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fleet racing


According to T.J. Vaughan, who wrote the definitive book on the International 14 class from 1928 to 1970, " it is certain that these Fourteens of the late 1920's and 30's were some of the finest examples of boat building craftsmanship ever produced in the world."

What makes this particular 14 so special is that it is believed to be the oldest surviving boat in existence from the famous Clare Lallows Boatbuilding yard in Cowes. Lallows is celebrating its 150 year anniversary in 2017.  

We have two International 14's for sale for restoration. This one is K298 Isle of Wight Sailing Club no 1 which was designed by C.N. Nicholson and built by the Lallow of Cowes. It may well have been the winner of the Island Team Trophy in 1936 and again in 1938, as it was one of two similar boats made at the time, the other IoW SC 2, I can't be certain which was the winner. See Uffa Fox International 14 here.

International 14's were among the first of the truly planing dinghies and opened up an popularised the sport of fast and competitive racing.  The first competition for International 14's in the UK was held in 1927 Prince Of Wales's Challenge Cup. The POW as it became known was keenly contested each year after that, and as this was a development class of dinghies each year the leading designers would modify and improve their designs to gain advantage over their competitors and friends.   

In 1933 there were 20 International 14's built and 35 raced in the POW cup that year at Lowestoft Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Sailing Club  . The winner of the POW in 1933 was R.I.P. 267 helmed by Stewart Morris. C.N. Nicholson (Camper Nicholson's) built 5 that year compared with Uffa Fox's 7, and Morgan Giles's 3. Stewart Morris would go on to win Gold Medal in the Swallow Class at the London Olympics directly after the war in 1948.

1933 saw quite a lot of change in the class. The sailing plan was Bermudan rig. The early bamboo spars had been replaced by aeroplane spruce.  The year before the kicking strap or boom vang had been introduced, and the first halyard winches inside the mast. The standing rigging was getting more complex with the so-called bird cage rig which had three sets of spreaders, jumpers etc. had been developed by Uffa Fox to allow for a larger job that overlapped the mast. So 1933 was a year where the design started to settle on a new direction in rig development and this required a new technique of sailing upright as the new planning boats needed to be kept upright to gain their maximum speed.  The sail area was 125 square feet at the time. The only way to keep them outright was to lean out ( it was not until 1937 that the first trapeze was used). 

1933 was also a seminal year, as it was this year that the 'International' was put into the International 14. The big names in British sport at the time Sir John Beale and his son David Beale, Charles Nicholson, Chris Ratsey, Mrs Richardson, G. Prout had challenged the Canadians and Americans to a regatta matching the different classes of 14 dinghies from each country to race each other. The conclusion of this regatta established the British design as the best with Britain beating Canada 3-1 and the Americans 3-0.

The construction of Isle of Wight Sailing is Mahogany planks with the many fine ribs made from Canadian Rock Elm. The knees are grown oak. The transom is also of Mahogany.  The hull is made from double skin of diagonal inner planks with outer longitudinal planks/strakes. The fastenings throughout are copper rivets. The Sails are for this boat and are cotton and are a second set made sometime in 1950 by the famous classic sail maker Ratsey specifically for this boat, so are absolutely original. The mast and spars are unfortunately not with the boat.  

The boat represents a very important evolution in the design of the pre-war International 14 

and is therefore collectable from a quality builder of C.N. Nicholson. It has holes in its hull that will need new planks to be put in as replacement. It is in need of sympathetic and expert restoration, with the best quality materials to bring it back up to sailing condition. 

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