Spitfire 18


The new 18footer is to be a fast open boat that perform equally well with a family on board cruising in estuary waters or the lakes etc., and if required be exciting and competitive in class racing events.

The requirement is for a boat that can be trailed behind virtually any car and be easily launched and rigged. For both performance and trail-ability light weight is necessary. We have chosen our tried and tested construction system of glass and epoxy sheathed Western Red Cedar planking supported by carefully engineered plywood longitudinal and transverse structure. Being able to optimize each individual component means that there is less redundant material, saving weight and at the same time allowing more weight to be incorporated into the ballast.

Self-draining of the well was seen to be essential as was the ability to self-right from a knock-down. The hull is intended to be unstable when completely inverted encouraging safe recovery from a full capsize. The well is generally some 20mm above the normal waterline. A pair of sumps are formed which have automatic self-drainers fitted. The lifting keel is ballasted to ensure a positive righting moment from beyond 90 degrees which is secured in the down position by a control line.

Seats and under deck lockers are all watertight so that even when completely swamped she will float only 100mm lower than normal.

Our well known (and often copied) arrangement for the outboard engine has been utilized. It is anticipated that a 2.5HP unit will be used which can be easily lifted into the boat and stowed in the dedicated locker.
There is nothing new in the Spitfire rig. All of the ideas have been used successfully before. It is probable, however that all of the elements have never been incorporated into one system.
The mast is as light as a timber spar can be made. A timber mast is also buoyant. The mast can be easily lifted into position by one person with no tackles or risk of damage to boat, mast or personnel. The forestay has the jib furler incorporated. The gaff is curved laminated Silver Spruce – reminiscent of Dutch rigs but it is much longer and is topped up like a gunter rig. The head of the sail is set into a groove in the gaff for a bolt rope. The leech of the sail has a very generous roach which is well battened. Full length battens are fitted in pockets at the foot and in the second reef position. No boom is fitted.

Camping is to be under a purpose made tent that is fitted over the gaff which forms a ridge. All the equipment needed will stow in the lockers under the side benches. There is even a space for a Portapotti!

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HERE for full specifications and HERE for prices.

Check out some footage of the Spitfire 18 on YouTube