X0 and X1 Dinghies - modern performance dinghies for rivers, estuaries and all inland waters


Most advances in dinghy design over the last half century have not really helped those sailors who enjoy restricted waters and river sailing.

The three significant developments of:

  • trapeze systems
  • asymmetric spinnakers/extending bowsprits
  • and most recently hydrofoils

are not of much use where short tacking or square running in confined waters are required, nor when the wind is variable and shifty.

Constructing the Prototype
Constructing the Prototype

So, it’s been our feeling that whilst sea and open water sailors have been having great fun with such innovations, those sailors who prefer to sail on either more restricted waters, or where the wind and tides vary significantly, have been somewhat short changed.

The initial objective of this X0/X1 project therefore was to determine what could be done by taking maximum advantage of the one other major advance in dinghy ‘technology’ over the past thirty years – the fantastic modern lightweight materials now widely available - to produce a really exciting inland and restricted waters dinghy, if one started with a blank sheet of paper.

CNC'd deck plug
CNC'd deck plug

The project began in the summer 2006 with a discussion with Phil Morrison, designer of countless great dinghies down the years, based around a very short list of requirements – and absolutely no set ‘rules’, no minimum hull weight, nothing except that blank sheet of paper. The first boat was produced in late 2007 and tested extensively, resulting in two significant changes to the spec – an increased waterline length and a move to a completely self-draining hull. A second prototype was then constructed, this time by Jon Turner, boat builder of note since some while, of FDs, Scorpions, International 14s and Merlin Rocket designs, which was launched in February 2009.

This boat has now been sailed extensively, on a range of waters from the narrowest of rivers to tidal inlets, to small and large lakes and reservoirs (see Sailing Trials), and in addition on the open sea, and, with a number of minor changes to sails, cockpit layout and fitting arrangements, but not to the hull shape, basic deck or rig, has now been prepared for production using CNC machined plugs and moulds to deliver the highest quality result.

Manufacturers: Ovington, Selden, Harken, Hyde Sails, Spinlock