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Enterprise dinghies - what do I need to know??


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Saw one for sale, CAN$1800.  Thinking it would be a fun boat for maybe one day Race to Alaska sufferfest (sail/row/beach camp), or just for local sailing (my now-high school graduating daughter will coach sailing for the first time ever seriously this summer, and I was kinda thinking of this for her as graduation present/occasional weekending boat/dad also gets a new boat for possible future adventures present to self for surviving 18 years of parenting kinda thing :-)  

While I don’t want to sail to Iceland, etc, I’m really intrigued by what the venerable Frank Dye (and others who followed) did in his venerable Wayfarer dinghies over the years.  
 

Is an Enterprise Dinghy at all the sort of dinghy that a person (who was fit, prepared and lucky) could sail/row/beach camp to Alaska (I.e., a Wayfarer would certainly work for that mission)?

...I know nothing about these dinghies beyond what I’ve just read on the web (one came up for sale on our local community buy/sell page, which really piqued my interest).  Anyone have any info/opinions on them?

https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/187239/Brief-history-of-the-Enterprise-Class

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A Wayfarer/CL 16 would be much better for camp cruising due to the stowage in the lazarette and so on. Ian Proctor intended the design as a "racer/cruiser" dinghy, although he probably never imagined just how far Dye would go with the concept. That being said, any boat that you actually own and sail is better than a hypothetical dream boat. 

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16 minutes ago, spankoka said:

A Wayfarer/CL 16 would be much better for camp cruising due to the stowage in the lazarette and so on. Ian Proctor intended the design as a "racer/cruiser" dinghy, although he probably never imagined just how far Dye would go with the concept. That being said, any boat that you actually own and sail is better than a hypothetical dream boat. 

For sure - “any boat you actually own is better than a hypothetical dream boat”. Agree 100%.

The situation is that the Enterprise available to me  very, very close by - whereas the closest Wayfarer for sale is several thousand kilometres away...however, knowing nothing about Enterprises, all I have to go on is what I’m currently reading on the web and what I’ll see when I go to look at it in person tomorrow. (I literally just came across it for sale earlier today) - so am curious about any other info about these boats specifically for the uses I described above.  (I own a keelboat so am not a new sailor - but know little about dinghies.)

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This may be all I need to know about Enterprise dinghies - Sailing Anarchy forums to the rescue! :-)

 

 

“If you're single handing an E then get smaller sails or get the current sail reduced - E's are great boats for racing and generally by experienced people but I'd never class them as anything else.  Get an old laser for single handed kicks or one of the other UK single handers.

I sailed E's and GP14's in my youf - much preferred GP's because in those days the E had a seat only right at the front and right at the back of the centreboard case - very uncomfortable.”

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The picture in the yachts & yachting article you shared shows them sailing across the channel with smaller sails. $1800 seems fairly expensive unless it is in mint shape. The Wayfarer equivalent  in Canada is the CL16 or Mistral 16 and are not hard to find.

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My Dad, brothers and I built an Enterprise (#9809) from a kit in about 1964. It was a great boat for us teens to develop our sailing skills. It is a small boat with lots of sail, great for daysailing and racing but not for camping. In the era of our boat the mast was very bendy, something that was changed later on. After nearly 60 years of sailing I have never sailed a boat that could tack as fast as an Enterprise. There was a sailing magazine back in the 1960's that had a gentleman, who's name escapes me, that tested various one designs including the Enterprise. He also commented that the boat " tacked like it was on ball bearings". It could throw you across the cockpit as soon as you put the helm over.

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This is interesting. I see a couple things going on. Enterprise looks like a Wayfarer but is probably in realistic terms only 60% of the volume and weight. I used to both race and cruise a GP-14 from early childhood through young adulthood. 1 foot longer than Enterprise, also by Jack Holt but apparently very different boat. I am pretty sure the Enterprise is faster even though 13' instead of GP 14. I've never sailed an Enterprise but have sailed the Wayfarer--the latter is a fine boat and would doubtless make a great dinghy cruiser (as did the GP).

I have some friends who grew up in England and raced the Enterprise and have fond memories.

mikegt4's description sounds familiar to me from friend's descriptions.

