Scratch Built Sailing Dinghy Model American Nautical Folk Art
It has a lead centerboard which means it might have been used as a Pond Yacht. On its stand, this handsome relic displays as a fine work of American Nautical Folk Art.
The design dates back to the 1870's, and with minor modifications, was popular on both the East and West coasts of the United States. One of the most accepted designs was that of the Connecticut River Shad or Drag boat as shown below in noted authority, Howard L. Chappel's drawings. The hull model was roughly that of the New York Whitehall design, but with greater depth and carrying capacity. The boats ranged in size form 15 to 18 feet, and were generally Sprit Sail rigged as is this one. This model has a centerboard that is made of lead and may have been sailed as a pond yacht at one time. This finely hand crafted sailing dinghy with centerboard and outboard rudder, was made from scratch using traditional lapstrake plank on frame construction. All the woodwork is hand fitted using the exact same materials and methods of building as would be a real vessel.
The transition from work boat to racing dinghy took place in January, 1932, at Manhasset, on Long Island Sound where a group of nine small boats inaugurated winter racing in what was called in that day, "Frostbiting". By 1954, Frostbite dinghy sailing had taken hold, and smaller eleven foot versions of the original working boats were found racing on Long Island Sound in what were called Frostbite Dinghys. One other active area was along the harbors of Chicago's waterfront where competitive sailor's raced in the numerous harbors. It continues today using one design classes to compete during the winter.