Seal 22 and Sinbad
Seal 22 Forum
Memories of a Seal 22, by Vernon Pell
Un safran en acier s’il vous plait, by Richard Tanner - crossing the Channel
without a rudder
An Early Brochure
The following is a copy of an early 1970s Seal 22 Mk1 brochure sent in by Mr Stephen Lowry of Co Meath, Ireland. Stephen
owned a mark 1 Seal 22, number 7 called 'Snaphew'. 'Snaphew', though still in Ireland under new ownership, is now called
'Sophie'. The four page brochure has been shown as scanned.
The Seal, like many really good ideas, is so obviously right in concept it is hard to believe nothing quite like her has
been designed before.
Retractable fin keel. The Seal has a fin keel, essential for performance and good stability. A special feature is
that the keel retracts-enabling you to explore the shallows-run up on the beach-use a mud berth-trail her behind the car.
Also with the keel raised you reduce wetted area for fast downwind sailing-the Seal really flies with the spinnaker up.
Family Sailing. This is what the Seal has been designed for-she's just the boat for the man who is used to dinghy
performance but now, with a young family, wants the security of a keel boat-and the accommodation to spend occasional weekends
away. The Seal is fun to race too.
Safety. This has been an important factor in the Seal's development. The stable but easily driven hull has a 40 per
cent ballast ratio- which means the family not only are safe-they will feel safe too.
Accommodation. The Seal is divided into three-a two-berth cabin forward-enormous two family cockpit amidships-and
a self-draining helmsman's cockpit aft. Father can sail the Seal like a demon circumnavigator while the family enjoy their
sailing out of harm's way; and mother can really relax knowing the children are safe in such a deep cockpit.
Day Sailing or weekend cruising. For day sailing there's room for a couple of families-with nobody cooped up below
out of fun and sun. The extended coachroof gives plenty of protection from wind and spray. You can rig a cockpit canopy
to convert the Seal into a snug four berther for weekending. The forward cabin can be fitted with a sea, or chemical, toilet
and there's a galley, with plenty of places for the cook to stow pots and pans.
Well tested. We know the Seal makes sense because we sailed her hard before going into production-ironing out the
problems to give trouble free sailing. We won a few races too!
Construction. The all glassfibre Seal is moulded in our modern, temperature controlled factory. Hull lay
up consists of the gelcoat followed by a layer of 1½ oz mat, then a 2 oz layer of mat, a single layer of 18 oz woven roving
and a final layer of 1½ oz mat. In addition, there is progressive thickening from the waterline to the keel and at the bow.
Great hull rigidity is achieved by bonding in fore and aft stringers and the interior moulding, which forms the berths and
toiIet compartment. The deck, coachroof and self-drain cockpit form one moulding which is bolted and bonded to the hull.
Non slip deck surfaces are moulded in.
Keel and rudder. The retractable keel is a heavy iron casting of approximately 800 lbs (367 kg) weight. It is hydrodynamicalIy
shaped and fits snugly into glassfibre housing. The simple screw jack lifting gear is easy to operate. The rudder has anti
fracture marine ply cheeks, stainless steel hangings and 5/16" (7.5 mm) mild steel blade.
Rig. The Seal is a Bermudian sloop. Mast and boom by Ian Proctor Metal Masts Ltd. are gold anodised. Stainless steel
rigging consist of upper shrouds with swinging spreaders, and lower shrouds and forestay. Halliards are prestretched terylene.
Sails are 5 oz terylene.
L.O.A. 21'9"(6.63 m)
L.W. 18'0" (5.49 m)
Beam 7'9" (2.36 m)
Displacement 2400 lbs (1100kg)
Draft keel up (0.61 m)
Draft keel down 3'10"(1.17 m)
Rise/fall of keel 1'10"(0.56 m)
Mainsail 121 sq. ft. (11.3 sq. m.)
Cruising genoa 120 sq. ft. (11.2 sq. m.)
Working jib 63 sq. ft. (5.9 sq. m.)
