We had a thread some time back that I really miss, about the history of the planing dinghy. It had a lot of information, especially about the New Zealand Patikis, (sp?) that I haven't run across elsewhere. There was also a WoodenBoat magazine article that seemed to reference the thread, but mainly credited Uffa Fox, if memory serves.
I think the first planing hull we found was one Bruce Taylor brought us, of an 1891 sailing canoe. But it wasn't until Uffa Fox entered the sailing canoe competition that the international competition in sailing canoes came to be dominated by planing boats.
The earliest American type of planing sailboats to show well in the yachting scene were the inland lake scows, which made the sandbaggers look slow. We still race them, mainly in the Midwest.
Here's an example:
Not the oldest class of scow, of course. That would be the A scow, the invention of a Norwegian immigrant to Minnesota.
From the White Bear Boatworks site:
Scows are different from most V-bottomed planing dinghies -- they don't slow down when they heel, in fact, if you're sailing to windward, you should heel them. A Scows, with a Portsmouth Yardstick of 63.1, are faster than any other non-foiling monohull I know of, and faster than most multihulls.http://www.whitebearboatworks.com/History.html
The Birth of the “Inland Scow”
Overnight, J.O. Johnson became self-employed. He rented a building on the site where the White Bear Boat Works now stands, and started work on his new design. At that time, he didn’t know how to draft plans, and this new boat turned out to be 38 feet long with square ends and a centerboard. Unlike the other deep-hulled, heavy ballasted boats usually raced in inland waters, Johnson’s scow had a radical dish design so it could skim across the top of the water. A centerboard provided stability.
When the Yacht Club called one of their regularly scheduled races in 1896, and with a minimum of preparation, Johnson entered his new design. Johnson’s boat looked so different that all his friends laughed and teased him saying, “It looks like a slice of bread” and “It looks like a scow”. This jeering was short-lived, however, as the Johnson Scow not only lapped the fleet, but was home with the sails down by the time the second place boat crossed the finish line.
The C Scow rates faster than a Flying Dutchman, even though it's 300 lb. heavier, carries about the same amount of sail upwind, and doesn't have a spinnaker.
Uffa Fox designed planing dinghies that could perform well to windward in a chop, based on his work with the aircraft industry and its float planes and flying boats.
I suppose the future lies with foilers, but there's some pretty interesting history here.
I'm wondering, was there an ancestral Norwegian type that is not widely known, or was Johnson totally original in his thinking?