Thursday 19 March 2015


Another blast from the past,  the mid 70's when flares were something to do with trousers, the government was encouraging people to share a bath and save water and the Sex Pistols hadn't met Eddie Grundy.

The Allegro Express is not the peculiar Austin with the square steering wheel, I kid you not. It is an interesting boat, not that I saw one at the time or indeed since. A 20 foot high performance keel boat with a heavy ballasted lifting keel, easy to transport and a spirited boat to sail, sounds like a winning combination?

At nearly sixteen hundred quid plus VAT, plus spinnaker, plus trailer, plus outboard it wasn't an especially cheap boat back in 1976.  Nor is it clear which part of the boating demographic the builders were targeting. Back in those days I was lusting after a Laser or a Merlin Rocket while Westerly built nearly 3000 Centaurs for the cruising set.

These kind of small open day sailors seem to be much more popular in Holland, Van de Stadt Spanker, EF Six, Centaur and Randmeer to name but a few. Maybe they are better suited to slightly protected waters or maybe the Dutch are more intrepid sailors, whatever the reason the Allegro doesn't seem to have caught on in the UK,


  1. I think that even in a very small little cruiser I would expect a little cabin - even if its only big enough to lie down in if you are anchored and it rains - The late Charles Stocks 'Shoal Waters' had a great little cabin and its only about 16 feet long.

  2. Alden you make a good point, I had a Jaguar 21 not much bigger, useful cabin for over night or having an afternoon snooze or getting out of the rain to make a cup of tea. Great boat to sail and I could launch and recover single handed.

  3. ...more to the point - last page, on the right ... review of the Fjord MS 28... now there's a boat that fell out of the ugly tree, and hit every branch on the way down! :o)

  4. Well spotted Steve it's right up there with the Beneteau evasion 32 and the Austin Allegro with the square steering wheel

  5. LOL - My good wife had an Austin Allegro, but I don't remember the square steering wheel, I will have to ask her LOL - She actually got quite a good run out of the Allegro, but I do remember the Austin Maxi, possibly British Leylands worst built car.

  6. ....lord... and the Vauxhall Viva...! Dreadful... :o)


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