UK-Cherub Class

Get Your Heart Racing


Publicity handout from 1960

The New Zealand Cherub Restricted Class Dinghy

  • L.OA. 12 ft.
  • Beam: minimum 4 ft. 8 in., maximum 5 ft.
  • Sail area:
  • Working sails l00 sq. ft.;
  • Spinnaker, maximum dimensions l4 ft. x 14ft x 9ft.
  • Mast, LOA 20 ft. minimum weight stripped 13 lb.
  • Spinnaker Boom, maximum length 9 ft.
  • Hull weight stripped 110 lb.

The Cherub is a modern, lightweight, high performance racing dinghy. Construction is from marine plywood The design is based upon two concepts, that of the hard chine boat from amidships aft and the conventional round bilge sections forward. The merging of these two constructional principles is known in New Zealand as a 'disappearing chine'. The chine fairs away forward and at the bow the hull is either moulded from strips, or the plywood skin is slotted to give the required shape.

The majority of the class have been amateur built and many interesting constructional features have been successfully tried. New boats in the class have no frames and in order to have the minimum of 3 cu. ft. of buoyancy as laid down in the rules they usually have a watertight bulk- forward and side tanks. The class is novel in this respect, hall shape restricted only, while the sail plan is one design as far as maximum measurements are concerned The number of battens in the mainsail is also controlled at six, and they must all be full length. The area of round in the jib and spinnaker is unlimited Three battens in the jib are optional, depending on the individual. The Cherub also carries a spinnaker, the maximum dimensions being l4 ft. x 14ft x 9ft

Although this gives opportunity for a parachute spinnaker, in New Zealand this type has never found favour among the smaller classes, the old single luff type being preferred. It is found that the 'flat' type spinnaker can be carried on close reaches, a thing that is denied to the ballooner or parachute, and any Boat that does not fly one on a close reach is usually left far behind. This type of kite does not seem to lose anything in the way of performance when matched against the chute on a flat run or broad reach and is definitely not such a difficult sail to get drawing properly. This explains why the spinnaker booms are far longer than the British norm, the maximum length of the boom being 9 ft. and the average length in the class 8'6in. spinnaker is cut virtually as a reaching jib, experienced crew being able to gybe this in about 45 seconds. The mast is stepped on deck and the maximum height of the spar is 20ft. Rigging is optional, but usually limited to shrouds and diamonds with one set of spreaders.

Each owner is free to develop his own ideas as regards design, construction and fittings, but the rules of the class are so phrased to keep all the boats fairly similar, and so far no freaks have been produced which have had runaway victories. The premium is still on good gear, crew work and tactical skill, Crew is limited to two. The National Council of the Cherub Class Owners association recommends building to I. Pryde's Carousel or John Spencer's Modified Mk 2 design. Both of these boats have been well tried and are consistent place winners in all major events. Although knock-up centreplates are not specifically banned almost every boat uses a daggerboard, which is universal practice in boats under 18ft in New Zealand.

Fittings and Gear

A few comments follow on the type of fittings and gear used in the Cherub Class, although what is given cannot be taken as a norm because the majority of owners make up their own requirements to their own fancies and consequently there is a large diversity of equipment. Rigging is generally of stainless plough wire, although the 19 strand stainless wire rope has lately found some favour, no doubt due to the Talurit splicing system. Sail material. Synthetics are permitted in the UK; in New Zealand are on1y permitted for spinnakers because sufficient quantity are not available far all owners to equip their boats with full sets of sails due to import restrictions. Trapezes are permitted in the class rules, and they are a necessity for those who wish to carry a spinnaker on a tight reach in moderate to heavy conditions. I might add that trapezes are carried on nearly all the small classes in New Zealand. Kicking straps are essential for good performance and they are generally adjusted by way of a rigging screw. Mainsheet arrangement on in the majority of the boats on the same pattern as the National l2a and Fireflies. However there is a trend towards the New Zealand standard, which is identical to the Continental Flying Dutchman arrangement, namely from the horse down the boom to the cockpit floor and then to the helmsman's hand. Suction bailers and draining ports are permitted. The latter have not been used by more than a few boats but everyone uses suction bailers or Venturi's as they are known in New Zealand Halyard winches are a very popular item with most owners; spinnaker halyards arc now all being fitted internally. Jib halyards are virtually unknown in this class because all favour using the luff wire of the jib as a forestay; this system certainly keeps the luff of the jib bar tight. Rotating masts are now accepted as a standard fitting.

This handout must be circa 1959/60. It looks to be NZ modified for the UK


history/publicity_handout_1960.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/25 15:55 (external edit)