What kind of boat is used? (The Yngling keelboat)

The Yngling is a popular entry level keelboat designed in Norway that is very safe and easy to handle. It has been used in the Olympic Games as well as other major sailing competitions and is still used to this day. It is virtually unsinkable due to its reserved buoyancy and quite forgiving in its response. Designed for three youths as a crew, though it can easily be managed by two sailors if needed. It takes about 10 minutes for the crew to prepare the boat and it is easy to use two paddles and row the boat in or out of the marina if there is little wind.

The boat is 6.35 m long, with a waterline length of 4.7 m, a weight of 645 kg and a sail area of around 14m2. It has a mainsail which is a big sail that gives driving power and stability, a headsail called a jib in the front that gives speed and helps the boat go towards the wind and, finally, a spinnaker (yellow in the figure) which is big and lightweight sail that looks like a half balloon or kite that helps the boat travel with the wind coming from the rear since the jib is not good at that task.

The Yngling can be a good boat to learn both competitive and cruising sailing in since it has most of the sail trim adjustments (“settings”) that bigger sailboats have and it gives quick and strong feedback on adjustments, something that is key in learning how to trim and sail. Typical crew roles on the Yngling are the helmsman who sits at the aft (rear side) and controls the rudder with one hand and sometimes the mainsail with the other. The bowman/forehand that controls the headsail/jib and also is responsible for setting the pole for the spinnaker. Last but not least, the middle hand who is responsible for balancing the boat with their weight, helping the helmsman with the mainsail and trim and also trimming the spinnaker when it is used.

The Trondheim Sailing Club owns two Ynglings, the students’ club NTNUI owns three and there are at least three more boats that compete regularly.