Hyvässä slöörissä · sailing dinghy cruising

Dinghies for Adults

Recently Finnish Vene magazine featured three sailing dinghies, that are popular in Finland. The article included Windmill, Snipe and Lightning, that all have their special characteristics. As an owner of a Wayfarer dinghy I was missing the fourth boat in the review, but still the article was interesting to read. In last autumn I was considering different sailing dinghy options myself and the final decision was made between Lightning and Wayfarer.

In page 24 there is a table of those three and I want to “complete” it with an extra column. Out of those three dingies I have experience in Windmills only, and at least the sailing characteristics row shouldn’t be considered as the final truth.

Year 1957
Optimal for Racing, cruising, sailing schools
Sailing characteristics Stable and sturdy
Special Popular abroad and known for its seaworthiness. Sailed even from Scotland to Iceland.
Race crew 2
Sails Mainsail, Genoa, Spinnaker
Length 4,8 m
Paino 169 kg
Weight 11,0 m², Spinnaker 13,5 m²
Draft centreboard down 1,17 m
Price New 15 000 euroa, used ones starting from 2 000 €
Class association (none in Finland)

It’s good to be aware of the fact, that for some reason Wayfarer is very rare in Finland. You may not want to buy it for racing, unless you have time and money to participate races in Denmark, Netherlands or United Kingdom. Wayfarer building rights are owned by Hartley Boats Limited in United Kingdom. In Canada it’s manufactured as CL-16 clone. If you want to build a Wayfarer dinghy with an official sail number by yourself, it’s best to buy an old wreck and rebuild it from scratch. This approach is recommended by [Mike’s Wooden Wayfarer Restoration Manual]. Finally the original wreck can be burnt in a bonfire, when the new one is finished. Markets of the second-hand Wayfarers are very active in United Kingdom, where I bought my own boat.

For Finns the Vene magazine’s article is worth reading, because it has some good basic information about dinghy sailing in Finland. And who knows, if one of those three is the best option for you.