SEA SPRAY TEST
This article appeared in Sea Spray in November 1957. The issue featured Zephyr #6 on the cover. Author J.P. is John Peet, a close friend and collaborator of Des Townson's.
THE ZEPHYRThe Latest One-Design ClassJ.P.
At a time when yachting adminstrators look with justifiable concern at attempts to introduce new classes, the Zephyr monotype, less than a year old, shows every sign of developing into one of Auckland's strongest classes. While there will always be attempts to introduce new classes, success depends on whether a new boat will fill a definite need and, of equal importance, whether it has the backing of an efficient organisation.
There is no doubt that there has been a long felt need in Auckland for a good monotype, particularly in recent years when ownership has come within the grasp of the majority of yachtsmen. The introduction of the Finn proved the answer for some and for those in a position to consider Olympics they are very fine boats. However, to the average Saturday afternoon yachtsman they have several disadvantages.
Realising that a smaller boat was required, Des Townson designed and built the prototype Zephyr finishing just in time for Tamaki's boat show. The interest shown in this little boat was phenomenal and it was immediately decided to go ahead with the idea of forming a class. Throughout last winter the boat was tested under all conditions and a few minor alterations were made. The two skin and rib construction was changed to three skin, while the sail area was increased slightly.
The Tamaki Yacht Club then applied to the A.P.Y.A. for sponsorship and the first batch of hulls was constructed. Former Q class skipper Bill Moyes completed the first boat and the very high standard of his workmanship set an example which has been invariably followed.
It should he explained at this stage, that all hulls are built by, the designer and are supplied sanded ready for painting with deck-beams, gunwales, carlings, centre thwart and posts permanently fitted. Besides making the boats very easy to finish this ensures that the hulls will remain the same shape. With sails cut strictly to one pattern and with spar sizes, weights, mast position, etc., controlled, the class is as near as possible to a one design. Hulls are built in batches of five, and with everything cut from templates Des Townson is turning out a first class job in a remarkably short time.
At the end of last season nine boats were racing at Tamaki in the mixed 14ft. and under fleet. While the aim is one design racing the little Zephyrs put up some grand performances against the larger two and three man boats. Rarely was a Zephyr not in the first three to finish.
Zephyrs are delightful little boats to sail. Surprisingly stable, they plane readily with sheets slightly eased. Most owners use a Finn type mainsheet system making reefing a very simple job. However there is no doubt that the fittest man who can keep the sail on will win races when it blows.
To date 30 hulls have been delivered and many more ordered. Owners are supplied with finishing blueprint and restrictions, measuring being done by well known X class for'ard hand Tom Blackie. Many top skippers have joined the class: Helmar Pedersen former Danish Olympic rep., Owen Pickford former Cherub champion, Neville Thom X class, Basil Thom Z class, Len Clark Q's and David Newell Frostbites, to mention a few.
One of the most pleasing features is the number of yachtsmen who have not been sailing for some time and who will now be afloat again. It will be good to have such men as Don Winstone, Tom Townson and Norm Beatson back in the fold.
Anyone wanting information should contact the secretary of the Tamaki Yacht Club or phone Mr John Peet.
Zephyr Class Rules 1957
The class shall be known as the Zephyr Class and shall be sponsored in Auckland by the Tamaki Yacht Club Inc.
It is the endeavour of the sponsoring club to restrict the hull form and sail plan while allowing certain freedom of finish and equipment The following specifications should be read in conjunction with the supplied finishing, blueprint
Hull: All hulls shall be built on the one mould and shall be supplied with deckbeams, gunwales, carillons, centre thwart and posts permanently fitted. No alterations to the hull as supplied shall be permitted.
Deck: The deck shall be of marine ply not less than 3/16th in and glued down.
Beading: Beading shall be fitted to the gunwales and carlins. External beading shall be not less than 3/8 in. thick and must not extend beyond l 3/8 in from shell.
Coamings: Coamings and mast collar to be fitted as shown on blueprint.
Case and Mast Step: To be fitted as shown on blueprint (Strongbacks permitted.) Note positions marked on supplied hull.
Floor Battons: At least two per side glued to hull. 1 3/4 in. x 1/4 in with total length of 20ft.
Rudder: Design optional.
Plate: Design optional within sizes shown on blueprint.
Mast: Blueprint sizes are maximum. A tolerance of 1/4 in. under the sizes shall be permitted. Minimum weight 12 lb. stripped.
Boom: Blueprint sizes are maximum. A tolerance of 1/4 in. under size permitted. Minimum weight 7 lb.
Rigging: Two side stays and one fore stay shall be fitted. (No further rigging permitted.) The halyard shall be capable of being operated from the cockpit and shall in no way be connected to the boom. Chainplates for sidestays to be not more than 6 in. forward of main deck beam
Main Sheet System: Optional.
Sail: Strictly to pattern lodged with Boyd and McMaster sailmakers. No alterations permitted
Buoyancy: Minimum two cubic feet distributed approximately fore and aft.
The following shall not be permitted: Spreaders, trapezes, sliding seats ,splashboards, additional decking, ballast, revolving masts.
All boats shall be finished to comply with the spirit and intentions of the above rules to the satisfaction of the appointees of the Tamaki Yacht Club.
Certificate of Ownership: A certificate shall be issued to all boats complying with the above on payment of 10s. measuring fee. This will be cancelled if the boat is sold, is altered, or is allowed to fall into disrepair It will be re-issuabIe at the direction of the committee.
Change of Rules: No change of rules and restrictions shall be made unless:1. Notice proposing a change has been given to the Tamaki Yacht Club in writing and signed by six owners.2. Details of such change together with relevant details have been circulated to all registered boat owners.3. The proposed change has been approved by two-thirds of the registered owners.
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