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Snipe class two man dinghy

Date: 1932
Overall: 920 × 4820 × 1530 mm, 192.8 kg
Medium: Wood. Huon pine on ash frame.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from M Baker
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Dinghy
Object No: 00000081

User Terms

    Snipe class two man racing dinghy built by Ray Briggs and members ofthe Vaucluse Amateurs Sailing Club in 1932 and was the first Snipe class dinghy built in Australia.
    SignificanceThe Snipe class has virtually no significance to Australian yachting history, and this example has no particular individual story or background that has significance either. The connection to the VJ is distant. The scaled down version that is said to have been refined to become the VJ would be much more important, and the first or a very early example of a VJ more important again and the type of craft that could be considered for the NMC.
    HistoryDespite early attempts at establishing the class in Australia, few Snipe class dinghies were built in Australia. A few were built in the 1930s and 1940s and a small fleet raced at Sandringham in Victoria in 1947. The Snipe's significance lies in its influence on the design of the Australian Vee-Jay class. The prototype Vaucluse Junior (Vee-Jay) called SPLINTER was built in the Vaucluse Amateur 12-ft Sailing Club house by Sil Rohu from simplified and scaled down Snipe plans. Snipe (No 75) was bought by Kathleen Fair and sailed by her and Clarice Hamilton in the 1930s, pioneers of women sailing in Sydney Harbour. In the 1940s it was sailed in Balmain and then left in storage at Conway's Boatshed in 1949.

    The original Snipe with its shallow draft, unadorned, V-bottom hull is the largest one design class in the world and was designed in 1931 by William Crosby, editor of The Rudder, the leading American boating publication in the 1930s.

    The Snipe class was responsible for democratising one-design racing by creating a more affordable boat that was accessible to a larger sailing public. In the 1950s and 1960s the Snipe class dominated, before the advent of Lasers, Windsurfers and Hobie cats. The Snipe was designed before the era of planing boats such as the Laser
    but is able to plane in suitable conditions.

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