Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Catboat "Silent Maid" at NSHOF Wooden Sailboat Rendezvous

Peter Kellog, owner of the sandbaggers Bull and Bear, brought his reproduction of the 1924 Sweisguth catboat, Silent Maid, to Annapolis to compete in the 2017 National Sailing Hall of Fame Classic Wooden Sailboat Rendezvous. Unless you see this catboat in person, it is really hard to fathom how big, how massive, the mainsail Silent Maid sets. I took several photos of Silent Maid before and just after the start of this pursuit race. Silent Maid went on to win the race.

Before WWII, Silent Maid was the biggest of the cruising catboats competing in New Jersey waters.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Header Photos: Australian Historical 18-Footers Rigging

The previous two header photos celebrated the Australian Historical 18-Footers. The first photo shows the rigging lawn of Sydney Flying Squadron, Australia, and the second photo shows the three visiting Historical 18-Footers rigging on Bembe Beach in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Cricket Dinghy Uncovered!

I have written about the Cricket dinghy, one of North America's first dinghy classes. I had despaired of ever seeing one in the flesh but, in wandering the docks this weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival, my mouth dropped open; there she was, floating peacefully tied up to the dock, an old timey Cricket! Turns out that Richard Scofield, assistant curator at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, had found one "upriver" as he said (I assume he meant the Miles River). It had been in one family for years and was outfitted with an outboard motor with which they puttered about the river. The bow had been bashed in. Richard purchased her because he found her a pretty dinghy and being, at one time, head of the boat shop, did a top-notch restoration. He also did some research which will allow me to update what is known about the Cricket.

The Cricket tied up at the dock. Not much is known about her origin. The name on the transom is Jiminy Cricket.

This Cricket is planked which does indicate a pre WWII build time.

Underway. A sprit rig with a club at the clew. A large, low aspect ratio cat-rig with no battens. This one looks to have a lower freeboard than some of the later Miami Yacht Club Crickets.

A very sharp bow. I can see how the Cricket could have influenced the Classic Moth Cates design which also has a very sharp bow.

The Cricket led the Saturday sailboat race at MASCF for a long time, finally finishing third to a C. Lowndes Johnson 18 footer and a Thistle.

I've had this file photo from the Baltimore Sun sitting on my computer for a while now, classified "mysterious dinghy." After looking at Scofield's Cricket at MASCF I can now positively identify the photo as another Cricket. Most likely the photo was taken in the 1950's.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

More Photos of the Australian Historical 18-Footers

These couple of photos should wrap up my posts on the Australian Historical 18-footer visit to Annapolis.

The 1932 reproduction Aberdare rolled on her side. You can make out the moderate V section shape which is not too dissimilar to the section shape of the 1870 Sandbaggers (though every thing else on the hull shape is completely different).

Australia IV before the mast went up. The reproduction 18-footers are cold molded in plywood with an outer layer of cedar. The originals were built single planked, bent nailed into interior seam stringers (batten seam construction). The reproduction hulls weigh around 270 kg (600 lbs.), which seems to be about 100 kg less than the original hulls.

The daggerboards are simple metal plates.

The two architects of the Australian Historical 18-footer visit; Lee Tawney of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and Ian Smith of the Historical 18-footer organization. Ian Smith has written a book on the old Australian 18-footers; half the book is a history, the other half a construction primer on how they were built. The blogmeister bought the book and can vouch that "The Open Boat" is well worth adding to your yachting book collection.

Masts are raised on a tabernacle which makes it a simple task. The reproduction 18-footers have aluminum spars. The amount of old and new that is allowed on the reproduction 18-footers is arrived at by consensus among the fleet. One thing is clear, these vintage reproductions are not babied, either on the beach or on the water.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Transom Shapes on the Australian Historical 18's

The three reproduction Australian 18-footers that made the trip to Annapolis represent the design evolution of the 18-footers from pre-war WWII to post-war WWII. Following are photos of the transom shapes of Aberdare (1932),  Alruth (1943), and Australia IV (1946).

Aberdare was one of the early ones to straighten out the hollow garboards of the wineglass transoms typical of the 18-footers at the beginning of the 20th century. She still sports a very fine transom compared to the fat, flat ones of the modern skiffs.

Alruth started flattening the transom shape (though still very Vee'd). Note the raised lee-cloth which are raised most anytime the historical 18's are afloat to keep the briny sea from swamping these beasts.

Australia IV has a transom shape similar to a typical pre-war Uffa Fox International 14 though the shapes were developed independently.

In what seems a reversal of modern sailing design theory, the very fine-transomed Abedare is currently the fastest of the historical 18's, though many knowledgeable observers credit this to a very accomplished crew of Abedare, led by John "Woodie" Winning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Historical 18-footers on American shores - Photos by Bob Ames

As mentioned in a previous post, three Australian Historical 18-footers were in Annapolis this past week to race against each other as well as the National Sailing Hall of Fame's two sandbaggers.

The 18-footers launched off of Bembe Beach, hosted through the courtesy of the Annapolis Sailing School.

Bob Ames got to be one of the guest crew for one of the race days and sends along these photos he took of the three 18-footers rigging and launching from Bembe Beach.

Bob Ames

Bob Ames

Bob Ames

Bob Ames

Bob Ames

Bob Ames