A Blog-site for sharing news and views on Jollyboats

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Welcome to the Fairey Jollyboat Pages

Designed by Uffa Fox in 1953, and still actively sailed across the British Isles, Jollyboats here, now range from the thoroughly original, to one developed twin trapeze example, but the majority are still sailed within the spirit of the ‘one design’, utilising modern fittings.

The Jollyboat is a fast exciting boat designed for cruising or racing. In the British Isles, all the hulls (bar 1 under construction) were moulded by Fairey’s, in batches of 4. The boats were completed by, either Fairey’s themselves, or a variety of other boat builders/individuals. The shape and layout of the top deck was laid out in the rules, however the buoyancy could be either tanks or bags – as illustrated in the photos on the site.

Fairey built over 350 hulls, but the majority were exported, mostly to the USA and Canada. The few records and media we have access to indicate less than 100 boats were completed and sailed in the UK. We are hopeful that at least a quarter have survived. We know the whereabouts of nearly 20, and some of another 10 boats will probably be about. The rest have not be heard of for more than 50 years. All in all, a very good result.

On these pages we have endeavoured to provide basic reference material about Jollyboats, and plenty of photos. A more detailed archive of plans, association paperwork, newsletters and the like is being assembled.

The last organised British Jollyboat Association event (to our knowledge) was the 1971 Nationals, and while the association limped on for a few years after, its not existed formally for a very long time. That said, Jollyboat owners stayed in touch with each other, and with formation of the CVRDA in 1999 an umbrella association that most owners associate with has been there. Jollyboats are regularly sailed at CVRDA events, and other classic events such as the Bosham Classic Boat Revival.

The Classic Boat Museum in Cowes owns J80 ‘Comet’, so we are well served in that respect.

3 boats were owned by EISCA before the well known auction in 2017. 2 returned to private ownership and the water, 1 was lost to export.

We are always trying to expand our knowledge of the boats that survive, so if you have one and we are unaware of you, or lost contact, please make contact. Contact can be made via the main CVRDA website, or if you post on either on the CVRDA forum in the ‘Boat Chat’ section, or the CVRDA facebook page, we’ll see it.

December 16, 2020   Comments Off on Welcome to the Fairey Jollyboat Pages

J1 – Jollity

Collection of photos from old posts detailing its latest move from the IOW. Uffa Fox’s writings elsewhere provide more detail:

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J1 – Jollity

J3 – Missy

The surviving boat from the first batch:

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J3 – Missy

J9 – Paktika

Beyond repair in 2014 & scrapped. Had been restored 10-15 yrs earlier.

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J9 – Paktika

J17 – Allegria Falls to Pirates

(Transplanted so not written by me)

Allegria – J17 falls to Pirates and is scuttled

Once upon a time I was a young man and used to crew fireflies for my school friend who sailed in Chichester Harbour from Itchenor. Tim’s dad had a Jollyboat, J17 Allegria, and occasionally I would sail in her too.

Skip on many years, I thought it would be quite fun to get a j Jollyboat to show the Wayfarer fleet at Lydney YC a thing or too. After a few searches on the internet, a suitable boat was found and we set off to collect her, only to find out that the boat I had found was Allegria.

Unfortunately, when I got her home, I discovered that the hull and Keel were in very poor condition with very little sound wood aft of the mast step in the bottom of the boat.

It was too hard to let her go though, so she sat in a corner of the barn for several years awaiting a mammoth restoration, but eventually my head won out over my heart and she was given to another friend to celebrate her birthday in.

So Allegria was eventually taken by rum drinking pirates and wrecked…


April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J17 – Allegria Falls to Pirates

J23 – Festina

Restored in 1998/99 – the blog reproduced with permission below. Location now unknown.

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J23 – Festina

J26 – Fandango

Possibly the only surviving hull completed by ‘Blagdons’ in the south west. Notable for having no buoyancy tanks. Some photos from a windy Netley event:

CVRDA rally at Netley Sailing Club July 2008

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J26 – Fandango

J35 – Samantha

Was sailed from Roa Island, and competed in many events too. Not heard of for a long time:

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J35 – Samantha


Not heard of for several decades, but was in Scotland:

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J42

J43 – Mallard

Recently sailing again after the auction:

April 24, 2023   Comments Off on J43 – Mallard

J51 – Oriole

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J51 – Oriole

J52 – Chinook

Sold 2023:

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J52 – Chinook

J71 – Mirabel

Bought as a completed boat from Fairey’s, and owned by the same family for nearly 60 yrs. They modernised the boat themselves – converted it to fully tanked (front tank & full length side tanks), and replaced the original spars.

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J71 – Mirabel

J80 – Comet

As per the intro – this boat is in the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes:

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J80 – Comet

J83 – Jollyfox

At Bosham 2011? More recent photos in the Classic Boat Revival website gallery.

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J83 – Jollyfox


Sold on ebay 2011:

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J94

J131 – Crazy Caroline

Along with other boats at the Fairey 50th anniversary regatta – J34or37, 36, 54, not been heard of for some time. J3 & 332 are known of:

Jollyboats line up at Hamble

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J131 – Crazy Caroline

J133 – Jollyfast

Last heard of in 2011:

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J133 – Jollyfast


Written by Andrew in 2011:

Well this is my first ever blog.
This Fairey finished boat is being redecked with the help of my friend Ian, Jollyboat deck maestro and restorer (former owner) of the very beautiful J261 Jimini.

Decks off J161
This is why the decks needed replacing – extensive areas of delamination.
Bung through to cavity under deck
New bulkhead and new deckbeams.
Tanks had “fillet” of black glue which had cracked. All removed and replaced by epoxy.

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J161


Project to finish:

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on J162

Unknown sail number but likely 2??

Very much a project from ebay:

April 22, 2023   Comments Off on Unknown sail number but likely 2??