Sunday, January 24, 2010

Traditional and Bolger type boats; MASCF

As a young buck, thrashing around on some very high powered dinghies, I didn't give much mind to traditional boats. Pretty, yes, but why would someone bash around on those slow pokes when one can scream from one capsize to the next. With age has come some softening. Some of this is my love of history, and some is my love of variety; there is just so much beige plastic decks and white production hulls that one can absorb before the brain screams; ENOUGH! Today I'm much more apt to run over to a skipper of a Luders 16 than I am in chasing down the crew of an Australian 18. This doesn't mean I would run out to buy either one of those boats; but perhaps in my dotage I've begun to appreciate the beauty of traditional yachts and the people who build and sail them.

Which brings me to the St. Michaels Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival. I added to the end of this post that Bob Blomquist and I have gone to the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival the past two years, but unfortunately, I couldn't make it this year. Bob is a boat builder with many different home built craft under his belt. He has built probably the fastest Bolger Light schooner which he has brought to the Festival in previous years.

(Click on pictures to get higher resolution).

But this year he decided to bring a restored Penguin. They have a sailing race at the Festival, a one lapper and there are usually over 60 sailing craft at the start line. It's a zoo but a fun zoo. Well this year Bob and his 11 1/2 foot Penguin Won!!!..... beat all those larger traditional boats in about ten knots.

Bob in his restored lime green Penguin.

First leg of the sailing race;

Bob won on the upwind legs and though most of the festival participants aren't racing sailors, by most rights he shouldn't have beaten the larger craft with more sail area. And that is the Achilles heel of traditional craft. With their barn door rudders and shallow centerboards, they just don't go upwind as well as the more modern sailing craft. And there are plenty of dinghies that are faster than the pokey Penguin.

Here is a picture of the 2008 MASCF sailing race where a Classic Moth (all varnished I may add), all 11' to the far right in this picture, a small racing dinghy also vanquished the entire fleet in the MASCF sailing race.

And from YouTube, the 2008 Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival. Bob Blomquist and hs Bolger Light Schooner are featured at the end of the video.......

(change to 480p for higher resolution video)

I'm planning to attend MASCF this year. These festivals really do capture the joy of boating.

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