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If you don't need a one-design racer or well-established design, then you could build nearly any sailing dinghy.
And note I've never seen anything that folded or nested that I would consider to be a showstopper.
Well mate, if ya wanna match the van aesthetic, you'll want one of the Bolger bricks, Puddle Duck Racers, or other boxy designs.
Seriously, I don't think a really yachty dinghies will match your van, as the latter is fairly plain on the outside and not fancy on the inside unless it is a Westie.
Personally (and I drove two different '69 poptop Westies for years) I'd go for an attractive boat and not worry about the aesthetic.
These craft were all the rage for small performance sailing in the 60's on both coasts and especially lake sailing. Popular Mechanics had all sorts of plans for small plywood sailboards and they are an absolute blast to sail. Thorne , yes my Van is a Westy, fully re-done interior in birch ply, with all the camping goodies including the factory tent! Your making my point, everyone with fond memories of these VW busses is going to have a great story to tell you about their families or neighbors sunfish and a day on the lake!


It actually has great ergonomics for a boat it's size allowing the sailor to sit comfortably on the large deck with feet lower in a foot well. The Sunny sail can be set so the boom clears the sailor and there is no need to duck the boom on tacks. I too repaired a neighbors Sunny and sailed it for 6+ yrs, It was wet because wew were continually intentionally capsizing it! Finally all the dinghies mentioned need to be sailed to stay upright and they are capable of capsizing, in the event of a capsize the Sunfish is a very safe boat, just flip it up and sail it dry. I definitely modified her - built S&G, handles, motor mount, floatation chambers, and I redesigned her as a nesting dinghy.
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Partially for it's mode of construction and partly the aesthetic would match the vintage of my van. Sunfish was on the top 10 best designed products of the century in an Industrial Design mag. I dragged one of those in worse shape than in your picture out from under a neighbours deck when I was 12 and rebuilt the thing!


Atkin has some nice little flat-bottomed sailing skiffs that would be suitable to the aesthetic and time period that you're talking about. A sailing rig could easily be added, and less paint with more varnish wouldn't hurt her looks. Use it to sail by yourself, as a dinghy to get to your big boat or to teach your kids how to sail. I really appreciate seeeing alll the lapstrake suggestions, they are truly beautiful boats, but they are different then what I m looking for. It sailed well, but the sail was olive canvas and evry time I dumped her I had to try and right about 50 lbs of wet canvas. I am thinking Sapele plywood Sabot in bright finish with true mahoghany thwarts, spruce mast, bronze hardware.



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