Racing Dinghies

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Spearhead 16

January 3rd, 2008 by neil · 5 Comments

Spearhead 16 – Space Invader

The Spearhead was found on the ukdinghyracing website and was bought sight unseen where a envelope of cash was exchanged for the boat in a Motorway service station on the M4. My boat was number 16. The photos show number 6 – obviously the “1” has fallen off.

Due to having too many boats I needed to make some space so I sold ‘Space Invader’ in early 2004 on eBay.

The Spearhead class dates from the 1980s. Only about 24 were built before the moulds were destroyed by fire. At the same time the designer died so the class had no future, which is a shame as the boat was very advanced for the time.

The hull is built from Kevlar (yes all of it) allowing a thin, light laminate whilst remaining very strong. The rig is supported via a space frame so no rig loads are transferred onto the hull.

As you can see by the photos she has some very distinctive design features, a retrousse stern, a cut-away for the rudder and a slight bulbous bow. It’s been said that she looks like a giant merlin rocket as she is 18’ long with a beam of just over 6’.

The Spearhead is a fast but forgiving dinghy fitted with trapeze and spinnaker. I used her to teach my partner to sail as well as racing her against other performance dinghies (though it looks like the Tideway is beating us here).

Tags: Previous Boats · Spearhead 16

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 S.Penrose // Jun 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for posting the info on the Spearhead(cant say Ive ever heard of it before).I have been trying for ages to find out what boat went with the suit of sails that I discovered in my loft.

  • 2 Bernard // Oct 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Neil, finally got Spearhead on the water (bewl) Sails great even in light winds .

  • 3 Andrew Biller // Jun 7, 2009 at 12:31 am

    For I short while in the 1980s, I sailed Spearheads in one-of-a-kind races with Gareth Griffiths, to promote the class. The look on the faces of Flying Dutchman sailors as they floundered in your wake, was quite something to behold. The idea behind the design was ‘a 505 for lightweight crews’. Hope you enjoyed sailing them as much as we did.

  • 4 Chaz Jordan // Nov 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    It was I that purchased the Spearhead, Sail No. 16 during early 1981 from Tenspar Ltd, Kingswood, Bristol from Tom Griffiths. I was then a member of Bewl Valley SC but I found difficulty is finding a crew so I decided to sail single handed over the course of a morning summer series. There were 12 races, 8 to count and finished 3rd overall. Quite an acheivement as it happens. Finally, my stepson & I won the ‘Murphy Endeavour’ Trophy a 3 race pursuit race event . My only criticism of the boat is that the internal buoyancy bags failed to keep inflated & were a real painto keep full.

    I eventually sold the craft as at the time I had been diagnosed with a rare illness and was notexpected to live more than 4 months. However, modern medicine as it is found a cure and I am alive today (05NOV2011)

  • 5 john thompson // Jan 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    i sailed the prototype at barry yacht club when the designer took it there for sea trials it was very rough outside the breakwaterbut went out on a tremendous reach about half a mile offshore tacked to return and the top pintle sheared off hanging over the transom with me holding the ruder and steering with the crew playing the mainsheet we managed to return into the harbour to the amazement of the spectators when the boat was being taken back it capsised on its trailer crossing the severn bridge

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