Saturday, September 19, 2020

Header Photo: Alruth Stacking Out

The Australian Historical 18's are just so damn photogenic, they keep cycling through my header photos.

Sailing Dinghy Restorations during the Pandemic

It seems the Covid Pandemic has driven the older dinghy guys into the shop, particularly the Antipodeans who have been busy restoring 60 year old scow Moths and Australian 14-footers.

And this old skiff as well.

Monday, September 14, 2020

That Pesky Lee Shore: Europa Moth Fail

From the February, 1971 issue of OD-OY.

Lee shores are always tricky, especially if the run-in is framed by rock jetties. I ran an International Canoe straight into the beach once, but that is another story. Sometimes the safest option is to lower the main when you can still get head-to-wind and scull your way to shore.  Or leave the main about 1/4 the way up and get gently blown to shore. (Lasers and other sleeve-luff classes excluded.)

I was scratching my name at the weirdness of this Europa Moth's chemical name, "Paradichlorobenzene" until I looked it up on the InterWebs.
"Paradichlorobenzene is used as a fumigant insecticide to control clothes moths... Mothballs containing paradichlorobenzene are solids that turn into toxic gas that kills moths."

Looks like this Moth was still in payback mode for the skipper's cheeky frivolity.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Header Photo: Start of the Paddling Canoe Race, Late Nineteenth Century

The previous header photo was harvested from Facebook with little identification. A paddling canoe start from the late nineteenth century, the location remained a mystery. I emailed several canoe historians and they were somewhat stumped as well. Someone said Lake George N.Y., another said possibly Hay Island right acroos from Gananoque in the Thousand Islands. Dating was also broad, sometime between the late 1880's, 1890's. Even without a precise identification, the bevy of delicate sailing canoes in the foreground still makes this photo a gem.

A sailing canoe from that era up and planing.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Craftsman Wanted: 14' Aykoryd Needing Restoration

Pre WWII, the L.S.S.A. 14 footer was Canada's premier dinghy racing class. A cat-rigged, lapstrake, design, George Aykroyd of Toronto was one of the top designers of the L.S.S.A. 14 footers. He did a "lake cottage" version, a stable, more sedate version, of which he built several thousand. Aykroyd restorations are ungoing; International Canoe and C-cat guru, Steve Clark, has one in his shop as we speak, undergoing a rehab. Silas Bialeki emailed me with another one he is offering up for restoration, located in Michigan.
"...about an Aykroyd 14' catboat that my family owns. It has not seen use for some 20 years now and has been stored inside here in SE Michigan. It came from Canada and was trailered down to await some needed work to make it sailable. We have come to the reality that we are not the people to take this boat on. I was wondering if you would have some leads as to who would be interested in taking on a mid sized restoration project of this beautiful little boat?...My main goal is to get the boat to a good home that will have her sailing again one day. My uncle bought the boat in 93 or 94 from a man in Desbarat, Ontario. It lived a season or two on Big Basswood Lake near Desbarat and then weathered a storm overnight while moored off. One of the stays broke and the wrenching of the mast opened enough of the hull to put her on the lake bed. She was raised and brought down to SE Michigan with the hopes of firming her up and going sailing again. 20+ years later and it still sits under cover, he is ready to pass it on...I suspect that there is a little of everything to be done. A few planks, ribs, and bits of hardware to be replaced. The canvas deck replaced, though plywood structure seems to be in relatively good condition. Naturally a new paint job would be in order. There are a few amateur repairs to the boat that mostly take the form of incorrect or non matching fasteners."


Photos of Steve Clark's decks-off Aykroyd restoration:

Monday, August 24, 2020

Header Photo: Compilation: Junior Sailors, 1960's to the Present

Every once in a while, I'll string a couple of header photos into a themed post. Over the last two weeks, I've taken featured three photos of juniors sailing U.S.A. Mothboats from the 1950's and 1960's. The 1960's had all sort of hiking styles, particularly for the flyweight juniors who found the Mothboat overpowering at times. I've contrasted this with a recent photo of a New Zealand junior sailing their indigenous P-class junior singlehander. This NZ junior is fully coached up on the modern, "correct" way to hike. (Two of the photos I lifted from George Albaugh's blog. The P-class photo was kicking around on the InterWeb.)

I started off with a 1960's Sports Illustrated photo of a 13 year old junior doing the extreme back-bend hike. This may be a show-off hike to impress the camera man.. Hull looks to be a Connecticut.

Next up, another 1960's photo. We have a small junior, fighting it, but right on the edge, one foot in the strap, the other flailing around. Hull looks to be a Challenger.

The third 1960's photo has the aft foot in the hiking strap and the forward foot hooked around the sidestay. Hull is a Cates

And finally we have the modern day "flat leg" hike, with the modern day attire, and the modern day sunglasses (and, thankfully, a life-jacket, something which is lacking in the previous photos).

The contrast of 60 years or so, does show how advanced the modern juniors are in the sport of sailboat racing. I do wonder if this advanced skill-set at a young age has to do with some of these top-notch juniors choosing another sport to pursue in their 20's, something they have to learn anew, something fresher.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

My Short History with Windsurfing

With the previous post on the D2 Windsurfer, I had a chance to reflect on my short history with Windsurfing. All of my casual involvement with Windsurfing occurred when I was a young dude. I wrote about my first encounter with the very early Windsurfing community and my breakfast conversation with one of Windsurfer's emergent rock stars over at this post. It was also at Association Island in 1974 that I first stepped on a borrowed original Windsurfer. I took it out close to dusk in very little wind. I got upwind OK without major mishaps and about 200 meters from shore turned around to go downwind and back to the beach when I started falling off the board. I was wondering if I was going to have to arm paddle home when my brain finally re-calibrated my balance and I was able to drift back, standing up, without embarrassment. Back in Annapolis I learned the basics on another borrowed Windsurfer. I still remember how impressed I was with the Windsurfer's easy acceleration with just barely wafting gusts. With the original Windsurfer I was competent up to a mid-range breeze and didn't get comfortable with stronger breezes until I had some time on a F3 board, a design which was already moving toward less length, rig back further, full battened sail. Although I had several sailing friends that got out of dinghies and continued hard-core at Windsurfing (some became pros), I never never went down the rabbit hole of short boards, water starts, wave jumping, camber-induced sails in various sizes, summer trips to the Gorge or Hatteras. I stuck with racing dinghies. With the light air of the Chesapeake, it seemed to be the more comfortable choice.

Grainy photos of the blogmeister from back in the 1970's