Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sailing a Wooden Classic

I was brought up in an environment where building one's own boat was part of competeing at the local Yacht Club. I'm talking about the early sixties and seventies, and I'm grateful to have been around for the experience. Why don't people build their own boats for competition any more?

These days it seems that dinghy racing revolves around the purchase of an off-the-shelf production boat, whether it be new or second-hand. Well, in the past there were a lot of good boats designed for ordinary people to build and race, and one of the most prominant designers was Jack Holt. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of his designs were constructed by amateurs - Mirror Dinghy, Heron, Enterprise, GP 14, 125 to name just a few.

Arguably, one of Jack Holt's best designs was the Lazy E or as it is currently known, the National E. It is said that the Lazy E was designed as a successor to both the Enterprise and the GP 14, and that she had all of the virtues of the preceding designs with none of the vices.

A few months ago my middle son, David, bought an old and fairly rough Lazy E. He was hesitant at the time, being in a position where he had to be careful with his money, but decided to go ahead anyway. The old boat has proven to be a great success, and here is a short video to show what fun one can have with somebody else's cast off equipment. This shows Dave and my oldest boy, Geoffrey, enjoying a simple day-sail off Manly, Queensland, Australia. Dave on the tiller, and Geoff on the trapeze. Despite what some people say, I believe in the new generation!

Enjoy the video - you can do it as well!


  1. Your boys are generating good boat speed Rossco,in more ways than one!...a credit to you.


  2. Thanks, Al,

    They are good boys, but they don't necessarily treat me gently. Dave took me to Watts Bridge Fly-in today, and got me talking to another Cub owner....

  3. They still race the National E's down at Balmoral, although a few of the boats are fibreglass these days and the fleet numbers are down on what they used to be in the 80's. Looks like good fun for Dave.