The 'Graduate' is a two person 3.82m sailing dinghy designed by Dick Wyche in 1952. The plan had been to produce an economical one design dinghy which would sail as well as contemporary designs but could be made at lower cost. This was achieved with the use of new improved plywoods based on a simple wood frame. The design incorporated built in buoyancy tanks eliminating the troublesome plastic bags in use at the time.
Graduates are found in both tradional wood and GRP construction for easier maintenance. GRP hulls built by Wyche & Coppock appeared in 1969 and 1970 saw the start of production with the Wyche & Coppock "Supergrad" design. In 1972 composite construction Graduates appeared, the hull being moulded in GRP but the bulkhead, and upper decks were made from plywood. These boats were successful and provided a good alternative to GRP or wood boats made from the plans. Stitch & Glue production methods were also experimented with and in 1974 and these also proved to be a good lower cost alternative.
The Graduate is a versatile boat suitable for cruising or out-and-out racing and so is a popular choice for beginners and experienced sailors alike. New boats are not essential for top performance as recent champions' boats prove, and there is a lively second-hand market.
Class rules allow customisation of your boat to suit your style of sailing with rig layouts as simple or as sophisticated as you desire. Simple DIY maintenance of the wooden hull and foils, or even building of a new boat, reduce costs making the Graduate an inexpensive introduction to the excitement of sailing. Just under 3000 boats have been produced since it was first designed and it is actively raced and cruised throughout the world.
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Graduate Dinghy comments and advice
From 01Oct07, the Graduate will benefit from a new larger lose-foot mainsail ained at giving the boat a performance boast as well as greatly improved "gust response". The impact of the new sail on appearance is startling. It gives an assertive purposeful look to the boat. This the most visible changein the first stages of refining and modernising this fine boat.
Graduate Dinghy Association.