The Lido 14 sailboat is a derivation of the popular Lehman family of dinghies that were designed and manufactured Barney Lehman up through the 1950ís. The Lehman 10 and Lehman 12 dinghies were open in their design (no decking), had virtually no added flotation, and offered scant accommodations for sitting down (thus leaving the skipper sitting on the gunwale). Furthermore, they were relatively rounded and narrow in beam, making them very susceptible to capsize. Barney Lehman set out to make friendlier boat that had more stability, greater comfort, and enough space to bring the family along for casual harbor cruises in Newport Harbor. The resulting design, named the Lido 14, included a wider beam, large flotation tank seats, wider gunwales, a fore deck, and foils that rotated up to permit beach launching.
By the late 1950ís, W.D. "Bill" Schock had been in the business of hand building popular one-design dinghies out of wood including the Naples Sabot, International 14, and the Thistle for quite a few years and was nationally known for his workmanship. Looking to expand his business, he acquired Mr. Lehmanís boat designs, including the not quite complete Lido 14. W.D. Schock Corp. finished the Lido 14 and brought it to market in January/February of 1958.
The market exploded almost instantly with about 200 boats being produced in 1958 and almost 400 in 1959.
With so many boats, all virtually identical, sailing around, it was inevitable that people would start racing them. The story goes that serious sailors where taken aback at the idea of racing the Lido 14. Put another way, real racers didnít race Lido 14ís, they were to race Stars, Thistles, Snipes, International 14ís, etc. Thus, in 1958, the Lido 14 Class Association was born to oversee maintaining the purity of Lido 14 racing. The first fleet was formed in the same year Ė Newport Harbor Lido 14 Fleet 1.
By 1997, approximately 6000 of the venerable craft, with only the slightest of modifications from the original design, had been produced (the Lido 14 strictly adheres to the Lido 14 One Design rules set forth the Lido 14 Class Association). The first 6000 Lido 14íw were mostly manufactured in the W.D. Schock Corp. facilities in Southern California however production facilities were established in Florida as well. The Florida facility no longer exists with all W.D. Schock Corporation manufacturing now occurring in their Corona, California factory. Note that the last official Classic Lido 14 was given hull number 5148. There were, according to Tom Schock, several hundreds of Lido 14ís built for use in Mexico that were not numbered, thus the 6000 total.
Long before 1997, the demand for the Lido 14, as well as all other boats, plummeted. Common factors in included the U.S. recession of the 1980s, a steady decline in sailing (in general), and escalating manufacturing costs. For example, the period from 1990 to 1995 saw less than 50 new Lido 14ís. The Lido 14 International Class Association, wishing to continue the fine Lido 14 tradition pushed and prodded Tom Schock to revitalize the Lido 14 in order to revitalize sales YET maintain conformance to the strict one design rules for the Lido 14.
In the fall of 1995, W.D. Schock introduced the updated Lido 14 (a.k.a. 6000 series or post 6000 series). By the end of 1999, about 175 will have been made. Certainly not at the production rates of the 60ís and 70ís but consistently improving.
What one should respect the most about the Lido 14 is that the design has been preserved so closely that old and new boats are equal in performance, thus preserving the use of older boats for generations to come. The fact that the classic Lido 14 is so enduring (in our hearts and in itís ability to last for decades) leads me to publish and maintain this document to aid newcomers to the Lido 14 with their efforts to bring stock Classic Lido 14ís (i.e. pre-6000 hulls) up to par with whatís out on the race course. Fortunately, one can side step the majority of this issue of "upgrading" by simply purchasing a brand new Lido 14 because a majority of the issues we will address herein are non issues on the new Lido 14. So the choice is yours, learn from this guide to refresh/restore/update a Classic Lido 14 or get a new one and have a greatly reduced list of tasks to be competitive in Lido 14 races.
The style that Iíve chosen to write this document is on the loose side so just dive in and read it all and take what from it you can.
Before we get started, one last comment needs to be made. The Lido 14 is enduring to race because there has been virtually no changes to the Lido 14 sloop that obsolete older boats. This occurred, and continues to occur because the Lido 14 International Class Association, in conjunction with W.D. Schock Corporation have worked very hard to keep things the same, despite intense pressure from the marketplace and, to some degree, the racers of Lido 14s, to "improve" the boat. If you come to appreciate one-design boats (i.e. oneís where there is only 1design that rarely or never changes), then we ask you to be considerate of those that maintain that status on your behalf.