The K1 is a 4.5m (15ft) high performance keelboat for single-handed sailing and racing. It combines a light, narrow hull with a 62 kg (137lb) bulb keel to create a fast, compact single-hander with the sailing qualities of a small keelboat.
It is designed to sail heeled so that the bulb weight provides righting moment and hence contributes to sail carrying power and potential speed as well as reducing the likelihood of capsize. In gusts the stability of the K1 increases as it heels, ensuring a smooth sailing motion.
The crew sits comfortably on the side deck with plenty of leg room in the cockpit and may hike out in stronger winds. In light winds the crew can also sit in the cockpit.
The hull mouldings and rig are as light as practical so that K1 can be handled easily on shore for launching and recovery by one person. The hull weight is kept low by using vacuum consolidation with a lightweight foam core which ensures stiff, uniform construction.
Carbon is used for the spars to minimise the weight aloft. The Carbon spars by Selden were developed to take full advantage of the benefits of this technology. The mast also has the advantage of being extremely light and hence easy to step.
The spars are complimented by lightweight, modern Mylar sails produced by North sails. The jib is set with a jib boom, which is self-tacking and can swing square to the boat for running downwind.
The keel is lowered and lifted easily with the boat in the water by a simple block and tackle which is stowed in a cockpit bag in the boat. The rudder lifts so the boat can be launched in shallow water to sail out to deeper water before dropping the keel fully.
The K1 can be launched and recovered like any other dinghy and fits a standard combination trolley for towing. If it is necessary to transport the boat without a trailer the keel can be removed and the light hull carried on a roof rack.