The K1 single-handed performance keelboat heralds a new era of single-handed sailing; combining speed, style and ease of sailing. This unique mini yacht has a lifting keel with bulb weighing 62 kg yet its all-up weight is little more than a conventional single-handed dinghy. The hull is constructed using the latest resin infusion techniques to minimise weight. The carbon spars are ultra-light and responsive.
The slender hull has little resistance when heeled so is quick and tacks through a very narrow-angle. The self-tacking jib is set on a pole for maximum ease of control. The cockpit is deep and comfortable when sitting on the deck edge. The result is a boat that is an absolute joy to sail and guaranteed to provide effortless, fast sailing and close tactical racing.
From 2020 the K1 is being built by Ovington. Details and pictures of any changes will be published as soon as we get sight of one.
Although the details can tell you all about the boat they cannot convey the fun that you get sailing the boat. It is a very responsive boat that forgives so many errors on the helm’s part. When you get the feel of the boat it responds so quickly to any small adjustments that it ends up “fitting like a glove”.
It is a joy that really does get better as the wind builds and the helm has the confidence that the boat will in, nearly all, circumstances just roll back up with you onboard and ready to sail away.
It has proven itself to be a fine sea boat as well as finding good homes in lakes and rivers of all sizes.
Enjoy looking at the photos across the site and see what we mean.
In more detail…
The K1 was designed by Reigate-based Paul Handley, who’s previous portfolio includes the RS Feva, Tera, Q’BA and K6 as well as (in the dark distant past) the Mustang 30.
The K1 single-handed performance keelboat combining speed, style and ease of sailing.
This unique dinghy has a lifting keel with bulb weighing 60kg.
Its all-up weight including the keel is 125kg which is little more than a conventional single-handed dinghy. The self-draining hull is constructed using the latest resin infusion techniques to minimise weight. The carbon spars are ultra-light and are made by Seldon.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO SAIL ONE?
Having sailed the K1 for a few months now, I have found it to be an exciting yet very forgiving boat. The slender hull has little resistance when heeled so is quick and tacks through a very narrow-angle. The self-tacking jib is set on a pole for maximum ease of control. The cockpit is deep and comfortable when sitting on the deck edge.
The result is a boat that is an absolute joy to sail and guaranteed to provide effortless, fast sailing and close tactical racing. It still pays, to a degree, to hike but it tracks and sails so nicely on its ear that you don’t have to.
And down wind, flying the with jib boom goose winged is fun and all the effortless gybes with no worry of a capsize, lets you play a very tactical game off wind that is fun.
DOES IT CAPSIZE?
Probably, if it is windy enough, but unlike a dinghy which loses stability rapidly if it heels beyond 20 to 30 degrees, the K1’s stability increases the more it heels. This makes it very forgiving on a gusty day when dinghies are capsizing. when the K1 reaches a heel past 50 degrees it heads up into the wind. The K1 is very difficult to capsize, and when it is blown flat it pops up again in a civilized manner. The picture shows a demonstration of how manageable the K1 is when it is blown flat.
HOW DO I RAISE THE KEEL?
The keel can be raised quickly using the 6:1 block and rope lifting strop which is attached to the lifting points on the top of the keel and to the mast. When sailing the lifting tackle is stowed in a bag under the mast deck plate.
CAN I SAIL IN SHALLOW WATER WITH THE KEEL PARTLY UP?
Yes, we have found that if the keel is partly raised you can still tack the boat as long as the kicker is not attached. The rudder is lifting too.
CAN I LAUNCH AND RECOVER THE K1 ON A TROLLEY LIKE A NORMAL DINGHY?
Yes, the K1 has a trolley with the boat supported by the gunwales and keel on a central cradle. (similar to a laser) Before launching take the weight of the keel bulb on the lifting tackle and the boat will float off like a normal dinghy, although it needs a few more inches of depth.
IS IT HEAVY TO PULL UP A SLIPWAY?
Despite the weight of the keel, by keeping hull construction light, the ready to sail weight of a K1 is close to many similar dinghies and less than some popular general-purpose dinghies. The K1 also has a lightweight alloy trolley to further save weight.
DO WE HAVE TO SIT OUT?
The K1 cockpit has seats so that you can comfortably sit in or sit out. For sailing to windward in a breeze you would normally sit out and you will go faster if hiking out in the toe-straps, but it is not as important as for a normal dinghy.
Changes to the hull
The K1 is a single-handed one-design performance keelboat. It has been designed according to the principle that the racing results should depend solely on the attributes and skills of the crew. The fundamental objective of these class rules is to ensure that this concept is maintained.
As such it is the intention to avoid alterations to the Class as far as is practicable. Therefore, even though the builder changed from Synthesize (for the first 72 boats) to Rondar (until number 151) and now to Ovington, t was important to ensure that all hulls were all the same shape (from the same mould). Therefore no matter what age boat you purchase, then hull shape will be the same. This is despite minor changes to rigging and sail supplier.
Changes to the rigging
The carbon fibre masts and boom specification has remained the same from the beginning. The only variations on rigging have been choice of centre sheeting for the jib vs side sheeting (used originally) and the option of a dangly pole for the jib setting.
Owners can, and do, experiment with different controls and fittings such as refreshed kicker arrangement or cunningham controls.. This is allowed as long as no holes are drilled into the boats. It is very important to read the Class Rules before undertaking such modifications.
Changes to the Sails
The sails changed from Hyde to North at the request of the class association. The North sails have a squarer head and softer mylar cloth. Hyde and now North are the only class legal sails except for reduced size sails as specified in the class rules.