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Thread: Seafly

  1. #1
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    Default Seafly

    Please help,
    I have an old rotted out seafly dinghy beyond restoration which I would love to rebuild. The boat was built by the late Harold Lang of Sorrento, VIC, Australia. It was designed by S. J. Herbert & J. O. Kelley in 1961. I have searched almost everywhere I know and am after plans and table offsets for the old sailing dinghy. I would greatly appreciate any information at all on this boats.

  2. #2
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    G'day and congratulations. Welcome to the Forum.

    I have a Harold J Lang Seafly. Good to hear from you Skipper. My boat is Coachwood.

    Plans, who needs plans? Maybe, I can help with plans or measure a few bits for you. Need a new CB and rudder, I've tracings but I'll give you a tip ... change the rudder to a moth rudder.

    Does your boat look like this?



    ... and go like this?



    "Any information at all..." Did you know that the Seafly dinghy has a British Channel rating? Seaflys are good performance dinghies and just sneak into Class A with their yardsticks at 115 (if you accept a yardstick of 116 you're only racing in Class B around here). They are well worth restoring and are very comfortable bay boats for when you go sail touring, they will get there quickly, they don't plod and have good space for gear. Did you know that a Seafly goes best with a crew weight of 225kg ... this weight will keep them flat in a blow. Seaflys are brilliant in a blow and they are one of the few dinghies that prefer big winds and being on a hard knife edge, ... that's when they come into their own. When She goes over, bring her up instantly, don't take your time, once they start to go under, they are a heavy dinghy to bring back up. You learn to be brave in a Seafly ... and anything less is just hear-say.

    Email sent as well, just in case.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 04-30-2006 at 11:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Obviously lost at sea ... that was the shortest consultation that I've ever given.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 05-14-2006 at 07:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sorry Warren but your photos did not come through clearly. My seafly is beyond restoration as there is not much in it that does not have rot and most of the floor is completly gone. you said you could help me with plans? I would love to build a new boat as my old one looks as if it was fantastic.

  5. #5
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    "The photos did not come through clearly" ... ? ... they are art and exactly what it feels like to be in the boat in a blow, they are not meant to be clear. They are from my Impressionist period.

    This is the state of play.

    The Seafly Associations no longer exist. The Australian Association had the rights to issue plans to members for a fee of $25AU to do a home build. The fee was then payed to the South Devon Boatbuilders in Cornwall in the UK because the Association was under the impression that the South Devon Boatbuilders had registered the plans. Later research found that the South Devon Boatbuilders had not registered the plans and had no right to demand a fee from anyone, after the death of Stan Herbert her designer. If you can get hold of plans there are no restrictions on building the boat nor any form of fees payable, to anyone. Despite what the South Devon boatbuilders might still say, so I've been assured.

    Plans can still be obtained from the South Devon Boatbuilders, in Cornwall in the UK. Last time I looked, they didn't appear to have a web site. I don't know how you can contact them unless one of the English Members on the Forum know ... but if you can wait until Sunday, I can find out how to contact them when I see a friend who visited them. My friend, Peter Fullagher is going through his archive looking for Seafly plans and again he will let me know on Sunday whether he still has a set. Failing that, the historian at the Canberra Yacht Club, Peter Forster, who I'll also see on Sunday (as the three of us race in the same fleet and Sunday is a raceday) could still have a set. There are also two others here in Canberra who might have copies of plans, one being the retired builder from Aurora Boats, to track him down will require a bit of research. If the plans become available here I'll let you know, otherwise try South Devon Boatbuilders. I'll also call into the British High Commission and ask them how to contact, SDB as the BHC are next to the yacht club, they might have a UK yellow pages or do a search for me.

    I'm interested in distributing copies of the plans to anyone who wants to build a boat, now that I know that licences to build don't apply, despite what others say. So if I get a copy of the plans I'd like be the new distributor ... as I think the Class should be better known. All of the older Flying Fifteen sailors know the Seafly as many of them spent years racing in Seaflys and transitioned to the Fifteens.

