Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
Historic X-class and her builder reunited F ate has a curious way of orchestrating improbable coincidences, and when an Auckland boatbuilder was recently reunited with the first vessel he built, nearly 70 years ago, it provided a keen sense of events completing a full circle. Scintilla is one of the few surviving examples of the immensely-popular clinker-built, 14-foot, X-Class sailing dinghy – a design which, as any student of New Zealand sailing history knows – contributed much to the evolution of recreational racing in the first half of the 20th century. Scintilla was built in 1947 by Aucklander Dave Marks, then aged 22 and about a year into a five-year boatbuilding apprenticeship. But for her pohutakawa knees and stem, she was crafted in kauri. Marks was a passionate racer, and Scintilla saw plenty of action on the Hauraki Gulf, but as she was relatively heavy and not particularly quick, he sold her after a few years. Marks is now 88 and can’t remember who bought Scintilla or what happened to her but he knows he last saw her around 1950. And that’s where the story would have ended – another long-lost memory on the detritus of maritime history – if it weren’t for the dogged sleuth work by the boat’s current owner. For Scintilla is in good health and living at Buckland’s Beach – remarkably, only a few kilometres from Marks’s Pakuranga home. Scintilla belongs to Sara Poore, an avid sailor and racer who inherited the X-sie from her recently-deceased father, Philip Poore. In 1951 Philip Poore, a new arrival in New Zealand from Britain and a boat fanatic, had seen Scintilla on a beach in Paihia. He fell in love with her, declared her to be the most beautiful boat he’d ever seen, and made the owner – identity still unknown – an offer which was immediately accepted. Poore sailed Scintilla for many years, mainly around the Bucklands Beach area but also in the Bay of After nearly 70 years, boatbuilder Dave Marks was reunited with the first boat he ever built. Words by Lawrence Schaffler OF MARKS spark THE 90 Boating New Zealand March 2014 feature_Scintilla_old friends_Feb14.indd 90 18/02/2014 5:46:41 p.m.
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