Handy Andy
An 8' Canvas-Covered Sailing Dinghy
By William Atkin

William Atkin designed Handy Andy in 1924 when we lived in Huntington, New York. Here is what he wrote about this little round-bilged tender:

"Handy Andy is only 8 feet in length but with her generous freeboard and 4 feet of beam, she is a big little boat. By actual test she can carry four full-grown men, and three of the same is a comfortable load for her. Under the urge of a pair of 5 1/2 foot spruce oars she travels easily, she is good under sail, and quite all right with an outboard motor hitched astride the stern board. The construction is light, which is a big advantage in any dink that is to be used with a small cruiser. She will weigh less than 90 pounds with oars and fittings, but without the rig.

"The canvas-covered construction shown in the plans has proved successful in hundreds of thousands of canoes, and, besides being absolutely watertight, is stronger than a lightly built boat planked with wood and not so covered. The building of a boat of this description is not difficult, as the thin planks are easily applied and it makes little difference whether the butts are perfectly fitted because the canvas covering seals the bottom absolutely watertight anyway."

Let me tell you more about Handy Andy. She was the design for the original Penn Yan canvas-covered dinghy, and hundreds of boats were built from this design. They have, in fact, become something of a classic.

During World War II, we were asked by the Winner firm, in Trenton, New Jersey, to prepare a proper dinghy for the PT boats. Billy Atkin pulled out the drawings of Handy Andy, redesigned her after sections to eliminate the tumblehome; and the Winner firm built the boats. When the boats were delivered to the Navy Department, they were delighted with their performance. One of the admirals declared, "It was one of the finest little boats they had ever seen." That is, briefly, the story of Handy Andy.

Large scale plans for Handy Andy are $100
Handy Andy may also be built from The Small Boat Book
We apologize for the inconvinience, but we are no longer accepting orders at this time. The ordering process is in transition.