What Nicol do I Own?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by gone2long, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. gone2long
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    gone2long Junior Member

    Good day,

    I am a newbie boat owner who bought what was advertised as a Hedley Nicol design. However, I have not been able to verify the actual design or designer.

    The 12 meter boat is different from the early Nicol designs in that it is a much sleeker build. A Kiwi friend suggested that the boat resembles some of Lex Nicol's designs, and may actually be one of his.

    I have attached 3 photos which I hope will spark some neurons in the brains of conoscenti like yourselves. In one photo, the boat is "spider-webbed" in anticipation of an on coming typhoon, but it still has a tarp over the coach roof, making it hard to identify the design. In the haul out photo, one still cannot see the coach roof but gets a sense of how flush it is to the hull - only 1 foot higher. Furthermore, missing from the transom in the haul-out photo is the "kick-up rudder box", which was apparently designed to allow the boat to be easily beached. A close look at the photo will show the area where the "box" is usually fitted onto the transom.

    In the photo, with the boat being hauled alongside the dock, the short, narrow coach roof is clearly visible, making it an unusual design for a Nicol.

    Please rotate the photos for better viewing (the wife took them : ), and let me know if any of these photos ring a bell. Also, if anyone knows if there are plans available for the design, please let me know, as I need to fix some damage to an ama. Boat is a US home build (not mine) so, apparently, plans are available or have been in the past

    Thanks to all,

    G2L
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  2. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    As mentioned on the plan thread it looks like a Hedley Nicol modified in the build. Any of the 35-40 designs could have been the starting point, looking at the scantlings could point out which one. The flatter section on the stern hull bottom looks more like the run on a Wanderer. You won't fin plans for a custom build so make patterns from the undamaged ama and flip them to use on the other. Looks like fun, it should sail well.
     
  3. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    If you look inside the amas you might be able to tell if the boat started life as a standard wing deck boat before being modded in a rebuild. The tops of the ama frames might have remnants from the wing beams.

    Speaking of beams double check the construction and engineering before you go offshore, especially how the aka/beam ends are tied into the amas. The originals were set up with about a dozen beams used in the wing with a main triple beam under the mast and a double beam towards the cockpit with the rest being singles. They all tied into the ama frames for extra strength.

    Do you have length and beam overall measurements? I'm leaning towards a Cavalier or Buccaneer as a starting point. The Buccaneers tended to be the most modded new builds as Hedley disappeared before the plans were finished. His yard sent out Cavalier construction drawings to guide people but everybody improvised to a certain extent.
     
  4. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    It is not a Nicol. We need some shots from the side but from what I can see the design is a Harris or Kelsall. Much more modern design than a Nicol
    As for fixing damage, you may be better off using more modern techniques. What is the damage?
     
  5. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    We'll have to bet Phil. If I took out the center of my wing and cut off the wing aft of the double beam, shortened and narrowed the cabin it would look the same. Add the stretched stern and there it is. I've sketched that kind of stern before and it looks the same. I contemplated the Bandersnatch/ Crowther treatment on mine but liked the cruising layout. Inside ama construction pics and main hull inside pics would prove it!
     
  6. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Gday cav
    When I bought my first tri I was told it was a Nicol. It took me a few years to work out it was a Piver Nugget. I bought it from the second owner so he should have known. I have seen numerous tris called erroneous names over the years.
    I am on the boat at the moment so I can't go through my old mags but this tri is related to Hedleys boats in that they have three hills and that is about it.
    When we get some more pics we can know for sure. If she is foam I would swing Kelsall but ply could be Harris. She could also be a Cross or Simpson Wild but we need more pics to tell. But there is not one shred of Hedley Dna in her. Look at the float Bow. The floats on the Bucc were finished when Hedley died so why are the floats.nothing like a typical Nicol Bow.
    She is a nice tri and so are Nicols but like my Nugget this tri belongs to. another family
     
  7. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    My money is on a Lex Nichol.
     
  8. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    It's not a Lex Nicol. It will have to be a bet Phil, remember the last time we did this I turned out to be right. Why I think it started as a Cavalier or Buccaneer is because of the higher freeboard than a Vagabond. What is misleading are the camera angles, certainly a profile picture would help as well as the inside shots for the construction details. The designer that lifted those did the Canadian Kismet series.The ama and main hull sections are very Hedley, I'm looking at mine as I write. Take off the cruising cab and cut off the quarter decks with the wing tucks and you have it. I'll try to upload some pics to illustrate the angle.
     

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  9. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Here are some pictures of various models. I tried to pick boats without the quarter deck to show the stern similarity and ama section.

    The Cavalier Chili Magic with a added outboard rudder.

    A Wanderer with a stretched stern shows the flat run of that model. This boat has the short original amas

    A Buccaneer 40 with a unusual demounting ama to get through the Euro canals.

    Another Wanderer showing the long amas that became stock after the Vagabond Mk2 and Cavalier amas proved out.
     

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  10. gone2long
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    gone2long Junior Member

    Scantlings, freeboard profile, etc.

    Pardon the dual response, but this one is a bit more detailed, and may be somewhat more useful to us.

    The boat is supposed to be 40 feet long, a 12m vessel. The cross beams to the amas (forget the proper term for them) are 8 inches wide. Stringers are generally 1x2" and the plywood bulkheads in the amas are only about 3/8".

