Please select your home edition
Edition
YY.com app (top)

Archive film: Amateur building of Flying Fifteens in the 1950s

by Jeremy Arnold, UKFFA Publicity Officer 6 May 12:03 BST
Members of Kircubbin Sailing Club building their Flying Fifteens in 1955 © UKFFA

Following the recent story featuring vintage footage of Flying Dutchman racing in 1959, readers may also be interested in this even earlier film showing Flying Fifteens being built and sailed by members of Kircubbin Sailing Club on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

The exact date of this film isn't known but Flying Fifteen class records show the boats featured in the film as having been built in 1955.

What is remarkable to the modern-day sailor is how quickly these early boats were bashed-together using basic tools, and how flimsy the construction seems compared to modern craft - but obviously perfectly adequate in the days before kicking straps and high rig tensions, and indeed some of these vintage craft are still around and sailing today.

Strangford Lough remains a hotbed of Flying Fifteen sailing in the 21st Century and SLYC hosted the class National Championships as recently as 2018. It's still possible to build your own Flying Fifteen from plans today incidentally - it certainly doesn't happen as often as it once did, but for instance such a boat (GBR 4034) was built from scratch (including casting the keel) by an amateur builder in Hawaii in 2018, complete with an online blog documenting each step of the process.

Related Articles

Flying Fifteen Queensland State Championships
Held at Tin Can Bay Yacht Club This season the Australian National Flying Fifteen Championships have been cancelled due to the pandemic but the Flying Fifteen Class in Australia has organised State Championships that have been well supported. Posted on 2 Dec
Flying Fifteen websites ransom hacked
As if we need any more bad news! Flying Fifteen International (FFI) regret to advise that the Flying Fifteen International and UK Flying Fifteen Class Association websites have been ransom hacked along with numerous other websites in a cyber attack that hit data centres. Posted on 25 Nov
Hong Kong Flying Fifteen Class Championship 2020
A number of challenges, including a typhoon in the South China Sea You can only plan so much and this year's Hong Kong Flying Fifteen Championship, like the rest of 2020, presented a number of challenges. Posted on 16 Nov
Belgian Equinox Trophy for Flying Fifteens
A replacement regatta at the Sports Nautiques de l'Eau d'Heure The second weekend of October is the traditional date of the Belgian Flying Fifteen Class Championship. 2020 was to be a big celebration since it was the twentieth edition of the regatta! Posted on 9 Nov
Flying Fifteen Balearic Championship
Competitors representing Spain, Great Britain and Chile at Puerto Pollença, Mallorca This year, the Nationals were sailed over three days, with six races planned. Covid 19 prevented overseas owners joining so the fleet was reduced in entries, however there were competitors representing Spain, Great Britain and Chile taking part. Posted on 5 Oct
Flying Fifteen WA State Championships
Three days of racing at Fremantle Sailing Club The three day 2020 Flying Fifteen WA State Championship regatta got under way in Fremantle in Western Australia with 30 competitors all rigged, briefed and ready to go for a first race starting at 1100hrs. Posted on 29 Sep
Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Captain's Prize
Frequent Flyer flies to the win Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Class Captain, Neil Colin of the DMYC, declared that his Captain's Prize would be contested on Saturday (past) with both races to count and no discards applying. In the case of a tie, the second race result would be used. Posted on 14 Sep
2023 Flying Fifteen Worlds to be held in Weymouth
Arguably some of the best sailing waters in the world Flying Fifteen International is pleased to announce Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in the UK, has been selected as the venue for the 2023 FFI World Championship to be sailed between 12 - 25 August 2023. Posted on 28 Aug
2021 Flying Fifteen Worlds & Aus Champs postponed
Joint announcement by the Flying Fifteen International and the Royal Freshwater Bay YC Flying Fifteen International in conjunction with the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club announced today that the 2021 Flying Fifteen World and Australian Championships would be postponed until 11th to 26th February 2022. Posted on 15 Jul
Try a Fifteen
Your opportunity to have a trial sail in a Flying Fifteen Try a Fifteen is an opportunity to have a trial sail in a Flying Fifteen (F15). The class is a fun, fast and exhilarating boat to sail by crew combinations of all sizes, genders and ages. Posted on 1 Jul