Crew: 3 man crew.
Dimensions: 5.8 meters in length and ±320kg.
Sail Area: Main Sail & Jib: 16.4 sqm, Spinnaker: 28 sqm.
Class: Restricted (hull shape remains the same from year to year)
Characteristics: Affordable family day sailor and racing boat.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
The Lightning is a sloop rigged sailing dinghy originally designed by Olin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens in 1938 and was first sailed on Skaneateles Lake, Skaneateles, NY, USA. More than 15,000 Lightnings have been built since then. There are over 500 fleets of Lightnings worldwide, many of which participate in dinghy racing.
Awarded ISAF International Class status, the Lightning is sailed in more than 13 countries and in the Pan American Games, and the class provides a professionally managed association that is among the largest in all of one-design sailing. A World Championship is held every two years. North American, South American and European Championships are held each year as are innumerable regional and District championships.
There is room in the cockpit for four to daysail, but a crew of three is employed when racing. On most racing teams, the skipper drives the boat and handles the mainsail. The front crew on a racing team handles the jib upwind and is responsible for spinnaker pole handling downwind. When racing, a middle crew is relied upon for trimming the spinnaker downwind and has boat balance as a primary responsibility upwind.
The Lightning's rig is simple, but offers sophisticated sail shape controls. The hull features a unique hard chine design that combines the stability that provides sail-carrying power, with flat bottom sections that promote planing. There's room in the cockpit for two couples or a family to daysail. The Lightning is easy to launch and light enough to trailer with ease. In the event of a capsize, she can be righted and sailed dry by her crew. Get "The Best of Both Worlds." Get into a Lightning!