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I have experience with both the CL16 and the Wayfarer. The lines may be almost the same, but the intentionally overbuilt CL16 and a race-ready Wayfarer are two different boats. The best Wayfarers are reasonably light and very stiff. The CL16 is intended to bounce off of rocks, docks, whatever. Therefore if I had to choose between the two as a rowboat, I would take the Wayfarer. In both, the chines are there because it was intended to be built from plywood in the beginning. However, chines came back into fashion so that is why the design does not look dated. 

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13 hours ago, spankoka said:

The lines may be almost the same, but the intentionally overbuilt CL16 and a race-ready Wayfarer are two different boats. The best Wayfarers are reasonably light and very stiff. The CL16 is intended to bounce off of rocks, docks, whatever. Therefore if I had to choose between the two as a rowboat, I would take the Wayfarer. 

I’ve nixed the idea of getting the Enterprise - my original post.  It came up for sale, was very nearby/seemed cool/an interesting idea, but I’ve realized it’s not the right boat for the job.

My original interest in a dinghy (many months ago) was, indeed, a Wayfarer.  But I don’t quite understand what you mean above about which is better for rowing - are you saying the Wayfarer would be a better choice as a rowable sailing dinghy because it’s lighter (than a CL16)?

(Which is probably a separate thread altogether - sailing dinghies that are good for occasional rowing...I’ll start a thread, as I’m curious.  I’d sort of assumed/thought Wayfarers/CL 16’s weren’t really set up for, or good, for this.)

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Some people do come up with an arrangement where the thwart in a Wayfarer becomes a rowing seat. The point about weight is a Wayfarer is much more likely to be class minimum weight than a CL16. The latter has a lot of of foam in it which inevitably soaks up water. 

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Enterprise,  RYA PN, 1117

GP 14 , RYA PN, 1131

Wayfarer RYA PN, 1101

So the Wayfarer is the fastest of the three, having sailed all three, it's in my opinion it's the most stable .

It can be easily single handed, I've planed the wayfarer single handed and two up, very easy to control.

As someone mentioned, the Enterprise is much better at tacking and in restricted width river sailing it was my choice and in those conditions faster.

For long passage racing and cruising I'd choose the Wayfarer.

 

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Rowed a Wayfarer a few years ago, needs good oars. Good oars are too long to fit in the cockpit so they usually have short ones better suited for stirimg jam. It was not a fun experience.

Had a Mirror and rowed it a lot. A much better rowing boat as it has a skeg. With oars the right length it is quite fast. Less than half the weight of the Waybarge.

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An Enterprise is not all that much like a Wayfarer. The racing - eg usual - rig is big for a two handed sit out boat of its era and the hull is fairly tippy for that era. They can be a bit wayward downwind in serious breeze, also typical of the era. 

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On 6/1/2021 at 8:31 AM, Dart96 said:

Rowed a Wayfarer a few years ago, needs good oars. Good oars are too long to fit in the cockpit so they usually have short ones better suited for stirimg jam. It was not a fun experience.

Had a Mirror and rowed it a lot. A much better rowing boat as it has a skeg. With oars the right length it is quite fast. Less than half the weight of the Waybarge.

Well you can't mention the Mirror in the context of row/sailing/camping long distances without mention this.

.https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-unlikely-voyage-of-jack-de-crow-a-j-mackinnon/book/9781863956659.html?source=pla&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoorDuM_48AIVep1LBR0crgLJEAQYAiABEgK9vPD_BwE

Took a Mirror dinghy from Northern England to the Black Sea all by water under its own bottom without any external support boat etc.

A great and very funny read by the way

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Interesting discussion... my take from experience at sailing centres in the UK:

 Wayfarer- best all round cruising dinghy but not great for rowing: wide and quite heavy. Takes a small outboard pretty well.

 CL16- not seen one but if it's heavier than a proper Wayfarer then it's not going to sail as well; still likely to be better than most alternatives, though, unless you're rowing...

 Enterprise- could be cruised but not a cruising dinghy. Light and agile. Don't think there are design features to make it easy to row or motor, as it was intended as a racer.

