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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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.
 

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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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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
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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I purchased an Albacore for $100. It included a trailer, sails, mast, rigging, etc. She needed some cleaning, new running rigging, some woodwork redone, and a few other small projects. I think I have about $150-200 into her; I think the state registration fees were higher than what I've put into the boat.

I mention that because your boat is costing you as much as I've paid and put into mine. Is there something special about the Nelson that allows it to meet your needs better than other alternatives? If not, then in my opinion, it isn't a good deal.
 

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I just purchased an 8' Nelson dinghy off of Craigslist. I have the sail but no mast and no idea where the mast step should be. There is a round metal plate in the bow watertight compartment with a shackle fastened to it. Is this to be removed to reveal an opening for a mast step? Also what were the original gunnel materials and size?

thanks,
 

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I'm looking at an 11ft Nelson sailing dinghy which is 95 % all there but with some minor damage to the hull and some fittings. They're asking 1000.00 which seems like a lot considering it's condition. Looks like a sweet little boat that just needs a little TLC. I"m starting to look at cruising sailboats and thought this might be a good addition. Any opinions?
 

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I just bought a Nelson Plastics sailing dinghy and was wondering if you had a bigger picture of the rudder. Mine is missing so I need to fabricate another one. Thanks
 

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My Nelson 11 is complete and original. I will send detailed pics By request.
Great little skiff, but with a thin, somewhat flexible centerboard and rudder. I plan to replace both.
Danny
 

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@dinogo
First- do you have the Nelson 11, or do you have the 8' Nelson?
My Nelson 11 is cat rigged (although it's not a gaff rig, as is usually associated with cat boats). It's a very common dinghy rig. Now that you know it's supposed to be a cat rig, you can easily research into all the details online. BTW- I did find a post on here in which a gentleman states that his Nelson 11 is indeed a cat rig with a gaff. Now I'm wondering about the shape of your sail- whether it's cut for a gaff or not.
btw- I did try to post a link to a cat rig diagram, but the board won't allow me to post links or pics until after I've posted 10 times.
Search google images and you'll find Pics and diagrams.
Cheers,
Danny
 

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I just got a Nelson 11 from my Grandpa. He used it once, said it was a little “tippy”, and then it sat outside of his house for decades.I think all the parts are original! I can’t wait to try and figure it all out. Any tips on the rigging? I’m a first time sailor.
 

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I just got a Nelson 8 from *my* Grandpa. I remember sailing it 15 years or so ago. Must dislodge a stone so the centerboard will drop; also need to rework the handle to make that happen (I've got the handle pieces but it was badly aged so will use as a template). I haven't rigged it yet, but will try to do that in the next week or so. Good luck!
 
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