Challenger 15
February 04, 2012 04:40PM
My nephew told me about this web site and was surprised to see the Challenger 15 was still in use. I would like to set the record straight.

My name is George Eheman. I am the builder of the challenger 15. In the brochure I’m the person at the tiller with my wife Sandra., and the sail number is number 1 My brother was living at Union Lake at the time and that’s where the photos were taken. This was 1960 and my company was the Sail-Mor Boat Co. 4606 fernlee Ave Royal Oak Michigan. I hired Mr. Ford to design this boat. I sold the rights to Mr. Irish in 1962 if I remember right. Mr. Irish was building the Snipe at the time and wanted a boat all his own. On the first boat the mast went all the way through the cuddy cabin to the keel. That made it very hard to rug so I ended up with a smaller mast and stepped it on top of the cuddy cabin. I added diamond spreaders and this gave it more stability. On the first few boats the fiberglass lay up was 3/4 once mat 1-1/2 once mat then roving then another 1-12 once mat and roving again. The first few boats were fiber glassed by Olive P. Slope. Mr. Irish may have changed the lay up - I’m really not sure on that. The Boston yacht Sail Co. Mount Clemens, Michigan made the sails. Not sure if they are still in business. I also purchased the mast, boom and rigging from them and I did all the rigging myself in there shop.

I got married in 1960 and it just became to much for me to have two jobs. I’m sure you know it’s not easy to get a new boat on the market, it all takes time. Mr. Irish could build one boat put in his show room and keep building Snipes and the Challenger 15 would finely take off.

I entered the challenger 15 in a Detroit News Regatta and took first place, I was so excited because it was a great selling point. I also was in boat shows at the armory off 8 mile road.

I am 80 years old now and that was 52 or 53 years ago. I was so surprised to here the boat is still in use, It means so much to me and it really brought back great memories.

I hope you can pass my information around to other sailors. I’m living in Nebraska now, can you imagine no big lakes here like the Great Lakes. What is a sailor doing in Nebraska! I moved here because my wife needed a liver transplant and sorry to say she didn’t make it.

I tried to send two photo's but they didn't go through.

Sail Area
Main & Jib --------------------120.4 sq ft.
Main & Genoa ---------------138.7 sq ft.
Spinnaker ---------------------130.0 sq ft.
Hull Weight ------------------- 225 lbs.
All Rigged -------------------- 450 lbs.

George.
??



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2012 08:32PM by Sail - Mor.
Re: Challenger 15
February 04, 2012 11:45PM
How exciting! George, this is really great. If you contact me using the contact form on the main website we can exchange emails and I can get those photos posted.

Paul
Webmaster: sailmfg.com
Re: Challenger 15 & Mr. Leon Irish.
February 05, 2012 04:06PM
I was a personal friend of Leon Irish, the time was late 1950’s. I was in the U.S. Coast Guard during Koran War, when I got home I started building the Challenger 15 and Mr. Irish was building the Snipe. I asked Leon how he got in to building boats ! he said I built a wood Snipe for myself and a friend like the boat, asked if he wouldn’t build one for him, so! he built another one and it seemed to go from there. Leon was working at the Ford Motor Car Co. at the time and he finely was able to make a living building boats. He quite Fords and made boats full time. If you read my first blog you will see I sold the rights to the Challenger 15 to Leon and that was about 1960 or 1961. It took several years for the Challenger 15 to really get going, but he was finely able to build more Challenger 15 than Snips.

Sail -Mor



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2012 05:37PM by Sail - Mor.
Re: Challenger 15
February 05, 2012 05:59PM
My daughter did some more searching on the internet and found the Boston Yacht Sail Co. It’s now called Doyle Boston Sailmakers out of Sarnia Ontario Canada.

We only made a small amount of sails with Boston and Irish went some where else for his sails. It’s been so long ago I don’t think Boston would have any information on the Challenger sails.

Here is the link - www.doyleboston.com/about.html

Sail - Mor

Sail - Mor



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2012 08:30PM by Sail - Mor.
Re: Challenger 15
February 08, 2012 02:22AM
Here are the photos George wanted to share with all of us:

[www.sailmfg.com]

[www.sailmfg.com]

Paul
Webmaster: sailmfg.com
Re: Challenger 15
February 13, 2012 10:58PM
I'm loving all of this History!
Re: Challenger 15 & Mr. Leon Irish.
April 24, 2012 10:47PM
Wow!

