The Seafly is a one-design dinghy developed around 1960 by Stan Herbert from the original design by J.Kelley. Originally built by South Devon Boat Builders as a larger version of the Mayfly dinghy, it has a single chine hull with the chine upswept to the bow. For racing, the Seafly dinghy is a fast, two person non-trapeze dinghy, which is well balanced on the tiller and very fast to plane on a reach. The performance is especially good in stronger winds and rougher sea conditions when gybing still remains an easy operation. The Seafly dinghy carries a large (12.54 sq.m) running spinnaker, and an alternative smaller reaching spinnaker is available.
Faster and lighter in weight than a Wayfarer, the Seafly is an excellent cruising boat which will easily accommodate 4 people. Light handling and high stability means that the Seafly is also an excellent training dinghy, while the ample beam aids single-handed sailing using both main and jib sails.
Until the late 1980’s the Seafly was built under license in the UK, Northern Ireland, and Australia and fleets of Seafly dinghies were raced at a number of UK clubs, such as Starcross Yacht Club and Highcliffe Sailing Club (UK) and Canberra Yacht Club (Australia). However issues over the design ownership led to the class declining during the 1990’s. Today there are still a number of Seaflys sailing at Clubs such as Blakeney Sailing Club and Newcastle Yacht Club (N.I.), and Seaflys are still sort after as cruising or family boats. Indeed, recently there has been a move to revive the class, new Seaflys are now being built in the Lake District.