During the decade that I lived aboard Sunrise, a 34' square topsail ketch I'd designed, we tried several
different sorts of boats as dinghies and shoreboats. Originally, we had a used, plywood Penguin and added padding
around her sheerline to make it easier to lay her alongside our bright finished hull.
|Design Number 194|
After the transom on the Penguin developed rot, we got an Avon 9½' inflatable. This was a great success in not
scratching the finish on Sunrise, and worked excellently as a painting float too. However, as a pulling
boat it had the inflatable's usual shortcomings....
After putting up with the inflatable for a few years, I got to thinking more seriously about a good hard dinghy
for the longer rowing runs to shore. About this time, a couple friends started building a few of Phil Bolger's
Light Dories for sale. I'd always admired them, but felt that they were just too long to carry on the trunk cabin.
I'd already decided that I did not want to tow a tender, particularly when I had this excellent place to carry one
on the housetop.
So, I took what I thought was the philosophy of simplicity of the Light Dory and drew up this shorter, truncated
boat which would just fit on Sunrise's housetop. I reckoned that 12' plywood would do for her sides and 10'
for the bottom.
When it came time that spring to build her, I was faced with the decision of whether to spend the money on building
the dinghy or using that same money to finance a longer summer cruising season. So, I had a nice long cruise that
summer and never did get to try out the dinghy. The local builders got into something more profitable and I kept
using the Avon....
David Mehlin's 11'-4" Dinghy.
Later, after publication of the first edition of Small Craft Plans,
David Mehlin built one and remarks, "The boat was built according to your plans during the winter of '90-'91, and
has been in constant summer use on Cape Cod since that time. You will be interested to know that its most ardent
admirers are the local lobstermen and fishermen. I guess when they've seen one Boston Whaler, they've seen them
Still later, Jim Shotwell built a series of these
dinghies and taught boatbuilding at the WoodenBoat School using this design as the platform for learning. We used
one of Jim's dinghies for several years on the last boat we lived aboard, enjoying it and using it for teaching the
kids to row.
|Length overall||11'-4"||3.45 m|
|Length datum waterline||10'-0 7/8"||3.07 m|
|Least||1'-10 1/8"||0.26 m|
|Estimated structural weight||80 lbs.||36 kg.|
|Displacement, to DWL||250 lbs.||114 kg.|
|Displacement-length ratio||112|| |
|Prismatic coefficient||.58|| |
|Pounds per inch immersion||109|| |
|Entrance half-angle||18°|| |
Note: The displacement numbers are calculated to the arbitrarily chosen DWL.
The calculated ratios of displacement-length and sail area-displacement will vary widely
depending on the loading of the vessel.