In the late 19th Century yachting in Cork Harbour was quite a spectacle. Some of the greatest yachts around, including ‘Valkerie’, ‘White Heather’, Britannia, ‘Kaisarine’ and ‘Shamrock’, visited and raced. Many were owned and crewed by the Royal Cork Yacht Club(RCYC) members and their English counterparts and the racing attracted those of the highest caliber.
During this time the need for a smaller type of yacht was felt and in 1895 a group of yachtsmen from the RCYC had the idea of forming a new one-design class for racing. A syndicate was formed and William Fife Junior(III) was commissioned to design a boat that could be crewed by four people, would be particular to the local requirements and conditions and built for under £100. He came up with a yacht that cost just £79 and 10 shillings.
The first six were built by the Carrigaloe Gridiron Works Company and were launched in June of 1896. Two more were to be built at Carrigaloe, three at Passage West and one in Baltimore, West Cork, bringing the total to 12.