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Friday, 8 May 2015

Cornish Cormorant - Tosh

This is my own and favorite dinghy Tosh, built by the original Cornish Crabbers down in Rock across the Camel estuary from Padstow, in 1983.

Designed by Roger Dongray I like to think of her as very much a modern adaptation of the traditional America Beetle catboat. Modern designed foils, minimised wetted surface and a high aspect gaff sail all combine to give her good performance, but what makes her really special is she's just a joy to sail.

At 350lbs she's no light weight, but stable, forgiving just the thing for a family day sail and a picnic, when you can be sure no one is going to get frightened if it blows up and you won't loose the sandwiches overboard. When the wind pipes up she will lay hove to gently while I effortlessly pull in a reef. And in strong winds she will even give a Mirror dinghy a run for it's money as we did in Bart's Bash last year.

There's a great write up here from the early 80's.

Shown here on her combination launch and road trailer, I keep trying to think about ways to improve her, but frankly Roger Dongray did such a good job there's not anything I'd alter. The un-stayed mast is easy to step even on my own, and I can have the sail laced on and be sailing in minutes.

One of the coolest things is being able to sail her backwards off the club slipway and past the dock when the wind is is the right direction, especially is there's an audience watching from the terrace.