Kent boatbuilders construct replica 1940s class C hydroplane


North Kent based marine carpenter Kyle Abingdon reports that he and his parter have built this very striking 15ft6in 1940s class C  hydroplane from designer Bruce Crandall’s plans, and that she’s up for sale.

Here’s what he says:

‘She’s made out of Robbins Elite marine ply sheathed in biaxle cloth and epoxy and has Douglas fir for stringers, stem and keel with plywood web frames. 

‘We’ve given her a sapele deck, although the racing boats would not have had this. I couldn’t resist given the lovely barrel shape of the deck. Also she has a teak rubbing strakes. 

‘The stainless steel fin will help her turn when she’s up on the plane. 

‘She’s sitting on a new galvanised trailer.’

Drop me a line at gmatkin at gmail dot com and I’ll pass your enquiry on to him.

Looking at  this page about hydroplane classes in 1951 seems to suggest the maximum permitted engine capacity for this kind of hydroplane would have been about 2.9 litres – though the very thought of that big a lump makes a lump in my throat. Take care, Kyle – I think engines may be more powerful for their size these days!

A mystery carvel-built sailing dinghy – who made it and did it belong to a racing class?

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kyle abingdon, marine carpentry, carvel, dinghy, sailing boat

kyle abingdon, marine carpentry, carvel, dinghy, sailing boat

Can anyone help identify this boat bought recently by boatbuilder Kyle Abingdon?

Here’s what he says about her:


‘Please can you and your readers help to identify this mystery boat I have bought with mind to restoring her this winter? She’s a beautiful 14ft 7in x 5ft 2in carvel wooden sailing dinghy. She needs a lot of work but I couldn’t help myself.

‘She is quite heavily built. She has an elm transom, keel and stem pine planks and a mahogany sheer strake. She is a Bermudan sloop with a bowspirit and has a heavy galvanised centre board.

‘She looks a bit like an old Torbay J Class or West Lancashire Seabird but is a lot smaller than either of these. Please can you an your readers give me your ideas?

‘Regards, Kyle Abingdon

‘Abingdon Marine, tel 07737868421′

Thanks Kyle!

See an earlier query from Kyle about the AH Comben’s-designed Nosila here.

Two other recent requests for information concern Firth of Forth dreg songs used in the oyster fishery and a canoe yawl built by the Thames. If any boat boffins can help with any of these questions, I would be most grateful!

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