So where exactly did the Summer go? And what is with this gorgeous post-summer Autumn bliss? I spoke to soon.
As the general sailing season reaches its conclusion, we find ourselves as busy as ever, new orders are flowing in and repairs and refurbishments are being booked in left, right and centre. It’s been a busy year, beginning with preparation for another successful RYA Dinghy Show and building new boats for the start of the season.
We set our sights on pushing the Heron this year and having just had a successful National Championships at Welton SC incorporated into a Northern Tri-Series involving Huddersfield and Yeadon Sailing Clubs respectively we are hopeful that 2016 will be a great year for the Heron.
The year has seen us undertake a plethora of work, Mirror’s, Graduate’s, a Dart 16 and a Belton Seabird amongst others, the usual trickle of Streaker repairs and refurbishments have taken us through the Summer months and we are now seeing new orders flooding in for the FRP Streaker.
Having exceeded expectation at this year’s Streaker Nationals, finishing a highly respectable 4th, Dave was again in the mix at the Miracle Nationals finishing a consistent 4th, the Miracle again showing how competitive it can be, some may say it was the ideal dinghy for the husband and wife team looking for exciting weekends away or competing at local clubs, we will certainly be promoting the virtues of the Miracle in the coming months.
The Farr 3.7 has again been in the forefront of our thinking this year, having had a successful demo at Draycote SC back in early Summer, we have now developed a Composite Farr which promises a great deal moving forward, we are adept at developing the composite dinghies, our experience with the Streaker/Miracle and Heron puts us in good stead for the development of the Composite Farr, indeed we already have one in build and are looking forward to what the Farr can do in the coming months, it’s a ‘watch this space’ moment but we hope to have some exciting news shortly!
The Autumn and Winter months will see us undertaking our well known Winter Service, should your dinghy need a little TLC, a full flat down and re-spray or some of those little dinks repairing which you never managed to get round to sorting, we can take care of all your problems, please do get in touch and we can review the needs of your dinghy and make sure you start next season in the best possible condition, by this we mean your boat, unfortunately we are unable to assist with Festive gorging, drinking and/or both plus a little extra, although we could offer a “walk to the workshop and drag your boat back” scheme possibly…..
Now where did I put my Halloween costume……..
As the Summer gets into full swing we find ourselves enjoying a full workshop, we’re under a sustained period of new builds which is igreat along with many refurbishment jobs, n the workshop we currently have a rare Belton Seabird which we are re-decking on behalf of Teamac, our paint suppliers from Hull, we have an Enterprise Sail No. 19091 in for a hull revamp, our recent National Championship winning Streaker 1926 is in for a spruce up before some photo’s are taken and it’s put on our For Sale Page, our Streaker mould is being prepared to have another all wood Streaker built in it, always a pleasure to have an all wood boat under construction.
We are also making preparations for the forthcoming Miracle Nationals to be held at Rutland and the Heron Nationals which will be held for the first time at our local sailing club down at Welton Waters, as part of a tri-series involving Yeadon SC and Huddersfield SC respectively, we are hoping to increase the appeal of the Heron Dinghy and so will be promoting all three events as much as possible.
The Heron really is a super little dinghy and so versatile, if you are interested in giving this most attractive boat a trial or would like to be involved with regard to the Association or future events, please do get in touch, we will be striving to push this fantastic dinghy forward and ensure its sustained within the dinghy classes for years to come.
The recent Streaker Nationals held at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy was an enormous success with 49 boats in attendance from the newest of the new to almost the oldest of the old with Streaker Sail No. 129 competing and it has to be said competing very well, a most impressive event which makes us proud to be one of the main builders of Streakers and testament to the Committee and Class Association for their hard work and effort in making the event so enjoyable for all concerned.
Well what a show!! The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2015 proved to be a magnificent event, the stand was packed for the duration of the weekend with lots of interest in all of the dinghies we build.
The build up and break down of the event is always a long and tiring process, but it is always worth it when you get a nice comment about your boats, an interesting question or even better an order! We pride ourselves on our customer service and after sales care, this tends to set us apart from our larger competitors but getting to meet customers past, present and maybe even future makes the Dinghy Show a real pleasure to take part in.
