Old Larks...

Mark Newton

Posted: 04 Feb 11 22:28
Message ID: 1958
Hi All,

Just a quick question. I see a lot of cheap old Larks for sale. Do people think that it is feasible to make one of these race competitive?

I have seen the document about tweaking Barker hulls to make them take more rig tension amongst other things, but I am unsure as to weather the rest of the main hull would be stiff enough? I assume that the older boats where made out of a polyester resin, would this have been core matted?

Also whats the main differences between the different versions of hulls IE MK2s and the Ovi and Rondar Larks?

Thanks for any replies,


Ruth Johnson

Posted: 05 Feb 11 18:59
Reply ID: 5560
its not so much how old the boat is necessarily, but how well it has been looked after - I have just sold 2347 which is still very competitive (we won a race at the winters) but yet she is nearly 19 years old.

You can get a very competitive boat for 1000, but look at its condition before you buy. If you want a club racer moving into some opens, you will be just fine with a Parker Mk2. Bakers and early Parkers are ok if you just want to spend a few hundred and cruise around your local club, but are likely to need a lot of work to race competitively unless someone has done it up. There are details somewhere on the site of what numbers relate to what kind of hull.

Parkers have an entirely different layout from the Rondars and Ovis as the boat was completely redesigned in 2000.

Smashie Bennett

Posted: 06 Feb 11 14:46
Reply ID: 5562
I reckon with a few stiffners on a decent old hull and a tune up with good sails in the right hands and you could compete in land, but in a breeze and on the sea it might start to turn into one of them banana boats! failing that, put a wooden deck on it!

Mark Newton

Posted: 07 Feb 11 22:54
Reply ID: 5565
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the input I really appreciate it. I am thinking about getting an old lark to sail inland, however I wasn't planning on spending a lot of money (I was looking at the 200 ones to be honest).

I understand that as with everything, to be competitive you would need to chuck on a decent rig with decent rags.

But I was more concerned about whether the hull/deck would take decent rig tensions...I understand that you would have to stiffen the deck up, but I was a bit unsure about the hull. From what you guys are saying though, the way I understand it, for inland use, an old hull would be ok, provided the deck was stiffened?!

I have a bit of experience doing repairs...and I complete refurb wouldn't phaze me to much...

Anyhow, let me know if I am thinking correctly here,



Harry Pynn

Posted: 08 Feb 11 08:57
Reply ID: 5566
It may be obvious, but I'd have thought that one of the main things to watch out for is the weight. I believe that some of the earlier larks (before about 2200) were built to a lower weight and therefore have more correctors. If you are going to be stiffening the boat up it would be good to have a bit of leeway in weight, although for 200 pounds I don't think you'll have much choice about this.

Chris Biglin

Posted: 14 Feb 11 22:17
Reply ID: 5597
The Lark is heavy enough for a few kilos here or there to make little difference, you'd be surprised how many of our fast boats are not down to weight.

Neither is rig tension important. The old Larks would never take very much and the rig development consequently doesn't depend on it. It may be more important with the kappa mast but you won't get one of those on a 200 Lark.

Fittings are so expensive that a 200 hull could be a false economy, spending a bit more on a boat that has better sails and a better quality fitout could be cheaper in the long run.

Choose your hull on condition and the fitout.

Mark Newton

Posted: 22 Feb 11 21:18
Reply ID: 5623
I am guessing based on what I have read that, a new style mast and sails requires a higher rig tension. I can see how you can increase the stiffness of the hull. I think I have a much better idea of things now. Thanks for all the info.

In order to make any boat fast, you need a decent rig. I know this from other classes. This is something I accept. What I didn't know, was if the hull shapes where different or if like the old Polyester holt GP's they got soft with age.

Anyhow thanks for all the posts,


James Bramley

Posted: 21 May 11 13:55
Reply ID: 5757
I have a very old baker lark (1150) which when i bought it, it was in very bad condition, the hull was all cracked there where no sails and no rudder or tiller. but all it took was a bit of fiberglass and gel coat and it was brilliant! I now sail on marine lake in southport and it does me very fine! If you do buy a old lark i recommend taking the self balers out putting an extra layer of fiberglass on and then re cutting the holes because that can get a bit weak over time.
Best regards

John Pettinato

Posted: 19 Oct 12 21:37
Reply ID: 6342
My Lark has a vin# JBK016730377, I read other posts giving the vin of the boat a four digit number. Does that mean my Lark is #1673 made o3/77 ? Just curious