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PaulinVictoria 12-29-2009 02:29 AM

Well, just another one to add into my mix of potential purchases (which after the cat managed to rack up a $2k vets bill over the holidays is now looking slightly shaky), anyone got/had a Thunderbird 26 and could give me some opinions of it?

blt2ski 12-29-2009 10:02 AM

A fellow at my marina has had one for over 20 maybe 25 yrs. They are fairly quick for there size, stable as I understand it. You can find them with wood frame/plywood, and a few all fiberglass. Their are quite a few that still meet and race 1D in the area. Do not quote me, may be more int he seattle area than up north. Everett has a few also.

Certainly one to put on a short list if you are looking for a mid 20' boat. It is going to be one of the faster 25'rs. Altho probably not the most comfy of them.

I believe at 48° North - The Sailing Magazine there is a back article online for the 50 yr anniversary in Gig Harbor Wa where hull #1 was put into a museum or equal.


Faster 12-29-2009 10:16 AM

The T-Bird would be a great starter.. lots of them around, a wide range of pricing due to the availablilty of plywood and glass versions (I think the design was sponsored by plywood manufacturers back in the '50s) Wooden 'Birds are still winning major races in the fleet.

They are a good sailing boat, the class is strong still, esp in the PNW and in Victoria there would be lots of support and knowledge about.

There are several versions of fiberglass 'Birds; the original deck closely resembles the original wooden plans, then the Booth deck provided a bit more volume below, and the "Seattle" deck is a sleeker profile deck with accordingly less room below. Booth is probably still in business in some form or other in Victoria, check them out. (Booth Enterprises).

A few were built with wooden hulls married to fiberglass decks. I've sailed one of these, it recently sold up in Deep Bay. The wooden decks, of course, need careful attention if you're shopping one.

Prices will probably range from a few K to 15K or so for a real nice 'glass one.

PaulinVictoria 12-29-2009 10:55 AM

I was considering this one, Thunderbird sailboat looks in OK condition (not that you can tell from a photo but at least it's floating). Doesn't appear to be a motor but that's no biggie.

Vasco 12-29-2009 10:58 AM

Check out Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club in Toronto. They have the largest T-Bird fleet in the world. A member there builds plastic ones.
Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

svHyLyte 12-30-2009 06:56 PM


Our first "real" sailboat (other than a dinghy) was a late 50's era T-Bird, home built of wood. It was a great sailing boat but a little tough for a novice sailor, at least on San San Francisco Bay. They are actually very sturdy boats if you are lucky enough to find one that has been well maintained; or, the boat you're looking at is made of Glass. If not, and not well cared for, you will find rot--virtually everywhere--under the cockpit; in the transom; and, particularly in the transverse floor beams carrying the keel. To some extent the yachts are "cult" boats as evidenced by the fact that, of late, Sperry has been using them as background for it's print adverts for boat shoes.

We gave up our T-Bird in the early 70's for another, much larger, classic yacht, a Rhodes Reliant, but I have often thought back to out T-Bird daze and occassionally ponder building another (we actually have an original set of the yacht's plans).


s/v HyLyte

blt2ski 12-31-2009 07:49 PM

here is a link to the 48north T-Bird 50th anniversary party in Gig harbor Wa.

48 North - Feature Article

Looking at the top picture on the right hand side. The white Tbird "Rev" is still sailed competitively, and does very well. The red one to the right, appears to be "Flair" out of my club, still raced, and does well. I have a fit with both at times, as we are in the same class. I have them by 5-10 secs, but they are always just in front for Rev, or either direction for flair. Rev is dry sailed, Flair is wet, ie always in the water. Flair way back finished in this magazines top 25 boats in Puget Sound with current owner.


applecran 09-16-2012 09:09 PM

Re: Thunderbirds
Hey Paul

Do you remember if the boat you were looking at was #1160? It's for sale in Pender Harbour and I'm interested but before I make the trip up I'm trying to see if anyone has seen it before.

(Sorry to bump such an old thread...)


PaulinVictoria 09-16-2012 09:16 PM

Re: Thunderbirds
I really can't remember, sorry mate. I didn't actually go and look at any, Faster on here went to look at one in Vancouver for me, perhaps he remembers.

applecran 09-16-2012 10:57 PM

Re: Thunderbirds
No worries Paul, thanks for getting back to me.

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