Friday, April 1, 2022
Friday, March 11, 2022
John Z went off down south for the Classic Moth Midwinters and relays the news. Weather was beautiful in Gulfport, Florida; sunny 80F (26C), light winds in the morning with the regular breeze clocking in for the afternoon. Nine Classic Moths showed up with the CMBA resident professional and all-around nice guy, Jeff Linton, again making off with top honors. Shore photos are from John Zseleczky and on-the-water photos from Amy Linton (which I have converted to black and white in my own fashion).
(George Albaugh has his more extensive Midwinter report up on his blog.)
George Albaugh with his wooden Europe on the Gulfport YC dinghy lawn.
Greg Duncan rigging his glass Europe.
Jamey Rabbit with no. 134, his new modified Mistral design. Jamey had teething problems on Saturday but came back strong on Sunday, posting 1st's and 2nd's. Jamey started this project back in 2015, seven years to completion, which is getting into my extended time frame for boat projects. In the photo below, you can definitely see he pinched in the topsides up forward. (Compare to the standard Mistral shape of Joe Bosquet, no. 48, in the background.)
Jamey Rabbit rigging. His new Classic Moth has carbon bits and bobs all over the place. The aft deck looks like you could launch drones off it. Jamey documented his Classic Moth build over at his Blackberry Boatworks blog.
John Z motoring upwind. John would finish 2nd to Jeff in Gen II.
Mark Saunders in his modified wood-redecked Europe giving Jamey Rabbit a run for his money. Mark would win the Gen 1 division.
Mark Saunders in his Europe upwind. From this angle looks very similar to my Maser. I've been looking at film photography recently and somehow I rendered this photo in Photoshop very much in the ethos of Japanese street photographer, Daido Moriyama; very contrasty with bright highlights and darker darks.
A start. Jeff Linton, no.102, has already got a nice jump on the fleet.
Mike Parsons catching up with Rod Koch (the other Rod). Rod, along with Jeff is a past Sunfish champion. Rod raced a modified Europe back around the 2010 time frame.
Joe Bousquet holding a slim lead over Jeff Linton at the reach mark.
Mark Saunders in his Gen 1 Europe holding off the faster Gen II Mistrals of Mike Parsons and Joe Bousquet.
Friday, July 9, 2021
The previous header photo was one of the late 1940's, 1950's hot molded Fairey Marine Fireflys being muscled upwind by a very intense crew. A great photo!
My small legion of dedicated readers may have noticed a distinct disappearance from blogging over the last six months. A major contributor was virtual teaching. After a day of sitting in front of a computer, many times talking to the great void, I had no desire to keep hammering on the keyboard after hours. The second and more important reason is my paucity of sailing over the last two years. It is hard to blog about sailing when you aren't doing much of it.
Some more photos of the 3.65 meter Uffa Fox Firefly collected mostly from FB.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Before the Prada series started, I wrote a somewhat negative piece about the new AC75 foiling monohulls. Well after watching the Prada Cup, what do I think now. (In no particular order.)
- These foilers are maneuverable. These are the quickest Cup class ever in the tacks, jibes, and mark roundings. Essentially you are spinning around on two, sometimes one narrow pivot point with no boat in the water (if you do it right)..
- These courses are narrow. After the start, the time to the boundary is equivalent to what you would see in a collegiate or frostbite short course. It does help in keeping the boats close, at least in the beginning. The start and the first tack become crucial.
- These boats are mega-complicated. Looking in from the outside, we probably only know about 1/10 of what is going on in getting these boats around the course.
- A key indicator of which team will win is probably the team with the best software integration. How accurate and responsive are your controls, which for the most part depend on computer control. Ineos UK remarkable turnaround from being the dog of the Practice series was attributed to a huge upgrade in her software control.
- It looks to be another blow-out win in this America's Cup. If the Prada Cup competition is any indication.
- Does the 40 kt. speed make for a better viewing experience? For me the jury is out. I'll wait for my wife to chime in.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
The previous header photo was of the New Zealand Z class, affectionately known as the "Zeddie". This photo was part of a collection of New Zealand dinghy photos taken by Arthur Victor Buchanan during the 1950's and put online by the Auckland Libraries. This is Z-27 "Dawn" ripping it under the shy kite; the header photo is a cropped version of id 6D-007 in the Auckland Library collection.
"Zeddies... this Dawn Z 27. [The] only known sailing reference [to her] was in the 1953 Auckland Anniversary Regatta sailed on the last Monday in January each year (public holiday to celebrate the founding of the Auckland Province) which certainly was the biggest one day regatta in the world of its type. Everyone who had a yacht sailed on that day; for many it was the only race they competed in every season. Dawn was sailed by a J D McKay and crew and was only giving time to the scratch boats (1%) time allowance in the A division Z class fleet...
