The Starling class yacht was conceived and the design commissioned by John Peet in the late 1960s.  At the time there were no single-handed boats available to teenagers for bridging the gap between the P class and the adult Finn, OK, Cherokee and Zephyr classes. A set of criteria was formulated for the proposed class: –

  • Crew weight of approx 50 – 70 kgs
  • The boat should be easily handled in fresh conditions, plane readily and have good windward performance
  • The appearance of the boat to be of high priority
  • Buoyancy to be of P class standard
  • Very close restrictions so that all boats to have equal performance. e.g. masts from standard aluminium extrusion, sails from the same material and same loft

Des Townson, the designer of the successful Zephyr, Mistral and Dart yachts of the period was approached to design the boat and he completed this in June 1969.  To confirm the simplicity of the construction concept, teenager David Peet built the prototype as his first boat-building project.  The Starling was launched at Westhaven, Auckland on Anzac weekend 1970.  

For further information please click here the Starling Class Association website.