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Cosi Fan Tutte NS 2154

Vessel Number: HV000478
Date: mid 1960s
Vessel Dimensions: 4.27 m x 4.27 m (14 ft x 14 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
COSI FAN TUTTE is an example of the Northbridge Senior Class or NS 14 racing dinghy built in Cromer NSW in the mid to late 1960s. It is connected to many aspects of the origins of this popular development class. Designed by the class founder Frank Bethwaite, Its conventional planing hull shape represents the style he originally used, while the builder Norman Joel was one of the many one and two-person boatbuilders of that period whose work depended upon orders for the wide range of plywood sailing dinghies racing in that period such as the Northbridge Senior. It was later sailed from the home club for the class, Northbridge Sailing Club, and is currently rigged with an early example of the over-rotating style of mast that the class pioneered on Sydney Harbour.
DescriptionCOSI FAN TUTTE was built for its first owner Peter Kennedy, a solicitor, who as well as racing it also sailed it off the coast near The Entrance north of Sydney on his holidays. It second owner was Dr Russell McDougall from Northbridge and records that survive include a measurement certificate for COSI FAN TUTTE (sail number 2154) and dated April 1968. McDougall's address was Sailors Bay Rd Northbridge, so he was less than one kilometre away and just up the hill from the Northbridge Sailing Club on Sydney's Middle Harbour, the club where the class was created and where he raced it. Club member, CSIRO meteorologist and keen amateur boat designer Frank Bethwaite was a prime mover behind the class, and once the Northbridge Senior as it as first called was established he produced many designs for the class over a long period of involvement.

COSI FAN TUTTE is 4.27m long and 1.83 m wide (14 feet by 6 feet) with 9.3m2 (100sq ft) sail area, the basic restrictions for the class. Its shape is a simple veed hull planked in Bruynzeel marine plywood, with good all-round qualities and none of the extreme features which appeared from the 1970s onward. It is a typical hull envisaged by the class founders, able to be built in moulded plywood and fitted with buoyancy tanks. It also has an early timber version of Bethwaite's over-rotating mast designs, where the wing-section spar sat on a pin and was able to be rotated into the wind direction to improve airflow over the mainsail. It is not known if this is the original mast or one added at a later date.

The boats in the Northbridge Senior Class were designed to appeal to the very 60s combination of husband and wife, but this soon became two adults, and then a parent and child combination as well. The simple sail combination and light plywood construction gave performance at an economic price and the class was soon a national success. COSI FAN TUTTE's builder Norman Joel came from a family with strong Middle Harbour sailing connections, especially the patriarch Tom Joel and his boatshed on Balmoral Beach. Norman built COSI FAN TUTTE as one of just two NS 14s he recalls making at that time. Norman worked alone from his garage in Cromer NSW, and built examples of the many other classes of small plywood sailing dinghies that existed at the time. Together the many classes produced a steady flow of orders.

There is no record of COSI FAN TUTTE's results while it was owned by McDougall, and he eventually sold it one of the most well known sail makers for NS14s, Moths and other local craft in Sydney, Garry Fogg. He used COSI FAN TUTTE as a 'knock-about' boat for Pittwater, and it carries a suit of his sails.

In 2001 COSI FAN TUTTE was gifted to the Sydney Heritage Fleet by Gary Fogg and remains in their collection of small craft that raced on Sydney Harbour.

Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:open/foredeck
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:pivoting centreboardswing board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Rig type:BermudanBermudianmarconi
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber

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