The Butterfly sailboat was designed in the early 1960's and was put into production in 1961. It was designed to be a fun, lightweight, small lake version of the ILYA C-scow. It is one of the pioneers of One Design sailing, meaning in a racing situation, all of the boats are identical, so the race is truly a measure of the sailor's ability.
Because of the Butterfly's small size, light weight, and extreme durability, it is a very popular cottage and vacation boat. If you're launching from a shoreline, it's important to have a boat that can be easily handled, even by the kids.
The stayed mast allows the sail to be raised and lowered. This feature allows the Butterfly sail to be easily hoisted - even by younger kids, and allows for the mast to remain on the boat when you're taking a break or done sailing for the day. If it gets too windy on the water or a sailor needs to take a break, it's an important safety feature to be able to lower the sail as needed. Many small sailboats do not enjoy this feature and have sails that fit over the mast and require removing the mast to take the sail down.
The Butterfly is a comfortable boat for the young, old, and everyone in between. The foot well is 15 inches deep - much deeper than most boats in it's size and weight class, allowing room for adults well over 6' tall to sail comfortably.
Whether you're a beginning sailor or an advanced racer, the Butterfly is a great choice. The controls are simple, just a few lines to change the shape of the sail, but trimming is everything, and the Butterfly is highly tunable. Just asked some of the seasoned racers at White Rock Lake. They've been racing twice a week for many, many years!