Shellback Dinghy by Joel White
Whenever someone asks us to recommend an ideal dinghy to tow while cruising coastwise, we point to the Shellback Dinghy, designed by Joel White. While the Nutshell prams described elsewhere are excellent whenever there is a length restriction combined with a need for maximum carrying capacity, when length is not an issue the Shellback benefits from a conventional pointed bow. It makes her a bit drier and a bit easier to row when there is a harbor chop, and she is easy to step in and out of, on the beach.
Shellback dinghies look good, and have a lot of room in them. They are remarkably light for their capacity, making them easy to pull up on a beach or put on the roof of a car. They sail very well and tow very well, and are excellent rowboats. While her primary intended use is as a tender, she would be a very practical cartoppable yacht for daysailing and might even serve as a minimalist beach cruiser for one person. Since she was introduced, the Shellback dinghy and her cousins the Nutshell prams, have become the most popular wooden dinghies in our area. They seem to be immune to further improvement, and we recommend them highly.