Sunday, January 25, 2015

Snapdragon 23

This is an early Snapdragon yacht built by Thames Marine of Canvey Island, Essex, after the firm, known as Thames Structural Plastics, moved from Rayleigh in 1962.

Snapdragon 23s were built with different hull options: with a centreboard or with a long shallow keel or with triple keels. This one at Hullbridge is a three keel version. Bearing in mind she must be over 50 years old, she looks remarkably clean and well preserved.

Apart from sitting headroom only, she is a very functional yacht. Her furling headsail and lazy jacks must have been added in more recent times. Note that she has an adjustable solar panel fitted to a staff on her starboard quarter, setting it clear of the backstay and topping lift. She has a tabernacle for raising and lowering her mast. There’s a boom claw for attaching the kicking strap. The teak Samson post is excellent for securing mooring and anchor lines, and her mast is well supported by having three shrouds either side, in addition to a backstay and a furling forestay.

I have some affection for this style of yacht, since they were produced in the 1960s when I dearly would have bought one if I could. I thought these new-fangled GRP boats were ultra-modern and chic.  Such a yacht was well beyond my reach as a young teacher earning barely more than £500 a year.  Instead, I acquired a second-hand Torbay Class 2 Racer* for little money. She was my first ‘proper’ yacht.

Snapdragon 23 –Sailboat

Statistics for Snapdragon 23 Centreboard Version

 Snapdragon 23 Photo

Snapdragon History

Snapdragon for Sale Hertfordshire £770

Snapdragon 23 for Sale £1,995

Snapdragon ‘Abaco’ for Sale £3,450

Snapdragon 23 for Sale £3,800

*'Phillida’ a Torbay J Class 2 Yacht


Stephen Mundane said...

I hope I'm looking that good at 50 (not too long to go now). A fine looking vessel. I will dip my toe into small boat ownership one day and you provide an invaluable guide here on your blog. Thanks for sharing Bill.

William Serjeant said...


Thank you. I hope you'll find a boat that will suit you. Bear in mind that big is not necessarily best. In my experience most fun is to be had sailing and owning small boats - they bring less hassle, less expense, more immediacy and greater sensation.

All the best,

Stephen Mundane said...


Thanks for the good wishes and advice -- expense and hassle are two very important considerations that's for sure! Small is indeed beautiful and empowering.

Sailing into the Sunset said...

My first proper yacht was a Snapdragon 23 I have just sold her. I do miss her already. I should do a review on my blog really.