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Sailing Dinghy – One Of The Oldest And Most Efficient Water Vessels

By Martha Marina

What is a sailing dinghy? What does it mean? What does it do? This happens to a lot of people. For me, in particular just recently it was the phrase sailing dinghy. “Dinghy” should not be confused with “dingy”, they are certainly two different things.

The sailing dinghy came about as a way to shuffle goods from larger ships to shore back in the day. Deep docks weren’t commonplace things, so the large transport vessels had to park out in deeper water while these smaller boats carried the loads in. The dinghies were found to be small, quick, and maneuverable. It wasn’t long until people decided that racing them may be a fun activity, which is what they eventually grew into doing later on down the line. While most can be operated by a single person, they can hold up to eight people in most cases.

Skiff style dinghies are the fastest type, thanks to their narrow hulls and flat bottoms. These are often manned by one to three people at a time, depending on how large the vessel is. Someone looking for a slower vessel may want to look at the cruising dinghy, which is far more stable than the skiff variety — though it trades this stability for a lack of speed and maneuverability. Surprisingly, the catamaran is also a dinghy, though it is different from other types because of its double hull and incredible speed.

The crew of a sailing dinghy will use their weight to pull the sails, and hence keeping the vessel balanced. They are also meant to capsize, meaning a single person can upright one with no issue. If you yourself are looking to learn to sail these types of vessels, you may be able to learn at your local sailing school or club. Usually these have no age or gender restrictions, meaning that anyone can jump in and learn how to man and control these small and fun water vessels. There are even some racing teams, which can be great fun for the intermediate or experienced dinghy sailor.

Learning all this about the term sailing dinghy has made me interested in trying it out. Some things I have learned about it are that most of these boats go fast. The risk of capsizing is there and if you have a fear of getting wet it might not be the sort of thing you want to do. If you do roll your boat it’s pretty easy to get it back up all by yourself.

Sailing one of these is something you can do alone, or with another person or two. Knowing how to handle them properly not only affects how well you can get around, but can also reduce any possible safety risks while on the water.

Though these boats have a long history, not many people have even ridden or seen a sailing dinghy. Though relatively small vessels, they are great for simple recreational sailing.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Marina, Martha "Sailing Dinghy – One Of The Oldest And Most Efficient Water Vessels." Sailing Dinghy – One Of The Oldest And Most Efficient Water Vessels. 22 Jun. 2010. 10 Apr 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Marina, M (2010, June 22). Sailing Dinghy – One Of The Oldest And Most Efficient Water Vessels. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Marina, Martha "Sailing Dinghy – One Of The Oldest And Most Efficient Water Vessels"

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