Banshee (dinghy)

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Banshee Dinghy.jpg
Banshee dinghy
Crew 1
Hull weight 120 lb (54 kg)
LOA 13 ft (4.0 m)
Beam 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m)
Mainsail area 82 sq ft (7.6 m2)
D-PN 93.7

The Banshee is a 120-pound, 13-foot (4.0 m) cat-rigged one-design sailing dinghy with 82 square feet (7.6 m2) of sail. The boat was designed by Richard Reid in 1969. Its Portsmouth yardstick is 93.7 (2008).

Richard Reid had been building Flying Juniors which had been winning races. The Sunfish was out, and Richard thought that there was room for a more substantial mass-market sailing dinghy.

He was a retailer in Foster City, CA. He used the hull shape of the Flying Junior as his model, making a few minor modifications. The first fleets were in Foster City and at the San Jose Sailing Club. These boats were built by Richard Reid himself (his company was known as Marine Plastics.) He began to subcontract construction to Merrysville and Santa Cruz.

Barry Bruch raised venture capital to establish Banshee International, which took over production of the boats (with Richard Reid as VP). They built boats in Santa Cruz (from 1974) and Scotts Valley (from 1982).

An experimental variant, the Griffon, was built by Banshee International. It used very lightweight materials (e.g. carbon fiber), had the same deck, and basically the same hull (with some minor modifications - for example a slightly fuller bow). It weighed 80 lbs. Fifteen were made.

Abbott Boats of Ontario, Canada was licensed to make 500 boats. It isn't known how many they made, or what became of the molds.

The Banshee is a very fast boat. It has over 90 square feet of sail and is much more comfortable to sail than a Laser. There are no basic rigging restrictions. The Banshee cockpit stays dry if you capsize, while also being easy to handle. It is one of the best performing single handed dinghys ever designed. The Banshee weighs in at only 120 pounds so it makes it easy put on a car, trailer, and launch. If you just want to go sail for the day, two adults can easily fit or one adult and a couple of kids.

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