The Flying Mantis is set to sail

The Flying Mantis
The Flying Mantis

A Norton chartered accountant is dipping his toe into the waters of the boating world after helping to develop a ‘world-class’ boat.

Simon Crispin, a former Culford School student, returned to Suffolk from London in 2012 and had one dream.

He said: “When I got back here I had the opportunity to start this project – to create a world-class, fast and beautiful boat.

“I went to the Royal Yacht Association Dinghy Show in 2016 and that is where I met the guys from Solent Boat Works.”

The company, based on Hayling Island near Portsmouth, wanted to build a new boat with foils – these lift the vessel out of the water to make it go faster. Simon wanted to build a trimaran, a boat comprising of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls, and that is how the Flying Mantis was born.

The UK-made 4.2m long boat is made from carbon fibre, weighing just 85kg and is capable of speeds of 12-15kt and 25kt when using the foils.

It has been used to help film virtual reality footage off the coast of Weymouth which was used on a stand at this year’s Dinghy Show and a promotional video to help Simon sell the boat is set to be shot in Spain next month.

The current price tag is around £35,000 and Simon hopes the discounted price to the first owners will help generate feedback for the company.

And although he is excited by the venture, he is not ready to give up the day job just yet.

He said: “It would be the dream to go around the world selling the Flying Mantis. I will carry on with the accountancy for now but my passion is most definitely this boat.”

For details on the Flying Mantis, go to www.flyingmantis.uk