8ft Classic ‘Squadron’ Clinker Dinghy

8 ft Clinker Dinghy

8 ft Clinker Dinghy

I thought you would like to see some pic's of my 8ft Classic ‘Squadron’ Clinker Dinghy that I have just recently completed.

I have had numerous traditional and modern boats over the years that I have worked on but until now hadn’t built one.

The plan has 8ft ‘Squadron’ Dinghy as the design.

I presume that this was a common design in New Zealand, which was adapted to suit the size of boat that was to be built.

I was given the plan by a retired boat-builder who also gave me advice on the build.

The dinghy is also the perfect fit for my boat-shed which is located on the Pauatahanui Inlet, which is part of the Porirua Harbour.

Lying 30K north of Wellington, New Zealand, Porirua Harbour, is an area of shallow, sheltered water ideal for small yachts and board sailing.

And Pauatahanui Inlet is the most extensive area of relatively unmodified estuarine water in the southern part of the North Island.

I stared the build in July 2010 and launched her in May 2011.

She could have been built a lot faster but I was enjoying the building process and didn’t really want to finish it too soon.

She is planked in Island Kauri and the timbers are White Oak with Teak used in the rowlock blocks and cleats.

Kauri New Zealand’s most famous native tree is one of the largest trees in the world, growing up to 50 metres tall.

The Maori have used Kauri timber and its gum for building canoes for thousands of years.

Early European settlers soon found the trunks of young kauri were ideal for ships' masts and spars and that the sawn timber from mature trees was of unsurpassed quality for boat building.

She has been copper roved and then finished off with eight coats of paint and varnish.

As you can see she rows really nicely and is stable in the water.

I enjoyed her building so much that I have just finished the stem and keel on another dinghy of the same design.

I have add pictures below that hopefully will give a good idea on how the build progressed.

The full size templates for the moulds were taken direct from the plan also the templates for the keel, stem, garboard, sheer strake and transom.

Here are a couple of pics of the stem and keel that I’m working on at the moment.

These are laid up on the plan and clamped and glued into shape using blocks that are screwed down onto the plan to get the correct shape.

The stem is made in three pieces and epoxy glued together using resin and glue powder mix.

The stem was then marked and the rabbet is chiselled out.

The keel was also made in three pieces and shaped to fit into the stem.

All the planks were steamed to shape fitted into place so they would take shape.

The following day they were removed sanded and the bevel line marked.

They were then coated with two pot Altex Epoxy Timber Sealer before being refitted and copper roved.

Were the plank fits into the stem rabbet it was epoxy glued and a couple of temporary screws are fitted to hold it in place, these are removed the next day before it cures.

The garboard plank is copper roved up threw the hog and epoxy glued only at the stem and on to the transom.

The ribs were also steamed and fitted into place to take shape before being copper roved the following day.

Before painting she was removed from the jig, turned over and the copper nail heads that are counter sunk were plugged with epoxy which was faired off before painting.

On the outside of the hull there are two coats of primer and eight finish coats of single pot "Altex" marine paint.

The interior and transom has also had eight to nine coats of single pot "Altex" varnish, I have used single pot paint and varnish so it will be easier to remove in the future than the two pot mix.

Comments for 8ft Classic ‘Squadron’ Clinker Dinghy

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Jul 09, 2023
Plans for Squadron dinghy
by: johntwodogs

The 'squadron' referred to is the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and I believe the original boat was designed for it/them.

Some I have seen were cold-moulded, and I think they may have been produced in GRP at one time.

I'm a bit surprised that someone building one here in NZ was unaware of the origin of the boat, given its design name.

Suggest you Google the RNZYS; they have an on-line presence and may still have plans available.

Mar 15, 2023
by: Anonymous

Anyone managed to source the plans?

Mar 05, 2023
by: Van Gray

Any information about acquiring a set of plans would be most appreciated.

Respectfully, Van


Feb 06, 2023
Plans for 8’ Squadron dinghy
by: E.T.

Can anyone help with my acquiring the plans for the 8’ Squadron dinghy?.
Have been going around in circles trying to find to no avail.
Anyones help would be appreciated.

Thanks, E.T.

Feb 06, 2023
Plans for 8’ Squadron dinghy
by: E.T.

Can anyone help with my acquiring the plans for the 8’ Squadron dinghy?.
Have been going around in circles trying to find to no avail.
Anyones help would be appreciated.

Thanks, E.T.

Apr 02, 2022
by: ymous

There are many on here wanting plans. . . there were literally dozens of competent clinker boat builders around the costs of UK years ago.

There MUST still be people making this stuff here in UK but now at a price.

But I'm not sure many of their plans were lofted.

Apr 02, 2022
Clinker build.
by: Kevin

Im 71 in Scotland.

There used to be a yard in Salcombe on the South Coast of UK. Edgar Cove.

I stod and watched a 14 FT version of that classic Uk design being built on an earthen floor with the keel nailed between two stumps.

