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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 11-22-2000
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Nelson Sailing Dinghy

Hi! I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of the Nelson Sailing Dinghy? It is a cat boat, it is a monohull, and it has a pointed bow not a pram bow. I just bought it this past summer and I really love it! It is wide enough for me and one of my parents and a dog. It is 8ft. long. I swear I have heard the name before, but I have searched everywhere and I haven''t found anything! I was wondering if anyone knew of it? Could it of came with a Cruising Boat? I know that the guy I got it from had a Catalina Sailboat I think! Anyways if any of you have any info, I would like to know about the history of it, if there is any at all! Thanks! Sailboatshark!
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Old 11-21-2001
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Nelson Sailing Dinghy

I have a Nelson sailing skiff that is 11ft. It''s lapstrake fiberglss, no wood. They were built in western Washington by Nelson Plastics, no longer in buisness. They are good little boats.
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Old 07-02-2006
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I was in my parent's Nelson 11 today. It was purchesed new from Nelson here in Seattle in 1971. Great little sailer - I have never seen another one though...
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Old 04-20-2008
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Nelson sailing dingy

I purchased a Nelson sailing dinghy in August, 1966. It is 8' stem to stern and 4' port to starboard, with a retractable centerboard and fold-up rudder. It has flotation chambers in the bow, mid-ship seat and stern seat. I never worried about having our children play and sail it because it is unsinkable -- they could swamp it but never sink it. They could climb back in, bail it out and sail away. When not using the sail we rowed it or powered it with a 3.5 Mercury outboard and also a small battery-powered trolling motor. We used it for a tender to our 26' Sabercraft cruiser -- carried it on the stern transom. We still have it and use it with pleasure! We sailed from our waterfront home on Lake Washington and around Puget Sound and the Canadian San Juan Islands. --Capt. C. David Jones, The Marilynne II, Rainier Yacht Club, Seattle, WA. PS. Later we moved to Chesapeake Bay and used our Nelson sailing dinghy as a tender for our SeaRay cruiser, The Sanddollar, Watergate Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD.

Last edited by Phalanx; 04-20-2008 at 04:40 PM. Reason: update
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Old 01-25-2010
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I recently started restoration onn an 8' nelson dinghy that had the drop down keel slot covered over. I opened it back up and found the original keel intact and in working order. I am having to guess what the fold down rudder looked like as that blade is missing from its holder. The gunnel
on the port side has some breaks through the channel so I'm tucking a schedule 40 plastic pipe up under there to stiffen and support. The 15/8" OD worked great and I will secure it with silicone caulk.
I can make a handle for the drop down keel with a little inginuity, but cold use some input really, on how the original keel was maneuvered up and down...kept in place.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Nelson 11' sailing dinghy

Hello - This thread is the only mention of Nelson Plastics boats I have found on the web.

I just acquired a Nelson Plastics 11' sailing skiff. This little boat is really worn with subsequent damage over old repairs. Nonetheless, the hull (All I got) is basically sound enough for an entertaining rebuild. There is no rig or rudder, there is a stuck horrible thin FRP centerboard in a dubious CB case of FRP. The lines are very appealing, and it looks like the original plug was a pretty traditional lapstrake skiff.

I see a little response in this thread about these 8 and 11 foot Seattle boats. Does anybody have any knowledge about the rig? I can design and fabricate something appropriate, maybe standing lug or Gunter, but I wonder what was there in the 1970's, how many sf, etc..
Thanks Roly

Last edited by rolyat; 08-17-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 09-01-2011
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Could someone please send me pics of an 8' Nelson sailing dinghy with rigging, sail and rudder? I'm buying one, and the mast, rudder, and boom are missing... so I'll need to know what to find for the boat... and will need to make the rudder part that goes in the water. Thanks so much for any assistance.
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Old 04-08-2012
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Re: Nelson Sailing Dinghy

Hello Selenaserval and others with a Nelson Sailing Dingy

I've just purchased one at a yard sale and it's intact except the sail rig. I've attached two photos of the rudder shape for those who may still need the info.
Attached Thumbnails
Nelson Sailing Dinghy-rudder1.jpg   Nelson Sailing Dinghy-rudder2.jpg  
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Old 04-09-2012
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Re: Nelson Sailing Dinghy

Thanks for posting the pictures daydreamer! Nice to have the rudder to look at. My Nelson dinghy is equiped with an aluminum rudder I made...at least I now see how the original shape was. Great dinghy I use all the time and tow behind the sailboat most often. Pretty stable unit after I beefed up the gunnels. Lug sail for mine.
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Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Nelson Sailing Dinghy

Daydreamer, thanks for posting the pics. I didn't end up buying the boat, but have now found another one. Not sure if it is a good deal or not. The boat is in good shape, but only has the rudder. The asking price is $400.00, and it's 8' long.
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