Aldeburgh Yacht Club

Classes We Sail


Description 3 person keelboat
Class status International
Length 8.7 m
Displacement 1650 kg
Sail area mainsail 16 sq m
Sail area jib 11.7 sq m
Sail area spinnaker 23.6 sq m
Aldeburgh handicap 1018
Number of boats in fleet 11
Fleet captain Tim Hannon
Class association website Website

Dragons at Aldeburgh 

There has been a Dragon fleet at Aldeburgh for over 50 years. There is currently a fleet of around 11 Dragons.

The standard is high – among them are Rory Bowman (4 times winner of the National Championship), Richard Gillingham (twice second in the National Championship) and Patrick Gifford (placed in the Gold Cup and winner of the East Coast Championship). This enables all competitors to sharpen their skills, and ensures that there is a great deal of expertise available.

We also have within the fleet Peter Wilson, who has built many Dragons and Mike Hayles, a member of the IDA Technical Committee. Both are well placed to advise on technical issues.

There is club racing every weekend from April through to early December.

The Aldeburgh Regatta takes place in mid-August and provides class racing in the mornings and handicap racing in the afternoons. Visitors are extremely welcome.


Description 2 / 3 person keelboat
Class status International
Length 5.8 m
Displacement 280 kg
Sail area mainsail and jib 19.7 sq m
Sail area spinnaker 29 sq m
Aldeburgh handicap 913
Number of boats in fleet 7
Fleet captain Alex Cooper
Class association website Website

K6 at Aldeburgh

The K6 is an asymmetric lifting keel boat with a dinghy feel. The advantage is you are not going for a swim in strong winds as it self rights after a broach!

The boat can be sailed with one or two crew, one for club sailing. Sheet loads are easily manageable for a person of average fitness.

Upwind racing is close in the fleet with decent downwind speeds up to 17 kn in a breeze. Most Saturdays will see 3-4 boats on the water in the season and usually full attendance at Regatta Week. In addition the National association has a series of UK opens and one European excursion every two years. Aldeburgh boats are in attendance at all of these. We host an open every two years.

We are a sociable crowd and welcome newcomers and anyone interested in a trial session. 
This is a boat which is enormous fun to sail, second hand examples are not expensive and maintenance is low! To read a review of the K6, click here, or click on the K6 website above.

A Youtube clip of the K6 sailing is below.

Loch Long One Design

Description Wooden, sloop rigged keelboat
Designed by James Croll, 1937
Aldeburgh Handicap 1081 (1066 with Spinnaker)
Number of boats in fleet 63
Length 21ft (6.4m)
Beam 6ft (1.8m)
Draft 3ft (0.9m)
Displacement 750 kg
Sail area main 14 sq m
Sail area jib 4 sq m
Sail area spinnaker 17 sq m
Fleet captain Patrick Hill

Loch Longs at Aldeburgh

The Long Loch One Design (LLOD) is a timeless classic. The elegant 21ft all-wood Loch Long is easy to sail, but hard to sail really well. This racing keelboat is enjoying a terrific resurgence at Aldeburgh, attracting enthusiasts from all over East Anglia and beyond. It is ideally suited to the River Alde, as it can be sailed by one, two or three people over a wide range of weather conditions—from tranquil Wednesday evenings to blustery Force Fives and beyond.

The Loch Longs at AYC are one of the most vibrant classic racing fleets in the UK. The success of the class is largely due to the LLOD Class Rules which limit development, preserving the charm of these wooden boats while keeping down ownership costs. This is the antithesis of ‘wallet sailing’ development classes where the richest sailor wins. You can pick up a bargain-priced 70 year old beauty to restore yourself, choose a mid-numbered boat with a proven racing pedigree, or commission a brand new vessel from one of two local yards still building Loch Longs.

The fleet is known for its camaraderie, enjoying many social events during the season: yet on the water the racing is keenly competitive. There is not a great deal of boat speed difference between the low and high numbers, which places the emphasis on the skill of the helm and crew, and their knowledge of the local conditions. Timing the perfect start with a strong tide running, or short-tacking among the moorings in close company with a dozen other boats of identical speed, requires expert skill and judgement!

If silverware is what you’re after, there are over 60 race starts available to Loch Long sailors between April and December, including the annual Summer Regatta which features morning and afternoon series of intense competition. It is not unusual to see over twenty-five Loch Longs on the start line. We have our own Saturday afternoon and Wednesday evening series starts, along with numerous spinnaker-optional Cup races, a pursuit race, and singlehanded and crew races. Some courses send us up to picturesque Iken, or down past Orford Castle and around the nature reserve at Havergate Island.

The meandering Alde provides uniquely challenging racing. The river offers steady and unobstructed winds from the North Sea and over the marshes to the West, and generally flat water—though when wind is against tide and the chop kicks in, the Loch Longs are more than equal to it. In light winds the Loch Long is responsive and comfortable to sail, yet in a blow this is a remarkably sturdy boat, designed as it was for the Atlantic storms and swells in the Firth of Clyde. Currents on the Alde and Ore are strong, and the best route through the crowded moorings at Slaughden is not always obvious. A canny helmsman can coax the Loch Long (with her 2’9” draft) into the shallow reaches of the river to exploit secret eddies and cheat the adverse currents; but venture too close and you’ll end up on the mud. (Get out and push yourself off, you’ll soon rejoin the race!) At high tide, a large expanse of open water up river at Blackheath allows for exciting windward/leeward or triangular courses with a committee boat start.

