Saturday, October 13, 2018

Scow Moth Rendezvous: Albert Park Lake

A week ago, five or so Classic (non-wing) Aussie scow Moths made an appearance at the small lake in the Melbourne city park, Albert Park.



Details are sketchy but they raced in the first of the summer series racing. (It seems if it is fall in my neck of the woods in the Northern Hemisphere then it must be spring in Australia - but if they call it a summer series, then so be it.)

Rigging area. Not sure what the designs of these scow Moth they are but I imagine they are of the Imperium time-frame.


The original Len Morris Olive made it outside the museum. Next to her is the Len Morris Mk II.




The scow Moths started with a Europe dinghy and a Laser Radial. We see a Solo dinghy and Sabre dinghy in the background, waiting for their start.


Some racing pics:

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Phil Johnson in his painstakingly restored Peter Cole Mouldie design.

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Photos originally appeared in Scow Moth Club group on Facebook.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Header Photo: Classic Moths upwind; 2017 U.S.. Nationals



The previous header photo is an upwind leg of the 2017 Classic Moth Nationals at E-City. It was light wind that year and it appears to be light wind again this year. The 2018 Nationals are going on as I type this blogpost. They were postponed one month because of Hurricane Florence. I'm not attending because I've lost my racing motivation at the moment.

Les Moths Classique: Les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre



Blog post on the original French Moth get together, the 2001 Moth design competition sponsored by the French magazine "Le Chasse Marée".


To celebrate the 90th birthday of the Moth class, seven very different Classic Moths of the French section gathered at Sucé-sur-Erdre, mid September, for a congenial get-together. Though racing was not the central reason for this rendezvous, there was some racing in very light air. Sucé-sur-Erdre is about 15 km north of the city of Nantes. Nantes is considered the traditional center of Mothboating in France as it was there that 150 of the Nantais Moth were built during World War II. Bertrand Warion sent along a report and photos and I poached some photos from David Balkwill (who I think is an English expat living in France) that were posted on Facebook.

Bertrand Warion dug up this Moth in Switzerland twelve years ago. Definitely in the deep-v lineage of the Duflos/Mistral designs, the hull is glass and Bertrand restored her with some new wooden decks.

Philippe Meunier

Calimero, owned by Jean-Jacques Cadoret, is a French cruising Moth from the 1960's; a "Moth Béarnais de Camping". George did this blogpost on the history of the French camping Moth. Lots of package in a small form, I can see this Moth being an ideal weekend gunkholer for river exploring.

Philippe Meunier

Crocodile is flat bottomed Moth, designed and built by Charentais Olivier about five years ago.

Philippe Meunier

You need some flat, wide sections to make the "Moth Béarnais de Camping" work. You can see the metal keelband up forward to protect the hull on beach landings and the use of a centerboard.

Bertrand Warion

The Moth owned by Jean-Yves. Named Felix, he built this Moth when he was 12 years old. It was designed by his father and from this shot shows some relationship to the British Moth.

Philippe Meunier

On the left is Julia, a Moth designed and built by Didier Leveille for the 2001 Moth design competition, sponsored by nautical magazine, "Le Chasse Marée". On the right is Calimero, the cruising Moth.

Bertrand Warion

Julia at speed (most likely the fastest she went during the mostly windless weekend). Didier designed Julia somewhat after the Laser with flat sections throughout. I do like the artistic sail logos. I'll have to find out what they mean. A photo of Julia's sections here.

Philippe Meunier

Launching. Jean-Yves in number 131. Bertrand Warion's red deep-V design is being remarkably docile. Usually these Moths flip right over when left unattended.

Bertrand Warion

Nola, the stunningly restored Nantais Moth of Jean-Jacques, sailed here by David Balkwill. David was none too impressed with this vintage Moth. (I dragged his opinion over from the comments.)
"My experience sailing the Nantais Nola was astonishing. I've sailed Moths, both British and International, since the seventies, but this one from 1941 was by far the most uncomfortable. We had very light winds, but after three days on the water I was covered in bruises from all the corners and edges I was squeezed up against; in conditions where you can't move or you stop the boat!

Philippe Meunier

Rigging and launching was from Didier Leveille's house on the river. On the left is Crocodile. On the right is a wooden Europe. Not sure of the builder of the Europe Dinghy but the skipper was Frédérique Larrarté,

Bertrand Warion

Let's close this blog post with the most popular Classic Moth, Frédérique Larrarté with her ubiquitous Europe dinghy.

Philippe Meunier

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Header Photo: Bertrand Warion's fleet in the reeds




Frenchman Bertrand Warion has provided plenty of copy for the Earwigoagin blog. This is a photo of some of his fleet sitting in the reeds. Peychot is Bertrand's own design; the small plywood cruiser in the middle of the group. Bertrand designed "Peychot" (little fish) several years ago with a mixture of some old and some new. "Peychot" was launched in 2013. Bertrand writes:
Very proud to see "Peychot" on the front page. The photo was taken during the launching days on the Lake Sanguinet. The one on the left is my one design, then the "bac à voiles", next is a little classic dinghy from a friend.


