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Anything in a Name

Is there anything in a name?  Most marketing people would say that the name is a very important part of the success of any product and yet I have never met a Jollyboat owner who was happy about the name of their pride and joy.

I have heard many suggested reasons for the fall from popularity of the Jollyboat; competition from other classes, the expense of the Fairey boats, the build quality of the Tanzercraft shells, the reputation of being a “real bully-boys” boat, the dislike of the “one-design” aims of the assoc. and countless other reasons.

But my father would have none of it. He sailed J4 Tamarisk originally from the RTYC in Hamble and later in the beautiful waters of the greek isles and he assured me time and again that it was the fault of Fairey for calling it the Jollyboat……It just was not at all cool….not then and not now!

The name Jollyboat was, and is, undeniably associated with both the heavy and slow navy dinghies used to take ship’s crews to their nights out on the tiles, and also the larger Morgan Giles clinker cruising hull of the same name.

So why did Fairey call their new 18ft Uffa Fox designed dinghy the Jollyboat? I just don’t know…..

I do know that Fairey Marine construction plans show the name quite clearly and simply just as “18ft Dinghy” so the name only came into being quite late in the game.

The tradition at Fairey Marine was to name their boats after one of their large range of successful aeroplanes. I always presumed that they stopped this sensible policy because they had run out of good plane names….I mean a dinghy called the “Flycatcher” “Battle” or “Rotodyne/Gyrodyne” were just not going to sell boats……but then I found out that Fairey designed and made a plane called a Barracuda…………Oh if only…… long lean & mean, fast, slightly dangerous……that would of been the name……think of it….

“What do you sail”……. “A Fairey Barracuda”…….YES….now that would be cool, and I bet we would still be seeing them built and sailed around the world.