The International Sonar Class is pleased to announce that Shumway Marine, with the cooperation of designer Bruce Kirby has made arrangements to have the Sonar built by Rondar Race Boats in the U.K., with plans eventually to have the boat built on both sides of the ocean. The American Rondar facility is in Peabody, MA.
Rondar, expects to launch its first Sonar in April.
Paul Young, Managing Director of Rondar Raceboats Ltd. said “I am looking forward to working with the Class Association to support existing fleets and expand sales of this great one design. “Backed by ISAF and with its Paralympic status, the Sonar has a bright future” stated Bruce Kirby, designer of the SONAR. “We are delighted that Rondar Raceboats has taken on production of Sonars. Rondar’s experience in this field is well known and it ensures continuity of quality construction and further Class growth”.
Bruce McArthur president of the SONAR Class Association said “We are pleased to have a committed builder in place and are looking forward to seeing the new boats on the water”.
With more than 800 boats in commission the Sonar has been used extensively for both fleet and team racing. In the U.K. the boat is raced in Cowes, Isle of Wight and on the Clyde in Scotland.
The New York Yacht Club has ordered eight new boats to add to its 13-boat fleet at Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Other North American fleets are in Darien, CT; Marblehead, MA; Boston; Oyster Bay, N.Y.; Nyack, NY; Falmouth, MA; Houston, TX; Lunenburg, NS; Vancouver, BC; Vineyard Haven, Ma; St. Petersburg, Fl; Lake Geneva, WI and Wayzata, MN.
The Sonar is also the three-person boat of choice for disabled sailors in the Paralympics and other major events for sailors with special needs. So there are small fleets in several countries.
Shumway Marine in Rochester had owned the builders’ rights for 18 years and marketed the boat throughout the world, with its chief building facility at Ontario Yachts in Oakville, Ont.
The 2015 World championships are to be held at Falmouth, MA. in September.
The roomy 23-foot sloop is raced by a crew of three or four, carries a generous symmetrical spinnaker and will plane under brisk conditions.