What we sail

IMG_4132Merlin Rocket

Sails: 2 plus spinnaker
Crew: 2
Suitable for children: yes, 1 child as crew, 1 adult as helm (lighter winds)

The Merlin Rocket is a fast 14ft dinghy that was developed after the end of the second world war as a rival to the International 14. It is a restricted development class that has evolved from the original Kate and Wizard designs produced by Jack Holt for a syndicate in 1946. Nationally the Merlin Rocket is a very popular dinghy and perhaps the most popular at Tamesis.

[Tamesis Merlin Rocket class page]


Sails: 2 plus spinnaker
Crew: 2 (children)
Suitable for children: yes, kids only!

Young sailors at Tamesis sail in the International Cadet Class dinghy. It is one of two Royal Yachting Association nominated two-person junior training boats and has been the starting point for many successful yachtsmen and women. These boats are proper racing dinghies in miniature but are safe and stable. They were specifically designed so that they are too small to be comfortably sailed or crewed by an adult!

[Tamesis Cadet class page]



Sails: 1
Crew: 1
Suitable for children: ideally 15-16 years and above

The Laser is by far the most popular and numerous single-handed boat in the world. At 4.23 metres (13 feet 10 1/2 inches) in length, with a sail area of 7.06 sq metres (76 square feet) and a weight of only 59kg (130 lbs), it is suitable for men and women to race competitively and to handle ashore. It is fantastic fun and very quite to rig. This is a very popular class at Tamesis.

[Tamesis Laser class page]


National 18

Sails: 2 plus spinnaker
Crew: 2-3
Suitable for children: 2 children as crew 1 adult as helm (light winds)

The National 18 was originally an Uffa Fox design from 1936, which was christened the ‘Uffa Ace’. It was tough, with a heavy metal plate, an excellent racer-cruiser on the sea, and fleets sprang up soon after the war at several locations around the coast. There were 18s at Tamesis by the early 1950s, and, largely because of the tall rig, large mainsail and good manoeuvrability, they also proved to be good river boats.

[Tamesis National 18 class page]


Sails: 2
Crew: 2
Suitable for children: 1 child as crew 1 adult as helm (lighter winds)

The Firefly is a two-man, one-design dinghy that was designed by Uffa Fox in 1946 and used as the single-handed dinghy for the 1948 Olympics in Torbay. There are now more than 3,800 Fireflies with fleets in 30 clubs and universities throughout the UK. It is 12 feet (3.65 metres) long, with a beam of 4ft 6.5 ins (1.4 m), weighs 163 lbs (74 kg) and has a jib and mainsail with a sail area of 8.36 square metres.

[Tamesis Firefly class page]


Sails: 1
Crew: 1 (child), or 2 small children
Suitable for children: yes, no adults!

The Optimist is a hugely popular small training dinghy for kids. Children as young as 8 can sail an optimist and along with the Cadet dinghy it provides an excellent introduction to sailing. Optimists at Tamesis are run by the cadet class.

[Tamesis Cadet class page]


Sails: 1
Crew: 1 (adult or teenager)
Suitable for children: yes, if of reasonable size

Excellent full size single-handed dinghy which is perfect for older kids looking to transition from Optimists and Cadets to larger single handed boats. Tamesis Club now has 5 Toppers (owned by the club) providing great opportunities for some of the older kids to race each other! The Toppers at Tamesis are handled by the Cadet class.

[Tamesis Cadet class page]


Sails: 2 plus spinnaker
Crew: 2-6!
Suitable for children: As example: 2 children as crew, 2 adults

Very popular, full rig training dinghy, and Tamesis Club owns one exactly for that purpose. Very comfortable to sail and excellent for teaching beginners.

[Tamesis Wayfarer page]