Reviving the Legacy of Rooster Class Sailboats

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August 28, 2018 by Monica Grant

Teresa Smith Galoob from Norman, Oklahoma has enjoyed the past several Summer Sailstice celebrations aboard her Rooster Class Sailboat, #715.

What's a Rooster you ask?

Rooster Class Sailboats were originally designed in Jamestown, R.I. by Teresa’s father, Commodore (U.S. Navy) Michael P. Smith. A life-long boat designer and builder, Cdr. Smith launched his first Rooster ‘Kathleen’ in 1957.  Teresa's Rooster, the SARAH-t, was built in 1982 using her father's original plans.

The Rooster Sailboat's website describes the vessel as "9’6” long and weighs around 100 pounds. The lateen-rigged wooden sailboat is made from 1/4 inch plywood and has an 8-foot mast with a bamboo sprit and boom, and a dagger board. Despite its size, the boat can accommodate up to three people (depending on their size). Named for the shape of its rudder (after the Rhode Island Red Rooster), the Rooster carries 37 square feet of sail and can be easily transported, making it a popular small sailboat."

Over recent year's Teresa had spent time restoring her Rooster to its original condition and in 2016 entered her work in the Summer Sailstice "Restore a Small Boat Contest". This year, although her restorations were complete, Teresa decided to lower the boat's original sail and upgrade to a new design made by Quantum sails in Newport, R.I.. Thus the resoration of the SARAH-t is now fully complete. 

Rooster #715, 2018
The SARAH-t in 2018 with her new sail by Quantum Sails, R.I..

Teresa entered a photo of the SARAH-t flying her new colors into this year's photo contest and was awarded 3rd place. Upon learning of her win, Teresa sent us this account of her Rooster adventures and her 2018 Summer Sailstice celebrations...

'My Sailstice 2018 photo entry of me solo sailing our Rooster Class Sailboat, #715, the Sarah, is of our completion of our 'Restoring a Small Sailboat'. Following a few years involvement with our Rooster sailing alongside fellow Rooster fleet sailors over our Annual Rooster Week, in Jamestown, R.I., we decided to complete the restoration of our Rooster, built in 1982, with a new, upgraded design sail.

Though proud owners of an intact, original sail we had been using, personally presented to us by my dad, and Rooster Boat Designer, we also admired the more attractive, latest designs the remaining fleet sailors were ordering to complete or upgrade their Roosters, creating a nice presentation on Narragansett Bay. The contrast, particularly between the Rooster sails, as seen in the older photo from the 1960s is quite stark in comparison as the original sails were of Cotton, later Nylon, and Dacron. 

Unfortunately, we could not make it to our third year of participating in the 2018 Rooster Week, however, the Summer Sailstice 2018 event allowed us to still debut our Rooster on the water and feel a part of something larger over sailing, while really enjoying our time cruising our own local lake in the evening over a Solstice weekend!

Summer Sailstice has allowed us to feel united over our family Rooster design and sailing, despite how scattered we may now be throughout the U.S..     

Though 'scattered', Rooster Building and Sailing continues throughout at least three regions in the U.S.. One is the original Home of Rooster Sailboats, Jamestown, R.I. with Michael F. Smith. Two, is with our nephew, Cdr. Gerrit Rickwalt, in Conroe, TX. who is now the proud builder of Three Rooster Class Sailboats. And Three, is ourselves in Norman, OK, with the original building of our own Rooster in 1982. The three of us, despite our being located in three separate regions of the U.S. continue with the establishment of Rooster Class Sailboats through our annual Sailing events, and our website for interested Rooster builders and fans of Rooster Class Sailboats at 

I appreciate your taking an interest in my photo and appreciate the annual invitation to participate in the Summer Sailstice event -we look forward to it every year!' 

- Teresa Smith Galoob, Norman, Oklahoma.

Rooster Fleet 1962
The Rooster Fleet sailing on Narragansett Bay, 1962.

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Save the date for the 19th Annual Summer Sailstice - June 22, 2019.

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