Ah! Memories of teenage lust ..... for a boat.
Around the age of 12, I learned to sail on an El Toro and shortly after, started to learn to race as a crew on an International 14. I became obsessed with sailing and, sometime in the 1960's, when the annual class review of the One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman came out, I spied this blurb on the Peanut class and fell in love.
Slightly longer than my El Toro and much racier, I dreamed of owning this beauty. I sent away to the class secretary and got one or two mimeographed sheets with some grainy photos in the return post. I could have bought some plans but, I was, at that time, inept with the basic hand tools and my dad wasn't much better. The money I saved from my lawn cutting jobs was to be used for other purposes.
When I was in my twenties, in a short foray in the Finn dinghy, I sailed a regatta out of Sayville, New York, just up the road from the Peanut Class home port of West Islip. My teenage obsession had long passed and I never thought of making a quick 10 mile (16km) side-trip to see if I could find a Peanut dinghy in the flesh.
In the ensuing years, despite inquiries to any Long Island sailor who has crossed my path, not one person has come forward as knowing anything of the the Peanut dinghy of West Islip, let alone have I been able to find a person who has seen one. It seems to be a class that appeared and disappeared very quickly, leaving not much trace.
But it still remains, to me, as one of those warm, fuzzy memories of early teenage years
Ed. Note: There is also a Norwegian Peanut sailing dink which was hot-molded and imported into the U.S during the 1960's - another instance of a class sharing a name.