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4: Crewed dinghies

These make up the majority of dinghy classes and offer something to suit all tastes, from relatively sedate 1930s wooden dayboats to the latest hitech carbon fibre creations. Racing crewed dinghies may call for a wider range of skills than for singlehanders: effectively dividing the roles between the crew is much more important than frequently realised!

More than 50 years after it was first launched, the Enterprise still has a strong following and is sailed at hundreds of clubs around the world. It remains a relatively simple boat, with neither spinnaker nor trapeze, so it’s easy for newcomers to sail. Yet, at the front end of the fleet the racing is incredibly close and winning an Enterprise championship is rightly regarded as an outstanding achievement, even among the very best dinghy sailors.

The Lark is another enduring design, somewhat later than the Enterprise and with the addition of a spinnaker. There are relatively fewer boats, but a huge number of people have raced Larks, thanks to their popularity among University sailing clubs, especially for team racing.

The Cadet is another design from 1947 that offers close racing for those under 18 in a compact two-person dinghy with a spinnaker, but no trapeze.

Fireballs are fast two-man dinghy with spinnaker and trapeze, with fleets throughout the UK.

The RS200 is a much newer design with an asymmetric spinnaker, but no trapeze, and dates from 1995. The increased form stability of the hull compared to older designs means the boat has a comparatively larger rig. With 126 boats, the RS200 national championships had the largest fleet of non-junior dinghies in 2007. Heavier crews may find the slightly larger RS400 is more suitable.

As with their singlehanded counterparts, two-person skiffs such as the International 14 and 49er are boats to aspire to sail — few people go from beginner to racing one in a single season.


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If sailing alone, you won't have to worry about arranging a crew

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Exciting adrenaline-fuelled sailing

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