Co Cork Ireland|
Fafner (IRL43), a classic Irish Dragon with a unique history and pedigree, winner of the inaugural Dragon Gold Cup in 1937 , has undergone an extensive and loving restoration. Due to the declining health of the owner she is reluctantly available for sale.
The Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club commissioned 3 one-design yachts from the Johannsen shipyard located at the club's marina in Langegrad, Sweden in 1928. The yachts were built after drawings by Johan Aker. The yachts became a very popular class, known as the Dragon; the rest is history.
Fafner (Sail number 43) was built by the same Johannsen shipyard of Langedrag , prior to 1937. In those days there were no road trailer or ferries from Scandanavia to UK. Dragons were shipped by delivering them in the water alongside a freighter who would lift them on board and build a cradle. Fafner undoubtedly was loaded in Gothenberg , off-loaded in the Clyde and towed to a yard for mast stepping and rigging.
She was shipped to race in and eventually won the inaugural Dragon Gold Cup 1937 raced in the Clyde, Scotland (helmsman, Rolf Billner, Sweden) (independently confirmed by Patrick Gifford (British Classic Dragon Assoc.)).
Johannsen went on to be, before and immediately after WW11 , the major builder of Dragons. In the Fall, Winter and Spring of 37/38 he built 13 Dragons that were shipped to Ireland. They were all commissioned in the Spring of 1938 to form the Irish fleet in Belfast. Johannsen is renowned for building fast Dragons and also are easier to restore than post war Dragons; they are all full length planking, no scarfs, no glue, copper riveted frames, keel, floors and horn timber of well aged oak, no risk of rot.
After Fafner won Gold Cup in Clyde, Scotland in 1937, she was likely sold to a UK owner, and then onto the Belfast fleet in Cultra.
Fafner (K143) was a wedding present to Harry Byrne (Cork) in the mid 1950s from his father. Fafner was purchased in the North of Ireland and sailed back via Dublin. She had canvas decks and was Red hull colour (see photo).
Stafford Mansfield (Royal Cork Yacht Club) bought a half share in her in the late 50s (approx. £300 – a lot of money back then).
The photo of her going upwind was when the RCYC class all moved to Kinsale , some time in the late 60's. We believe the person who is hanging over the side is Jim Tingle. Stafford's son, Mark Mansfield (Multi-Olympian sailor representing Ireland) remember's being brought on her and remember the long life beer in the bilge (!)
Harry Byrne moved to Dublin in the late 60’s (and later went on to represent Ireland in the 1972 Olympics sailing Dragons).
Fafner was likely sold to the Kinsale, Cork Dragon fleet in about 1972...
"Fafner" and "Pan" were the inaugural wooden boats of the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club Dragon fleet in 1977. After delighting various local owners, Fafner was left abandoned sometime in the 1990s.
Fafner was pulled out of a field by Donald Street 3rd (DS3), who has a full 18 month boatbuilding apprenticeship at the International School of Boat Building in Lowestoft on his CV. (Donald Street 3rd, is son of the legendary Don Street - Don still races Gypsy, a 1933 Anker and Jensen Dragon, the oldest dragon in the world still racing. Fafner would be the 2nd oldest Dragon in the world still racing)
DS3 replaced the mast step, removed the deck, replaced all deck beams that were the least bit suspicious, laid new plywood deck set in epoxy and also fastened with screws. He installed two full bulkheads, plus half bulkheads.
This enabled him to install tubual chain plates, square studded shrouds, and diagonals down to the mast step.
He installed all the modern below deck gear, shrouds, sheet adjustments etc as seen in the latest dragons. DS3 had additionally removed the bolts holding the head stay plate to the stem, replace with bronze bolts that pass thru a stainless plate that is recessed into the stem. Fafner will have no problem with headstay pulling loose.
All the centerline bolts holding the floors to the fore keel, and horn timber DS3 knocked out and replaced with bronze carriage bolts.
DS3 finished the re-fit just in time to compete in the 60th anniversary of the Gold Cup in Dun Laoighre in 1997.
Over the next few years, DS3 really got Fafner organized and tuned up - proving that in light to moderate conditions she was just as fast as the modern Petticrows. He proved this by racing in the very hot Kinsale dragon fleet.
In 2004 DS3 trailed Gypsy to St Tropez to take part in the 75th Dragon Anniversary Regatta. Fafner was the oldest dragon in the regatta, crewed by DS3, his father Don and his younger brother Mark. There is a great photo of Fafner and crew pg 342 in the magnificent book "75 Years Of Dragons" by Hecht and Halbe.
The present owner bought Fafner in 2010 and carried on the loving and meticulous restoration.
A complete professional refurbishment over 7 years from 2010 at Jim Walsh Boatworks Cork (also a graduate of the International Boat Building school in Lowestoft) was undertaken with no expense spared. The only requirment was that Fafner could be launched each summer to take part in the classic regattas on the South Coast of Ireland.
Fafner is now fully restored to her original condition; work included but not limited to:
New varnished mahogany covering boards and king plank.
New teak decks and coach roof.
New oak frames.
New copper rivets
New mahogany planks as needed
Keel removed and faired.
New keel bolts.
New sitka spruce mast, boom and spinnaker pole. Hollow mast and boom.
Custom classic fittings.
New classic cut mainsail and genoa (UK sailmakers); only used twice.
Other inventory of sails/spars:
4 used Genoa’s
1 used mainsail
3 spinnakers (1 vg condition)
Mahogany boom crutch
Mahogany seat with inlaid teak
Solar powered pump
For the buyer that wishes to race Fafner a Selden aluminum mast & boom is included in the sale.
Indoor stored every winter
|Length over all:||8.89m|
Note: Indicated location is approximate general area only.