Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Header Photo: Australian NS 14 Down the Mine

The previous header photo was the Australian, two-man, NS 14 dinghy "going down the mine" off of Anderson's Inlet, South Gippsland Yacht Club, Inverloch, Victoria.

The NS 14 is an indigenous Australian development class; a two person hiking, no spinnaker class. It is 4.27 meters (14') long and 1.8 meters (just under 6') wide. Those who have read Frank Bethwaite's High Performance Sailing know that Frank's first forays into dinghy design experimentation were in the NS 14 class and that his successful NS 14 designs were the basis for his one-design Tasar.

The 1960's NS 14 fleet.

Six older NS 14's were imported into the San Diego area around the new millennium and when that effort of fleet building stalled, one or two were brought east, specifically to the West River Sailing Club, with transplanted Aussie, Tony Arends owning one. Sadly I was never around the club when they showed up and missed the chance to take one out for a spin. West River SC already had a fleet of Jet 14's so the NS 14 was again a non-starter in the United States. I'm not sure what happened to the boats.

Some more photos culled from the Internet:

The somewhat smallish 9.3 sq. meter sail plans features the now de rigueur square-top (or nearly a square-top) main. The fleet uses a very deep over-rotating mast for more power.

The NS 14 has the modern, double bottom, full draining interior.

To save weight the reverse sheer profile is very "humpy", aggressively turning down at the stern.

Our impressive duo from the header photo, après pitchpoling.


Alden Smith said...

I absolutely love that red boat in your new header photograph, what design is that? It looks like a great shoal draft day sailor for someone like me who is a 64 year old boat nut!

The 14s you feature are very interesting. I saw two yachts when I recently raced in our Coastal Classic (one calle Mojo) that looked like 40 foot versions of these 14s, reverse sheer and all - they looked and were very fast.

Dieharddinghysailor said...

I love those NS 14's - almost as much as the Merlin Rocket....!

I wonder how they differ in performance, given that the Merlin would be heavier but sports bigger rig + spinnaker. I prefer the older NS designs, very John Spencer, simple chines, can pick up older ones in Oz pretty cheap. Would love to track one down here in the US.

Whidbey Island

Bursledon Blogger said...

I do like that early 60's boat No 2440

Tweezerman said...


For what it's worth, the Wikipedia entry for the NS 14 lists the RYA PY for the NS 14 as 1028 which puts it faster than the two similar English hiking dinghies with spin, Lark at 1071 and Scorpion at 1040. The Merlin Rocket with spin is rated considerably faster at 985. For two man dinghies without spin, the Snipe is at 1087 and the Albacore is at 1040. So, for a non-spin dinghy the NS 14 is pretty quick.


Yes, the older boats are much prettier. Did you notice the odd trend of the sail numbers going down for the new boats?

Dieharddinghysailor said...

Thanks, Rod. Happy Thanksgiving.!