Sailing Dinghies 


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9' 7" Plywood Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5004)
Although extremely easy to construct, this lightweight portable boat is adapted to many uses. It is ideal as a car-top boat for fishing and hunting trips, as a tender for any small cruiser, or as a general-utility boat around a bathing beach, yacht club, or summer cottage. It may be powered by oars, sail or a small outboard motor and is so light it need never be left in the water. When used for fishing, the boat will have plenty of buoyancy and stability for three adults, and when used as a sailboat there is still ample room for two.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)
Zephyr--A 14' Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5106)

by Chas. H. McAlary

This fleet 14-ft. boat combines strength with light weight, and is easily maneuvered. It carries 140 sq. ft. of canvas and weighs about 350 lbs. Approximate cost of materials, including sail, steel centerboard, hardware and rigging is $125 to $150, [in 1941] according to location.

24 pages, 4 plate(s)

Tar Baby--A Midget Dinghy (Pub. No. 5126)

by Walter E. Stewart

Here’s a V-bottom dinghy which you can build in two weeks’ spare time. Seven feet long, she can seat four people and can be used as a sailboat, rowboat, or with an outboard motor. She’s simple to build and no special tools are required.

You can build this fine little V-bottom dinghy in two weeks’ spare time, at home, with a few ordinary tools, and at a cost about one-fourth that which would be charged by a professional builder. "Tar Baby" is first of all seaworthy and safe, she will keep you dry in choppy waters, she rows easily, sails like a witch, and will step along with an outboard motor. She is a lap-strake, V-bottom design seven feet long, and 42 inches beam. She will seat and carry three people comfortably, and four can be crowded in with safety. All frames are straight pieces, require no bending, and the planking can all be bent by hand without steaming. An amateur with average knowledge of tools can build her from the accompanying plans, and when finished she will have all the earmarks of a professional job. "Tar Baby" is normally a yacht or motorboat tender, and in this service will do as well, and look as good as a great many stock boats costing four or five times as much. But she is more than a tender, the addition of a centerboard and sail converts her into a fast and able sailing dinghy which will more than hold her own in the increasingly popular dinghy races.

9 pages, 4 plate(s)

Bubbles (Pub. No. 7001)

by Charles Bell

LOA 8',  DEPTH 20". BEAM 4', WEIGHT 100 lbs.

Here is a dinghy which should meet the requirements of most yachtsmen who want a light but stable dinghy.

Capable of carrying three adults while being rowed, but one which can be sailed for fun in quiet harbors as well. She weighs 100 lbs., is only eight feet long, 20” deep and four feet wide and she is about as simple as a boat can be to build. BUBBLES can be built using either of two methods. The first is the much talked-about Bubble Mold, a mold method which uses a bubble of air and is explained in the article.

4 page(s)

Wendy Third (Pub. No. 7002)

by Charles Bell

LOA 10', BEAM 51", DRAFT Approx. 6"

Wendy Third is a further development of her predecessors, Wendy and Wendy Two.

These two class racers were such successful performers that further development of building methods was considered to bring construction of this popular class within the scope of any home builder with ordinary skills as well as for the more expert among us. The lines are the same as before with certain refinements to ease lamination of the sheer and chine pieces.

4 page(s)

Sailing Dinghy of Plyfoam (Pub. No. 7010)

by Charles Bell

With brand new lightweight plyfoam, the home builder’s task and tools are minimized.

Would-be home builders with more spirit than skill for that sailing dink, take heart. And take a hard look at a new core material called Plyfoam, a rigid polyvinyl chloride developed by the firm of Potter Instruments Inc., Plainview, N.Y. for use in “sandwich” construction. Marketed in sheets of 1/4” and 1/2” thickness, it’s intended for use with polyester or epoxy plastics, and with a variety of reinforcing materials of which the most commonly used is fiberglass. With this in mind, I’ve designed a sailing dinghy which will weigh about 50 pounds, but which is stronger than a comparable plywood dink. Even, a conventional fiberglass hull would have to be far heavier to be as stiff and sturdy. It will carry heavy loads in a breeze and be quite lively for one or two people to sail. Outside of the form or building jig, the Plyfoam, fiberglass and resin require a minimum of tools—a brush, razor blades and pair of scissors will do the trick.

4 page(s)

10-Ft. Sailng Dinghy (Pub. No. 5322)

by Alvin M. Youngquist, N. A.

