Small Yachts and Dingys

The Dabchick

The Dabchick is a proven, easy to build dingy that has been a trainer for many aspiring yachtsmen in South Africa and Australia. First established in 1955, over 4000 have been produced and have been popular amongst teenagers. The dimensions are 3.61m in length, 1.15m in the beam and with a draught of 0.6m. Designed by Jack Koper in 1957 and built, traditionally of marine plywood, Dabchicks have also been made in fibreglass. The sail is a fractional rigged sloop rig – the sail does not reach the top of the mast.

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman has proved itself all over the world, with thousands of sailing seas, lagoons and lakes. First built in 1952, designed by Gulcher and van Essen, this 6.06m by 1.78m boat is manned by a crew of two. It has a centreboard and a draught of 1 meter. The sails are made up of a mainsail (10m2) a headsail (8.4m) and a spinnaker (21m2), and a hull with a mass of 130kg. One of the world’s finest dingy, the parameters, which define the FD, is the hull shape and the sail’s area. Any other developments are allowed, which has led to many innovations. The Flying Dutchman first sailed in the Olympic Games in 1960 until 1992 when its class was changed to the Vintage Yachting Class.

The first design was drawn by Conrad Gulcher, together with Uus van Essen, a naval architect, they redesigned the Tornado in 1951, and they distributed the plans to top helmspersons for their comments and input. The Dutch Yachting Federation wanted to see the finished boat before considering it, and Conrad had one ready in two weeks for their perusal. The DYF were impressed with its sailing abilities, and the Flying Dutchman began its debut into the sailing world.

The Hornet

Designed by Jack Holt in 1952, the Hornet was manned by a crew of two or three. Its class regulated the hull, mast, sails and mast, but the rest could be changed or re-invented as the builder required. The shell is a simple construction of marine plywood over a frame. Later, in the ‘60s, fibreglass hulls were introduced, but the marine ply models proved to be the best choice. Over the next 20 years, the Hornet was improved by larger sails and a reduced mass. In 1973 Malcolm Goodwin redesigned the hull and built a stronger, less flexible structure, and a gybing centreboard was introduced.

The Hobie Cat

The Hobie Cat is a sailing catamaran in the small class, and id popular all around the world. In the late ’50s, Hobart Alter, a surfboard designer, branched out into small, fibreglass catamaran. In 1965 the first Hobie Cat, with asymmetrical hulls that did not need daggerboards, which allowed for shallow beaching. Hobie grew in popularity and was soon the leader in small catamarans. With design changes and new models, over 135 000 Hobie 16’s were sailing all over the world.