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Proposed SS23 Class Rules

The BOD at its winter meeting in January authorized the formation of an SS23 Class Rules Committee (see post following) to write and implement a set of Class Rules. The members of the committee are Paul Sollito (elected Chair), Bob Rude, Carter Hall, Bob Catani, and Brian Anderson) The draft is published in this post below.

There will be a comment period of approximately one month. Please send suggested changes with explicit language you would like to see in the rules and your reasons for your proposals to either Paul or any other member of the Committee (emails can be found in Membership List…all are from RI). The Committee will reconvene to consider submitted changes, and will promulgate the final set of Rules in May.

Here is the draft:


(DRAFT FEB 11,2015)

Purpose: The purpose of these rules is to promote and develop Sea Sprite Class racing and to maximize and maintain the one design characteristics of the boat.

The Boat: The boat is a 22.5 foot fiberglass sloop designed by Carl A. Alberg in 1957, both Weekender and Daysailor configurations.

The Standards: The original plans and specifications, as drawn by Carl Alberg and now held by the Peabody/Essex Museum in Salem, Mass, shall be considered the official standards of the boat. All boats shall comply with said standards except as modified herein, so as to ensure that the one design aspect of the Class is preserved. Copies of the original line drawings shall be made available on the SSA website for a small fee.

Hulls: All hulls shall conform to the design and specifications as set forth by the Designer. Amplifications and exceptions include:

The removal of thru-hull fittings shall be allowed.
Hiking straps shall be permitted.
Plugging and/or filling of the outboard motor well shall be allowed. Exterior and interior bulkheads, bunks, etc. shall not be removed. Combing boards, toe rails and other trim shall not be removed.
No interior trim shall be removed.
Pulpits and life lines shall be optional.
Drag reduction films/hull etching/other texturing of the hull shall not be permitted.
Fairing flaps between the keel and rudder shall not be allowed.
Use of a compression post shall be permitted.
Spars: No change in the dimensions, location, weight, shape, material or configuration of the spars shall be allowed. Amplifications and exceptions include:

The spinnaker pole shall not exceed 7.5 feet in length.
A whisker pole shall be permitted for use with jibs and genoa jibs and shall be the same length as the spinnaker pole. A spinnaker pole may be used as a whisker pole. Use of the spinnaker pole and the whisker pole at the same time shall not be permitted.
Spreaders shall be no less than 28” long.
Standing Rigging: No change in the location or strength of the standing rigging shall be permitted from the original design. Amplifications and exceptions include:

An adjustable backstay shall be allowed.
Roller furling headsails shall be optional.
1X19 wire and turnbuckles shall be used on headstay, uppers (5/32” dia) and lowers (1/8 dia). Other materials and thicknesses are permitted for backstay and jumper stays.

Running Rigging: The layout of the running rigging, its material, and its associated tackle shall be at the discretion of the owner. Amplifications and exceptions include:

The fittings for halyards shall not be altered so as to change the point of attachment to the mast.
Internal halyards shall be allowed.
Halyard tails may be lead across the top of the cabin so as to allow adjustment from the cockpit.

Ballast: The use of additional ballast shall be permitted. The amount and location of ballast shall be optional. However, once placed at the beginning of the racing season, the amount and the location of the ballast shall not be changed.

Sails: Sail specifications are as follows:

Mainsail Sails shall be crosscut
Sail material shall be 100% woven polyester
Any luff attachment system may be used
Foot may be loose or attached
Four (4) battens shall be used
Batten length is optional as long as it is IMS minimum
or greater
Windows are allowed
Sail shall have a sail number
The sail insignia shall be a circle which encloses a double “S”

luff 27.00 ‘ foot 11.33’ MTW 4.30 ‘ MHW 7.36’
Genoa/Jib Sails shall be crosscut
Sail material is open, with the exception of no string (continuous fiber) sails
Maximum LP shall be 135%
Windows are allowed
Sail shall have a sail number
Maximum number of 2 genoas/jibs shall be used during a race series

LP 10.46’ HHW 5.23’

Spinnaker SL 24.87’ SMG 13.95’ SF 13.95’

Exceptions: It is clear that there can be significant variations between boats. Construction standards of the SS23 varied over the years as the boat was produced by several different boat building firms. Also, over the years, significant additions and subtractions to interior configurations often have been implemented by various owners to fit their own sailing needs and to produce a safe repaired old boat.


