9108 hits the water, with a little history behind the design.


Great to see Craig Thompson, finish off 9108. The 3rd (I know only 3) of Parker’s most revolutionary addition to the International 505 fleet.

There’s more of a story behind this boat than meets the eye. It’s concept is a combination of inspiration from Bill Parker and John Westell. At a meeting back in the late 1960’s where Bill was talking at a Scott Bader event, with John, they got talking about the rig loadings around the mast-gate (in those days, the mast gate area was open and free standing), lending little support to the side-way pressures of the rig (remember they were initially using wooden spars), so the thought emerged of using an A-frame (of aluminium) to hold the rig.


By 1973, this concept was developed into a real-life 505 driven by the innovation from the French fleet and what you see below, is LouDan sailing one of these twin-concept trapeze boats.

Fast forward a few years (OK a few decades), this picture sat in my Dad’s office for years, under all the trophies that the boats won, it always inspired me to think why didn’t this concept get put into a production boat.

So when we re-launched the business, I sat down with Bruce Parker (my older brother) and we discussed the concept, we couldn’t just get back into the class with a normal (quite frankly boring design or ugly design), so the concept was sown.

This is the final output a 505 that is powerful enough to take a dual trapeze system (out fo the box), with an A-frame and internal flange system and floor moulding stronger than anything ever produced in the class!

The challenge is the additional weight, these boats appear to be a little heavier, with such a large surface area of additional composite carbon, it adds some more weight.

I think we have solved this, using some better layups and simplification, we can probably drop another 5 kg. off the hull weight. However, boat performance is all about centralizing the weight so the “rocker” of the hull (time to travel between 2 points, is reduced), this boat is incredibly stable on a “swing”, so it means all the main weight and power is based around the mast gate and front of the centre-board case!

Bill is now 80 yrs. old, he loves this boat, it’s his final design of a boat that he fell in love with in 1957, through which we as a family traveled the world, met some great people.

I have had the privalege of having a father that I and John Westell considered to be the greatest interpreter and builder of the International 505, ever in the history of this fleet.

So, there you go, a little history, for what I consider to be the only real innovation in the 505 for almost 35 years, since Parker’s left.

David Parker


Craig Thompson builds out Parker 9108

Great to see that Justin Shaffer’s Parker 9108 is getting a great build out, be interesting to see her on the water this year in action.

Who will win the South African International 505 world’s.

Well it’s hotting up again in the 505 fleet, Mike Holt has hardly had time to polish his trophy from last year win in Germany and it’s up for grabs again (that’s if they find the container)!

So with only 35 boats at this year’s world (Parker’s actually offered to ship our moulds to South Africa 18 months ago to build the class for the event, but the offer was refused! – maybe a mistake) it’s going to be a bit of drag race to the finish.

So tactics, may not be the biggest play this year, but protecting your position will be as a right or left big shift if not covered could really mix up the final placings. So in reality there are only 10 boats in with a shout, but with so much space on the race track, a bad leg may not kill the opportunity to post good numbers.

So here goes. Mike Holt has to be the favorite, back with Carl Smit his long-term crew, he has more time on the water than anyone else, tactically he is much better through the wind-range and keeping his head out of the boat. He is on form, fast, becoming reliable and love’s the big winds and seas, so South Africa will suit his style.

Jan Saugmann is not a man to be mixed with twice world champion and now settled into his new Polish built boat, he is a fearsome competitor and is very hot on the first windward leg, he will post good numbers and has a real chance to take this title. He is using a boat with a port-side launcher (similar to the waterat’s of the past), will it be advantageous to have that greater projected sail-area on the first beat?

Then Ian Pinnell, a professional sailor, multi-talented, previous world champion will post some serious numbers and is very comfortable through the wind range, if he can post some early numbers on the board he will be a consistent danger throughout, tactically – the best.

Ted Conrads with Brian Haines, have posted many wins at the worlds, but just not been able to string the numbers in a consistent manner to threaten a title win. Ted with his new family, is probably short on boat time, but he knows his way around a fleet and has some serious speed. One day he is going to be a world champion I have no doubt.

Howie Hamlin, is just Howie, always a threat and with Jeff Nelson on board Mike Martin’s world champion winning crew, he is a dangerous competitor, but with boat troubles (he has one boat in that container fiasco), he has had to rig a new bear hull from scratch along with foils, sails, fittings and set-up, this is a tall order. However, if anyone can do it, Howie can!

Sandy Higgins, will always be up in the top 10 – hot Aussie will post good numbers in the big wind and waves, so watch-out for him.

The disruptors, Stefan Bohm and Terry Scutcher, two very talented sailors and Terry in particular from his current laser performances and affinity to high wind sailing could cause some problems.

However, after this the fleet is weak, so my money’s on Holty (with Ian hovering around closely), being able to polish that trophy (again!) when it finally arrives back on the shores of California.