Enjoy year 'round sailing with a craft that's the equal of an expensive professionally-built dinghy.
This wide-plank, lap seam sailing dinghy is also very serviceable as an all-purpose rowboat—for fishing, as a yacht tender, or small outboard motor boat. Because of the high freeboard its capacity is surprising—it will carry three adults with plenty to spare. Let the youngsters learn to sail in this able little craft. It can be set up for sailing in a very few minutes. A loose-footed jib-headed cat rig as indicated on the plans can be used, or a simple spritsail rig as shown in the photographs. No stays are necessary, and the hollow or solid mast is lifted out when not in use. The mast is stepped on a bearing so as to turn with the sail. It is equipped with an outboard wood rudder, and a ½" steel centerboard that can be easily lifted out.

6 pages, 4 plate(s)

Frolic--A Cat-Rigged Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5342)

A cat-rigged sailing dinghy, 11 feet overall, that makes an ideal boat for the beginner.

Learning the principles of sailing is much easier in a small boat like Frolic than in a larger sailboat. Not only is she more responsive to wind and rudder but her simple cat rig requires a minimum of handling and makes it possible for the budding sailor to get the “feel” of his boat much faster. On the practical side, the elementary plywood construction of the dinghy makes her a natural for the amateur builder and equally important keeps the total cost at a low figure. Now let’s see what the plans have to offer. They show a V-bottom hull that’s easily planked with plywood, and a high narrow rig with 77 sq. ft. of sail that makes the boat ideal for lake sailing in protected waters. She definitely isn’t a rough water boat as the rig is too high and the lack of side decks would make capsizing under heavy wind and sea conditions a dangerous possibility. The use of a metal centerboard is a “must” to insure good stability. The heavy board acts as ballast and makes it possible to drive the dinghy to windward in moderately heavy winds.

7 pages, 4 plate(s)

How to Build Gull--A 12-Ft. Glass Racing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5373)

by Charles Bell

Gull is a sweet little 12-foot racing dinghy but she is still quite a ship, has plenty of stability and enough freeboard to take rough stuff. She’s all fiberglass, even the mast, and is designed for all-around service as well as racing. She will do very well with one of those mighty-mite outboards, she will row and tow well and her double bottom makes her unsinkable.    The usual swelled centerboard trouble will never plague Gull because her centerboard as well as her trunk is fiberglass. The centerboard is not raised with a cable, but is adjusted with a folding rod that will stay at any point where there is an adjustment notch, and locks in any position. And Gull is simple to build, even for the unskilled workman who would ordinarily shrink from the precise joiner-work required to build a fine racing sailboat. Every effort has been made to help her prospective builders, including an inexpensive papier-mache mold from which one, or several boats can be molded. These molds are ideal for clubs and groups of individuals who wish to start a racing class.

21 pages, 4 plate(s)

Rebel--A One-Design Racing Class (Pub. No. 5374)

by Charles Cox

Rebel, an eighteen-foot centerboarder, is just about the best all-around size for a small boat. She is small enough to be easily and cheaply serviced and yet large enough to carry a party of four comfortably. Although designed primarily for one-design racing, she still possesses all of those excellent qualities which make a successful day-sailer. Rebel is 18 feet 4 inches overall, 14 feet 8 inches on the waterline, and 6 feet in breadth. With her centerboard raised, she will draw only 754 inches of water and, with it lowered, will draw 3 feet 6 inches. Much time and thought were given to her construction, which is healthy but not excessive. The centerboard well in particular was carefully designed because it can be the main source of trouble in this type boat. Rebel’s rig is a simple, but effective, modern sloop rig, designed with enough sail to make her fast, yet still suitable for open water and rough weather. The rig allows for a combination of mainsail and Genoa jib or mainsail and working jib, this being done to make her a good all-around boat, suitable to localities where the weather permits sailing not only with the light winds of summer, but also with the heavy breezes of fall, such as on Chesapeake Bay. The area of her mainsail is 100 square feet, Genoa, 66 square feet, and working jib 48 square feet. Although Rebel is a chine boat, her appearance is most trim and pleasing, and the chine construction simplifies the building considerably and is not detrimental to speed. Rebel’s construction is simplified further by the fact that none of her planks have such severe twists as to require steaming.

