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For general interest

An article by Ian Proctor the boat's designer

The Kestrel 2000

In 1999 Richard Hartley (Hartley Boats) became the sole builder of Kestrels and set about updating the dinghy. The updated dinghy conforms to the ideals set out by Ian Proctor, but is built using modern techniques and with updated equipment to make a sleeker, stiffer dinghy for the 21st century. Richard’s Kestrels are built at his factory in Derby; his contact details are here.

All purchasers of a new Kestrel are entitled to a years’ free membership of the Kestrel Owners’ Association.

General description of the boat


Quick reference technical Information

Basic Kestrel dimensions
Overall length 4.776 metres (15′ 71/2″.)
Beam 1.75 metres (5′ 6″)
Bare hull weight 120 Kg (265 lbs.)
Main 9.29 sq. metres (100 sq. ft.)
Foresail 4.8 sq. metres (52 sq. ft.)
Spinnaker 11.15 sq. metres (120 sq. ft.)
Optimum weight 146 Kg (322 lbs.)
Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) 1038
Main sail
Leach length 6401 mm
Width – half height 1981 mm including bolt rope
Width – three-quarter height 1245 mm including bolt rope
Window area 186040 sq. mm
Width – headboard 102 mm
Length – top batten 1219 mm
Length – lower batten 838 mm
Width – top batten end (square with luff) 1016 mm
Luff 4115 mm
Leach 4064 mm
Foot 2413 mm
Head to half width on foot 4013 mm
Maximum roach on leach 102 mm
Window area 186040 sq. mm

Lower band Upper edge of band above datum on mast: 978 mm – 1004 mm
Upper band Lower edge of band above upper edge of lower band: 5791 mm
Boom band Distance from rear of mast track, to forward edge of limit band: 2730 mm
Spinnaker halyard exit No more than 4013 mm above top edge of lower band
Hanging height 4572 mm
Greatest width 2896 mm
Half-height width (minimum 3/4 of n) 2896 mm max.
Foot width (n) 2896 mm

Kestrel variants

Type Number Maker
Wooden 1 - 6 Jack Chippendale
Mk1 7 - 1428 John Gmach
Mk 1 1/2 1429 John Gmach
Mk ii 1430 - 1479 John Gmach
Mk II 1480 - 1502 Martin Boats
Mk !! 1510 - 1512 Moores of Wroxham
Mk II 1513 - 1516 Williams
2000 1530 - current Hartley Boats

Kestrel Variants – A Visual Guide


Wooden Kestrel – Kestrel number 6

In 2010 John Barnes wrote to us:

“Thought you may be interested to know that I have put Kestrel number 6 Cristel back in the water this year after a long lay off. As far as I know this is the only surviving wooden Kestrel out of the 6 built. ( I have somewhere the letters from Ian Proctor confirming she is number 6). I raced her at Weymouth in the Nationals some years ago to 9th place which wasn’t bad for a boat built around 1955. Best wishes to those in the Kestrel class who remember me. Thanks JB”

Kestrel Mk1 A Mark I may have had many modifications made to it. Not all were produced with spinnaker chutes and many have changed from transom sheeting to centre sheeting. It is not uncommon to find strengthening bars fitted between the chainplates to stiffen the hull for racing. These dinghies were supplied with either steel or alloy centreboards. Cruising boats may not have been fitted out with transom flaps or bailers.
Kestrel Mk2 The Mark II is not as numerous as the Mark I and looks very different above the hull. There is no afterdeck and the side buoyancy tanks are extended to the transom. Spinnaker chutes were optional and the Kestrel could be specified with centre or transom sheeting.
Kestrel 2000 The Kestrel 2000 is the current version of the dinghy. The foredeck is cleaner in design and the side buoyancy tanks have been remodelled with a destinct angled inner section, replacing the radius curve of previous marks. Decks are of an off-white colour whilst the hull can be specified with two colours – below the water line is usually white.