The Sandhopper, designed some 30 years ago by Oliver Lee, still offers excellent sailing and is currently the largest One Design fleet on the Thames Estuary providing:
Racing with crew of two or three.
Leisure sailing with the family.
Bilge keel hull design for drying moorings.
All at a very affordable cost and low maintenance.
The Class Association was reformed in 1997 as the Sandhopper Class British Association following a resurgence of interest in the Class and a strong desire of the owners of the original 40 boats to protect the One Design status.
The Sandhopper is the shallow draft version of the Squib Keelboat. She has the same delightful handling qualities as the Squib, being feather light on the helm at all times and has the added advantage of being able to lay safely on exposed moorings which dry out at low tide, with its lower draft and GRP twin bilge keels.
The underwater lines of the hull are as fine as possible to give good performance in light airs and the sections above the water line are flared out to a generous beam of 1.87m (6’2″) combined with a ballast ratio of 55 gives ample stability and power to carry full sail in the strongest of winds.
The mast can be stepped and rigged by two persons without crane aid and with an all up weight of around 740kg. Can be easily towed behind the average family car.
A new boat costs around £12000 in full racing rig and an older second hand boat from about £2500 although these rarely remain on the market for long.