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All about Dinghy Cruising

What is dinghy cruising?

By 'dinghy cruising' we mean the use of a sailing dinghy for recreational travel over relatively long distances, generally with overnight stops. Most dinghy sailors use their boats for racing, or just for pottering, which usually means sailing for an hour or two in one patch of water. Few dinghy sailors seem to be aware that their boats are potentially capable of covering greater distances and carrying all the equipment that will be needed for overnight stops.

I suppose that if you want a definition of dinghy cruising then you need to supplement it with a definition of a dinghy. In this context we take a dinghy to be a small (say less than about 20 foot (6.1m) length), open (i.e. no permanent cabin) sailing boat which does not have heavy stabilising ballast. However, we don't need to apply these conditions too rigorously, there are some boats which most people would think of as dinghies but which do have some ballast and there are some which have a tiny cabin but which are otherwise dinghy like in style. The HSC Wayfarers are certainly dinghies in all respects. There are also people cruising with what are basically rowing boats, perhaps with a small sail to provide relaxation on downwind legs only, this can reasonably be included as a form of dinghy cruising.