In 2013, I saw this 14' boat in a yard, stopped and left a note for the owner. He agreed to sell it for $60. It has a layered fiberglass hull, aluminum centerboard and rudder blade, but the mast is of wood. There was no sail or Hull Identification Number.

I later found a blue boat like it for sale on eBay. The seller thought that it had been used by the Princeton University Sailing Team back in the fifties. The wood mast indicated an early date of manufacture and one source said that the first small racing boats at Princeton were imported from Holland.

The boat on eBay was later re-listed and this time it was identified as a Flying Tern from the fifties. Here are pictures of my boat as purchased:

I mounted an aluminum mast on the boat and decorated it for Christmas.
More pictures here: "Christmas Boat"

Click on image to enlarge


Born in Holland, 1910, Ericus Gerhardus van de Stadt was one of the pioneers of modern yacht design. His company, E.G. van de Stadt Co. has produced over 400 designs since 1933. Van de Stadt and his wife first lived aboard a houseboat on a canal at Zaandam. They designed and built canoes and dinghies including a 14' dinghy in 1955. It was first labelled "Design #56" but in Holland and much of Europe, the boat became known as "Stern," Dutch for Tern, a type of seagull. The name in America is "Flying Tern."

One of Europe's earliest fiberglass production sailing dinghy's, the Flying Tern soon became one of the most popular racing dinghies in Europe, and it has a large following to this day. The boat is sloop-rigged and outfitted with spinnaker and trapeze for class racing. In a list of 130 boats designed by van de Stadt (, the Flying Tern is the smallest at 14 feet. Most are between 20 and 40 feet in length, including my favorite, the Austrian-built Sunbeam 22.

In 1978 van de Stadt sold his boatyard to Dehler Yachts and spent the rest of his career concentrating on design.

E. G. van de Stadt was very successful in offshore racing and was on Holland's 1936 Olympic sailing team. He died in 1999.

Flying Tern Documents (click on links and retrieve from Download folder):
Mexican brochure (PDF 1mb), Mexican specs & drawings (ZIP file 3.5mb), North American brochure (ZIP file 2.8mb), Dutch drawings and specs (ZIP file 700kb),