small SigneT line drawing Printed from SigneT Class Owners Association website at www.sailsignet.org.uk

Designer of the SigneT - Ian Proctor A.M.I.N.A.
(12 July 1918 - 23 July 1992)

"Ian Proctor could be blindfolded, have both arms tied behind his back and still be incapable of producing a bad design."
Group Capt FHL Searl, Author of "Inshore Dinghy Sailing" and one of those who crossed The English Channel in SigneTs in July 1963

Ian Proctor designed at least 70 boats. He was awarded a 1967 Council of Industrial Design Award for his International Tempest, which in turn was an Olympic class, with which we often share the water at our Ullswater SigneT Nationals. He was elected Yachtsman of the Year in 1966. For thirteen years he was the yachting correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.

A great plywood dinghy designer (e.g. the North Sea-crossing Wayfarer), Ian Proctor's more recent SigneT went back to first principles in having a flat bottom and a consequently low price.

In Ian Proctor's own words, the 12'5" SigneT is "another extremely simple construction, in which the edge of one component panel gives curvature to its neighbouring panel. It can be built from scratch or prefabricated kits of parts, full size plans of every component and detailed building instructions being available. In this construction the panels are joined by gluing and screwing into a longitudinal member called a chine stringer. The chine stringers (and keel and bilge rubbers) are first fastened to the bottom panel of the hull (flat bottomed); the buoyancy tank faces are then fastened to these stringers, their lower edges forcing the bottom panel into a curve. Transverse bulkheads are added, and a small longitudinal bulkhead aft and simple framework forward completes the curvature of the bottom, which is reinforced by the lower edge of the centreboard casing. The hull is virtually shaped before the sides and decking are added, and all joints are extremely simple to make as there are none with changing bevels (angles). An extremely robust hull results."

The SigneT was sponsored by the Sunday Times, hence the S...T in both the name and the sail insignia, and which often features in boat names for SigneTs. In the first five days after its announcement of the SigneT, the paper received 435 enquiries.

Article by Paul Nicholson.

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