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Classic & Vintage Dinghy

Classic & Vintage Dinghy

The Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association (CVRDA) works to get classic and vintage racing dinghies (25+ years old) racing together as often as possible, to share and disseminate information about classic and vintage dinghies, their maintenance and restoration, to keep all these boats sailing and in good condition and viewed by as large an audience as possible, to raise the public awareness of these boats and the nautical heritage they represent and to help and support classic and vintage class associations.

© Gair Matthews © Gair Matthews
Show news BBC Four presents The Sailing Sixties
Great documentary showing how the dinghy boom began in England
Posted on 20 May
The Greed for Speed
Has it taken away the fun of sailing?
Posted on 24 Apr
Garage finds
Have you found some hidden gems during a lock-down spring-clean?
Posted on 5 Apr
Restoring a very early wooden OK dinghy
Purchased free with a cheap trailer, and turned into an unexpected project
Posted on 5 Apr
Restoring a 1979 wooden Europe dinghy
Lots of painstaking varnishwork has created a stunning result
Posted on 28 Mar
Building a wooden dinghy with epoxy resin part 2
Strip planking the hull, and making an amazing wooden mast
Posted on 18 Mar
Experienced sailor back at Wooden Boat Festival
Wooden Boat Builder Steve Adler is back again at Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong 2020
Posted on 9 Mar
Historic 18 Footer Australian Championship overall
Nine skiffs contest the Galloping Ghost Trophy
Posted on 8 Feb
2020 Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong announced
The festival is set to attract over 45,000 visitors
Posted on 14 Jan
Building a wooden dinghy with epoxy resin part 1
Steve Goodchild talks us through the Stornoway 16 build, starting with the jig
Posted on 30 Dec 2019
The Unsung Wise Man
Reg Bratt's remarkable contribution to British dinghy sailing exposed
Posted on 13 Dec 2019
New boat register initiative for Minisail class
Please inform their website of the details you can recall
Posted on 27 Nov 2019
Tips for sailing with a young crew
What is different when racing with kids between the age of 6 and 12
Posted on 25 Oct 2019
One Design or Two?
David Henshall looks at control (and abuse) of hull shapes over the years
Posted on 9 Oct 2019
9th Bosham Classic Boat Revival
53 boats travelled from as far as the Netherlands
Posted on 16 Sep 2019
CVRDA 20th Anniversary Rally at Roadford Lake
A wide range of dinghies celebrate in glorious weather
Posted on 31 Aug 2019
9th Classic Boat Revival preview
5 races over the 7-8 September in Chichester Harbour
Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Trearddur Bay SC prepare for centenary
Myths and Half Rater classes travel to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Posted on 23 Jul 2019
Vintage Merlin Rockets at Frensham Pond
The youngest boat being a mere 44 years old
Posted on 6 Jul 2019
P&B Solo Vintage Championship
Sail numbers from the past triggered pleasant memories of old friends
Posted on 23 May 2019
Performance defining dinghies - the Top Dogs
David Henshall digs into the history of the 'performance' dinghy
Posted on 16 May 2019
Vintage Merlin DeMay series at Fishers Green
Boats rescued from death row (garden planter, bonfire, council tip)
Posted on 15 May 2019
International 12ft Friendship Regatta preview
Vintage wooden craft travelling to Rutland this July
Posted on 7 Apr 2019
Staying atop the Singles Chart
David Henshall looks at the future - and history - of the singlehander
Posted on 17 Oct 2018
Ghost Hunting
Have you seen this rare vintage dinghy?
Posted on 7 Oct 2018
Every Nimbus cloud has a silver lining
Restoration of a classic International 14 with a great history
Posted on 2 Oct 2018
CVRDA Rally at Clywedog
A very mixed fleet take part
Posted on 26 Sep 2018
12 footers at the Vintage Yachting Games overall
A wise PRO was able to prepare for unsuitable winds
Posted on 22 Sep 2018
12 footers at the Vintage Yachting Games day 3
Four races held as storm heads for Copenhagen
Posted on 21 Sep 2018
12 footers at the Vintage Yachting Games day 2
Difficult conditions mean shipping a lot of water
Posted on 20 Sep 2018


Show photos from

A strange early proototype mutlihull from the 1960s
International Moth (Magnum 6) club racing at Greensforge
© John Wagstaff
Firefly landing at Priors Haven through surf in 1963
© Robin Steavenson
Today the Contender may well be seen as overweight and underpowered, but back when it first came out, it would break the speed barriers in the same way as the RS600 would do 20 years later
© Rondar Boats
Surely no other dinghy has evolved as much and as quickly as the International Moth. One minute there were sailing around in the Slow h/c fleet, the next they were overtaking the cream of the performance dinghies - and this was before they started foiling
1965 Performance Single-hander Trials at Weymouth
The Australis or A-Cat II was probably years ahead of it's time and also benefited from a better rig than the close competitors. It was also well sailed and was the right boat when the political horse trading started post the Trials
© A Class Cat
The Tornado cat was already super quick, then when foils were added to the equation it would help redefine what straight line boat speed really meant
© Austin Farrar Collection
No sooner had the Prout brothers sorted out the technical issues of the Shearwater than the realisation dawned that whilst they might be slow to tack and pedestrian in light airs, in breeze and on a reach, they had answered that 'Greed for Speed'
© Y&Y
...the sensation of speed made one think that you were flying, though this never lasted for long
Heavily rockered and with an almost semi-circular hull form, the International Moths might not have been been very quick in terms of outright speed but...
An oft-used but nevertheless iconic picture of the YW Scow. So much innovation, a massive sail area, a three man crew (all of which who could have their weight out beyond the gunwale) and yet the speed advantage never matched the expectations
© Rod Macalpine-Downie
The BRA 1 was designed with boatspeed in mind, with the boat, now designated as the International 12, being used as the Olympic singlehander in 1920 and 1928
© International 12 Association
Hull features such at 'tumblehome' in the aft sections were once a feature of International 14 hulls, but with the rapid advances that were taking place in dinghy design, this would vanish in a few years
© Dougal Henshall
The hull lines of the Tornado monohull. Hard chine and heavy, this completely missed the mark of what a performance dinghy was meant to be. Once true performance dinghies had shown how it could be done, this Tornado quickly disappeared into obscurity
When compared with the existing dinghies of the early 1950s the Fairey Jollyboat was undoubtably a quick boat, but was nowhere near the 'fastest dinghy in the world', though it could claim to be the boat with the fastest recorded speed...
© Dougal Henshall
Restoration of OK dinghy K46 - step 2
© Rob Evans
Restoration of OK dinghy K46 - step 5
© Rob Evans
Restoration of OK dinghy K46 - step 3
© Rob Evans
Restoration of OK dinghy K46 - step 4
© Rob Evans
Restoration of OK dinghy K46 - step 1
© Rob Evans
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - the fittings
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - smooth painted hull
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - a new name added
© Clare Giles
Europe number 95, restored and sailing in Coppet Week
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - now kept safe from frost in a conservatory
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - beautiful varnished decks
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - showing damaged varnish before work began
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - scraping old varnish off
© Clare Giles
Restoration of Europe number 95, built in 1979 - hull preparation
© Clare Giles