    Do you actually need the plans to fix the boat? When I repaired my old wreck, I just did it by eye. Epoxy (from Boatcraft Pacific and from Smith and Co.) glass cloth, carbon cloth for the laminates were scarfed in the holes (the odd bit of wood was used but not much), as it was quicker than scarfing plywood in every hole (I couldn't find the right thickness of plywood anyway) and I was looking at and testing Fill-it, as a component for using in laminates and any bit removed from the boat, I just duplicated. I used lots of CPES to stop the rot and Fill-It was the bulk of the compression strength filler used. Fill-It is an excellent non slumping filler. Both CPES and Fill-It are from Smith and Co in the US and are obtainable from Senseal in Melbourne, they have a good site. If you do use Fill-It, the tip is, mix it with a fork that will save a lot of bother.

    http://www.senseal.com.au/


    Here are some shots of my old girl's rebuild. She is called 'Wild Heidi'. When ever a Seafly turns up they are generally wrecks.





    The boat was wooded, the more that I wooded her the more rot that I found. I only aquired the boat to practice using epoxy on, and to practice making epoxy glass laminates while I waited to find a good Seafly. I wasn't originally going to restore the boat but she kept getting better and responding to the love and attention. I was already racing two old Seaflys a Coachwood 'Southern Cross' and a monsterously heavy fibre glass boat called 'Fat Olley', when I started work on her. Now she is my premier boat and only to show off. I still haven't made the glass cabinet for her retirement days ... yet.





    After choking her on CPES, I stabilized her with Fill-It so she wouldn't fall apart on me while I worked on cutting the scarfs.





    I could have writen a history of inept additive painting after all of the crap that I found on her. Finding linseed oil repairs on her, was the most 'backward thinking' that she had been subjected to.





    She had her original polyurethane on her under multiple layers of acrylic and oil and car bog, she took for ever to strip.

    If you contact the Wooden Boat Store in Sorrento, the manager there can give you a contact to Harold J Lang's apprentice who built your boat and who stil lives in the district, he knows what was put on her. He answered all of my questions. He is no longer a young apprentice though, he is well into his fifties now ... he was worth contacting. It is a few years ago that I last talked to him. I can't remember the contact details ... but the WBS manager knows him well.





    Lots of glass macros to long board ... many times, I faired her hull.





    After she was painted in 12 coats of two pack water based Aquacote polyurethane, she was polished using Farecla G3 Advanced Liquid Cutting Compound. Photo below.




    The Seafly mast is basically a Flying Fifteen mast ... M3, I think the code is. It will require some modification ... just another tip ... because Flying Fifteen bits are easy to come by down your way.

    The photos below are of another Seafly 'Souther Cross', that crossed my path a couple of years ago, I raced her at the Sea Scouts and remain unbeaten in her, despite her shabby looks. Running into Southern Cross was the reason why I wanted a Seafly for handicap racing. This boat is very different to my boat, I didn't raced her with a spinnaker and she still remained a winner. My old girl is much lighter than Southern Cross which is also Coachwood. My Seafly doesn't have the rear buoyancy tank (as seen on Southern Cross) to save weight, my main sheet track is a stainless steel rod sitting near the thwart (one of the photos above) and not on the transom as on Southern Cross and my boat has a spinnaker chute, where as Southern Cross's spinnaker was no longer installed when I raced her ... and it would have been stowed in a bag within the cockpit.













    How about the mildew under the yellowing glass macros in the photo above?

    I haven't ever had a simple repair to do on a Seafly. I hope these photos are clear enough and "have come through clearly" for you to realize that no Seafly is unsavable. My old girl had 31 holes in her hull ... now she has metres of carbon stiffening her up. She is now better than the original.

    The important thing to know about being old Seafly owners Reuben, is that ... we are the chosen ones.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 05-14-2006 at 08:22 PM.

  6. #6
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    The British yellow pages can be found online at www.yell.com.I had a quick look and couldn't find South Devon Boatbuilders.

  7. #7
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    G'day John.

    South Devon Boatbuilders, Iddesleigh Terrace, Dawlish, Devon.

    I know that much.

    I'm wondering if they are, South Devon Boat Builders? With Boat Builders as two words not just one. I've seen another reference to them as 'Boat Builders'.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 05-15-2006 at 06:55 PM.

  8. #8
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    I looked at yell.com,google,dawlish.net and thompson.All failed to turn up either of the boatbuilding variations.It is possible that they no longer exist but it would take a bit more searching to establish the fact.There are one or two forumites from the West Country who may be better placed to give a definite answer.Have you looked at the RYA dinghy class list?

