Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Australian Sailfish - Plans for a Sit-On-Top Dinghy

As promised, here are the plans for a sit-on-top sailing dinghy, the Australian Sailfish. The Australian Sailfish is a scow version of the American Sailfish, designed in 1958 by Bruce Scott and Jack Carroll. Designed for home construction, 780 plans of the Australian Sailfish were sold. I've chunked images from the original plans into a PDF file that can be printed out. Unfortunately frame dimensions are given as given as linear dimensions along the plank edges which might make it more difficult to lay out the frame dimensions (instead of plotting X,Y coordinates). There is enough information in the PDF plans for a competent builder, with some head scratching, to complete a hull.

The rig is a stayed marconi with full battens. A carbon windsurfer mast would work fine if one wanted to go hi-tech.

Many thanks to Andrew Chapman for providing the Australian Sailfish plans.

Australian Sailfish No. 2 at the 2016 South Gippsland Y.C. Classic Dinghy Regatta.

A sailing image from the Australian SeaCraft magazine.

To view the PDF plans in another browser tab (or to print the PDF file), go to the top right corner of the PDF window and click on the pop-out icon (box with an arrow pointing to the right).


nedslocker said...

Hi Rob,

This brings back some memories, as I built one from the plans in the Seacraft publication in the early eighties from some left over plywood and other bits and pieces I had in the family garage.It was very cheap to build and fit out with a little used second hand sail.

Just as described it was fun to sail in a moderate breeze particularly off the wind.It would have been the ideal boat for a holiday at the beach in midsummer, when the water was warm because they were pretty wet. Another example of the fun and enjoyment to be had from simple plywood home built yachts.

Neil Kennedy

Tweezerman said...


Very interesting. Did any fellow Kiwi's join you in building the Sailfish or were you off enjoying it all by yourself?

nedslocker said...


I am sure there were quite a few built in New Zealand over the years,but not on an organized basis as a class. You would see them holiday regattas at beach resorts in the summer when the weather and water were warm ! The NZ moth was really the beach boat of the day the Sailfish was just a fun boat you built for a laugh!