Building and Measurement

Stitch and glue Heron hull under construction

Stitch and glue Heron hull under construction

The National Heron Sailing Association Measurement Committee can be contacted on

Read Peter V’s instructions for modifying centreboards to meet the 30mm minimum forward lower corner radius rule here

Optional Floorboard and Rear Thwart Removal – Motions to allow optional removal of the rear thwart and floorboards from the Heron were carried in September 2019.  Revised by laws including these changes can now be accessed from the Building and Measurement page.  Changes to the Measurement Form will be carried out shortly.  Guidelines on floor strengthening after removal of floorboards can be found here.  

Herons can be built in timber using stitch and glue or traditional frame construction.  Plans for timber construction can be obtained by completing a Heron Plan Order Form

New fibreglass Heron hulls can be purchased from Dinghy Sports in Sydney.  Dinghy Sports can also supply Heron foils (centreboard, rudders) and aluminium rudder boxes.

The Heron hull, rig and foils are controlled by rules to ensure even competition.  These rules are contained in the By Laws (last amended 18 October 2023).  Measurements that interpret these rules and further explanatory notes are contained in the  Heron Measurement Form (version 1122 issued November 2022).  Boats must demonstrate compliance to these measurements through assessment by a registered measurer prior to participation in State or National competition.

Click on the following links to find drawings and dimensions of foils from the Heron plans:  Centreboard  Rudder

Click here to find a list of the members of the Measurement Committee and Measurers in each state (as at 9 February 2020).

Click here to find plans to construct a cradle for your Heron

Here are some hints and tips for building a stitch and glue Heron

Here are some hints on cutting ply accurately when fitting side tanks

A Heron building instruction booklet was released in around 1967.  It was originally written for construction of Bennett Kits in the U.K. but contains helpful information for building a framed boat.

Follow this link to find an article on construction of an automatic jib pole launcher by Steve Watts.  Here is a another detailed article on making a self launching jib pole by Paul Armstrong (Qld)

In 1964 the Melbourne Sun published a series of eight articles on building a Heron, written by Bob Ross in consultation with legendary Heron builder John Botterill.  Here they are!
1.  Build Your Own Boat 
2.  Let’s Get Started
3.  From Plans To Frames
4.  Setting Up The Frames
5.  Facts On Fairing
6.  On Goes The Skin
7.  Decking Her Out
8.  The Spars, Boom and Gaff