What’s the Best Beginner Dinghy?

After you’ve finished your training and gained all of your dinghy sailing skills, it’s time for the fun bit - choosing your boat. Make sure you look into which will be the right sailing dinghy for you though, as choosing the wrong boat can mean that sailing feels more like a chore, rather than helping you develop a real love of this wonderful pastime.

There are five main types of dinghy models to consider when choosing which option is best for you:

Training boats 

These dinghies are designed specifically for training purposes. They allow you to slowly increase your learning skills and are simple and safe models - ideal for training purposes.


As the name suggests, these are dinghies that are designed for one person to sail, an example would be a Topper. These are ideal if you are going to be spending time on the water by yourself as you won’t need anyone else to help you control the boat - you can do it all! This will also mean that you’ll get up to speed a lot quicker as you’re doing everything for yourself as you sail. 


If you’re planning to spend your sailing time in company then a double-hander may be the best option for you as it allows for two people to be onboard at a time. This can be ideal if you learn best from watching others or you have lots of questions that you’d like answering when learning different sailing processes. A Mirror dinghy is an ideal double-hander and is very easy to handle.  

sailing dinghies

Dinghy cruising boats 

These models are a fantastic choice for adventurous families who love to sail together and learn as they go. The dinghy cruising boats are designed especially for cruising in a group, so you can all sail together to explore creeks and estuaries. Good examples of dinghy cruising boats would be, the Wanderer, Comet, Enterprise and the GP14.


Dinghies that have one or more hulls are renowned for being fast but very stable - ideal for when you’re learning all about a new skill - such as trapezing. 

With their parallel hulls creating stability - preventing heeling or capsizing, the multihull, or catamaran, reduces the risk of vessel roll at trolling speeds or, indeed, at rest. An obvious benefit of this is that it helps to eliminate seasickness for passengers.

With so many boats to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming to know where to start. The best way to make an informed decision as a beginner is to think about how you want to be sailing - will it be on your own in a Mirror sailing dinghy for ease of use, with a friend for company and support, or with your family for shared experiences? Something else to consider is the type of sailing you’re interested in - perhaps you’re more interested in racing or, alternatively, cruising might be more the pace you’re after. 

Whatever you decide is the right dinghy for you to get started in, a great tip is to try and opt for a boat that is sailed at your club as this will mean you’ll benefit from the help and advice from the other members.

There are many things you need to take into consideration when buying a dinghy, that's why we've created this helpful guide that helps with your purchase.

ultimate guide to buying a dinghy

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