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International 14 - K3
The International 14 is a development rule, which has survived at the top of the performance fleet by evolving over time. Beginning life as a hiking dinghy, it added one, then two, trapezes, full height spinnakers, long bowsprits, square-topped mainsails, reduced beam restrictions, rudder winglets and hiking racks.
The K3 was designed with all these developments in mind. Since adjustable rudder elevators have provided trim control, there is less tendency for bows to dive when hard pressed under spinnaker. This allows for hulls with less volume forward. With the power of double trapezing, the boats now plane most of the time, so the K3 has less rocker built into the hull to provide for a quicker take off.
A significant part of the project was to ease the all-carbon construction process. Cockpit tooling and foredeck details were streamlined to make assembly a simpler three-part process.
This exciting little dinghy designed in 2000 was for club racing or just having a good time. Easy to sail, fast and great to look at. To quote Chuck Allen at Sailing World: "Meade Gougeon says the Fusion 15 is the easiest spinnaker launching system of any dinghy he's sailed. And I’d have to agree...sailing the boat was a ball. It was easy to find the groove upwind, and once you got there it was easy enough to stay in it."
Ease of sailing was a big focus in this design. The boat has a self-launching asymmetrical spinnaker with retrieving line, a self-tacking jib and open transom for easy recovery after a capsize. The Fusion easily handles a crew of 3 for sail training or 2 for class racing.
The original production run of the Fusion 15 was 100 boats. After a hiatus of a few years the boat was reintroduced in 2009 and then ceased production in 2010.