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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 All the Fs in sailing
Fantastic full on fast, fun, and FLAT bottomed - the scow
Posted on 30 Jul
Building a wooden dinghy with epoxy resin part 3
Completing the hull and making an amazing spinnaker chute
Posted on 11 Jun
Gregory's Ghost
David Henshall's search for a rare 1960s dinghy has a happy ending
Posted on 3 Jun
Yes I, am the Great Contender
David Henshall gets excited in an overgrown field
Posted on 28 May
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


Show photos from

Keith Paul won the 505 UK World Championships in 1962
© Y&Y
The Fireball - a cheap accessible blaster
© Chippendale
The boat that would eventually become the Topper - this example, sailed by Ian Proctor's son Roger, shows the simplicity of the lines
© David Henshall
Even with a tunnel hull, light airs were a trial of patience as you dream of when the wind would finally return
© David Henshall
Some scow shapes were considered ugly, but proved their worth if there was enough wind
© Scow Moth Club
The ToY was an accessible performance single hander but lost out to the Contender
© Trevor Davies
In hull form and sailing characteristics the Bullet was in all respects a 'small Fireball'
© Chippendale
The Westcliff One Design was a popular and speedy performer on the Thames Estuary, only to get replaced by more conventional dinghies
© David Henshall
John Westell's design for the Dingbat pre-dated the Fireball by 15 years, but gave us many signposts to what a performance skiff would be like in the future
© G. Westell
The Dingbat - Like so many innovative designers in the years to come, John Westell recognised that there was more to the scow hull form than just a simple box
© G. Westell
2020 - Pleasant Point Yacht Club is due to celebrate its centennial next year
© Pleasant Point Yacht Club
A well-used picture of Ghost number 10 sailing at one of the 'One of a Kind' events that were such a part of the dinghy scene in the late 1960s and 1970s
© Peter Copley / Sells Publications
The fully battened high aspect rig of the Ghost dinghy was certainly powerful but not easy to use
© Gregory Family
Greg Gregory went down a very different path with his 'Ghost Rider' design of Merlin Rocket
© Dave Lee
A report in an Australian sailing magazine in May 1966, describing the sighting of Ghost dinghies on Sydney Harbour
© Modern Boating magazine
Hailing from the early 1960s, the Ghost was a stretched out development of designer Greg Gregory's race-winning Cherubs
© Gregory Family
A view of the lovely lines of the hull of the Ghost dinghy
© David Henshall
Towards the completion of a painstaking restoration, this 'Ghost Rider' design of Merlin Rocket is looking fabulous
© Dave Lee
The lines of the Ghost dinghy
© Greg Gregory
For a lightweight hull now 55 years old, Ghost number 10 is still in fair condition
© David Henshall
Blue trim used to be the hallmark of Bruce Banks sails in the 70s, but this is a rare Contender sail made by Jack Holt
© David Henshall
Tony Smith would bring about a revolution in the Contender rig based around his own sails
© David Henshall
What happened here? No matter, the numbers are correctly located on the other side of this Contender sail
© David Henshall
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
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