Friday, May 15, 2015

Walker Bay 10 Sailing Dinghy

I’ve been looking for a small, stable sailing boat that I might use on my local river for day sailing. Having researched such craft suitable for disabled sailors* I came to the conclusion, although appropriate for me, they are all very expensive and difficult to find on the second-hand market.  I am not disabled, but such a boat would be sensible because of my decreasing agility on account of the aging process. My reactions are not as fast as they used to be.

I was pleased to find a Walker Bay 10 complete with a sail kit and fitted with inflation tubes, but on further considering her appropriateness I discovered the following shortcomings:

Her sail cannot be reefed and it cannot be lowered from the mast. The only way of reducing sail is to remove the rig!! The mainsheet control is sited in the middle of thwart which means you cannot sit on that part of the thwart.  Also, every time you tack you have to avoid the sheet. Another slight disadvantage is that it has a daggerboard, rather than a centreboard, and the daggerboard cannot be made to stay put, apart from when fully down or fully up. Furthermore, there is no way of attaching an outboard when the rudder is in place.

Walker Bay have made a good product, apart from these minor failings, which when added together are off-putting to the sailor who wants to do more than just take her out for an hour or so.


New Boat Review: Walker Bay 10

Revisiting the Walker Bay 10

Walker Bay 10 Breeze for Sale £2,298 (Trailer extra from £549) (Sailing Kit £1,898)

New Walker Bay 10 Dinghy (No sailing kit) £1,079

Walker Bay Breeze 10

Walker Bay Boats 10 Performance

Walker Bay 10 Video

Walker Bay Rigid Dinghies YouTube

Walker Bay 10 Sail Kit £925

PVC Tube Kit for 310 Breeze £375

Hypalon Tube Kit £850

Walker Bay Dinghy Video

10 ft Walker Bay sailboat Sprout Lake


Richard green said...

Hello Bill, like you, I find the walker bay product well over priced. A good many years ago, I had a Barrow Boat, built from a kit in clinker ply, held together with epoxy. She was a pram dinghy, eight feet in length, and over four feet in beam. She was well stiff, considering the 55 square feet standing lug rig. I could make her mast bend in a blow! She had a daggerboard, but one could notch out the after end of it to suit varying depths required, and hold it there with shock cord. I could get her on the roofrack single handed by the simple expedient of lashing an oar between the bars and walking her on. The only repair I ever had to make was to where the dagger board case met the garboard plank. She got blown over by the wind from leaning against a shed, and landed on a hard spot just by the daggerboard slot. It wasnt noticeable until I went sailing and noticed water weeping in in that area. It was entirely due to me not using enough epoxy in that areaduring the build and quite easily remedied. I bought and collected the kit from Wivenhoe, but the Barrowboat Company is no longer there. Selway Fisher have plans available for sailing prams, and it certainly wouldnt be beyond the realms to design and build one from scratch, maybe making a paper model first just to check that old boatbuliders maxim,'if it looks right, then it probably is right, but it it doesnt, then itll never be right'. I feel that building and sailing one would be well within your capabillities, and many times cheaper than a kit.

Robert Hurrell said...

Hi Bill
There are a lot of mirror dingies out there for sail at a good price.

William Serjeant said...

I have deliberately avoided Mirrors because they can be flipped, and they are very difficult to get upright. My brother got into that situation and thought he would die because of hypothermia. Fortunately another Mirror sailor was out that day and when he could no longer see my brother's boat, he went to investigate. I know people in the Dinghy Cruising Association cruise them and they put floats at the masthead to prevent a total capsize. I would rather not go down that route.
Cheers, Bill.

William Serjeant said...

Thank you for your contribution. I will do some research on the 8 foot Barrow Boat.

Brian said...