The Farr 3.7 was a real draw and we were delighted to get interviewed by the RYA specifically with regard to this fantastic single hand trapeze dinghy , as we discussed at the show, the UK Farr 3.7 is in its infancy compared to the more established classes, however, we feel it has a real niche in the market and look forward to getting some more boats out onto the water throughout the season. We already have composite hulls under construction and so the future is bright for this superb little boat.
The Composite Streaker we had on our stand made a real impact, and indeed with the shift firmly towards fibre glass dinghies, it was a pleasure to be able to show off some traditional boat building craft against our competitors, however, we do have to say that our all fibre glass Streaker sat on the Streaker Association Stand had an equally strong impact and look forward to the orders coming in over the next few weeks.
The Fibre Glass Streaker we have designed really takes a bit of beating in terms of its aesthetic appeal and this was confirmed by some highly appreciated comments we received throughout the weekend. With more orders to fulfil we are looking to equal last year’s numbers and indeed exceed them, with the National Event taking place at Weymouth and over 3 days this year, the Streaker is set for a huge 2015 and we’ll be firmly on board for the ride, who wants to join us?
Once again our Composite Miracle had pride of place on the Miracle Association Stand, this is a dinghy which still remains incredibly underrated, it’s a competitively natured is boat, its adaptability as a cruising dinghy is great and as a training dinghy second to none, we are constantly trying to push the virtues of the Miracle as we believe in its quality and remain confident that it has a place amongst the many dinghies present at the show.
Overall, we were delighted with the way the Show played out, we will be looking forward to speaking with potential new customers and 2015 promises to be another superb and exciting year for the team here at Butler Boats – Built for You!
With only a few weeks to go until the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2015, we are nearing completion of current orders, constructed boats for the dinghy show and if you have been following our Facebook Page you'll be aware that our beautiful (if you don't mind me saying!) Composite Streaker is built and awaiting a new fit out courtesy of Ronstan.
The Farr 3.7 is again making an appearance and an impression we hope, our composite Farr hulls are under development and we are looking forward to offering the Farr as a part built kit for the home builder or a fully fitted out ready to race option. Please do drop us an email if you are interested or just intrigued by this great boat.
Dave's Miracle 'Mayhem' 4060 takes pride of place on the Miracle Stand (C52) and we have our FRP Streaker on the Streaker Stand (C66).
Having our own stand is a fantastic opportunity for us to speak with our customers, discuss future projects or developments within the classes we build for and also, as is essential, enables us to promote the good name of Butler Boats to a dedicated and enthusiastic dinghy sailing community.
We're again looking forward to meeting potential new customers, past customers (I'm hoping to convince 'Sparks' to upgrade his Streaker this year!) and anyone else interested in our work and are happy to answer any questions or queries you may have with regard to the dinghies we build, so please do not hesitate to get yourselves down to Stand C56 and meet the Butler Boats Team.
Check out our Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/butlerboats) for up to the minute information and pictures.
Great news regarding the Farr 3.7, we can confirm we have arranged for a Farr Trial Day on either Saturday 31st January 2015 or Sunday 1st February 2015 at Welton Sailing Club. The Farr 3.7 Committee will be in attendance with the latest Farr (Sail No. 405) as well as a couple of other Farr 3.7's. Anyone who is interested please do get in touch.
This is a great chance to test out the Farr 3.7 and it's unique qualities, both ourselves and the committee will be on hand to discuss the boat and answer any questions.
There will be food/beverages available free of charge as well as changing facilities and rescue boat in operation.
As we pass swiftly through the summer months we have seen sales of the new FRP Streaker continue, which is great to see, the Streaker fleet is increasing and people upgrading to the new design is really encouraging going forward.
One of our all wood Streakers has recently found its way down to Chipstead Sailing Club (Sail No. 1896), with a very happy customer looking to get out on the water at every opportunity. The recently developed double floor in the Streaker cockpit floor is proving to be very attractive to our customer base and with the added bonus of being able to retro fit this to older Streakers is a real perk, this means the weight put open the floor is evenly distributed throughout the boat as opposed to battens which ultimately create cracking and irregularities in the hull over time.
With the support of the Streaker Association, we feel we have now reached an optimum level in terms of design, we now think the time is to really push the boat forward with regard to advertising and promotion.
With the Miracle Nationals in Hunstanton next week, preparations are being made to ready the boat, clean the car and pack the bags for what many think will be a hotly contested event this year.
Off the back of a very well attended open meeting at our local club, Welton Sailing Club, there is a real sense of competition and harmony within the Miracle fleet.
