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Hello Jeff,

While googling the Blandford Goblin I happened across your website and thought you might be interested in adding to your collection of Goblins.  The article below has some details and photos of the Goblin built by my Dad and a cabinet maker friend of his.  The boat is currently at our local boatbuilder having yet another lick of paint and a repair to the seemingly ubiquitous dagger board trunk leak (although he's also looking at what I think is a leak around the mast-step where the keel has flexed a little due to over-tensioned shrouds for which a younger self may have been responsible).

To add to your controversy on rigging options, our boat was originally rigged as a balanced lug, but by the time a sailmaker had been at it, it had mysteriously become a gunter (partly due to recycling Mirror rigging). As I was 9 at the time, I take no responsibility for this!  However, my set of plans shows a balanced lug on the sail plan but also a gunter with a very small head sail and I have seen photos of this arrangement.  Logically, it makes sense because with a gunter rig the centre of effort is too far aft giving the vicious weather helm (the balanced lug shifts it forward a bit), so it needs balancing with something in front of the mast, although the resulting jib is more of a handkerchief.  If I can get hold of an old Mirror jib, I am intending to try this rig out in practice (once the jib has been suitably re-sized).  I reckon that the balanced lug was probably intended to make life easier for the novice sailor and the gunter rig was intended to make life a bit more interesting and also improve performance on the wind, particularly in stronger winds or sailing in close quarters.  I certainly hope the latter is true, because it requires a serious amount of patience to work upstream against the wind on the river Severn.

Oh, and as a six-foot-three sailor, I can confirm the observations that the boat is a squeeze for six footers single-handed and almost unusable with two adults - when sailing with my wife one of us settles down in front of the thwart as immobile ballast while the other trims the boat as required between the side benches (which rarely get used).

When I have bounced the boat off a few things for a season and hopefully finished experimenting with rigs I shall try to remember to inform you as to whether a simple upgrade to the dagger board trunk and rigging can sort out the leak and weather-helm gremlins. 

Best wishes,

Alistair Wasey

March 2014 - Alistair Wasey

Thanks, Alistair. That’s eight Goblins accounted for. I did reply to your email but I guess it didn’t get through.

You are right that the gunter rig puts the centre of effort too far back and generates some pretty bad weather helm. It also cocks the boom way up in the air. I did manage to borrow a Mirror dinghy foresail once but found that it was too big to fit in the space available. It needed a jib boom and maybe also a longer forestay.

Regarding the dagger board trunk leak, I engaged a boat builder to fix mine for me. He found that to raise the trunk high enough to support the thwart, a block had been inserted between the trunk and the keel. He removed the block and secured the trunk directly to the keel, using a rubber sealant. He then made a new block to sit on top of the trunk to support the thwart. It has not leaked since then.

I look forward to hearing about the result of your upgrades.

Hi Jeff

Re: Goblin sailing dinghy. I have had one in my garage for 15 years or more. If you are interested I can send pictures.

Sail No. is 10176.

Ted Eagling

April 2017 - Ted Eagling

Hi, Ted. Thanks for your email.

Yes, I am very interested in hearing about your Goblin dinghy and seeing the pictures. Can you tell me something of your Goblin's history? Where did you sail it? I assume from your email address that you are in England.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Hi Jeff

As you can see the dinghy is currently being used for storage. It was given to my daughter some years ago as a project but the hull was rotten. Consequently I removed all of the bottom and replaced it with marine ply and a new paint job. Since then it has never been in the water except as a test in our pond.

I also adapted the sail mounting as I saw fit and made stainless steel lower mounting to allow the sail to be lowered for bridges. I intend to get the dinghy out in the next few weeks. I will send you more pics of my rigging setup. I mostly played around in Toppers doing a bit of racing on lakes but haven’t been on the water in the last 12 years,.


(Click on a photo to see a larger version)

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