The Class Rules are One-Design, with the emphasis on controlling aspects that most directly affect boat speed. The sailplan and hull shape are tightly controlled, while the rigging layout, spars, and the foils are open. This allows the boat to be set up in many ways to suit the sailors; there are several distinct types of sail and layout combinations from the US, Australia and Europe. The result is that, at any Worlds, all the types will be used by the top 10 finishers, and usually by the top 5. Most US boats currently have adjustable shrouds, forestay, and mast ram, which allows rig tension, rake and bend to be changed while racing. There are many ways to rig the boat; it still takes the best sailors to win.
Hulls are built of either fiberglass/polyester or of epoxy resin/Kevlar and honeycomb composite. Both types are equally competitive when new, but twelve year old epoxy composite boats can still win major championships.
The ideal sailing weight varies with the prevailing local conditions, but most successful racers have a combined weight near 340 lbs. The boat is difficult to sail in breeze with under 310 lbs and few teams are over 400 lbs. The current World Champions' combined weight is 325 lbs. Two boats with women skippers have won North American titles.
The 505 class was started in 1954 when the French Yachting Association decided to establish a new One-Design racing class. The boat was designed by John Westell of Britain. The rules for the hull shape and sailplan have not been changed.
The best way to get a feel for the boat is to take a ride. 505 sailors are friendly people who love to take people sailing. Active fleets abound throughout the US and Canada, with racing throughout the East and West Coasts as well as in Florida, Texas, and the Great Lakes.
Make a call. Take a ride. Never go slow again.