The National 18ft class is experiencing a revival of interest with publication of a new book about the class
- The History of the National 18' Dinghy written by Brian Wolfe - see more details here and
- the launch of a new Phil Morrison design hull at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
Built by Ian Teasdale at the 'Boatyard at Bere' in Devon the new hull has been described as a cross between an RS400 and a Mark 8 International 14.
Using all equipment transferred from the current championship winning boat, this hull is to be trialled in Ireland and the UK before the Class decides whether or not to accept it, probably at the AGM in July next year.
Bosham sailors are expected to get a chance to test sail the new boat over a couple of weekends either at the end of April/early May 2014.
The National 18' was first introduced in 1938 following a design competition organised by the then YRA (now RYA) and Yachting World magazine. The well-known designer Uffa Fox won the competition (over the Laurent Giles submitted version) with his 'Ace' design for a clinker-built wooden boat. Although most early boats were built to the 'Ace' design, the class had always been 'restricted' rather than 'one-design' and boats with a reduced number of wider planks were built when glued plywood construction was adopted. Current GRP hulls were built to a 1960s design by Ian Proctor.
Now the Class mould is unservicable, and a group of interested owners believe it is time to move on and have funded this new venture. The new Morrison design has already generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm in Ireland, and if accepted, will be another step in the continuing story of one of the very few three-person racing centre-boarders still available.
-- edited & adapted from article by Gerald New in Sailweb www.sailweb.co.uk