Older Sail Numbers Seem Out of Sequence….!!

In mid March, the FF Blog took a little traffic on the subject of sail numbers on older boats.  This is the main comment that caught my attention:

There does seem to be something wrong with  the early measurement dates. My boat Fflurry II, sail number NZL244, is listed as measured in February 1964 yet Fflurry with sail number GBR267 is listed as May 1958. So what’s the story?

I thought I would ask Adrian Simpson if he could shed any light on it, and this is what he had to say….

I can’t give a definite answer for this case (and I doubt that anyone else can given the passage of time).

There are a number of possible reasons why the dates are so badly out.  The measurement dates relating to the very old boats are all over the place, not sure why.

The three likeliest reasons are :

The original information relating to the boat could be plain wrong.

The sail number could have been one of a block issued, which were used up rather slowly (there is evidence suggesting that this happens elsewhere on the register).

The boat was either measured some time after being built, or was remeasured, and we’ve got the remeasure date.  I note that it is one of a pair of boats (which suggests the above reason is not valid in this case), and they both have the same date.

Sail numbers being used some time after issue was a long standing issue.

When I bought my boat, it didn’t have a measurement certificate.  Being a Storrar & Bax fitted out Ovi, I didn’t worry about it.  The boat had been measured in April 1990 but the original owner had taken the completed measurement forms home and shoved them in a drawer, only unearthing them when he sold the boat to me.  Officially, I had to get the boat re-measured (the rules had changed in the interim).  The certificate when issued said summer 1993 (I forget the exact date).

Now, back in the day that the boat in question was built / measured, the class would have been the National Flying Fifteen, and I think the RYA were responsible for issuing measurement certificates, so it is possible that something similar to my situation occurred, with the added extra of the paperwork doing the trip from New Zealand to RYA HQ (Woking ?) and back.


4 thoughts on “Older Sail Numbers Seem Out of Sequence….!!

  1. This also happened in australia in my early days each state would buy a block of ten numbers from the RYA and issue them two members as required in Oct-Dec 1974 Laurie Bach received a number from the ACT (canberra) 1380 as there no numbers left in victoria Bill Shand and I got our numbers from a new batch from victoria some six weeks later 1663 &1665 This effectivley made 1380 3-4 hears older if you only looked at the sail numbers .

  2. That’s interesting, thanks for the information. I hope to find out more about Fflurry II if I can track down some of her previous owners.

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