“The Melges 15 appeals to a wide range of skill levels and sailors while serving a variety of purposes,” introduced Harry Melges, CEO of Melges. “The Melges 15 creates a clear pathway for junior sailors to get started and stay excited about sailing while also being comfortable and accessible enough for adults to learn, race, or cross-train.”
With the main design goals focused on stability and performance in a variety of conditions, the boat features a narrow overall beam and a flat cross-section shape for stability, righting moment, and ease of planing. For a more forgiving feel upwind and to navigate larger sea states, the Melges 15 has just the right amount of fore and aft rocker.
For adults, the Melges 15 features a more ergonomic platform and a broader weight range for competitive racing. Melges conducted extensive research and product testing to produce this layout factoring in cockpit depth, backbone height, and floor plan. The result is a comfortable environment for both the skipper and crew. The deeper cockpit takes the load off the sailor’s knees helping them feel locked into the boat while the high boom and gnav vang system work together to make the boat easier to maneuver.
The asymmetric spinnaker offers an additional performance element while the single-pull launch and retrieval system makes handling the sail easy and fast. “This system is nothing new to small boats,” explained Melges. “We envision this boat being sailed by kids, couples, and families. By adding this setup to the Melges 15, it keeps the boat fun and easy for anyone to crew.”
The Melges 15 has an adaptable sail plan for both club use and one-design racing. The club setup features a main and jib and durable platform for daily use in sailing programs. The one-design rig adds the asymmetric spinnaker for advanced learning and club racing. The transition from club to one-design setup is a simple process to remove the spinnaker bag and bowsprit.
The new boat is already creating such a buzz that Melges is planning a winter series in Florida for 2021. More details on the winter series will be released in the Fall. Production is underway in Zenda, Wisconsin, for the first run of boats. “As we celebrate 75 years of business, we’re proud to start building these boats at our Wisconsin headquarters,” said Melges. “We use the same build processes on the Melges 15 that we use for many of our other boats and hold them to the same high standards.”