Broadwater welcomes all classes of mono-hull dinghies up to 4.8m (16ft) and a large and varied range of dinghies are sailed on the lake.
Many participate in the active racing programme, where as others just like to cruise. We also have a thriving Junior Section.
The main classes with bigger fleets and there fleet captain or the best person to contact for information about that class are as follows.
Click on those underlined in blue above to go to full details of that class at the club lower down on this page.
If you are contemplating buying a dinghy and need any advise just ask a Fleet Captain who are always happy to help.
Immediately below is a list of other classes of boats that are sailed at Broadwater with a short description of each. These classes of boat are represented by David Wilson the Handicap Fleet captain.
The RS Quba, Firefly, Heron, Mirror, Miracle, Gull, Graduate, Laser Pico and Tideway can all be sailed single handed or double handed and are listed in the double handed section below.
Comet - Fast and exciting for club racing but with its roomy uncluttered cockpit and optional Mino Rig can be ideal for beginners and lightweights. Having been built since the 1990's there is an active Class Association. Renowned as a deceptively fast dinghy in light winds, the decent sail area and light hull ensure an exciting ride in a breeze!
At only 50kg hull weight and using a two-piece mast, the Comet will easily cartop. Built in GRP in a wide range of colour schemes a standard Comet is ready to sail and has top quality fittings with powerful rig controls led aft. An extensive options list includes race rigging kits with ball-bearing blocks and Dyneema control lines as well as covers and launching trolleys.
Optimist - Ideal for children starting to sail. This is a stable little boat and used by Junior Sailing for childern aged 6 and upwards.
RS 300 - a 14ft perfomance dinghy weighing only 58kg for very experienced sailors.
Streaker - The Streaker is a lightweight (48kg) single-handed dinghy that is 3.88m long with good handling characteristics. It is suitable for a wide range of abilities from relative beginner to expert racer. It is light weight and easy to handle ashore with a simple rig which gives a forgiving sail for the beginner yet can produce an exhilarating racing performance for the expert. The rules allow a variety of cockpit layouts and construction materials. The Streaker Class Owners Association works hard to keep the design up-to-date and encourages friendly but competitive racing. Recent years have shown that the design still competes successfully with the best single-handed designs currently available. Sailors from juniors under the age of 21 to those over 70 both male and female compete together in a active racing circuit consisting of over 25 meetings a year throughout the country.
Supernova - a 14ft 5ins and 50kg this is a another modern performance boat with a fully battened 86 sq ft sail. See https://www.supernovadinghy.org/boats for more information.
Topper - an ideal starter boat for older children and smaller teenagers, and the main stay of the Junior Sailing fleet. They are very tough boats and easily reefed by rolling the sail around the mast. In extreme conditions these are also great fun for adults and have been raced successfully by RS Aero sailors in such conditions.
Albacore – A versatile 15ft boat originally designed by Uffa Fox in 1954. With just a jib and main sail relatively easy to sail with light and heavyweight crews.
Bosun - an indestructable 14ft dinghy designed for Royal Navy training.
Firefly - designed by Uffa Fox in 1938 at 12ft ideal for our water.
GP14 – A Jack Holt design from 1949, this 14ft dinghy was built to be sailed, rowed or powered with an outboard and stable enough to lie to moorings. A comfortable family boat sporting a spinnaker.
Graduate – A well developed dinghy from Dick Wyche with 110sq ft of sail and at 12ft 6ins well suited to lakes and rivers, being highly maneuverable. At 84kg the boat sails well in light winds.
Gull – A very stable 11ft dinghy which can be sailed with two adults or two children. A high boom makes it comfortable for tacking and keen types add a spinnaker.
Heron – Another Jack Holt design made for home build, it is stable and easy to handle.
A good first boat at 11ft 3ins with 70 sq ft of sail for Jib and Main and can also fly a spinnaker.
Laser 2 – High performance double handed version of the popular Laser single hander. This 14ft 5ins dinghy has a trapeze and spinnaker.
International 420 - 13ft 9ins with spinnaker and trapeze for experienced sailors.
