Skip to main content

Lightning Fleet 90 - English Bay

The Lightning, a 19-foot trailerable centerboard sloop, designed by Sparkman & Stephens as an affordable family day sailor and racing boat. She has evolved into one of the most popular and competitive one-design racing classes in the world. The Lightning's rig is simple, but offers sophisticated sail shape controls. The hull features a unique hard chine design that combines the stability that provides sail-carrying power, with flat bottom sections that promote planing. There's room in the cockpit for two couples or a family to daysail. The Lightning is easy to launch and light enough to trailer with ease. In the event of a capsize, she can be righted and sailed dry by her crew. Get "The Best of Both Worlds."Get into a Lightning!

For more information, visit the Lightning Class website

What is perhaps unusual in the boat is that the designers, Sparkman and Stevens, gave the Class association not only rights, but ownership of the design and the name. All royalties for many of the boat’s components, including the hull, mast, and sails go to the International Lightning Class Association, who also regulates the design and the Class activities. This fact is probably the biggest single reason for the continued success of the Class. It is also the reason the boat gets but limited “press” in the various journals or shows. Class ownership means limited manufacturer control and fewer paid advertisements.

Lightnings, otherwise known as the beloved square yachts, have been around English Bay since the mid-forties. Here are ten reasons why you should try sailing a Lightning:

10. No slippery ramp launching

9. No wet suits required

8. A crew of three guarantees good conversation while sailing

7. There is lots of room on board for superb on board catering

6. The middle crew is rookie friendly.

5. A giant spinnaker means exciting runs and reaches; but we usually go decades between capsizes

4. They are not expensive. A well maintained older boat at less than $8,000, will do well anywhere.

3. The second biggest class organization in the world. Check out the website, 

2. A big, comfortable and dry cockpit – just right for a day sail over to Caulfield Cove

1. It’s hip to sail square!


Lightning Spec