Read about the Fairey Atalanta design on this page – brochures, details of the design and also how to get the best from the boat. See brochures and details of the design and also how to get the best from the boat.
You may also enjoy reading more about the Atalanta in these other pages:

Atalanta Register Register and Boat Histories
Atalanta Reference documents AOA Documents & Drawings
Atalantas for sale Atalantas For Sale

Atalantas for sale Original Brochures & Ads

Atalanta 26 (Mk.2) Spec.

  • Length 26ft.
  • Beam 7’9″
  • Draught 1’6″ – 5’9″
  • Freeboard forward 3’2″
  • Freeboard aft 2’6″
  • Headroom under coach roof 5’9″
  • Mainsail 155 sq. ft.
  • Foresail 85 sq. ft.
  • Genoa 115 sq. ft.
  • Most boats have an inboard engine.
  • Twin drop keels each weigh 475lbs (215kg), winched by hand
  • Lifting rudder
  • Displacement 2 tons
  • Sleeps 4 in two cabins, with quarter berths for 2 extra

With her elegant lines, light displacement, lifting keels and rudder the Atalanta 26 clearly demonstrates her dinghy ancestry. Over the years her sailing ability to windward and in strong winds has won high praise and the boats have proved to be utterly trustworthy on the open sea even in Force 8 winds. The retractable twin keels, with a total weight of almost 1000lbs (430kg), provide ample stability to well over 90 degrees of heel.

The hot moulded hull, deck and coachroof of the Atalanta 26’s form a light, strong, homogenous and entirely watertight hulls. These have proven long-lived and are easily repaired by amateurs when required.

The centre cockpit is spacious and adequate for six people. A vertical whipstaff tiller is a novel feature leaving the cockpit unencumbered but hinging forward to allow easy access to the aft cabin.

The ‘go anywhere’ quality of the boat is one of her key features. Fully down the keels give 5ft 9in draught, and fully retracted the boats floats in just 18″ of water. The unique clamping gear on the keels prevented them from moving or working at sea, but does not prevent the keels from kicking up on striking an underwater obstacle or on going aground.

Moreover, at around 2 tonnes many owners trail the boats significant distances in the UK, Europe and the USA, often using the boat as a caravan en route. Atalantas are equally at home at sea and ditch-crawling and can be beached on any reasonable surface.

Click on items in the index below or scroll further down to browse the articles



So what is so special about an Atalanta?

Ereina sailing near the cleddau bridge within Milford Haven[/caption] Well on a practical level it is a combination of the following: Safe at sea, even when the weather deteriorates The ability toRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Dec 1, 1950

The ultra modern 50 year old yacht – a true classic

Although these boats meet the definition of “classic yacht” (designed or built before 1960) they seem to be  too modern for “real” classic boat enthusiasts. They are not made from planks ofRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Nov 1, 1950

The original trailer sailer

The Atalanta is the original trailer sailor. From the very beginning in 1955 owners were regularly trailing them to the south of France for summer holidays. In those days large family carsRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Oct 1, 1950

A Family Boat

Claims that the Atalanta was a suitable boat for families, on account of her roominess and sea-kindly qualities, were soon confirmed by several accounts of cruises in which children accompanied their parents.Read More...
By : meleager | Sep 1, 1950


The Atalanta has always been considered to be a seaworthy vessel. Few trailable 26 footers can claim this distinction. It is a special feature of these boats. Many of the early AOARead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Aug 1, 1950

Sailing Performance

See also the poston Atalanta Handicaps for use when racing Diagram showing likely speeds on different points of sailing Both the Atalanta and the Titania are capable of making swift offshore passages.Read More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Jun 1, 1950

Variable draft

  Sailing with variable draft Atalanta’s can be sailed with the keels lowered or partly raised. It is usual to keep them fully down when offshore to maximise the righting moment. HoweverRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Mar 1, 1950

1964 Atalanta Specification

1964 Atalanta Specification for Atalanta 26   (issued in 1964) STANDARD BOAT: £3,360 Ex Works Hot pressure moulded hull consisting of 4 laminations of 2.5mm Agba on mahogany main frame fitted with bulkheadsRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Jan 20, 1950

Design and Construction


Atalanta Construction

After the Second World War Fairey Marine applied the technology developed to make aircraft to boats. Starting with dinghies such as the Firefly, Swordfish, Albacore, and Falcon they started building the AtalantaRead More...
By : AOA | Dec 1, 1957

Clever Interiors

What sort of accommodation does an Atalanta have? Well if we start at the bow, there is a traditional forward heads. Behind that there is a saloon, with a berth on eachRead More...
By : AOA | Dec 1, 1956

The Forehatch

It Opens aft It is right in the eyes of the boat – so it could hardly open the other way! You can see from the photo how useful it is. SeeRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Nov 1, 1956

