The Boat

A Little History

Our Quickstep 21 was designed by Michael Price for the late Gary Lannigan who owned Quickstep Sailboats of Bristol, RI.  The boats were originally equipped with Thurston or Hood sails and were available with a variety of fine options from roller furling, to a cruising spinnaker, to teak cockpit gratings.  They were essentially semi-custom production sailboats.  Quickstep offered the Q21 with a fine heavy Triad trailer for owners who wanted them.  Mr. Lannigan personally introduced the boats to customers at a number of boat shows.  In 1989, we talked with him and visited the boat at shows in both Racine, WI and Michigan City, IN, and then placed an order for hull 27.

 The boat was reviewed by Dan Spurr in Cruising World Magazine’s March 1989 issue.  Mr. Spurr has given me permission to post his review.  (Read the article) I also read an interesting post on by Clay Stalker of Bristol Harbor, RI.  He once owned a Q24 and offered some history of the boats and their production.

Quickstep 24 (& 21) Manufacturing Notes: Saw some posts regarding Quickstep 24s (and 21s). Ted Brewer designed the boat in the 1970s to be built as an aluminum hulled boat. This didn’t work out, and the design was sold to ocean racer Bill Stannard of Rhode Island, who produced 23 boats. It was then sold to Gary Lannigan, marketing director for C.E. Ryder in Bristol, Rhode Island, builder of the Southern Cross and Sea Sprite line among other boats. Lannigan had Ryder build the boats but he marketed them. There were 21 and 24 foot sizes, and Lannigan had plans for a 28 footer, which did not go over well with Ryder, who thought it would compete with the Sea Sprite 27/28. Lannigan eventually left Ryder and had the Quickstep built by the Anchorage Co. in Warren, Rhode Island (Dyer 29,40, and dinghys)and later by Shannon Yachts of Bristol, who reported built some of the best ones. The last ones were built by Lannigan himself as Quickstep, Inc. and the hulls were probably produced by Tillotson-Pearson or one of the other local Bristol builders (there were many). Like many good boats of the day, the company went bankrupt and Lannigan left the area. The molds are still around, however, as I talked with Lannigan’s wife a few years ago and she said they could still be built, but would be prohibitively expensive….In any event, there were a pretty good boat (I owned a Ryder 1985 version) and sailed very well. Hope you find this useful…

Clay Stalker
s/v Salsa – Cape Dory 27 Hull #247
Bristol Harbor, Rhode Island
(home port: Keene, New Hampshire) 

Another interesting note is the following email I received from the owner of the first Q21, Dick Terlisner.

The First Q21.  I came across the Q21 website not to long ago and thought I would drop you a line.  I previously owned hull #2, which from what I was told by Gary (Lannigan) was the first production Q21 since Hull#1 was the trial hull for the mold.  I purchased it at the Newport International Sailboat Show in 1987 sight unseen.  He had brochures printed with sketches and drawings of the boat.  On display was a Q24 which was absolutely beautiful.  I had a chance to talk extensively with the owner about his boat and with Gary.  On the last day of the show, in the pouring rain, I put down a deposit for a new blue-hulled Q21.  I named it “Minglewood” after the Grateful Dead song “New Minglewood Blues”.  Every now and then someone would get the connection and a grin would come over their face.

 I grew up in Rhode Island and was still living there at the time so I would stop by the plant every now and then to check on the progress of my boat.  I got more and more jittery as spring came along going crazy waiting for my boat. My hull and superstructure where fabricated by a local boat builder that was adjacent to Gary’s office on Goodling Bristol,RI.  I can’t remember the company who built them, but I want to say CE Ryder, but I really can’t be certain.  However, I’m pretty sure that it was made by the same outfit that made the hulls for Shannon Yachts.  So it was very high quality construction.

 Since I lived nearby, I stopped by a few times and saw my boat during construction.  With Gary’s office being across the street, he was there on a regular basis checking on  fabrication of all his boats, so you can be sure they were built to the correct specifications and quality maintained.

 I eventually took delivery of the boat in July 1988 almost direct from the factory.  Gary and one of his employees trailered it to a ramp inBristol,RI(where the boats were made), put it in the water and rigged it.  His employee then motored it down Narragansett Bay and I met him at Bend Boat Basin (in Portsmouth,RI) after work.

 We then sailed it down to Newport,RI where I moored it and enjoyed it for a few seasons before my accountant asked how much I liked my boat.  I unfortunately had troubles with the IRS and had to sell the boat for financial reasons. Gary sold it for me at a boat show to a couple in New Jersey, unfortunately I do not recall who and can’t locate the actual sale papers.

 I now live in  southern Maryland on the Patuxent River and own a Key West 2300 WA (power boat).  I’d love a sail boat, but the waters in the river where I would have to keep the boat are as low a s 2′ at times, which would make it too difficult to navigate.  Although a Quickstep Scout would be nice to own if I ever came across a used one at a reasonable price and in good condition.

 So that’s the story of my Q21.  I hope you find it interesting.

 Dick Terlisner


  1. Meagan Lannigan here! I am looking to buy one of my dads builds -quickstep 21. Please let me know if you are aware of any on the market!

  2. Maybe you guys can help me. I do not own a Quickstep boat, but a Sonar 23 built by C.E. Ryder in 1982. I am trying to figure out if the boats at that time were built using epoxy resin, or polyester resin. I am guessing that, regardless of the model of boat, C.E. Ryder would be consistant about what resin was used in the build process.

    Can anyone confirm (or say with high probability) the material used at that time?

    Thanks, in advance, for your consideration.


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