Saturday, December 26, 2020

New Plywood Cherub Build

These photos of a plywood Cherub build in New Zealand crossed my Facebook feed. A plywood Cherub is a rare beast. As is the fashion these days, most Cherub's are built of more exotic composite materials. New Zealand, the home of the famous Kiwi designer, John Spencer and his Cherub class, has seen a recent revival of the class; the class being moribund since the 1990's. As I've mentioned, buried in an old post; I raced one weekend in an English Cherub regatta in the 1970's. (Back when the design fashion was a deep V carried all the way to the transom.) I've always had a soft spot for these 12' double-handers (the original single wire, wide Cherub, not the two wire, rack version the English cooked up to compete in their Portsmouth handicap racing).

This blog has sprinkled various Cherub antics throughout posts over the years.

This build uses 4mm plywood throughout. Minimum hull weight is 51 kg.

On the jig

Minimum frames, double bottom.

Carbon Tube for Pole Launcher.

Hull complete. Fitting rudder gantry.

Typical flat hull sections of an assymetric-powered skiff.

A modern Cherub upwind in max power conditions.

Addendum April 2022

For a modern day source of Cherub plans, Alan Roper writes:
"In regards to the cherub it depends what you want .Greame Hill has a hull kitset I have designed. ...There is another boat I designed to he built of stitch and tape system and there is another one built of conventional methods. The latter 2 have paper plans.


Andy said...

Nice find - I see Volvo Ocean Race winner Mike Sanderson is behind the new commission, and a certain Dean Barker won their first regatta this year! The UK rules Cherubs are somewhat different,and are much more like mini int14s,2325.0.html

Boatmik said...

There is a lot of building and restoring activity in New Zealand.

A new ply with some carbon design from Dan Leech, whose plywood kit OKs have been doing very well at international regattas.

Looks like a class act.

Thor said...

Hello Rob, first of all amazing work. I write because i'm searching for my next project, i'm built a few small dinghys like sabots, lobsters and pirates, right now i'm loking for something more chalengging and fast to sail and a skiff, like 29er, international 14ft or the javelin. The 29er is built under license, so it's out of the eucuation, can´t find material on the International 14ft, and what i have found on the javelin i not neraly enought. I was about to give up when i saw one video of the Cherub sailng. So far i found the plans of the hull, some reference of the false floor (just enought), rudder and daggerboard and some general schematic of the sails, but i can´t find any references of the rig. I was wandering if you know where i can get something about it. (i don´t mind buying the entire set of plans, just don't know where)

I'm from Chile (south america) , so finding some Cherub in the near area to get an idea of the rig is quite dificult.

Great work



P.S. : sorry about my poor english, not my language.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thor,

The cherub design rules as used in Australia and NZ can be found at But associations have active Facebook pages where people will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Search 'Cherub Sailing NZ' and 'Australian Cherub Sailors'.

Would be amazing to see a Cherub built in Chile.