Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The i550 and the Chesapeake Challenge

Last May I ventured over the Bay Bridge to Kent Island to look at Chesapeake Light Craft's OcoumeFest and also to look at some of the competitors in the inaugural WaterTribes Chesapeake Challenge long-distance along-shore marathon (an offshoot of their Everglades Challenge). They were starting that Sunday morning of the OcoumeFest.

Of particular interest was the 17-foot i550 sport boat specifically built by the Gougeon brothers for these type of events. The race poses several challenges that a modern small sailboat is not normally designed for; low bridges, traversing very shallow water, human propulsion when the wind quits and for those endurance types, the ability to keep going on little-to-no-sleep. It is a race where it is tough for a sailboat to keep up with those machine-like kayakers who maintain a steady, grueling pace.

Bob Ames, John Z and I had an interesting conversation with the two sailors who were piloting the Gougeon i550 sport boat Hot Canary; Joe Frohock, the creator of the Mothmaran, being one of the team.

Click here for the Gougeon article on building the i550 Hot Canary.

Some photos:

The sleeping arrangements - just simple camp-mats laid on the floor under the cuddy cabin.

This is Joe Frohocks life-jacket. The following live on his life jacket during the race. A very sharp serrated knife, electrical tape, a whistle, a mirror, a high-pitched rescue whistle, a waterproof flashlight (and several other items I've forgotten -I think he also had an EPIRB).

A mast tabernacle so the mast can be quickly pivoted down to get under bridges. It turns out this wasn't quite enough, the freeboard on Hot Canary too high for one of the bridges in the race. They were stuck in front of one low bridge for several hours until the tide went out.

A rudder cassette allows the rudder to be pulled up or "reefed" for shallow water steerage. The mulit-part shock cord assemblage allows the aft part of the cassette to bounce back in case of a hard grounding.

The sideview of the i550 sport boat. The i550 is specifically designed for home-building in plywood and has a flat bottom panel.

The rowing station was a simple carbon plank that sat on the side decks, just behind the lifting daggerboard trunk. Rowing the i550 was not one of the design's strong points. The flare to the i550 sides can be seen at the transom.

Joe Frohock, Bob Ames, John Zseleczky

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Outside Looking In

It's always fun to listen in when someone outside the sport of dinghy racing puts their two cents in. An English photographer, a landlubber if we go by his commentary, was drafted to shoot the Princess Sofia Olympic Regatta. He puts together this video where he airs his views of this strange sport.

Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR from Sailing Energy on Vimeo.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Merry Finnster

I noticed that Finn videos were popular in the bloggosphere a couple of months ago. Being somewhat late in following trends, I offer up one of my favorite Finn videos, this of Olympic sailing's free spirit, Estonian Deniss Karpak. Sailing in Lake Garda, on a day that appears to be solely devoted to training on downwind technique (lucky dogs those Olympians, to spend the day planing to and fro), our hero pauses to pick some flowers to decorate his centerboard before resuming the workout.

Daybreak: Garda Adventures from Deniss Karpak on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Header Photo: Classic Moth Midwinters and Report from 2015

The previous header photo was of the 2011 Classic Moth Midwinters, held at Gulfport Y.C Florida, the last one I attended.

The 2015 Midwinters were held again at Gulfport Y.C, over the crossover February/March weekend. Ten Classic's attended but unfortunately, this year, no-one from the Florida fleet raced. Saturday's racing was called off with the threat of thunderstorms but Sunday offered up warm temperatures and a pleasant racing breeze. Mark Saunders arrived with a makeover on his venerable Mistral; he added a "Linton rocking" rig and a new North sail to secure victory in Gen II class. The three Mistal's finished at the top of the heap in Gen II with a Skol, a Duflos, and a modified, Lane Reeves Mistral following. In the Gen I class, long time class stalwart, George Albaugh in his Olympic Europe, finished comfortably ahead of three other Olympic Europe dinghies.

Much thanks to Amy Linton, who bore the brunt of the organizing this excellent regatta.

A mix of photos from Amy Linton and John Zseleczky.

One of the starts. #79 is Mike Parsons in his Mistral. #2721 is Frickie Martschink in his Skol, and #4067 is Lewis Hayes, hugging the RC boat.

Erik Albaugh in his Lane Reeves, mod-Mistral. Lane Reeves, when he bent up this Mistral, ended up with a finer bow and a flat transom.

Frickie Martschink - he of the post Lunch of Champions - had good speed in his Skol.

Winner of the Gen II class, Mark Saunders in his Mistral.

Famous designer, Charlie Morgan showed up to look at the fleet. It appears he cut his teeth on the Moth when he was a "youngin". Here is talking to Tom Price of the Chesapeake fleet. Charlie's son is standing next to Charlie.

Two of the four Classic Moths from the Chesapeake fleet who attended. On the left is John Z's Mistral (he finished 2nd in Gen II) and on the right is Tom Price's Duflos.

