25 June 2016

Full Pelt (Dubois One Tonner)

Full Pelt was a One Tonner, designed by Ed Dubois and built by Neville Hutton for Stephen Fein in 1986, with that year's Sardinia Cup and later, the 1987 Admiral's Cup, in mind. The design featured an aggressive approach to the IOR, with an apparent close attention to minimising weight and maximising any hull shape advantages available under the rule.  
Full Pelt during the 1987 British Admiral's Cup trials (photo Seahorse/histoiredeshalfs.com)
While those were traits employed on most of her serious competitors, Dubois took it further, with flat decks (presumably to lower the overall centre of gravity of the boat) and a minimum sized coachroof, that finished just aft of the mast. With no windows, halyards and other control lines were led aft along the side of the cabin, while halyard winches were mounted on the deck to lower their centre of gravity. As with many IOR boats of that era, Dubois extended the maximum beam at the deck aft and between the 'BA' and 'BAI' measurement stations so as to maximise the leverage of crew weight. This was a response, in part, to changes to the IOR in November the previous year regarding the effect of crew weight on stability ("CSAF'), which encouraged reductions to maximum beam ('BMAX').
Full Pelt alongside the Tony Castro design Maiden Hong Kong in 1986, both showing distinctive kinks in the deckline between the BA and BAI measurement points (photo Seahorse/histoiredeshalfs.com)
Full Pelt proved her pedigree and the designer's approach when she emerged as the top individual yacht in the 1986 Sardinia Cup. In a regatta where One Tonners filled seven of the first ten places, Full Pelt revelled in the typically light airs. She displayed a boat speed advantage attributed to her small keel and low wetted surface area that provided good acceleration and allowed her to get out of trouble in difficult moments, while pushing her to the front when unopposed. Jo Richards and Geoff Meek worked together to make a formidable team, with Meek seeming to give the boat an injection of new life after a very disappointing showing in the 1986 One Ton Cup where the boat never featured in the results.
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo Bruce Banks Sails/Seahorse)
She won both the short offshore and third Olympic race to boost her impressive individual performance for the British team, winning by 20 points over Germany's Rubin IX (with placings of 5/1/2/1/3). Supported by Marionette (15th) and Pocket Battleship (17th), Full Pelt led the British team to victory in the series over second-placed Germany. 
Full Pelt rounds a leeward mark during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo Seahorse)

The photographic record is unclear, but it seems that Full Pelt may have been altered after the Cup, with her original sloping transom remodelled and made more upright, but retaining the measured transom and deck intersection (the AGS measurement point) in the same position.  This would have allowed crew weight to be moved further aft when required. Many other yachts, such as the New Zealand One Tonners Propaganda and Fair Share, made similar amendments for the 1989 series.
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo One Ton Facebook page)
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo Bruce Banks Sails/Seahorse)
Full Pelt narrowly missed selection for the British team for the 1987 Admiral's Cup, with Flying Dutchman helmsman Joe Richards at the helm. After good early season performances, she lost impetus after losing her mast in the De Guingand Bowl event, the first race of the trials, allowing Jamarella and Juno to make the running. 
Full Pelt during the 1987 Admiral's Cup (photo Seahorse)

Irish Independent Full Pelt rounding Fastnet Rock during the 1987 Admiral's Cup - she made good time to the Rock and went on to win this ocean racing classic (photo histoiredeshalfs.com/One Ton Facebook)
However, after sailing the Irish selection trials in the the chartered Irish Independent (ex-Mean Machine, ex-Rubin 85), Tom Power quickly negotiated a charter of Full Pelt when it became apparent that she was not going to make the British team. Power organised sponsorship with the Irish Independent newspaper, with the boat renamed as Irish Independent Full Pelt,  and she joined another Dubois One Tonner, Jameson Whiskey and the bigger 34.2ft rating Turkish Delight (ex-Itzanotherpurla). She was skippered by Tim Goodbody as helmsman, but kept the bulk of Fein's original crew, including Dubois, Joe Richards and Graham Deegan.
Full Pelt in light airs and sporting her near transparent Banks no.1 genoa (photo Sailing Year 1987-88)
Full Pelt had a somewhat average Admiral's Cup series overall, with results during the inshore and Channel Race of 13/15/18/31.  However, she found her legs in the Fastnet race finale - Full Pelt two-sail reached to the Fastnet Rock along the rhumb line,while those who went west looking for a forecast shift sailed needless additional miles. Unfortunately, as the main prizes were not at that time awarded to sponsored yachts, the Fastnet Trophy was awarded to second-placed Juno. Nevertheless, this result lifted her final placing to fifth overall, and elevated the Irish team to fourth overall. An interesting and recent postscript to Full Pelt's Fastnet Race achievement can be seen here.
Irish Independent Full Pelt seen here in Queen Annes Battery Marina in Plymouth after winning the 1987 Fastnet race (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Full Pelt was acquired by Swedish yachtsman Bo Bernholms for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, sailing alongside the former New Zealand 43-footer Kiwi and Greve Duckula. The boat underwent a major refit, with a new mast and rigging, keel, rudder and deck layout for the series, but despite still being fast in light airs, she had a disappointing regatta, finishing in 38th place (of 42), with placings of 14/39/35/25/37/39. The Swedish team finished 12th overall.
Full Pelt was chartered for the Swedish team for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, seen here leaving Lymington Marina (photo Shockwave40 blog)

Her history from that time onwards is undocumented, but she has been featured recently on the One Ton Class Facebook page, and appears to have been upgraded and is now looking like new.
Full Pelt as seen in 2016 and following a recent upgrade, and below sailing off Denmark in 2017 (photo One Ton Facebook page)

The Full Pelt home page is here.


  1. Very nice to see your documentation on Full Pelt. I restored the boat this year - and enjoy the boat to the max now :-)

    Best regards

    Soren Lenander

  2. Full Pelt looks very good Soren, congratulations on your efforts! Whereabouts is she located now?

  3. She is in Denmark..in Rungsted habour :-)