Racing Dinghies

A collection of racing dinghies, past and present

Racing Dinghies header image 1

Back again

January 10th, 2020 by neil · No Comments

This blog is woefully out of date. I’ll get round to sorting it out soon as since the last major update I’ve had a few more boats that I need to document.

I’ve also set up a new blog, just about the restoration of Zenith the Sven Thorell designed sailing canoe – now available at

→ No CommentsTags: IC K26

Hit 5

May 23rd, 2017 by neil · No Comments

I bought Hit No. 5 in August 2014, and the previous owner had collated a range of information about the Hit Dinghy. This information included articles from the late 1970s, an advertising brochure, measurement certificate and all correspondence relating to the purchase of No. 5.  I had hosted this information on another blog, but I’ll move it all over here so everything is in one place


I know there were about 35 Hits built, with the majority going to Europe (Germany I believe) but there are at least 4 other boats still in the UK. If you have a Hit please do get in contact  as it would great to try and get some Hits sailing together.

→ No CommentsTags: Hit 5 · Previous Boats

Dusting off the blog

May 23rd, 2017 by neil · No Comments

As with most projects there’s always some slippage. Realised that the blog has been unattended for many years, but looking through the comments that have been stacking up for approval there’s still some interest in old boats. Much has happened since the last update. Work, getting married, house move, rebuilding Land Rovers etc have meant I’d forgotten about the blog.

In the past few years a lot of the boats have been sold, some new one bought and then sold. I’ll update the site soon with details but I no longer have any Finns, Rannoch was sold (and featured here, I’ve had and sold a Megabyte and a Hit – will put the details on here soon, have restored a Phantom and have started restoring Zenith.

When I can find the time I’ll put up the pics of the two restoration projects and the recent previous boats

→ No CommentsTags: Current Boats · Hit 5 · IC K26 · Megabyte 202 · Phantom 873 · Previous Boats

Archive, Registers and more Archives

January 7th, 2009 by neil · 2 Comments

There seems to be a rash of ‘archives’ at the moment and it’s starting to get confusing

banner2_2008.gif Some of my fleet will soon be in the National Small Boat Register (NSBR) run by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC). The NSBR is a register of all those boats (under 40ft LOA) which deserve to be preserved by individuals, organisations, trusts or museums and  the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association  is keen to be involved with the register and hopes to work with the NMMC to make the register a vibrant and ongoing ‘virtual’ collection.

nhsbanner_2.jpg Whilst the NSBR is not the easiest database to search (and a little slow to run) it is a good start to getting details of relevant craft in one place. Hopefully some joined up thinking will take place at some point to allow the inclusion of the NSBR within the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) and maybe we might see the ‘National Core Collection’ come out of the merging of registers.

With the NSBR being run by National Maritime Museum Cornwall and NRHV maintained by National Historic Ships I’d imagine that both registers have a good chance of continuing and being maintained, and with the backing of these organisations there should be some decent advocacy in place so the registers should continue to be populated with the details of a range of vessels.

In recent weeks there’s been announcements of a couple of new initiatives, though not from museums or related sectors.

 bnya_logo.jpg The first of these new archives is the British National Yachting Archive (BNYA), this is due to be launched at the London Boat Show (see this press release). Although the BNYA states it is a charity there is no record (as of 7th January) at the Charity Commission’s website. The BNYA has the following aims:

  • To promote the preservation of sailing’s heritage
  • To establish a knowledge base of yachting heritage and provide public access
  • To facilitate the presentation and display of yachting heritage at appropriate museums and other organisations
  • To provide grants, bursaries and scholarships for those who would advance knowledge and understanding of yachting heritage

The BNYA’s website is very much under construction, but it appears that the information to be contained in the ‘archive’ will be for paying members only and there is an ambition ‘to provide suitable archival storage’. It does make me wonder why the National Martime Museum Cornwall or the National Maritime Museum (Greenwich) are not involved, as these organisations could provide professional expertise in archiving techniques, and of course provide free public access. Personally, before archives are launched I’d like to see some policies in place. Some metadata would be nice alongside a commitment to Open Access, but the issue that worries me most is the copyright for the archive as looking at the BNYA site it appears that all content is Copyright: British National Yachting Archive, hardly encouraging for would be depositors.

nrda.jpg A sister organisation of the BNYA is the recently announced National Racing Dinghy Archive  (NDRA) which aims to:

  • Capture, document and store any material, be it in the form of plans, photo’s, brochures, or books – to be placed in the care of the ‘master’ archive when a permanent location for this is agreed
  • The capturing of oral histories, backed up where possible by video recording, from those key influencers that have left such a mark on the sport
  • To make as much of the detail held above, either documentary or the historical interviews, available whenever possible for public access

The NDRA has the rather meaningless All rights reserved statement on each web page, but if this is going to be an archive of donated material with full public access copyright and open access issues need to be sorted out. Statements such as “….. you know that it will be stored and treated with sympathy (and not just stored in a ‘black hole’)” need to be backed up by a preservation policy – if there’s no physical location for items where will they be stored?

