History - Class

Line Drawing of an OspreyThe Osprey design was originally penned by the late Ian Proctor in the early 1950’s. It was designed for the Olympic Selection Trials along with several others; two of which became the Flying Dutchman and 505 of today. The Flying Dutchman was chosen after winning the trials. The Tempest Class, another Ian Proctor design, in their class history document makes mention of the Osprey and the IYRU trials.

Osprey’s in the early days often raced with a crew of three, although with introduction of the trapeze, (which was either invented or re-invented for the class depending on who’s memory you believe), the optimum racing crew became two. The class still allow 2 or 3 on board whilst racing and the use of the trapeze, but by only one crew member at a time.

The original design built in so much strength and longevity that this has influenced much in the development of the class. Old boats don’t fade away, but remain competitive as the day they were built for decades. Osprey 242 finished 3rd in the National Championships in 1995, it is acknowledged that the owner had changed the layout from a Mk II to a Mk III.

There have only been three major changes which have taken place were in 1973, 2002 and 2005. In 1973 the Mk III was designed. This removed the rear buoyancy tank; the hull shape being kept the same. The principal reason behind this was to enable a good quality glass reinforced plastic (GRP) boat to be built. The original intention was achieved, the Mk III hull was no faster or lighter; just different.

In 2002 a change to the measurement rules allowed owners to have a half-height front buoyancy tank if they wished.

In 2005 the membership approved the proposals for a new FRP boat put forward by the committee and the new copyright holder. The rework of the FRP design to take into account modern FRP building techniques and knowledge was undertaken by Phil Morrison with support and approval of the Proctor family. Phil Morrison is a well known designer of many of the boats in the RS range and he also worked on the relaunch of the Kestrel class for Hartley Laminates. New moulds have been built for the hull & deck by Ian Teesdale and Kevin Driver, both well known and respected figures in the industry for this mould manufacture. The major changes are :-

  • the transom design with a mini buoyancy tank a la RS400 to stiffen the whole transom
  • the moving aft of the main thwart to give more space for the crew
  • redesigned foreward bulkhead a la standard GRP 505

Although the shape and weight of the hull are strictly controlled, as are the sails. The rig controls are open and over the years travellers, hoops, strops, centre main sheeting and transom sheeting have all be tried, discarded and brought back as fashion changes. Also lower shrouds, mast struts and rams have been used. Many people have individual ideas and if adjustable spreaders work for one but not another, that’s fine.

The Osprey Class today boasts a wide variety of wooden, GRP and a few composite boats, all competing on level terms.

To be competitive it is neither necessary or possible to buy your way to the front of the fleet, unlike many classes where to be in front, it seems you need this year’s latest feature.

This has never and is never likely to be the case in the Osprey Class. But be prepared …

You may be beaten by a boat that’s older than you are!

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any information about the history of the class, e.g. old class magazines, copies of committee meeting minutes, press cuttings, please let our archivist John Rayner know.

Sail Number Issue History

No Handbook Produced
Not Known if Handbook Produced

Where paper copies are available they are gradually being scanned and made available on this web site in PDF format as individual pages. Note - some of the pages are quite large. i.e. over 1 Mbyte. Copies of the Class yearbook and Magazine / Newsletters that have been scanned are linked to directly below and will open in a new browser window or tab depending on how you have your browser set-up.

Handbook Year Highest Sail Number Comments Class Magazines (Known about)
1957 102
1958
1959
1960 150
1961-62 260
1962-63
1963-64 408
1964-65
1965-66 517
1967-68 682
1969
1970
1971
1972 900

July

Editor unknown

1973 940

May

December

Editor Peter Agnew

1974

March

December

Editor John Rayner

1975 1070 969-999 were not issued, started again at 1000 with MkIII layout

April

July

December

Editor John Rayner
1976 1120

July

December

Editor John Rayner
1977 1140

July

December

Editor John Rayner
1978 1165

October

Editor John Rayner

1979 1175

May

Editor John Rayner
1980

February (Newsletter)

April (Newsletter)

Newsheet 1

July (Newsletter)

October (Newsletter)

Editor(s) unknowr
1981

March

July

December

Editor Julian 'Tiger' Bridges

1982

March

November

Editor Julian 'Tiger' Bridges

1983

March

June

December

Editor Julian 'Tiger' Bridges

1984 1214

March

July

October

Editor Dave Norris

1985 January

March

December

Editor Dave Norris

1986 March

July

December

Editor Dave Norris

1987 March

July

Editor Dave Norris

1988 March

July

Editor Dave Norris

1989 March

Editor Dave Norris

July

Editor Lisa Chess

1990

January

March (Newssheet)

July

Editor Lisa Chess

1991

March

Editor Lisa Chess

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1992
March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1993 1279 March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1994 March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1995 March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1996 March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1997 March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1998 March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

1999

March (Broadsheet)

July

December

Editor Terry McDonald

2000

March (Broadsheet)

July

Editor Terry McDonald

2001

January

May (Newssheet)

July (Newssheet)

Editor Graham Mant

2002

January

March

April (Newssheet)

July

December

Editor John Willey

2003

July

December

Editor Dave Metcalfe

2004

July

December

Editor Dave Metcalfe

2005 1301

July

December

Editor  Dave Metcalfe

2006 1317 1304-1309 were not issued, started again at 1310 with MkIV layout. The decision was made to leave a gap to allow for boats rumoured to be in build to be slotted in, Although these boats should already have been issued with a sail number when the building fee was paid.

December

Editor Dave Metcalfe

2007 1335

December

Editor Dave Metcalfe

2008

December

Editor Arthur Butler

2009 1342

December

Editor Arthur Butler

2010

December

Editor Arthur Butler

2011

December

Editor Jerry Dixon

2012 1352

December

Editor Jerry Dixon

2013 1355

December

Editor Jerry Dixon
2014 1356

December

Editor Jerry Dixon
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