Geary Sailboat Flattie

geary flattie
  • Centerboard and rudder both adjustable fore and aft.

  • Inboard rudder

  • Horizontally planked bottom

  • Hull #179

  • 2009.18.1

  • Builder/Location: Unknown

  • Designer: L.E. “Ted” Geary

  • Date: 1928-1955

  • Length: 18’ 2” Beam: 5’ 6”

  • Rig: Fractional Sloop

  • Shape: Bottom, flat/Transom stern/Deck Construction: Frame, sawn/Carvel/Horizontally planked

The Geary 18, originally called the ‘Flattie’ is a fast, simple, flat-bottomed sailboat designed for youth racing by Ted Geary in 1928 for the Seattle Yacht Club. His design was chosen by the SYC in a compe- tition held to create a simple, safe, fast boat to get youth involved in racing. The project was a reaction to the deaths of four young men who capsized in an International Star on Lake Union in 1927.

The Flattie is a very simple design, a flat-bottom centerboard boat with a fractional sloop rig. Flota- tion under the decks assures that the boat will not sink. The most unique feature of the class is its centerboard and inboard rudder, both of which can be trimmed fore and aft to optimize the boat’s performance under different conditions. The first boats were built by the Blanchard Boat Co, and sold for $150. The Flattie was also built by other local boat companies and by amateurs, so construction varies but is generally very simple, with straight sawn frames and flat sides, bottom, and deck. Later boats were mostly made of plywood, where earlier boats were planked. Some of the earliest boats like this one had a horizontally planked bottom.

Jess Testa