Rod Koch, George Albaugh and Erik Albaugh debate one of the finer design points of the Lane Reeves mod-Mistral. George and Erik made up the other portion of the Chesapeake contingent.

Click here for other posts on the Classic Moth Midwinters.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

More Aluminum Sailing Dinghies

In response to my post about the aluminum Gouget Moth, several readers sent in some aluminum sailing dinghies they have come across.

Australian "R.L". sent two photos of a welded aluminum version of the Australian 11' Aquanaut Dinghy, masterfully crafted.

Mike Scott owned a prototype De Havilland 12' aluminum dinghy during his time in Australia. His story:
"I'm not sure who designed that alum dinghy I had, could well have been built as a prototype for the Vagabond, and therefore designed by Alan Payne. They maybe figured that alum was not the best way to go and so built the 3 class boats in glass. The 16ft Corsair is still going strong all over Oz, but the 12ft Vagabond and 10ft Gipsy seem to have faded. When I worked at Miller and Whitworth (Bob Miller and Craig Whitworth, sailmakers, Flying Dutchmen champs, and of course the legendary Bob Miller (aka Ben Lexcen). They became the agents for the 3 classes, and we would place an advertisement in the local paper for 'Free Sailboat rides', and we would take out prospective customers and then try to sell them a boat....was a fun job, but didn't get to see my kids much....that was 1966. Check out De Havilland Marine. I also worked there - that was where this boat came from. I bought it for 'scrap value', one of the perks of the job, I guess. In those days I was an accountant - ha...!

In the U.S, Grumman remains the most famous firm for their line of aluminum small boats and canoes but their most enduring aluminum sailboat is their dink, much sought after by the cruising crowd.

Tom Price pointed out that Grumman, in the late 1960's, built a 15' racing dinghy, called the "Flyer." Tom came across it at a Baltimore Boat Show. It doesn't appear many were made as this is the only image I could dig up about this dinghy on the InterWebs.

And finally, the aluminum sailboat I came across at Bobby Muller's yard? After digging around it appears it was the Pelican class, a 12 footer design by Philip Rhodes, of which over a thousand were built by the Aluminum Company of Canada - Alcan. More info about the Pelican can be found at this blog post here.

A nice roomy 12 footer.

A video walk-around of a Pelican.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Music Whenever: Americana; a Foursome

For that very small, loose-knit group of Earwigoagin readers who are interested in my occasional music selections; an Americana folk foursome.

First up, as pointed out to me by my good friend Ed Salva, a blues tune set to the beat of an ancient steam engine.

My favorite bluegrass duo, Mandolin Orange, with a Bob Dylan cover, Boots of Spanish Leather.

A folk tune I never tire of, The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov.

Finally, Love Ain't Enough by the Barr Brothers.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Australian 2015 Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta

Andrew Chapman sends along some photos of the 2015 Australian Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, hosted by South Gippsland Y.C, out of Inverloch, Victoria, birthplace of the Australian scow Moth. Regatta was in late January.

A Classic 16-foot skiff.

One of the starts. Left to right is the pram-bowed Mirror, Heron, two Sabre's, an Oughtred Classic Shearwater dinghy, and a scow Moth.

A varnished Heron being rigged on the beach.

The Uffa Fox Jollyboat has a small fleet in Melbourne Australia. Popular in the 1960's, the 19 foot Jollyboat was eclipsed by the similar sized Flying Dutchman, with it's Olympic Status.

The two Jack Holt small doublehander designs; the Mirror Dinghy, at 10' 10" was the first stitch and glue kit dinghy and the earlier design, the 11' 3" Heron, was also designed for home boatbuilding in plywood. Both originally had gunter rigs as seen here.

This scow Moth Maggie was just recently built by Ray Eades and is a modified Imperium design.

Beautiful decks on this new scow. Rather than aluminum wings this scow was built with wooden winglets.

South Gippsland Y.C. is on Anderson Inlet, where a small protected bay meets the Bass Strait. As Maggie sails toward the sandbar break, one can see the nastiness at the entrance to the Inlet when the breeze is on.

The Ian Oughtred Shearwater Classic Dinghy.

Fitted around the on-the-water racing shedule, the dinghies are exhibited at a seaside park for the locals to come and peruse (and vote on their favorite).

On the left is  the Rainbow Scow, a popular class in southern Australia up to about 1970.

This scow Moth is of the 1970's 1980's vintage, with aluminum wings.

The VeeJay has a bigger brother, the double plank 14' Skate dinghy. This one looks as if it is being pieced together on the beach, after a long layoff.

Here is a single plank VeeJay racing against the Heron. (The Heron being a good weight carrier,  as we see here with three sailors stuffed into this rather small dinghy - plus one more! - I was informed there was also a small child tucked out of sight.)