100 years of Ian Proctor at RYA Dinghy show

Topper Ian Proctor's 'Topper' dinghy has sold over 46,000 models. Image courtesy of 17beavers/ Wikipedia
Industry Database

100 years' of accomplishments by designer, sailor and writer, Ian Proctor, will be celebrated at the RYA Dinghy Show 2018.

Visitors to the show will be able to see some of his earliest designs including the Gull, Minisail, Osprey and Wayfarer in an exclusive exhibition.

“Ian Proctor was responsible for designing so many of the dinghies that we still sail, cruise and race today,” commented RYA show and promotions manager Celia Edgington. “We are delighted to not only showcase some of his best loved innovations but to share the insightful stories surrounding the history of his life.”


Born in 1918, Mr Proctor began his boating career as MD of Gosport Yacht Co in 1947, before moving to become co-editor of Yachtsman magazine in 1948.

He first began to design dinghies in 1950 and notable vessels have included the Topper, an 11ft long sailing dinghy, of which more than 46,000 models have been sold.

First designed in 1977, the polypropylene-constructed vessel was made to be light and durable and is believed to be the first sailing dinghy to be produced from injection moulded plastic.

Also notable is the wooden or fibreglass-hulled 15ft long Wayfarer dinghy created for stability with the first of many variations launched in 1957.

Interested in metal mast design, Mr Proctor set up Ian Proctor Metal Masts, which used tapered aluminium alloy masts that could be produced with a bend in them to complement the shape of new sails with curved edges.

Adding to his writing career, from 1950 to 1964, he was the Daily Telegraph’s yachting correspondent.

Mr Proctor died in 1992.

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