Monday, August 3, 2020

Australian Sailfish: Building Photo Documentation


Greg Barwick of the Australian Sailfish Association emailed me to point out they have now added a marvelous photo essay on building the Australian Sailfish to their website. (Look in the top Menu for "Building - a Visual Guide".) A must see for anyone interested in building plywood dinghies. Even experienced boatbuilders can pick up an idea or two in going through the photos. To make it easier I've listed the various chapters of "Building - A Visual Guide" with their links below.

To order plans for the Australian Sailfish.

Brian Carrol's photos of his build of an Australian Sailfish

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Header Photo: The Start of the Everglades Challenge




The previous photo was of the start of the Everglades Challenge, the early spring jaunt for small craft (human or sail powered) down the West Coast of Florida, a distance of 300 miles. The start is at dawn, just above Tampa Bay, and this photo, lifted from the InterWebs, shows some of the more sensible small boat cruisers launching. The winners of the race are usually hi-powered catamarans or hi-powered big dinghies (such as Jeff Linton's Spawn of FrankenScot).

From YouTube, here is the start of the 2018 Everglades Challenge:



And from the Earwigoagin archives; all posts that have Everglades Challenge mentioned, at least once.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

In Days Gone By: Family Sailing



This 1942 cover of The New Yorker passed through Facebook and merits a repost here. It shows the outdated concept, that the whole family must indeed go sailing together, a concept common in mid 20th century sailing culture. The cover is a parody of family sailing, something that most likely escaped the general readership of The New Yorker at the time. For Dear Old Dad has decided this racing boat (most likely a Star) is the proper family boat, even though it is laid over on her ear and wife, and son, and daughter are stacked in vain as the lee rail is well awash. Dad is having a grand time. The others??

Eleven years ago, I wrote about this very same scenario from personal experience.

Over the years I have also sprinkled a series of Earwigoagin posts about sailing with Parents and Kids.

Can anyone tell me who the artist was on this cover?

Update August 1: From a comment from an anonymous reader; the artist was famed cartoonist Perry Barlow.



Friday, July 24, 2020

Dutch Skûtsje in a Bit of a Pickle




I came across this photo on the InterWebs of a Dutch working scow, a Skûtsje, doing what sailboats without keels are wont to do every once in a while; reward in-attention by coming close to capsizing. From the Earwigoagin archives, I've written before about the Dutch Skûtsje, here, and here.

All of my posts on Dutch sailboats.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

A Fresh Look at the Gate Start


It's been a while since I did any race committee; not being a member of any sailing club at present. I gather one of the issues with RC work during this pandemic and the need for social distancing is the amount of people needed on the main committe boat. It's all for the start.    You need a fair number of people to make sure the start goes well, most of them there to run flags, check time, watch the line. After that probably two people would suffice; the PRO to make decisions and someone to handle communication with the mark boats and rescue boats. I wonder if it's not time to revisit the gate start as a way to get the number of RC people off the main RC boat. The gate start is not a very popular option; I would venture to say, across the board, a very much unused starting option. Except for the 505 crowd, who love it and use it exclusively for their big events.

The very basic concept of a gate start is one of your competitors comes across on port tack, you duck his stern whilst sailing on starboard tack and you are off. I've done this basic start when out practicing with a group of us, but must admit I've never done gate starts in any regatta. Of course a proper gate start is somewhat more complicated than that but over the years the 505 crowd have done a good job of ironing out the wrinkles. I did locate online race instructions for the 505 gate start at the 2015 Buzzard Bay Regatta.

I do think the gate start is a good option for getting the RC crowd down to manageable proportions. As far as the argument that I've never learned how to do gate start, I can't do a gate start, file it under all the other "never done this" arguments that have been rapidly trashed in this pandemic.

Here is a video of the 505 pathfinder leading the way during the Europa Cup:



Monday, July 13, 2020

Header Photo: Sunfish in Big Waves off Wrightsville Beach




The previous header photo was of a Sunfish racing in the ocean off Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in their 2018 World Championships. It blew the whole week and the waves were tremendous for offwind sleigh rides. I harvested this photo from the Internet and don't have the name of the photographer. I would appreciate if someone could help with a name.

My2Fish did some research and pointed me to the web page with a slew of great photos from the Wrightsville Beach Sunfish Worlds. TOH to My2Fish.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Douglas Fowler Finishes Restoration of Bill Garden Paper Canoe

Time to wrap up the saga of the Mystery Canoe. For those who want to dig back into Earwigoagin to review previous posts, click on the following links:
Douglas Fowler sends along photos of the finished restoration of the canoe model. What a gorgeous sailing canoe! There is no-one better in the World at canoe restorations than Douglas Fowler; just for the simple fact that it is a rare occurrence to come across an individual who is such a perfectionist. Douglas ruminates on wrapping up putting this model back together:
"Well it’s finally done! Probably won’t try this again. Massive amounts of time with the sails causing me particular agony! Didn’t see that one coming. Being made out of paper also added a difficulty factor as well. I’ve had a plexy case made so I’ll close it up tomorrow. Having trouble finding a clear surface to put it on. Still want to have a little plaque made identifying it for the base but that can wait. My sign shop is closed up so I can’t go and design it with them. I enjoyed restoring it and it certainly was a worthwhile project. Maybe someday I’ll build a full size one although probably not out of paper as spec’d. It would be a good one for cold molding out of some type of veneer or even a thin plywood bending panel. At 20’ it would be a good size for this lake. I wonder if a full size one was ever built and if somewhere in the Northwest it still exists? I suspect being made of paper with plywood ribs and bulkheads the chances aren’t very good."