So you want to buy a Fireball?

As a potential new Fireball sailor, you will probably be looking at the used boat market. The Fireball is an interesting boat to go shopping for because there are used examples available from many different types of builders. Each builder has/had their own philosophy of what makes for a fast Fireball (within the limits of the class one-design rules) and so you will find that no two builders have created identical boats.

Originally intended to be built by homebuilders, the Fireball has also been built by large professional shops, small professional shops, and by hobbiests of both amateur and professional status. The rules of the International class association place limits on the frequency at which amateurs are allowed to build boats, and the amount of time that they must own them before selling. If a builder falls outside of these boundries then they must register as a professional builder. There is a limit to how many professional builders may exist within a given geographical boundry.

Hull numbers have been given out sequentially since the class began, so the number can give you an estimate of what year the boat was built. In recent years about 30 to 50 new boats have been registered annually.

There are a few different hull types out there.

Who built what?

In alphabetical order, here's a rundown of builders of the boats you may find in North America:

ACME Labs (Henry McCray) [South Carolina]

Blanco [Quebec] Canada Smallcraft [Calgary] Douthwaite, John [Vancouver BC] Chippendale [England] Harris, Cauthren [North Carolina] Haining, Bob / Steve Smith [Alberta / California] Lifestyle [Ontario] Lightfoot [Richmond BC] Lindsey, Mark [Connecticut?] Moss, Terry [Ontario] Penguin (Pat Grey) [San Francisco] Performance Sailcraft [Montreal] Rondar [England] Sailnetics [somewhere in the US] Western Sailcraft [Winnipeg]