“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The 505 Dinghy – Some Early History

Bob Dutton and Malcolm McKenzie on port tack lead from the Downham brothers in the 505 Winter Championships at LM. They finished 3rd & 4th respectively.

by Richard Crockett

I am able to trace back reference to the 505 tow-man spinnaker trapeze dinghy to records of mine in the late 1950s, and was surprised to learn that there were active boats racing in Rhodesia, Nyasaland and even Kenya before here in good old RSA.

When I dug a little deeper and broader than my archives, I found that it came to life in 1953 with the class achieving international status in 1955 – some 67 years ago. There was evan an all-Africa 505 Championship in Kenya in 1961.

The SAYRA Nationals at Allemanskraal in 1964 made reference to “D MacKenzie in his 505 “Pepe’, was first in the development class”.

In early 1965 I have reference to the first fibreglass 505 coming off the Boat Locker’s mould. The first completely South African built fibreglass built 505 was launched at East Rand Yacht Club in the first quarter of the year and was owned by Arthur Saul.

Arthur Saul’s new 505 admired by yachtsmen before the boat was launched at Victoria Lake Club, Germiston.

The 1965 again reported on the 505 as sailing in the “O” class, and Club news indicated that six HMYC members were expecting to take delivery of their 505s before the year ended.

In November 1965 the first “505 Class News” was published in SA Yachting magazine, reporting that there were 30 registered boats with the Class. The Class Honorary Secretary was George Duffin. Our sport was run well when he was Secretary of SAYRA back in the day.

In August 1966 the Class was recognised by SAYRA.

The first 505 Nationals were sailed as part of the National Regatta in Durban in 1967. The winner was Maurice Dobeyn, followed by Bob Jones and Bruce McCurrach in third spot.

All the above is very much a sketch of the early days of the Class.

More another time, so in the mean time enjoy the selection of pics.

505’s get away to a good start in fresh weather, with Peter Cooke of Kenya (KK 733) in a good position.
Doug Alison and Dave Williams, obviously tinkering with a new boat.


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