A Sneak Preview:
The New WindRider 10
By Thom Burns
Sometimes I get opportunities which just can not be passed up. Sailing the final prototype of the new WindRider 10 is one of those opportunities. I thought how could a ten foot, 120 lb. boat be any fun? I was surprised by the fun quotient and kept going back for more.
|Audrey Bingham after her first solo.|
The WindRider 10 was designed by Mark Balogh and WindRider Trimarans. It is a trimaran like all the WindRider designs. The WR 10 is also basically a ten foot sit-on-top kayak with alot of extra buoyancy. It is extremely stable with a beam of 10’6” fully extended. I sailed the boat in gusts of 25 plus and while the bendy windsurfer type mast and 3 foot waves let you know it was windy, I never felt like it was on the edge. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The boat was designed to be easy to sail, light, stable to the point of being very hard if not virtually impossible to flip, with simple sail controls (one sheet) and easy to steer with kayak style foot peddles (a tiller option will be available). Next the designer made the boat light with the main hull weighing in at 70 lbs. which makes it truly a car-top boat.
One of the more clever aspects of the design is that there is no center or dagger board. The outriggers are asymetrical and very sharp something like the Prindle designs which allow the boat to go to weather pretty well while allowing surfing conditions in good winds downwind. This was an absolute blast in the three foot waves.
The seat is molded and adjusts to three locations while the rudder is a kick-up aluminum design. Like all WindRiders, it is easy to paddle when the wind dies.
The boat is eminently beachable with a kick-up rudder and a 6” draft. We were sailiing it in two feet of water for the first twenty feet off the beach on Indian Lake where we camped on the beach with the boat for two days.
It was here that I met my old friend Audrey Bingham from Marquette, Michigan. She’s nine now (almost ten). I first sailed with her in 1994 when she was a bit younger. This time she took a little coaxing because IndianLake near Manistee, MI is so big at 3 X 6 miles. After she sailed me around for twenty minutes or so, she sailed by herself with me taking pictures. With every tack and jibe her confidence grew. She had never sailed any boat by herself before. By the time she came into the beach she sailed in at full speed, about 5 knots, with the biggest grin a nine year old can give you. According to Audrey’s parents, Thad and Shelly Bingham, she’s still talking about that boat “I sailed by myself.”
|Audrey Bingham sailing on Indian Lake, MI.|
|Mike McGarry giving Audrey some sailing tips.|
The WindRider 10 is a remarkable ten footer which hits a great price point at $1,999 including sail. There is a lot of fun in this ten foot package. Adults will be able to sail by themselves after car-topping the boat or with a youngster. Youngsters will bring a friend or two along. Everyone will have an “Audrey” smile.
Thom Burns publishes Northern Breezes and Sailing Breezes.
For more info (after October 2001) contact WindRider 800-311-7245 or www.windrider.com.