The Old Town dinghy, a classic yacht tender, was once a staple offering in the catalog of the Old Town Canoe Company. It’s a lightweight beauty with a bright-finished interior and a painted, canvas-sheathed hull. Structurally, it looks like a canoe, but it has the shape of a versatile small boat—one that motors, sails, and rows respectably.I’ve had one of these boats in my life for about as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my grandfather had a 9-footer in his basement. Nobody knows exactly where it came from, but he’d owned an ACF cruiser in his younger days, and I’d guess that the dinghy conveyed with that boat when purchased, but not when sold. It must have spent a decade or two in that basement, out of the elements, when my parents adopted it as a tender for our 35' Lion-class sloop.

Old Town DinghyIsland Falls Canoe

For many years, the Old Town Canoe Company of Old Town, Maine, built a line of canvas-covered cedar dinghies using the same construction as that of their legendary canoes. Today, canoe builder Jerry Stelmok, working with his colleague Jonathan Minott, continues that tradition. Shown is a newly built 10-footer.

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