Thursday, December 03, 2015

Thunderbird Sloop | The Center for Wooden Boats


THUNDERBIRD SLOOP

The Thunderbird boats were designed by Ben Seaborn and first built by Ed Hoppen at his boatyard in Gig Harbor, WA, the Eddon Boat Company in 1958. The design was drawn as the winning entry to a competition held by the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. It is still an active racing class.

This boat was one of the first amateur built Thunderbirds, built with plans copied from the Eddon boatyard before they were made available by the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. It was originally assigned hull #5, but by the time the boat was launched that number had been used and it was reassigned #60, a number chosen by the builder for the year the boat was launched. The builder was William Turner, who later became the first Fleet Measurer for the Seattle Thunderbird club. The interior of the boat is nearly identical to how the original Eddon Boat Company boats were done.

In the 1980s the boat was modified with an aluminum mast and spade rudder to keep it competitive. The interior arrangement was not changed. The boat was restored in the early 2000s to its arrangement in the 1980s and has been maintained to that period. Since restoration it has won many wooden boat regatta races as well as Thunderbird fleet starts.

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