Hi Bill, glad you didn't go the Walker Bay route. One chap at Hurst Sailing Club has one and they are very poor sailors, and very expensive. He enjoys his but impossible to sail with others, such as the Scows, so it is in fact less safe than those sailing in company with a safety boat. How do you feel about the Solway Dory set up with outriggers on their sailing canoes. Very safe, and great sailing as well. My friend sails his Hobie Adventure Island a great deal and it is very well thought through. There is a new version, a bit bigger, improved sailing performance and drier, so you could look at that, or the older version which will become more available as people upgrade. Axel and I discussed outriggers for his Very lightweight Artemis sailing canoe and he plans to design them this autumn. The Artemis will easily adapt to fit them. She will make a lovely lightweight safe boat that you could build and move around with her being so lightweight. Brian.

William Serjeant said...

Hi Brian,

Thank you for your suggestions.
Axel is doing a very good job with his Artemis, and some years ago when I built my 50/50 - - I would have been keen to build the lighter Artemis, but these days I do not have the desire for taking on such a project.
Five years ago I fully researched the Hobie Adventure Island. See . A drawback for me sailing such a craft is that I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome and exposure to the cold effects me badly. Similarly, exposure would be an issue with the Solway Dory, but perhaps not to the same extent.
I’m looking for a ‘sit in’ sailing boat that will provide a measure of protection, which brings me back to Matt Layden’s Elusion: . If only I could summon up enough energy to build one!


Jack Fritz said...


I needed to downsize from a Catalina Capri 18 as I am in my mid 70's. Did not want to have to step a long mast with shrouds & stays. Fortunately had a 50 year old Optimist pram and decided to re-design it by adding 2 feet to the length and about 10 inches to the beam and also a bow sprit and 10 square foot jib. Hull is made of a wood frame with Dow styrofoam covered with two layers of epoxy & glass cloth. Not cheap but I believe that the same boat could be built inexpensively with marine ply in stitch & glue. Boat uses Opti sprit rig and sail which is very inexpensive. Custom jib cost more than the main. Opti main cannot be reefed, but is only 35 square feet and jib halyard can easily be released to drop the jib. Sails great. Be happy to email more info.

Tasman said...

G'day Bill, have you had a look at the new Nesting Expedition Dinghy from CLC in the USA. Looks as if it would address some of the attributes your are looking.


William Serjeant said...

Well Jack, you’ve come up with an inventive solution. I’m looking for instant and hassle-free day sailing. Such a craft may well fit the bill. I like the idea of using an Optimist rig because one can be found without great expense.

I shall be emailing you for more info. Many thanks.


William Serjeant said...

Thank you Tasman.
On a previous occasion Brian drew my attention to the Nesting Expedition Dinghy. She has some similar characteristics to Matt Layden’s Paradox - not just the box structure, but by being composed of many parts, all of which have to be made. The more complicated rig has 5 spars, a bumpkin, a bowsprit and 3 sails! All of them have to be made and paid for. She has 2 leeboards and a kick-up rudder. From a minimalist point of view she is far too complicated; on the other hand, if a person really enjoys playing around with 4 sheets and 2 leeboards and a kick-up rudder he can have a ball.

For me, a simplified Expedition Dinghy would be great. I like her dimensions and shape, plus her basic accommodation. Take away her leeboards, add Layden chine runners and rig her with a reefing spritsail, and possibly a jib; then you would end up with a cheaper boat that could be set up more quickly, be less hassle and do everything the other could do.


Brian said...

John Harris has mentioned that NED could be built as one piece, one leeboard, and has shown a simple lug yawl rig. Here's an earlier version by John Harris, closer to your needs Bill, She is much simpler and appears closer to your concept.

William Serjeant said...

Thanks Brian,

The Eelrut is more to my liking.


Tasman said...

G'day Bill, you make good points about the complexity of NED. An Eelrut with chine runners and a Paradox style reefing for a balanced lug rig would make a great wee craft. When the wind fails you could opt for a mirage drive or a stand up paddle. I wonder if such a craft could be built light enough to cartop ?

Cheers John

William Serjeant said...


I prefer the simpler, earlier version mentioned by Brian.


Realistic Viewpoint said...


Get s Catalina Expedition 12.5 cat rigged sailboat with Hoyt boom and rollable carbon fiber mast for quick furling, unfurling.

You can take one passenger also.