Classic Finns – Hulls

Hulls

Fairey Marine started producing Finns in about 1955 and produced over 100until production ceased in 1963/4. They were usually built of three diagonal layers of birch veneers and baked in an oven to set the glue. The hulls were very resistant to rotting and so quite a few survive. Fairey also made rolled side tanks by the same process but also many bare hulls were sold to other builders or amateurs so there are some variations in deck and tank arrangements.Some of these others have buoyancy bags, others built in tanks. Also some hulls were finished and registered long after Fairey ceased production.

Fairey Finn

Elvestrom Finns were among the first glass-fibre Finns and quite a few were imported into the UK in the 60s. They were originally very competitive and remained successful at club level well into the 70s.

Pearson were the ‘bread and butter’ builder of glass fibre club level Finns from 1962 until they stopped building Finns, with their last being about 1973. Never really considered by the Olympic aspirants they never the less were a reliable and popular club racing dinghy. Most had built in side tanks with a few variations in deck and tank arrangements over the years. During the late 60s and early 70s a fleet of Pearson Finns were used by Dunhill for the popular Finn Finder events, aiming to recognise emerging talent from club racers.

Pearson Finn

Tiptree Marine in Tiptree, Essex built several glass fibre Finns between 1967 and 1969 alongside Flying Dutchman. They had small side tanks built in and were probably never as good as the Pearson Finns, mainly due to being too heavy in the bows resulting in a lot of pitching in chop. They only sold to club sailors.

Tiptree Finn

Butler built a few Finns in 1967 and 1968 but never in large numbers. They were similar to the Pearson Finns but probably slightly more competitive, again at club level.

Peter Taylor at Salcombe produced very good wooden Finns and was the first to produce a double bottomed Finn in 1972. Taylor glass fibre Finns were very successful, dominating the 1976 Gold Cup and world competition accounting for almost all Finns registered in Britain from 1979 until 1993.

In East Germany Mader made wooden Finns for many years but by supplying the glass fibre Finns for the 1972 Olympics became quite popular for a while, with several being imported to the UK.

Vanguard Finns were produced by the Harken brothers, initially with wooden floors and then with double bottoms. Several designs were produced, all more successful than the previous but the boundaries were blurred by conversion kits to update earlier boats. Many Vanguard Finns were imported to the UK since they were the dominant builder for many years. Vanguards also seem to have also started the trend for Finns to be re-registered in several different countries as they changed hands.

In 1993 Devoti Finns ended the domination of Vanguard and took over until very recently when again, for the first time in very many years competitive Finns are available from a number of builders

In addition to these boats in the UK several Finns were built by well known dinghy builders and through the years small numbers of boats have been imported from well known builders world wide.