I logged into today just to read over some old posts and I saw all the history.

George, I can't thank you enough for all of this. I was proud to have #199 before this and even more now!

I have to run to class (I'm in grad school) but I'll post some more on here later. I just wanted to say a quick thanks.

-Dub
Re: Challenger 15
July 22, 2012 02:43PM
Hello George,

My name is Terry Nauck and I own Challenger 15, # 295. I bought it from a lady in West Bloomfield, Michigan who had two of them and brought it down to Cleveland, Ohio. I cleaned it up, refinished all the woodwork and upgraded all the hardware. I was excited to see that the boat originally had a spinnaker and provision for reefing the main. I can send you pictures if you're interested.
Do you still have the details of the rigging for the spinnaker, and how did you incorporate roller reefing on the main? Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm seriously considering modifiying the rig to accomodate the spinnaker and add single line reefing to the boom.
I usually sail the boat single handed, and she is very fast, just like your brochure describes. I can imagine what a thrill it would be to sail her flying the 'chute.
Thanks for any advice you can pass along.
Terry

Terry
Challenger 15, #295
Re: Challenger 15
July 23, 2012 02:42PM
Terry,

I’m so glad your enjoying the Challenger 15. Roller reefing was nothing more than a spring loaded square end on the boom that you pulled out and rolled the boom to shorten the sail and it would spring back in place.

Spinnaker ! I can’t remember what the dimensions where for the placement of the fittings on the mast and length of the spinnaker pole. My suggestion would be to print out the brochure that shows the spinnaker and knowing the boat is 15 feet in length you might be able to set up a scale and go from there. I wish I could be more helpful but it was so long ago. At least we know the square footage of the spinnaker.

Good Luck,

Sail Mor.
Re: Challenger 15
July 24, 2012 01:56PM
George,
Thanks for the information on roller reeling. I had always wondered why there was a spring in the gooseneck. I'll have to give it a try next time I go out. As for the spinnaker, I may let that idea jell awhile longer. A local sail maker told me he could make a spinnaker for it if I wanted to go to he trouble of modifying the rigging to sail it. Thanks again for your advice.

Terry
Challenger 15, #295
Re: Challenger 15
November 13, 2012 03:31PM
George,

I just purchased a 1973 boat. Because of the lake we live on I need to add and electric trolling motor to get out to the main body of water. Would you know the shaft length that I need. I don't want to buy one where I could hit the prop when I am motoring. Or, would you suggest I use the motor to direct the boat and raise the rudder. Any help would be appreciated.
Re: Challenger 15
March 11, 2013 03:39PM
George,

Who made the cover for the boat. The one I have is with the boat in the water, mast ande boom installed with snaps to hold the cover on the boat.

Bill Kirch
423-548-6528
wkirch@sbcglobal.net
Re: Challenger 15
April 15, 2013 06:50PM
I have a Challenger 15. Just launched it 4/14/2013. I need a picture or a detailed description of the keel setting. The baot I have the keel setting does not appear correct. It uses a rope and shackle and does mnot appear to get the full advantage since it doesn't go all the way across the opening.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bill Kirch
wkirch@sbcglobal.net
Re: Challenger 15
August 27, 2013 04:00PM
Bill,

I'll email you some pictures of my Challenger 15 since I can't figure out how to upload them to this forum. Hope you'll find them helpful.
Terry Nauck

Terry
Challenger 15, #295
Re: Challenger 15 & Mr. Leon Irish.
August 08, 2017 05:59PM
Hi All, I have a Challenger 15 sailboat that I need to sell for my father; this boat has been very precious to him but he is having too many health issues to be able to use it any longer. The white main sail has #123 on it. The boat and sails are in decent condition although the trailer is a little rusty. I am looking for any interest or advice from people in this thread for selling the boat. The boat is in northern Michigan but was bought in Fenton, MI in the mid 70's. I was planning to list the boat on Craigslist unless this group has more specific thoughts. I appreciate any thoughts or advise you can offer.
Re: Challenger 15
April 23, 2018 11:41PM
I have 116 and am looking for a replacement cleat for the jib--any ideas where to find one? Also--did you find a source for a cover?

Thanks! Lindsey
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