"The photo is taken off Devonport on the North Shore side of Auckland harbour and she is heading down towards North Head,... broad reaching in 12 to 15kn south westerly, with gusts up to 18 to 20 kts, which are a feature of Auckland Harbour. She has clearly caught one, screaming, hike-out and hang-on rides in these typical Auckland conditions. The road in the background is the Waterfront drive that goes to the Eastern Suburbs. Incidentally setting and gybing the spinnaker, could be pretty exciting in a fresh breeze as once the nose [of a Zeddie] went down they could be a real handful. (Hence the large "splashboards" running back from bow to aft of the side stays, which saved many a crew from a spectacular capsize.)...
"The dimensions of a Zeddie> Length 12ft 6 in., Beam 5ft 0 in., Depth 1ft 4in., Sail area (originally a gunter main) 110sqft, Spin 60 sq ft single luff, spars solid oregon Mast 11ft 3in Gaff 10ft boom 12ft 3in spinnaker pole 9ft 3in , Hull construction planked Kauri or Kahikatea (white pine) seam batten with sawn frames and canvas covered decks. The Zeddie would have been close to 300lbs hull weight at launching, so to get her up and planing like that shows the power of the rig. Crew two, under 19yrs. Yes girls did sail on them in small numbers too at club level. How many were actually built in Auckland is hard to know but sail numbers reached 200 on the Auckland register, and given number reissues (a common practice) and the fact they were sailed all over NZ, a probable estimate is around 500 NZ wide so they were one of the biggest small boat classes in NZ , until the arrival of the Cherub and the NZ Moth ( MK II) .
"While they were adequate to windward, they were essentially a "down-wind" boat and the stories of John Spencer (who started in Zeddies) of slogging for miles to windward just so they could enjoy a wild ride down wind are legendary. This is part of the heritage that made NZ yachties such great downwind heavy weather sailors.
"Note a couple of things: The skipper has no tiller extension, although they started to appear from 53 onwards, so good skippers developed long arms... The hiking straps were made from rubberised machine belts (discarded or 'borrowed" from machinery factories) and were quiet common.(Canvas ones had a tendency to rot and suddenly give way.) At the bow chain plate what looks like a "horn" sticking out is in fact a piece of folded 'hose" designed to catch wayward spinnaker sheets or even spinnaker pole braces from getting under the boat during setting/dousing or gybing, particularly with the single luff spinnakers... There were separate guys (port and starboard) which were shackled to the sidestay at the deck then run through a snaphook at the end of the spinnaker and back to a horn cleat on the deck aft. Some boats just had cleats others had bullseyes in front of the cleat as well. Spinnaker work was deemed a premium skill for a forward hand and the best could set and gybe a spinnaker in 15secs or less. Bailing out excess water was done with a large tin can and shirts, football shorts, lifejackets (sometimes an oilskin jacket) were the standard crew attire all year round... You had to be fit, hard and tough or you soon learnt to be.
The Zeddie was designed in the 1920's; among a group of flattie dinghy designs born of the Great Depression; including, in the U.S.A; Comet, Lightning, Geary 18, the Australian VeeJay, the French 9m
Wikipedia entry for the Zeddie
Monday, January 18, 2021
The previous header photo is of the Peanut class singlehander (in this case Peanut #1, Charlie Brown), a plywood DIY dinghy designed by Arnold Johnson in West Islip New York. The class grew to around around 400 and then faded in the 1970's. There is a nascent effort, led by Jeff Moses, to restart the class. I've been posting about the Peanut over here.
The designer of the Peanut, Arnold Johnson, represents the engineer boat-tinkerer, a group that was especially prevalent during the 1960's in the United States. Phillip Johnson, Arnold's son, shares some biographical history of his father, and, as a homage to that era of the 1960's engineer/boat-tinkerer, I re-post it here.
"My dad went to Brown University (born in Hamden CT) and worked at Grumman Aircraft in Bethpage NY while we lived on Long Island. He was an aeronautical engineer and did a lot of wind tunnel work on airplane wing design. After Grumman, he worked at Sanders in Nashua NH for a few years then worked for Boeing and Lockheed and then at Northwind energy designing windmill turbines. He was also an avid photographer, something he passed on to all four of his children. He died in 1993 of colon cancer. He built several Peanuts (#1 and #2) and bought #7 for me and experimented on that boat the most. We raced the Peanuts, the Skylark and later on an Aquarius 23 in the Great South Bay area."A list of Arnold Johnson's projects:
- 1957 - Designed and built a 14' (4.26 meter) modified scow, sloop rigged.
- 1960 - Designed and built Skylark I, at 20.5' planing sloop.
- 1961 - Designed and built a keel with trim-tab for Skylark I. Had boundary layer trips and vortex generators. Later on this heavier keel was modified to a 90 lb retractable keel.
- 1962 - Designed and built the 9.5' (2.9 meter) Peanut singlehander
- 1968 - Redesigned the Narrasketuck sloop for construction in plywood.
- 1970 - Designed a 38' trimaran ketch.
Arnold Johnson's Skylark I, a 20.5' (6.25 meter) 6mm plywood sloop which he constantly modified and raced handicap in a high performance division on the Great South Bay.