An alternative folding boat

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Handy Andy folding boat plans

10ft folding dinghy plans at the Svenson free boat plans site

Attention boating enthusiasts – is this folding boat the half-forgotten answer to the eternal tender problem?

Tenders tend to be be a nuisance as we all know – the nasty rubber things cost a fortune, take ages to inflate, take up a lot of space on board and row like psychopathic milk jugs, and of course a solid tender is a can be a pain to tow.

So some people might like to consider this folding alternative, which I’ve just spotted. Plans can be downloaded at the Svenson website.

Follow this link for more free boat plans.

A boatshed at Botley

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Boatshed at  Botton, on the Hamble. Photographed by Chris Partridge

Boatshed at Botton, on the Hamble

I came back from Paris late this evening to find this photo in my inbox, with a note from the photographer:

‘Hi Gavin

‘I rowed up the Hamble today with the DCA and came across this boatshed in Botley, where the river is almost too narrow to swing an oar. You can’t imagine a prettier location.

All best,


Thanks Chris Partridge – it’s nice to have another shed to celebrate! Paris museum photos and more to come shortly.

I should explain that the DCA is the Dinghy Cruising Association – a splendid club of individuals who often sail and camp in small open boats, and who occasionally find time to meet together to sail in company. Find out about them here.

Julie, who grew up in the area, tells me that a restaurant in Botton was a family favourite when she was a child.

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Two dinghy classics from Ian Proctor’s drawing board – the Kestrel and the Osprey

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Ian Proctor’s Kestrel dinghy

Kestrel, the UK’s first all-glass reinforced plastic sailing dinghy


The 15ft 6in Kestrel was the UK’s first all-GRP sailing dinghy. The first plastic Kestrel appeared at the London Boat Show in 1956 and created a lot of favourable comment in the plastics magazines – but rather less in the yachting press, which could not quite trust the new material. However, when builders began to apply strict quality control, the boat became more popular.

Even today, the Kestrel is quite a quick boat – for racing purposes its Portsmouth Yardstick is a healthy 1038 – but Proctor designed her to be as suitable for cruising as for racing. As he pointed out, although the boat did not look like a racer at first glance, a number of subtle refinements including a sloping stem profile, deep hull, firm bilges and a long run enabled it to sail fast even in rough water.

The boat is still sailed and raced, and there is a Kestrel Class Association.

Ian Proctor Osprey dinghy

Ian Proctor Ospreys

Ospreys planing with their crews on trapezes


Designed in 1953 as a contender for the Olympics, in trials the 17ft 5in Osprey was pipped at the post by Continue reading “Two dinghy classics from Ian Proctor’s drawing board – the Kestrel and the Osprey”