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Seafly Revival

by John Claridge 18 Jun 2016 14:22 BST 9-10 July 2016
Seafly 620, Zippidee sailed by Simon Hibberd & Alan Collett © Chris Key

Over the years there have been many excellent dinghies which for various reasons have faded into obscurity. Such a boat is the Seafly, designed in the 1950s as an easy build, stable, cruising dinghy. Its light weight of 112kg, even by today's standards, makes it blisteringly fast and consequently fleets grew up all over the UK and beyond.

Often described as a Scorpion on steroids, it was never a thing of beauty, but was much loved by all who sailed them, however problems between the association and builders eventually caused the Association to disband and the only new boats were made by Tony Longworth up at Ullswater, mainly as training boats.

With his retirement it could have continued to fade away but boat builder John Claridge and sail maker Pete Sanders were looking for a fast boat to race, which would recapture the old buzz of sailing an International Moth. Whilst there are many great new designs which could of worked for them, they needed a boat which John could build and Pete could make sails for. Seeing an advert for the moulds they remembered the Seaflys coming to Lymington in the 60s and not only often out performing the Ospreys, but being one of the few boats which could give the Moth a run for its money on a reach.

Having done the deal for the moulds and a stock boat, even they were surprised by the performance and sheer joy of sailing it, and felt that with a more modern deck layout, it could still appeal to a lot of people.

Many past and present Seafly sailors helped with ideas and advice, making the modified boat, which now sports a bow chute, self draining floor, twin spin poles and a through-deck mast, modern look and more enjoyable to sail.

Members of Blakeney Sailing Club, who have seven boats regularly sailing, were not only helpful and enthusiastic about the new boat, but agreed to be a venue for reforming the Class Association and to host a national championship on the 9th and 10th of July, which will be open to all Seaflys.

Contact John Claridge, telephone 01590 674821 or email for more information.

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