Following an extensive review process, The National Firefly Class Association is pleased to announce that they have selected Ovington Boats as the new sole builder for the Firefly.
This decision follows a rigorous professional process including detailed consultation with hundreds of the class’s stakeholders. The result has been heralded as a positive step for the future of the class; maintaining the core values that have kept the Firefly at the forefront of One Design racing and first choice for team racing for nearly eight decades.
Launched in 1946 the Firefly has truly stood the test of time in a competitive dinghy racing scene and remains popular with sailors of all ages with more than thirty new boats built a year. Ovington will become only the seventh builder in the history of the class which, at the grand old age of 77, can claim to be the oldest Single Manufacturer One Design. With that huge legacy, it was important for the class to ensure the longevity of the new boats while also keeping performance consistent with existing Fireflies. Ovington has a proven capability to manufacture top One Design boats in strict compliance with their Construction Manual and over the next few months will be working with the RYA to complete their builder approval process.
Boats currently in build are being completed by the incumbent builder, Rondar Boats, and will be totally unaffected by the change in builder. Buyers currently on the wait list will be contacted in the coming week with more information. It is expected that new boat deliveries from Ovington will begin in summer 2023 with a basic spec boat expected to cost around £7,700 ex VAT. A class-owned demo boat will be available from June and will be touring the country, including the Firefly Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry SC 12-19th August.
Ben Green, Firefly Class Chairman said: “I think it’s fantastically exciting for the Firefly class to be working with the Ovington Boats team. We took this process extremely seriously. We had to make sure that we got this decision right for 2024 and beyond because the boats are vital to bringing newcomers into the fleet. To have so many top manufacturers wanting to be involved is a testimony to the huge strength that our class currently enjoys. The committee have been very impressed by the high level of customer service and quality control demonstrated by Ovington which, combined with their renowned build quality and international dealer network, puts the class in very safe hands.“
Nathan Batchelor, UK Sales Manager at Ovington Boats added: “We are delighted to have been chosen to build the Firefly going forward and looking forward to working with the class association to keep things progressing. The strong team racing on offer at universities is a large part of keeping young people in the sport – hopefully, we can contribute towards strengthening this.”
The National Firefly Class Association would like to extend its thanks to incumbent builder Rondar Boats who over 25 years have produced around 900 Fireflies, 20% of Fireflies built – including some of the most successful boats of all time.