Rounded Decks and Coachroof

Three photos of Atalantas follow. Look at them with particular emphasis on the curved decks and coachroofs: There are three elements behind this design feature: Windage Fairey marine always made a bigRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Oct 1, 1956

Strange Bulges on the Bulkhead in the Cockpit

Engine Ventilators I am talking about those blue things mounted either side of the cabin entrance. They are original features of the Atalanta and the Titania. They are common on factory finishedRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Sep 1, 1956

Three-quarter and Masthead Rigs

The standard rig illustrated in Fig. 2 was the so-called three quarter rig when the forestay holding the luff of the foresail was secured approximately threequarters of the way up the mast.Read More...
By : meleager | Aug 1, 1956

Self Righting

Stability The prototype Atalanta is shown in the photo above undergoing a heeling test. While we cannot tell what the righting moment is ( but it looks like the man at theRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Jul 1, 1956

The rudder system

The transom hung rudder is a heavier version of a typical dinghy rudder, with a large lifting blade: This is the rudder on a Titania, but in principal the same as anRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Mar 20, 1956

How the keels work

Retractable keels The Atalanta has a canoe body which has no form of fixed keel what so ever. All of the ballast is contained in lifting keels. Two of them. The unusualRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Mar 1, 1956

Variable draft

  Sailing with variable draft Atalanta’s can be sailed with the keels lowered or partly raised. It is usual to keep them fully down when offshore to maximise the righting moment. HoweverRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Mar 1, 1950



Fairey Marine tenders for Atalantas

There are three Fairey Marine tenders to complement the Atalanta series of yachts. The Dinky This is an 8 ft long dinghy. Constructed in the same way as the Atalanta, hot mouldedRead More...
By : AOA | Feb 14, 2017

Handicaps for racing

Introduction Since the first Atalantas were made they have competed against each other and against other yachts in races. When racing against other classes in races organised outside of the AOA theyRead More...
By : AOA | Dec 9, 1959

Atalanta Sail Handling

General The forehatch is a major safety feature for Atalanta sail handling. This is a feature of both the Atalanta and the Titania. It may be frowned upon by a marine surveyorRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Jun 1, 1957


Original Engines Motoring in most Atalanta’s originally used a Coventry Victor horizontally opposed twin cylinder petrol engines developing 12 or 15 hp depending on model. Titania’s and some Atalanta’s were fitted withRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | May 1, 1957

Guard rails

Do you need them? Well do you? Read the post on handling sails and ropes from the forehatch. Read how you can work the mainsail from the main hatchway. Look at howRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Apr 1, 1957

Raising and Lowering the Mast

A key requirement for any trailer-sailer is that raising and lowering the mast must be simple. And it is with the Atalanta and Titania. The mast Some Atalanta are fitted with alloyRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Feb 25, 1957

An Atalanta as a Caravan en Route

The Atalanta has always been used as a caravan en route to a new cruising ground. The issues you need to be aware of are: Where to spend the night? Camp sitesRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Feb 20, 1957

Atalanta recovery to trailer

  Leave aside the obvious travel hoist or crane option. Basic principles The diagram is based on an original Fairey marine drawing.   The boat and trailer combination were always intended toRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Feb 15, 1957

Launching an Atalanta or Titania

There are really four ways of launching an Atalanta (or a Titania) from its trailer: The travel hoist The easy way is to have it lifted in by travelhoist. It is notRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Feb 10, 1957

Atalanta and Titania towing

Weights The Atalanta and the Titania can be legally towed behind many 4×4 cars. The boat weighs between 2 and 2.5 tons (depending on equipment and fittings). A suitable trailer could weighRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Feb 5, 1957

Drying out

  Where to dry out Atalanta’s were designed to be equally at home sitting on the bottom, anywhere where there is a suitable stretch of ground to sit on. Muddy harbour andRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Jan 1, 1957



Atalanta – more than the sum of her parts?

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 partRead More...
By : AOA | Apr 9, 2022

The Atalanta Concept – Sujanwiz

An ardent admirer of the Firefly was Alan Vines, a senior executive in the Fairey Aviation Company and a keen and almost fanatical sailor. He was very impressed with the seaworthiness ofRead More...
By : meleager | Jun 1, 1952

The Prototype Atalanta

(The photo shows the prototype Atalanta between a production Atalanta on the left and Sujanwiz on the right, Alan Vines concept boat which started it all) On a family visit to UffaRead More...
By : meleager | Apr 1, 1952

Weren’t they dropped from aircraft during the war?

This is a comment that most Atalanta owners will have come accross at some time.It’s usually when you are tied up alongside in a small harbour attracting attention from all the passersRead More...
By : Trevor Thompson | Mar 31, 1952