There are few Cherubs sailing these days in NZ, a far cry from when I was active in the class when it was common to get 30-40 boats each weekend and 70-80 at national championships.

I started my sailing in another John Spencer class the Flying Ant in 1960 graduating to the Cherub around 1964 when my father and I built my first Cherub. Realising that there was a bit to learn I bought an ex champion 'Even Stevens' which I sailed for a couple of seasons experimenting with crew and a little sail making. I then built the first of a series of boats to my own design finishing with a world championship in 1972. A typical season finished with selling the current boat, upgrading my car and then penniless building a new boat for the next year's racing.

The boat that I raced in '72 was very fast planing upwind and on the course sailed in Auckland for the championships the wind direction oscillated and we focussed on being in phase and first to the shift. The boat was typical of the Cherubs of that era, straight with the V section running aft as per Russ Bowler's boat from Freemantle to help control in the rougher mixed conditions that we see in Auckland. The mast was a very thin walled section with 2 sets of spreaders. We had, I believe, the first deck post to stabilise the bottom section. Spinnaker chutes were standard by then since we had fitted the first one two or three seasons earlier.

Following the Cherub class I sailed in Solings for a season, representing NZ at the 1972 Munich Olympics sailed at Kiel . On my return I decided to make my hobby a full time profession and started MARTEN MARINE building small sailing yachts, mostly Olympic classes such as the 470, Finn, Tornado, OK Dingy and others. We graduated to larger vessels over the years building a number of custom racing yachts initially in the IOR era and then to the IMS rule. We have built a number of Whitbread race yachts and 7 America's Cup yachts. We now are 2 companies. MARTEN YACHTS specialising in performance racing and cruising yachts, and MARTEN SPARS who specialise in large carbon fibre spars and boom furling systems for Superyachts.

Steve Marten, 2000

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