Spring 2002


Commodore’s Bit
Annual Dinner
AGM Joan Bray
AGM Mike Baker
Aquarius Web Site
Membership Fees
Open Weekend
Fyne Boats
SailBoat 2002
Sunnyside Bridge
Sailing Sec Report 2001
Prizes 2001
Result Summary 2001
RYA Membership
Social & Social Calendar
Sailing Programme Notes
Trivial Pursuit
Working Party

A Fyne Windermere Boat
Another Fyne dinghy you got me into Stanley
A Mighty Fyne SigneT

The latest addition to the SigneT fleet is ST915, as yet unnamed. She was built by Paul and Hugh Stanistreet who are the owners of Fyne Boat Kits at Bowness-on-Windermere. ST915, the prototype for Signet kits, was on our stand at Alexander Palace this year but because only the hull was ready she carried ST369’s standing rigging and ST858’s sails. A good team effort !

Lyn and I spent a few days up at Bowness recently to have a look at the dinghy. Her most notable features were that she is totally sheathed in epoxy and Hugh told me that he only used five screws in the whole construction ! As we arrived she was just about to go into the paint shop. She will have a Marlin blue hull with varnished interior and decking. Hugh had some interesting suggestions re SigneT construction and will be taking these up with the class committee at the earliest opportunity.

Fyne plan to sail ST915 at our 2002 opens and the Rutland Water Nationals so you will have plenty of opportunity to take a look at her. Her helm is likely to be a colleague of Hughs called Paul Taylor. He’s a sailing instructor based at Windermere.

Paul Stanistreet had suggested that I take Over Easy up so they could do some comparisons and take a look at her rigging and Paul Taylor was of course very keen to sail her. Everything started well. Windermere was very high with a fair chop and it was blowing about a four. I put Over Easy through her paces for a while and then handed over to Paul. He had been on the helm only a few minutes when unfortunately the rudder snapped off just below the stock.

Now given the conditions and that we were well out on the lake I might be forgiven for being a little worried. Steve just decided that it was a great opportunity to practice rudderless sailing …. and duly sailed us back to Fyne’s boathouse as if it was nothing out of the ordinary. Yes, he knows what he’s doing !

The Fyne facilities are interesting. They have a boathouse on the edge of the lake at the end of the lane that leads down to the Windermere car ferry. It’s built into the bank with manufacturing facilities for smaller boats above and storage and repair facilities for larger boats underneath, including a slipway straight into the water. In the same area there are other boathouses that specialise in all aspects of wood and glass boat building and repair including paint and varnish shops.

Fyne had some amazing boats underneath including an 1803 Windermere sailing Yawl awaiting restoration. While I talked SigneT’s and Sailboat 2002 with Paul and Hugh, Lyn, bless her little cotton socks, got on with some serious retail therapy in Bowness, Windermere and Hawkshead ! She knows where her priorities lie !

If all goes to plan ST915 will be delivered ‘down South’ a few days before the show together with details about kit prices and build options that Fyne are keen to promote. Hugh was very upbeat about the epoxy sheathing which he was sure would solve many of the maintenance problems associated with wooden boat ownership.

After the show Fyne want to test and fine tune ST915 against other SigneT’s and incorporate that information in subsequent dinghy’s kits. Fyne’s plans for the promotion of the SigneT are enthusiastic and refreshing and could give The Class a fresh lease of life.

Mike (Over Easy) Baker