Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Seal 26

A John Baker Seal 26 with the name ‘Wat Tyler’ has been in the locality of the River Crouch for the past three decades. I’ve seen her over the years on several occasions. When I first saw her in about 1984 she used to be moored off the Brandy Hole Yacht Club at Hullbridge. She had a reputation for being a good performer in local handicap racing. A month ago I was walking along the footpath at South Fambridge and I saw her being sailed by a lone sailor who expertly downed sail before proceeding under power to a mooring by the north side of the river.

In 1960 John Baker attended an evening ceramics course I ran at the Exeter College of Art. He wanted to know how to make a mould for a GRP small car top dinghy. He learned the basic principles of mould making and thereafter he set up his own business for manufacturing GRP dinghies and yachts. One of his most successful boats was the Lark dinghy, designed by Michael Jackson in 1966. He commissioned Angus Primrose to design the Seal MK 1, of which 59 were built between 1970 and 1971. This was followed by the Mk 11 and the Seal 22 Mk 111 and the Seal Sinbad. Later, he commissioned Ron Holland to design a 26 foot lifting keel cruiser/racer, the Super Seal 26 which he started to produce, but in 1987 he sold the moulds and rights to Bill Parker (G. W. Parker and Sons Ltd.) who developed and modified the yacht which he marketed as the Parker 27.


Super Seal 26

Superseal 26 for Sale

Seal 28

Seal Sinbad

Parker Seal Org

Lark Class Association

Parker Yachts UK

Wat Tyler

The Death of Wat Tyler

Wat Tyler Country Park


Unknown said...

There used to be one in Bradwell Creek, a 22 I believe, when I had my Leisure 17 which I kept there.
Didn't John Baker have premises at Kenton Forge near Exeter, back in the day?

Patrick Hay said...

I sailed one to Amsterdam and back, from the Crouch, for a long weekend in the mid 80s. It was a fast easily driven boat, so light work for the crew, but I missed a proper chart table, and spray, sometimes solid water tended to come down the companionway and hit you in the face when you were off watch in a quarter berth.

At speed the lifting dagger board fin vibrated rather noisily in its case.

I loved it but my wife was not such a fan.

William Serjeant said...


You are right about Kenton Forge.


Yes, I guess she's a sporty boat with a good turn of speed. I've experienced water coming through the companionway of a fast moving Hunter Europa and the fibration of a lifting keel on an Elizabethan 23.

The former was unwelcome, and the latter was unnerving.