Friday, 4 May 2012

Tricorn Dinghy

An interesting dinghy from the early 1960's designed and built in response to Ian Proctor's Wayfarer which was proving to be a reliable cruising dinghy. Designed by Illingworth & Primrose and built by Martin Goacher boat builders, the Tricorn featured as a favourable test report in the 1962 Light Craft magazine.
Stability and comfort do not seem to have compromised performance and the small cuddy appears to be a useful feature which blends in well with the overall design.
The lines look modern with firm turn at the bilge and a fairly flat run aft. Apart from a few niggles over a few of the construction details the Tricorn looks to have been a capable cruising dinghy. For whatever reason the Tricorn wasn't a commercial success, one turned up on ebay a few years ago, perhaps it was lack of marketing on the part of her builders, maybe the appeal of a cruising dinghy such as this was over estimated, whatever the reason, they are few and far between.


  1. Hey! I have a Tricorn! I bought a slightly tatty but solid and relatively complete one last year. It's this years restoration project.

    I bought it because I liked the design pedigree and the quality of construction, as well as the practicality of a the concept. It's a cruising dinghy that can be left unattended on a mooring for long periods (the cuddy can be sealed and the cockpit self drains).

    Mine was probably built in 1962 and may have been used by a sailing school or disabled sailing project, as the mainsail had been cut down by about 25 sq.ft. and the light alloy plate replaced by a heavy lump of galvanised steel. This would make the boat very stable but very slow.

    I intend to have her afloat this summer with brand new sails, a coat of epoxy paint and maybe an alloy plate, though I might see how she sails with the steel one before I change it. This could be a post for 1001 Boats when I have photos and some seatime.

    1. Patrick, i've just bought a Tricon too and would love to hear from you and compare info and progress. you can contact me at



    2. Hi Harvey. Great to hear from someone with a Tricorn! I have not made much progress at the moment, but let's compare notes. I've e-mailed you separately.
      All the best

  2. Patrick, what a coincidence, interestingly the article makes a point about "those who cruise may prefer a heavier centre plate". What interested me is that the Tricorn looks like a very capable dinghy and personally I think its a very attractive design - sort of a predecessor to the larger Hawk 20 but ironically more modern looking, in my eyes anyway. Look forward to seeing progress -

    PS I'm just painting Erica's SCOW (1951) I did high build epoxy primer over the very old and crazed grp and the using Shipmate silicon alkyd - very similar to Toplac easy (forgiving) to apply and I get very reasonable results Max

  3. This is a topic that is near to my heart...
    Take care! Where are your contact details though?
    Also see my site: contractor Orlando

  4. I had a tricorn, I aquired it from cam sailing club, and sailed it on the avon for several years before returning it to the cam. I found that a flying fifteen main and jib both fitted and suited the boat well. I also fitted support under the mast that could be pushed out of the way when not sailing, it made the top deck and rig alot stiffer. I now sail a K1

  5. Hi There, I live on the west coast of Canada near Victoria B.C. and I just bought a Tricorn. I was looking for more info on it and I found your article. I am interested in the article above from LC mag but it doesn't magnify well for reading, is there any way you could send me a larger version of this ? It's difficult especially here in North America to find anything ln this craft. I have been looking for a boat like this for years and I am excited to restore her. The tricorn hadn't been sailed in over 20 years, the mast, cushions and sails had been stored inside and it even came with a Seagull. thanks for any help! Mike

    1. Mike - send me your email address (your comment is anonymous) and I'll email you the originals - my email

    2. Max, my Tricorn, no. 4, Salvo, is now in good sailing order, albeit with hand-me-down sails bought on eBay and adapted where necessary to fit.

      I sailed in the 2013 Semaine du Golfe de Morbihan last year, but unfortunately illness has prevented me from doing much since.

      You can see photos of my progress on my Picasa gallery at:

      Perhaps you could pass this link on to Mike in Canada.


COMMENTS - If you would like a reply to your comment please leave your email address