Mysterious Otter

Discussion forum for the Otter class of sailing dinghy

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SeaSpray
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:21 pm

Mysterious Otter

Post by SeaSpray » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:26 pm

Hi all!! Me again :)

Having recently rekindled my love of Otter dinghies, and learning of their sad demise, I've attempted to find the last Otter made, and by who. I know a chap who runs a GRP shop, and thought if i can find the moulds, maybe I could build a brand new Otter!!

Trawling the internet led me to believe Chris Clarance was the last known builder, and I read in a forum somewhere (maybe this one!) that the then active class association, offered to purchase the moulds from Chris, but unfortunately the asking price was a tad unrealistic!

Now... Today I found myself having a nice cup of tea with Commodore of a beautiful sailing club on the Thames, that until today, I didn't even know existed! The conversation briefly turned to Otters :) I mentioned that they were no longer built he he told me they have an Otter fan amongst their ranks, and he that was under the impression that the Otter moulds had been disposed of. I will admit this information flared a slight temper! The otter association had had their offer refused but the moulds where thrown away anyway!

On return home I delve deeper into the Otters whereabouts, hoping the destroyed moulds tale was nothing more than a vicious rumour!

However, I found this 2003 Mark Giles built, asymmetric spinnaker equipped Otter!!

Image

And what a beauty she is! Asymmetric spinnaker on an Otter...Woo, she surely goes like the clappers :)

More to the point though, does this mean Giles Reinforced Plastics where the last known holders of the Otters rights and/or moulds???

The mystery deepens :)
Last edited by SeaSpray on Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SeaSpray
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:21 pm

Re: Mysterious Otter

Post by SeaSpray » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:18 pm

Righty then :)
Chris Clarance Marine are no longer in business, Chris Clarance is now the elected Conservative Councillor for his area (if its the same chap, the addresses do appear to match though). Presumable this political interest ended his boat interests? As for Giles Reinforced Plastics, the company was dissolved August 2008. At a guess Mark has retired. I raced at WOSC with him in the early 90's, and to my young (at the time :) ) eyes he was hardly in short trousers then! So who owns the rights?? Who's permission do we need to make the moulds and resurrect the Otter class!!! :D

cweed
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:18 pm

Re: Mysterious Otter

Post by cweed » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:33 pm

Hello, Sea Spray.............

I would heartily support your efforts to resurrect the building of new Otters.........

You could try to contact George O'Brien Kennedy or his family to establish who has rights to the design, or / and ask on the forum of CVRDA http://www.cvrda.org/wp-cvrda/ who have some pretty knowledgeable people contributing to various discussions about the wherabouts of Mr O'Brien Kennedy / the moulds / setting up production............

I believe in its heyday, more than one builder produced Otters, so there may have been more than one set of moulds.

Assymetric ? What next............. Carbon Fibre, Centre Main, ? !

SeaSpray
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:21 pm

Re: Mysterious Otter

Post by SeaSpray » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:53 pm

Ahoy there cweed..

Apologies for the late reply but I had hoped my next post would contain something that borders interesting/useful. Unfortunately it does not! Hunting down the current design rights holder is proving a little tricky. Thanks for the advise though :)

Still.....I will continue on my quest!!!

paulgato
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:27 pm

Re: Mysterious Otter

Post by paulgato » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:21 pm

Hi Seaspray,

It's a couple of years after your post, but I'm hoping you're still getting notifications.

I just acquired an Otter and it seems to have a sail number later than any others mentioned online. 1200. Like yours, it was also built by Giles Reinforced Plastics - a local firm based in Bicester or Bletchingdon I think. (I live in Oxford.) Like yours (?) it also has a retracting bowsprit for the asymmetric (?) spinnaker.

The previous owner thinks it's about 30 years old, but I don't think that can be right, as it carries a CE mark on its badge. CE marks for boats only came in on June 16th 1996, and were only mandatory from June 16th 1998...

http://www.marinesurveysltd.co.uk/recre ... _guide.htm

What sail number is yours? Mine has some kind of serial number etched on the transom, which starts 1200... and the sails have 1200 on them, so I think that must be the right sail number. It would nice to have a better estimate of its build date.

I haven't weighed the boat but comparing it to another boat I have (which is made of HDPE, so won't have gained weight over time, and which is nominally 72 kilos) this Otter is noticeably lighter. I would estimate it is 60kg as a hull with the centreboard. I understood the Otter was nominally 75 kilos, but it is much lighter than that. Do you know the weight of yours?

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