The Silhouette was introduced in 1955 and ceased production in 1972. It was designed by Robert Tucker originally at 16’0 (4.92m) for home building (MkI) and then increased to 17’3 (5.30m) loa (MkII) and put into production by George Hurley (A G Hurley Marine) as a trailer sailer in plywood and later in grp. Three further Mks followed built mostly by Hurleys but other by builders too. About 500 boats of various marks are still sailing, most popular being the SII’s and SIII’s.
Silhouette Mk1: 16’0 (4.92m) loa in plywood, (designed to come out of two eight by five sheets), only a handful , home built as intended. Did not have the wavey sheer characteristic of the later boats.
Silhouette Mk11: 17’3 (5.30m) loa about 2200 built by Hurley Marine. Mostly in plywod some later ones in grp.
Silhouette Mk111: 315 boats built nearly all by Hurley in GRP but see MkIV
Silhouette MkIV: 15 boats fitted out by another company with two 1/4 berths and no forward window. In effect a modified MkIII. Gel coat in pale green – slightly confusing because some of the MkIIIs were also in this colour.
Silhouette Mk V: 30 boats built in grp by various builders including Russell Curnow in Cornwall. Topside increased by about 3″ to provide extra headroom. One boat built by Varne Yachts No 3030
About 500 boats of various marks are still sailing, most popular being the SII’s and SIII’s.
Go Sail would like to thanks Charles Smith, the Editor of TradBoat (www.tradboat.co.uk) for providing this information. Visit his website for information about traditional and classic boats worldwide