Dyer Dhow Fleet

Mystic Seaport currently has more than 50 Dhows, of which 48 are sailed regularly, giving the Museum the distinction of having the largest fleet of Dyer Dhows in North America. The Dhows are used year-round for teaching sailing to the local community, as an integral part of the Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp, and in the racing series. Each Dyer Dhow is named for the yacht club, family, or individual who generously donated it to Mystic Seaport. It is through these generous donations that the Museum’s sailing programs have continued to teach hundreds of people annually–young and old alike–to capture the wind in their sails and enjoy their time at sea.

2023 Dyer Dhow Derby

The 2023 Dyer Dhow Derby will be held on October 21 at 10 a.m. Registration is free to the yacht clubs, sailing associations, and individuals who have donated to or supported the Dyer Dhow fleet. The race is also open to all; there is no fee for an individual to register or for the use of a boat. There is a suggested donation of $20 from individuals to help support our sailing programs.


10:00 Registration at sailing center

11:00 First race

16:00 Return to sailing center dock


There will be a small gathering/awards ceremony at the sailing center after racing.


To register, email Liz at Elizabeth.sistare@mysticseaport.org or call the Sailing Center at 860-572-5369

Sponsor a Dyer Dhow

Do you love to sail Dyer Dhows and are interested in adopting one for a worthy cause? Mystic Seaport, in support of its many community sailing programs, is looking for generous individuals and/or clubs who would like to sponsor a Dyer Dhow.

Help Keep the Dyer Dhow Fleet Afloat

The Mystic Seaport Dyer Dhow fleet is always looking for improvements and maintenance in order to keep the dinghies operable for years to come. Monetary donations are helpful in keeping the fleet afloat. Funding is used for new sails and continued maintenance of the fleet such as new paint, new rails, new thwarts, or other needs. If you are interested in donating to the Dyer Dhow fund, please contact 860.572.5365.

Dyer Dhow History

Located in Warren, Rhode Island, The Anchorage, Inc. has been building boats named after the company’s founder, Bill Dyer, since 1930. After creating the now classic 10-foot Dyer Dink, the most famous of the Dyer line of dinghies–the nine-foot Dyer Dhow–was built in the early 1940s manufactured out of plywood.
During World War II, Anchorage was contracted to supply lifeboats to be carried aboard small minesweepers and PT boats. Dyer Dhows were the boats to answer this call to service. Used on the Pacific front, Dhows were used as rescue units when ships were attacked. Stacks of Dyer Dhows were dropped into the water over shipwrecks to allow survivors safety until they could be rescued. Anna Jones, granddaughter of creator Bill Dyer, describes their early uses during wartime:

“The government (War Department) came to my grandfather, Bill Dyer, during WWII and asked him to build a boat that would fit in nine-feet of space and hold nine men. The original 9’ers were plywood and were used on PT boats during WWII. I have pictures of them being loaded on the big transport planes. I also have a picture showing nine of our men standing in one out here on the [Warren] river and it was still floating. About a year or so ago, I had a call from a customer who told me that when he was stationed in the South Pacific during the war they used to take a boat and rag a sail on it and sail around. That’s where he learned to sail.”

In 1949, the first fiberglass sailing dinghy based on the version of the Dhow used during the war was built. While not the first boat ever built of fiberglass, the Dhow is the oldest continuously-built fiberglass boat in production today. The nine-foot Dhow was followed by the 7′ 11″ Midget and the 12 ½’ Daysailer. Dyer also makes the Glamour Girl, a launch or utility vessel, which can also be found at Mystic Seaport and as part of the Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp and Community Sailing programs.

A versatile boat, the Dyer Dhow’s “hard chine” flat-bottom design offers great stability perfect for teaching sailing to all ages. Dyers Dhows can hold up to four people or approximately 650 pounds. Dhows are not just sailboats; many people use them as rowboats or powerboats as well.

Dyer Dhow Derby

The Dyer Dhow Derby is an annual fall regatta held in honor of the yacht clubs, sailing associations, and individuals who have donated to or supported the Dyer Dhow fleet at Mystic Seaport. Registration is free. Come race a Dyer Dhow and show your support!

Dyer Dhow Fleet Sponsors/Vessel Names

1. Cruising Club of America
2. American Yacht Club
3. New York Yacht Club
4. Riverside Yacht Club
5. Mystic River Mudheads
6. Indian Harbor Yacht Club
7. Norwalk Yacht Club
8. Off Soundings Club
9. Wadawanuck Yacht Club
10. Essex Yacht Club
11. Larchmont Yacht Club
12. The Corinthians
13. Ida Lewis Yacht Club
14. Ram Island Yacht Club
15. Stonington Harbor Yacht Club
16. Fishers Island Yacht Club
17. Eastern Connecticut Sailing Assoc.
18. White Mist Jr.
19. Masons Island Yacht Club
20. Pequot Yacht Club
21. Thames Yacht Club
22. Breeze II
23. Press on Regardless III
24. Watch Hill Yacht Club
25. Baldwin Yacht Club
26. Eddie Maxwell
27. Stamford Yacht Club
28. John P. Sherwood
29. Stonington Dinghy Club
30. Dave Rayner
31. Smith Cove Yacht Club
32. Billie Palmer
33. Posh IV
34. Mystic Corinthians
35. Jim Blackaby
36. Stonington Small Boat Association
37. Hamburg Cove Yacht Club
38. Pat Chew
39. Jim Conlin
40. Groton Long Point Yacht Club
41. Ballerina
42. Anderson Island Irregulars
43.Bill Bell
44. Arrow
45. North Cove Yacht Club
46. Gowrie Group
47. Lisa
48. Lissie
49. Lisa de’Vat
50. Go for it Tom
51. Donzo