As anyone who has ever sailed a 505 knows, it is simply the best all around two person boat in the world. The 505's lightweight (285 pounds), narrow water line, flared topsides, trapeze, large sail area, long spinnaker pole, and comfortable seat tanks, make the boat extremely fast, fun, exciting and pleasurable to sail. The fact that the driver is hiking (i.e. not on a trapeze) is a big benefit: it keeps the boats extremely maneuverable, the racing more tactical, and puts less of a premium on boat speed. Incidentally, the 505's in San Francisco frequently race against the International 14's, and even with the 14's dual trapeze and huge asymmetrical kites, the 505 consistently beats the 14.
For some reason, the 505 class remains amateur and is not dominated by professionals. To my knowledge, Ethan Bixby is the only sail maker to win a 505 Worlds in the last 20 years.
Off the water, the boat is extremely easy to launch, trailer, car top and to work on because of its light weight. It fits in your garage, out of the elements, where you can store or work on it. As for the cost, the 505 is the ultimate sailing bargain, especially when you compare speed and fun for dollars spent. A 15 year old boat still capable of winning the world championships could be purchased for under $5,000. A brand new boat that will last you 20 years or more is only $15,000. Now compare that to the "sport boat of the year", the Melges 24, which costs $45,000 and has 1/2 the power to weight ratio of the 505. I could go on, but the 505 is in a league by itself. It is the ultimate sport boat.
by Howard Hamlin