1. It is expected that owners will embrace the integrity of the design,
and shall make every effort to conform to the spirit of these class

2. Repairs shall be permitted that ensure the structural integrity of
the hull.

3. Reconfigured interiors and exterior trim changes shall be
grandfathered in as acceptable as of May 31, 2015.

4. Questions and concerns shall be directed to and adjudicated by
a Rules Committee appointed by the SSA Board Of Directors.
Such adjudication shall be guided by the intent of these
specifications that have been written to ensure the one-design
integrity of the class.

Effective date: These rules shall become effective on May 31, 2015.

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Hard to believe it is that time of year again for the Annual Meeting. Hard to believe we may have an annual meeting with snow still on the ground! But here we go.

We will enjoy the hospitality of Bristol YC on Poppasquash Rd. in Bristol, RI, on Friday evening April 10th. The evening will start with cocktails and gathering between 5:30 and 6:00 followed by a buffet dinner catered by Russell Morin Fine Foods from Newport at 7:00. The menu is below. Cost will be $20/person.

We will have our meeting between 7:45 and 8:30 (ok, maybe 9:00). Agenda items include a brief state of the Association report, awards for 2014, approval of minor changes to the by-laws, election of a Board Of Directors slate, and topics from the floor.

Please call or email (best) Chris Healy, the Bristol YC steward, at either 401-253-2922 or at his email to let him know how many are coming in your party. You will pay by cash or credit card at the bar that evening.

I know Bristol is a hike for many of you. Believe me, I would love to have the meeting in a warmer clime! But Bristol in the epicenter of the sea sprite world, so it makes sense to have it here to maximize attendance.

It is always a fun night. What a way to say goodbye to Winter and welcome in the sailing season!

Hope you can make it.



April 10th, 2015

Mixed Field Greens with Chevre
Crisp Spring Greens with Mandarin Oranges, Crumbled Goat Cheese,
Toasted Pecans and Drizzled with Champagne Vinaigrette

Hearth Baked Breads with Whipped Butter

Raspberry Chicken Breast

Pan Seared Peppered Salmon Laced with a Chimichurri Sauce

Lemon Citrus Pearl Cous Cous

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chef’s Dessert of the Day
Regular Colombian and Decaffeinated Coffee


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2015 Membership Dues

Just a very quick reminder…membership dues! Thanks to those who have already sent in their 2015 dues. We count on only dues for support. The Sea Sprite Association is strong, and getting stronger. Please see the annual report of the BOD meeting for fiscal year 2014 posted just below for details.

Dues are the same as last year…$25. You can pay by check or PayPal. See To Join/Renew on the website.

And thank you.           Carter

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Here are the minutes from the Board Of Directors meeting held last week on January 22, 2015:


2014 SSA Board Of Directors Meeting Minutes
January 22, 2015

The Sea Sprite Association Board Of Directors met Thursday evening, January 22, 2015, at the Country Inn in Warren, RI to review the year for 2014 and to plan for 2015. Present were Herb Brown, Dana Menillo, Bob Catani, Dejan Redeka, and Carter Hall. Chad Brown was absent. The following items were discussed.



The balance sheet for 2014 was reviewed. Net balance grew from $1169 to $2673. Income was generated by membership dues ($1925 from 77 members up from $1375 from 55 members last year) and race fees. Administrative costs continue low in the range of $250, but will be higher next year as initial 3 year prepayment of some costs expires.

Membership dues for 2015 will remain at $25. Our goal remains to have 6 years of operating costs saved.


Active dues paying members rose from 55 to 77 this year. For the past 2 years we have had a total of 98 members. States represented for the 2 years rose from 14 to 21. One email blast was sent and one web posting done reminding owners of dues. Several insertions were placed into the website suggesting users join the SSA. Membership may have grown because benefits were added for members only (10% off at Jamestown Distributors and Thurston Sails). Sea Sprite owners also joined to sell boats.

Dues as noted above will remain at $25 for 2015. Benefits will continue for members only, and a placement of a classified ad will still require membership.


The SSA remains well structured and financially intact. The website is active and fully accessible to all, with 75 visitors per day visiting 400 to 500 pages per day. Numerous rehab projects were documented and placed on the site. Bristol organized a How To Race Fast mid-winter seminar. Classifieds grew,with a total of 22 boats listed for sale in 2014 and 16 sold.

