(Addendum September 2012 - I first wrote this post in 2010. Since then various boatbuilders have popped up, building reproductions of vintage designs. Francois Vivier has also produced a kit Moth. In the two years I have made many more posts about Classic Moths on Earwigoagin and it might be worth the reader to investigate. For more articles on the Classic Moth from this blog, use the Blogger Search Box at the top left (next to the orange B icon). Type in "Classic Moth" to pull all the articles on the Classic Moth from this blog. Or go to the Labels on the right side of the blog and select "Classic Moth" Also the plans for the Little Mae Vintage design can also be found on this blog as well as some construction photos of the French Vintage Classic Moth, the Nantais. The Little Mae design and the Nantais are very, very similar designs. Use the following links.)
- "Little Mae" PDF plans from magazine.
- "Little Mae" Metric station offsets.
- French Vintage Classic Moth "Nantais" build
- Francois Vivier Classic Moth kit.
- Some other posts with references to Classic Moth plans.
(Note; To give a rough idea on the tippiness of a hull, Joe Bousquet developed a scissor-like device he placed over the midsection to visually show the amount of V. I've included his pictures of the various V's from the Mistral, Shelly, Europe, Energizer.)
MISTRAL - easiest to build. Developable plywood. Stitch and glue. Two 3mm plywood panels are bent up to shape, a centerline piece attached to hold the run flat, a spreader bar at the gunwhales is used to get the correct shape when bending up and glassing. A weekend of work will give you the rough shape. Adding two permanent bulkheads, a temp bulkhead and the transom finalizes the shape. Many people have hacked the hull shape by pushing here or pulling there so we have some semi Mistral hullls out there. Here is a link to a blog post of a local Annapolis Mothist, John Z building a Mistral. A Mistral or some variation of the Mistral has won the Nationals the last umpteen years.
However, the Mistral is a very deep V design. Very floppy and has a tendency to scare newbie Mothists who try to sail her. Many have come ashore and either; 1) rapidly put the boat up for sale or 2) put the Mistral back in the garage for a while and then discreetly sold her. Not all mind you, as we have a core group of about 6-8 who regularly sail a Mistral (or modified Mistral design, i.e. the Mousetrap or Y2K designs) and are able to race them hard in all conditions and win. It helps to have some Laser or Sunfish experience but this is not an ironclad requirement. If you pick a Mistral to build, consider yourself warned. If you decide to proceed, George has the plans (see bottom of article).
The Mistral on the Bousquet V-meter.
Top View of a Mistral Mod Design, the Mousetrap by Jeff Linton.
Not all Mistrals are built in plywood. This one was done in foam core/glass, with the hull splashed using an existing wood hull as a mold. Note the very interesting transom design.
ENERGIZER -Just a hair more stable than the Mistral is the Energizer design. A modification of the 1970's Stockholm Sprite, it is a full chine design but still very V'd. Two have been built with some success. No plans.
Energizer on the Bousquet V-meter.
The original Energizer was the first Classic Moth I owned. Here I am sailing Energizer at Chester River in Maryland.
TWEEZER - Yep, this is my design. A Gen 2 design racing against the Mistral, Energizer designs. Stability somewhere between the Mistral and the Shelly. Flatter rocker in the Tweezer has proven to be a quick in a breeze but suffers against the Mistrals and even the Shelly in the lighter stuff (non-hiking breeze) which, on the East Coast, seems to be the majority of our conditions. I may be biased but it is a hull with little vices. Round bilged and the original was built using cedar strips. Picture below is of me racing at E-City.
View the YouTube of Tweezer's construction.
SHELLY - A wider, flatter chined design with moderate rocker from the late 60's. Much more stable and, in the hands of Joe Bousquet, has done very well in the National championships. George has the Mk3 plans.
Shelly on the Bousquet V-meter.
A McCutcheon built Shelly in dinghy park at the Gulfport Midwinters.
MINT - Qualifies for Gen 1 (our Classic Moth division for the more stable, higher wetted surface hulls that are not Vintage). A reasonably docile design from the 1950's. Never built one but the bow sections go very fine and look to present some challenges to the home builder. That being said, 6 hulls were built in Elizabeth City in the 1990's. George has the section lines.
A picture of the beautiful restoration of the first Mint built.....
And John Pugh sailing a Mint at the E-City Nationals.
FLORIDA CATES - A very successful 1960's design evolution from the Bailey Mach 1. A Gen 1 design, the Cates is another V'd shape but much more stable then the Mistral or Energizer. Low freeboard and a wet boat. George has the plans.
MODERN FLORIDA -There are two designs by famous Florida MORC designers; OH Rodgers designed the Florida Wedge (a flat design, very stable, but slow in light air and waves and squirrely downwind in a breeze) and Paul Lindenberg designed a Classic Moth which has a resemblance to the Windmill hull. Lindenberg will sell his Classic Moth plans for $400. I don't have an address.
Lindenberg's website does show some Classic Moth building.
A transom photo of a Lindenberg Moth (from George's blog). Note the anti-reflective strips on the transom for safer trailering.
SAVANNAH WEDGE - Very close to the Florida Wedge concept, two Moths were built in Savannah, Georgia (the designer escapes me at the moment). Flat transom and looked very much like the Zuma class that was built in fiberglass in the 90's. The Savannah Wedge is not competitive as a Classic Moth racer, too much wetted surface, but with it's double bottom this is a very capable kick-around-the-lake daysailor. No plans existing that I know of.
OLYMPIC EUROPE - The Olympic Europe is based on a 1960's Europa Classic Moth and there is an active section of Classic Mothists who have purchased plastic Europes, modified the sail to fit the Classic Moth and are sailing them mostly as stock (though we do have one modified Europe).
Wooden Europa dinghy on the Bousquet V-meter.
Walt Collins with his Olympic Europe.
PROUST DESIGN - In 2009, Jim Young built an old French design he found on the Internet. Despite the name he gave her (Tippy), this Classic Moth was anything but. A stable, buoyant design which Jim built modern, in foam/glass. Details on "Tippy" can be found over at this blog post.
RESTORATION - Many of the 60 designs have reappeared as derelict hulls and have been restored rather than homebuilt from scratch. The oldest designs for Vintage (Ventnor, Connecticut, and Dorr Willey designs) must be restored to qualify to race in the Vintage division (you can still race a reproduction Vintage in the Gen 1 division).
REPRODUCTION VINTAGE - Several people have been building reproductions of the French vintage design, the Nantais Moth. Go to the top of this post for more links to the Nantais Moth.
CONCLUSION - Let me be clear. The Classic Moth is a short hull and a light hull. At the Gen2 level, the Classic Moths are challenging craft to sail but very rewarding at the same time. A Laser is like an aircraft carrier compared to the more twitchier Gen 2 designs, the Mistral, Energizer, Tweezer or even the Shelly.
But there are more stable Classic Moths that we classify as Gen 1. I've never sailed a Mint or a Proust design but I would assume that they would be very much the same stability as a Laser or Sunfish. A reproduction vintage design such as the Little Mae or Nantais Moth would be very stable and perfect for kicking around on the lake.
So there you have it. The Mistral, Shelly and Florida Cates have more or less complete plans. Other designs you would probably need to work off a set of lines drawings and use your builders experience. George Albaugh is our plan librarian. His email is linked from Classic Moth website.
Other links to other Classic Moth design posts from Earwigoagin..........
A Mistral hull modified with a flatter Europe type transom.
and my answer to my first email inquiry about Classic Moths.
Classic Moth Designs Part 1
And also -
Why a Classic Moth is Better than a Laser.