Sunday 8 March 2015

PBO Road test local dinghy

I was reading read though some old 1976 boating magazines when I spotted a test report on the local Jacqueline class dinghy, native to nearby Hill Head.

According to the report, back in the long hot summer of 76 the boats were still being built by Tom Robertson in his shed by the harbour, now alas long gone. Construction was of mahogany or British Columbian spruce on oak or Canadian rock elm. 

Tom claimed the construction was durable and an owner could expect to see 40 or 50 years life from a boat. Maybe that was true with good maintenance and regular use, but didn't take into account changing boat fashion. Even in Hill Head Jacqueline's are few and far between, having long been replaced by more modern GRP dinghies, although a few are still going strong


  1. This J class looks like real 'Swallows and Amazons' stuff. I was pleased to see some big yellow buoyancy bags inside the example on your link to you other J Class post.

    I remember reading in a biography of Arthur Ransome about someone drowning on Lake Conniston during Ransomes time there in an open 'S and A' type of clinker dinghy.These type of dinghies only float a little bit above the surface of the water once capsized unless they have reserve buoyancy.

    But if this issue is addressed then I think the type is just great - not just for racing but for cruising (And playing Swallows and Amazons in - Even adults can do that!)

    1. They sink even faster when weighted down with ballast, as John proved when he ran Swallow onto the rock, off Swallowdale, as I dimly recall ;-)


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