I had a custom 10' hard dinghy made for Jakatan. Like the big boat, it is unique and incorporates several design ideas I wanted to try. The dinghy was also designed by Bob Perry and built by Jespersen (Michel did it all).
Since my wife and I sometimes row together, I wanted the boat to row well with one or two people. On all dinghies there is an optimum seat location for rowing with one person, but with a second person you need to move to keep the boat in trim. On big rowing boats this is easy to accommodate, just have a second seat. But on small boats there isn't room for a full second seat. On small dinghies a second set of oarlocks are often located so you can row from the bow of the boat but this is too far forward for proper balance and awkward to row from. On the new dinghy the main seat can be moved about 20 inches forward which is ideal for when a second person is sitting on the stern seat. The main seat rests on listings and can be easily moved into the second position.
Another issue with sailing dinghies is there is usually a slot for a dagger board in the seat. This slot has to be covered when not using the dagger board to keep water from sloshing up, and it prevents the seat from moving. So on the new dinghy we have a fully enclosed centerboard trunk. The trunk height is such that the seat rests on both the listings and the trunk. There is a lever to raise and lower the centerboard. When I was a kid we had a Boston Whaler Squall sailing dinghy with a centerboard like this, so I knew it would work. The end result is we don't have to store the dagger board someplace else, no water sloshes up the daggerboard slot, and the seat can be easily moved.
Storage Of Spars
One of the problems with a sailing dinghy is where do you store the spars. On my old dinghy the mast was in two pieces so it and the boom could be stowed in the dinghy, but they lay across the top of the seats. If you wanted to row you had to remove the spars and put them elsewhere. On the new dinghy I wanted to be able to take the boat out and switch between rowing and sailing when I wanted to. This meant that the spars, the rudder, and the sail needed to be stowed under the seats and out of the way when rowing. I went with a sprit rig. This keeps the mast short enough to lie in the boat in once piece. Part of the stern seat can flip up and the main seat can be temporarily moved. This allows the mast and sprit to be stowed under the seats aside the centerboard trunk. They don't get in the way while rowing. At least not much. The goal was to have everything stowed in the dinghy yet be able to immediately go for a row without taking things out.
On a small boat you need positive flotation. This is typically put under the stern and bow seats. There are two problems with this. One is it prevents stowing the mast and sprit under the seats which I wanted to do, and the other is that if the boat gets flooded the flotation will keep it from sinking but just barely so. It can be impossible to bail the boat. On the new dinghy we built foam flotation into the floor of the boat. We also put a drain plug in the floor. This not only makes the floor flat, but if the boat floods it will rise and drain sufficiently to let you bail the rest.
I like to row and sail the our dinghy and the new dinghy was optimized for these activities. Here are the issues I wanted to address and how we addressed them.
When the boat was delivered there were several things not quite finished. When I fiinish this work I will post more photos showing how it all works.