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    I recently saw sail numbers 1 and 2 – which turned out to be on MK2 GRP boats in Plymouth. This would suggest the numbers are not the real boat identities 😉

    It just made me wonder what is the oldest Wayfarer still in the water… Anyone here under 100?




    I have seen Wayfarer number 1 which is a woodie that is over 50 years old and usually does very well in Portishead sailing club’s annual ‘Pill’ race which I’ve entered in my boat W3731 several times. I’d better not name the owner as I don’t think he posts here, without mentioning it to him first!

    Recently saw some ex-scout boats advertised which are also old GRP boats (not sure if MKI or II) with similarly low sail numbers, probably just numbers in their fleet?

    Glad the forum is back up again!



    Ooo that is interesting. The guys in Plymouth said that he, or possibly his Dad, had been down with it some time back. I would like to see it, although I am not sure why.

    I am impressed by how well they last. While ‘Arboreal’ has had a good number of bits changed, the hull (and mast of course – now ready for collection and back in one piece) is still the original 1962 wood. I may have to replace the Transom next winter though by the look of things, and then there is that leaking centre box…



    Hey! I lay claim to the oldest and truest Wayfarer, a sail number alone is not good criteria as I can bet it will have modern fittings and aluminium.
    Our Andiamo (boat name) is W429. I would suggest this boat story is extraordinary, as not only is the chine hull and decks original, but so is the boom, the mast, rudder – and of course their associated fittings. The shrouds and halyards are of course replaced (they wear out). But wait! we sail with the original sails, we don’t have any others. They each bear the certification signature of a Mr Arden and the date 31/5/1961.
    We also know the original owners who placed the order with Smallcraft in 1960, for family cruising just as we do now. Their kids grew up in the boat as have our own. They spotted our conspicuous sail colours (blue genoa and yellow main) using binoculars from their retirement beach hut on Lee-on-Solent foreshore a few years ago. We arranged to meet and now regularly anchor off and wade ashore for a cuppa. We are planning a birthday party of course!

    At 50 this has to be the oldest, truest wayfarer, unless you know different?


    Hmmm, what about W48?


    W28 was sailing around the Isle of Wight with us this last weekend.


    W48 (Frank Dye) and sighting of W28 noted. There should still be a good few wayfarers between W1 and our W429 about, but I stand by my claim of “oldest and truest”. I very much doubt W28 sported the original wooden mast & boom, and venture to suggest it extremely unlikely it was powered by the original sails. W28 please come in and give us your status.

    No disrespect to the great Frank Dye but I wish to eliminate the W48 claim on the basis that the museum informs me it was last in the water in 1977! “Oldest and truest” were terms chosen to highlight criteria that all endurable parts are original and still in-service. By the way, my sail battens are also original! Someone give me a challenge.


    Thanks for all the interesting feedback. Arboreal, at 49, is quite the youngster then 🙂 .

    She too was made by Small Craft. I wonder how long they thought they would last….? Not 50 years I suspect. I am just about to rig the boat with the repaired wooden mast and new rigging. In general, she is quite original, although the deck has been replaced at some point. She could do with a new transom as the top edge is opening, and, of course, the centre box leaks…. I think we have the original main, but she came with almost new replacements.




    I have just read some of the old posts regarding old Wayfarers. I bought W28 ‘Chreselen’ in 2005, from the Ex-Commadore of Langstone Sailing Club. Racing at Federation Week at HISC one year I had a few people come up to me and said they had owned or had sailed W28 many years ago. ‘Chreselen’ is kept at Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club (ESSC) along side ‘Greyed One’ Number 36. I have sailed some winter series, but time ran out this year, ‘Chreselen’ always kept first option of the garage in the winter, although I kept an old wooden Albacore outside for many years, so it can be done. During the 1980’s ESSC had a good Wayfarer fleet with the Porter Brothers, Roger Shepard in 1020, later owned by Dan Wealthy.

    As far as owning an old woodie, I am still trying to find the time to do a repaint.The paint pots are still un-opend. When I bought ‘Chreselen’ I had to repair a hole. So I needed to do a repaint. I wish however that I had sprayed the paint, as I can still see brush marks. The last paint job was done by Porters I guess @ 1990 and must have been sprayed. I use Chreselen for Racing and Cruising so I try to be careful in drying out with preserving the Dark Blue paintwork. The Epoxied deck has been replaced at least twice, and since I was too harsh on the sanding it should be ready re-decked again perhaps when I retire. I touch-up the varnish every two years. The sails are 1998 Mac’s which my very kind sail maker (Adrian at Arun) has finally said should be replaced. I might be embarrassed attending the Nationals with reefing points, so if anyone has a good used set of sails, I would be interested. The alloy spars keep going, and most of the racing controls are quite functional. A good racing spec is very good for cruising. We should have reefed coming back up the Solent last year, but we could just flatten everything down and kept going. I believe that the boat when sailing across Chichester Bar, cruising or surfing, should be as robust as possible, Wood is nice but there has to be an element of strength and reliability. One item that I intend to get and Ralph did promise at the 50th Year celebrations! was a fore-stay spreader to stop the furling gear jamming around the fore-stay. I use the same centreboard for racing and cruising, I have never used the ‘good spare’ I do swap between a shallow rudder and a deep ruder for racing. In the warm April in 2011, I did spend the night at East Head with Claudia. The standard boat cover which I have used a couple of times to sleep under works fine – when there is no rain. Perhaps I will buy a proper tent this year.

    I still think that the Wayfarer is one of the best teaching boats, its robust, simple to rig and handles very predictably. I’m glad ESSC bought a new Wayfarer as part of the rolling teaching boat programme. I look forward to the first sail of the season, and thanks to the association for putting on such a varied programme. I have a list of people who want to do the wayfarer round the Island cruise and now that the children are growing up, I might find time to do some more racing.

    While I have put pen to paper, if there any youngsters who might want to do their Duke of Edinburgh award sailing, my Daughter, Claudia is considering a trip, possibly this summer, maybe next would be interested to hear from you.

    I hope everyone has a good sailing season for 2012. See you on the water.

    W28 ‘Chreselen’

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