Fred Bingham learned to sail not long after he learned to walk, and learned woodworking soon after--from whittling out wind propellers at the age of eight to building a 36-inch sailing model at the age of 13. In his youth, Bingham sailed up and down the New England coast in his father's 76-foot schooner Rhodos. He built, rigged, and sailed a couple of skiffs and then a Snipe, in 1931.
In the 1930s he owned his own boatshop, building to the designs of Charles MacGregor and others. His output ranged from International 14s to a 42-foot cruising ketch. He and his wife, Vivian, now live in California, where he enjoys a brisk business selling plans for his popular Allegra pocket cruiser and his Trifle dinghy.