A suggestion was made to focus on enhanced PR. Ideas included promoting articles about the sea sprite in sailing magazines and about events in the Providence Journal, identifying local pr contacts to promote sea sprite sailing. Other ideas welcomed for sailing venues across the country.


The no ad policy continues. A Ship’s Store of limited items (no clothing to be offered) was added, and a fine arts print offered. The SSA will receive 10% of sales. Line drawings are also offered at cost. 2 local partners are promoted (Jamestown Distributors and Thurston Sails) as providing members with a 10% discount.

Current policy will be continued. No expansion planned.



At current level of income, as a non-profit organization, the SSA will not be required to pay state or federal taxes. However, a determination by the IRS is required. It will cost a one time fee of $400. A yearly emailing declaration to the IRS is required as a tax report.

The determination fee of $400 will be paid this year, and a request for a tax-exempt determination review will be filed with the IRS. The email tax report will be filed for 2014.

Class Rules

The BOD directs that a Rules Committee be formed to develop class rules for the SS23. It will formulate a draft, submit the draft to the membership for review, and promulgate a final set of Rules And Regulations. The Rules Committee will have full and final responsibility for the Rules and their implementation.

Narraganset Bay SS23 Racing

Racing for NB was discussed. The current schedule is active and well received. However, there is some contention regarding high fees charged by Bristol YC for non BYC members to race in the weekly evening races. A meeting will be held this winter to review the planned fees by BYC for 2015 and to consider alternative racing plans.

New Board Members

Herb Brown has sold Scot Free, and wishes to resign. Paul Sollito will take his place temporarily until officially confirmed at the April meeting.

By-Law Changes

The following changes to the By-Laws will be drawn up and voted on at the Annual Meeting in April:

1. A Treasurer will be added to the organization and duties outlined.

2. A paragraph will be added delineating how SSA assets will be distributed in the event of the organization’s demise. The BOD proposes that assets would be distributed to a sailing non-profit organization such as The Herreshoff Museum.

These minutes have been reviewed and accepted by the Sea Sprite Association Board Of Directors on January 28, 2015.


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New Technical Articles

Dejan Radeka has written several terrific articles describing major projects we all have contemplated as we sail and restore our SS23’s. Here are excerpts from 4 with links to the Technical Section of the website for the full article, including pictures.

Replacing The Chainplates

Sea Sprite 23 Chain Plate Upgrade/Replacement Project – by Dejan Radeka

By now, the youngest SS 23 is just shy of being 30 years old.  As discussed elsewhere in the forum, there are many structural components on these boats that are at or near failure and will require some sort of repair, replacement or upgrade in order for the boat to continue to be safe and functional.

The chainplates are probably the most stressed set of components within the rigging system, closely following the oft cursed deck support beams and sodden mast step area deck core issues.

Please note that this article assumes that you have already tackled deck core and mast support beam issues.  All of these systems must be sound, and work in unison, in order for your rig to perform optimally and correctly.

Chainplate failure can manifest itself in the following ways:

  • elongation and/or hardening of the clevis pin hole
  • cracking near the hole or the body of the chainplate
  • corrosion and failure (cracking or breaking) of the chainplate within the hidden section glassed into the hull

Before discussing the repair/replacement, it is important to first understand how they were installed during construction………….

To read the entire article and to view diagrams and pictures, click here


Building A Mast Compression Post

Mast Compression Post Project – by Dejan Radeka

Eventually, as with most older fiberglass boats with deck stepped masts, the under deck support beams on your Sea Sprite 23 will begin to get tired.  Unlike larger boats with bulkheads that can help spread the load of a deck support beam, the 23 has no such interior components.  Instead, the builders glassed two athwartships wooden beams across the deck layup (upside down) before flipping the deck and laying the deck onto the hull.  In addition to the two beams, once the deck was laid onto the hull they also glassed gussets on either end, to attempt to spread the load to the hull sides.

All of this will be easily visible in all but the Ryder built boats (which have a head liner), so it is relatively easy to inspect for the impending failure of the deck supports.  You’ll need to lie on your back, look up and inspect the beams for any cracking.  Also look at the radiused transition/edge of the forward cabin trunk and deck for cracks.

