To say Hartley Boats were pleased to add the Gull to our existing range would be a lie. When we bought the Wayfarer and Wanderer copyrights from the Proctor family, Roger asked me “do you want the Gull?”. The response for this 12ft (3.65m) little boat which I had seen many times in different locations was, “not for us, this was not a boat I have aspirations to build”. Again, Roger insisted it was a great boat, sells well and sails fantastic, you should take it. Reluctantly we did, we bought the tooling and produced and sold Gulls for several months.
Unlike both the Wayfarer and Wanderer, we did not re-design the boat to avoid spending the many thousands of £’s involved in producing patterns, moulds and templates needed when you produce a new boat, no, not for this average boat! All this changed, the day we delivered and completed a handover of a Gull to a new owner at a Sailing Club. "Come and sail with me it’s a great day, good winds and I am a novice sailor, I would enjoy you helming my new boat".
That sail taught me so much, as well as proving I had been a fool and I had got the Gull wrong. I should have known that the man that designed the Wayfarer, Wanderer and over 100 other fantastic boats would also design the Gull to be a special boat. Within a short-time my eyes were opened, the boat felt stable and light on the tiller, it sailed as if it was a much larger boat. I was surprised, amazed and totally sold on this boat. The Gull has the same chined hull as the Wanderer and Wayfarer and is also a very special boat.
Next day, a made a phone call to my Naval Architect, Phil Morrison. “I have an urgent job for you, we are going to make changes and improvements to the Gull. Can you start now? I will send you the list of improvements and benefits and give you the plans for you to get cracking”. I was excited for the boats future and realised with Phil’s help this boat could be a fantastic boat with a great and long-term future. The list of changes required were very difficult for Phil to achieve but Phil’s respect for Ian Proctor made him determined to ensure the new boat would be special.
The list was headed by, no hull change at all. This chined, Proctor designed 12ft (3.65m) hull is so stable, easy to sail and handles big seas and waves as if it was a larger boat, we had the most stable platform of any 12ft (3.65m) sailing dinghy. Not only does it give confidence to the crew but the boat moves well through the water and is a pleasure to sail. The changes would be to the deck layout. Firstly, design a new foredeck to improve the look of the boat, make it look beautiful and sleek. Re-design the rear locker to give style to the boat, make it big enough to carry clothing, outboard and cheese and wine for cruising trips. The seating is very comfortable, lower the cockpit floor to give even more leg room and facilitate for self-bailers to be fitted. These changes with the very special hull design have delivered a very special 12ft (3.65m) sailing boat. Every year the fleet grows with nearly 3,000 sold.
Why is the Gull the best 3.65m cruiser in the world? Firstly, the hull design, this is the most STABLE 3.65m dinghy in its field, tested for two adults and two children or is great as a single-hander, comfortable seating, with plenty of leg room, a high boom makes tacking and gybing a doddle. The boat comes with a main and genoa but you can add a spinnaker for those enthusiastic sailors.
For those long-haul cruising sailors, you can have a slab reefing main with a reefing genoa, this allows you to fully reef down your boat within twenty-five seconds, you can then sail comfortably in big seas and strong winds. This boat although very STABLE in the right wind conditions will get up and go, this is not a boring boat. With the benefit of the integral rear locker you can switch to an engine if required or even row the boat.
As well as choosing the boat specification to suit your needs you can choose the colour of your hull, foredeck, deck and non-slip floor. We can even put a logo of your choice on your boat. This boat is a very special 3.65m sailing dinghy. It is double handed or is great to sail single handed.
The new boat can be built to your specification be it to a limited budget or with all the bells and whistles, you decide your requirements with the knowledge that the Hartley Boats Team will give you sound advice to ensure you get the fit-out right for your needs.
For those racing enthusiasts we are able to offer a racing set up, the boat has a great PY of 1363 and does well in handicap racing.
When we sell a new boat Hartley Boats likes to complete a full boat handover to ensure that you fully understand how to rig your boat and most importantly that you get the best from your new investment. This helps you enjoy sailing your new boat and helps make sure you come off the water with confidence and want to return and sail again. With a hull weight of only 88kgs it makes towing, launching and recovery a doddle, even for a single-handed sailor.
We at Hartley Boats are very proud of our standards and build quality, to demonstrate that statement we are the only manufacturer to offer a 4-year guarantee. Should it be needed we are able to deliver.