Kestrel - at 15ft 7ins spacious, comfortable, stable and responsive.
Lark - a design classic complete with spinnaker.13ft 9ins LOA.
Laser 2000 – A Phil Morrison 14ft 5ins design in GRP and Foam Sandwich with a modern asymmetric rig including furling jib, reefing main and single line gennaker hoist.
Laser Pico -Built for family fun. With its simple reefing system, spacious cockpit, and high boom the Pico continues to be a popular sailboat for all ages and abilities. A roto-molded hull provides a strong, buoyant structure that is superbly stiff and stable. Both the jib and reefing mainsail are removable.
Laser Stratos – At 16ft 2ins and 180kg the biggest dinghy on our water.
Merlin Rocket – A development class high performance dinghy which has been steadily refined over 70 years. A powerful 14 ft , 3 sail boat for experienced sailors.
Miracle/Mirror – Versatile Jack Holt design ideal for beginners or experts, children and adults. Originally designed for home build with a plywood kit of parts. LOA Miracle 12ft 8ins, Mirror 10ft 10ins, both sporting the squared off bow and the option of a spinnaker.
RS Vision – the 15 ft Vision is a beginners and family boat with a spinnaker.
RS 200 and 400 - racing performance boats. LOA at 13ft and 14ft 10ins respectively with asymmetric spinnakers.
RS Quba - is a modern sailing dinghy that is simply fun. Easily handled by one with enough space for two or more, the RS Quba is a perfect platform for beginners or experienced sailors. With a stable wide hard chined hull design and multiple rig options, the RS Quba sails great and was built to last. The rockered hull shape gives added light wind speed and promotes planing. It has an uncluttered cockpit with wide rails for comfortable seating. The center of effort is well forward for easy tacking and gybing. The raised foredeck helps shed spray to keep you dry. The mainsail uses a track and halyard system for easy stepping of the mast and There is even an optional rowing kit.
Seafly - a larger version of the Firefly a stable and well behaved.14ft 9ins with an optional spinnaker.
Tideway - traditional 12 footer design ideal for safe cruising.
Wanderer – A 14ft robust and versatile dinghy for day sailing, cruising and racing.
Wayfarer – A comfortable 15ft 10ins boat used for cruising and racing being tough and seaworthy.
AeroBroadwater's newest and fastest growing fleet, That's no surprise as RS Sailing’s one-design is quick and great fun to sail. Its interchangeable 5, 6, 7 and 9 square meter rigs suit a wide range of abilities and helm sizes and with a hull weight of only 30kg it is also easy handle out of the water.
The design is well suited to Broadwater as it glides effortlessly across the lake in light airs and will start planning once the wind speed gets into double digits. Above that people often just rig a smaller sail and carry on.
As for handicap, the Aero sits between the slower Lasers and faster Phantoms, providing competitive racing against in both pursuit and handicap events.
Away from the club, there is a strong class association offering helpful advice and organising national and international competitions.
A new boat will cost you a little more than a Laser, but less than a Solo and that’s pretty good value for something with carbon fibre spars. Second hand boats are becoming more common, but demand is high and they hold their value well.
Come and join our fleet. We are a friendly bunch and more than happy to offer help and advice.
Fleet captain: Peter Joseph - Aero 1063
EnterpriseInstantly recognisable with its eye-catching blue sails, the Enterprise was designed by Jack Holt as an affordable, performance two person dinghy suitable for both racing and family sailing. Enterprises 1 and 2 launched in 1956 and were sailed across the Channel to Calais to promote the class. Needless to say that had the desired effect and the class is now well into its 6th decade with around 23400 Enterprises built so far. The class offers close and competitive racing. It is a recognised ISAF International Class so all boats are constructed to strict class rules and even very old boats can be competitive in the right hands.
Prices start at under £500 and a good condition boat, set up for racing, can be found for under £1,000. Construction is either wood, FRP or composite FRP hull and wooden deck. There are some older boats built from GRP rather than FRP and are often less competitive for racing than a wooden boat of the same age.
