I just found out that when looking closely, the name plate on the mast is still readable. It seems to say "SSS steel spars", "Rushden, England" and has serial number 3211. Also, the original jib is from Jeckells and has the number 114268 on it. Can anyone help me to identify and/or date the boat? Based on the information on this website I think it is an early Reedcraft?
Edit: The boat has a double strip under the cockpit seating (see the last picture), which seems to confirm that it is an early Reedcraft boat. Interestingly, the boom looks like the black anodised aluminium mentioned here as used in the earliest SeaHawks, but the mast itself not.
I also have another question concerning the keel, which is quite difficult to move up and down. I've read the information in the Jamming Keels section. There is no ballast visible in the small hatch on the cabin sole, however, could this still be a problem with the wooden shuttering holding the ballast in place? The boat is currently on the trailer, I hope to check the keel on rust or fouling soon.
You have done a great job restoring your boat! Is there a sail number on the mainsail? That might help to date the boat. I notice you were sailing with your outboard dropped down into the drive postion. I always tilt mine up so that the prop is out of the water - that makes a big difference to how she sails! The keel is probably very rusty and crusty, so your best action is to take the keel off the boat (one large bolt) and get it sandblasted, then coat it with either an epoxy based paint or (as I did) with POR-15. It is unlikely that the ballast has swollen as your boat is probably a later one.
Hope you don't mind me moving your post to the HelpDesk area.
When I had my conversation with Chris Jeckells some 15 years ago they still had all their old job books in which that number will record the order. He let me go through an old volume while I researched the "tall rig" boat. Because of Covid-19 when they probably have very limited staff in I wouldn't say do it now but it may be worth emailing the company to see if they tell you when those sails were ordered.
If you have sealed ballast then your boat will probably have a sail number greater than around 150 but having a black anodised spar is surprising as, as far as I know, Reedcraft stopped supplying them before sealed ballast was fitted. However, your boat could be quite early as the mast on my boat (#267) had the coloured version of the badge seen at:
If you have sealed ballast my best guess would be that your boat would have been used for coastal cruising and barnacles and other growth has caused the keel to stick. Brian's suggestion on that sounds good.
Thank you both for your replies and suggestions! I hope the problem with the jamming keel is indeed because of the rust and/or other growth, I will keep you updated.
Unfortunately I do not have the original mainsail anymore, the mainsail was already replaced by a previous owner when we got the boat. It still had the SeaHawk logo on it, but no number. I am definitely going to try to get in contact with Jeckells and see if they can tell when the jib was ordered, thank you for this idea!
How can I determine if the boat has sealed ballast? The ballast is not clearly visible in the small hatch, it seems to be further backwards than in the picture on this page. I looked up some pictures from when I was working on the boat, here you can see the hatch, and also some additional ballast in the front. I do not remember seeing this before on this website, do other SeaHawks have this as well?
Your photo shows a boat with sealed ballast. While the exact way the keel housing was moulded in Reedcraft's day seems to have changed over time, all the pictures I have been sent of the open ballast show the plywood shuttering in clear view under the hatch space. Yours looks much more like Just 17's, which you can see at:
https://www.seahawk17.org.uk/boat-description-keel.php#pivot where the ballast is set a little further aft than that in early boats and not directly under the hatch.
I think what the other photo shows is a mud weight. My local chandler in Wroxham on the Norfolk Broads sells a variety:
https://www.norfolkmarine.co.uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=mud+weight They are not used as ballast but as an anchor in the very soft mud found in all the rivers and lakes of the Norfolk Broads. Maybe your boat was used in similar waters in the past, and a previous owner hid it below the floor board when he had no need of it?