  9. #9
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    John, I found out about the SDBB on the UK Dinghy Racing Forum and I've had it confirmed by others including Peter Fullagher the last President of the Australian Capital Territory Seafly Association that they are still the builders of Seaflys. I recieved a note from one of the sailors at the Starcross Sailing Club, in South Devon, that they still race Seaflys at Starcross. All of my latest information is about 2 years old, so you could be right.

    Peter Fullagher visited them but he didn't say how long ago. I was talking to him only last week when I asked him about locating plans, he gave me the impression that they the SDBB still exhisted and he did say that they sold plans ... he was surprised that I even knew about them, as we had a few Seafly builders here in OZ.

    John, thankyou Mate, for going to the trouble of trying to locate them, and thanks for the further reference, it is much appreciated. To access the RYA site I need to be a financial member, ... if there are any financial members reading this?

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 05-15-2006 at 07:51 PM.

  10. #10
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    Reuben, there has been a small degree of success. Peter Forster has been kind enough to track down,

    A Seafly handbook.
    A Seafly fitting out and building preparation guide (for the moulds).
    A Seafly Class measurement guide.
    and a blank Seafly Class measurement certificate.

    I will pick these up tomorrow from Peter and I'll let you know if they might be helpful.

    By the way, my Class rules say that I need to see some photos here on this thread firstly, if what Peter Forster has interests you. I've sent a few sets of plans to guys who have done nothing with them, they have not even sent them back. Post some shots.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 06-07-2006 at 03:57 AM.

  11. #11
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    I think I've sailed one of those myself, out of Blairgowrie YC in the 60's. I think it was called 'Roebuck' wonder if it was the same boat.

  12. #12
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    Jeff, I've got access to the complete Class list, thanks to Peter Forster.

    Peter and a friend of his are trying to bring the Seafly list up to date and they are writing a book about the Seafly Class. Do you know the sail number of 'Roebuck'? ... I'm not banking on this being a long shot, I know you have a memory like a steel trap Skipper and I'll give Peter the boat's name tomorrow (with or without 'Roebuck's sail number).

    Peter told me all of my boat's previous names tonight. In the 70's she was called 'Fluke' (for crying out loud), in the 80's she was 'Thorwa' (not much better) in the 90's she was 'Hiedi' ... but this century she is Wild Hiedi.

    'Fluke'? What could have posessed one of the previous owners to call a boat Fluke?
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 06-07-2006 at 04:17 AM.

  13. #13
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    The boat was owned by an older member (then) for his son to sail. Ian something. Don't know the number, I was sailing an XY and a Cherub at the time and only had it out a few times each season.
    White deck and grey interior I think.
    The XY (14ft catamaran) was one of the Cunninghams less successful designs. Always the risk of a pitchpole in a blow. On heavy days I'd walk the beach for a suitable weight girl to lure out as crew. Usually only once!
    Last edited by skuthorp; 06-07-2006 at 05:38 AM.

  14. #14
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    My Boss Tim Phillips told me he was good freinds with Harold Lang and he helped me to try and chase down Harolds old seafly plans through an old employee of Harolds boat shop. However it seems as though they are lost forever as he had no Idea what happend to them. Tim also said that Harold took a few bits and pieces to him when he closed down and there was no information on the seafly with them. I would love to see the Seafly handbook and Seafly fitting out and building preparation guide (for the moulds). I myself have made an attempt at lifting the lines off my own old seafly however I am not totally confident that the transom is correct as my boat has fallen to bits in the whole aft section making it difficult to take any measurements. I am very keen to build a new Seafly and will get some photos of my old one for you Warren.
    Last edited by Reuben; 06-25-2006 at 02:43 AM.

  15. #15
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    Reuben, please do then I'll post what I have and I can do measurements for you off my boat.

    Warren.

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    i cant get my photos file size small enough and clear enough to post?? i have tried to email you my pics.

  17. #17
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    P.S My Seafly's name is "Wildu" sail no. 258 of S.G.Y.C (South Gippsland Yacht Club)
    I once heard of a Seafly named "Thorwa" in Geelong, could this have been your boat?

  18. #18
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    The photos have arrived and they are cool, I think you will like what I will send you, what I have is a bit more detailed than what I wrote above. Sorry to be hard arsed about sending you what I have, but I've had a scammer or two want plans in the past ... send me your address Mate and I'll post you a few good documents.

    Reuben, watch this space later this evening ... your shots are excellent Mate, in the true Seafly spirit. I'm happy to give you as much help as needed.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 07-02-2006 at 01:29 AM.