The Enterprise is an easy boat to sail, but to extract its potential when racing requires skill and the class racing has attracted many of the country's top sailors. It has a relatively tall mast (good for catching those light summer winds), relatively light but strong construction and excellent manoeuvrability, ideal for close quarters competition.
At Broadwater it sits in the middle of the racing fleet, faster than the Solos and Graduates, and slower than the Lasers and RS Aeros. So you will always find good boat to boat racing in our mixed fleet Sunday and Wednesday evening series.
In addition to the club racing series and regattas, Broadwater plans to host an annual 'Open meeting' for visiting Enterprise sailors. This forms part of the Thames Valley Bowl circuit.
So why not come along and join us. Whether you already have an Enterprise or are thinking of acquiring one, there are plenty of experienced sailors on hand to give tips on how to get the best from your boat.
For more information visit the Enterprise Class Association and Yachts & Yachting Enterprise Class pages.
The Graduate is a one design, double handed sailing dinghy, designed by Dick Wyche in Nottingham in 1952. The boat has been developed to be a well balanced, fine tuned sailing dinghy whose refinement simply can't be matched by any of the "multi purpose", "multi rigged", "mass produced" boats of today. Its simple, uncluttered design offers an untroubled sailing experience, making it both a good family boat and excellent racer.
It is easily handled, on and off the water and while a good sea boat it is at its best on inland waters. Unlike many of the offerings from the big manufacturers, the Graduate is not a fashion statement here today and gone tomorrow, nor does it have an endless list of options.
The Graduate is a boat free of complication that has the controls that really matter. The design is tough and provides low maintenance sailing whether constructed from GRP, Composite, Wood and more recently, Epoxy Foam Sandwich.
The boat embraces modern materials and construction techniques, keeping abreast with developments in the industry. The mainsail has recently been re-designed, increasing the sail area slightly to give the sail a more modern cut. This has led to improved downwind performance and a better gust response. Other developments include; carbon fiber fly away jib pole - you will never loose a jib pole over the side again! And inboard sheeting, allowing the sheeting position to be adjusted to the cut of your jib, improving upwind sailing and allowing you to point higher.
In race trim, the Graduate is sailed with two people from husband and wife, parent and child, juniors, in fact anyone. The dinghy is also relatively light for a double handed boat. This makes it easy to move around off the water by a single person; important when sailing with youngsters.
As you may already know the Laser is the worlds most popular single-handed sailing dingy as there are now over 190,000 Lasers, sailing in over 120 countries worldwide. The Laser conforms to the strict one-design specification, which means Lasers have a long competitive life with exactly the same chance of winning, be it a Wednesday evening club race or an open event around the country or a Gold Medal at the London 2012 Olympics There are three simple, interchangeable rigs that take the growing sailor from using the Broadwater owned Optimist to an introduction to youth sailing with the 4.7 rig and then to full youth sailing in the Radial (5.7m2) with the final step to the full rig (7.06m2). This provides a step- by- step progression in the same equipment in the same Class with the only difference being the sail and lower mast sizes. The controls are about a simple as you can get, with :- a rudder for steering a rope (Mainsheet) for controlling the sail a rope (Outhaul) to set the sail along the boom a rope (Cunningham) to tighten the front edge of the sail a rope (Vang) to tighten the back edge of the sail and lastly the movable ballast to trim the boat – YOU. At Broadwater there are about 30 lasers, so for beginners (or the experienced) you will find someone to talk to for advice on just pottering about the lake, or racing.
Merlin RocketCome and sail a Merlin. The Merlin Rocket sits at the centre of the dinghy-racing scene. It combines the boat handling and tactical racing of the traditional designs with the thrills and excitement of the modern "fast in a straight line" designs.
Upwind, the high aspect rig means that in light and medium wind conditions, the Merlin Rocket is one of the highest pointing dinghies around. It is the bane of the trapeze boat sailor. The power to weight ratio and the controllability of the rig means that planing to windward is common in strong winds, without much loss of pointing ability. On the reaches, the long spinnaker pole and new 10m2 spinnaker are a powerful combination. The long pole keeps the spinnaker away from the mainsail, so close reaching under spinnaker remains one of the strengths and thrills of Merlin Rocket sailing. The conventional symmetrical spinnaker remains effective at all sailing angles and so the downwind strategy has to be carefully considered. Do you plug straight downwind or gybe from broad reach to broad reach? It depends! It's your call on the day.
