N.B. The majority of the ‘testimonials’ have been taken from posts to the Class Facebook page and may have been slightly edited to make sense away from that context.
‘I commissioned Simon Hipkin to build H1 number 21, now owned by Julian Hines, in 2014. It was also displayed at that year’s dinghy show. I did it “off plan” so to speak. I had reached a point where I was about to stop sailing as I couldn’t find a suitable single-handed dinghy. To list a few: Lasers, RS300, Finn, 3 Supernova’s, Phantom. Then I stumbled across Keith’s Hadron design. Our lake has weed, K1s trip over it and need help launching due to weight and steep slipways. I had an informal one-on-one sail against a K1 the other day. The H2 is faster, easier to sail and handle off the water. Blaze…far too uncomfortable. I sail mainly on a lake and believe a single-handed dinghy should only require the helm to move it around, launch and manage in a very muddy dinghy park. I had also crewed a Merlin Rocket in my teens, one of Keith’s designs. H1 No21 proved the design for me. Keith and Simon rethought it and the H2 took shape. I now own H2 129. I do not regret either purchase. The Hadron range of single-handers are a dream to sail. From my perspective, they tick all the boxes – easily handled by one, got the rig right, stable in heavy winds up wind, carry weight well, great fun off wind, plenty of room in them, easy on the knees, different and very thoughtfully designed by Keith and very well built by Simon. You may have now realised I am a fan. All I can say is try one. No one can tell you how you will feel in the boat.’
Ian Ogden (H2#129 – Notts County SC)
‘It’s easy to over think this kind of thing, Keith had most of my thoughts covered in his description on the Hadron dinghy’s website…
People who were keen dinghy sailors in their youth. Check
Then, years later, they find that the mortgage is paid off and the kids are gone – time to get back into dinghy sailing! Check
That generation may not be as fit as they used to be, Check
but know a good boat from a duffer – Check
Keith’s design does seem to have hit it’s design brief rather well.
– Classic good looks which will not age. Yep
– Impeccable handling characteristics. Yep – none if this getting in irons lark on a crowded start line.
– Comfortable! – Yep
– Versatile – at home on the sea or inland. Yep.
– Quick and exciting but not extreme. Yep
– A delight to own and sail, and built to last, using the best materials and accessories available. Yep
– Easy to handle afloat and ashore – The ultra low weight works wonders.
– Easy to recover after a capsize. Haven’t tried that yet but it looks to have that covered. Nearly tried on the first sail – but then realised I was the only sailboat out on a cold grey Thames Estuary, the only other craft out was a huge container ship a couple of miles away, and the tide was sluicing out – time for a bit of caution I thought!
Finally one thing not mentioned – my head had not even come close to that boom – despite some seriously dodgy gybing.
Oh and Keith and Simon could not have been more helpful. Thanks guys!’
Ian Little (H2#102 – Thorpe Bay YC)
‘I am mid 60’s, l liked the design, & as an owner I really appreciate the size, strength & lack of weight. I launch from a sandy beach which is often a lee shore: it is very easy to handle onto & off its trailer when the waves are pushing the hull about. At sea it is a pleasant sailing experience, comfortable with somewhere for your legs to go, no instability & good tracking thru waves in all directions. It is a high price boat but it seems to be worth it.’
Theodore Caderius van Veen (H2#124 – Margate YC)
‘My reason is a bit simpler than most. At 62 and having sailed most classes out there I was very pleased with a trial H2 sail at the club. It was windy day and I loved that the boat was very stable downwind and could be gybed with confidence. I did feel however that it was difficult to sail upwind. Having just come to the end of five years going as far as I could with a single handed asymmetric (there’s a daft concept). I couldn’t think of a single hander I liked; RS300 I like but is un-sailable when its windy. I bought an Aero in Nov 2017 but sold it after a few months – dreadfully unstable. A full laser was an option but done that – and its a pain in light winds. So I choose the H2 with the assumption that it would stay ashore on windy days. As It turns out its a lot easier to sail than I thought at the demo. I’ve cracked lightwind sailing and am improving on windy days. Having six at the SCSC is brilliant. I’ve only capsized once (since March) so can’t even comment on that discussion – that must say something.’
Kevin Weatherhead (H2#104 – South Cerney Sailing Club)
‘I’d been sailing an RS300 for several years but got to the point where I’d had enough of Full on overpowered sailing . At 70 kg the choice of boat is limited and after a 300 none inspired me. However the H2 came along wth a classic proper boat shape but with modern features ; carbon raking rig, lightweight epoxy constuction and all the unique features we now know – no kneeling, proper centrboard, well positioned controls, vented side tanks, high boom etc. It is also a boat that can be significantly personalised with fit out and colour that also inspires me. The H2 has proved to be a superb sailing boat. Light and tender enough to be responsive but with very high secondary stability that makes it really difficult to capsize. Performs well upwind and down and this year’s nationals showed it is superb in waves and has no vices at all.’