and sexy! The Standart fills a gap between the entry class boats like the omnipresent Mantas and the bigger, high-dollar boats. Their primary appeal, other than being eye-catching, is that they have a readily adjustable steering bar which can accomodate pilots from 5' to over 6 1/2'. They are still a bit tight for those pushing over 200 pounds. Large feet will need small shoes in order to have adequate steering performance.
Wind Puff - A Nord Design for kids. There is no boom and the sail can be reefed to control just how much surface area can be captured by the wind. A great boat for teaching the youngest ones the fundamentals of sailing.
EXAMPLES of many of these boats can be seen on the NALSA web site's photo gallery. Many other designs exist, some as one-of-a-kinds and some as limited production runs.
GLOSSARY OF SOME LANDSAILING TERMS:
Asymmetrical boat - A specialty boat design to do only one thing... Go FAST!!! Because the boat can be engineered along an asymmetrical design, it can take advantage of certain characteristics of rolling friction, lateral resistance, drag, "lift", etc. These boats are not capable of sailing to all points of the compass, as they generally sail in only one direction. Although the asymmetrical "Iron Duck" holds the current land speed record for a landyacht it won't win any other races. Some individuals in the sport are giving consideration to applying class labels to the speed titles. This would enable a broader reach for others interested in improving the capabilities the many other styles of landyachts.
One Design - Boats that were all manufactured to the same specifications. One-of-a-kind boats don't qualify here. A series of boats all identically produced eliminates all but the pilots sailing skills from the competitive equation. Boats sailed in this category are not evidence of how much money the owner can throw at his boat, but rather how much sailing prowess is possessed by the person at the helm.
Racing Classes - In the U.S. Classes are determined solely by sail size.
Class 5 (49 sq. ft.)
Class 4 (59 sq. ft.)
Class 3 (79.1 sq. ft.)
Class 2 (121.6 sq. ft.)
Additionally boats manufactured from a single design are often raced in the "One Design" category such as:
Manta single (45 sq. feet)
Manta Twin (59 sq. ft.)
Fed 5 (5-sq. meter)
In Europe, and perhaps other venues, the Classes are determined by a combination of sail and boat size. At combined events, like the World Championships where both organizations are present, the trophies are awarded by each group according to their respective classes.
Symmetrical boat - A boat capable of sailing in any direction. Most landyachts fall into this category.
Sail Numbers - Assigned by either the manufacturer, sometimes as a serial number, or by the sailing organization. NALSA sail numbers generally have a US prefix and are assigned by the NALSA official accessible through the NALSA web site.
Sailing Organizations - NALSA, in the U.S. and FISLY, in Europe, set and monitor racing in their respective areas. The rules for class entry, sail size, etc. vary between the two organizations. Their rules apply only to those participating in sanctioned events. Sport sailors are pretty much left to their own devices. These organizations promote racing, design, safety, and general activities related to landsailing.