About two years ago, I spotted an aluminum sailing dinghy being refurbished over at Bobby Muller's yard in Eastport. Though I vowed to return with a camera to take a photo, I never did. Sailing dinghies built out of aluminum are rare animals. There are plenty of aluminum Grumman canoes, aluminum small fishing outboard skiffs, and most of the motorized pontoon boats on American lakes have aluminum hulls, but very few small sailboats were ever built with aluminum hulls. This aluminum sailboat at Muller's boatyard remains a mystery - one of these days I'll return to make inquiries at the yard office.
An aluminum sailing dinghy I did unearth on the InterWebs was the French Gouget Moth design from the 1960's. Designed as a recreational dinghy and not a racer, the Gouget was competing against the newly introduced fiberglass dinghies - a battle for market share it obviously did not win.
Side view of the Gouget aluminum Moth. We can see it sports not a plumb bow, nor a scow bow, but a pretty raked one. Also we see an enormous bow cleat with chock. The sections seem to be a simple V.
It appears the wood decks were applied over an aluminum deck, but only in the bow and around the cockpit. Sitting on the aft deck in the summer sun must have been sizzly hot. Given the general nature purpose of this Moth, the aft tank sported an extremely large storage hatch.
This Moth also sported hinged plywood flaps on both sides of the cockpit. These appear to be flopped open to provide more hiking power and seated surface when sailing. When the Gouget was stored ashore, these flaps were flipped back to the center, as is seen here.
Ad for the Gouget aluminum Moth.
Click here to read George A.'s post on the even more bizarre French camp/cruising Moth.
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