At Papercourt we take pretty much any sailing boat that can feasibly work on our lake. Dinghies come in many shapes and sizes; however, we have a number of supported classes, which are described below.
We will accept other dinghies with a PYN rating between 1018 and 1646, subject to agreement by the Main Committee.
Boat fees are payable for all boats sailed at the Club, whether or not they have an allocated space in the dinghy park. Contact the Harbourmaster about an allocated space.
If you don’t have your own boat yet, or are not sure which class you want to join, we have an extensive fleet of single-handed and two-handed hire boats that are available for hire to Club members on a first come, first served basis.
The Enterprise was designed by Jack Holt in the early 1950s. Being light, highly manoeuvrable and having a relatively large sail area makes the Enterprise well suited to the conditions at Papercourt. They can be made from wood or GRP. There are around 23,000 registered Enterprises nationally.
Enterprises are relatively easy to sail. They are great racing boats, but also exciting just to sail in any conditions. They are designed to be sailed by two people and don’t have a spinnaker. There’s a fairly healthy open meeting circuit in the south-east, although recent years has seen a decline, and the National and World Championships are very well attended. Many well known sailors started their sailing careers in an Enterprise.
The GP14 can be a low cost entry to crewed sailing and racing, and is currently enjoying a revival. It is designed to be sailed two-handed but may be sailed single-handed in lighter winds.
The boats vary from older basic wooden versions to the modern GRP boats.
The spinnaker adds interest and the predominantly north/south winds at Papercourt favour the traditional spinnaker arrangement over the asymmetric.
The Graduate is an ideal boat for Papercourt due to its size and performance.
The boat is well suited for an adult and child, although it can be sailed very successfully single-handed. The Graduate has recently benefited from a change to a modern sail design which has improved performance all-round. The new sail particularly benefits single-handers, allowing more control. Secondhand boats are very affordable. Early boats were built of wood, but new ones are made of GRP.
The ILCA/Laser* is an Olympic class, single-handed, one-design dinghy using a common hull design with three interchangeable rigs of different sail areas for sailors of different weights, ages or abilities. It was designed in 1970 and more than 200,000 have been produced.
At Papercourt the ILCA/Laser fleet is one of the largest and most active fleets at the Club.
*Following litigation, in 2019 the Laser was re-branded the ILCA. The Laser Standard, Radial and 4.7 rigs are now referred to as ILCA 7, 6 and 4 respectively. Nothing has changed in the design of the boat or rigs.
The International Optimist dinghy (“Oppie”) is specifically designed to be sailed by young children from about age 7/8 and up to the age of 14/15 depending on size/weight. It was designed in 1947 and is sailed in more than 120 countries.
The Oppie was the starting point for many of the world’s leading sailors, including Olympic champions and many of the current Team GBR, British sailing team.
Oppies can be built of wood or, more generally, GRP. Their simple construction means that they can be easily maintained. There is a good secondhand market.
The RS Aero is an ultra-lightweight single-hander, launched in 2015. Like the ILCA/Laser it has a common hull design with four interchangeable rigs of different sail areas for sailors of different weights. Referred to as the Aero 9, 7, 6 and 5. It is a lively and responsive boat, well suited to fickle Papercourt winds. The carbon spars make for a very controllable rig. This, combined with the choice of four rig sizes, means that it will suit any sailor from 35 kg to 160 kg. And with the hull weighing only 30 kg, the Aero is a joy to pull up the slipway!
The RS Feva is a two-handed boat suitable for teenagers, either to start sailing or as a progression from Optimists. it is also suitable for an adult and child, and can be sailed single-handed. As a two-person boat it provides companionship and with its assymetric spinnaker both helm and crew have to work as a team. The RS Feva has international status for racing.
The PE3 roto-moulded construction means the Feva is virtually maintenance-free and is extremely durable.
The RS200 is a modern two-person design with an asymmetric spinnaker, making it a quick boat, easy to sail and great fun on the water.
Its GRP construction means it is virtually maintenance free.
Papercourt owners are sometimes on the lookout for crew.
Scows have been sailed along the south and east coasts for over a hundred years! Today there are large fleets at Lymington and Chichester. The first Scows were built in the early 1900’s and quickly proved successful as both a sailing and rowing dinghy. They were ideally suited as a tender to larger yachts. Originally of clinker design they are now built in GRP.
The beauty of the Scow is its simplicity and stability. With its tubby shape and simple gaff rig it is not a typical racing dinghy, but a generous handicap enables it to compete favourably with sleeker competitors.
Although designed in 1956 modern boats are built in GRP or have a GRP hull and wooden deck. They also have a modern fully battled sail. The Solo fleet at Papercourt is one of the largest at any club in the world. Which means that on race days there is always a good turnout.
We have a wide cross section of Solo sailors, from those who travel on the circuit and attend the nationals, to strong active club racing, and novices.
In addition to the normal Club racing the Solo class run their own informal Solo sessions, usually on Thursday evenings, around sprint races, designed to hone and develop on-water skills.
The Topper is a single-handed dinghy that is fun to sail, can be managed by sailors of all ages from about 14/15 upwards, and has a very active and competitive open meeting scene. At Papercourt we have a large number of active sailors at all levels.
Toppers can be sailed with either a 4.2m or 5.3m rig, depending on age and ability, and a 6.8m rig has recently been introduced. The polypropylene hull has now been replaced by a roto-moulded one. As the name suggests, the boat can easily be carried on a car roof.
The Wanderer is one of the best 14′ general purpose sailing dinghies available. It is equally at home pottering in tidal estuaries or racing in a strong breeze with the spinnaker up. Whilst it can happily be sailed single-handed, it can take up to four people, so is a great boat for sailing as a family. The main can easily be reefed and the jib furled.
The current model is totally GRP so virtually maintenance free.