What Is a Snipe Sailboat?

The snipe sailboat is a classic racing sailboat that has been around since the early 1900s and is still popular today among sailing enthusiasts and racers alike. The snipe has a unique design, advantages, and challenges that make it an exciting and rewarding boat to own and race with.

In this article, we’ll explore the history, design, advantages, racing requirements, maintenance tips, events related to the snipe sailboat, and more!

History of the Snipe Sailboat

The snipe sailboat was first designed by William Crosby in 1931 in Long Beach, California as an inexpensive racing boat for sailors who were just starting out or who had limited finances for an expensive racing vessel.

The earliest versions were built with wooden hulls, but more modern examples have been made with fiberglass hulls since the 1950s. Throughout its history, the snipe has been used in many local and international regattas and has become one of the most popular boats in sailing circles today!

Design of the Snipe Sailboat

The snipe sailboat is designed with two masts, each equipped with three sails: a mainsail on the mainmast and two jibs on the foremast. The total sail area for these three sails typically ranges from about 65 square feet to 75 square feet depending on how much racing experience or skill level you have as a sailor.

The boat itself measures just over 14 feet long and typically weighs between 500-800 pounds when ready to race – making it lightweight enough to be maneuvered easily but still sturdy enough to handle choppy waters during competition!

Advantages of the Snipe Sailboat

The snipe sailboat’s lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces or swiftly change direction while racing – making it ideal for experienced sailors who want to compete in close quarters races or beginners just learning how to race in general.

Additionally, because of its smaller size compared to other racing boats such as Melges 24s or J/24s – you can easily transport your snipe without having to purchase a large trailer or spend extra money on fuel costs associated with hauling larger boats around!

Racing With a Snipe Sailboat

In order to race in sanctioned events with your snipe sailboat you must first register your boat at your local sailing association or club as well as obtain a valid membership (if not already done so). Once registered, you can begin competing in local regattas which are typically held over several days where you will be competing against other sailors from all over the world!

Additionally, if you are looking for more competition outside of your local sailing community – there are several international regattas held throughout each year which you can join as well!

Different Types of Snipes Sailboats

There are several different types of snipes sailboats available on today’s market ranging from classic wooden designs (which usually weigh heavier) all the way up to modern fiberglass designs which tend to be much lighter in weight – making them easier to maneuver during races!

Additionally there are also different types of rigs available (such as sloop rigs) so you can customize your boat based on whatever type of sailing experience you prefer!

Requirements To Own A Snipes Sail Boat

Aside from registering your boat at your local sailing association or club – owning a snipes sail boat requires that you have all necessary safety equipment such as life jackets for each member aboard (or child under 16 years old) as well as other items such as fire extinguishers and flares/beacons depending on where you plan on sailing at night or near shorelines during races/cruises.

Additionally, if you plan on taking part in international regattas – additional paperwork may be required depending on what country/region you are entering into!

Maintenance & Care For A Snipes Sail Boat

For optimal performance when racing your snipes sail boat should be properly maintained before each event, this includes checking all cords/lines/ropes attached to sails/masts/boom etc…as well as any hardware pieces (such as cleats) which may need tightening or repair prior to departure, additionally regular cleaning both inside/outside is recommended especially since salt water can corrode metal pieces overtime if left unchecked! Lastly always ensure that any safety equipment aboard is functioning correctly before departing on any voyage!

Tips For Racing With A Snipes Boat

If this is your first time racing with a snipes sail boat there are some tips worth considering before setting out onto open waters, first off always check that all sails are properly trimmed (angling them correctly against wind direction will help maximize speed) secondly always remember that tacking (turning into wind direction) is often faster than jibing (turning away from wind direction), lastly always make sure that there is at least one experienced sailor aboard who knows how best handle difficult weather conditions or emergencies if they arise during competition!

Events Related To The Snipes Boat

Throughout each year there are numerous events related specifically towards owners of snipes boats, these range from smaller regional competitions all the way up through world championship events such as those held by ISAF (International Sailing Federation).

Additionally many countries host their own national championships making it easy for owners of this type of vessel find competitive races within their reach!


In conclusion – owning and racing a snipes sail boat can be an exciting experience no matter what level sailor you may be, however it’s important remember that proper maintenance/care should be taken prior departure along with following all necessary safety guidelines while out on open waters!

Lastly don’t forget about all wonderful events related specifically towards owners of this type vessel where they can meet other like minded sailors from around world while competing their own personal bests across open seas!

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