Late 1970s Restoration for A124 Helene by Godfrey Holter

The following paper was conceived in the cabin of an Atalanta during the East Coast Cruise in 2021. New owner Jim Sumberg was reviewing the innovations within the Atalanta and its part in commercial and social development after the war. As part of celebrating the life and works of Uffa Fox this year the ideas have been developed.

Seventy years ago Fairey Marine built an experimental 20’ sailing cruiser by extending an Uffa Fox Swordfish dinghy. With a centre cockpit and twin lifting ballast keels, Sujanwiz proved the concept of a lightweight, ballasted cruising boat based on a dinghy hull form. Three years later Uffa developed the idea further in his design for the Atalanta. Fairey advertised it as the “most versatile, tractable, roomy cruiser afloat”.
This new paper considers the innovative aspects in the Atalanta design and argues that the boat’s special place in UK yachting history owes as much (if not more) to the way that a number of pre-existing design ideas and engineering advances were brought together than to innovations that were altogether new.

We hope you enjoy reading the paper. Please do provide the authors with feedback if you wish.

One thought on “Atalanta – more than the sum of her parts?

  1. Nick/Jim,

    Pretty much the only comment to make is “why didn’t anyone do this before?”. It seems there is nothing quite as good as a fresh pair of eyes and the paper does a great job of explaining just how far reaching was the concept and design.

    Beautifully put togther – well done!

    And slightly tongue in cheek – I doubt there will be too many comments; after all what is there to disagree with?

    Many thanks to you both.


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