|Length: 4.27m (14ft)|
|Rig Type: |
Bermuda Sloop Fractional (with jib)
|Sail Area: sq. m|
|Spinnaker Type: |
|Spinnaker Area: |
By Mike Beavis
The Kingfishers underwent only slight modification in their early years, a metal drop-rudder was a great improvement, and the long slender gaff was made thicker (one of the slender originals with a small modification still forms our washing-line prop, and must be one of the strongest and lightest in Suffolk!).
One modification which was never carried out would have been, in my opinion a great improvement, it would have consisted of a triangular canvas foredeck supported on a line from stem head to the mast below the area required by the jib sheets. This would have prevented the bows ‘ploughing-in’ at sea in heavy weather. It would have saved several incidents requiring the attention of the rescue-boat when racing off the tricky Deben entrance. The Kingfisher did not have very pronounced sheer in her deck line, and that was what initiated the occasional ‘ploughing-in’ behaviour at sea. Helmsmen (and women) who did not take risks and hold their boats hard on the wind, avoided the hazard, and also came out dry winners at the finishing line!
Apart from racing, and the DYC arranged a great deal of that for their Kingfisher class, what with ‘evening dinghy’, regatta, and ‘Bawdsey days’, the boats were ideal for picnic expeditions. Their wide stern quarters could provide all the necessary stowage for food and beachwear, all below the long hinged tiller without interference with navigation in any way.
One young lady, still living in the vicinity, identified this property at an early age. She encouraged a party of friends, all with access to Kingfishers, to join in a ‘voyage of discovery’ to Arthur Ransome’s Secret Water – way off Harwich and in past the Pye End buoy – to set up tents on a secret island. The party was a great success, but as far as I know, not repeated.
|No class association known|