The Sewn Together Dinghy

Julian left us with many of his plans for dinghy connoisseurs who delight in a shapely and useful plywood dinghy, and are keen to build one for themselves. These dinghies are sewn together on butted joins, with the stitched area then fibreglassed over the top.

The downloadable PDF below contains six models ranging in size from 1.8 to 5.0m.  The dinghies are tried and proven in all kinds of sea conditions over fifty years, with a number being made overseas.  Designed primarily for easy rowing – especially when heavily laden – the dinghies can also be used with outboard motors, and in some cases, sails.

The flarebow shape, generic to every design is the key to keeping dry as waves are thrown outwards on both sides, making towing safe and easy, with minimal slosh taken aboard. Each design was conceived with with a different purpose in mind - from rowing up and down rivers, to use as a tender, to beaching on a surf beach, to sailing, to stacking together for stowage.


The various dinghy shapes derive from both cylindrical and conical surfaces with no tight turns. The ‘soft’ design curves not only make for easier building and sound hydronomics but lend themselves to handsome and attractive models with distinctive profiles and sweet sheers. At a practical level, the unusual flared bow section makes for a spray-free boat in choppy water and an exceptionally dry boat under tow.


The sewn form of construction is straightforward and long lasting. It needs few tools and little more than beginner’s skills, though some patience is necessary. If a novice builder lacks confidence it can be helpful to first sew up a cardboard model. Alternatively, build the baby of the series - Crackerjack – a good place to start; it doesn’t take up much storage space, can be made out of one standard sheet of ply and has a ready resale value.

For further information

Download the PDF here with the study plans of 6 individual dinghies and basic dimensions. For further information, and/or to purchase a full set of plans and accompanying instructions, email: