In 1984 I bought a legendary Seahopper folding dinghy from my friend Geoff Lennard who designed the boat and manufactured it successfully for a number of years before selling the franchise and business to an employee. Seahoppers are still being manufactured in the UK and continue to be good value for money. They come in a variety of sizes and can be purchased with a complete sailing kit. Being rather versatile, they can be rowed and motored with a light outboard engine.
When I sold my Folksong 25 foot yacht, the Seahopper went with her as part of the deal. Richard Wells, who bought the Folksong became a good friend and we often sailed together. The Seahopper always went wherever the Folksong sailed and was constantly used as her tender. Richard sailed around England taking the Seahopper with him, sometimes towing her behind the yacht for passages.
To cut a long story short, when Richard sold the Folksong he kept the Seahopper and used her subsequently as a general purpose boat. When I bought my most recent yacht, a 23 foot Virgo Voyager named ‘Bumper’, I mentioned to Richard that I would need a tender, and on the off-chance, I asked him he would like to sell his Seahopper. To my surprise he agreed. Last year I became the owner again after 20 years.
I discovered one of the valves of the two external inflatable fenders was leaking and today I repaired it. On Monday next, I’ll be using the Seahopper to ferry items to ‘Bumper’ after she has been launched in readiness for her summer cruise.