Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sabots and other 8' Sailing Dinks

I learned to sail in an 8' El Toro pram . I never raced an El Toro until I was in my 30's when I borrowed one to sail the last El Toro North American Champs held on the East Coast, sometime in the 1980's (St. Mary's Maryland). My most fondest and hair raising recollection about El Toro's was downwind in a breeze. You would camp out on the El Toro's stern, sandwiched between the tiller, desperately trying to keep the pram bow from going under.

The Australian Sabot is a close cousin to the El Toro. Unlike the El Toro which has an adult as well as a junior division, the Australian Sabot is primarily a junior boat. Here is a junior alternately planing and submarining a Sabot in very big breeze; much more breeze than I ever attempted in an El Toro.


JDRSnipe said...

El Toros sail the big winds/waves on SF Bay, must be a harrowing experience during many Bull Ship races from Sausalito across the bay under the Golden Gate Bridge to SF. There is also a US Sabot which has a daggerboard instead of a pivot leeboard that the Sabot has. Do you remember the Haggerty Sea Shell of the late 1940s, much like the El Toro but without a foredeck.

JDRSnipe said...

There was also a real "yachty" classic wooden frostbite sailing dinghy called the Alden Class X Dinghy, about 11'-3" long with lapstrake construction and materials and quality of the highest standards. Designed by John Alden in the 1930s, about 140 built by a wooden boat crafstman in CT for sailing on Long Island Sound YC racing; a fleet also in Grand Rapids, MI in the 1940s-50s. One of these designs is in the Mystic Seaport collection.

Tweezerman said...

The Bull Ship race is one I would like to do but I think they run this early in the morning to avoid the worst that SF Bay can offer up. I'll have to Google both the Sea Shell and the Alden X class.