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Northney 34

MarAzul

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Joined
22 Dec 2007
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38
Location
Devon
I have recently aquired a Northney 34. It seems little is known about these boats, but I have found that it's a Kim Holman design and 21 were built at several yards until the mould were lost in a fire in June 1970, which possibly makes Mar Azul the last one. I'm sure you would have read the article about C R Holman in this months CB which bares this out. But does anyone out there have any more information about these boats or do you know where any are berthed so that I may be able to track down their owners. Any titbits of info would be welcome no matter how small Thanks David
 

jturvill

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Joined
31 Dec 2007
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1
David,
I don;t have a lot of information at hand, but my father owned 'Silver Tempest' from new for over 20 years, which was one of the first Northney 34 that Arundel Marine built. Ours was actually in the pool at the 1967(?) Earls Court boatshow. She was on the west coast of scotland when sold, but I have no idea where she went to.
I'll be glad to try and answer any questions you might have, but here are a couple of pieces of trivia that you might find interesting.
1) The original design had a much larger mainsail - same mast, but a longer boom which reached to the rear end of the cockpit and that is where the original traveller was: much more elegant that the center of the cockpit. The reduction in size was purely to improve the IOR rating! ST had the wheel steering option which did work quite well as a layout, but unfortunately had almost no feel except in a blow.
2) The original engine was a 10hp Albin petrol engine. The one good thing going for it was that it was light: when we finally replaced this with a Volvo diesel (I think still only 12hp), she was visibly stern heavy. Either way, msanouvering under power is/was a delicate operation since she carries her way "well" and we only had a small prop and it's well hidden behind the keel.
3) The hull is incredibly strong (it was built to Lloyds 100+A1), but we did have a problem with the rudder stock debonding from the rudder so that one could rotate a certain amount with respect to the other.
Lots of great memories....
Enjoy a wonderful boat!
 

jamiha

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9 Nov 2007
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9
Hi,
I was admiring one of those at Portland Sailing Center today, dont know who owns it but maybe some one from weymouth. The name on her is ******* of Nizam, clean boat & has been painted but a good job. Got to say very hansome yacht.
Mike.
 

MarAzul

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Joined
22 Dec 2007
Messages
38
Location
Devon
Thank you very much for that information.

It would explain why the sail plan I aquired from David Cooper at Holman and Pye had a second larger boom ghosted in on the plan, Now I come to think of it it was denoted as the Mk2 sail plan!
There seems to be a popular link between these boats and Scotland. I know of several that have started life on the west coast, including my own boat which was originally registered in Glasgow.
There is something no quite right with the rudder design. I am in the process of removing our rudder, but have come to a halt as a result of a recessed nut with is not easy to access. It looks as if the whole rudder is held inline with the stock by way of two grub screws, which would not be idea. My only hope is that when I evevtually remove the rudder I will find some sort of key or spline to prevent the rudder and stock rotating independently!
Iam looking forward to launching her next spring with a new set of sails, however I first still need to sell the Rustler 31 which is on my mooring, but that's another story.

Thanks again for the info. David
 

MarAzul

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22 Dec 2007
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38
Location
Devon
Hi Mike

Yes I know that boat and the owner, he's been very helpful with both advice and information. it's Ballerina of Mizen. I haven't seen her for myself but the photos he sent me look fantastic. Unfortunately it's a sharp reminder of the work I have ahead of me to get Mar Azul looking that good. David
 

Vivari

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1 Jan 2007
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My late father in law owned the Northney 34 Tarantara for a number of years in the seventies and eighties when she was based at Inverkip on the Firth of Clyde. As far as I'm aware she is still on the West coast of Scotland and I remember being told that she had completed an Atlantic crossing some years ago.
My wife and I actually spent our honeymoon on Tarantara in 1981 and also spent a weekend cruising in company with Mar Azul in 1982; at that time Mar Azul was owned by friends of my wifes family. I recall that we met another Northney in Millport on that trip, it was called Scintilla I think, so there were at least three Northneys active in Scotland at that time.
I remember that Mar Azul had an unusual forward hatch with a transparent dome in it, I was told that this was because an earlier owner had done a lot of long distance sailing and this was to help him in making navigational observations from below deck.
 

