Lex Nicol, did he ever create any stock plans?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Corley, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I've seen a few Lex Nicol trimarans come on the market from time to time but there seems to be nothing online as far as details on his designs were they all custom one-offs? As far as I know Escapade was one of his designs are there any others?
     
  2. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    I am not an expert but Lex was more into racing than cruising and as such kept designs moving along. His boats included

    Devils 3, a 31 ft Bay racer that made a Twiggy look like a battleship Hired Hand, Escapade and a sistership, a couple of cruising cats (a mate owns a 42 footer that circumnavigated) and an infamous one that I can't recall. There are some more too.

    Nicol got out of designing and building boats after there was a huge fallout over the rating of the boat I can't name (I forget). The boat was measured at a heavy weight, got a good rating and somehow was lighter when sailing.

    I think he was Hedley Nicol's nephew.

    I saw Hired Hand burn up in about 1990. It was very sad.
     
  3. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Escapade had the lattise truss type cross beams yes ? She was in Freo sailing club for a while but the last time I saw her (2009?) She had a for sale on her, not sure if she is still around. Sweet boat, nice proportions. Was she also Mooloolaba Fire Truck ?
     
  4. Mari0n
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    Mari0n New Member

    Lex Nicol

    Lex lives in Yeppoon Queensland and is on facebook. You could contact him direct. Try AN Nicol
     
  5. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Escapade had glass beams. The Space frame beams were on some of Lex' other boats. Fire Truck was a very different boat from Escapade. She had no sisterships I can recall. She was alloy whereas Escapade was glass.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  6. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Does anyone have any decent pictures of any of Lex's designs? There is not much around on the web here is a picture of Tekin from 2006 and Devils3 from the early Brisbane to Gladstone days. Here also is Saracen the 1976 Brisbane to Gladstone winner and Cheetah one of his 42' Catamaran designs.
     

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  7. boatbuilderbris
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    boatbuilderbris Junior Member

    its nice to see some interest in the old tris hope this imformation helps
    myself and the current owner of cliffhanger are setting her up for a new campain to gladston which she blitzed in 1980 the tri is foam/kevlar over an alloy frame she is 3.2t in wieght and still dangerously fast at 42ft overall
    no problem with any of the alloy substructure as cliff fraser did not skimp on materials
    benbolt for sale in wa
    escapade for sale
    devils 3 for sale
    saracen for sale qld

    all cheap and by the look of it in good condition
     
  8. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Do you have any photos of Cliffhanger to share? It would be great to see more large tri's contesting the race.
     
  9. boatbuilderbris
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    boatbuilderbris Junior Member

    lex nicol re:c&c shipwrights

    yes corley we have photos of cliffy and her upgrading over the past few years
    we also look after "la dane" and have been involved with "white bird".
    lex as far as i know was a one off man and after the 1980 contraversy gave it the flick. i am also sure that shuarn arbour and lex would not be in touch.

    cliff fraser was the builder of cliffhanger and all the sub structure is of aircraft alloy (note how many de haviland boats are still around )

    his next boat "nudgee budgie" im not sure about.

    however "cliffy" has traveled world wide and has been through many transformations and is still at 3.2t as strong as a rock with six beams only holding a maximum load of at point of 250kg lex got it right.

    i could go on forever but you get the picture and we will forward the pics on as soon as the boss can work it out

    if you are truly interested and want your ear talked off 0419771338
     
  10. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I've had a chat to Lex on the phone about his boats and design ideas in many ways his designs were way ahead of their time and he was pushing the limits of what materials at the time were capable of. I think he best encapsulated his ideas with the statement that there is no point building a boat that is too heavy if you want to win.

    Has anyone ever sat down with these guys and written a proper biography? I know Jim Brown is doing the outrigger project with a focus on American Designers and Gary Baigent has written an excellent history of racing boats in New Zealand has anyone recorded the history of Australian designers and multihulls?
     
  11. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I've encouraged both Lex and Alan Nicol to get their stories to Jim Brown's Outrigger project if nothing else. They really don't have a equivalent of the Mariners Museum over there. There is much to learn from all the Australian designers and builders that hopefully won't get lost .
     
  12. boatbuilderbris
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    boatbuilderbris Junior Member

    older tris'

    i would love the alloy skeleton forms and lofting plans for cliffhanger as in these more modern times and use of composite materials.

    however in the very competitive world and based on the start of the 2011 multi hull race from brisbane to gladstone race in very light air .
    i would not right off the earlier compeditive tris

    the raiders and boss racing were at times pointing 8 to 10 degrees but in big airs who knows.
    we have been 18.5 in 23kt on the side of a scwall with the old rags up ,new sails 'new crew.
     
  13. boatbuilderbris
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    boatbuilderbris Junior Member

    sorry about the double up

    out on cliffhanger to day and with new sails and some messing about we are about 1knt of the wind at 28 degrees pointing

    also i have discovered that the design is called a preditor 12 and 5 have been made. one was living in the brisbane river until a few years ago but had a flush deck and a ckicken coop on top. no idea about its ,or the rests current status (still trying for pics)
     
  14. frase
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    frase New Member

    Hi, I am sure my ol' man could probably help you out with photos from the eighty's of cliffhanger and Devils both of which he built, still remember as a child going on Devil's first sea trial on a squally Moreton Bay, for its time was extremely light and fast, original racing weight was around 3200pounds and only undercoat to boot, my cousin always talks of a night in Sydney to Mooloolabah race in Cliffhanger hitting 32kts under full sail, Dad always new how to drive his boats.
     

  15. frase
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    frase New Member

    Hi, I think the name of the trimaran was 3up( Three up) and the sistership to Escapade was Le 'rose, not sure on spelling but this I think was built by Lex's brother Glen who also crewed on Cliffhanger for a few ocean races.
     
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