Both the BNYA and the NRDA seem to be developing a new business model for archives, that of calling for funding from subscribers then populating an archive. If these archives want to attract donations they must develop policies on both copyright of materials and become open access. Exclusiveness of information will not attract people to “donate” to what can be construed as a non-public space.

It’s amazing that none of the registers or archives are looking at ways of sharing their databases. The simple data structures used may be easy to manage at the moment with relatively few records but at some point someones going to realise that search engines and harvesters have a use, and unless the data is in a usable format then you are left with multiple silos of information and no way of sharing.

It’s great there’s so much interest in maritime history but perhaps it’s time for these archives and registers to get together and develop a shared vision and way forward otherwise there’s going to be duplication of some information and no way of finding some artifacts which may remain buried in garage somewhere.

→ 2 CommentsTags: CVRDA · Museums and Archives

Looking for a used Finn?

August 27th, 2008 by neil · No Comments

It must be the Ben Ainslie effect but I’m getting loads of enquiries about the Finn I had for sale, and looking at the search engine visits to this site there’s been 500 people this week finding it by searching Google for a Finn for sale.

I now have two Finns, and neither are for sale. If you are looking for a Finn the best places to look are

  1. The UK Finn forum ( This has a For Sale section.
  2. Boats and Outboards ( Loads of classified adverts, usually a couple of Finns
  3. Apollo Duck ( Another classified site
  4. Ebay ( Search for Finn Dinghy – they do come up
  5. The Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association ( Check out the For sale section on the forum

If you are after a nearly new boat it might be worth contacting Rodney at Suntouched (, he has had some very nice used boats in the past, I bought my own Pata from Rodney and can highly recommend him,

→ No CommentsTags: Finns · For Sale

International 14 K556 for sale – Iolanthe – 1949

June 27th, 2008 by neil · 4 Comments

OK, this is not one of my boats, but is owned by Classic Dinghy guru Ed Bremner and is worth a mention.

Full details of the boat can be found on the CVRDA forum. If I had the time (and a crew) I’d love to have this boat, but I’m not allowed. So if you are after a Classic International 14 that’s undergone a total restoration have a look at Iolanthe. [Read more →]

→ 4 CommentsTags: CVRDA · For Sale

Finn K129 For Sale

June 22nd, 2008 by neil · 1 Comment

Finn K129, my rather lovely Fairey Finn is for sale. More details on the For Sale page.

→ 1 CommentTags: Current Boats · Finn K129 · Finns · For Sale

Finn – K349: Finished and floating

June 22nd, 2008 by neil · 3 Comments

After a few weeks in the workshop being varnished, painted and refitted K349 was ready to go.


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→ 3 CommentsTags: Current Boats · CVRDA · Finn K349 · Finns

Finn – K349

June 22nd, 2008 by neil · 4 Comments

When going to collect Finn GBR670 I was talking to Graham Brookes, fellow Finn and Roadford Lake sailor. I persuaded him to sell me a lovely Raudaschl  Finn he had recently bought. This boat was built in 1970 for Alistair Currey, the son of Fairey Marine’s Charles Currey.

This boat ex-Sharon, now called Pandemonium was pretty sucessful when raced and was winning in the early 1990s when she was epoxy coated. Somehow she ended up in Devon and was stored in a barn gathering dust for a number of years before being found by Graham

She had had all the varnished removed and had been attacked with a belt sander


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→ 4 CommentsTags: Current Boats · Finn K349 · Finns

Finn – GBR670

June 22nd, 2008 by neil · 7 Comments

So, as the owner of GBR662, a Vanguard Finn, I was looking to upgrade to a Carbon Wing Mast. When speeaking to Rodney Cobb of Suntouched Sailing to enquire about a new mast he told me he had a number of nearly new B4 Finns taken as part exchange for new boats.


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→ 7 CommentsTags: Current Boats · Finn GBR670 · Finns