The event is taking place from Sunday 17th August to Friday 22nd August. We will have a number of our boats out on the water at the event, FRP, Composite and all wood.
Because of the Miracles’ versatility, we are seeing customers from all areas of sailing showing an interest in the boat, our FRP Miracle will shortly be making its way to South Wales for sailing, cruising and a spot of fishing, with orders for our all wood version being more attractive to the more competitive racing sailor.
Our Composite Miracle ‘Mayhem’ (Sail No. 4060) has been out on the circuit this summer and is proving a competitive boat, with spinnaker bags as opposed to the more conventional spinnaker chute, we are constantly trying new ideas and set ups in order to push the Miracle to its limit.
Updates Summer 2014
As we head into the summer months we are pleased to say we have been busy fulfilling orders, taking new ones and finding a bit of time for some sailing.
We took a lot of positives from the RYA Dinghy Show, it was great to meet more enthusiastic sailors and hear there thoughts and ideas on our boats and products, it was an enjoyable weekend and we look forward to continuing our development throughout 2014.
The Farr 3.7 is almost ready for launch and again the interest in this fantastic new dinghy is high, we are hoping to produce the first composite Farr in coming the months and will do our upmost to keep you updated. Should you have any questions or are interested in the Farr please do get in touch.
Another project now underway is the Butler Boats Blast-a-bout, a self contained two boat transportation trailer, the chassis is under construction and we are currently working on the design and layout of the cab which will be made of the newest and lightest fibre glass materials, the idea was first put made into reality 3 years ago when we decided to construct a timber prototype which we then used to transport a new Miracle and Streaker to the Dinghy Show, it proved invaluable but in practice we were to precise with our measurements and have since been working to construct a more rigid and aesthetically pleasing product. We believe this new innovation will suit many members of the sailing community, there will be no need for three different covers for travelling and storage in dinghy parks, there is also the benefit for those who wish to team up for events, both boats can be towed with only the need for one vehicle.
We'll keep you informed of the developments with regard to the Blast-a-Bout.
Another FRP Streaker has made its way to Pinnel & Bax for the Race Team to compete with around both Northern and Southern circuits.
We've just completed 2 wooden Miracles' complete with a thick floor for extra strength in the hull and look forward to trailing there progress throughout the season. A new FRP Miracle has also just made its way down to Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club to a delighted customer.
The real surprise package this year has been the number of FRP Herons' we have completed, we've recently sent 2 fully rigged and ready to race Herons' to Yeadon Sailing Club for primarily training purposes, we are delighted to confirm we will be partaking in a grand unveiling of the boats in the coming weeks. These two recent orders have meant we have been producing 1 Heron a month which is great news for the class and means the Heron is certainly retaining its attraction as a versatile yet competitive dinghy. We have a fantastic offer in the pipeline regarding the purchase of 2 Heron dinghies saving you or your club at least £1,000, please get in touch for more details.
Farr 3.7 Update: February 2014
Well it's nearly ready for spraying, but what colour will the UK's 1st professionally built Farr 3.7 be??
We know, but you'll just have to find out at this years RYA Dinghy Show!
We've got some exciting and innovative additions to add to the boat when it comes to fitting out, at this point we can't say anymore than that, but we are confident that this unique dinghy will speak for itself with pride of place on our stand at the Dinghy Show.
We're very pleased with the build and are looking to throw another hull into the mould as soon as possible.
Farr 3.7 Update: January 2014
We have now fully decked the Farr 3.7 with added inlays and internal trim running around the inside edge of the side tanks, the boat is looking great and we are looking to construct the gunwhale shortly.
We've had an enormous amount of feedback with regard to colour choices and have, as a result, spent some time looking at the boat trying to envisage what would be best, is there a niche for a classic/modern and unique approach?
You will, unfortunately, have to wait until this years RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace to see the final result! However, we may give you an sneaky peak, it depends on how stressed out we are in the run up to the show!
Should you wish to contact us with your view on colour choices and/or approach please feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org, there is also a forum running on Yachts & Yachting following a similar thread, set up by the UK Farr 3.7 Class Association www.uk3-7class.org.
We're looking forward to seeing at the Dinghy Show!
Farr 3.7 Update:
We have now epoxied all bulkheads, supports and side tanks. We have ensured the centre case is strengthened by the addition of a supporting timber running the length of the case.
