New Hollom-designed International 14

James Boyd Photography /
Proud owner and designer tell us all about it
For a supposed development class like the International 14, new designs are something of a rarity. However Composite Craft in Cowes are now marketing a new design – or a new hull at least – from one time America’s Cup designer, Dave Hollom. Composite Craft used to build the dominant Bieker 5 design but having worked with Hollom on building some new rudder T-foils three years ago, last year committed to build his new hull. Hull no1 was built on spec, but has since been acquired by present Merlin Rocket National Champion, Glen Truswell, who’s day job is working for LaserPerformance as their Technical Project Engineer. While the new boat – distinctive (to put it mildly) with its hot-rod ‘Pimp My 14’ paintjob – has a deck from an existing mould Composite Craft had, the new hull shape represents an entirely different approach, with a V-section in the middle of the boat tapering out aft and morphing into a U-section at the bow, with the aim of achieving a higher prismatic co-efficient and less wetted surface area. “The U-section enables you to get a higher prismatic without making the bow too bluff – you’re putting volume into the ends,” explains Hollom, for whom this is his first 14 design. “If you read William Proud’s famous experiments he reckoned the place to put displacement was low down in the bow away from the water surface and high up near the water surface at the stern – hence your typical powerboat hull with a deep forefoot and a very flat stern.” He says he has tried it successfully in the past on model yachts - one of his specialities. Composite Craft’s Bob Preston enlightens us some more: “The theory behind it [the U-section bow] is that you are getting a lot of