|Builder(s)||Clark Boat Company|
Lippincott Boat Works
Nickels Boat Works
Allen Boat Company
Jack A. Helms Co.
J.J. Taylor and Sons
Lockley Newport Boats
Skaneateles Boat & Canoe
Siddons & Sindle
|Boat weight||700 lb (318 kg)|
|Draft||4.95 ft (1.51 m) with centerboard down|
|Construction||wood or fiberglass|
|LOA||19.00 ft (5.79 m)|
|LWL||15.25 ft (4.65 m)|
|Beam||6.50 ft (1.98 m)|
|Rig type||Bermuda rig|
|I foretriangle height||20.00 ft (6.10 m)|
|J foretriangle base||6.91 ft (2.11 m)|
|P mainsail luff||24.00 ft (7.32 m)|
|E mainsail foot||10.00 ft (3.05 m)|
|Sailplan||fractional rigged sloop|
|Mainsail area||120.00 sq ft (11.148 m2)|
|Jib/genoa area||69.10 sq ft (6.420 m2)|
|Spinnaker area||300 sq ft (28 m2)|
|Total sail area||189.10 sq ft (17.568 m2)|
The design has been built by a large number of manufacturers in the United States and also in Canada. There have been 15,550 boats completed and it remains in production by the Allen Boat Company.
In the past it has been built in the US by the Clark Boat Company, Lippincott Boat Works, Nickels Boat Works, Jack A. Helms Co., Lockley Newport Boats, Skaneateles Boat & Canoe, Mobjack Manufacturing, Siddons & Sindle, Loftland Sail-craft, the Eichenlaub Boat Co and WindRider LLC. It was also built in Canada by J.J. Taylor and Sons Ltd.
The Lightning is a recreational sailboat, initially built with wooden plank construction and, since the early 1960s, of fiberglass with wood trim. It has a fractional sloop rig with wooden or aluminum spars. The rig employs a backstay, anchored off center, so as to not impede the tiller. If equipped with a wooden mast it has a jumper stay from the mast head to the spreaders. The hull has a foredeck, with a "V" shaped coaming, a raked stem, an angled transom, a transom-hung rudder controlled by a tiller and a retractable centerboard. It displaces 700 lb (318 kg) and carries a class-prescribed maximum of 130 lb (59 kg) in centerboard weight.
The boat has an active class club that regulates the design and organizes races, the International Lightning Class Association. By 1994 there were more than 460 racing fleets in Canada, Europe, South America and the United States.
In a 1994 review Richard Sherwood noted that the design has good freeboard and stability.
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