a class-boat

mO_ok

Senior Member
Lithuanian
Hello,

I would like to know what a 'class-boat' is. I found it in 'Gently Does It' by Alan Hunter:

Across the lawn he could see a dinghy, a class-boat, tacking wistfully against the tide, long, painfully slow tacks amongst the trees, with scarcely enough breeze to give it headway.

Here Gently is invited to have dinner with a bloke who likes pricey possessions. I know that boats have classes but since no class is indicated, I'm a bit confused. Would it mean that the boat is 'cool'? Or something else?
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Another word for stylish is classy.

    But the presence of the hyphen between class and boat makes me wonder whether it means, for example, an A-class dinghy (or B-class dinghy), which refers to the specifications and size of the boat when used in races.

    (The sentence I saw on the internet was written classboat, which I have never seen before. This also makes me think it was a particular type of boat.)
     

    mO_ok

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    Yes, this is why I wrote here: I'm not sure if 'class' here stands to define some stylistic or functional characteristics. Maybe, if there are no dinghies without any class, 'a class-boat' indicates that the vessel has one?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    In the text I saw it's written 'classboat'. Clearly it's a sailing dinghy. I looked at Wiki articles but I'm none the wiser unless somehow it means a proper sailing dinghy not one of those little rowboat ones.
    What 'vessel'?
     

    mO_ok

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    Well, in the edition I have it's hyphenated. By 'vessel' I tried to indicate the 'class-boat', is it not?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    A class-boat. It belongs to a racing dinghy class: Firefly, GP14, Enterprise, etc. It's not just any old dinghy.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I spent a lot of time racing sailboats in my younger days. To me, a class-boat refers to a sailboat of a specific racing class. That means* it is designed and built to certain specifications so that, in a race, all boats will be as identical as possible and the winner will be the best sailor. For example, this Wikipedia page describes the Soling class of sailboats. There are several classes of dinghies in this sense, such as the Tech Dinghy** described on this page. We don't know what class of dinghy Hunter is referring to here, but I'm fairly sure that's what he means.

    ______________________
    *In larger boats, the classes may be general specifications of length, sail area, and complex calculations involving several measurements, but that wouldn't apply to a boat as small as a dinghy.
    **The name comes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where it was designed in the 1930s and where it was first raced.
     
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