The NS14 was designed in 1960 by a group of senior members of Northbridge Sailing Club, Sydney. They wanted a high performance class boat which would not demand abnormal strength or acrobatics from its crew.
After some experimentation, the class restrictions were formulated around the successful combination of the New Zealand Javelin Hull and a sail area of 100 square feet. From the original two prototypes the class grew rapidly. Over 2000 boats are registered in the state of New South Wales, with numbers continuing to increase.
Control of the class was transferred in 1965 from the Northbridge Sailing Club to the NS14 Association of New South Wales. The Association is now a National body with state associations active in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and in the Australian Capital Territory.
This popular class has attracted many top flight skippers who have contributed their ideas to make the NS14 the highly developed boat in Australia.
The NS14 is a dingy which is ideal for two adults or an adult and a child. As the boat does not have a spinnaker or trapeze, yet retains high performance, it is ideal for parent/parent/child combinations of skipper and forwardhand. The minimum weight and age rules do not allow for individual advantage in these areas.
The minimum hull weight of 64kg (150 pounds) is light enough for easy on shore sailing, whilst the ample buoyancy allows the boat to be righted and sailing on after a capsize. The crew can be completely independent of the boat on and off (and in) the water. This is a big plus for family sailing, where novice crews are common.
The simple design makes for convenient and easy boat rigging when preparing for racing or family sailing.
The association conducts comprehensive inter-club calendars, the highlights being the state and national championships. The national titles are rotated around the states, giving members an opportunity to sail in various types of waters. Each state also arranges its own specialist series of events, for example a series of events throughout the sailing season may be conducted at different regatta throughout the state. There are travellers trophies and metropolitan trophies.
The NS14 is not a "one design" class, but is a restricted developed class, which allows variations within its simple restrictions. Experimentation with proportions of the 9.3 square metres (100 square foot) of sail has produced a highly efficient combination of jib and main sail, which contributes much of this boats amazing performance.
In hull shapes, expermentation has produced some interesting designs but as yet no one design has proved noticeably superior. The rules prevent exotic materials and radical shapes being used.
Sail area (jib and main) 9.3m2 max
Weight of hull 64kg min
Max height to top of mainsail 5.5m above deck
Beam 1.6 - 1.8m
The boat must pass between two horizontal beams, spread 660mm apart. No trapezes, sliding seats or spinnaker. The boat must have buoyancy to be rightable after a capsize. The complete rules are available from the association secretary.
Each boat must be measured using procedures laid down in the class rules, by a person other than the owner. Most groups of NS14 sailors have appointed measurers who will make the measurements and forward the details to the class measurer. A certificate is then issued for the boat and its sails.
New sails must be measured before a boat may compete in class events. Some boat repairs eg those requiring changes to any ballast weights, will also require re-measuring of the boats.