MarAzul

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Joined
22 Dec 2007
Messages
38
Location
Devon
Thanks Vivari. There is definately a Scotish link with the Northney, so far five out of the ten boats I've identified have at some stage been berthed there.
She still has that domed forward hatch, which was on the cards to be replaced. Maybe I should keep it as it seems to be her distinguishing mark and part of her history.
I was sent a photograph of Mar Azul, when she was berthed in Scotland, by the present owner of Ballerina of Mizen. Maybe she was the third boat on your honeymoon.
If you come across any more bits of info I'd be very grateful.
Sounds like it must have been a great honeymoon. Regards David
 

Frenchy

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Joined
15 Jul 2009
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1
Hi There

I am researching Northney 34s for my Dad as he quite likes the look of them. We are quite interseted in finding one and maybe buying one, does anyone have any tips on where we could find one.

Thanks

Hal French
 

Kukri

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23 Jul 2008
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14,337
Location
East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
The Northney 34 is the GRP version of the "Shaker" class. The reason there are relatively few of them is not because of any defect with the design or construction; there was a fire at the builders' factory and the moulds were destroyed.
 

Marian A

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26 Nov 2009
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Late addition to the Northney 34 tale

My family own the Northney 34 - Scintilla of the Sea. She sails out of Fort William in the NW of Scotland and you are correct there are a few Northney's up here. There is Streaker (white) who mainly sails in the Clyde, Aithne (who used to be Reiver of Lorne)(also white) at Ardfern, and Tarantara (dark blue) - used to be moored near Oban but did go and do an Atlantic crossing and I have not seen her since.

Scintilla was built by Nicholson and Marshall in Hayling Island in 1969 so this year she celebrated her 40th birthday. She is bright blue by the way. We have had her for about 14 years.

Streaker and Scintilla raced in West Highland Week and came 1st and 2nd in their class this year (because it was windy all week!) so they do sail competitively in the right conditions.

Northneys have their eccentricities, one of which is a lot of weather helm, which is why the mainsails were shortened along the foot. Our boom still sheets to the stern of the cockpit, but the mainsail is much shorter in the foot. Sailed with a big headsail, they go to windward very well and infact will go to windward perfectly without a mainsail at all (until you have to go about). Engining is not their strong point even with a bigger more modern engine because the propellor is hidden behind the keel, and reversing
is 'interesting'. However with a beautiful boat like this, you just accept that she was built to sail.

I notice when you google that there is a Northney for sale on the South Coast.
 

Vivari

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Joined
1 Jan 2007
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2
We actually saw Tarantara in Dunstaffnage last summer but looking so neglected that it reduced my wife to tears.

We also witnessed the performance of the Northneys in West Highland Week and were very impressed. Incidentally my father in law always reckoned that Scintilla was faster than Tarantara and Mar Azul and speculated that this was possibly because she was lighter.
 

sallyG

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6 Nov 2020
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1
My late father in law owned the Northney 34 Tarantara for a number of years in the seventies and eighties when she was based at Inverkip on the Firth of Clyde. As far as I'm aware she is still on the West coast of Scotland and I remember being told that she had completed an Atlantic crossing some years ago.
My wife and I actually spent our honeymoon on Tarantara in 1981 and also spent a weekend cruising in company with Mar Azul in 1982; at that time Mar Azul was owned by friends of my wifes family. I recall that we met another Northney in Millport on that trip, it was called Scintilla I think, so there were at least three Northneys active in Scotland at that time.
I remember that Mar Azul had an unusual forward hatch with a transparent dome in it, I was told that this was because an earlier owner had done a lot of long distance sailing and this was to help him in making navigational observations from below deck.
Hi there, I know your post was a long time ago, but my parents owned Scintilla from new and my Uncle owned a Northney 34 which he sailed across the Atlantic, so it may have been Tarantara.
 
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