National 12

General Boards => Boats => Topic started by: National 12 Webmaster on May 22, 2008, 03:16:14 AM

Title: N2403 China Doll
Post by: National 12 Webmaster on May 22, 2008, 03:16:14 AM
The life of N2403 China Doll. Design: China Doll, designed by: Phil Morrison in 1967
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: paul turner on March 27, 2012, 03:43:07 PM
After several years of intermittent emails and a chance meeting with Nick Hoar at the 2012 Dinghy Show, I collected China Doll from Ranelagh SC on Saturday 17th March 2012. The collection of the boat proved to be somewhat problematical as Nick had forgotten that it was the Head of the River Race Day and we had to wait several hours for the front of the club to be cleared of rowers, spectators and merchandise tents. We then had to move out of the storage nearly a dozen assorted rescue boats and dinghies before we could get to N2403 which was slung in the roof with two boats underneath her! It was a very long day; started out at 08:00 and China Doll finally arrived in Breaston at 20:30!

Nick tells me that he had acquired N2403 originally to make certain that such an important boat was saved for the class; he has been very dedicated to this end and has never sailed her! The only time she was to be sailed the mast fell back when being rigged for an open meeting and wrecked the front bouyancy tank. The fact that she has been stored safe and dry for a numebr of years has preserved her and she is excellent condition (subject to having a new front tank fitted!)

Having owned two Wyche & Coppock China Doll copies (N2524 and currently N2487) I shall be interested to see how the original compares on the water; a brief inspection leads me to think that the lines have been slightly altered in the copies. Whichever goes the best I still think the China Doll is the prettiest N12 design!

I am in touch with Phil Morrison; his email follows.
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: paul turner on March 27, 2012, 03:44:25 PM
From: Phil Morrison
Sent: 24 March 2012 10:48
To: Paul Turner
Subject: RE: N2403 China Doll
Hi Paul, I apologise for the delay in replying but I have been a bit snowed under with work at the moment and your mail slipped down the list.
I am very interested and pleased to hear of your intentions toward China Doll, when I have a moment I will dig out what information I can find for the old girl.
She is, I guess, very significant in so far as she was the first racing dinghy I designed.
Her original colour was Wedgewood Blue hence the name, yes the paint came before the name. It’s a long story. Wedgewood Blue has a proper number and everything and was specially mixed for an architect friend of mine (a guy I had been crewing for some time a few years earlier).  He had had the paint prepared for his new boat but then got a job overseas and passed the building slot to another friend who wanted Red. Hence I obtained the paint at a discount and combined with the “chined” nature of the design suggested the name. phew!
I would be interested to see some photos of the boat as she is now and maybe able to point you toward her original livery. I can also see if I have any old photos in the loft. Keep in touch and feel free to chase me up if you don’t hear anything in the near future.
Regards Phil
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: paul turner on April 10, 2012, 01:43:57 PM
From: Phil Morrison
Sent: 29 March 2012 16:38
To: Paul Turner
Subject: RE: china doll pics
Thanks for the photos. It all looks pretty much original as I recall; though no highfield shroud levers and associated blocks. The black bullseyes are original. She would have had a brass keelband, but I guess that was changed to plastic to save some weight. The mast gate is not dead original as I think it has been extended; may have been after it got damaged. Small block at front of centreplate not original; as are the (repair?) pads over the plank lands. I’ve no idea what the cleat in front of the mast gate was for or even if it was there and not too sure if the jib tracks were original but too long ago to remember.
There maybe a very faint circular indent (mini headlight size) in the transom (stbd side?) where Hugh Welbourne ran into the back of me when in a hurry to get to Cheddar reservoir J
I attach, sadly a rather out of focus photo of Pete Wargent and I about to launch CD at the old clubhouse in Pvensey Bay (building on the left). The guy in focus was a passer by. At least you can get an idea of the colour and see the position of the name which would have been cut out of white “Fablon”
On the transom would have been “Pevensey Bay” On the port side and a small “Pevensey Viking” (a small cartoon character not dissimilar to “Hagar the Horrible”) on the stbd.
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: grazz on April 10, 2012, 09:02:43 PM
Photos below
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: grazz on April 10, 2012, 09:03:05 PM
More photos below
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: paul turner on November 16, 2012, 01:52:05 PM
A brand new bow tank has now been fitted but after sailing China Doll at the TVSC open meeting in September, at the Gill Meeting at Ripon in October, and in subsequent class racing at TVSC various structural problems have surfaced:

1. The starboard shroud lever pulled out of the hull and the port side deck fell apart - these and other minor problems have now been sorted courtesy of Tim Gatti.

2. A major crack in the planking along the centreboard has appeared; the involutary and sudden bouyancy test proved the rear tank to be sound, unlike the new bow tank!

3. The starboard deck hass now cracked!

More work for the winter!
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: paul turner on April 17, 2013, 01:28:47 PM
China Doll has been to Paintcraft for planking repairs and has been resprayed in original Wedgewood Blue; the work now starts to get her ready for the Burton - new toe straps, dangley pole, pulleys and carbon boom await fitting. And the centreboard rattles in the case! The decks will need stripping next winter - side decks require epoxying and the foredeck has a quick "once over" to keep the water out for this season. Should be ready for the Burton! Px
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: paul turner on June 22, 2015, 12:12:19 PM
Email from Martin McCaffrey:-
Hello, Paul.
I thought the following may be of interest, as you are the current owner of China Doll (so pleased to hear she’s fit and well).
I am a past N12 sailor and a former owner of China Doll. I am just about to departs for a week’s holiday to Falmouth take in the J class regatta and the thought of returning to Falmouth reminded me of having sailed a Burton Week down there in the mid 70s and during an on-line reminisce I came across your site. The Burton in question must have been 1975.  I was sailing China Doll and won the Admiral’s Cup in her. I owned the boat for 3 years, sailing with a good fleet at Pevensey Bay Sailing club. She was bought from fellow club member Tony Tomkins and sold to another member, Brian Archer who also owned a lovely clinker Whisper called Chocolate Smartie. I sailed all 3 Burtons during my ownership, at Falmouth, Weymouth and Llandudno before leaving the sailing world for a while to go motor rallying.
I also crewed for Laurie Green in Whisper (or Whisper 7 as she then was) at the 1974 Burton in home waters, and we were thrilled to get a 4th in the Plymouth Cup race during that series.
Amongst my peers on the water were Phil Morrison (no intro needed), Andy Street (later Merlin R champion) and Peter Marchant (owner of the first Windfall,former Cadet world champion, for whom I crewed and later Squib champ).
As a collector, I hope that any parts of the ownership ‘jigsaw’ regarding your ‘fleet’ might be of interest.
Kind regards,
Martin McCaffrey
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: gbr1918 on December 19, 2016, 11:05:34 AM
At NWN Week,2015 (Overy Staithe SC)
Title: Re: N2403 China Doll
Post by: apip on February 15, 2021, 04:51:42 PM
Is this boat still sailing?

I owned her for a couple of years sometime around 1990, when I got her she was a complete wreck after my uncle bought her for me for Ł20 around the back of a pub. He didn't even know the type of boat, just liked her lines and thought she was too nice to be rotting away. Anyway with a couple of summers of hard work I got her sorted out and back sailing again. Some nostalgia for what was my first boat led me to finding this page and adding my bit of story!