Up on deck, you can look for more cracking or crazing, again at the radiused transition of the forward cabin trunk and deck.  Note that this area can be confusing to inspect, because in parallel, the boat may also be suffering from a sodden balsa deck core around the mast step area.  The deck may look compressed, in addition to showing cracking and crazing.  The mast step itself may also look like it “sank” into the deck, which is a good sign that the core has failed.

To read the entire article and to view pictures, click here


Porthole Replacement

Porthole replacement/upgrade project – by Dejan Radeka

This technical article about porthole replacement is adapted from several of my posts in the Forum about this topic.

With three different builders, and some 500 plus hulls built over a span of almost 40 years there are many variations in fit, finish and hardware found on the Sea Sprite 23.  A good example is the set of portholes that came with your boat.  Unless you have a late model Ryder built hull with the nice bronze portholes, you most likely have some variation of aluminum framed plexiglass fixed port, or perhaps a slightly better quality, yet non bronze, opening port.  If they are the former, I’m sure they leak like a sieve and are cloudy and nasty looking, with corroded aluminum frames.

After contemplating this for several years I bit the bullet and decided to get some new portholes for Firefly. I wanted bronze.  In my opinion it was the only option for the pretty Sprite.

For almost two years I searched eBay, consignment shops, etc for used ports. The main problems I found with used ports include:
1) They never have the trim rings, which make them essentially useless.
2) The condition is never very good
3) They’re always too big for the Sprite
4) They’re way overpriced.

I finally had enough of the searching.  I bought new, bronze opening ports from NewFound Metals in Port Townsend, WA http://www.newfoundmetals.com).

To read the entire article and to view pictures, click here


Rebuilding The Lazarette

Lazarette Deck Rebuild Project – by Dejan Radeka

This was the first major project I undertook on Firefly.  Many Spriters with pre-Ryder boats like mine, will ultimately recognize this major flaw in the execution of the lazarette deck hatches for the outboard motor well.  These hatches were simply cut out of the deck lamination, with hinges and trim added.  The balsa core was simply covered over with sealant.  Over time, water would get into the deck laminate, saturate the balsa core, and cause delamination.

We’ll take a quick detour from the project to provide some context.  Carl Alberg actually designed the Sea Sprite 23 to have a small inboard motor; this is evident from the lines drawing. The vast majority of Sprites built however, did not have the inboard option, rather they were equipped with an outboard motor mounted in a lazarette motor “well.” Many sailboats of this size and vintage were so equipped. With this option there is virtually no above decks storage available as the motor takes up most of the lazarette area. Another disadvantage is that you cannot fully tilt the motor out of the water, therefore the boat suffers the associated drag while sailing, and the lower unit becomes fouled during the course of the season. Lastly, on the Sea Sprite this is a really lousy design because to mount the outboard means you have to leave the lazarette hatch open all the time because the outboard head unit stands proud of deck level.

Now back to our story.  When I bought the boat in March, 2009; there was still snow on the ground; everything was frozen, and the sodden lazarette deck was not obvious to me.

To read the entire article and to view pictures, click here

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Norm Grant SS23 Photos

Norm Grant is a Rhode Island based photographer who among other subjects has taken some gorgeous pictures of sailboat racing on Narragansett Bay. He has been a photographer for 30 years, currently producing video for the Community College of Rhode Island and shooting freelance photo and video assignments. He welcomes inquiries for event photography, documentaries, or corporate videos, and can be reached through his website at http:////normangrant.zenfolio.com


He has kindly lent our website numerous photos of Sea Sprite 23’s sailing in local races in the upper Narragansett Bay. The images below are from Bristol YC races in 2010 and 2013 as well as from the Mount Hope Sailing Association races in 2013 and the Herreshoff Regatta from 2010. You will also see a few of them cropped and used as web site headers. If you use any of these pictures from our site, please give him appropriate credit. If you would like prints, they can be ordered from his website.


By the way, if you would like to while away some time in the cold (or even warm) weather season, go to his website and scroll through his galleries. He has some spectacular shoots of PHRF yachts and big boat Herreshoff classics racing in the Upper Narraganset Bay.


SEA SPRITE RACING PICTURES FROM NORM GRANT. Single click on photo for full size screen.



Bob Rude and crew racing in MOHOSA 2013

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