This RNSA (Royal Naval Sailing Association) type of sailing dinghy was a modified version of the 14 ft One-Design Island Class, designed by Charles Nicholson and Uffa Fox in 1935.
In 1937 the Admiralty adopted the class, with some modifications, specifically to adapt it for use aboard the Navy’s warships. Its purpose was to provide the crew with an opportunity to go sailing in boats other than the heavy service cutters and whalers. The gunter rig allowed the mast and sails to be stowed within the length of the hull itself, saving space aboard ship. Its heavy and sturdy clinker construction made it ideal for launching off a beach.
This class of dinghy was used by the Navy for circa 25 years and was eventually replaced by the fibre-glass Bosun dinghy. These dinghies are still sailed around the UK by the various yacht clubs and Sea Cadet and Sea Scout units.