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Dinghy identification please

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 132 ✭✭ cmac

    Long story short, I've a new folly:D
    However, before I go any further I'd love to get a better idea about the model. I've been told that it's an "Ulster boat" but know no more than that. It's just over 12 feet in length and the sailbag has a label of "James Tedford & Co., Belfast" as you can see.
    Any an all opinions accepted.






  • looks a bit like a mermaid.

  • Mermaids have more plywood around the top.

  • Thanks for the link to the mermaids, I'd forgotten about them. However, according to their own regs mermaids are 17' long and this little bundle of work measures off at 12'.

  • It's similar to an IDRA but it's too short as they're 14ft.

  • Is there a sail and does it have an emblem?

    Here's a good source to browse through though.

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  • I had considered the possibility of a shortened IDRA as the transom has seen some work over the years, but thanks to tabnab for thinking of the sail....


    I hadn't even considered unpacking the sail bag for some reason, but the UB-16 does seem to help the "Ulster boat" angle.
    That dinghy link is a fabulous resource too, thanks. Endless googling had not thrown that one up.

  • How about a Twinkle Twelve.


    The Twinkle Twelve and the Twinkle Ten were built by Wright & Sons (Ipswich) Ltd in the 50s, 60s and 70s from Mahogany on oak frames. Wrights also built a 14 known as the Family 14. The Twelves are 12ft (3.66m) overall and 4'8 (1.42) in beam. They carry about 80sq ft (7.4sq m) of sail - originally on gunter rigs which have been largely or wholly replaced by Bermudan. The home of the Twinkle Twelve is the Burnham Overy Staithe Sailing Club where there are 25 - 30 Twinkle 12s and a small number of 10s and 14s. These charming boats are widespread but the only fleet is at Burnham Overy

  • Thanks Fergal, but I don't think it's a Twinkle because (and yes, I did this by torch light in the dead of night) this boat has a beam of 5ft.
    It also has steamed ribs on 6in centres with one copper rivet (nail/rove) between each rib.
    I'm a bit bleary eyed this morning after too much late night coffee, but I have also (tentatively) ruled-out water wags because of the lack of outwhale and the differing details of the inwhale.
    The "International 12ft" class is also not a runner because of the narrower beam (4ft 8in) and I'm trying to see if that also rules out the Dublin Bay 12s as they are derived from the International.
    However, I have come across a small article suggesting that the Ulster boat may have been built and designed by the McGarry brothers of the (now defunct) Ardmore boatyard in Antrim. I've sent out a few queries but only time will tell.
    This just in.... the CVRDA (Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association) do not list it and are not familiar with the boat but suggested that I post a query on their forum so off I go...

  • Here is a link to the sail makers :

    Tedfords Chandlery And Sailmakers
    BelfastAntrim - Northern Ireland
    1760-1790: 1855 James Tedford supplied ship's provisions at No. 5 Donegall Quay. His firm also made sails and rigging, in the sail loft two doors down at No. 9. The 1855 chandlery opened as a popular seafood restaurant in 1998. Tedford's Riggers and Sailmakers recently moved from the loft to new premises, in the gasworks.

    Telephone+44 (0)28 9024 6609
    Address: Tedfords Chandlery And Sailmakers, Donegall Quay, Belfast, Antrim, BT1 3EB

    Also this info, which maybe more modern:

    Tedford Rigging & Rafts

    Unit 24 Ormeau Business Park 8 Gromac Avenue
    Belfast BT7 2JA
    United Kingdom
    tel: +44 (028) 9032 6763
    fax: +44 (028) 9023 4566


    Sail Makers & Riggers, Life Raft Services

  • Progress!
    I spoke to a nice gentleman at Tedfords who told me that he is aware of the "Ulster boat" and remembers it as a small sailing dinghy. He even thinks that there are a couple of them still in use in the Enniskillen area but couldn't be any more specific than that.
    Unfortunately Tedfords no longer make sails (they do repair and alteration) and he knows that they would not have the patterns for old sails available. Indeed he thinks that all such small sail sets were traditionally bespoke.
    But he is adamant that there is/was an "Ulster Boat".

    Now, does anyone know of sailing clubs in the Enniskillen area;) ?

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  • So...
    The Lough Erne Yacht Club have just confirmed that the are "Ulster boats" in existence and that they may even have been produced with GRP hulls at some time in the past. They have provided me the name of a chap in the South East who bought one only recently and is searching for another (In fact, he may have helped build them) so I'll try and make contact and work from there.

    I've also sent a contact email to Northern Ireland Sailing to see if they can provide any further clues.

  • By way of completeness, I can now confirm that there is such a thing as an "Ulster Boat", designed by McGarry's in Antrim (as suspected). Both 12' and 14' models were produced and then went on to be manufactured in GRP by a company called McComb Plastics (no longer in business, I believe).
    I had a very enjoyable and informative conversation with a man in the South West who knows the design well and between discussing details of the boat and looking at the pictures he believes that this is an Ulster boat. In an astonishing twist, he is in possession of a set of plans for this boat complete with specification sheet so we have been able to go in to great detail as regards materials and construction methods. He has also very kindly offered a copy of the plans so I'll post more when they arrive.
    All help and suggestions to help reach this point are very much appreciated and I thank everyone for their input and interest (actually, that sentence sounded rather final for will be the start of a restoration project:) ).

  • What a stroke of luck getting in touch with that chap and getting the plans.
    I look forward to seeing your restoration. :)

  • Couldn't believe the luck either. The best I'd hoped for was perhaps to find a clean example to take the lines from.
    DNME has set the bar for restoration threads of late, hard to beat that.

  • I know this is really old thread - but I have one of these GRP models for sale in like almost new condition - if that is any use to anyone following this...

    “Roll it back”