National 12 No.443

BurgeeSome historical details

The following details about 'National 12 No.443' were kindly submitted by Jonathan Reubin and Mark Tilley after seeing her picture on this website.

N 443 at Cookham

Jonathan Reubin writes:
"I happened upon your club website and thought I would add a footnote to one of the photos in the history section. One shows amongst boats moored to the bank a National 12, No.443. This boat is in my possession. I restored her about 10 years ago and she is sailed regularly on the National 12 Vintage and Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association circuits. If you have a member who owned her then could you pass this on."

Mark Tilley writes:
"I owned N 443 as follows. She was bought for me in 1947; I must have been aged 14. The previous owner was Van Swannenberg who lived at Cape Farewell where the Loddon joins the Thames at Wargrave. She had been kept in this particular water and had a hard limescale inside and out which was terrible to remove. By then the oak ribs had blackened in the bilge. We paddled her down to Townsends at Bourne End whence the Cookham Reach Sailing Club was spawned. I raced her at Cookham and Tamesis Club at Teddington. In Sept 1949, Guy Pearce trailed her to Burnham Week on the Crouch for me. We raced in class D handicap, the smallest boat in the regatta. This was just before I joined Royal Naval College Dartmouth. In summer 1950 she followed me by rail and sailed on the Dart. She returned by rail to Cookham and I raced her there and at Tamesis for one or two more seasons. She was sold and then kept at Minima S.C. With the undecked construction I found I was shipping a lot of water between the top strake and the gunwhale. So it was me who filled this space with a series of light cottonwood blocks. This was misguided, added weight and I expect you will have removed them."


N 443 on The Dart

"Here is a photo of Cygnet sailing on the river Dart in 1950, looking much the same. We also raced in the Henley challenge trophy one year. I remember a very fast return to Cookham after the race with all the weirs open! The deck would have been bad news. For Burnham week I made a canvas one which hooked on to the studs already in place under the rubbing strip. I wonder if they are still there? It worked very well. Waterproof canvas was hard to come by at that time. So I would be interested in the restoration."

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