Fusion 15

2003 BOTY Nominee

Courtesy Fusion Boat Works

Introduced at the Toronto Boat Show in February as "a boat that fills the gap between the current flock of high-performance, athletic, tip-over-at-the-dock dinghies and the daysailers of yesteryear," the Fusion 15 is already a hit. Three months after it was introduced, hull No. 11 was finished and 23 more were on order.

To meet the goals of a fast, fun, and easy-to-sail boat, designer Steve Killing added an asymmetric spinnaker to the boat. But instead of a huge sail on a sprit, he provided a modest 79-sq. ft. chute tacked to a clipper bow, which extends the tack position 8 inches forward of the jib tack. According to the designer’s notes, the sculpted open transom, aided by the aft sloping floor, lets water flush cleanly out the back. "We wanted comfortable stability at the dock," says Killing, "yet inspiring performance under sail."

A self-tacking roller-furled jib is provided so the boat can be singlehanded, raced with two, or daysailed with three. The centerboard box protrudes 6 inches above the floor, providing a footrest and an attachment point for the hiking straps. The Fusion 15 comes with an anodized aluminum mast, Harken and Ronstan hardware, computer-routed foils--kick- up rudder and pivoting centerboard--and strict one-design controls for those who want to race it.

The factory direct base price of $6,370 for the Fusion 15 includes Quantum Mylar sails. An optional trapeze setup is available but its use won’t be allowed in one-design racing.