Seafly 229

Seafly 229 is unfortunately no longer with us. It was owned for many years by Arthur Garry, from Exeter, and part of the Starcross SC fleet. A number of members of the family sailed her over the years, and got great satisfaction from doing so. For a good number of years the hull was bright orange, and I’m sure that there will be a number of photographs in the Starcross records of 229 in action. It’s most notable skipper will be my younger brother, Richard (Dick) Garry, who has just recently won the Hornet European Championships. and he did some of hie early sailing in 229 before also going on to sail Larks and Lasers, and more recently the Hornet.

The boat was kept at Starcross all year round, but one of the disadvantages there was that the storage areas were grass rather than concrete, so the water in winter months tended to pond around and under the stern, even when supported above the ground, and partly as a result of this, the condition of the hull deteriorated, as it was an all timber boat.

In 1990, I moved to Ireland with my family, and as 229 was not being used, a couple of years later, we brought 229 to Dublin with a view to restoring her. Unfortunately, when we got into finding out what needed doing, we found that the work that would be needed to make the boat seaworthy again was beyond reasonable, as not only had the hull ply rotted badly, but there was also significant damage to the keel timbers and the area around the mast step base. Part of the problem was that the keel had been made wider by the use of ply, and this had held the water and delaminated especially in the area of the centre board casing. We were also aware that there was some softening of the timbers under the side tanks, as one of the mast shrouds had pulled out of the deck a few years earlier during a strong blow.

I was talking with my brother earlier this evening, which is what promoted this “Seafly Memory”, and apparently, 229 was one of the first kit boats made, and one of the variances that happened as a result of this was that 229 was fitted with a centre main sheet rather than the more normal transom mounted position, which attracted more than a little attention at Starcross when my father took the boat there after buying it in Poole. At the time, the original builder of the Seafly, Stan Herbert, of South Devon Boatbuilders, was an active member, and there was a good size fleet of Seafly boats, both all timber and mixed composite and ply. As far as I can remember and it was some time ago, there were no all fibreglass boats at that stage, although I think some came later.

Steve Garry, 14th August 2010