Ruffian Class

The Ruffian 23 is a 23 foot keelboat which was designed and built by brothers Dickie and Billy Brown
of Portaferry, Co. Down, 35 years ago. The Ruffian 23 is a great one design racing boat, an extremely
family-friendly boat, and despite its size, the Ruffian 23 has cruised waters around Ireland, the UK, and
further afield. What epitomises the Ruffian 23 is its stability in high seas and wind, when other larger boats
become more difficult to handle. Essentially the Ruffian is a small yacht which punches well above its
weight and has become very popular for the same reason.

Approximately 200 Ruffians were built and many are still raced regularly in Dun Laoghaire, Wicklow, Baltimore, Carrickfergus, Strangford Lough, around the Clyde, the Isle of Man, and even as far afield as Hong Kong
and Uruguay. The Ruffian 23 is represented by a very close knit owners group called the Ruffian Organisation, mainly based out of sailing clubs in Dun Laoghaire which regularly sees up to 25 Ruffians racing each week in the Dublin Bay races. The same group also organises the National Championships which are hosted in Dun Laoghaire each summer when each of the extremely competitive boats and respective crews pit themselves against their peers. This is one design racing at its best.

SSC has seen a number of Ruffian 23s over the years with Ballyblue and Red Cloud. More recently the Ruffian 23 has been well represented at both club and National Championship level by SSC member and Ruffian Class Captain Robbie Keys and his crew on ‘Siamsa’. The other Ruffian which more recently can be seen chasing other boats around the bay is called ‘Red Fox’.

Both Ruffians and their crew’s enjoy competitive racing in the SSC cruiser races on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and enjoy a good social scene when not on the water.

If you are interested in crewing or finding out more about the Ruffian 23, don’t hesitate to ask Robbie Keys or Anthony Doyle who are always on the lookout for more Ruffian members.

Further information regarding the Ruffian 23 can be found at Irish Ruffian Association

Robbie Keys - Class captain

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