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Sadly my father Malcolm Eggins passed away yesterday in Grafton, he’d been sick for many years and fortunately in the end he went quickly without any suffering. Malcolm and Darryl along with Frank and Mark Bethwaite, the Downes brothers, Vic Hammond, Michael Nash and many, many others were responsible for the development of the NS14 class sailboat in Australia. Many of the innovations that have been passed on to form part of the appearance of modern racing yachts and dinghies were developed through the 1960s and 70s in classes like the NS14. The NS14 is  a peculiar boat in Australia where restricted classes (where you can alter the hull shape and sail configuration) often have unlimited sail area. This was very important in the development of my own thinking about boat design, though at that time I was a sailor putting countless drawings onto every piece of paper that passed my way. Malcolm and his son Darryl were on the forefront of many of these developments and were the first to build an NS14 with a self draining cockpit, which was promptly banned. They had big input into hull shape development influencing other designers in the cut and thrust of weekly and national racing. Malcolm also had a long line of building Moth dinghies before they sprouted any wings apart from rudder, centreboard and sails  They were like furniture.
Wood is a main interest of mine and though the Eggins’ moved to composite hulls (built in their shed at home to weights of around 8lbs a foot) the boats were also known for their fine woodwork as you can see from the photos here of the Moth and their last NS14 plus they spent many years innovating in wood.


Malcolm served many years in various positions at the Clarence River Sailing Club – a man who really put the time in to make a big contribution. The first flight of the Cirrus powered prototype DH 60 Moth was carried out by Geoffrey de Havilland at the works airfield at Stag Lane in 1925. Next to the increase in power, the main advantage of this update was that the Gipsy was a completely new engine available in as great a number as the manufacture of Moths necessitated.
The Moth fuselage was a plywood box, built around spruce longerons, protected on the inside by varnish and on the outside by a layer of doped fabric.
In 1931 with the upgrade of the Gipsy engine as the Gipsy II, de Havilland inverted the engine and re-designated it the Gipsy III.
The Australian sailing community has lost a well respected designer and builder of boats as well as a champion sailor. YES … that is a photo from 45 years ago- note the rotating timber mast and general lack of fuss in the water around the boat. The Moth was a two-seat biplane of wooden construction, with a plywood covered fuselage and fabric covered surfaces. The new Gipsy engines could simply be built in-house on a production line side by side with the production line for Moth airframes. However, by 1927 problems were noted in Canada with shrinking of the wooden structure holding the engine.


Malcolm won in a really competitive fleet on pure boatspeed – it was a pleasure to watch.
A useful feature of the design was its folding wings which allowed owners to hangar the aircraft in much smaller spaces. Therefore, de Havilland decided to replace the Cirrus with a new engine built by his own factory.
This also enabled the de Havilland Aircraft Company to control the complete process of building a Moth airframe, engine and all, streamline productivity and in the end lower manufacturing costs. This problem was solved by making the fuselage of welded steel tubing faired with wooden stringers and covered with doped fabric.
In 1928 when the new de Havilland Gipsy I engine was available a company DH 60 Moth was re-engined as the prototype of the DH 60G Gipsy Moth. The DH 60T Tiger Moth was modified with swept back mainplanes, the cabane struts were also moved forward to improve egress from the front cockpit in case of emergency.
The changes were considered great enough that the aircraft was re-designated the de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth.



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