Tuesday, April 27, 2010


What excites me about yachts? One factor is that there are so many types, shapes and sizes. Most modern yachts are constructed in fibreglass, but yachts prior to the early 1970s were mainly of wood, either carvel or clinker (lapstrake). After the Second World War, in the mid 1940s boats were also being built with marine plywood and by the cold moulding method -strips of veneer glued together while being supported on a temporary framework. The hot moulding process was pioneered with the building of aircraft during the War, such as the Mosquito light bomber by De Haviland. From about 1957 onwards, Fairey Marine produced the hot moulded Atalanta 26 and extended the range to the Titania, and the Atlanta 31. However, with the introduction of fibreglass in the early 1970s, hot moulding was no longer competitive with the cheaper and quicker GRP (glass reinforced plastic) method. One of the earliest production yachts designed specifically for construction in GRP was the Pioneer 9, by E.G. Van de Stadt. I owned a fine example of this class, my ‘Aziz’. (See link below.)

There are many other factors that excite me about yachts, such as their rigs, keel configurations, hull shapes and their design for specific purposes. Are they for racing, cruising or a combination of the two? Are they required for ocean crossings, coastal cruising or for just pottering around muddy creeks? Are they for private family use, single-handed sailing, or commercial projects such as for sailing schools, charter companies, luxury cruising or for extreme expeditions? The end result of the design depends on the purpose for which the yacht is required. The variables are numerous, and I haven’t mentioned multihulls, such as trimarans, catamarans and proas.

The above photograph taken at Hullbridge looking northwards across the River Crouch to South Woodham Ferres Yacht Club shows eight different yachts, all but one of them built of GRP. The group of three yachts on the left are from the closest to the furthest, an Etap 22, a Wing 25, and a Sunray 21. The boat in the middle on the far bank is a wooden Blackwater sloop, and the nearest yacht of the group to the right is an Elizabethan 23; behind her is a Westerly Griffon 26. I am not sure of the class names of the remaining two yachts, but the one with the dark blue hull may be a version of the Snapdragon range.

Do yachts excite you as they do me?


Atalanta Owners Association


Atalanta 26


Mosquito Aircraft


Sunray 21 for Sale


‘Aziz’ , Pioneer 9 (In this article ‘Felicity Ann’)


South Woodham Ferres Yacht Club


Wing 25


Blackwater Sloop for Sale


Elizabethan 23



Bursledon Blogger said...

Bill - yachts and boats consume far too much of my time - but who's complaining

Thomas Armstrong said...

Bill, what do you think? My brother and my girlfriend both say I am obsessed. I agree!

William Serjeant said...

Seems like I'm not the only one! Thanks guys. I feel a lot better with my obsession.

Rabiul Islam said...

It’s a pretty interesting tool. I will definitely be using it once

I get the chance. Thanks for sharing!