Boat of the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show

James Boyd Photography /
We get the guided tour to the new Ellway 6 Aardvark-built Cherub
Thedailysail’s boat of the show, aside from obviously the Invictus C-Class in Alexandra Palace's main entrance foyer, was the silver-painted Ellway 6 Cherub on the class’ stand at last weekend’s RYA Volvo Dinghy Show. Hopefully we aren’t so shallow to be saying this because the boat was silver-painted, but we were not alone to spot the irony in the Ellway 6 speedster, from a class notorious for its home-builds, was well finished and immaculately painted, while the main attraction on the International 14 stand, a Ting Tong 1 design, was home built, albeit an interesting design its own right (which we'll look at next week). Known as Eleanor, Simon Jones and Dean Ralph’s Ellway 6 is a development of the very similar Ellway 5 Cherub, the former built down in Banwell, North Somerset by Mike Cooke’s Aardvark Technologies, the latter by Bloodaxe Boats in Cowes. The Ellway 5 was the first generation Cherub to go ‘skinny’ in order to properly adopt a T-foil rudder. This is a similar route the 14s went down when they adopted T-foil rudders however as Cherub class measurer Tom Kiddle points out: “because we don’t have the beam restriction at the mid-point, our are skinnier and so they are a lot more twitchy.” In terms of hull shape the Ellway 5 has a harder chine, while the 6 sports more rounded sections and should be more of an all-round performer. The Ellway 6 is available from Aardvark Technologies in either GRP or carbon fibre versions, but to date only the latter have been built. Some nice features of the boat are the carbon fibre tapered struts supporting the racks, which have 18ft skiff-style ‘wheelie bars’, the racks extending beyond the aft strut by around 0.6m. According to Kiddle “this one has the longest of the wheely bars because,