Jack Chippendale

27/02/2012 18:04:55
David Henshall
I've just heard the sad news that Jack Chippendale died on Friday. I interviewed Jack as recently as last year and found that despite some underlying health issues, he was bright, cheery and full of fun tales from his days of working with Ian Proctor on the Nat 12s and Merlins. One of his many stories was the first Rocket he built, at a time when most timber was still rationed. But he had access to a supply of Hemlock, so he planked the boat up in that and it looked great. For the hog he used a length of timber salvaged from an old sailing barge, which he very carefully ran through the power tools, fearful that there might still be some old 'fixings' that he'd not removed. 

As time progressed, Jack became one of the main builders of Proctor designs but this was something of a fraught exercise as the relationship with Ian was not easy - for some years the designer was actually barred from Jack's workshop.

Away from Merlins, Jack worked on a number of other high profile projects which included the prototypes of the 505 and Fireball (not to mention the David Thomas designed Unit and the Typhoon).

Sadly, yet another of the great minds behind the golden years of expansion of the sport has passed on, a sad day indeed.


27/02/2012 18:23:43
David Child
A true gentleman who grew old gracefully whilst putting so much back to the art of boatbuilding. His boatbuilding continued long past his dinghy days with skiffs through to Broads Cruisers.

28/02/2012 09:55:50
Barry Dunning
Great character. Used to enjoy his mugs of tea when I called on him at his boatyard when working for Jack Holt. Always had to take dounuts!

02/03/2012 12:44:40
David Child
Jack's memorial service is at 2.00 PM on the 30th March at Thunsted Church Norfolk.

02/03/2012 12:59:05
David Child
Sorry it is Tunstead just north of Wroxham.

02/03/2012 16:28:40
Mike Liggett
Met Jack a couple of years ago at a Wroxham vintage dinghy meeting. I had on of his 12's "Cinzano" N1777 which I had just restored. He was genuinely delighted to see the boat and was very complementry about my workmanship. A delightful gentleman.

02/03/2012 17:18:44
David Henshall

I'm pulling together an article on Jack for the sailing mags, do you have a picture of your boat that I can use please. If anyone else had a nice shot of a Chippendale merlin that they are happy to see used in an article, I'd be very grateful if you'd pass it on! I'll try and do jack the justice his role in the early days of the class deserves.

Many thanks


03/03/2012 07:57:47
Richard Stevens
I was most impressed and relieved when I finally saw my ebay purchase of 1074 after I had removed the peeling stained varnish to find a beautifully built boat. Of course a Chippendale.  Although only  minimally repainted and varnished, before finding out if she leaked/sailed,she still looks "proper" and has the original woodwork and fittings - not bad for a boat made 50 years ago.

08/03/2012 15:53:17
Chairman Lou
Melissa from Times Obituaries Desk has just contacted me.  She is writing an Obituary for Jack Chippendale, and would love to include any photos of the Merlin Rockets he built out sailing on the water within this.

They do need any picutres by tomorrow (Friday) morning as from what I understand this is in Saturday's newspaper. Melissa can be contacted on 020 7782 5582 or via email [email protected]


09/03/2012 20:12:50
Chris B (3062)
Telegraph obituary here:

10/03/2012 10:49:01
David Child
The obituary is in The Times today as well but you'll need to be a subscriber to see it on line!

12/03/2012 08:32:30
Barry Dunning
Of all the wonderful boats that Jack built how many Merlins and 12's did he make? Some famous boat builders served their apprenticeship at Chippendales. Who were they? This is for an aricle by Bob Fisher.

12/03/2012 09:27:37
David Henshall

keep your eye on the pages of Y&Y! The article is 2/3rds done.....my plan is for it to be something between a profile and an obituary. I went up and spent a whole day with Jack last year, he was such a 'gent'. He agreed to be filmed throughout so I've 2 hours+ of jack talking about life, boats and personalities!!! I'm watching this again, picking up on various cameo stories but will have to be careful, with so much else going on this spring page space will be at a premium.

I hope to do Jack proud, he deserves it.


12/03/2012 10:34:14
Tony Lane
The year books indicate that he built 488 Merlin Rockets,the last being 2283 'Spring Chandy' in 1969.

12/03/2012 17:53:29
Barry Dunning
Thanks for that Tony. Do we have contact with any 12 sailors who could find out the number of 12's he built?

14/03/2012 14:00:18
David Henshall
Barry. Done it.... and I hope have captured more of the story of 'the boats that jack built' than the Obits in the Times and Telegraph. Now all I have to do is to plead with the team at Y&Y (who are very indulgent already with my inability to keep to a word count) that jack was such an important topic that an extra half page is worth it  - when so much is happening elsewhere in the dinghy world!!


14/03/2012 16:09:24
Mike Liggett
Have just done a trawl through my N12 handbook and make it 328.  The first 599 in 1948 and the last 2483 in 1970.

14/03/2012 16:15:55
Mike Liggett
David - please give me a call re. N1777 CinZano. I am in the M/R Year Book.

14/03/2012 18:29:14
David Henshall
Mike: Thanks, will do! Dougal

14/03/2012 18:31:35
Barry Dunning
Thanks to you both for that information. Now passed on to Bob.

15/03/2012 08:09:46
Robert Harris
If I remember correctly Nat. 12 'Cinzano' no. 1777 was originally owned by John Chaplin. I think John was a member of Minima Y.C. and maybe other clubs including possibly Desborough S.C. and Ranelagh S.C.

15/03/2012 15:08:04
Mike Liggett
Quite correct Robert, definitely at Ranelagh with John Chaplin (when I had her I spoke with John - he was interested to hear about my restoration). She had a very destinctive low aspect rig (like 97 "Bucaneer") and red one side & blue the other and good Burton week record. I kept the colour scheme but put conventional rig on. She now belongs to John Meadowcroft. She is a Proctor VIII and is listed on the National Small Boat Register No.674.

15/03/2012 23:19:25
Fat Pig
I was contacted this evening by Eric Harvey, who used to work for Jack Chippendale.  A memorial service is being held 30th March at Tunstead Church (Norfolk) and they would like to display a few of his boats at Wroxham Barns (where he latterly worked) to co-incide with this.  Is there anyone (I guess that it would be helpful if they were local to Wroxham) who would be able to provide a good condition boat for the day?  I'm sure that MRs, N12s and FBs would all be welcome.  I can pass on Eric's phone number if required.  My day time number is 0116 201 5141.

16/03/2012 16:45:09
Steve Watson
he has just been mention on the radio. "Last word".
best remembered for 'Storm' and the fireball.

16/03/2012 20:25:32
David Henshall
I thought Andrew Wolstenholme did very well!! I was pleased to see that he got the comment in about Tim Hockin (he of 1793 'Flamin-go') who was to sail the Typhoon with Eddie Warwick. Along with (I think) Dick Batt they had a lot of fun with Jack on the drive up to the Pennine event.....


19/03/2012 22:32:05
Fat Pig
Bump for memorial service and boat request - also advertised on N12 and CVRDA sites.


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