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The Mermaids

Boat Specification

The Sea View Mermaid is a 26-foot half-open keelboat, displacing 1.5 tonnes with a bermudan rig and suitable for 2 to 4 crew. She has a mainsail which can be reefed in stronger winds. Two headsails are carried – a jib and a genoa – and spinnakers add excitement when sailing downwind. Buoyancy built into the hulls makes the boats inherently safe. Personal buoyancy aids are on offer from Sea View Yacht Club and the wearing of suitable personal buoyancy is required.

LOA: 7.85m Sail areas –

LWL: 5.34m Main – 13.8 sq.m

Beam: 1.83m Jib – 6.5 sq.m

Draft: 1.04m Genoa – 11.0 sq.m


Mermaid Fleet History

Mermaids have raced at Sea View for over a century, the first fleet of gaff-rigged boats having been built in 1907. These were replaced in 1922 by a more modern Bermudan-rig boat with the design carried out by the famous Captain Alfred Westmacott and eleven of these were built at Woodnutt’s Yard in nearby St. Helens. At the end of the Second World War, a member had the far-reaching idea that Sea View Yacht Club should buy the fleet from the various owners and charter them out to the sailing associations of the returning military forces. Mermaid chartering was born and now, over 60 years later, the Club is close to unique in being able to offer a fleet of identical competitive keelboats for racing events. The charterers today come more from the corporate world than from the services, but the concept has stood the test of time. The boats have since been replaced twice – once in 1962, with hulls in cold-moulded Makore plywood, and more recently, in the late-1990’s, with modern GRP hulls, with the yacht designer David Thomas overseeing the work. Throughout the years, the class has been distinctive for retaining its classic design whilst benefitting from up-to-date construction and fittings. And, above all, is well known throughout south-coast waters as each boat is painted in a different colour and sports a spinnaker to match.

Race Courses & Mark Chart

Sea View Yacht Club uniquely benefits from having its race courses just below the battlements of its clubhouse, so there is no lost time in sailing to the start line, and the spectating is superb. The Club has two fixed start and finish lines or can set up wind-perfect committee-vessel starts. Courses are then set around a network of racing marks. These marks are charted and a copy is shown on the right. Sailors are supplied with a waterproofed copy of this chart to ensure everyone sails the correct course and finds their way home safely – perhaps in victory!