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Highlander Fleet

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The Highlander is a 20-foot one-design, centerboard racing dinghy that is fast, spacious and ideally suited to Lake Norman's varied sailing conditions light to moderate winds.

Sail Magazine in 2006 described the Highlander as "designed in 1951 by Gordon "Sandy" Douglas. The Highlander remains a sturdy and trusted center boarder known for its stability and large cockpit, ideal for developing racing skills or simply learning to sail".

The Highlander can be raced by a skipper and one or two crew. For cruising, the Highlander's spacious cockpit will comfortably seat 6 adults/children. The Highlander has a minimum weight of 830 lbs. For racing, the Highlander has ample sail area: jib, main and spinnaker... For cruising, the Highlander can be sailed comfortably with or without the spinnaker.

The Highlander has PHRF rating of 178. This compares with a J-22 at 183, MC Scow at 204, Ultimate 20 at 150 and Flying Scot at 212.

Highlander Fleet 27 - Lake Norman

Highlander Fleet 27 at LNYC is very active. We have 11 boats in the fleet and normally there are 4 to 5 boats competing on LNYC racing weekends. We see 7+ boats on the line at Club open regattas. Fleet 27 also has one 'Fleet' Highlander boat that is loaned to juniors and prospective fleet members for racing. For over fifty years, LNYC has hosted the Pipers Regatta in October, making it one of the Club's longest running events. Pipers participants travel from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, and Rhode Island.

In additional to sailing, Fleet 27 has an active social life that includes post-racing socials at the Gazebo. We also host a Summer Lake Cruise in August, Winter Training & Social in February, Spring Club dinner in April, and Christmas dinner.

In 2008 LNYC hosted the Highlander Nationals where 31 boats participated. On October 21-25, 2018, Fleet 27 will once again host the Highlander Nationals at LNYC, in a combined event with the 2018 Pipers regatta. The 2007 and 2017 National Champion, Bruce Busbey, is a Lake Norman fleet member.

The Highlander is an affordable family boat that you can start sailing now, and find plenty of camaraderie within the Class for years to come. If you are interested in crewing or trying out a Highlander please contact our Fleet Captain, Patrick Rykens at 704-641-8304 or e-mail at You do not need to have any sailing or racing experience to sail with us we welcome you.

Click on the "dancing dude" at right to learn more about Highlander sailing.

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Last updated 1:10pm on 10 May 2023

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