We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

In Festival Boats 2021

Designed by Bill Dyer and built at The Anchorage boatyard in Warren, RI, our little boat, hull number 299, was one of the last wooden Dyer Dhow Midgets built, before they switched over to fiberglass boats. The fiberglass versions are still being built today. We have been unable to find any other wooden Dyer Dhow Midgets anywhere, so we think this may be the last one still in existence, though we’d love to be proven wrong. This is the smallest of their boat designs, called a Midge, Low-Sheer, all of 7’9″ long by 48″ abeam and built shallow so as to fit on the deck, under the boom of a bigger sailboat.

She was shipped to Ledger Marine Charters in Seattle in March of 1951. Ledger has changed hands since and unfortunately don’t have records of her, but we have a letter from The Anchorage to the previous owner, written in 1985, giving some of the boat’s history. We restored her in the spring of 2020. She hadn’t been in the water for more than 20 years, but thankfully still had all of her original parts (rope rub rail, dagger board, mast, boom, and rudder). I sewed a new sail from a Sailrite kit and have been sailing and rowing her on Lake Union in Seattle.

She’s named “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat” for obvious reasons, and in honor of Jaws, which was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, where our family has lived for many years.