Lowriders Moth Facebook Group


For those who enjoy the history of the Moth there has been plenty of archival material going up over on Facebook. Look up the International Moth Lowriders Group. From a comment by John Butler on one of the posts)

"A number of active Moth Sailors from the 1960’s, 79’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s are regularly posting articles, photos, and class yearbooks, etc., over at the International Moth Low Riders Facebook Group.. there’s plenty to see and comment on.

I have a whole tranche of archive albums in my possession, originally created by the UK’s Major Tony Hibbert, recently found at UK Moth Builder John Claridge’s workshop.... some dating back to 1961.... which I’m currently cataloguing and scanning."

Link to Facebook Moth Lowriders group.

A Earwigoagin TOH to John Butler for making this history available. An English start from the 1960's. Note the mixture of short mast and tall mast rigs.



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Don Betts - Providence River Boat - "Pickle"


Don Betts, designer of the the micro Pea Cat, contacted Tweezerman back in March about his latest project, a traditional Providence River Boat. His story:
"The boat was built to display decorated crocks for an art installation. I wouldn’t build anything just for the exhibit, it had to be a usable boat. The design is from a mix of different boats There are two surviving 19th century Providence River Boats. One was too big ("Peggoty" over in Little Compton) and one was too small ("Button Swan" from Narragansett Bay now over in Mystic). Mystic also now has a newer version of "Peggoty", on shore behind a shed. My version of the boat is 14’ , the surviving originals are about 12’ and 18’. The jib helps with reliable tacking and gives the crew something to do. The boat will make most tacks without the jib if the crew moves aft. Chapelle’s American Small Sailing Craft page 243 has a drawing and description of the Providence River Boat, built in Newport Bristol Warren and Providence. After these pictures were taken the aft end of the keel and rudder depth was increased by about 4”.

The Providence River Boat lacks a centerboard or daggerboard and, Tweezerman, being of a mentality that a centerboard is one piece of sailing hardware you do need if you want to go upwind, I asked Don how the Providence River Boat performed upwind. (The micro Pipsqueak is another craft that depended on a full length skeg/keel for lateral resistance.)
"Almost the same as most other centerboard catboats. The full length keel, three inch at the bow sweeping to 16” at the stern does the trick. We keep the boat on a mooring but pick up and discharge on the beach. The boat is round enough that the aft end of the keel and rudder will lift free of the bottom by crew weight forward. Phil Bolger designed a little boat called Lady Slipper, an 8’ round bottom no centerboard with a similar deep aft end skeg-keel. I had sailed one at a boat show about 40 years ago and remembered the uncluttered cockpit feeling and lateral resistance balanced way aft so eventually made the connection between that and the Providence River catboats.
The photos show a roomy daysailor that seems to take to ground well when the tide has gone out.





Plans for the Providence River Boat from the Smithsonian


The Providence River Boat with the original crockery art display.


The jib bowsprit looks to be readily detachable.



Plans for the Providence River Boat available from the Smithsonian.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Winslow Homer's "Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)" - The Error


Wikipedia Commons

I would bet that several of Earwigoagin's readers have a print of this iconic painting hanging up in their house. Painted by Winslow Homer in the 1870's, this oil painting depicts an American catboat returning from a recreational fishing expedition. For me, this painting pushes so many buttons about the joy of sailing, moreso than any other sailing painting. But there is a major, glaring error.

It was my friend, Tom Price, that pointed out the error in this painting. The tiller is over the traveller bar. You wouldn't be able to tack this catboat without the traveller block catching up on the tiller!

I was over at the National Gallery of Art for a Cezanne exhibition when I decided to go search out the original "Breezing Up".  Getting up close I could see that the tiller was painted very translucently. You could see the traveller bar under the tiller. There may be several reasons. Tom Price maintains that Winslow Homer never quite finished the painting and he may have intended to go back and bring the traveller bar to the fore. It may be that Winslow Homer decided the aesthetics of having the tiller go over the traveller bar out-weighed any realism it sacrificed. When Winslow painted the tiller translucently it was his way of saying to an astute viewer, "Hey I know this won't work but deal with it."

It is interesting to note that there hangs next to "Breezing Up" a smaller, somewhat identical painting by Winslow Homer, the catboat in this painting named "Flirt". In this smaller study before he painted "Breezing Up", Winslow Homer has painted the tiller correctly under the traveller bar.

As an aside, if one takes a closer look at the way Winslow Homer painted the faces of the two boys sitting/laying forward and the skipper, it seems these three are looking intently to leeward, at something off to the left of the painting. Given the darkish clouds in the painting, was it some nasty weather to leeward, a thunderstorm perhaps? Or was it an approaching boat that may have been on a collision course?

It seems to me that Winslow Homer was trying to introduce some tension into "Breezing Up". It may be wrong to assume this picture is about a lanquid, relaxing, sailing vibe, as we have traditionally interpreted "Breezing Up" . Unfortunately this intense staring tension of skipper and crew doesn't translate unless one is in front of the original and looking closely.

Click here to see what Wikipedia has to say about the painting.

I've dragged Tom Price's comment over to the main post. (After all he is an artist.)
"The dynamic tension of the sun on the boys vs the darkening clouds, The pull on the rope tiller extension and the bow of the sprit under compression all contribute. Substituting an anchor for a 4th boy sounds like a compositional ploy or maybe he just thought an anchor was easier to paint than a boy after the first state."