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Messages - John Sears

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General National 12 chat / Re: Norfolk Week 2018
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:56:23 PM »
We have entered N2957 for the whole week.
Christine may be available to crew some days.

John & Catherine.

General National 12 chat / Re: Trent Valley GUL Sunday 20 May
« on: May 09, 2018, 09:59:07 PM »
Catherine & I plan to sail Punkawallah at TVSC. She hasn't been out of the garage for 18 months so it is her turn. Slick Chick is awaiting her sails which are due by Whitsun so the Vintage champs look to be on for her.

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: May 09, 2018, 06:41:28 PM »
After many hours in the garage sanding and spreading epoxy fumes in the house Slick Chick is nearing completion. We passed the milestone when she would actually float around Christmas and the mast went up for the first time in several decades in April. Just waiting for new sails and the last few jobs before she can head down to the water.

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: November 18, 2015, 09:42:30 PM »
More pictures from Gerry Ledger, 16/11/2015

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: November 18, 2015, 09:40:52 PM »
More pictures from Gerry Ledger as she undergoes restoration

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:25:21 PM »
7th Picture

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:24:39 PM »
6th Picture

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:23:59 PM »
5th Picture

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:23:16 PM »
4th Picture

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:22:25 PM »
3rd Picture

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:21:19 PM »
2nd Picture

Boats / Re: N1903 Slick-Chick
« on: October 21, 2015, 06:20:01 PM »
Slick Chick is now in the tender care of Gerry Ledger and undergoing the first stage of her restoration. She has enjoyed 6 months drying out in Paul Turner's barn. Gerry reports that this was so succesful she only caught fire twice when he was stripping the remaining paint off with a hot air blower. Apparently dry rotten wood is prone to this. I have posted a few pictures of her taken by Gerry as he progresses.
Eventually I hope to repaint her & fit her out with most of her original gear which I have. This is my "retirement" project, but as I have a few years to go before I stop work I may have to do a bit in my spare time.

Boats / Re: N2957 Punkawallah
« on: May 12, 2015, 12:51:30 PM »
Punkawallah had her first outing since the repairs at TVSC last weekend. A succesful day in which Catherine & I managed to win all 3 races. No problems experienced so all is well now.

Boats / Re: N2957 Punkawallah
« on: April 03, 2015, 06:02:42 PM »
Punkawallah is fully repaired now, thanks to Nigel at Paintcraft. One side is shiny, the other nicely conditioned by 37 years of use. She is back in her usual resting place, hanging under the garage roof awaiting her first event.

Boats / Re: N2769 Barrow Boy
« on: October 28, 2014, 08:46:23 PM »
N2769 was my 3rd N12, purchased new from David East in 1974 in the middle of the fuel crisis of that time. The first batch of Paper Darts made in 1973 impressed everyone with their speed and "off the peg" tune. David East and Clive Robinson came 1st & 2nd on points at the Weymouth Burton week.
I had a pretty 7 plank China Doll (N2515) before which served me well but the smooth finish of the Paper Darts promised a performance increase. My father generously offered me a new boat so we ordered her at the end of the season. David made a change to the stern buoyancy tanks to increase their volume. The first batch of Darts needed small inflatable bags to supplement their stern tanks.
Unfortunately this change plus the effect of the cold winter on the GRP resin made her overweight which was dissappointing. In hindsight the teak gunwales and thwart were extravagently heavy. They did make the boats more attractive than a completely plastic shell yet were simple to maintain with teak oil.
She was called "High Stakes" because of the price hike we had to pay as the oil crisis and VAT increase drove up resin prices. In fact she performed well and was easy to sail, with similar charecteristics to the China Doll design she was based on. I finished in the teens at her first Burton week at Pevensey Bay in 74. The following year at Plymouth Burton week, sailing with Mark Pillat, we had a couple of purple races finishing 2nd and then 1st after overtaking Gavin Willis in the latter. This hauled our overall standing up to 8th overall and put us in the Winning Gypsy Trophy team from Trent Valley SC. I also won my first Open meeting in her at Rudyard Lake. Needless to say I was pretty pleased!
The Paper Darts were slightly overshadowed by the Cheshire Cats which appeared in 1974. Mike Jackson's design, with its deep fine bow and flat rocker was radical and effective. The battles between Chris Edwards and Clive Robinson were epic but the Cat and its successors held sway as the decade progressed.
The hulls were built by Paul Wright on the East Coast. He also built Javelins. The build quality was high and the fact that Paper Darts are still giving service 40 years later is testimony to his standards. As the minimum hull weight of 12's reduced, hand laid thin skin GRP hulls became uncompetitive and the Dart's successor, "Scooter" was not a success.
I decided to have a go at 12 design in 1977, commissioning "Paws" to be made by Jo Richards in my parent's garage. "Paws" tried to combine China Doll sections with the Cheshire Cat rocker profile. Her bow was just a bit too fine (Prismatic coefficient wrong!) so she was prone to nose diving but she had wonderful speed to windward in light and moderate conditions. Once I felt she was quick I sold "High Stakes" to Richard Langford (of Noble Marine) in 1978. He sailed her at Nottingham SC with his son for a couple of seasons before taking up windsurfing and now the RYA. I think he sold her to Mike Barron.

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