Skip to main content

Come sail a K1 at SYC!

Friday, 10th May 2024

A single-handed performance keelboat that is sailed off-the-beach?

In sailing, a new design that breaks the rules is always interesting.  In this case, the newcomer is a single-handed performance keelboat which is sailed off-the-beach – no crane required. 

For OTB sailors who no longer have (or never had) the athleticism or physique to sail the boat they used to, the K1 allows them to continue to race competitively (sailing to a performance handicap a little faster than a standard-rig Laser (ILCA 7)).  It’s about being able to race competitively, in a fabulous boat, without a premium on physical prowess.  Indeed, many K1 sailors previously sailed a Laser, RS100 or International 14. 

The slender hull of the K1 means it sails fast even when heeled; hiking helps, but isn’t essential.  The self-tacking jib is set on its own boom, making it easy for single-handing. The cockpit is deep and comfortable. And you mostly won’t need a wetsuit!

An increasing number of OTB sailors, in particular, are getting to the age and condition that would make the K1 appeal to them.

Many K1 owners once sailed boats such as the Laser or RS100, but have found themselves less agile than they used to be; perhaps they are a little tired of swimming, or no longer having the athleticism or physique that their class requires.  It’s a great way for people to keep sailing (and competitively) for longer!

The K1 has a lead-bulb keel which means it is very difficult to capsize, and when it is blown flat it pops up again in a civilized manner. Despite the 60kg keel, the K1 has an all-up weight little more than a conventional OTB dinghy. The carbon spars are ultra-light and responsive.

The K1 originated in the UK – it was designed by Paul Handley, known for his RS Sailing designs – and expanded internationally following the appointment of Ovington Boats as the new builder, with global marketing responsibility since 2022.  The worldwide fleet of K1s is approaching two hundred.

In Australia, three K1s are based at Sandringham Yacht Club, with its direct access to world class sailing waters, and with a convenient slipway for launching (as well as a firm beach in a sheltered location as an alternative).

Boat purchase is direct from Ovington, UK, and easily shipped by container – we’ve done it three times.  There is no distributor or other intermediary, so no commission or additional charges.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the K1, or having a trial sail, is encouraged to contact Matthew Geake, at [email protected].

Also see:

Ovington Boats is one of the world’s most successful small boat building businesses specialising in the high-performance OTB/dinghy market. Ovington Boats has an enviable reputation for quality and service across a wide range of boats including the Olympic classes 49er, 49er FX and ILCA, along with others such as the Musto Skiff, VX One, 505, Flying Fifteen, and International 14.