Fowey River Class


The Fowey River class dinghy is based on the Yachting World 15ft knockabout dinghy designed by Reg Freeman in the late 1940’s. The plans were published in Yachting Monthly to try and encourage people to build their own boats. In the 1950’s, Hunkin’s Boatyard at Polruan built one for the local dentist Mr Mogg, who named her Michelle after his daughter. More soon followed, with 15 boats in the fleet by 1957.

Other local builders also built Fowey Rivers, Percy Mitchell at Portmellon, Watty in Fowey, and by 1965 the fleet had reached 36 boats. As with a lot of local wooden fleets, the numbers then dwindled with the fleet almost disappearing and just one Fowey River racing regularly, and a few ‘old wrecks’ turning out for Regatta Week.

However, there was an underlying interest in the boats; they could be used for racing, rowing, taking the family to the beach for a picnic, put a little outboard on the back and motor up the river on the evening tide to Golant or Lerryn: a truly multi-purpose little boat!

In the early 1990’s, one or two new boats were built. Some of the older boats underwent serious restoration work: the keel/garboard seam was a weak point, as was the fastening of the centreboard case. Over the last 20 years, a renewed interest has seen the fleet back out racing with over 20 new boats built and several “oldies” restored. Fowey Rivers, with their multi-coloured sails are an intrinsic part of Fowey Harbour.

There is an active Class Association, which oversees the building of the boats and organises social and sailing activities and seeks to protect the interests of this very special boat.

If you would like to share the enjoyment and pleasure that owning a Fowey River brings and would like to have a trial sail, please contact Philip Henson, the class captain who has a list of current builders and an up to date list of boats for sale. The Class has an active racing and social programme with racing taking place on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons during the season, when there can regularly be six or seven boats out, with the fleet swelling to 20+ in Regatta Week. There is also a fun Friday evening series for 6 weeks during the season. If you would like to receive the Fowey River Class Association Newsletter by email please get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook at the “Fowey River Class Association” page.

Class Officers’ Contact Details:

Class Captain/Chairman
Philip Henson

Hon Secretary
Alison Rundle

Class Measurer
Peter Siddall
telephone: 01726 833039


Fowey Rivers that are around, the others have disappeared


3 LAPWING                                Jenny, Tim and Alexander Ringo

4 SHELLDUCK                           Freddie Lewis

5 SIROCCO                                  Richard Silvey

10 MARIE                                     Andy Mitchell

12 DABCHICK                             Justin Varcoe

13 FRIDAY                                   Margaret Davies

14 MICHELE                               John Sharp

19 LASURUS                               Christopher Young

20 ORIEL                                    Stephen Haye

21 FOXCUB                                 Michael Sissons

22 SUNBEAM                             David Hunt

23 WINKLEPICKER                 Chris Walton


27 PIPPEN                                  Jan Vivian

28 FIREBIRD                             Paul Jenkin

29 NOT TO WORRY                 Rob Williamson

31 JOCASTA                               Roy Kishor

32 EMMA                                    Peter Spry Leverton

34 PEGGY                                   Paul Salmon

35 KESTREL                               Nick Handoll

36 SCARLET VENTURER       Linda Brice

37 MICHELE                              Michele Warrington

38 MADRIGAL                           Nick Hutton

39 VICTORY                               Vic Trueman

40 ARIADNE                              Philip and Suzanne Allen

41 MERLIN                                 Peter Benton

42 FORTY TWO                        Bryan Davis

43 DRIFTWOOD                      Dave Smith

44 TADPOLE                             Richard Prior

45 BLUEBELL                           Kevan Thorley

46 CAPSICUM                          Robert Slack

47 HEDGEHOG                       Dino de Zorzi and Chris Morris

48 CAPTAIN ELLIS                 Daniel Mitchelmore

49 SAFFRON                           James Strawbridge

50 GUILLEMOT                      Graham Slack

51 IOTA                                      Andrew Dellow

52 LA HIRONDELLE              Jane Spencer

53 KINGFISHER                     Philip de-Grey Warter

54 FOUR BROTHERS            Peter Hadley

55 RED KITE                           Christoph Bettin

56 ORINOCO                           John Coghlan

57 QUETZAL                           Paul Chambers

58 PENGUIN                           Amy Fernie

59 SWALLOW                         Richard Coles

60 YAFFLE                                Richard Morgan

61 PUFFLING                          Richard Simmons

62 GOLDENEYE                      Bryn Baxter

63 KITTIWAKE                        David Rundle

64 COUSIN JACK 3                 Eddie Tippet

65 FIRECREST                        Chris Wyman

66 PERIWINKLE                    Andrew Fenn

67 SWIFT                                   Sarah Furniss

68                                                 Philip and Sian Henson