Newly built Fowey River Dinghy number 53 launched

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Fowey River Class Dinghy number 53 was launched this weekend

This Saturday saw the launch of another local racing class classic at Fowey – a new Fowey River Class Dinghy made by Marcus Lewis for the local vicar and his family.

Built with a distinctive combination of spruce planking with thwarts and top planks of mahogany, the boat was launched at the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club and is number 53 in the class.

Marcus tells me that the Fowey River Dinghy is based on the Yachting World 15ft dinghy designed by Reg Freeman in the late 1940s with the aim encouraging people to build their own boats. Hunkins’ Boatyard at Polruan built one for a local dentist and they caught on, for by 1957 there were 15 boats in the fleet. Numbers continued to grow with other local boat builders betting involved, and the fleet reached 36 boats in 1965.

Interest in racing the wooden boats then dwindled, but over the last 15 years or so interest has returned with 15 new boats, several of which Marcus has built, and a number of restorations of the older craft. Five or six are seen sailing in regular Wednesday and Saturday racing, and the fleet swells to 15 or 18 in regatta week.

There are photos at – the Fowey River Dinghies can be identified by their multi-coloured mainsails and jibs.

Marcus Lewis is based at Fowey and can be contacted on 07973 420 568.

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