10 pages, 5 plate(s)

Chunky--A Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5419)

by E. G. Monk

An easily built little boat with the advantages of the round bottom type and still simply constructed for the amateur.

Most of the small boat designs which are prepared for the amateur boat builder are much more difficult to construd than the designer anticipates. Amateurs generally have not sufficient skill and experience to attempt the larger craft so that the simple little design for this dinghy should be most acceptable. She has been arranged for planking in half inch cedar and the hull is very light and easy to carry up the beach or haul aboard the larger boat. Not only has the designer worked out the drawings but in order to be sure that they were correct he has constructed one of these boats. As will be noticed from the line drawing its shape somewhat approaches that of a round bottom boat and yet it is almost as easily built as the flat bottom sharp pointed skiff. There are no rabbets to cut and there is no laying down to do except to lay out a frame from the offset table. This little sailing dinghy has been built and tried out and has met with favor by everyone who has handled it. She moves right along in the lightest of breezes and offers plenty of fun in a good one, carrying sail well and handling with ease. As a row boat it rows easily and will carry as many as six people with plenty of freeboard. In the design of the hull itself the aim was to embody in an easily built boat the advantages of the round bottom type so hard for the amateur to construct. The construction itself follows very closely that of the flat bottomed, sharp pointed skiff but the disadvantages of this type of boat are almost eliminated. The amateur should have little trouble building it as there are no rabbets to cut and very little spiling or shaping of planks.

9 pages, 3 plate(s)

Wee Nip, an 11' 6" Class Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5453)

by Edson I. Schock

This boat has proved very popular, both as a racing dinghy and for afternoon sailing. The author’s three sons learned to sail in the original “Wee Nip,” the first boat built from this design. She is fast, stable, and easy to build, and she will go through a cellar door when finished; at least the original “Wee Nip” did. If you compare her with other dinghies which look quite similar, you will find that she has a lot more stability than most, due partly to her few extra inches beam, and partly to the shape of her hull. Her speed is about the same as that of sailing dinks of the same size and weight, and is considerably greater than that of the average 12-foot sailboat. About two hundred to two hundred and fifty of this class have been built, mostly by amateurs.

16 pages, 4 plate(s)

How to Build Su-Lu--A 10' Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5662)

This light and sturdy little dinghy is actually a 10-ft. model of a Navy PT hull, that is, with adaptations to the materials used and to the limitations of a home workshop. “Su-Lu” can accommodate four adults and is light enough for one person to put on top of a car. The “skin” is merely two layers of 1/8-in. plywood with muslin between, laid over a frame of spruce battens. The result is a rigid, strong but very light shell. The transom is built to take an outboard motor, and a mast step and centerboard trunk are provided for sailing purposes. Oarlocks and sockets also may be provided, though not shown on this model.

19 pages, 7 plate(s)

Wendy--A Fiberglass Sailing Dinghy (Pub. No. 5748)

by Charles Bell

LOA 10', BEAM 41 3/4", SAIL AREA 55 SQ. FT.

Emerging as a new boatbuilding material with exciting possibilities for the amateur are the various resin plastics better known as fiber glass. Here’s how to build with them.

New building Methods made possible by fiber glass make Wendy a very cosy boat to build. She is built in a Masonite female mold which gives her a smooth outside finish with no necessity for grinding or sanding the cured fiber glass. Construction is the finest throughout—fiber-glass-reinforced plastic hull (with molded-in color), mast, boom, centerboard and rudder. She has oak gunwales, mahogany knees and seats and bronze hardware. An attractive feature is the mast which comes apart; both mast and boom can be stowed inside the boat. Wendy will row, tow and sail and because of her light weight can be stowed on the deck of many yachts without much effort. (She weighs about 150 pounds.) Her rugged construction can take the abuse which sometimes befalls a yacht dinghy. It took me two days to build the mold and two days to mold the hull. I built the mast, rudder, boom and centerboard in one day and the finishing, such as sanding the woodwork, mounting the hardware, seats and knees, consumed almost another day, making a total of six days from the time I started to build the mold until the boat was ready to sail. This little boat was no problem at all for two of us to put on top of the car and we carried her down the boat dock over our heads like a canoe. She sails extremely well and is very fast and maneuverable. Her sail area is plenty for her weight and the fiber-glass mast needs no rigging but uses a hold-down fastener to keep it from coming out.

