About the Melges 24
Typically sailed with a crew of 5, the Melges 24 has a comfortable, light-hull displacement design that prefers to plane. Its professionally engineered, high-tech stance includes a carbon fibre spar, rudder, bowsprit and vertical keel fin. Another key component of the M24 is a 670 sq ft asymmetrical spinnaker that lifts and pulls the boat forward on a downwind sprint. It adds speed, simplicity and ease of handling giving way to a more challenging tactical race.
In 1992, Buddy Melges won the America’s Cup with America3 in San Diego, California. Success for Melges was at an all time high. The America’s Cup Challenge donned a high-tech look and a high performance attitude. In a boat designed by Reichel Pugh, Buddy Melges captured the America’s Cup title alongside of Bill Koch. Their campaign symbolized the last successful defense of the Cup by an American team.
That same December, the Melges 24, also designed by Reichel Pugh, was tested in the snow on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
In 1993, the Melges 24 was officially introduced to the sailboat market. With it’s development and introduction, it set the standard in the high performance, sportboat category. In just four years, the Melges 24 championed the keelboat market by holding its very first World Championship in Torquay, England where 98 boats came to the line. Today the class has expanded to a point where it’s championship fleets regularly exceed 120 boats.
The recent World Titles held in Geelong, Australia really cemented this one design sports boat in the Australian racing scene, with many international boats remaining in the country being purchased by locals. With boats represented in nearly every state, strong one design racing fleets are represented in NSW, SA and quickly growing in Victoria. There are also M24s in Qld and WA, so a lot of options to find someone to race against.
The seasonal circuit is designed to encourage travel between states which the M24 fleet readily does. Clubs assist with storage between regattas and fly-in, fly-out is easily accomplished for most crew. The social side is pretty fun too. This is a welcoming fleet with a diverse group of sailors.
The Melges 24 is by far the most unique one design sportboat in the world and to this day maintains a growing and vibrant class. There is no comparison. The response and excitement generated by this America’s Cup inspired boat is phenomenal.