Hadron H1 dinghy by Keith Callaghan
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The HADRON H1 Dinghy (formerly known as the HADRON).

Hadron H1 is a singlehander dinghy designed in 2011. Although the market is full of singlehander dinghies, the search is still on for a singlehander which will fulfil the requirements of the experienced dinghy sailor who is perhaps, like myself, getting on a bit, but who nonetheless demands good performance, and without too much pain. In other words, the boat must have impeccable handling characteristics, be comfortable to sit out and to sit in, easy to right after a capsize, and of course be a joy to sail. Just like a Merlin Rocket.

The boat is of 4 plank plywood construction, and is specifically designed to be easy to build. Complete boats and a kit of pre-cut plywood parts are available, or full size drawings of the building frames and the major plywood parts (including the planks) can be purchased (click on "purchase plans" link above). The plans include a CNC cutting model.

Kit boats from boatbuilder Simon Hipkin: from £4100.

Complete boats from £7370.

Prices shown include alloy spars, exclude sail.

Principal Dimensions:

Length over all4.27 metres
Length on waterline4.20 metres
Beam1.95 metres
Hull weight
(inc centreboard, ex rig)
80kg
Sail area 10.0sq metres
Portsmouth Number approx 1065

Nominated for the Yachts and Yachting "DINGHY of the YEAR" award 2014

" An extremely well-mannered boat which was very comfortable to sail while still giving the performance to put a smile on your face"

"A brilliant handling little boat."

Tom Gruitt, Yachts and Yachting Magazine, Boat Test, November 2013.


As at December 2016, 27 sets of HADRON H1 plans have been sold.


Steve Dunn helming HADRON, the first Hadron H1. Planing at Alton Water, Suffolk. Note prototype rig - now superseded.

A lot of thought has gone into making sailing the Hadron H1 dinghy a pleasant and rewarding experience. Here are some of the main features:

  • The performance-orientated but forgiving hull form and rig produces a versatile, manageable dinghy which can be sailed on lake, river or sea, with good performance to windward and also offwind. An easy performance dinghy for novices. Excellent handling and exhilarating performance for experienced sailors.
  • Hadron H1 has a long, low bow tank and aft of this buoyancy is provided by a fore and aft compartment along the centreline. This configuration will ensure that the boat floats low in the water when on its side, thus facilitating righting. The boat floats on its side with the centreboard just clear of the water, and when righted retains a modest amount, which can be evacuated via the transom flaps and self- bailers within a minute or so, even in light conditions.
  • The angled boom provides plenty of headroom for ease of tacking.
  • The large, deep cockpit area and ergonomic side decks provide a comfortable sitting out position, and allows 2 people to be aboard for leisure sailing. The central buoyancy compartment acts as a useful seat in light conditions.
  • The hull has 3 separate buoyancy compartments. One acts as a dry storage compartment at forward end of cockpit for gear and picnic items.
  • Rig controls are led to cockpit sides for easy adjustment afloat.
  • The flared hull, good freeboard and wide gunwhales minimise spray and keep the crew dry in all but the windiest conditions.

Hadron"s sails were designed and developed in conjunction with Michael McNamara. Michael has made several prototype sails which he initially tested on his Harrier dinghy. Note that most of the images on this page show the original experimental rig, based on Merlin Rocket spars. The production rig is based on a Phantom mast from Superspars, with the gooseneck set 300mm above the deck and a "kicked up" boom to provide plenty of headroom.

Over 27 sets of plans have already been sold since this page went live (January 2011). Below you can see images of the building of my own Hadron H1, and its launching on 29 June 2011 at Wroxham Broad, Norfolk. Click on any image to see an enlarged version.

Carl Cramer of Woodenboat magazine has nominated Hadron as his "Wooden Boat of the Week " (26 July 2011).

YACHTS and YACHTING, January 2012 edition (on sale 8 December 2011) features HADRON in its "New Boats" section (page 60). A full review appeared in the November 2013 issue.

Six Hadron H1s are building on the US West Coast. The first of these was launched in early May 2012. See photos of the build progress of the US Hadrons .

A SMOOTH SKIN version of Hadron is now available. It has the same features as the multi-chine version and the intention is that both versions will race together under the same class rules. The Hadron H1 dinghy is being further developed for commercial production in carbon/aramid/foam/epoxy composite. this version is called HADRON H2 - for more details see hadrondinghy.com.

HADRON H1, layout plan - PDF file
HADRON H1, plywood cutting diagram - PDF file
HADRON H1, construction notes - PDF file
HADRON H1, centreboard controls diagram - PDF file

the finished plank #3, laid on the full size plan Scarfing the topside planks The building frames are assembled A laser level is used to align the frames
All the frames are erected Plank 2 and the hog are tested for fit on the frames Plank 2 The hog
Plank 1 (starboard side) Plank 2 (port side) is installed Plank 3 (port side) is installed Plank 4 (port side) is installed
The hull, ready for painting The hull, ready for painting First gloss coat applied First gloss coat applied
Off the building jig at last Transom view Bow view Satisfaction!
progress on the interior bow view - interior stern view - interior Painting of the interior commences
The foredeck beams are in place Decks nearly completed All woodwork completed! All woodwork completed!
Hadron and Merlin Rocket cousin WICKED Hadron Hadron on trailer Hadron on trailer
Hadron is launched The designer sailing HADRON The designer sailing HADRON The designer sailing HADRON
Hadron and Harrier #70 "Pilgrim" Michael McNamara sails HADRON Hadron at Alton Water Hadron at Alton Water
Hadron planing in 12 knot wind Hadron planing in 12 knot wind Hadron planing in 12 knot wind Water retained after capsize
Hadron planing, Mk1 sail and pre-production rig Hadron with Mk2 sail and pre-production rig Hadron with Mk1 sail and pre production rig Dudley Isaac sailing Hadron with Mk3 sail and production rig
Hadron #10, built by Miles James, Abersoch, Wales Hadron #12, built by Alan Hall, Sussex, UK Hadron #21, built by Simon Hipkin, at the RYA Dinghy Show, March 2014 Hadron #21, sailed by her owner, Ian Ogden. Notts County SC, 4 April 2014
Click on this image to see a video of the first sail of Hadron Click on this image to see a video of the second outing for Hadron Click on this image to see a video of Steve Dunn sailing  Hadron. Click on this image to see a video of Steve Dunn sailing  Hadron at Alton Water SC on 6 Nov 2011.

© This site is the copyright of Keith Callaghan. This page was last updated on 21 December 2016 .

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