The 505 is a double-handed boat that incorporates a light weight, high performance hull design with a powerful sail plan and one trapeze. The boat is unique in that it has outstanding performance in all conditions. In light air it is quick and responsive, and in breeze it just goes faster. Planing begins in 10 knots of wind.
The Class Rules are One-Design, with the emphasis on controlling aspects that most directly affect boat speed. The sailplan and hull shape are tightly controlled, while the rigging layout, spars, and the foils are open. This allows the boat to be set up in many ways to suit the sailors; Most boats currently have adjustable shrouds, forestay, and mast ram, which allows rig tension, rake and bend to be changed while racing. There are many ways to rig the boat; it still takes the best sailors to win.
Hulls are built of either fibreglass/polyester or of epoxy resin/Kevlar and honeycomb composite. Both types are equally competitive when new, but twelve year old epoxy composite boats can still win major championships.
The ideal sailing weight varies with the prevailing local conditions, but most successful racers have a combined weight near 340 lbs. The boat is difficult to sail in breeze with under 310 lbs and few teams are over 400 lbs. The current World Champions' combined weight is 325 lbs. Two boats with women skippers have won North American titles.
The best way to get a feel for the boat is to take a ride. 505 sailors are friendly people who love to take people sailing. Active fleets abound throughout the US and Canada, Europe, U.K., Australia plus many other countries and regions
Just contact the 505 fleet. Make a call. Take a ride. Never go slow again.
The 505 class was started in 1954 when the French Yachting Association decided to establish a new One-Design racing class. The boat was designed by John Westell of Britain. The rules for the hull shape and sailplan have not been changed.
The development of the Class began at the IYRU trials in l953, held at La Baule to find the "best possible two-man centreboarder", an 18 footer "Coronet" showed clearly superior to all her competitors. That winter the Caneton Association, the most important small boat racing body in France, asked the designer of "Coronet", John Westell (UK), if he could modify her to suit their rules. Reducing the overall length, lightening the hull and modifying it a little, together with cutting the sail area to 17,24 sq. mtrs., produced a new design which retained the good features of the larger craft. By a remarkable far-sighted decision members of the Caneton Association, at their A.G.M. in Paris in January 1954, voted unanimously to adopt the new class, even before the first boat had been built. The Five-0-Five was born!
With strong organisation already existing in France, the 505 started life on an International basis. The Class expanded rapidly and in November 1955 the IYRU accorded it official International status. Fleets developed in many parts of the world, most of these are still very active today, 18 Countries have active fleets.
Although any material and type of construction may be used, current boats are now using carbon fibre and epoxy resins. The hull shape is strictly controlled with minimum weights both for the bare hull and the complete boat in sailing trim.
By January 2007 8930 boats had been registered.