When researching an article, I like to take a moment to delve into the history of the subject. Leafing through a couple of books on my shelf, Designs to Inspire and Boat Plans at Mystic Seaport, both by Anne and Maynard Bray, which include line drawings of various cruising vessels from the first half of this century, it’s interesting to note how many designers of the day included hard dinghy locations in their drawings.
One, a double-ended sloop of just 24 feet LOA, includes a, 7-by-3.5-foot pram dinghy neatly stored on the foredeck. Another, a 30-footer by L.F. Herreshoff, features a dinghy stowed just aft of the mast, and yet another, a 36-foot ketch, has a dinghy penciled in aft of the house and forward of the mizzenmast.
It seems those designers appreciated the importance of stowing the dinghy aboard and, in the absence of guidance from focus groups, they went with their seaman’s instinct and hard-won experience. It’s also interesting to note just how small a vessel will accommodate a dinghy stowed on deck, provided it’s designed for the application.
Steve C. D’Antonio