Mermaids have been a feature of Sea View and Solent waters for over 100 years. Today’s 12 GRP-hulled one-design boats, each painted in a unique colour, continue to look the part as classic, but modern Solent racing keelboats. They are straightforward boats to sail, equipped with up-to-date sails and rigging.
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.
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!
Mermaids have raced at Seaview for over a century, the first fleet of gaff-rigged boats were 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. 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 idea that SVYC 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 the Club is unique in offering a fleet of identical competitive keelboats for racing events.
Throughout the years, the class has been distinctive for retaining its classic design. 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.
“ I have raced in Seaview Mermaids on two occasions and know them to be an exciting and challenging boat for the experienced sailor, whilst providing an excellent platform for training all levels of sailor. ”
Shirley Robertson OBE
Just a quick thank you to you, Nick and all the team for another cracking night/day at SYC on the Mermaids.
Simon Stewart, European Equities
“And there was Jon saying that there haven’t been too many “champagne sailing” days this season……. It couldn’t have been any better for us if we’d tried. Weather was perfect, the Seaview hospitality was as good as ever, the boats were in great condition and the Jenny boats did their thing perfectly. Please pass on my thanks to all the team, I spoke to most of them yesterday but it really wouldn’t be the same without Charlotte helping out with the format change and her front of house team being so attentive, Jon being his usual professional and friendly self and Nick and the team having done such a great job of keeping the boats so well throughout the season and ferrying us about so efficiently. One of our “forever” skippers was stood with me on the Jenny boat on the way back and noted the continued smiles, chat and laughter and said that it really doesn’t get tired does it! On that basis you’d better give me a date for next year and we’ll get it in the diary!! Very best wishes and thanks to you and all the team…”
Mark Vincent – Amiri Construction Ltd