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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers to Hear Tale of Báidín, a Chameleon Nesting Dinghy

22nd February 2022
Mark Sweetman's nesting dinghy under spritsail
Mark Sweetman's nesting dinghy under spritsail

In the latest Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Zoom talk Mark Sweetman will recount his search for a nesting dinghy design to suit his needs and how he ended up building one himself.

For a long time, Mark wanted a hard tender that was good to row and sail, as opposed to the ubiquitous inflatable dinghy with an obligatory outboard motor. But while an inflatable dinghy could be deflated and stored easily under a berth, the storage of a hard dinghy would be a challenge. Then at the London Boat Show a few years ago he saw the solution – a nesting dinghy that divided in two with one half sitting neatly inside the other, so occupying only half the original space when stored.

There were no nesting dinghies – new or used – available for sale anywhere so there was no option but to build one himself. He selected the Chameleon, a stitch-and-glue spritsail rig designed by Danny Greene in the ‘70s, and widely used by blue water sailors.

He made some design changes to better suit north-west Atlantic conditions and constructed her during the lockdown in early 2021. He sailed her daily on the west coast during the summer of 2021 and became a big fan of the spritsail rig in the process.

In this talk Mark describes the nesting dinghies available, why he selected the Chameleon, the design changes he made, the construction, his sailing experiences with her during her first season and why he has become such a fan of the spritsail rig.

Full details on the talk in the flyer downloadable below as a PDF file


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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association aims to promotes interest in traditional gaff rig and seamanship, to offer help, advice and comradeship to members and to organise races and rallies for members in the Dublin Bay Area. 

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers normally organise a regatta, two rallies and four races during the summer season and a varied, interesting and well-supported series of talks during the winter (proceeds raised are donated to the RNLI). 

Many Dublin Bay members also travel to regattas and rallies organised by other Irish Sea OGA areas. 

While the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers activities are focused on  Dublin Bay, they also have a cluster of members in the Cork area and have members from all over Ireland and some in Britain too.

The Association is working up lans to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023.  In 2013 a fleet of boats set off around the UK and Ireland to celebrate OGA50.

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