Red Sails – a history of Thames sailing barges


A Light Dinghy under construction

I’m delighted to be able to report that the first example of my Light Dinghy design is under construction.

It’s a two sheet dinghy I drew at about the same time as I drew my Light Trow design, and it also has easy lines and the the same five-panel principle, with a flat bottom and two strakes on each side.

The plans for both boats are available as free downloads.

Naturally, I’m very much looking forward to a report of its performance on the water. The builder is a man of some experience, so I don’t imagine he’ll be anything but honest about it!

She’s afloat!

Here’s what builder Lee Boell has to say:

‘I really love the look of what you have drawn here.  And it’s a delight to row.

‘There was a strong tide running – we’d just had a record spring tide for Auckland – which is why I was not going straight! 

‘Anyway, thanks again for this little boat.  I love it.’

You can see clips of some of the other boats Lee has built over the years on his YouTube account – with that much experience, I’m inclined to think he knows what he’s talking about.

Lee Boell021 829 410

Photos of Raybel’s return to Sittingbourne

Folks turned up, speeches were made, music was played and we all hoped for a grand future for SB Raybel. There’s clearly a lot of work to do – she’s got many tingles and areas of plywood decking, I don’t like the look of her starboard bow, and the creek is very muddy – but the talk is that her iron framing has kept her shape well.

To get involved or find out more: