Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Melges Establish Irish Base to Promote Its Dinghy and Keelboat Range

20th August 2023
Melges 15 sailors John Downey and Tom Flannery blast across Dublin Bay
Melges 15 sailors John Downey and Tom Flannery blast across Dublin Bay

Melges Performance Sailboats is delighted to announce the opening of Melges Ireland. Melges Ireland is the newest international dealer of the Melges 15, Melges 14, and Melges 24.

Detailed specifications of the boats can be found on the new website 

The effort is led by John Sheehy, a lifelong Dublin Bay sailor and the mover for bringing the Melges 15 to Dublin Bay. At Sheehy’s behest, a container of a dozen Melges 15s made its way to private owners at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in May 2023.

“As a father of three boys, wanting to get back into dinghy sailing, I was looking for a boat that was stable enough to take my kids out, allowed for one-design racing with old team race crews and was super fast, easy and fun,” explained Sheehy. “When I saw the Melges 15 win Sailing World’s Boat of the Year Award 2022, it caught my attention. A call to Eddie Cox at Melges, along with feedback from US team racing friends, confirmed that the Melges 15 was the boat I had been searching for.”

Since the arrival of the fleet of Melges 15s in Ireland, the group has been racing weekly with plans for frostbiting in the off-season. (The boat has a provisional PY of 973).

Melges Ireland also took a boat on a five-stop demo tour around the country, with the boat heading to the National Yacht Club this week.

The Dublin Bay Fleet has its first training regatta with Cox from Melges on September 16-17. Cox, who has led the design and testing of the M15 from the start, will be adding some expert tips and lessons based on what’s working to date with the 650+ boats that are already racing in the US. With friendly rivalries already cemented, the Irish National Championship will be hosted October 7-8 at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club, Dublin.

RIYC Cadets and Instructors test the demo Melges 15 dinghyRIYC Cadets and Instructors test the demo Melges 15 dinghy

The boat is already proving itself as a true crossover boat on Irish waters, according to Sheehy. The hull shape was designed in consultation with Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design with the goal to maximize stability while still maintaining an easily driven hull form in lighter wind. This means the boat is stable enough for beginners and older sailors while having the performance to keep better sailors coming back for more.

It’s proving a hit with families where all sorts of family combos such as Mum+Dad, Dad+son, Brother+Sister , Uncle+Niece. All these combos have already been sailing in Ireland.

Close racing on a very calm Dublin Bay Wednesday night in Ireland's newest dinghy class, the Melges 15Close racing on a very calm Dublin Bay Wednesday night in Ireland's newest dinghy class, the Melges 15

One family owner, Laser Masters sailor Theo Lyttle said “ When I first heard about the possibility of the Melges 15 coming to Ireland, I wondered could this be the new dinghy class for Ireland? Well, I am happy to say I think it is. It's fast, easy to sail, and dare I say comfortable. All my family have been sailing in the Melges 15. I think it's going to be a great boat to get people back into dinghy sailing. “

Published in Melges 15 Team

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About the Melges 15 Dinghy

The Melges 15 was designed by Reichel/Pugh and built by Melges.

The design prioritises stability, comfort, ease of use, and performance. 

The Melges 15 is built to be sailed by everyone from friends and couples to families and kids. The design offers performance, comfort, and stability in one sleek package.

The Melges 15’s stable hull shape and ergonomic cockpit make it a suitable layout for adult racing and educational sailing. Easy conversion from a club configuration (non-spinnaker) to a one-design setup, provides more versatility to club programs and options for individual owners.

“The Melges 15 creates a clear pathway for junior sailors to get started and stay excited about sailing while also being comfortable and accessible enough for adults to learn, race, or cross-train,” according to Harry Melges III.

With the main design goals focused on stability and performance in various conditions, the boat features a narrow overall beam and a flat cross-section shape for stability, righting moment, and ease of planing. For a more forgiving feel upwind and to navigate larger sea states, the Melges 15 has just the right amount of fore and aft rocker.

Melges conducted extensive research and product testing to produce this layout factoring in cockpit depth, backbone height, and floor plan. The result, they say, is a comfortable environment for both the skipper and crew. The deeper cockpit takes the load off the sailor’s knees helping them feel locked into the boat while the high boom and gnav vang system work together to make the boat easier to manoeuvre.

The asymmetric spinnaker offers an additional performance element, while the single-pull launch and retrieval system makes handling the sail easy and fast.


At a Glance - Melges 15 Specifications

  • LENGTH 15 ft 
    BEAM 5 ft 6 in
    DRAFT 2 ft 7 in 
    HULL WEIGHT 230 lbs
    MAIN 93.6 sq ft 
    JIB 39.8 sq ft 
  • CREW 2

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