Three-Person One-Design

  Fleet Captain:

   Tony Blackner - 

  Fleet Growth:

    Julie Irwin

  Fleet Messages: 

   (for access contact Tony or Julie)


About the Thistle:

The Thistle sailboat is a three-person, one-design, beautiful, high performance racing dinghy that combines grace with speed. Designed in 1945 by American designer Sandy Douglas, the boat and class continue to thrive and are raced by dedicated enthusiasts and enjoyed by families alike. The boat has a planing hull and will plane in 10-12 knots of breeze, but it also moves well in light winds and will outperform many larger boats in these conditions. The Thistle has been recognized by US Sailing as one of the most active one-design classes in the U.S.

Original Thistles were constructed of cold molded plywood, using a technique pioneered during WW1 for aircraft construction and used in WWII for PT boats. Wood Thistles remain strong and competitive to this day. Thistle #1 consistently places well in regattas and won the national championship in 1990, forty-five years after it was built. The modern Thistle has updated hardware, spars and rigging but remains true to its one-design principles. New Thistles are still available, and while newly built Thistle hulls are made of fiberglass with built-in flotation, the strict one design specifications help ensure that older wood or glass Thistles remain competitive. One can typically find competitive older fiberglass boats starting around $2500, with newer boats available for around $10,000 when they come onto the market.


About the Seattle Fleet:

Seattle Thistle Fleet #61 is very active, we often have 12 to 20 boats racing on Lake Washington. Skippers and crew of all skill levels are welcome.  Racing experience ranges from novice to expert. This fleet is home to former collegiate sailors as well as top district and national racers. Our Corinthian Yacht Club racing schedule includes approximately 45 races per year on Lake Washington sailed from Leschi Marina on most Wednesdays from mid-April to mid-September.  There are also several “traveling” regattas to great racing venues in the Pacific Northwest such as Sequim Bay, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Yale Lake and others.  Each year the Seattle fleet is represented by multiple teams who travel to districts, mid-winters, and national regattas, which are held at different venues around the country.

The best way to experience the great competition and camaraderie of Thistle racing is come out and try it! Wednesday nights. Many fleet members store their boats at the Leschi Marina north docks on Lake Washington.  The address is near 320 Lake Washington Blvd, just North of the commercial buildings. Stop by any Wednesday evening from mid- April to mid-September around 5Pm to meet fleet members or contact us and arrange to crew for one of our teams.  After racing there is almost always food, beverages and banter shared in the parking lot.  See for yourself what a great boat the Thistle is and what a great fleet we have going here in Seattle.

More information:

Please contact fleet growth officer Julie Irwin at or fleet captain Tony Blackner at

Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle
7755 Seaview Ave NW 
Seattle WA 98117
(206) 789-1919 

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