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MIT Sailing
75th Anniversary Renewal Project

FIREFLY Fleet of 20 Boats

There is strong demand for a new fleet at MIT that meets the shared needs of our recreational sailors who have acquired boat handling skills and are ready for instruction in a responsive sloop. The Firefly was actually sailed at MIT from 1951 to 1962 and it is time to re-introduce sailors to this rugged boat. It is perfect because it accommodates a wider range of body sizes than FJs and 420s.The helm balances well - even with storm sails - and the Firefly's rounded hull makes virtually all hull contacts 'glancing blows'. It is extremely popular in Britain where it is sailed at almost every university.

Fireflys in England

A prototype Firefly was delivered to MIT in the Spring of 2008. A second prototype Firefly will be delivered during the winter of 2009 with multiple changes in specifications which will make them more durable for our environment and easier to sail for larger framed people. They will be replaced every six years and their sails will be renewed every three years, storm sails every four years.

Naming & Giving Opportunities
  • $10,000 to name one complete* Firefly
  • Give!
  • $46,000 to name and endow one complete* Firefly
  • Give!
    * includes hull, spars, mainsail, stormsail, jib, and canvas cover.
    Original MIT Fireflies

    Top: MIT's first firefly boats "Beaver" and "Engineer" preparing for the 1957 collegiate nationals.

    Right: Fireflys plane easily in a steady breeze.

    Firefly in strong wind




    This fleet made possible by: Your Name Here!

    Full boat donations or Fleet gifts will proudly display a plaque inside the cockpit area for all users to appreciate your generosity.

    All donors or groups of donors are invited to name their boat as well. Historically, names have been chosen to honor a coach, family friend, interesting inspiration or person of admiration. The choice is yours!

    MIT Engineers


    Candace L. Royer
    Associate Director of Development / Athletics
    MIT Office of Individual Giving

    Updated: 2021/06/07 11:29:34
    Updated: 2021/06/07 11:29:34