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Sprint Dinghy - What can you tell me about this?

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So I have two of these, not sure how, as i only bought one, and the other moved in to keep it company.

I'm interested in any information that the wider collective might have on this dinghy design.

At the moment they are a slow burn project for the kids to thrash in the next few years.

Any information appreciated.


Sprint Stern.PNG

Name Plate.PNG

Sprint bow.PNG

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The Sprint was not successful and relatively few were sold.  They first appeared around 1975 or 1976.  There was a Seaspay magazine review at some point in 1976 if I recall.  They were very unstable - getting in over the transom was needed if you capsized in light air.  Avoiding a roll-over when righting the boat in a breeze was a skill to be learned.  The P Class was the place to be.  In the mini-Laser type boat there was competition from the Viking (also unsuccessful) and the Micron (slightly larger - more akin to the Starling in its target market).  The Optimist was new to NZ in those days and there were very few around - all wooden at that point (as were the Ps and Starlings).


I have the following anecdote.  I will not name the individuals - and especially the former owner of the Sprint dinghy in this story.  Let's just say that he went on to have a very successful sailing career and became a household name.  We'll call him "Bob" for no reason whatsoever.

As kids there was a group of us that lived close enough to the water, or stored our boats close enough,  such that even though we were too young to drive, we could launch and sail our boats without "grown-up" help.  So school holidays and summer evenings were filled with sailing.

Sometimes we would play a game of tag.  The rules were simple:  a boundary was set within some convenient mooring buoys (usually with boats hanging off them - I don't remember ever damaging them).  You had to stay within the boundary or you were "it".  If you capsized you were "it".  The person who was "it" could get out of that by forcing somebody to capsize or getting them out of bounds.  Deliberate boat to boat contact was not allowed (we loved out wooden boats!) The way to get somebody to capsize was to sail up to leeward of them and grab their boom - giving it a sharp downward tug as you went by.  You often had to stand up in your own boat to apply sufficient force - so risked capsizing yourself.  We learned great boat handling skills.  

Most of us had Ps or Starlings, and there was the occasional Flying Ant - but "Bob" had a Sprint.  The Sprint was by far the easiest boat to capsize so "Bob" did a lot of swimming (he may refute that).

Kids can be so cruel ;-)


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On 7/04/2020 at 6:32 AM, MuzzaB said:

They were very unstable - getting in over the transom was needed if you capsized in light air.  Avoiding a roll-over when righting the boat in a breeze was a skill to be learned.

I disagree... Easier to sail than a P.  Never had to get in over the transom or had issues avoiding a roll over. I had one to play with early on in my sailing career. Dad loved it when the ""P" mum's and dads got upset about this kid in another sort of boat passing their little Johnny. At that stage I have no doubt that "little Johnny" was the better sailor (a couple of years more experienced)... but the Sprint was faster. 

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I'm not sure I'd agree about the Viking being unsuccessful - there's hundreds of those things laying around the place. Didn't become a racing class, but obviously sold well.

I've never heard of the Sprint before though.

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