 GP14- General Purpose 14' dinghy... designed to be sailed, rowed or used with a small outboard. Versatile, as it was intended to be, but doesn't sail quite as well as the others. Better to row than a Wayfarer, though, as it's narrower. Less room inside.

 Mirror- small and lightly built but sails pretty well (albeit slowly, PN is 1383, cf 1100ish for the others, as Q above, or a Laser). Can be rowed OK but won't carry much.

 I'd also add Drascombes to the list- these are traditional-looking clinker style boats that are used for dinghy cruising. They typically have yawl rigs and won't go to windward (or anywhere else, TBH) anything like the ones above but are pretty seaworthy and allegedly row reasonably well, with the advantage of two rowing positions.

 I don't know if any of the more modern designs, eg from Laser or RS, row well, sorry.

 I believe rowing and sailing drive very different design features, so the compromises are stark.

Cheers,

               W.

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Definitely need two people to row a Drascombe Lugger. Really they are more of a motor sailer. Windward performance is uninspiring. Sometime this summer I'm going to add a boom our club Lugger to see if it goes better. Can't be any worse.

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On 6/2/2021 at 11:03 AM, WGWarburton said:

Interesting discussion... my take from experience at sailing centres in the UK:

 Wayfarer- best all round cruising dinghy but not great for rowing: wide and quite heavy. Takes a small outboard pretty well.

 CL16- not seen one but if it's heavier than a proper Wayfarer then it's not going to sail as well; still likely to be better than most alternatives, though, unless you're rowing...

 Enterprise- could be cruised but not a cruising dinghy. Light and agile. Don't think there are design features to make it easy to row or motor, as it was intended as a racer.

 GP14- General Purpose 14' dinghy... designed to be sailed, rowed or used with a small outboard. Versatile, as it was intended to be, but doesn't sail quite as well as the others. Better to row than a Wayfarer, though, as it's narrower. Less room inside.

 Mirror- small and lightly built but sails pretty well (albeit slowly, PN is 1383, cf 1100ish for the others, as Q above, or a Laser). Can be rowed OK but won't carry much.

 I'd also add Drascombes to the list- these are traditional-looking clinker style boats that are used for dinghy cruising. They typically have yawl rigs and won't go to windward (or anywhere else, TBH) anything like the ones above but are pretty seaworthy and allegedly row reasonably well, with the advantage of two rowing positions.

 I don't know if any of the more modern designs, eg from Laser or RS, row well, sorry.

 I believe rowing and sailing drive very different design features, so the compromises are stark.

Cheers,

               W.

You can put a small outboard on an E-Boat easily enough but remember not to take the outboard  with you if it's a bit windy. Enterprises are quite tippy, particularly on a breezy run and you wouldn't want to get that motor wet!

With the relatively large sail area, the Enterprise is a great light wind boat and I spent a happy 3 years in my teens racing and just messing about in one.

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The fun of an Ent is big fleet one design sailing.

I don't think a teenage kid is going to find it much fun to just sail around in, or handicap race.

As others have said the Waybarge is much better for passages or cruising/camping.

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Enterprises can do perfectly well in handicap races, they often used to win in our club..

As for large sail area and sailing one.. many years ago I saw one do a forward roll having been hit by a huge gust of wind when the crew weren't sitting far enough back..

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My experiences from racing Enterprises, the last big regatta I sailed was a world championships at Looe in Cornwall about 20 years ago, they are very overcanvassed for their length, they are great in light airs as they have a low wetted surface and roll tack easily, but as a result of those features they are really unstable offwind in a breeze. They are best sailed with a fairly low crew wight, sub 120 kg, as they are best sailed in pinching mode upwind, and the lighter you are offwind the earlier you will get on the plane.the difference between planing and not planing is massive due to the rocker of the boat, so distance lost upwind due to being light is gained back with interest offwind in marginal planing conditions.   If you capsize you are history, you need to get in a fetch to get water out of the transom flaps and to get the self bailers working properly, not great if you were going upwind at the time, although the newer Rondar boats had double bottoms, but there are not that many of them around.

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