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Are here still any Zeniths anywhwere?

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: How old is your boat?
Forum Discription: Antiques or brand new... tell us here!
Printed Date: 05 Jul 22 at 9:48pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Are here still any Zeniths anywhwere?
Posted By: stevejarrett
Subject: Are here still any Zeniths anywhwere?
Date Posted: 11 Sep 08 at 12:44am

Are there still any Zeniths sailing anywhere? I had one, sail number 10 from about 1965 through 1972 ish. It was desighne by Ian Proctor, length 14'6'' beam 5'10" weight 210lb with quite a lot of sail area and a large(ish) spinaker. Two man boat with a trapeez. There were parobably only about 130 of them, mine was built by Smallcraft of Southhampton. Some went to Canada. The 'fleets' were in Scotland at Largs & Monklands, Welton, Denver, Colwyn Bay and somewhere near Reading. I went to a couple of championships - one was at Ulswater and the other Welton.

So have got one or have you seen one or do you know any more of the 'Zenith' storey?

Posted By: JohnW
Date Posted: 11 Sep 08 at 9:31am
Have you tried the asking on the CVRDA site? -
Suggests they know a thing or two.

Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 11 Sep 08 at 9:47am

According to my ancient copy of the 'Pan Book of Sailing' (really good for beginners), the Zenith was launched in 1960. I'm sure I've read somewhere that it was seen as a 'poor man's Merlin Rocket' - not a bad thing in those days. I was going to add some scans, but can't find the upload button

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Posted By: Mark Jardine
Date Posted: 11 Sep 08 at 9:59am

Hi Medway Maniac

How weird - for some reason the option to upload photos in this section was disabled. It's now enabled so you should be able to upload the scans now.

Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 11 Sep 08 at 10:23am

Right here is a scan from the Pan book:

And here's what House's Guide to Dinghies 1970 had to say:

I recall that the boat appeared 'from the grave' at the Dinghy Show some years later (maybe early 90's? else 1981!), so there was some sort of revival.

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Posted By: Thunderchild
Date Posted: 16 Sep 08 at 6:39pm
Dont suppose you have the page for the FD do you?


Flying Dutchman K220
Int Moth K3822 Magnum 5
1961 5o5 Parker built K1305
Phantom K99
Europe K156
Unicorn K1065
Dart 18
Laser K5450

Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 16 Sep 08 at 7:01pm
I'll scan and stick the FD page on a separate thread.

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Posted By: Merlinboy
Date Posted: 17 Sep 08 at 8:50am
I seem to remember abut 5 years ago there was 2 of them racing at Severn Sailing club in Gloucestershire.


Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 01 Feb 09 at 6:19pm

Yes - I have a Zenith, sail No.74, brought in about 1990 as a wreck and did her up. She has been in a shed for rather too long but due to a change of cirumstances I have the time to take up sailing again this year so hope to have her on the water again in about 2 months.

I previously sailed at Severn SC where there has often been one or to Zeniths but am now looking for a club to join in Devon. Not quite sure what to do about getting a handicap number!



Posted By: Medway Maniac
Date Posted: 01 Feb 09 at 9:47pm
The last PN I saw for the Zenith was 110 under the old system, the same as a Kestrel. Given that you're presumably using '80's technology - mast, sails etc. I'd suggest that could translate as 1050 for your boat.

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Posted By: iainp
Date Posted: 16 Jan 11 at 9:31am
Hi, we have a Zenith that we restored in the 1980's but sadly has been in storage since the 90's.  Looking to either get it back on the water or pass on to an suitable enthusiast - does anyone know of any Zenith owners/fan groups?

Posted By: stevejarrett
Date Posted: 16 Jan 11 at 9:59am
I don't think there is a class association any longer and I have been unable to find any clubs with boats other than one in the south west. What number is yours and what sort of condition is she in? Do you have any pictures? (



Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 18 Jan 11 at 10:19pm
Hi Iain,
Great to hear of another Zenith still in existence,  I know of 5 in total in various states of repair (the 5 includes yours now) although I expect there might still be one or two in east Anglia which belonged to the last few people to run the ZCOA which fizzled out in the mid 90s.
I don't know of anyone looking for one but you might want to try posting on the forum of the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association
I'd be very interested to hear details of yours, sail number etc... 


Zenith 74 'Azimuth' (rescued from the undergrowth 20yrs ago and still going strong)
Finn GBR662 (Tweaked Vanguard)
Finn K205 (HVM)
Zenith 81 (in need of much wood work - free to a GOOD home)

Posted By: patj
Date Posted: 19 Jan 11 at 1:20pm
Zeniths will be welcome at any of our cvrda events. They would initially sail off 92 (equates to 1058) which is the same as our classic Merlin Rockets (nos 500 to 2150 roughly) and Finns and some other regular competitors.
Handicaps are adjusted by the committee depending on class performance and also on condition of boat with extra bonus for originality e.g. wooden mast, cotton sails.
see - for events details for this year. Come and join us - it's all about getting the old boats out racing and enjoying sailing them.

Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 23 Jan 11 at 11:05am
Another Zenith has recently appeared on Apollo Duck - Z15, looks in need of paint but probably otherwise sound if anyone fancies an ideal CVRDA boat.

Posted By: iainp
Date Posted: 17 Jun 19 at 11:12am
Finally got my Zenith out of the shed and rigged at the weekend - all looking good, just need to replace some halyards and find the missing kicker and mainsheet and she'll be on the water. 

The sails are pretty tired so I might look at getting a new set - has anyone done this and have any recommendations as to who to use?

My sail number is good to hear or any others out there. Will post some pics in due course

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