The Loch Long One design class is now well into its 8th decade. The class has been widely reported in publications such as Yachts and Yachting and Classic Boat. Aldeburgh Yacht Club now has the largest single fleet of Loch Longs anywhere and its popularity continues to grow, as do the links between the East Anglian club and those at Cove SC and the other clubs we visit. The last few years have seen anything up to ten Loch Longs being towed over 450 miles to Scotland to compete in the annual Loch Long week, an event contested almost as fiercely in the bars of Cove and Kilcreggan as on the water. As the fleet in Aldeburgh grows it has become usual to hold the event at AYC every three years and representation from Scotland has been excellent every time.

Recent years have also seen road trips for the fleet from AYC to Cowes Classic Week, the Gulf of Morbihan and Douarnenez in Brittany, Lake Como in northern Italy and the Atlantic coast of North West Spain. Sailors help each other launch and crane out boats and Loch Longs often travel in convoy.  The Loch Long can be towed behind a medium sized family car, or a small 4X4.

Its classic lines, seaworthiness and above all the love and dedication it instils into its owners has made this small yacht an enduring tradition on the Clyde, and now in Suffolk.

Loch Long History

The first five Loch Longs were presented to the world on George VI’s Coronation Day, Wednesday May 12th 1937. They were built from oregon pine on elm timbers by Robert Colquhoun of Dunoon and proved to be a star attraction at the Cove and Kilcreggan regatta organised to honour the new king. 

At a cost of £66 they were in the league of a sailor on the tightest of budgets, the same holds true today with rules that strictly limit expenditure and rigging variations, perhaps one, but certainly not the only reason that the Loch Long has thrived for so long and still competes in races on the Clyde and also at Aldeburgh in Suffolk. The origins of the first design can be traced back to 1936, when the Loch Long Sailing Club looked for a one design to replace their fleet of handicap dinghies. A Mr Ian D. Campbell came back from Scandinavia with a likely candidate in mind, the Stjarnbat, designed by Janne Jacobsson sometime before the First World War.

However, the craft wasn’t deemed suitable until James Croll had worked on the plans and came up with the first design Loch Long. Colquhoun of Dunoon was commissioned to supply the first five boats with Croll providing all the finance.

2012 saw the 75th anniversary of the Loch Long and the celebrations were exceptional. Sail-pasts took place on the Clyde and at Aldeburgh and even the Queen Victoria Cup (courtesy of RLYC) was raced for at Cowes Classic Week. [See the video of the 75th year sailpast celebrations.]

If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating vessel and its history there are three books available:-

Loch Longs – The First 50 Years
Researched by John Mcmurtrie, edited by Ruth Wishart – Price £10 from the Secretary
Loch Longs – The Third Quarter Century 1987–2012
Jamie Bruce-Lockhart – Price £15 from the Secretary
Aldeburgh Loch Longs: 50 years on the River Alde, a record of the Loch Long class at Aldeburgh Yacht Club 1962–2012
Jamie Bruce-Lockhart – Price £10 available from the Secretary’s Office, AYC


Description Cruiser-racer with spinnaker
Class status Independent
Length 4.82 m
Displacement 168 kg
Sail area mainsail 8.83 sq m
Sail area jib 4.27 sq m
Sail area spinnaker 13.5 sq m
Aldeburgh handicap 1096
Number of boats in fleet 30
Fleet captain Rupert Sydenham
Class association website Website

Wayfarers at Aldeburgh

In many ways the Wayfarer is the perfect boat for the River Alde. There are only a few classes at the yacht club that are as numerous, and the Wayfarer is by far the most versatile of them. The fleet includes boats used for leisurely days on the water where the whole family pile in and pull up at Little Japan for a picnic. On the other hand, if you enjoy racing, then you will find healthy competition no matter what your standard. 

We have annual coaching sessions from internationally renowned helmsmen and many competitions throughout the sailing season, both club and open events.

However, undoubtedly the greatest asset of our Wayfarer fleet is its friendliness. We are always keen to welcome new sailors, from complete beginners through to ambitious racing crews. Our social activities include the Wayfarer BBQ, curry nights and the odd pint!


Description Two man dinghy
Class status Local one design
Length 13 feet
Aldeburgh handicap 1314
Number of boats in fleet 63
Fleet captains Stephen Liddell
Class association website Website

Lapwings at Aldeburgh

The Lapwing Dinghy is a 12'6" clinker dinghy.  It is exclusive to the Aldeburgh Yacht Club and is the Yacht Club's only native class of dinghy. Lapwings are a national class, with a PY number, but the class rules are held by the Aldeburgh Yacht Club. 

