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Minisail Class Association re-forms

by Rupert Whelan 16 Jan 2012 04:54 PST
Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association national championships © Karen Collyer

The Minisail, an icon of the 1960's, was, like the Beatles, inspired by America in the late 1950's. Ian Proctor saw the American sailing surfboards in 1959, and decided to design one to suit British waters.

The Minisail outlasted the Fab Four and was still going strong in the mid 70's. However, by the early 80's, a rapid decline in fortune meant that the distinctive, low, scow bowed shape all but disappeared from boat parks around Britain.

A few dedicated enthusiasts, either attracted by the unusual looks or rock bottom prices, kept some boats afloat. The trouble was, until communication over the internet became possible, they were mostly unaware of each other.

In Southampton, a computer savvy Minisail sailor set up a website to try and gather information together and a forum to try and put Minisail sailors in touch with each other. So successful has the site been that the contributors have decided to make things a little more formal at set up a new class association. A new web address has been set up,, and at a meeting in August, a draft set of rules (based on those from 1976) were put together to give Minisail owners a blueprint to work from when piecing old boats back together.

Plans have been made to meet up in 2012. Firstly, a coaching weekend has been organized in conjunction with the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association on the weekend of 23/24 March at Whitefriars SC on the Cotswold Water Park. Secondly, a National Championship weekend has been booked at Bough Beech in Kent over the August Bank Holiday weekend, running alongside the cvrda Nationals. Other meetings are in the pipeline.

If you are a Minisail owner or former owner, the newly formed association would love to hear from you, either via the forum linked to the above web address, or directly to

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