Forum Quotes - What's a Sting?

On 8th August 2000 Kristian Davies asked:

I'm considering selling my Merlin rocket and buying a Dart 15. I'm doing my research first. I know what a Sprint is but what is a Sting?

Bob Carter replied:

A Sting is a catamaran that was built from a Dart 15 but it has the following differences.
The mast is about 0.6 metres taller and is much heavier section (based on Dart 18 section). The Mainsail is a radial cut and a full panel bigger (I would guess 1sq metre bigger) than the Dart 15. It is quite good to sail with a trapeze - especially for the heavyweights (13 stone). It never really took off in big numbers. They might have sold about 50 in total and most went on the continent. A big issue is that they are very hard to right from a capsize single handed due to the heavy mast and rig. I know sailors that sold them for this reason - as sailing them single handed without rescue can be dangerous. There are so few around that you would just end up racing in handicap racing and not knowing how well you are sailing. You are much better getting a Dart 15 and sailing in one class racing. The resale value of a Dart 15 is also much better.

And in response to a similar question more recently, Paul Smith commented:

Have just been looking for a leaflet on the Sting but can't find one. Anyway from memory, I think it is purely a single-hander (no jib) using standard D15 hulls, but has a taller mast with a different profile Mylar sail and battens, which gives it a slightly bigger sail area than standard D15, so having a lower PY. There seems to be very few about, and I can only ever remember one attending any open meetings - in recent years anyway. Sail numbers seem to be in the 1100 - 1400 region, but were issued separately to std Dart 15 numbers, so sail no. 1300 on a Sting version for instance would be much newer than sail number 1300 on a std Dart 15. All rather confusing really, but needless to say it did not take off, and I would not recommend anyone buying one if they intend to race competitively, since they quite simply will have no-one to compete with on equal terms. This fact means that any advertised for sale will almost certainly be much cheaper than a std D15 of the same age, so very good value providing you don't intend to race - so what's the point in that then!

To which George Stephen added:

It did have a jib, and was intended to be sailed single-handed with the trapeze. The mainsail also had a different shape from the standard 15, more like that of the Dart 18, and likely to produce better performance. You might say that Laser Centre were trying to invent a "Super Sprint", and it's lack of popularity reflects that they were doing it "on the cheap" - you'd really need to improve buoyancy in the bows. Otherwise Paul's comments are right.