Sunday, February 1, 2015

Puddleduck Racer: Go-Fast Headlights

From the always amusing and fertile brains of those who build the box-like Puddleduck Racers, a PDR finished off as a retro 1950's Detroit-mobile.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Header Photo: Classic Moths Upwind, 2014 Nationals

The previous header photo showed three Gen2 Mistrals going upwind at the 2014 U.S. Classic Moth Nationals. From left to right; Jamey Rabbit, Joe Bosquet, and Mike Parsons. Photo was taken by Hope Mallott of Elizabeth City. My post on the 2014 Nationals can be found here.

Boatbuilding: "A Piece of Furniture"

"A piece of furniture" we would often say as we eyeballed those McCutcheon or Souter built Classic International 14 dinghies, cold-molded in mahogany, glowing with multi-coats of varnish, all joints carefully crafted, beautiful wood everywhere. I was reminded of superior dinghy craftsmanship when I came across this stunning photo of  the interior of the most recent addition to the historical Australian 18 foot skiff fleet, the reproduction Myra Too.

Myra Too was built in 2013 by Bob McLeod to reconstructed lines (by Australian National Maritime Museum curator, David Payne) of the 1951 championship winner. Myra Too was originally built and raced by Aussie legend, Billy Barnett. To build the reproduction hull, Bob McLeod used silver ash and, in the inner and outer layers of the hull, Queensland red cedar (the outer layers used rare, full-length pieces estimated to be between 400 to 600 years old).

Here is the original post on Myra Too's construction from the Australian National Maritime Museum blog.

From YouTube comes what, at first view, looks to be a typical mast-head GoPro video -- this of the historical 18 footer Yendys going around the course, However, with the historical 18 footers nothing is typical. Of interest to me was the spinnaker set starting at about 1:50 into the video. It takes four crew members to get the mammoth spinnaker pole out onto the mast, three of them heave-ho pushing and a fourth slotting the multi-piece pole together as it goes out. Once out, this long, long spinnaker pole then wags all over the place as they go downwind. These pre WWII 18's were heavy dinghies with lots of crew and this video shows that they pushed a lot of water around as they bashed around the race-course.

The history of Yendys from the Australian National Maritime Museum blog.
"A rival of Britannia, Yendys was built in 1925 by Charlie Hayes for Norm Blackman. This big hull is also built in the traditional heavy scantlings, but it illustrates an early piece of innovation, its transom bow. Hayes had another legend working for him at the time, Charlie Peel, who had been successful with transom bows on 14-foot skiffs in Victoria. As well, the 1920s was the time when the Restricted 21s showed how fast a lighter-keel boat could go, and Hayes and Peel were in the thick of this class too. Out comes Yendys, with its sawn-off profile and veed bow shapes, a sort of restricted-class yacht crossed with a skiff and with the bow overhang squared off. Despite the odd mix it went pretty well too, but although another two snub-nosers were built in that time, the idea did not catch on. It did show there was room to move in the rules, though, and the Queenslanders took on both innovation and the establishment at the same time."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Boatbuilding: Update on the Nantais Classic Moth

David Simms of British Columbia, Canada, sends along an update on his build of the French Moth Classique Nantais design. My first post on Dave's boatbuilding can be found here.

"I've attached a couple of pictures of the Nantais, in its present state... All of the frames are made of laminated 1 cm x 1 cm, straight-grained Douglas Fir. I'm amazed at how light, and STRONG, they are. Presently, the fairing has been nearly completed and the frames have been sealed with epoxy. There are fewer than a dozen screws in all of the deck framing. I have rough cut the plywood for the deck and I've also sealed the inside face of the decking with epoxy. 
[Second picture] A bit of humour, here. I'm struggling to move the boat into one of my sheds, for winter storage. This little struggle has convinced me that my original thoughts of building a boat that could be transported on top of a car were somewhat unrealistic. Given that I'm not related to Charles Atlas, I'll soon be looking for a trailer."

Lines drawing of the Nantais Moth. Typical of Moth design for France and the U.S in the 1940's. (The Dorr-Willey, Ventnor, and the Abbots representing similar U.S. designs, Click here to view a post on the 1940 Moth designs.), the hull has a scow type stem married to deep V sections.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Boatbuilding: More Progress by John Z on his Classic Moth

In the ongoing coverage of John Z's Classic Moth build, last week I stopped over at his shop to gauge his progress and have a beer. The Classic Moth modified Mistral design is now upside down awaiting gunwhales and a layer of 4 oz. glass over the bottom.

This photo, though perhaps a tad distorted, shows how deeply Vee'd the Mistral design sections are around the midships.

Transom view with a pretty swirly pattern from the okoume plywood.

John, with the about-to-be-opened bottle of stout peeking up above the keel-line of his Moth.

A man and his workbench. John graciously took down a Marblehead RC sailboat he built many years ago so I could take a closer look.

A man and his workbench - take 2.

From the previous photo, you can see that John has some interesting stuff hanging from his walls. This is the box containing his F1 rubber-band indoor airplanes. These are extremely finicky to make, with a minimum weight of one gram. John has all the various tools to test balsa density and strength; tools to strip balsa into extremely narrow widths; tools to check rubber band elasticity; molds to make the tricky propellers, and the various techniques to apply the ultra-thin microfilm covering.  To make a F1 takes a methodical, painstaking craftsman.

John also has two half models of the America's Cup, IACC keelboats, the class that precedes the current foiling catamarans. Surprisingly, it was through his wife's connections and not his Naval Architect circle of friends that these two half-models now grace his shop.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Boatbuilding: Lark Scow - Part 1

Other posts on the Lark scow.

Peter Gilbert of the Erieau Lark fleet in Canada has started a new Lark scow (named Pinky Too, his Dad built Pinky 2 and Pinky 3) using the Kerr plans. He sends along some photos. The Kerr plans follow the original C.G. Davis plans in using a lot of frames. Instead of sawn frames, Peter has laminated the arc sections. He is planking the bottom of the Lark with plywood but with a hi-tech twist; he is using 3mm plywood with a carbon fiber sheathing (I wonder how this will square with the Erieau Y.C fleet as Peter's construction may possibly result in a Lark considerably lighter than the current boats.)

I like how these builders determine fairness using a full glass of beer as a sight-line.

The solid timber side planks hold everything together before the bottom and deck goes on.