The Supernova dinghy is a “one design” single handed sailing dinghy of 4.3 metres length with an 8 square metre fully battened mylar sail. It was designed by Mark Giles and is built in grp by Richard C Hartley Boat Builder in the United Kingdom. The Supernova is of similar and slightly larger vital statistics than an International Laser but with a completely different approach to the rig.
While the Supernova dinghy is basically easy to sail it is a demanding boat to sail well. A strict one design asfar as hull, sail plan and foils are concerned there is some freedom to adjust fittings and cordage.
After a capsize the cockpit is free of water. Whilst the Supernova dinghy is a single hander, the hull volume is sufficent to support the crew plus a passenger for non-racing use while the cockpit has space for paddle and anchor attachment if desired.
There is even a small sail available for the lighter or less adventurous crew! The inspection hatch can be fitted with a sock to hold small articles. The boat is dry sailed and usually left on a launching trolley with the mast up with either a boom up or flat cover with the latter being more popular. The Supernova dinghy is light enough to carry on most medium or large car roof racks but is more usually towed on a combi trailer.
Its price and performance combination sets it in the middle ground of being one of the fastest monohull designs without resorting to wings or a trapeze while its fundamental simplicity keeps the cost resonable. Growth in numbers has been steady with 28 new boats registered in 1999 and the total sailing now in excess of 100.
The Supernova dinghy enjoys an active open meeting programme in the United Kingdom and a small number of boats are sailing and racing in the Netherlands. What perhaps sets the Supernova apart from other designs, for the present at least, is the absence of boats on the second hand market. This may be due to the relativley low numbers sold or it may well be that the owners like to keep them !