The 29th August 2018 will marks the 80th anniversary of the first MSOD club meeting and we will be spending a lot of this year sharing information and images of the fleet since this date. In 2018, there remains a fleet of 18 boats registered in the RAYC Menai Strait One Design Class, and we are proud to be able to share some of its history below, or you could also read more about them at www.msod.org.uk.
80 Years of the MSOD Club
In November 1925 Messrs A.M.Dickie and Sons of Dickies Boatyard, Bangor took on a fourteen year old apprentice carpenter by the name of Mr Wilfred Leavett. Although living in Menai Bridge, he was of English decent and soon realised that he would have to learn to speak Welsh to understand the local boat builders who were all Welshmen. One of these was Mr William Morris, a twenty six year old from Bangor, who had already served his apprenticeship.
Wilfred worked with William on various types of sailing yachts, including the Fife One Design and the new boat that was being built there at the time, the Conway One Design, which had been designed by Mr W.H Rowlands M.I.M.E., a boat builder and designer that had once leased the boatyard, which later became Dickies.
During the early part of 1936, William and Wilfred decided to start their own business calling themselves ‘Morris and Leavett Yacht & Boat Builders – Chandlers’, leasing a shed at Gallows Point, Beaumaris. It was in the middle of 1936, that the Captains and crew of a local slate cargo ship approached Morris and Leavett to build them an 18 or 20 foot boat suitable for the Menai Strait to sail when they were home from their sea voyages.
In October 1936, Mr Rowland designed the Menai Strait One Design 20 foot Centre Board Boat; a carvel laid, straight stem, rockered keel, transom stern, centre board, flush deck with centre cockpit, fitted with all round cockpit coaming, transom hung rudder with Bermuda sloop rig. The Captains were shown the plans and decided that this boat was just what they wanted for the Menai Strait, so Morris and Leavett bought the plans from Rowland and went into production.
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