The Etchells is a fast, stable racing sloop that can be raced competitively and safely by three or four sailors. She can tack in 70 degrees and is extremely sensitive to subtle adjustments in tuning and trim. She has a sleek hull with relatively little wetted surface area, which allows her to move well in the lightest breeze. In heavier winds, she absolutely flies. Her sail plan includes a main, jib, and spinnaker.
The class's strict one-design principles were established in the late 1960s and are controlled today by a strong, well-managed class association. The class and the International Sailing Federation maintain tight control of the construction of these yachts, ensuring the high quality and uniformity of each Etchells built. The one-design principles help the Etchells hold her resale value exceptionally well.
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