Seafly 198 – Firebird

I own Seafly 198. Sadly the keel has not touched water since 1999. The demands of a young family and running my own business, cricket coaching etc, have meant no activity on sailing apart from a bit of J24 work for a number of years.
I bought 198 “Firebird”, the original name, in 1983 when I moved to Christchurch from Herefordshire. At that time the class regularly used to put anything up to 15 boats on the water on a Sunday. I continued to sail at Mudeford up to 1999. In 1991 and I only remember the date because I got married the day after the end of the meet, we held the National Championships at Mudeford during my short career as class captain. I don’t remember the actual numbers but think it was about 30 boats!

It was at that AGM the change in rules to allow 10mm bottoms in wooden boats instead of wooden strips was made, note only to the floor not the side tanks, I did the necessary work shortly afterwards. What an improvement to the stiffness. previously the hull pretty much followed the shape of the waves.

I don’t intend to sell my boat. It is very dry after all these years in a garage. The boys are growing up ,my spell as a colts cricket coach is nearly finished and before I get too decrepit I will be using her to explore Southampton Water, the Solent and anywhere I can safely launch and recover.

Robert Odling,
Colden Common (near Winchester), November 2012