22 pages, 3 plate(s)

Wendy Two--A Featherweight Class 10' Sailing Dingh (Pub. No. 5779)

by Charles Bell

LOA 10', BEAM 4' 3"

An application of the drape mold method of fiberglass construction in which frame members and a muslin drape form the hull shape and are bonded integrally to the fiberglass.

Wendy Two takes her name from a 10’ dinghy I designed for my book, Row To Build Fiberglass Boats. The first boat performed so well that I wanted to do an improved version, embodying some refinements and using a new method of molding. Wendy Two rows well, tows well and sails fast. Her V-bottom, besides being stiff and able, provides a form which can take advantage of the simplest possible FRP construction method—the drape mold. She is extremely lightweight (hull less than 100 pounds) and will cost about $250 to build (including sails) in most metropolitan areas. Drape mold makes use of three forming mold sections as the only throwaway parts; these can usually be made from scrap lumber. Balsa wood keel, stringers, stem and plywood transom together with a muslin drape, form the shape of the boat and become part of the hull to help stiffen the structure. The seats are foam plastic blocks covered with FRP and a facing piece of mahogany veneer; their volume of approximately 4 cubic feet provides 250 pounds of positive flotation in addition to 1 cubic foot or so of balsa in the stringers, etc., which makes the boat safe to race where competing skippers sometimes sail their boats into a capsize. I recommend a sailmaker for the sail although I made my own sail for Wendy which drew well and worked fine; if you intend to race, though, consider that a professional sail is as different from a stock sail as a racing motor differs from a stock engine. Wendy Two will have a smart appearance with her mahogany rudder and seat tops, oak tiller bar and cheek pieces, spruce mast and boom—all finished with clear urethane or epoxy plastic, which will maintain its “just varnished” look for years. Construction is very simple, no lofting to fool with because the dimensions for the transom and mold forms are given in the plans.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Goshawk--A Racing Dinghy or Tender (Pub. No. 5849)

Designed by Charles G. MacGregor

LOA 11 ft. 6 in., Beam 4 ft. 6 in., Draft, c.b., 3 ft. 1 in., Sail Area 72 sq. ft.

This boat is within the dimensions of the class B Dinghies, but is not eligible to race in this class because of the plank thickness and hull weight, and for this reason we doubt if she will perform quite as well on the wind. But for group class racing they will provide excellent sport. For those who are going to build Goshawk the following hints will be helpful. No doubt there are other ways and methods which will be preferred or suggested by your own previous experience. Do not change the design or construction. It is based on considerable experience. If you don't like either, don't build this boat, but have one especially designed to suit your own ideas. It will be noticed on examination of the plans that the bottom is a combination of vee and arc form. In thin plywood of large panel sizes it is possible to obtain a slight compound curve, and when this is done to the bottom plank in this case, it prevents panting between supporting members, and helps to eliminate the wavy or rippling effect which sometimes develops on the planking. The amount of curve is 1/2 inch in 2 feet. Make a mould to this curve and use it on all frames. On all watertight seams and contact surfaces we recommend the use of waterproof glue and screw-fastenings. It is absolutely necessary to make proper contact between the surfaces being bonded, and the fastenings must be spaced close enough along the edges to provide the pressure necessary to squeeze out the air pockets and channels in the glue which become water channels when the boat is launched and the seams are submerged. The transom is raked slightly so that a small outboard engine can be installed easily. The stem is wide at the head tapering down to a point at the forefoot. This has three points in its favor: (a) Provides more width forward around the mast; (b) Easier to plank because the plywood does not have to be twisted so much as it would have to be with a straight stem, and (c) it permits the addition of more flare forward to ensure dryness and buoyancy when pitching into a headsea.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Sailing Dinghy--Snowbird (Pub. No. 7844)

Designed by Charles D. Mower.

Snow Bird is a smart sailing dinghy of a type similar to those used in “Frostbite” racing during the winter season in eastern clubs. In fact she was designed to the rules of a certain class a few years ago but the classification no longer exists. She is a practical boat, will carry a good load under oars, tows well, is light to hoist aboard and can be used with the smaller, lighter outboards of not over 3 hp. She is the perfect all-around yacht tender, and makes a handsome boat. The round-bottomed clinker built construction is difficult for the amateur but it makes the strongest light boat one can build.

2 page(s)

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