Seafly 69 – Goldcrest
Tim Hoyle writes:
“In the 80s and 90s I initially owned C69 from 1984. I bought her from Peter Jones (C645) and she was an old wooden boat which had been rebuilt and lightened by father and son, John and Alastair MacPherson (C636) who lived in Barton St. David and raced at Highcliffe SC. I enjoyed racing C69 with various crews until my son was old/big enough to crew for me in about 1986. The foredeck on C69 was replaced after I let the mast fall down and the new deck was lower to meet the recently revised rules and had no washboard.
“In late 1987, after the Great Storm which wrote off some Seaflys at Seasalter SC in Kent, I agreed to buy C649, a new foam core sandwich construction, from the builder Colin May for £2,600. Although C69 was on the HSC dinghy park during the storm she was undamaged in the chaos apart from a snapped forestay but we had to lift her out over other piled up boats; I sold C69 because I felt that I had done as well as I could in racing her but she was too heavy and I was always overtaken on the run. She was sold to Alison and Richard Jefferies of HSC.”
John Foskett continues:
“In late 1992 I was looking for another Seafly which was lighter than [the boat I was then sailing,] 378 and found 69 advertised in the local paper. It was in a sorry state having been left out in the rain and only partly covered. However I bought it and later discovered its history as described by Tim which made the boat that much more interesting.
“I did quite a bit of work on her, including: bouyancy recovering, painting hull, etc., then having her measured. She was then ready for the 1993 Nationals at Highcliffe SC where the boat sailed OK, but not the helm! She was then sailed quite regularly especially during the winter series at Lymington Town YC. I bought a second more flexible mast and some experimental sails from the previous owner John McPherson. The last time she was used competitively was at the 1996 Nationals at Starcross where she suffered water ingress via the hog, and half way through the last race we were paddling!
“I intended to renew the flooring with a second layer of ply, but then the Seafly Association folded and reluctantly so did my interest. No 69 was then put in essentially dry storage until 2017 when space was urgently needed. I was happy to give her to an enthusiast to refurbish as she had stored very well with virtually no deterioration. I offered her to Highcliffe SC, but no takers!
“Then I discovered “Seaflys Memories” and what luck. Peter announced that I was offering her ‘to an enthusiast’ and what joy when the response was immediate from Luke at Blakeney. He arrived with his grandfather the next day and off she “sailed” up the M3 to a new 3rd life which I am sure will be successful. Watch out No. 477!”