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Melges 14 2019 Leaderboard

Phoenix Marine bring an International 14 back to life

by David Summerville 28 Feb 04:00 PST
International 14 renovation by Phoenix Marine © Sharna Dryden

Phoenix Marine are proud that International 14 1503 is being displayed on the Allen Brothers Stand (C82 in the Great Hall) at the 2019 RYA Dinghy Show.

Sailors Tristan Walker-Hutt (Zhik UK Sales Manager) and Tom Clayton (Allen Brothers Design Engineer) required an upgrade to their 15 year old boat 'Fawkes'. "We bought the boat for £1650. It was in need of a lot of love, but just about sailable. We thought this was a great opportunity to get into the modern International 14 fleet at a good price!" said Tom.

The total scope of the upgrades by Phoenix Marine included replacement of alloy wings and associated structural sections with carbon fibre, in addition to hull/spar re-spray and finishing in our facility/spray oven.

When it comes to a boat that is manageable, the International 14 is pretty much as fast as you can get in skiff sailing apart from the 18ft Skiff. With an older hull but an updated rig, the power-to-price ratio proved irresistible as Tristan explained: "One of the benefits of carbon construction is the longevity and keeping the boat fresh! The reality with 14s is, as long as they've been well looked after, they're nearly as stiff as the day they were made and this boat is a great example of that. We've pulled the rig tension on hard and everything has been rock solid. David and his team have carried out an amazing job. The work Phoenix Marine have done really has brought the boat up to modern specification. We can't wait to get out and sail it now!"

All of the work was done in Phoenix Marine's Hertfordshire facility, including stiffening/clear coat of boom, removal of lead system from hull, removal of measurement bumps and re-build of chines, in addition to achievement of class minimum weight of 70kg.

Structural work to the hull was undertaken and alloy wing bars, forward aero bars and lead correctors were removed. All hull and spar surfaces were fully prepared prior to spraying in our spray oven.

60mm carbon tube was readily available in 2 metre lengths for the wing bars but the aero section forward bars were determined to be not commercially available. Phoenix Marine made a plug and mould in their Lincolnshire mould shop using the existing alloy bars, and subsequently moulded the forward aero bars in carbon.

This mould shop also builds carbon fibre and GRP panels and components for such illustrious marques as Ferrari, Lola, TVR, Reynard, Brabham, Vector, Triumph and VW, to name but a few.

The hull and deck were sprayed using Durepox, which is renowned for its low drag properties. The chosen colour was Nitrous Blue. The cockpit was also sprayed with Durepox in Grey. Spars and pole were fully prepared and sprayed using Awlcraft 2000 Clear.

Phoenix Marine would welcome any similar projects from sailors who aspire to jump into the ultra-high performance International 14 class with an entry level budget of £5K - £6K.

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