The Wayfarer sailing dingy was designed by Ian Proctor in 1957 as a teaching, racing and cruising wooden sailing dinghy. The design proved to be an outstanding success in this all-purpose role; no other dinghy has since managed to match and maintain its unique popularity.
The basic hull shape and overall weight, which laid the foundations for its renowned combination of speed and seaworthiness, has been retained as originally designed, while the interior has been updated over the years to keep pace with the users' needs and advancing production techniques. To see a brief description of the various Marks Click here.
In 2007 the transfer of the Wayfarer Copyright from the Procter family to boat builder Harrtly Boats was completed. Phil Morrison, the hugely influential designer of the National 12s, Merlin Rockets and the RS series, was immediately brought in to design the Wayfarer Mark 4.
It's a capable boat that behaves well under a variety of conditions. With a 6-foot beam and generous freeboard, the Wayfarer feels and acts much larger than a typical 16-foot present day sailboat. When it comes to performance, it is lively and will come up on a fast plane when conditions are right.
The combination of the forward and aft watertight compartments provides positive buoyancy as well as loads of stowage space--enough to hold clothing, camping gear and food for a two- to three-week cruise. The two aft side seat benches are easily lifted out (by undoing a couple of wing nuts) and can be placed cross-ways upon the forward seats. This makes a roomy aft cockpit for sleeping (on the floor) and more space for preparing meals on board if anchored away from shore, or in the event of rainy weather. In this configuration, the aft seats become a temporary shelf for getting bulky items out of the way.
On day excursions, the Wayfarer will hold four adults safely and comfortably. For long distance cruising it is a superb boat for the single handed sailor, as well as for two people.
As always, whether day sailing or cruising, the helmsman and crew need to possess the skills and experience necessary for the degree of difficulty that may be encountered. Gain experience and skill gradually through progressively more difficult steps.