Page published: 26 March 2008

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Bryan Baylor contacted the site in March 2006, saying he'd recently purchased a SeaHawk in fine condition other than a sticky centerboard but with a title document naming it a 1973 Hurley 17. You can understand the vendor's mistake as Bryan reported the main sail shows large black numerals "H 245".

Puffin, as it appeared on eBay

In a further e-mail Bryan reported how he found it on eBay and told the rest of the the story of its purchase:

It was located in New Jersey on the coast and is equipped for ocean going, two bilge pumps, Harken mainsheet block and track full lighting, all working order.

We are in North Carolina, shoal waters at the coast and lots of lakes.

I had been searching for sometime and had pretty much settled on a used Compac 16 or 19 or better a Montgomery 17. The Seahawk is pretty much all of these in one. It was quite a gamble with only a few snaps and an ignorant salesman, the boat had been donated and the broker was a used car dealer who could not answer the simplest of questions.

She is original less the added track for the main and some pretty bad topside paint (I will repaint) and the interior is bright yellow, perhaps to combat the overcast on the Broads? This also will be changed.

This is the two berth model with original cushions, backrest, sink and stove pad, but no stove. Even the wooden floor panels are original and in fine shape, the bulkheads show no wear or delamination. The windows have crackled, just appearance, but it will need new plexi or lexan.

She has her original sails and a nearly new main.

Puffin's stern

Everything looks pretty standard for a early 1970s Reedcraft built SeaHawk. The trailer is interesting, however. The "guide poles" that must help align the boat on recovery are truly massive compared with those seen on other trailers.

Puffin - The bows

The eBay advert had plenty of images. Apart from the registration numbers displayed on the bows, it is the vehicles in the background of this photgraph that most demonstrate the US location.

Puffin - the Cabin Roof

The various "sandpaper" panels on the cabin roof and fore deck all point towards a 1973 Reedcraft boat.

Puffin - Inside the Cabin

The cabin, again, is classic Reedcraft.

On purchase, Bryan reported a number of issues. These included a stuck centerboard (though a blow to the upper tang with a wooden mallet would free it), so he planned to tap it down whilst sailing and hope he could retreive it.

He was looking for a method of removing her from the trailer in the yard for painting and later sandblasting the centerboard, and measurements for a genoa or cruising spinnaker. He also asked about the need for positive floatation, explaining that boats of less than 20 feet in the US have the feature saying that he thought it might be a legal requirement.

(Of course in Europe, we now have the RCD (Recreational Craft Directive) which does require new boats to have specified levels of buoyancy, depending on the wave heights expected in their designed cruising grounds. The final boats built by Mistral Craft needed to comply with this.)

Bryan ended with some complementary things about the site adding, "Real boats belonging to real people."

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