Class History

Designed in 1945 by Sandy Douglass for racing and daysailing, the 17' Thistle has been recognized by U.S. Sailing as one of the most active one-design classes in the United States. This family-friendly boat features a plumb bow, straight sheer, thin rails and no decking and carries a lot of sail for its size, planing easily in 10-12 knots of wind. The rounded bottom provides stability, making it ideal for beginners. Since its introduction, the Thistle has changed very little. Thistle #1 is still competitive and not too long ago won the National Championships. thistle-sailplan.gif

Boat Specifications

LOA: 17 ft ( 5 m) 
Beam 6 ft (1.8 m) 
Draft up: 6 in (.15 m)
Draft down: 4 ft 6 in ( 1.3 m) 
Weight: 515 lb (233.5 kg) 
SA: 191 sq. ft. (18 sq. m )
SA: (spin) 220 sq. ft. (20 sq. m)



Thistle_mainsheet.gif40 mm Carbo T2 Block - 214940 mm Carbo T2 Loop Block - 214840 mm Carbo Ratchet Block - 260875 mm Carbo Ratchamatic - 2680Large Swivel Cam Base - 144
Link to Larger Image

Mainsheet System

The efficient 3:1 mainsheet system features a 40 mm switchable ratchet on the boom that can be turned to manage heavy loads. Easily opening and closing the leach at the top of the sail is considered the Thistle's single most important adjustment for maintaining optimum hull speed.

thistle_vang.gif40 mm Carbo T2 Loop Block - 214840 mm Carbo T2 Loop Block - 214840 mm Carbo Fiddle - 265529 mm Carbo Cheek - 350
Link to Larger Image


The 8:1 vang system ends at the center of the boat so it is easily accessible both upwind and downwind. Like any vang on a boat with a mainsail of such proportional power, vang tension helps control leach shape as measured by the top batten position, and allows the mainsheet to function as a secondary traveler.

thistle_traveler.gifSmall Boat Heavy Duty End Stops - 263Captive Ball Small Boat Track w/ 4 in Hole Spacing - 373.6High-Load Small Boat CB Car w/Fixed Sheaves - 272929 mm Fixed Carbo - 34829 mm Carbo Cheek - 350Bullet Thru-Deck Block - 088Bullet Thru-Deck Block - 08829 mm Carbo Cheek -350 Aluminum Cam-Matic Cam Cleat - 150Aluminum Cam-Matic Cam Cleat - 15029 mm Carbo Cheek - 350Bullet Thru-Deck Block - 088Bullet Thru-Deck Block o- 088Flairlead - 425Flairlead - 425
Link to Larger Image

Mainsheet Traveler Control System

This 2:1 transom-mounted systems features low-profile track and traveler car rigged with top-mounted sheaves. Double-ended controls on the trunk cap allow crew to trim from the rail.

  • United States
  • Australia
  • France
  • Italia
  • New Zealand
  • Polska
  • Sverige
  • UK