Racing genoa 142 sq. ft. (13.2 sq. m.)
Spinnaker 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m.)
With her big centre cockpit, partly overlapped by the coachroof, the Seal has room aboard for two average families to enjoy
a day's sailing in uncrowded comfort; the children want a romp on the beach so you wind up the keel, lift the rudder, and
run her ashore.
If you have been sailing dinghies you will be used to handling a spinnaker; centre picture shows the Seal moving fast downwind
with her spinnaker pulling nicely. Gone are the days when a spinnaker was used for racing only; it is now an important addition
to any cruiser's sail locker.
The grouped pictures show, top left, the canopy rigged; this entirely encloses the large centre cockpit, making it into
a snug two-berth saloon.
Other pictures show various aspects of life aboard the Seal: the galley, with ample lockers and shelves, is to starboard;
hanging locker is to port; just visible is the up and over door which completely encloses the fore cabin, for privacy and
security. The sea, or chemical, toilet, fits between fore cabin berths; normally it would be hidden by hatch and cushion.
Picture, right, second row, shows the boat high and dry with the legs in place; these are easily fitted to the hull for
slipping and laying up. Because, when the fin is housed, she has only a small stub keel, the Seal will take a mud berth
Happy young Seal sailor is winding up the keel at the end of a day's sailing; the simple screw jack is mounted atop the
keel housing, under the table, handle can be removed. The passengers are separated from the helmsman by the bridge deck;
on which runs the centre mainsheet. Note how deep and secure the family are; the aft, self-drain cockpit, has high coamings.
The Seal's First Boatshow
Thanks again to Mr Stephen Lowry of Co Meath, Ireland, here is an article from the 1970 Daily Express newspaper referring
to the Daily Express London Boat Show, as it was known in those days.
Here was an opportunity to win two Seal 22s! It would be nice to know who the winners were.
Two of these interesting new 'weekenders' built by John Baker (Kenton Forge) were offered as prizes in the Daily Express
Boat Show Competition at Earls Court. It would not be surprising to find that the entry for year's competition is the highest
on record because Seal seems to satisfy so many of the needs of a new "peoples' boat".
She is small and light enough to trail would be lively enough to form a satisfactory day-racing keelboat class and yet
she has four berths, a small galley and a plumbed toilet arrangement. Couple these factors with the convenience and performance
characteristics of shallow draft and a simple, ballasted lifting keel and Seal becomes one of the shrewdest attempts to
satisfy a very wide range of owners.
The drawings show a trim profile under a simple efficient rig of the type that performance minded people favour for tuning
and flexibility yet it is perfectly suitable for the 'hoist sail, and go' beginner.
Underwater the almost vertical 8001b lifting keel is raised and lowered by two wire strops connected to a horizontally mounted
screw jack. When retracted the enlarged section at the bottom of the casting prevents stones and mud being trapped in the
box. The system was tried modified and developed in prototype form and now seems to be foolproof.
Accommodation consists of a little two-berth cabin forward of the mast bulkhead which can be closed off for the stowage
of sails and loose equipment by means of a lockable hatch which doubles as a table. The middle section has two further berth/seats
either side and can be used as a large day cockpit (ideal for small children) or with the canopy erected, as a second cabin.
The small aft helmsman's cockpit is self-draining. A fixed rudder is used at present 'but a lifting one will soon be available.
Hull and deck are one piece glass fibre mouldings and there is minimum wooden interior and exterior trim. The standard boat
priced at £l,075 includes working sails but the canopy, cushions and toilet are extras. A trailer for the boat would cost
around £150, but would certainly be worthwhile to open up a vast cruising area for this very intriguing little boat.
Builder: John Baker (Kenton Forge),
Kenton, Exeter, Devon.
February 1970 (Yachting World)
Seal Sinbad brochure
Where would I be without Stephen Lowry of Co Meath, Ireland for locating and loaning even more early brochures he has located
in his files.
Unfortunately the brochures had to be copied and reduced to A4 in order to scan them in so some quality has been lost, but
they are just about readable.