Pegasus 14ft One Design Class Association.
In 1958, the famous dinghy designer, Uffa Fox was asked to design the Pegasus, and was given a brief to:-
"Design the best 14ft water-line dinghy you can. A stable fast thoroughbred, quick to plane and a boat, which does not destroy itself by its own speed when planing. Spare no time or thought to making it the best 14ft dinghy in the world"
Uffa Fox rose to the challenge and the result is the Pegasus, which at the time proved to be one of the best performing dinghies around. Modern designs are now very different in concept, and the high performance ones are certainly capable of speeds unheard of in the early 1960's.
That said, however, the Pegasus is a racing boat in every sense of the word, yet it's ultimate stability built in buoyancy and roominess make it suitable for family cruising as well.
The boat has beautiful lines with a true round bilge hull. It has a water-line length of 14 ft, although she is 14ft 6in overall.
This places her half way between two other "Uffa" designs: the highly successful 'Firefly' and the 'Swordfish' on which the Albacore was based.
Obviously hull shape was of paramount importance and Uffa, working on familiar lines, produced a superb sea boat with a deep Vee entry sweeping out to a good flat run. This is an ideal combination, producing a boat that can be driven well to windward with the bow down, and yet on a reach can be lifted out to a plane.
Good integral buoyancy was felt to be another essential and hence the boat was designed with a tank under the foredeck and tanks along each gunwale forming two broad and comfortable side decks. She does not come up from a capsize dry like modern self-draining designs, but water is soon cleared via the self bailers and transom flaps.
Attention is drawn to the sail plan. Here three factors are to be considered. First, to be a good racing dinghy the boat should have a full compliment of sails. Main, Genoa, and spinnaker, secondly, the sails should be as large as the boat can comfortably carry, and thirdly the boom kept as high enough to make taking and gibing comfortable.
The result of designing to these criteria is a main of 81sq. ft, and a genoa of 56sq.ft giving a sail area of 137 sq.ft. In addition there is a small jib of 33sq.ft., for cruising or single handed sailing.
In choosing a spinnaker, Uffa selected the largest sensible size of 180sq.ft. spinnaker cut for reaching.
The boat is of a one design formula, though the building tolerances are greater than mass produced one designs to allow for minor inaccuracies under self built route.
The Pegasus was originally designed as the first round bilge boat for home construction, from kits supplied by Bell Woodworking. In the mid 1960's these were phased out, as composite (wood & glassfibre) boats were built, followed ultimately by all glass-fibre boats.
Production eventually ceased in 1971. The Pegasus Class has always been small, with only 250 boats officially registered.
Their age and small numbers now make them somewhat of a Classic.
Three years ago the Class Association was revived and the where abouts of the surviving boats on the market they represent excellent value for money.
At present talks are underway with boat builders for new all wood Pegasus.