She was built right way up, and the old boy doing it didnt plane a thing.

He just took a 20 ft plank one end, flipped it up on to the band saw, and cut the shape of the next plank.

NOT a mark on the plank.

He then offered it up to the side and chamfered the stem joint.

Once that done he just started riveting. . drill, hammer, rivet and clenched it with about three blows.

It took him half of a morning to put on about 6 planks. .

Not once did he stop to check anything or redo anything. .

A truly staggering performance. . all while discussing the local news and sport.

When I was last in Salcombe a "14 ft Salcombe Day Boat" would then cost you about £6,000 GBP.

They were all the same out of the same yard.

Keenly raced and much admired.

Edgar Cove yard is now posh set of flats.

But THAT was a real education in boat building.

It took the two guys about a week from start to finish to build one. not a Plan or drawing in sight.

Dec 15, 2021
by: John Hunter

I would appreciate being able to source the plans for this wonderful classic dinghy.

Jun 21, 2020
Fantastic looking dinghy
by: Mark

Terrific job.
Thanks for the staged photos.
Looks a tricky build but I also, like almost all the other commentors, would love to know where to find plans.
Auckland traditional boatbuilding school are apparently making kits of a similar dinghy but using clinker ply construction.
I love how you’ve stuck with a more traditional method.

Oct 21, 2019
by: Noam

Amazing work, Really inspiring !

I would like to to start such aproject with my father, Do you guys know were I can get the plans?
Thank you.

Jul 26, 2019
by: Rob

You are a true master of making dreams come true !

Jul 26, 2019
Sooo nice
by: The old retired boatbuilders

Found this on pintrist good to see. Thought I recognised the workshop and I hope the little boat and you are going along as well as I am. Well done.

Mar 16, 2019
Love this dinghy
by: Anonymous

You did a great job building the Squadron.
It makes me want to build one.

Can you tell me where I can get a set of plans.
Thanks Ron. rjkmail@yahoo.com.

Aug 06, 2018
Beautiful boat!
by: mark ashley

A great build!

Many people are asking after the plans- myself included.

I can’t find them on the net; where can I buy them from please?

Mar 02, 2018
by: Don Brebner

Well done. I am looking to purchase an 8 ft genuine clinker dinghy for display.
Is yours for sale ?

Are you aware of a similar boat for sale?



Nov 14, 2017
Stunning boat
by: Saltydog

What a stunning boat - have been looking for a design with more freeboard after taking an 11ft open carvel clinker dinghy over 2,000 km down the Murray River in Australia - pretty hairy at times with very limited freeboard.

Where can we get the plans please?

Nov 10, 2017
by: Rob

What a beautiful,seaworthy dingy of which you can be very proud; I wish you many years of sailing enjoyment.

Jul 29, 2017
Planos y especificaciones
by: Javier Garriga

Me ha gustado mucho tu trabajo y el diseño del barco.

Soy un viejo constructor de barcos de Barcelona, que ando buscando unos planos y especificaciones para construir un dinghy de características y tamaño parecidos.

Me puedes indicar como puedo obtenerlas.

Gracias por tu atención un saludo

Javier Garriga


Jun 23, 2017
by: John


Lovely looking boat

Could you please how i could obtain some plans please

Nov 18, 2016
by: Billy shetland scotland

lovely boat amazing job .
can i buy a plan ?

Nov 02, 2016
by: Wang Sun Chan


My dream to build one myself! Please please let me know where can I can get a copy of the plan.

Kind regards

Oct 16, 2016
by: Jim

Sweet boat.

Have been looking to build one very similar.

Wondering if you could give me a lead on a set of plans.

Would be my first build.

Thanks for any help, Jim.

Oct 09, 2016
Brilliant, just what I'm looking for
by: Charlie

Would you be so kind as to tell me how to obtain a cooy of the plans please as I'm very excited about a build to get me through a winter please - Charlie.young1952@gmail.com

Sep 17, 2016
Squadron Sailing Dinghy
by: Tom Marshall

My brother and I had a Squadron Sailing Dinghy in the late 1940s till we grew out of her in the early 1950s and graduated to a Zeddie.

We have no photos of Polly Puddle Duck, which is a great shame, because she was beautiful.

My memories of her hull are exactly like your masterpiece, except for her centerboard case.

She was designed and built, by A W (Bill) Couldrey as were about a dozen of them.

They were gunter rigged and all the spars fitted inside the hull, so she was an ideal tender.

Sep 11, 2016
family project
by: bswope

I'd love to have plans. my 3 sons and I need a fishing sailing dinghy.

Jul 04, 2016
by: Nick

Beautiful boat!! Perfect for what I'd like to build. I would also love to have the design so I can build one. If you're able to send? nick@nickbard.co.uk

Many thanks
Nick Bard

Jun 30, 2016
by: Allan

Beautiful boat, great construction story. I am inspired to have a go.

How do I go about getting the plans ?

