The Wayfarer is a wooden or fibreglass hulled bermudan rigged sailing dinghy, often used for short sailing trips as a 'day boat'. The boat is 15 foot 10 inches (4.82 m) long, and broad and deep enough for 3 adults to comfortably sail for several hours. Longer trips are undertaken by enthusiasts, notably Frank Dye who sailed W48 'Wanderer' from Scotland to Iceland. Their size and stability have made these boats popular with sailing schools.
The Wayfarer was originally designed by Ian Proctor in 1957, and has since gone through many new versions . They can be identified by the W symbol on their sails.
Not only a versatile cruising dinghy, Wayfarers are also raced with a Portsmouth yardstick of 1099; they are best suited to larger streches of water and stronger winds.
Over its history several versions of the Wayfarers have been developed, they include:
Mark I Wood
This was the original wooden Wayfarer was designed for construction by both amateur and licensed builders, with a hull and deck made from plywood. Frank Dye's famous W48 Wanderer was of course of this type a testament to its robust construction. The boat can be seen at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth. Other boats of this model are still racing after 30 years, and new ones can still be purchased in 2004. The hull is of a 'three plank' construction, that is with two chines. This provides a good compromise between stability and ease of construction. Both forward and aft buoyancy compartments are fitted with large watertight hatches and this provides ample stowage space for cruising. The large floor space with flat floorboards and good clearance under thwart makes the Mark I a comfortable boat for two people to sleep in, when a boom-tent is erected for shelter. The mast is held in a tabernacle, which when rigged with a tackle on the forestay allows the mast to be lowered to pass beneath bridges. This feature was retained in subsequent models, as was the hull shape.
Mark I GRP
A Glass Reinforced Plastic version was introduced in 1965 and was similar in layout to the wooden boat. Over two thousand of this model were made and many are still in use throught the world. In contrast to other GRP models, this version has a large hatch to the forward buoyancy compartment useful for stowage when cruising, and a forward bulkhead extenting right up to the fordeck level. The Mark I has no side buoyancy, and coseqently does not suffer from a tendancy to invert when capsized that plagued later models. The Mark I was also available as a composite model with a
GRP hull and bulkheads but plywood fore- and side-decks.
Mark II GRP
The Mark II was introduced in 1974 supposedly as an improvement. The front and rear buoyancy tanks were built into the hull before bonding on the deck. The forward buoyancy comparment has a gap above it and under the foredeck. This would have been useful for a spinnaker chute, but class regulations of the time did not allow that. The forward compartment had a small circular inspection compartment thus removing much of the useful dry stowage space. Side buoyancy compartments gave this model a tendency to invert, and those owned by sailing schools soon sported socks filled with polystyrene to provide a righting moment when capsized. Reduced clearancy under the thwart made this boat uncomfortable to sleep in.
A version with a self draining cockpit, the Mark II SD, was introduced
in 1986. This was especially suitable for boats kept on moorings. However the buoyancy sealed in the floor increases the inverting tendancy, and when righted after a capsize the trapped water causes instability. To help overcome this drain tubes through the aft tank were later introduced.
This GRP model was introduced in 1987 reintroducing the forward stowage space while retaining the structural improvements of the Mark II.
Wayfarer Plus S
First produced in 1991 the Wayfarer Plus S was made with a sandwich construction for the hull and chines. This produced a boat that could compete with the original wooden boats in stiffness and weight, while having the maintanace advantages of GRP. The forward tank has a full height bulkhead like the Mark I. The cruising version with a large hatch.
The Wayfarer World was introduced in 1997 and was designed as a collaboration between Ian Proctor and his son Keith. Made in GRP with no woodwork it has a removable aft storage tank, a self draining cockpit, and a spinnaker chute. The rudder stock is of aluminium alloy. This is the only version with an asymmetric spinnaker, although it can not be used in class races. It has proved succesful in both racing and cruising, including a North sea crossing 1998.
Wayfarer World S Type
The Wayfarer World S Type is generally similar to the Wayfarer
World but is made using the same foam sandwich construction as the Wayfarer Plus S.
||15 ft 10 in
||6 ft 1 in
|Draft with centreboard down
||3 ft 10 in
|Hull weight (minimum)
- Frank Dye, Ocean-crossing Wayfarer, David and Charles (1977), ISBN 0715373714.