  19. #19
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    Very impressive resoration job there Warren...I scrolled the screen back and forth a couple of times...before...after...before...after....WOW!

  20. #20
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    Thank you Lazy Jack, Reuben's dinghy willl need a more dedicated attack.

















    I thought there were holes in my boat. I feel I did little after seeing Reuben's boat. Building a new boat could be faster which should be possible with the building instructions and schedule and other bits, that I'll send.

    Your boat was owned by a R. Bresford from, Inverloch in Victoria back in the '70. My boat was owned then by K McDonald from Buleen in Victoria, so I believe.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 07-02-2006 at 05:57 PM.

  21. #21
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    Hi Warren, perhaps you have not got my email. I am still eagerly awaiting your Seafly information as i want to start building. My postal address is Po Box 149 Inverloch Vic.

  22. #22
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    Default Seafly sailing

    Hello all
    I purchased a Harold Lang Seafly about 2 years ago and immediately started racing it in a mixed fleet here in Melbourne. It is a great boat and had been lovingly cared for by the previous owner of 19 years and used for annual family holidays to the Gippsland Lakes.

    My boat is number 220 and called 'Zipper'. It has an original wooden mast and seems not to have been changed since it was built. I have stopped leaks into bouyancy tanks (it can hit big waves hard on a beat) by taping the bottom and replacing the keel batten. Otherwise I have just painted it (not nearly to the same standard as some of the photo's posted!).

    I made contact with the Seafly class captain at Starcross and he sent me a copy of the 1995 UK Seafly class association handbook that is essentially he same as the Australian class handbook from 1976 (a copy came with the boat) but has a section on boat tuning.

    I have met one other Seafly sailor in Melbourne who sails 'Thowra" on Westernport Bay. I have also spoken with Peter Fullagher some time ago and he provided me with very helpful advice in re-fitting a spinnaker to the boat (the previous owner removed all fittings to give to a friend with another Seafly).

    I would be very keen to obtain plans. I had started building a similar sized boat dersigned by John Welsford when I bought the Seafly, but it is such a good boat to sail in all conditions that I would build a new Seafly instead if I had my time over. With the spinnaker up and the crew on trapeze it flies and I have had some lovely days sailing with my 11 and 9 year old daughters on a Sunday afternoon!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Hi, replying to this thread as its from Canberra where I am. I am about to start repairing another Canberra Seafly c1976, made in Canberra by Capitol Industries (from that other wood if you follow), The centre board case has been butchered so Im looking for another Capitol Industried one to take a mold off , any help appreciated. Id also like to know how the restoration is going Reuben? the plans are online now but Id be interested in any other paperwork.
    Last edited by Torana68; 12-17-2021 at 06:42 PM. Reason: added more info

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Did you notice that this thread died a decade and a half ago? It has been years since the posters were active.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Seafly

    yes I did, hopefully the people on it are still around.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Quote Originally Posted by Torana68 View Post
    yes I did, hopefully the people on it are still around.
    I doubt that they will read this thread. Try sending a PM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Hi Torana, good luck with your search. Wild Wassa hasn't posted for four years, though a PM might get him an email notification. Perhaps some of the other leads in this thread will help you. With patience and a little luck I have managed to contact a builder, designer or first owner of several of my boats.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Try this website, they may be able to help https://seaflymemories.uk/

    Nick

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Seafly

    I like the way that hull is built

    I designed something similar.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Thanks for the ideas, Ive PM'd but also going through Canberra Yacht Club to see if I can find the info and guys I need.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Seafly

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Did you notice that this thread died a decade and a half ago? It has been years since the posters were active.
    Hi Seaflyers
    As a lurker on this forum for quite a while, I have enjoyed reading the back story of the Seafly.
    My Seafly, Windana 312, is in a stalled restoration, upside-down in my shed, with most of its outside hull sanded back to ply. Before it was damaged, while in transit storage, I enjoyed the power, stability and responsive feeling while sailing it mostly in local reservoir dams and the Noosa River lakes though occasionally in the protected waters of Gladstone harbour, on the central Queensland coast.
    I am keen to keep this thread alive, to hear from other owners and how they maintain and improve their Seafly.
    I am interested to learn more about the history of my craft, the builder, previous owners, etc.
    Am pretty sure I have the paper plans, used to build Windana, rolled up in a tube somewhere.
    Hope this draws out a few more forum lurkers and Seaflyers.

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