Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ian Proctor's Osprey Dinghy

While we are talking about the great English dinghy designer, Ian Proctor, I came across a glorious picture of one of his famous designs, an Osprey dinghy disappearing in waves off Mounts Bay England. The picture was lifted from the Osprey class website. It's so spectacular I had to include it in a post.

The Osprey is a 17 foot two man spinnaker, trapeze dinghy, designed in the 1950's. Definintely a Classic. The history of the class can be found over here.

Len Parker, Earwigoagin's English correspondent based out of Florida, sends the following description of the island and building featured in the background of this photo....

"The island in Mount's Bay near Marazion, west of Penzance..... is thought to have been the site of the ancient island of 'Ictis'. This being the major tin exporting port of the 'Cassiterides' - the tin islands trading with the Phoenicians or Greeks of the eastern Mediterranean from about the 4th Century BC. Dedicated to the Archangel St. Michael, the Mount is approximately 400 metres offshore, and can be reached at low tide by a stone causeway. [See the writings of Diodorus - the Sicilian Greek historian of the 1st Century AD]. Local legend has a more colourful explanation: the Mount was built by, and home to, the giant 'Comoran'. He would come ashore and steal sheep and cows from the mainland and return to the Mount to eat his meal. He was supposedly killed by a local boy, later called Jack - the Giant Killer.

The building on the Mount is actually is a Benedictine Priory built by Bernard of Le Bec, Abbot of Mont St. Michel (Normandy), in 1135. The Priory marks the southernmost part of the St. Michael's Way in Cornwall - A route for pilgrims from Ireland to St. Ives on through St. Uny Lelant to the Mount and thence on to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. It stands 230 feet above sea level and dominates the whole area."


isleofwightlen said...

Hi Rod ... I've walked across the low-tide causeway to St Michael's Mount down in Cornwall. Len

Tweezerman said...


Tell me more. Never been to this place.

Castle Cove Scorpions said...

Hi, Interested to see your article. I have sailed Ospreys on and off since 1985 and the one pictured is now owned by my brother and I sail it on Wednesday evenings at my local sailing club. Mount's bay has to be one of the best places to sail an Osprey. Clean winds and big long waves make for a great sail upwind and a sleigh ride downwind.

Tweezerman said...

CC Scorpion

Funny enough there was a wooden Osprey for sale on this side of the pond - up in Pennsylvania - last year. Not sure if it got sold. From the photos looked to be in very good nick.