The worst classic dinghy.

General chat about boats
sailorgilly
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:08 pm

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by sailorgilly » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:27 am

Gulls weren't great and they did have unbelievable weather helm but the worst dinghy I ever sailed was the Otter. The only good thing about them was that they capsized very gracefully, after they had filled up like a bathtub ! Then they were inclined to turn turtle and were a pig to right. I remember the ' wise ' man at a sailing school I helped at obtaining two [probably a dodgy deal] and seeing them delivered. The warden of the school, who was a peerless sailor, took a walk round them, looked and sniffed. When asked by the 'wise' man what he thought he pointed to the indentations either side of the thwart and said: " Is that where you put the soap ? "
I disagree about the wildcat, the one I sailed a lot had been modified and had the skeg rudder replaced by a transom hung one. Fitted with a trapeze it pointed beautifully and it was a real flier off the wind with a spinnaker up. It did have an inordinately long tiller because of the rear deck and consequently a relatively short tiller extension but it was well balanced fore and aft and had the most gorgeous bows, like a shark after its' breakfast ! Rolled side decks, like an 11+, made it really comfortable to sail. Good looks and performance - what more do you want ?

JimC
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Surrey
Contact:

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by JimC » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:45 pm

Never noticed any particular problem with Gulls and weather helm and sailed them a lot. Definitely better than a Heron, but I much preferred the 11 Plus.

The boat I active disliked most of anything I've ever sailed was a Dodnor Sea Star.

User avatar
trebor
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:53 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by trebor » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:28 pm

Since starting this topic, I have taken a dislike to the Lark, I sailed a badly set up one that kept gybing, very startling.
Robert
Minisprint 4230
Tinker Traveller 160
Mirror 61147 Anastasia
http://www.aquabatdinghy.co.uk

JimC
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Surrey
Contact:

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by JimC » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:12 pm

trebor wrote:... I have taken a dislike to ... I sailed a badly set up one ...
I suspect one could fill in the gaps for many people. I don't think a badly setup boat is ever really much fun to sail and will tend to give you a bad feeling about the class, and there are so many badly setup boats in some classes. You know when I look at the dreaded Skipper 14 I don't see what looks like an intrinsically bad hull shape, but Oh, the gear, the sails, the spars!!!

dronskiuk
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:23 pm
Location: Where Broadland meets the sea

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by dronskiuk » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:19 pm

JimC wrote:Never noticed any particular problem with Gulls and weather helm and sailed them a lot. Definitely better than a Heron, but I much preferred the 11 Plus.

The boat I active disliked most of anything I've ever sailed was a Dodnor Sea Star.
Jim - I agree with your 11 foot'ish league table although the Mirror which was my first 'class' dinghy has a nostagia-induced edge over them all. ...also I had 'Star Treker' which was the Sea Star with a cabin and that was horrible to sail.

We sailed MSODs at school and they created a whole new definition to the term weather helm but I think my least-liked classic is probably tied between the Torch and the Coypu...both sailed in my teens. Under-powered, heavy would be among the kinder adjectives....

sailorgilly
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:08 pm

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by sailorgilly » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:18 pm

Hmm, yes, Coypus were horrible, and I take your point about set up on the Gull. I did try an early [70's] Laser not long after they were introduced to the UK and couldn't see what all the fuss was about - not comfortable, mainsheet wrapped itself around the transom far too often etc, I didn't know it was OK to dislike them [ hollow laughter]. In time I got used to them as they became ubiquitous. At about £100 more at the time the Harrier was a far superior boat in my view - I tried one of those at the local club and was bowled over by it. There you go, eh... The other 'classic' I found a pig to sail was the Enterprise - wallowy, [if that's a real word] , unresponsive and hopeless in a blow - but lots of people love 'em.
As someone else said, horses for courses. I did like the polyurethane 320's which were amazing for teaching kids - virtually indestructible, versatile [2 mast positions] and great fun in anything from a light air up to a big blow. We used to sail one in front of 7 or 8 learners and say 'Just follow me ' and they picked it up incredibly quickly. Once they were hooked on sailing we could bring in the RYA method and l the proper stuff.

solentgal
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:01 pm
Location: twixt Chichester & Pompey

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by solentgal » Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:15 pm

Just catching on various threads on here, and reading this one, the poor old GP14 is getting a bit of a bashing :(.....having used Wayfarers when I was teaching many years ago, I thought Gps looked narrow and old fashioned.....didn't fancy trying one......until we had one a couple of years back........the pic below is of my better half with our GP at East Head in Chi Harbour.....one of my happiest days... I got her sailing at last, and we had a wonderful day. The GP is actually very versatile if you have a reefing main, and a choice of jibs.....you can sail one to windward under working jib alone if you know what you're doing.....very handy if it turns a bit rough, and you can easily handle one single handed with main and genny in light weather..............lovely boats if a little heavy for launch/recovery.

The Skipper concept may have been good, but the reality is not.....tried to sail one in the Med in a swell....felt decidedly dangerous.....a sunlounger with my name on it came to the rescue!

The Seabat I owned seemed to perform the worst.......along with a UFO (I think).....Oppys are truly awesome boats.......used to teach sooooo many youngsters in them...........they'll nearly keep up with a Mirror in the right hands.... I've witnessed it many times.

If the GP14 is the "Jeep".....nay, we're British....the "Landrover" equivalent of dinghies, then the Mirror is the "SJ410".....no, no, the "Mini-Moke" of dinghies.........a close run thing for me, but the Mirror gets my overall vote as best all round dinghy......and I'll "plead the 5th" re the worst dinghy.......but the many 70s plastic "laser-like" failures will be high on my list, having tried many of them at some point!
Meanwhile a piccy that restores faith in "nice days afloat" :)

Image
Sami.

roger
Posts: 3026
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:08 pm
Location: Frome Somerset UK

Re: The worst classic dinghy.

Post by roger » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:17 pm

The Geep is a great workhorse and ok she doesn`t have the sleek lines of the fairey boats but they are just great family boats.

With a gull rig my dad used to take the grandchildren up and down Keyhaven river to Hurst and back and they all have great memories. Later she did Windermere and Ullswater towing fenders to keep small boys happy and carried the picnic and Kelly kettle for a cuppa in a quiet cove.

Not as big and heavy as the Wayfarer but roomy enough and robust enough for all sort of Swallows and Amazons type adventures and if you want to race them a very competitive fleet with seriously good helms.

Im with you Sami the GP is a great boat, the Mirror will always have a place in my heart as it was my first boat.

Ugliest boat? lots of candidates but the one outside the Café used for kids to play in musty be one of them.
Hornet 191 Shoestring,
Hornet 595 Demon awaiting restoration
Hornet 610 Final Fling
Hornet 353

Post Reply