The first Lapwing was designed and built in 1947 by Morgan Giles. The Aldeburgh Yacht Club commissioned the next 12 Lapwings in 1948 from both Morgan Giles and Nunns of Waldringfield, and sold them on to members of the club. During the next 20 years the fleet expanded until it consisted of nearly 70 boats.

The Lapwings are an active racing class. They have their own start in the Regatta and in the Wednesday Evening Series. The Lapwing World Championships are held over a weekend each summer, and provide fine racing with the Margaret Tudor Bowl as a prize, and includes a good class dinner on the Saturday night. They also have various races each year, with silverware to be won, including the Little Garrett Cup and the Acheson Trophy.

Lapwings command fierce loyalty. Many have been owned by the same families since they were built. The current racing fleet is small and we would like to encourage anyone who has a Lapwing languishing in their garage to put it back on the Alde and start sailing it.  

The Class Captain is Stephen Liddell. He can be contacted via the Aldeburgh Yacht Club. 


Description Singlehandler for under 16s
Class status International
Length 2.3 m
Displacement 35 kg
Sail area mainsail 3.59 m
Aldeburgh handicap 0.530
Number of boats in fleet TBA
Fleet captain TBA
Class association website Website

Optimists at Aldeburgh

Optimists are very popular at Aldeburgh, with many AYC junior sailors first learning to sail them on the RYA courses which are run by the Yacht Club.

There are many Club races in which the Optimists have their own start, particularly during the AYC Junior Regatta. This is always a great event with lots of fun both on and off the water.

RS Tera

Desciption The RS Tera is a lovely single handed boat for children and small adults which can also be sailed by two smaller children (up to 70kg). It is easy for children to rig and get on the water. The RS Tera comes with the option of two sails: the standard Sport and the Pro, a bigger fully battened sail for more speed and power.
Class status ISAF Class and Learn to Sail Boat
RYA Recognised Junior Class
Length 2.87 m
Draft 0.8 m
Sail area mainsail Sport: 3.7 sq m
Pro: 4.8 sq m
Aldeburgh handicap Sport: 1459
Pro: 1400
Number of boats in fleet 21
Fleet captain TBA
Class association website Website

RS Teras at Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh has a fleet of twelve RS Tera boats purchased in 2018. Three of the Teras are sponsored by the Eric Twiname Trust have both pro and sport rigs. The boats are all available for training, hire and junior sailing. A further 30 members have their own RS Teras and enjoy racing at home and away.

The RS Tera fleet has its own start in Junior Racing and the junior regatta. Our sailors actively enjoy junior sailing and all the social events including the club picnics. 

The RS Tera Eastern Area Association is also very active and organises many events and training around the region at Aldeburgh; Alton Water; Brightlingsea; Harwich; Waveney and further afield. The Nationals and Worlds take place in Weymouth. Winter sailing is available at Alton Water.

ILCA (Laser)

Description Single Handed Dinghy
Class Status International
Length 4.23m
Displacement 58Kg
Sail Area

Standard Rig 7.06 sq M

Radial Rig 5.76 sq M

4.7 Rig 4.7 sq M

Aldeburgh Handicaps

Standard: TBA

Radial: TBA

4.7: TBA

Number of Boats in Fleet TBA
Class Captain

Rob Jones

Molly Bowman (Junior)

ILCA (Lasers) at Aldeburgh

The ILCA (Laser) is a single handed sailing dinghy which has three sizes of rig and sail (Standard Rig, Radial Rig and 4.7 Rig) which makes it suitable for all ages and all abilities. The boats are all a built to an internationally agreed design and therefore whether the boat is new or old the boats are all the same so if you are racing your result will be all down to your skill (or luck!) The ILCA (Laser) is one of the most popular sailing dinghy with most clubs having some Lasers within their fleets.

Boats are readily available on the market and sails and equipment are easily obtainable at chandleries or on line. There are class association approved sails and equipment but replica equipment is also available which can make sailing much more economic. Replica sails and equipment are approved for racing at Aldeburgh including Open Meetings and Regattas.

At Aldeburgh we have an active fleet with youths and adults of all ages taking part sailing and racing with up to 25 boats turning out for Regattas.  We race in the Handicap B category during the series and have class fleet starts for cup races and Regattas.

If you have any queries please do speak to other Laser fleet sailors or the Fleet Captains.

Flying Fifteen

The archetypal sports boat the Flying 15 was designed in 1947 as a practical, fun and safe boat to sail.  A planing hull, symmetric spinnaker and a keel combine to make an agile, versatile boat for racing or a day out on the river.  In a good breeze the 15 gives an exhilarating stable sail that will put a smile on your face without the swimming.
Popular with mixed crews the 15 appeals to a wide age range.  First built in 1948 there are always boats available with prices to suit all pockets.
Thanks to the efforts of Nick Barker and Johnny Dawson, 15's have enjoyed a recent resurgence, competing (and winning) in club cup racing, Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon series. Aldeburgh 15's are dry sailed and slip launched.  Recovery is assisted by a self-operated efficient winch. 
The fleet encourages and welcomes new owners and crewing opportunities are often available. Anyone wishing to have a test sail or would like more information please speak to the class captain or chat to the Flying 15 sailors in the dinghy park.

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