‘Tamar’ class dinghies were common in Tasmania in the mid 20th century. In 1947 the Tamar Yacht Club (TYC) established the specifications for a general-purpose, lightweight centreboard dinghy that could be used for such diverse purposes as racing under sail, rowing, fishing or as a yacht tender. They were built from “modern” materials (principally plywood on timber frames), measured 11 ft in length and 4 ft 6 inches beam and were hard-chined to simplify construction for amateur builders. They could be fitted with a small outboard motor as well as carrying a stem-head sloop rig for sailing and racing.
The design was a development of the earlier Devonport-based ‘Mersey’ class and the definitive drawings were prepared by 17 year-old trainee draftsman Graeme Titmus and based on the fourth boat built, SKUA. Plans were published in the ‘Examiner’ newspaper and kits of fittings could be purchased by amateur builders. More than 200 sailing ‘Tamar’ dinghies were built with sail numbers allocated by yacht clubs using them (especially Tamar and Bellerive), while many more were built for rowing or outboard motor propulsion.
Damar, a restored Tamar Dinghy previously owned by David and Margaret Barnes of the Lindisfarne Yacht Club and WBGT, was built by David Barnes around 1970-71. She carried a second-hand set of sails numbered 17 that evidently originated from T. L. Sward’s Mary M. Damar was beautifully restored by Wooden Boat Guild member Graeme Nichols after many months of tender love and care. She required a complete strip back to bare wood which revealed some structural damage that has now been repaired. As a result she is in sailing condition and ready for members to use at our monthly outings.