The International 12 Square Metre Sharpie class is founded on the winning design in a competition organised by the German Deutcher Segler Verband in 1931, and was quickly adopted first in Germany, and then Holland, England, Italy, Belgium, France and Portugal. International competition followed shortly after – and if my memory serves – for a brief period it was also an Olympic class.
Here in the UK 1931 the Sharpie was introduced by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, which sponsored a fleet of nine boats. Other clubs followed and the class spread throughout England. Within a few years it is said to have become the strongest class in the country. Those days may be long gone, but the Sharpie is still sailed and raced in the UK.
In the last few weeks, the British Sharpie Association has put up a set of FREE BOAT PLANS in pdf form for building a Sharpie, and there’s some very photographic and historical material, as well as all the activities you’d expect from a busy class association.
Well, I suppose it’s time for one of mine, finally. Here’s a two-sheet plywood dink I designed to be narrower and longer than the usual short and fat two-sheet flattie, with the intention that it would both look and row rather better without much more building work.
I had to make her a shade boxier forward than I’d hoped in order to work in a reasonable amount of displacement, but as well as carrying more crew and cargo overall, the extra shape will make her drier and more bouyant also.
I think she meets the design criteria pretty well.
If you’d like to build a little boat for your pond or as a tender to a larger boat, you might think of it as a Christmas present from me! If you do build it, do please let me know, as I’d love to hear about it.
Whoever you are, have a great Christmas holiday break, and I hope you’re looking forward to more www.intheboatshed.net in the coming year.
Download the files in the form of a zip file here: Light dinghy plans download
I’m often disappointed with the boat designs that appear in Practical Mechanics and the rest: often they look good at first glance, but I suppose the designers were not paid terribly well for their work and so often tended to leave one or two things less clear than they might.
For example, I was looking today at a fattish dory alleged to be suitable for sailing where the designer had drawn mast partners and the rest, but said nothing very clear about the rig beyond what size range it should fit within. I think that’s leaving just a little too much to chance in terms of the balance between hull and rig.
And yet designs taken from old magazines and books can be excellent. Here’s one that looks really good to me, not least because it has instant character and apparently runs fast even with a small outboard engine. My only cause for slight concern is that the claims for its weight seem implausible, but maybe it was a typing error, or applied only to the smallest version.
In the meantime dig some of the details: the windshields and aft steering position with the big spindly wheel are so sweet! Executed that way and maybe fitted with a well cared-for old outboard I think Victory could be a lot of fun.
For FREE BOAT PLANS for Victory:
For more motor boats: https://intheboatshed.net/?cat=12