Racing Dinghies

A collection of racing dinghies, past and present

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About

Having been brought up in Norfolk I always seemed to have some old boat or another, which are listed somewhere here. I gave up dinghy sailing when I was 17 (after sailing Toppers, OKs, Enterprises, various local keelboats, Mirrors, Fireflys, National 12s) and started to race offshore.

An advert in a 1983 copy of Yachts and Yachting along the lines of 17 year old gorilla available for East Coast racing gave me my entry into big boat racing.

I spent the 1980s racing or working on IOR boats from 1/4 Tonners to Maxi Raters (though I did end up doing the Firefly Nationals in the late 80s - a pier head jump off a Swan 57).

I also sailed or worked on most of the Ocean Youth Club fleet, raced Swans, was a paid hand on the ‘J’ Class Velsheda and raced on a Formula 40 Cat.

After a few years away from sailing I bought a small racing yacht, Rocket Flare, but sold her when we moved next to the largest lake in the South West. On my first visit to the lake I saw a fleet of Flying 15s. I’d always had an interest in the 15 having admired the designs of Uffa Fox when I was student at the Falmouth Maritime College.

I bought a Flying 15, Encounter, on my second visit to the lake and soon realised that I also wanted a single handed dinghy.

Having looked at available boats I quickly realised I did not want a soulless, grey, standard production boat (couldn’t afford one either!) so I started looking at older sailing books to see what possibilities were out there.

I always wanted an International Canoe (got there in the end though) but thought I’d better find something a little bit more sedate. I found a 1970s ToY for sale ‘up country’ and bought her for not a lot to see if I would get on with the sliding seat before buying an IC.

After surfing the web for information on the ToY dinghy I came across the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association web site (www.cvrda.org). The CVRDA was my introduction to older boats. The down side of getting involved is being part of the grapevine that hears about old boats that are desperate for a new home. It was bizarre to hear about boats that are going for free or for next to nothing - unfortunately I could not say No and soon ended up with a small collection of ‘Classics’ and in my search for relevant fittings and spares I kept on coming across more boats the needed a home.

It was through the CVRDA I came to own Athene, my Pegasus. This site was put up a¬†few of years ago to document the rebuilding of the boat, and just like the boat, the site was never finished, and probably never will be. So, I thought it would be easier to dump the old site’s content into Blog postings and update the Blogs which should take less time than updating yet more web pages. We’ll see if this happens.

Hopefully I’ve overcome the major symptoms of Boat Acquisition Syndrome and have hit a plateau with 8 boats (or is it 9) in the collection, but you never know what you’ll find in Free Ads or on eBay.

3 Comments

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 neil // Jan 3, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    A quick update….it looks like the fleet is into double figures again, so there may be a reduction in boats quite soon.

  • 2 Greg // Jan 13, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I like the look of the new site Neil is very clean n simple i always woundered how the site got its name as pegasus 18

  • 3 colin // Nov 18, 2009 at 3:45 am

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/international-sailboat-review/id334810997?mt=8

    Great site for dinghy lovers - global dinghy pictures and specs - well worth the $1.99

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