David Marshall’s Goblin

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David Marshall’s Goblin

In November 2012, Graham Marshall wrote to me to let me know of another Goblin Dinghy.


Very nice to find your article!

This Goblin has been in my garage for some years and I am trying to get it ready for my first grandchild who is now old enough to try it. It lacked a rudder so I fitted one from a Mirror Dinghy that rotted away some years ago (and that served us well when my children were small).

A lick of varnish makes it look like it will be keen to do the job when the details are sorted!

It belongs to my son David who now lives in New Zealand.

Graham Marshall

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Graham enjoys working with computers, especially those running Linux, and building electronic gadgets. He has his own website where he documents his hobby projects such as automating the opening and closing of the hatch on his chicken coop, monitoring his electronic fence, and recording the weather.

Graham has just qualified to paraglide but says he is not very good at it yet. He adds:

Flying is fantastic and you just sit in a nice chair and sail about in 3 dimensions. BUT landing and handling the wing on the ground is very difficult. And you have to climb a steep hill with all the kit many times as you learn. Also the weather is seldom perfect.

You have to be old enough to be daft enough!

In subsequent correspondence, Graham told me that the Goblin was bought by his son and a friend several years ago from someone in Malvern. The floor of the boat was damaged when they bought it since the previous owners stored the boat in a garage and, when burglars climbed into the boat to reach items stored above, they managed to put a foot through the ply floor of the boat! David and is friend repaired the holes and then used two oval pieces of wood to reinforce the fix.

Their first outing was on the Avon at Tewkesbury using a small outboard which pushed them through the water happily enough. The second outing was at Lake Bala, Wales, David driving from Cheltenham with the Goblin lashed to the roof of his car. They rigged the boat with the help of a lot of makeshift rope for mast stays and sailed around on the lake. The original rudder failed as the wind started to rise and was "mended" using a bit of plank that was previously part of a old picnic bin by the side of the lake!

After fixing the rudder, others in the party decided to have a sail but, with a combined weight of over 200Kg, the little Goblin gained water and sank in the middle of the lake! They then sailed the partially submerged boat sort-of remotely, hanging on to the outside and reaching in to steer her home.

Graham attached the following photos of David’s Goblin. The sails, like mine, are from Jeckells. Click on any photo to see a larger version.