The Wayfarer dinghy was designed by Ian Proctor in 1957. It is a great all rounder and has acquired a reputation as a being tough and seaworthy cruising dinghy, yet at the same time being responsive and rewarding to race.
Since the Wayfarer was originally designed there have been improvements in materials and production techniques which have lead to a variety of different versions all sharing the same hull shape and sail plan.
The original Wayfarer was designed to be constructed in wood whilst later versions such as the Wayfarer World is made entirely in glass reinforced plastic (GRP). The introduction of GRP allowed for a design which was easier to build and which required less maintenance. All GRP boats have solid foam blocks fitted into the buoyancy tanks to prevent the boat sinking, even if the tanks are holed.
The design of the Wayfarer has changed slightly over the years both in the materials used and the internal layout. Each modification has been carefully scrutinized by the Association before being accepted. This has preserved the one design principle, allowing all Wayfarers to race together on even terms. It has also helped to maintain the boat’s secondhand value.
The Wayfarer is an ideal day sailing / cruising dinghy or racer that’s exciting, dependable, and simple to sail. The boat is easily handled by a crew of two, however a family of six can sail her in comfort. Her ability to make long, open-water passages has been demonstrated many times. With a beam of 6 feet (1.8m) and a double chine hull, the Wayfarer is inherently very stable and very difficult to capsize. A retractable rudder and centerboard allows sailing in shallow water and easy beaching. The large fore and aft watertight buoyancy compartments accommodate everything needed for a week’s cruise.
The UK Wayfarer Association has a great website giving all kinds of information on the boat. Be sure to visit it using the link below.