Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Sunday, February 19, 2012

International 14's: As Best As I Can Remember

In 1968, Trophy Wife (TW) and I experienced our first sail together in a Lido 14.

Arguably we should have spent some years in that prominent Newport Beach fleet, learning the finer points of sail trim in the unforgiving classroom of one-design-racing. Alternatively, our local lake's yacht club was building an active fleet of Coronado 15's, which also could have schooled us well.

But, young and impetuous, I had an addiction to speed. One day, as my future TW and I were day-sailing a rented Lido in Newport Beach, a white monohull of the same length with a plum bow passed (flew by) us to leeward, tacked on to port and crossed us with feet to spare.

I asked our local Schock Boats dealer, Dave Anderson, who had been trying to get me to buy a new Lido instead of renting all the time. He told me I must have been slam-dunked by Roger Welsh's International 14, White Tornado. And would I like to get a ride on one? It turned out that Dave was in the process of ordering his own Int-14 from Schock Boats and could offer me a deal if he could double the order?

Slam Dunk. We ordered our tangerine tornado and named her Wet & Wild.

TW and I learned many skills in a few short years in the I-14's we never would have learned in Lidos or C-15's. We learned how to capisize. We learned how to bail out a non-self-bailing cockpit. We learned how to trapeze. We learned how to fly a spinnaker while trapezing. We learned how to right a swamped I-14 while its spinnaker was in shrimping mode. We learned trusting team work to the point where we could swap positions - helm and trapeze - depending on the weather.

The only thing we couldn't resolve was which one of us was the better skipper. So we went to the bank and bought a couple of Lasers to resolve it. Maybe that was a bad idea because that controversy continues unresolved to this day.

Eventually, we donated our Wet & Wild to Harvey Mudd College. As the years passed we realized the Fourteeners we met up with in this open developmental class were the best sailors, teachers and comrades we would ever know.

These pictures were taken 40 years ago by my father-in-law.


  1. Yeah. Wonderful... thanx for sharing. We don't see many I-14s, where I live, but I did try one a few years back. Absolutely wet'n wild.

  2. I don't much like them speed wrinkles in the main sail.

    1. That's always bothered me, but come on - this was a photo-op! My story and I'm sticking to it.

  3. They flew o'er the sea
    with the greatest of ease
    aboard Wet & Wild
    and their flying trapeze

    But she did all the work,
    while he took his ease
    So the craft it was given away.

    Two Lasers they found
    and each tried not to whelm
    while proving which sailor
    was best at the helm

    A true contest it was not
    and soon did they see
    how lonesome that sailing can be

    So although they had fought
    they bought a large yacht
    taking turns at command
    and being deck hands

    Their boat is now legend
    with many trophies
    and forever shall race on the sea.

  4. Beautiful, Pandy!

  5. I'm tired of these nostalgia posts. I see them everywhere. I want to see what's happening now. Today.

  6. About the speed wrinkles. Most likely the mast wasn't bending to match the luff curve of the sail. Most 14'ers in the late 1960's/early 70's were sailing with much bigger crews than the "Doc" and his trophy wife (from the photo "trophy wife doesn't look to weight much more than say, 110 lbs.) and the big macho crews were loading the mast more - hence more mast bend. Unfortunately most sailmakers like to punch out sail designs for the "normal" size crew they expect to see in the boat. Many times if you are sailing outside the norm on crew weight, you really need to work with the sailmaker.

    1. Good Comment, Old14'er! You know my boat better than I did then!