Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Piece of Furniture: The "Woodie" Europe Dinghies

The designer of the Europe Dinghy, Belgian Alois Roland, originally built them in wood. When Roland's company went bankrupt, his assistant, Giuseppe Christalli continued building beautiful wood Europe dinghies. When the Europe Dinghy class went Olympic the wood boats were no longer competitive and the class became plastic and has remained one where the new boats are entirely made out of glass.

History of the Europe Dinghy from Classic Classes by Vanessa Bird.

My Dutch friend, René de la Rie, sent along photos of his stunning wooden Europe which is not a Roland or Christalli but a Tebberman. Tebberman was known primarily for his rudders and centerboards, and only built a few Europe Dinghies, but what lookers his Europe Dinghies were! Beautiful deep mahoganies were matched with contrasting lighter inlays to create masterpieces.

George A of Mid-Atlantic Musings also owns a Galetti woodie Europe. Whilst not as stunning as a Tebberman the Galetti hull is still very pretty. Galetti was an Italian builder on the southern shore of Lake Garda. He was more famous for his 505's and Quarter Tonners.  Over at his blog George A tries to identify the builder of his "woodie" Europe dinghy. George unveiled his woodie Europe with a new Bosquet foredeck at this year's Brigantine regatta.

Redecking a glass Europe hull.


Dieharddinghysailor said...

Wow, they are gorgeous......!

Amy Smith Linton said...

Dang! Better than furniture!

Alden Smith said...

What is interesting here is that we assume ipso facto that FGlass is fast and that is it. This is a moot point. It is interesting that there is a bit of a return to wooden OK dinghies because 'Woodies' have been winning, and winning well lately in the World Championships and other major races.
So I think the jury is still out regarding what wins - BUT from my own personal point of view Wood wins every time, in every way - glass is last.

Dieharddinghysailor said...

I find it hard to 'love' a glass dinghy; therefore my commitment to it and getting the best out of it is lesser than it is for a beautiful wood dinghy. I am glad to see the resurgence of wood in classes like the OK, and it saddens me to visit the many sailing clubs all over the UK when I go back, littered with all glass boats; and usually the wood ones are sitting sadly rotting away under the trees. (I guess if you own a wooden dinghy you would most likely store it at home in the garage) I guess that's why I love the Merlin Rocket - so many stunning 30+ yr-old boats still sailing, lovingly cared for.....

Tweezerman said...

As I mentioned in the post about my Tweezer Classic Moth, a beautiful wooden boat is a great conversation starter, even with someone who owns an old fiberglass bathtub. There is something about varnished wood that just attracts people to come over and talk boats.