While less Miracles are sailed at Broadwater than a few years ago, they can still be sailed very competitively in club races.
Second hand boats are readily available, although older ones may need a little love, and represent a very cost-effective way into family sailing or club racing
The Feva is the world's best selling two-person dinghy in recent years and it's easy to see why. With mainsail, jib and asymmetric spinnaker, it's fast and exciting and the ideal next step for kids looking to progress from Oppies and Toppers.
And with its high boom and large cockpit, youngsters and adults can have the fun of sailing the Feva together. There are 2 Fevas belonging to the Club which are available to sail (under supervision) for members enrolled in the Junior sailing programme.
So at Broadwater there are opportunities for training, racing or just enjoying being afloat! For those with competitive ambitions, there is an active UK and International racing circuit.
Phantom – get one or it will haunt you forever!
The Phantom was designed by Paul Wright and Brian Taylor in 1971. They wanted to produce a single-hander that was exciting to sail, manageable and at the same time affordable to build. It isn't possible to design a boat that will accommodate all weights, even in these days of 'wings' and equalisation systems. As there were already boats on the market for the lighter helms they decided to design a boat that was both comfortable and fast for larger sailors.
A Phantom sailor shouldn't weigh less than 10 stone, and is most suitable for those in the weight range of 12 -18 stone(76 -115 Kg). One advantage with the phantom is that both the class association and the designers view the development of the class in a proactive manner always providing that care is taken not to outclass older boats. Latterly the design has been modified to incorporate self-draining cockpits and carbon spars. Additionally the design allows freedom in cockpit design and sailors are therefore able to develop cockpit sail and rig control systems that suit their individual requirements.
In addition to conventional alloy rigs, the Phantom may be fitted with a carbon mast and boom which increases power and responsiveness. The Phantom uses a sail with the same area as the Fireball and this huge area combined with the latest materials used in the manufacture of the hull and high tech rig gives the helm a fantastic sailing experience.Various masts and boom combinations are available depending upon helm weight and ability.
A one design high performance single-hander the Phantom has a hard chine hull with a deep 'V' bow, a flat run aft, and planes easily. With her lightweight hull and large rig on a stayed mast she has a high power to weight ratio, but is stable and responsive. Broadwater SC is seeing good growth in its Phantom fleet in recent months, with seven boats now at the club. With competitive but friendly sailing within the class, along with the fun of mixed class sailing at the club, now is the time to join this fabulous single hander dinghy!
Class contact: Dave Patrick
SoloSince Jack Holt designed the National Solo in 1956, over 6000 Solo sailing dinghies have been built. It is a classic, one-design, single handed racing dinghy measuring around 12.5ft x 5ft (3.78m x 1.55m). Originally built in wood, the Solo dinghy has evolved over the years with Foam Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and composite construction (FRP hull and wood deck) variants being produced by several boat builders. Rigs are commonly Selden or Superspar and there are various designs that cater for differing sailor weights (<75kg, 75-90kg and 90kg+) and sailing conditions; there are a few Wavelength/Needlespar rigs still around too, though they tend to favour the lighter sailor (75kg). The fully battened sail is approx. 8.4sq m and can be specified according to mast type, sail cut and material.
At Broadwater SC the friendly Solo fleet comprises of a mix of FRP and wooden boats; built by Speed Sails, Winder, Boon, Lovett and Thresher. There is a good contingent of Solo dinghies pursuit and handicap racing on a regular, year-round basis as well as others who are happy to informally cruise on the lake
The Solo dinghy class remains ever popular at many inland and coastal clubs around the UK and there are active regional Open circuits running March through October. The location of Broadwater SC is quite unique in that it falls into three regions – Thames Valley, Southern and Eastern – and the club traditionally hosts a combined regional Solo Open on the first weekend after the RYA Dinghy Show.
Want to know more? Then contact the Solo fleet captain: Alex Beard.