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Zhik 2021 New Season LEADERBOARD

Stories from the N12 Fleet - Isolation Renovations and Refits

by George Finch 31 May 2020 22:09 BST

The National 12 is a restricted development class which means there is essentially an endless amount of tweaking and bimbling to be done. One of the unintended consequences of the current lockdown has been rapidly increased progress on a few on-going N12 renovations and refits.

We are pleased to present a few of the N12s that have been given a refresh during lockdown:

N2123 - Sparklet - Paul Bristow

N2123 is a 1963 Sparklet design which has been totally rebuilt with a modern twist. It has been stripped back to just the bare hull with a new centreboard case added, so that it can take a wider modern foil. The hull has been stiffened with ring frames made from the old centreboard case sides. The overall weight has reduced, with the removal of side seats, and the old heavy framing deck frames being replaced with new western red cedar. Alongside this, a new Superspars M7 mast and boom have been rigged with adjustable shrouds and forestay. New HD sails in dacron and a carbon dangly pole have also been added.

Not knowing exactly where to set mast, a long mast gate and Superspars mast foot have been added, which along with the adjustable shrouds and forestay should enable enough movement to get it all in the right place. And yes, no T foil because that is too much phaff!

N2832 - Paper Dart - Martin Clarke

All the fittings were removed and bagged up, giving Martin the chance to think control lines. He decided to keep it simple but efficient. He has run the outhaul to under the boom near the onboard end with a 4:1 purchase. Similarly, the downhaul has been adjusted to 4:1 and is led to the back of the mast on a swivel cleat. Lastly the kicker is now a cascade giving 16:1 and led to centreboard box casing, using another swivel cleat. New toe straps have been added too.

The Hull has been rubbed down and repainted and the decks have been sanded, with some epoxy filler added to some surface cracks and then repainted. The cockpit and front bulkhead have been rubbed down and repainted. The wooden gunwhale strips were removed and sanded down and re-varnished.

The rudder stock and tiller were sanded to bare wood and re-varnished, with the rudder blade refinished and repainted. The hull and decks and rudder blade are incredibly smooth having been sanded down through the grades from 400 to 5000.

Martin bought another N12 before Lockdown, so N2832 has just been sold to a new owner!

N3307 - Crusader - Neil Cardno

My daughter and I have been sailing the family Mirror for a few seasons. I was on the lookout for something a bit faster and more challenging at the start of this year, when I spotted National 12 3307 - "Ultra 12" - being offered free to a good home in Cumbria.

The previous owner had sailed her on Windermere for a while, but for the last few years she had been languishing at the bottom of his garden. I towed her to her new home in Northumberland and she went straight into the garage for a full inspection.

The paint and varnish were all in quite poor shape. There was a hole in one of the side-decks where the boat had blown off her trolley during the winter gales and landed upside-down on a stone wall. There was also an area of delamination in the floor of the hull, where the end of the trolley cradle had almost punched through the floor.

On the plus side, there was no rot anywhere and all the equipment was there and in good condition. The rig and control systems had all been fully sorted by someone in the past and the sails were in pretty good shape.

I work at our local NHS hospital which has been quite challenging lately thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. It has been very good therapy to spend some evenings working on restoring the National 12. Doing something creative is a great way of clearing the head and maintaining a positive outlook.

The N12 has had a full strip-down. The hull repairs were completed first and then she has had a full repaint and re-varnish. My daughter insisted that the boat was painted lilac! The foils got a bit of tlc and she was easily rigged up again. We are now all ready to go and can't wait for Derwent Reservoir SC to re-open. Hopefully, it will be safe to get out on the water and give her a whirl before too long.

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