I know it’s difficult to believe but an announcement on ebay of the sale of “Dainty Duck” one of the very early flying fifteens has caused a bit of a stir!
The ‘Dainty Duck” is advertised in deepest west wales. Llanfyrnach, Pembrokeshire to be precise.
The reason, well a fully restored version was seen at the Southhampton boat show about 20 years ago, the Welsh version of “Dainty Duck’ is far from restored!
The article can be found here in the Dainty Duck article in the Flying Fifteen Blog.
So how can this be possible? the Welsh version appears to have a very solid provenance.
How can it be the claimed to be “My Dainty Duck” a contempory of the very famous flying fifteen “Cowslip” sailed by Uffa Fox and crewed by Prince Philip and what is to be made of this seeming obsession with farmyard animals.
Dainty Duck – Flying Fifteen prototypes
In 1948 three yachts were built in quick succession at the Medina Yacht Yard at Cowes.
At that times the construction was that the rib timbers, with 50mm spacing, would be be covered by longitudinal planking, which itself was covered by diagonal timbers. The whole construction being held together with copper nails.
For a superb example of a completed restoration see this Dainty Duck contemporary here
Interestingly the original plans of Uffa fox’s design are still available on the Uffa Fox website.
Also revealed on that site is information about the sail plans at the time
Quote “Among the gems are the original 1947 sail plan with the original class name of ‘Dainty Duck’ (sail symbol a pair of ducks)” unquote
So do we have a clue to the apparent mystery?
Well it seems the early name for the entire class was indeed “Dainty Duck” and there seems to me to be no reason why the the boats launched as prototypes in 1948 could easily be considered Dainty Ducks. The logo for the class then was two ducks on the sail in much the same way as the currentmusically inspired logo!
Which leads us into the possibility that there may be yet another “Dainty Duck” out there sitting in a barn, garage or warehouse.
For a bit more on the early Flying Fifteen and Dainty Duck contemporaries there is more here.
So if you know of an old wooden boat somewhere or know more on this topic feel free to add a comment at the end of this article.
By Paul Taylor