During construction we have had the advantage of using our experience of building other boats to ensure we have the stiffest and strongest build without any additional or unwanted weight.
The Farr has come a long way since construction began and with the help of the UK Farr 3.7 committee we feel we have the makings of an excellent and unique new dinghy for the British market.
Butler Boats can offer some images of the first professionally built Farr 3.7 under construction. This will be the first of it's kind in the UK.
We have developed the hull shape and fitted the girder which runs the length of the dinghy with frame work attached either side, we are currently working on the strengthening aspects of the dinghy, all the while, ensuring weight is taken into consideration without compromising the integrity of the boat.
Please keep checking the site for further updates and photographs.
As winter draws near, we find ourselves in the thick of boat repairs, fulfilling new orders and carrying out winter services on a number of dinghies.
Having completed most of our targeted renovations to the workshop, it's great to be getting stuck into some boats, our considered approach to winter servicing means we are currently balancing 3 Streakers at varying levels of refurbishment whilst working on other projects also, busy times!
We are also delighted to confirm that whilst we are still producing our FRP boats we have orders for wooden Streakers and Miracles to complete before the end of the year, busy busy times!!
The Farr 3.7 is also at the forefront of our thinking and we expect to have some substantial updates for you over the coming months, watch this space and please get in touch should you want more information about this exciting new class.
Butler Boats Winter Service
We are happy to carry out a winter service on your dinghy in the coming months, the service consists of stripping and then flatting the decks in preparation for a re-spray. The fittings are then cleaned up and fitted securely back onto your boat.
What better way to start next season than with a gleaming re-finished boat.
We are happy to carry out any additional works or more detailed repairs should your dinghy need that extra little bit of attention.
This service is not just limited to the classes we build so please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
New FRP Streaker
We are pleased to unveil our New FRP Streaker*.
We have taken time to incorporate everything necessary to make this new design as competitive and comfortable as possible.
Noticeable changes include the seamless floor which is a now a very stiff 12mm thick, there is specifically formed block at the aft end of the cockpit floor which enables a 1 or 2 toe strap fit out with the option to add a small aft toe strap.
The gunwhale is now reinforced and has a wing which adds comfort when hiked out.
We have worked tirelessly to make the aesthetics of the boat in keeping with our composite and wooden Streakers, so you will find the curved thwart pleasing to the eye as well as all edges of the side decks are neat and not overly curved, preventing the 'bath-tub' effect!
Overall we are delighted with the outcome and are working hard to fulfil orders, with plenty more new ideas and innovations coming from The Boat House.
*The Streaker seen in the images is our prototype which we have been able to utilise to ensure all new boats are correct and reach the high standard we set here at Butler Boats
Click on image for more.
New Reduced Aft Tank Streaker
We at Butler Boats are delighted to unveil the first ever Composite Streaker with reduced Aft Tank.
Please take some time to view the images and please tell us what you think.
The reduced Aft Tank will enable you to place your boom and sails inside the cockpit with ease and especially for travelling purposes make things a lot easier.
With regard to fitting/adjusting the pintels and gudgeons, they are now within arm’s reach which makes the process a lot better from a boat builders point of view!
The Streaker has a more slender appearance yet holds the integrity of the original design.
Click on image for more.
Having decided to undertake some renovations to the Boathouse, whilst delicately balancing new projects, fulfilling current orders, a new website and getting in some sailing it is safe to say the past few months have been tiring, but ultimately worthwhile.
The Boathouse is a wonderful workshop but it had its limitations regarding space, so we have widened a doorway and made a slope into the other half of the building, sounds dramatic but it hasn’t been to bad to be honest, it is hoped this reconstruction work will help our manoeuvring of boats and increase the efficiency of our small but dedicated team.
We are currently developing the new Streaker with reduced Aft Tank and are really looking forward to the final outcome, we feel the new design keeps the integrity of the Streaker intact whilst taking the class forward also.
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website, which hopefully if you are reading this you will have already taken a look around, please forward any feedback you have to us, we do appreciate it.
We are already preparing for The Dinghy Show 2013 at Alexandra Palace and look forward to enjoying continued successful outings with the Streaker, Miracle and Heron Associations.
With regard to the Farr 3.7 we continue to take steps forward and will endeavour to keep you informed of our progressions with this unique dinghy.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!