Sea Island One-Design

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...

The Sea Island One-Design, or SIOD is a wood-constructed sailing skiff that features a wide and flat profile. The boat was first designed to sail in the Rockville Regatta and eventually spurred other local yacht clubs to build their own and to establish an invitational regatta of their own.[1] The boat's shallow design is unique to its class and is what sets this boat out from the rest. It has a mostly flat deck that only differs in the middle where it tapers downwards towards the centerboard. The SIOD is known not for its speed but for its simple boxy design and its flat-bottom hull that characterizes it as strictly a day sailer built for the races. It is usually sailed by three people who fill one of which jobs: skipper (steers), main sail, and jib position. This boat is native to the waterways in and around Charleston, South Carolina where it has been the main event in local regattas since its design after World War II.[2] The boat was designed in order to create a uniform racing fleet that was composed of multiple boats that were all built to a set of specific standards.[3] The SIOD boats were created in order participate in some of the first instances of fair and regulated sailing regattas.


The Sea Island One-Design was designed in 1947 in a joint effort between Oliver Seabrook and a naval architect named Henry Scheel who was from Mystic, Connecticut. Oliver Seabrook was the man who thought up and drafted the first sketches of the One-design that were later sent to Scheel for finishing touches and a final draft.[4] The first boats—Cygnet, Undine, Doghouse, and Marcheta—were all built by each of the area yacht clubs to participate in a race series for bragging rights. The race series that was formed by each club's regatta was headlined by the last regatta of the season that was held in Rockville, South Carolina. Every year the boat that accrued the most points throughout the season is awarded the Ellis Trophy during the awards ceremony for the Rockville Regatta.[5]

Rockville Regatta

The regatta is hosted by the Sea Island Yacht Club and takes place in Bohicket Creek every year. The event hosts multiple different sailing classes including E-Scow, Laser, Sunfish, Y Flyer, and Opti. However the main event is the Sea Island One Design class. The race has been held every year in Bohicket Creek for over a century and is rumored to have started when two local residents wanted to settle a friendly dispute over who was the better sailor. Every year since the regatta has gained popularity and eventually a large following. In its heyday the regatta would attract over 300 entrants, but with a declining interest in sailing it usually has closer to fifty or so boats.[6] Although the number of sailboats has decreased slowly over time, the number of power boats and people in the "spectator fleet" has greatly increased. The floating conglomeration of boats, barges, rafts, and everything in between has grown to become a large floating party. It is often joked about that only a quarter of the people in the spectator fleet even know that there is a sailboat race going on.[citation needed]

Second generation

The SIOD fleet was given new life in the 1980s with the birth of three new boats that were built by local Mark Bayne for Van E. Smith.[7] Van Smith, a Rockville resident, now owns the Privateer, Island Spirit, and Bohicket II as well as part owner of the Doghouse.[8] The fleet grew to eight with the addition of the Grey Ghost which was also built by Mark Bayne for Charleston local Mike Groshon.


  1. Haynie, June 20, 2007
  2. Haynie June 20, 2007
  3. Haynie August 1, 2008
  4. Hicks August 2, 2008
  5. Haynie August 1, 2008
  6. Hicks August 2, 2008
  7. Bayne
  8. Haynie June 20, 2007
  • Haynie, Will. "Historic Rockville Regatta One-of-a-kind sail Experience." The Post and Courier [Charleston] 1 Aug. 2008. 8 Feb. 2009