    Furthermore, all of the photos I have seen do not look like my boat. A major difference is that the main deck and ama decks of my boat slant downward, not upward, forward of the foreward cross beams. I've forgotten the name for this type of hull profile, but it is obviously more of a "racing" design, used to cut windage, and I have not seen that in any of the Nicol designs mentioned. Seems like that takes us beyond the scope of a mere modification, no?

    Oh, also ... I remember reading in one of (I believe) the classic design posts about someone who has a Nicol without fins on the amas. Well that is my situation also. While seemingly designed (an previously used) as a racer, the lack of fins is somewhat strange indeed. She definitely has a hard time going to wind (60 degrees at best).

    Does all this tell us much about which design it could be? Any correlation to one of the Lex Nicol designs?

    Sorry for all the naïve questions, and thanks for your insights,

    G2L
     
  11. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Good point about the sheer Hedleys boats had reverse sheer.
    Do a Google.image search and type in Kelsall trimaran. The Tango looks similar as does the Harris tris. All I will do is Google image search so you may as well do the same.
    As for fins. Hedley boats had low aspect fins. Does your boat have a board?
     
  12. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Let's just use this one to avoid repeating. All the Nicols have the reverse sheer you describe, I didn't post a picture that shows it.

    Many Nicols have the ama fins removed and depth added to the main hull keel. Mine did. If there is no keel either the boat was meant to be set up with a centerboard or daggerboard, several Vagabond Mk2s were built that way. Renegade in Australia and Drumbeat in New Zealand are 2.

    The 3/8" ama frame is stock for the Cavalier and Wanderer designs. I could confirm the design with a picture of the ama interior as well as the main hull interior. And a side view, the ama bow would tel us a lot. This boat isn't a stock design but one that has been modified. The pictures will show if it was modified after building or set up that way from the beginning.

    Lex used aluminum for beams on foam boats, yours is double diagonal ply, yes? If it was built to take those beams from the beginning I would think it started as a Buccaneer 40. There is another one built in California that had the beams set up in a similar fashion.

    Cabin size is easily adjusted, on his plans Hedley just offered them as suggestions along with interiors.

    One bit of history on the Buccaneer, the plans weren't finished. One of the Nicol workers came to North america and brought a stack of plans with him. He became known over here as Bruce Roberts after changing his name and set up a design business based on the Nicol enterprise for amatuer builders. His steel Spray's for instance became popular. It is possible he fleshed out some incomplete plan sets to sell them along with the stock designs he grabbed. When the stock ran out he continued with his monohulls. I doubt Bruce would tell you, the Nicol guys in Oz were upset as nobody was supposed to run off with plans. Or so they say, Bruce never got back to me when I asked.

    I think this boat is one that got rebuilt and updated with "modern" ideas and styling cues. The stern treatment especially looks recent.
     
  13. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I see Lex's name mentioned a lot but in reality he didn't do a lot of multihull designs and was nowhere near as prolific as Hedley in terms of the number of boats constructed. He did design some lovely and very successful trimaran and catamaran designs but they were never built in any real production quantities and are closer to custom one offs. Devils3, Escapade, Cliffhanger, Hired Hand and Ben Bolt were my favorites.
     
  14. gone2long
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    gone2long Junior Member

    No Board

    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments on reverse sheer. Couldn't remember the proper term. The boat does not have any type of centerboard, dagger board or lee boards in the amas. It has a pretty good sized keel, but that's it. There are no fins on the amas; just a smooth, somewhat V shaped flare.

    Another interesting aspect of the boat is that there is no ballast. The keel itself is a good sized beam, like the cross beams,about 8 inches in diameter, and fairly thick (perhaps 4 inches or more). Interestingly the keelson (proper term?) is a kind of framed "basket" or "cage" with some type of foam inside it, rather than the lead, solid wood or other weighty material that one might expect. Found all this out when I had it hauled by an Aussie who cut his teeth building and fixing wood fishing boats.

    My thought is that this structural element of the boat may also help to define the design.

    Just guessing, so tell me what you think.

    Thanks again,

    G2L

    PS - The boat is a California home build, built in either 1980 or 1994 (depending on who you believe) and has crossed the Pacific from Calif/La Paz stopping in all the usual places. It then went down to Oz, and NZ before crossing over to Singapore coming N again and heading up the straits to Langkawi and Thailand. It then headed back down the straits and up to HK, crossing the SCS again, to the Phlippines where it was used for about 8 years as a bay and blue water racer. The boat has put on some serious cruising miles, so she is a pretty solid build. Her cabin was modified and the solar added (spoils the lines, but comes in very handy) when she first hit PHL. Just some background which may also help a little.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017

  15. gone2long
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    gone2long Junior Member

    Thanks for the leads. Would have to rip out all the headers to check the sizes of all the beams, but will take a better look at the amas and the wing beams. As noted in my response to one of the other posters above, the boat has seen some serious cruising and blue water racing (quick estimate is some 15,000 miles or so). I use her mostly for intra coastal passages, usually no more than 60 miles at a stretch, and no more than 30 miles offshore at any one time.

    Thanks for your help. By the way, Seattle was a base for me, years ago when I worked as a merchant marine, in order to support my college studies. Did some exploring around up in the islands. Lovely area.
     
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