Friday, January 16, 2015

Is the Melges 14 a Clone of the Australian NS 14?

Melges 14


One of my readers says that the Melges 14 is "close enough to be a clone" of the Australian NS 14 dinghy. Apparently some of the NS14s are sailed single-handed with mainsail only.

What do you think?


Luke said...

I always thought the Taser was a clone of the NS14

Bruce Taylor said...

And the 29er?

Bruce Taylor said...

It's difficult to pin it down to a particular NS14 design as there are so many. For those that dont know, the Ns14 is a development class, so in their heyday, designs changed each season. The MG14 is the Spinnaker/trapeze version of the NS.

R1 said...

NS14 looks like a Merlin Rocket to me, which is also a development class.

As a single handed dinghy sailor, are you not tempted to have a season or two in a Finn before you go to the big regatta in the sky? I know I do despite being too weedy. Maybe you have already got that t-shirt.

Tillerman said...

No R1 - never sailed a Finn. Haven't even seen one for years. There was one which used to race in the handicap/pursuit races at Rutland Water as I recall. I think the owner was the father of one of the UK Finn hotshots at the time.

I just checked out the North American Finn Class page. Looks like they get about 20 boats out at the NAs and US Nationals these days. A couple of guys I know there. Only a couple of boats in New England at the nationals by the looks of it. If I bought a FInn I would probably be sailing around on my own most of the time.

Boatmik said...

Just look through google for pics of NS14s. The hull is different but the extended gunwale even goes far enough forward on the Melges to carry the non existent shroud tracks used on the NS14.

even pinched the bridle which has been standard on NS14s for decades. But moving the rig forward (cat vs sloop) means the bridle is in the middle of the cockpit.

It is a bit of a skin deep copy - deck mould, plumb bow. Can't see enough of the hull detail to see if they have the hull shape refinements as the NS14 is a development class. The wide stern makes me think of a few of the boats from the late 1970s.

Or all NS14 images on google ...

R1 said...

I guess Finns are more popular in the UK due to the number of people at the top of the international fleet. There's one in my club and it looks great fun to sail. Trouble is, I could buy 2 new Lasers for the price a decent used Finn.

Is it only the sales videos, or are all these new-fangled 14ft single handers designed to go downwind only? Going fast upwind is important too, isn't it? And how about a little comfort while we're doing it? That could get me out of a Laser. There's a design challenge. And one that looks to be solved by a Finn perhaps. Could we have a Laser sized Finn with a planing transom?

Tillerman said...

R1, I sailed the RS Aero in a wide range of wind conditions at Minorca Sailing this year and it goes upwind just fine. My impression was that the sharp bow on the Aero slices through the chop better than a Laser does, and that the Aero hull shape deflects the spray better than on a Laser. And I have to admit that the hiking position is more comfortable than on a Laser. I didn't get the chance to sail it alongside a Laser upwind but it didn't feel any slower upwind to me.

I guess the videos like to show them sailing off the wind because that is more spectacular.

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