Crew: 1 or 2 man crew.
Dimensions: 3.429 meters in length and ±63.7kg.
Sail Area: Mainsail - 4.78 sqm, Jib - 1.72 sqm, Genoa - 2.83 sqm, Spinnaker - 5.57 sqm.
Class: Restricted (hull shape remains the same from year to year)
Characteristics: Mainly adult/child racing dinghies, safe, fun and competitive
Difficulty Level: Beginner
The Heron Dinghy remains as versatile and multi-functional as it was when it was first designed over 50 years ago. Providing safe, family fun or competitive one design racing.
The Heron Dinghy is a dinghy designed by Jack Holt of the United Kingdom as the Yachting World Cartopper (YW Cartopper). The Heron dinghy was designed to be built by a home handyman out of marine ply over a timber frame, but can now also be constructed from marine ply using a stitch and glue technique or from Fibreglass. Modern dinghies will usually have built in buoyancy tanks, older craft will have bags or retrofitted tanks.
Since about 1980 boats have been increasingly made of Fibreglass, although the Australian association has approved stitch and glue construction .
The Heron has been a popular entry-level sailing dinghy, due largely to its high level of stability. The craft design features hard chines. These are sharp angles between the sides and bottom of the hull, giving it great stability even in rough weather conditions. This makes it easier for a relative novice to avoid capsizing. A round-hulled craft requires a lot more skill to keep upright.
The Heron is sailed in the UK and Australia and New Zealand, with a few others spread around the world. UK class rules vary slightly from the Australian Rules. In the UK a spinnaker is permitted and a larger genoa can be used. The UK also permits the use of different rudder shapes and a Bermudan Mast. Other more minor differences exist between the rules.