Thistle Fleet #3
The Thistle first appeared at the 1945 I-LYA Regatta at Put-in-Bay. It was sailed by designer and builder Sandy Douglas. At this regatta it was said the Thistle outsailed all comers, including many boats much larger.
Since then the class has advanced to almost 4,000 boats in almost half of the states of the US. The greatest number are in our region, from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The Thistle has had builders from the East Coast to the West Coast, the largest having been Douglas & McLeod in Painesville, Ohio.
Sandusky Thistle Fleet #3 came into being in 1946, with the acquisition of six boats in kit form from Fox River Builders. Through the years the fleet grew to as many as 42 boats. The nations were held at SSC on Sandusky Bay in 1951, 1981, 1987 and most recently in 2013. It is interesting to note that Thistle #1 is still competing and finished in the top ten. This speaks well of Sandy Douglas's concept of a true one-design boat.