Hornet (dinghy)

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File:Hornet (dinghy) Wolsztyn 2005.jpg
Current Specifications
Crew 2
Type Monohull
Construction Plywood, composite or GRP
Keel Centerboard
Trapeze Yes
LOA 4.42 metres (14.5 ft)
Beam 1.64 metres (5.4 ft)
Hull weight 61 kilograms (130 lb)
Main & Jib area 9.75 square metres (104.9 sq ft)
Year 1953
Designer Jack Holt

The Hornet dinghy is a 16 foot high performance dinghy designed by Jack Holt in 1953.

It is sailed by two people, with either a sliding seat ('plank') or a single trapeze, or where neither plank nor trapeze is fitted, by three people. The Hornet is a restricted class meaning that its external hull measurements, sailing weight, sail measurements, and mast dimensions and weights are controlled, but the hull's interior layout, centreboard and rudder have few restrictions. Permitted materials are restricted in order to control costs.


The Hornet was originally designed by Holt for inexpensive homebuilding using marine plywood bent over a simple frame, along the lines of his popular 14 foot GP14 design. During the 1960s composite and GRP boats were supplied by various builders, but, due to large flat panels of GRP being more flexible (or heavier) than marine ply, those were generally not competitive with the best wooden boats.

During the 1970s and early 1980s the class was updated progressively by the adoption of the trapeze, larger sails, and the phased reduction of overall weight limits over several years. During that time performance was revolutionised by the introduction of "Revolution" by Malcolm Goodwin, which was significantly faster than conventional Hornets. The hull shape was hydrodynamically optimised taking advantage of permitted tolerances, being built over a much stiffer frame to control its shape and stiffen its structure. Among other improvements an effective gybing centreboard was developed. Goodwin subsequently productionised his design and manufactured it in various forms: self assembly kits, part finished hulls, or finished boats. Other builders such as Coombes and Baker developed interpretations of the new hull shape and interior layout options for wood, composite, or GRP.

The Hornet was adopted by Poland as the trainer for the Olympic Flying Dutchman dinghy class.

The main Hornet fleets are in the south of England and in Poland.

  • LOA : 4.42 m
  • Beam : 1.64 m
  • Sail Area : 9.75 m²
  • Dry Hull weight (min)  : 61 kg
  • All up weight (min)  : 126 kg

External links

pl:Hornet (klasa jachtów)