Finn – THE classic power dinghy

Should I buy a Finn?

I recently came across this promotional video for the Finn.

Wow! I think this must be the most exciting sailing video ever. My heart rate doubled just watching it.

Where has the Finn been all my life? In spite of being a singlehanded sailor for nearly 40 years, I have hardly ever seen any Finns. There was one Finn that used to participate in the pursuit races at Rutland Sailing Club in England when I was a member there. And there is a member at my current club who owns a Finn but I have only ever seen him sailing it recreationally (once.) And I have never sailed a Finn.

By coincidence, the Finns will be sailing their US Nationals at the Sarasota One Design Midwinters next month, and RS Aeros (along with a few other classes) will be there too. I am not sure yet if I will be sailing in Sarasota but it sure would be interesting to see a large fleet of Finns racing there.

I saw some comment online suggesting that some Finn sailors in Sarasota might want to try out RS Aeros. (Aero sailors are always looking to recruit new folk to the class.) I’m not so sure. I think there could be some RS Aero sailors who might be tempted to try out a Finn.

The Finns have a rule that allows the race committee to signal, if the wind exceeds some predefined speed, that unlimited ooching, rocking and pumping are allowed. I see that this option is also in the Notice of Race for RS Aeros at Sarasota. (You can see the RC showing the O flag to signal that this rule is in effect at 0:23 in the video.) Should be interesting. Or maybe just exhausting?

I heard that the Finn is a bit heavier than the Aero.

I heard that Finn sailors are often quite heavy themselves.

And I heard that the Finn is also a bit more expensive than the Aero.


Should I buy a Finn?



  • I borrowed and sailed a Finn at a regatta back when I was a teenager. The winds were light to moderate (mid-teens at the most). My recollection is that the Finn was a heavy, soul destroying boat. I quickly retreated to my Moth. Now this was back in the wooden mast and crude sail-shape controls era. The modern, bang up to date Finn is probably even more efficient at chewing up and spitting out prospective wanna-bees. By all means, you should try one–once.

    • Thanks for explaining that George. My son (who sailed a Finn a few times when he was in college) said much the same thing. Probably not a good boat for me but it would be fun to try one once.

      But it’s still a great video!

  • I interviewed Nick Craig a while back and he chatted briefly about his time sailing a Finn.

    He described the boat as “brutal”, and he said “it was hard physically and the standard was, and still is, ridiculously high…in a Force 2 upwind it’s about the same as any other boat in a six, because you’re fully giving it everything. And then it gets harder and harder and harder. And downwind is harder than upwind. With the unlimited pumping rule it’s so physical. It has a big main!”

    He did say he really enjoyed it too though!

    Anyway, I think it sounds right up your street. You should definitely get one.

    • Hmmm. I really shouldn’t let myself get carried away by snazzy videos.

      Anyway, looks like I will definitely be going to the Sarasota One Design Midwinters next month so I will get to see the Finn Nationals close up.

      • Too bad your regatta/Finn Nats isn’t the same time as the Classic Moth Mid-Winters. Otherwise I could stop by and visit you in traction ward of the Sarasota hospital.

        • Yes, too bad. All these midwinter regattas on different weekends. Maybe I should get an 8 boat trailer and load it up with a Finn, a Laser, a Classic Moth, a Sunfish, a Force 5, a Hobie Wave, a Melges 14 and an RS Aero. Then I could live in Florida all winter and do a major regatta somewhere every weekend.

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