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Design No. 0130

Built for:  P. J. Ellam.
Builder:  Wootten Bros., Maidenhead, England
Date designed: 1949

Class – Hull Number  Barchetta Class No. 1

Principal Design Data

L.O.A:  19’ 11″   (6.07m)
Datum: 17’ 6″  (5.33m)
Beam Max:  5’ 9″  (1.75m)
Draft: 3′ 7″  (1.09m)
Displacement tons: 0.71
T.M.: 2.49
Ballast ratio: 29.7%
Sail Area: 171 sq. ft
Rig: Bermudan Cutter


Patrick Ellam had cruised extensively in Theta, a 15 sq. metre centerboard sharpie; a sailing canoe in which he had crossed the English Channel on numerous occasions. He concluded that a very small boat could handle open water if handled properly

Sopranino’s size was specifically chosen so that two men, with provisions, could undertake a hundred mile or more leg of a race or cruise in relative comfort, but was still to be such that could be trailed behind a car.  This latter requirement placed considerable restrictions on her size and weight. She was designed to plane and so her displacement was kept as light as possible, but while beam appeared to be narrow for a boat intended to plane it was essential to reduce drag and maintain momentum in the typical choppy sea prevalent in the Channel.

Not surprisingly many of Sopranino’s design features were unique. Some ideas were borrowed from model yacht design; for example rather than merely building a swing or lifting keel the design included a separate rudder hung on a skeg and removable fin and bulb keel, features which were later to become commonplace on the small craft and ultimately yachts of all types and sizes.


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Additional Information

Individual Drawing Copies

Please download and print the drawings list for Sopranino, Individual plan copies cost $85.00 which includes standard airmail. Please contact us using the link for information on how to order.

Download Drawing List

Study Notes

12 page A4 format colour booklet containing many small scale drawings and photographs as well as technical data and an abridged specifications of Sopranino and the Barchetta Class. Construction scantlings of the clinker, cold moulded and strip plank versions are outlined as are the variant rig arrangements.
Included are generic drawing lists for each of the alternative designs and information for clients considering building a new Barchetta or replica of Sopranino.

Model Plans

Sopranino Sopranino

Full set of Stock Building Plans

3175 Sopranino Sail Plan low res

A replica of Sopranino can be constructed from the original 1949 drawings for clinker construction. If preferred using strip plank construction for which full construction, rigging and outfit drawings will be provided, or carvel planking based on the Barchetta class design Number 0154

Poster & Art Prints

Sopranino Sopranino