Class History

In December 1970, members of the first Tanzer 16 fleet to be formed in the U.S. met at their headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. to found the National Class organization for this Canadian built one-design sailboat. Needham C. (Hap) Crowe, who had performed all of the spadework in getting a Constitution, By-Laws and Specifications from the Canadian group, who were also in the process of formation, was elected Secretary-Treasurer. The Association's objectives were stated simply to promote family day sailing and class racing under uniform rules and to prevent design changes which affected the sailing characteristics of the boat. Further, the organization would assist in the formation of fleets wherever three or more owners sail together in a geographical area, and to organize regional and national regattas where members of more than one fleet can compete.

Two unofficial National Regattas were held. One in 1969 at Oriental, N.C., with 5 boats participating and the 1970 series at Lake Waccamaw, N.C., with 17 boats. This site, home of Fleet No. 2, was used for the first U.S. Nationals run under the auspices of the new Class Association. Eighteen boats competed, including the secretary for the sister Canadian Association who drove down from Montreal. Hap Crowe became the first "official" U.S. Champion.

1972 was a spurt in membership and Class sanctioned events. The first annual New England Regional Championship was held at Falmouth, Mass., and the first North Carolina Championship at Oriental, N.C. The U.S. Nationals, held again at Lake Waccamaw, found 29 competing boats which included three from Canada and one from Pennsylvania.

1973 gave evidence of class growth and greater class awareness with increased participation at regional events and several traveling racers. The North Carolina State Championship had 29 entries at Oriental, N.C. The second annual New England Regional Championship brought five visitors to the host waters of Vineyard Sound for a total of 21 starts out of the host Falmouth Y.C. The U.S. Nationals, held for the first time at New Bern, N.C., with Fleet #1 as hosts, found entries from Kentucky and Canada to swell the starting line to 29.

1974 produced the concept of geographic district leadership and a reorganization of the Executive structure. District Governors, elected by their fleets, now serve on the Board of Directors to represent regional interests and to organize interfleet activities. The office of Commodore was also established which allows the immediate past President to provide continuity for plans made during his term of office.

1975 saw entries at the first mid Atlantic District Championship hold at Kerr Lake, home waters for Fleet #1. The New England District Championship replaced the NE Regional Championship and was won by a Canadian, a first for a U.S. Class sanctioned regatta. The association also began documenting rigging and maintenance ideas for the class membership. Some of the tips are included in this handbook.

1976 was the first year that the U.S. Nationals were held outside: of North Carolina. Entries came from Canada, many New England states and North Carolina to provide on the starting line the largest U.S. Nationals to date. The success of the 1976 Nationals has caused the officers to look into moving future Nationals to different areas of the country. This also was the first year full Class Association memberships were given to all owners of new Tanzer 16's. Since that time, the Nationals have been held in both New Bern, N.C., and again in Falmouth, Mass. The 1979 U.S. Nationals were held in the shadow of the Edenton, N.C., Tanzer plant.

In 1979, the Class Association made an effort to put the administrative duties under the guidance of an Executive Secretary. Although this plan was not successful, the Class Association remained committed to providing full and prompt service to its members.

1982 saw the merger of the Canadian and United States class associations into one international organization serving Tanzer 16 sailors worldwide. The new international Tanzer 16 Class Association is still headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina near Fleets #1 and #2, which are the nucleus of Tanzer 16 activity.

The cessation of production of Tanzer 16s in early 1986 and the subsequent demise of Tanzer Industries into receivership later that year threatened the continuity of our boat. Since the Tanzer 16 is too good a sailboat to allow to fade away, The Tanzer 16 Resurrection Committee was formed in the fall of 1986 for the purpose of continuing the manufacture of the boat. The Resurrection Committee was led by co-chairmen George Smart and Pete Thorn, and included Ken Whitt, Lawrence Miller, Matt Fleming, Bennett Perry and Bob Macklen. Through the efforts of this committee, the Class Association was able to raise the money necessary to purchase the trademark, molds, and rights to manufacture the Tanzer 16. With the sale of all new boats there shall be a new revenue source to the Class Association that shall be used to promote the Tanzer 16.

In the summer of 1987, the Class Association acquired the molds and the rights of manufacture for the Tanzer 16, and is currently negotiating with Frank and Rhoda Meldau, Raleigh area boat builders known for their high quality Isotope catamarans, to build Tanzer 16s. Hopefully, this exciting new development will result in a bright future for our boat. The Tanzer 16 Class can now join the ranks of other one-design class associations that own and control their boat, such as the Lightning, Snipe and Interlake.

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