The first SHARK was built of plywood, but when designer/builder George Hinterhoeller started building them of fiberglass he couldn’t keep up with demand and the design became an international success.
Since then, more than 2,500 Sharks have been built. Besides North America, Sharks sail the lakes of Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the waters of the Swedish archipelago.
There have been a number of cosmetic changes to the design but, by in large, one-design standards have been maintained.
‘Sharkscan’ has been the class newsletter. The association is active at the international, national and regional levels.
Shark: A Boat for When the Wind Blows
When George Hinterhoeller designed the Shark in 1959, he was looking for a boat that would “go like hell when the wind blew”. Growing up in Austria’s Salzkammergut region, Hinterhoeller was used to light displacement fin-keelers: fast, responsive and exciting.
The few sailboats he found on Lake Ontario when he emigrated to Canada in 1952 had heavy displacement hulls. They were ponderous and had a bad habit of hobby-horsing in the rough Lake Ontario chop.
This young builder/designer was also bored by their performance. Announcing that he could build a boat that would sail circles around the rest, he retired to the shed behind his Niagara-on-the-Lake home and built Teeter Totter, a hard-chined 22-foot sloop made of plywood. This was the forerunner of the Shark, and when the breeze blew, it did go like hell. Its designer loved it and so did his friends.
….read more at boats.com