Well they made it! Three 12ft Skiffs successfully unloaded from the container and tucked away in their new home.
The three 'Woofs' where packed into the container on the day after the prize giving of the Interdominions in Wellington, New Zealand. Despite the hangover and the debris from the formal initiation into the class the night before, we managed to pack the 3 hulls, 6 bowsprits, 12 masts, 36 sails, oh and one road trailer in to the 40ft container - it's amazing how they soon fill up. We shut the door, snapped the customs seal on, and headed for the airport - job jobbed.
Ten weeks later the container finally arrives and the endless paper work and bureaucracy begins - talk about archaic systems! Still, we finally had the OK to empty the container and we arrived last Thursday at 8am on a wintery morning at the Thamesport docks in Kent.
The unpacking was easy, apart form the slight issue of the trailer having a different size towing hitch (in NZ it appears that they use 1 7/8', which is slightly smaller than our 50mm towballs). Still some dockside ingenuity sprung in to action and we where soon homeward bound.
12ft Skiff - Design Source by Paul Mackintosh from Woof shell - Courtesy 12ft Skiff Association
Design - Woof (mod)
Builder - Paul Mackintosh
Design Source was built by Paul Mackintosh (aka Macca) using a Woof shell built onto decks that he designed himself. The boat was skippered by Paul and crewed by Ken Fyfe (of Fyfe sails), and as such has a pretty extensive sail wordrobe.
Winner of the Leander Trophy in 2002 and 4 times winners of the Leander Masters, Design Source has a solid racing record and is well regarded in the 12 fleet as being a fast and solid machine.
12ft Skiff - Nice Action, Woof design, built by Ctech - Courtesy 12ft Skiff Association
Design - Woof
Builder - Ctech Composites
This boat has a significant history and racing record. Built by Ctech in Auckland for its owner, Alex Vallings (aka Ginge), the boat was originally called Smit Miller, and won the 2001 Interdominions (aswell as being featured in some of those crazy videos).
Later on in life, that boat changed ownership to Hamish Hey and its name was changed to Nice Action. Hamish then took this boat to victory in the 2005 NZ National Championships.
Being built by Ctech, this boat has Ctech carbon everything, and is widely regarded as one of the fastest and best-built 12's in New Zealand.
Brand new - as yet un-named
12ft Skiff - New build by Shane Young at Ctech - Courtesy 12ft Skiff Association
Design - Woof (mod)
Builder - Shane Young/Ctech
Built by Shane Young at Ctech in 2007 using the 'infusion' method (this is where you force the resin into the cloth under pressure), this boat although based on the Woof hull shape, departs from the traditional 12 in a number of ways. It sports tubular racks, a retracting bowsprit with single large kite bag, and an experimental over-rotating carbon wing mast, making it look surprisingly different from the average 12.
This boat also has a very sexy clearcoat-finished hull. It will be interesting to see how some of these developments pan-out over the coming season (especially the wing mast!). 12ft Skiff UK Events 2008
Weston Grand Slam March 22nd / 23rd
(BC) Rutland 12 and 18 Foot Skiff event April 26th / 27th
(BC) Weymouth TBC
(BC) Datchet 12 and 18 Foot Skiff event TBC
(BC) Torquay Regatta August 23rd / 25th
Summer 2010 UK Tri-nations Championships - Royal Torbay Yacht Club - dates to be confirmed
UK website - http://www.12footskiff.com