THE CHOICE OF SAILORS FOR 89 YEARS
William Crosby of the United States designed the Snipe in 1931. Since then, more than 31,000 boats have been built.
Why the Snipe?
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The Snipe is an affordable boat and durable boat.
The Snipe offers racing opportunities around the world with the highest levels of international competition.
The Snipe requires athleticism, but unlike many modern designs, the boat is highly tactical.
The Snipe rewards those that know how to tune the boat right in all conditions. The skipper and crew have the benefit of many adjustments as the conditions change.
Many body types and weights can sail the Snipe successfully, big and small. It's the combined crew weight that matters.
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One of the things that keeps the Snipe affordable is the fact that there are builders around the world. In recent years, the hull shapes have become more similar, but the deck and cockpit designs and layouts remain different.
Depending where you buy your snipe and if you buy a dolly and spars, a new boat will cost between $9,000 - $12,000. New boats built in South America cost less.
Snipes are like wine. There are some vintages (years) that are still fast, very good boats, particularly Persson Marine boats built in Denmark. There are well maintained Persson boats 20 - 25 years old that still the choice of some top teams.
All Class legal Snipe sails must have country letters and a sail number of a boat that has been registered and paid for the current year. Sails are typically measured/inspected only national and international championships. In 2013, the legal weight of the jib cloth was changed from 130 grams/sq meter to 160 grams/sq meter.
Many top sailors will sell or give their older sails to younger and new teams. Check with your National Secretary or local fleet for opportunities to acquire used sails. If you are busying used race sails be sure the sails were made after 2012.
Women's teams, who tend to be lighter in weight, will want to have flatter sails, especially if you race in areas with medium to strong winds.
Fortunately, there are many good builders of Snipe sails around the world. There are radial and cross cuts/designs for both the jib and main.
For an optimal set-up and maximum speed, you will need to follow the tuning guide from your sailmaker for your particular sails.
It is good to know if you have a stiff, medium, or soft mast. Give this information to your sailmaker and keep this information in mind, when tuning your rig/mast.
CLASS RULES, TECHNIQUE, & CARE
Yes, it's very heavy, but care for your board. If your board is not anodized, you will want to sand it before regattas. Sanding will get rid of fine scratches and create a smoother, faster surface. Sand only with wet sand paper (gray color). Use a sanding block and keep board wet while you sand. Try to sand in a horizontal direction to help the flow of water over your board. Dry and then polish with Teflon polish.
If you sail in salt water, be sure to wash your board well everyday or the salt will corrode and destroy your board.
All boards must be tied into the boat or they will sink if you capsize and the board falls out.
There are three setting for boards while sailing - all the way down, reaching (middle height), and downwind. Boats either have a flapper or hooks to keep the board up while sailing downwind. There is a black line towards top of the board. Class rules state that the line cannot go higher than the deck, only when checking for weed/algae. To remove weed/alga while sailing upwind, the skipper heads more into the wind (which takes pressure off the board). The crew lifts the board up and down as fast as possible.