Thursday, July 25, 2013

1927 Long Island International 14's

I asked Stuart Walker what attracted him to the International 14 class in the first place. He replied that, when cruising with his Dad in his Q-boat, pre WWII, he remembered the beautiful varnished 14 fleet on the dinghy docks of Larchmont Y.C.. According to Stuart, the 14's were club boats, members could call ahead and the 14 would be rigged and sitting in the water when they arrived for a small boat sail.

This was news to me as there was no Larchmont fleet in the 1960's. It turns out, after some research, that northern Long Island shore imported four International 14's from England in 1927, the first of the English type, long before George Ford and the Rochester crowd in 1935 brought over the Uffa Fox R.I.P. Yachting magazine in 1927 mentions four Morgan Giles designs being brought over. William Atkins mentions that in 1928, the Huntington Y.C. on the north shore of Long Island had two English 14's, a Morgan Giles design and an Uffa Fox design. This is an interesting piece of 14 history and ties in with the famous 1933 Seawanhaka Y.C. team races that brought over a team of English 14's and started the International 14 class in North America.

Some pictures from the 1927 issues of Yachting magazine:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Simon Watts building an oldie Royal St. Lawrence YC 14

Master boatbuilder (particularly in lapstrake) Simon Watts of Canada sends along some pictures of a pre WWII International 14 reproduction of one he bought back in 1955. From his email:
"Thought you'd like the latest photo on the I-14 I'm building in Nova Scotia. It's an exact copy of one I bought at the Royal St Lawrence Yacht Club (MontreaL)in 1955. The original was probably built (lapstrake) by W.J.Malette in Ontario about 1937. I suspect the lines were derived from Uffa Fox's Alarm. The old boat is beyond economical repair so I built new. The project will be featured in WB magazine (if I live that long) and I plan to publish plans and a building manual.It will be the sixth and final design in the Six Classic Boats series--you'll find it on Google. All good wishes,"   Simon

Simon asks for some information. Here is what my research has pulled up.

There were at least 15 International 14's registered as being built at the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in the 1938 - 1939 time frame. I talked to Ian Bruce and he feels that they were probably built by the boatwright that Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club employed. (This was not unusual, particularly for the richer Canadian yacht clubs, to sponsor dinghy builds over the winter using their employees.) I also talked to Bruce Kirby and he remembers the first Montreal fleet as being home grown and not as fast as the Toronto Bourke 14's. As far as a Mallette 14, Emmett Smith of the Antique Boat Museum, who has one in their collection, has a record of only four Mallette's being built. My guess is this may be a Montreal copy of the Uffa RIP model that was introduced to jump start the International 14 in North America. It would be interesting for historical purposes to see the lines of the 14 as Simon has drawn up. They may give us a hint at the origin of this 14 design.

Pictures (Simon builds them upright, which I hear is the real way of doing a lapstrake boat):

If you have any more information about the Montreal 14's, add a comment to this post or drop Simon an email:

 simonawatts (with our good friends at)