Pssst… How about an 18ft Thames Estuary One Design for the summer?
At this time of year, many people will be thinking about what to sail in the coming season – and for someone this could be the ideal boat.
Fiona, fomerly Mercury, was built in Burnham on Crouch in 1936, and isby the International Boatbuilding Training College following a major restoration. The college folks say a few minor touches would be needed to finish her off.
The story goes that in 1911 Southend’s Alexandra Yacht Club asked designers to draw up a one-design boat that would be able to sit on the estuary mud at low tide. Both Morgan Giles and May of Hammersmith submitted plans for an 18ft sailing dinghy with a lifting keel and optional rig of up to 220 sq ft. The Morgan Giles boat was adopted, but with the sail area reduced to 210 sq ft.
A number of members agreed to purchase new boats at a meeting in December 1911. Drake Brothers of Tollesbury won a tender and built ten boats, and the first race took place in May 1912. Read more history.
More detail about the boat is available at Sailboatdata.com.