My email allan@reapmarlborough.co.nz

Jun 26, 2016
good work
by: Anonymous

Give me please the plans of this boat.my email shklianski@gmail.com

May 25, 2016
by: Ryan Sheridan

I would love to get the plans for this beautiful boat.

I would love to make if for my Major work in the HSC

Dec 20, 2015
Oxenford Men's Shed Qld Au
by: Warren Humphries OAM

I am associated with the Oxenford Men's Shed Qld.

We have a donation of old school benches. They are Kauri Pine.

I would like to build an 8ft dingy out of them.

Where can I get the Plans?

Nov 22, 2015
Plans for Squadron Dinghy
by: Paul

Any way to get the plans for this clinker dinghy?

Would like to build one.

Paul. Nova Scotia, Canada

May 10, 2015
squadron dingy
by: Anonymous

Hi I just love this dingy and would love to buy a set of plans so that I can build one in Huon Pine here in Tasmania.

I have just bought an old 1955 30 footer and need a dingy to compliment my new sloop.

I am happy to pay extra for full size patterns if you can trace them on paper.

I can also loft the patterns if needed.

Kindest regards Thor Pedersen

Apr 26, 2015
Plans for the clinker dinghy
by: Anonymous

Is there anyway to get the plans for this boat? Its awesome.


Dec 04, 2014
Squadron Dinghy
by: Buzz (US)

Your boat is beautiful.

I just finished building an Oughtred Caledonia Yawl - clinker built but uses epoxy instead of copper roved nails, which I have also worked with.

I am looking for a good small stable dinghy design to build next.

This looks very much like what I am looking to build.

Is it still possible to get some more information on this boat like offsets or plans?

What is the beam and beam water line, length water line, etc?

And having used this boat now, how is she in handling 3 folks under 200#, initial stability, etc.?

I appreciate any help you can lend.
Thank you.

email: buzzmenz@gmail.com

Oct 02, 2014
by: Anonymous

Great job can you email me the plans?

I'd like to build one.kaskabelize@yahoo.com

Sep 25, 2014
by: Warwick

Hi I have finished an 8' 4" clinker.

I have all the moulds clamps, bed table if any one would like to build one.

The mould spacings can be altered to vary the length.

Email me if you are interested. warwick.stephens1@gmail.com

Sep 25, 2014
If you have the plans available...
by: James

Please send me a copy as well! dreamr DOT okelly AT gmail.

You did an AMAZING job with that tender build!

Mar 31, 2014
Great boat can I get a set of plans
by: Matthew

I would like to build this of you could email me a set of plans that would be great!

My email is mattgaspar@comcast.net

Jul 19, 2013
8 ft clinker
by: Warwick

Hi, most impressed with your boat.

I would like to build one.

Where can I get a set of plans? warwick.stephens1@gmail.com

Dec 26, 2012
Terrific Job
by: Vic Armstrong

Well done with your dinghy.

I built recently a 3 meter clinker in Ngaio Wellington with marine ply and copper roved to Tanekaha steamed ribs.

Looks very similar to yours. I move to a Seaview Rd Paremata home early January, so perhaps we can meet up and do a mutual admiration club meet soon.

I think you know Ross Giblin photographer and new neighbor of mine who told me of your new boat some time back.

If you wish to make contact Ph Vic 0274 476 329 or 4797 539 till 17 January.

Aug 13, 2012
re squadron
by: john . c.

Would love to build a 12ft dinghy same lines as the 8ft squadron.

Can you help me out.

Jan 04, 2012
Clinker Dinghy
by: Steve U.K.

Hello,yes I have looked on Ian's site.

The only one he has is the 'Auk' which is 7ft 10" if I remember right. This looks a nice little traditional tender, but I think the "Squadron" dinghy looks nicer from what I can see from the photos, didn't know whether this is a dinghy native to New Zealand.

Only,would love to build one in the UK,
cheers for your help,

Jan 04, 2012
Boat Plans
by: Anonymous

Hi Steve,

Have you looked at Iain Oughtred’s Designs?

Plans and kits for Iain Oughtred Designs can be ordered online in the UK, from Jordan Boats.

Jan 03, 2012
Fantastic build!!!!
by: Steve in the U.K.

Lovely build, really nice job done.

Can you give me details where I can get a copy of the plans so I can build one here in the UK,

Many thanks for your time,


Oct 08, 2011
Nice work
by: John Tremelling

A lovely job, but I think that you are a hooligan painting such beautiful woodwork,

John T

Sep 26, 2011
by: Anonymous

Beautiful job.

Sep 24, 2011
Clinker Dinghy Build
by: Anonymous

Hi Mick,

You?ve made an absolutely superb job of her.

It?s good to see the traditional boatbuilding methods being kept alive, there is just something extra special about a proper wooden boat that can never be replicated in ?plastic?.

I hope you are you planning to take her to Lake Rotoiti in March for the Antique & Classic Boat Show, she deserves to be shown.

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