Graduate Dinghy Association

Grad Web Blog

A bit of History

This is an except from the Grad History "Go On Graduate" written by Keith Lamdin in 1995


During the winter of 1951-52, whilst he was finalising his plans for glued plywood plank Twelves and obtaining approval from the RYA for their adoption under the Class Rules, Dick Wyche hurt his back. As he could not do any physical work, and his firm were not getting many orders for traditional Twelves, he put his time to good use by drawing plans for a new, simple, hard chine twelve foot type dinghy.

In a rapidly expanding market it became clear that there was a need for a boat that was cheaper than the Twelve though of comparable size and sailing performance. A simpler form of construction, bringing the bonus of enabling more sailors to build the boat themselves, was seen as the answer.

He intended it to be a family boat with wider appeal than the purely racing Twelve but to be rigged with the 90 square feet National Twelve sails and mast.

prototype Graduate

Using the new improved marine plywoods now widely available in the standard 8’ sheets, the design was based on a simple wooden frame and intended for home construction from scratch kits, as well as professional boat builders such as Wyche and Coppock.

One major advantage of the frame construction was the ability to construct built-in buoyancy tanks as an integral part of the dinghy. This removed the need for plastic buoyancy bags which were difficult to secure and often leaked whilst improving the stiffness of the hull through the full-depth transverse bulkheads.

The tanks also gave a safe, enclosed cockpit and allowed the boat, if swamped, to float level in the water and still be sailed. Whether Dick intended the new design to act as a feeder into the more traditional classes is not clear, but the name of “Graduate” was coined.

A prototype boat, named “Undergrad”, was constructed during the winter and Dick, and his family, sailed it on the River Trent at Beeston in 1952.

Dick Wyche and family sailing the prototype Graduate


As I send the complete copy to our committee to see what can be done about circulating it more widely.

Where do we go from here?

Most of our little website is functional now. So it's mostly a case of;  What next?  What else?

  • The database still needs lots of work doing to it.
  • There should be more photos.
  • We are still short of active members for the forum

And it would be good to see a few select Bloggers joining me on this page.

Anyone care to blog the Northerns, this weekend?


Graduate Blogs and other questions

So now the website is active in place of the old site. It replaces an  older version of the content management system. There was nothing wrong with the old site except that the management system was too old to support the extras we wanted.

The new site has active links to twitter and facebook, a calendar, and blogs.

What blogs should the Graduate Dinghy Class Support?

Would anyone like to write at length about their gradding experiences?

What events should we have on the calendar?

The database isnt complete - I sent the wrong table to the database....

1st post in a new site

After moving the site at least some parts of it still function. Tomorrow 's task to get everything working!

Hello World

Hopefully, a useful way to get feedback about our virtual presence. Please feel free to comment about the opinions you see written on this blog